Friday, April 15, 2005

No Shalam, No Shalom

We've done our yearly "join a music club and get a LOT of CDs at once" routine, and one of the CDs I picked up was Johnny Cash's American Recordings 4: The Man Comes Around. (Yes, it's not new. I'm aware of that. :) ) I've been listening to The Man Comes Around, and I was struck by the "until Armaggedon, no shalam, no shalom" line.

Right after Terri Schiavo died, Milady was down a bit about her situation and the situation in the Congo. She told me, "Sometimes I just wish that Jesus would come soon." I think that this is the correct response for Christians to have.

Thanks to Adam and Eve, there is neither completeness (shalam) nor peace (shalom). The entire universe groans under the curse, with natural disasters and disease on the rise. We are surrounded by a society that desires to do what is right in its own sight. Moreover, we are told that, at the end of the age, people will be given over to their own desires, and that the earth will suffer even more "bir thing pains". As one wise man once said, "Cheer up! The worst is yet to come."

Yet, are we to hope it comes? Yes! John ended Revelation praying Marana tha, Come Lord Jesus. I don't believe that we can either impede the Lord's plan (ala NBC's "Revelations") or significantly accelerate it (as the messianic Third Temple adherants), but we can work to fulfil's God's goals. Jesus said that the Lord desires that none would perish, that all may have eternal life. God only cuts this age short when events will cause all on Earth to perish. We can act to make sure that everyone who is alive has heard the Gospel, something we have been tasked to do. After that, we are to trust God and not think so much of ourselves that we think we can dictate God's plans.

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