By Dr. Robert R. Kopp


It’s hard to be positive in a world of proliferating pejoratives.

Everything seems so out of order from the crumbling of the church’s Christological and moral credibility across the board to the uncontrollably diabolical forces poisoning the planet while hiding behind the pretended urgings of Allah, national interests, ethnic pride, gender politics, abortion rights, and whatever else rationalizes their pathetically polemical psychopathologies.

Undoubtedly, we are plagued by maraudingly murderous secular and pseudo-sacred mobocracies that trash the divine desire: “Choose life so that you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).

While my generation escaped the worst scenario of the Cuban Missile Crisis after the preceding generation watched the good guys drop big enough bombs to conclude their world war, we are increasingly saddened by forecasts for succeeding generations since 9/11.

Our children have been infected with a fatalism betrayed by the profane cynicism of rap music, bloody barbarity of video games, collapse of common courtesies, and an acceleration of sexual anarchy, and substance abuse dwarfing the dark decade of the mid-’60s to early ’70s.

I’ve seen children constructing buildings with legos as targets for Matchbox planes.

When I asked playful children in the park about their unfamiliar game, one explained, “We’re playing dirty bomb. Somebody screams ‘terrorist’, and we all fall to the ground dead.”

Aging children are adopting that old live-for-today-for-tomorrow-you-may-die mentality because it could prove true.

And so my mind wanders to the closing scene in Fiddler on the Roof when the tailor asks, “Rabbi, we’ve waited all our lives for the Messiah. Wouldn’t now be a good time for Him to come?” The rabbi responds, “We’ll have to wait for Him someplace else. Meanwhile, let’s start packing.”

Whether it’s the first coming anticipated by our Jewish sisters and brothers or the second coming of Messiah-Master Jesus to establish the eternal Kingdom, God knows we need a savior quickly.

That’s why all of God’s children embrace our Lord’s promise, “Surely, I am coming soon.” We cry back, “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:6ff.).

Knowing history is His story enables the faithful to face the future unafraid.

Knowing no one nor no thing can frustrate the ultimate prevailing of His good providence, the faithful live triumphantly amid the meanness, madness, and misery of life in the modern world.

Knowing “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed” buoys us to the confession of Corrie ten Boom’s sister Betsy from the depths of a Nazi concentration camp, “No pit is so deep that God is not deeper still” (Romans 8).

Knowing those who hang with Him will rise with Him, we love like Him in the meantime—enfleshing unconditional love which may not convert the whole world but brings gospel to parts of the world wherever His family practice what He preached (Matthew 16:24ff.).

Simply, we can be positive even in these pejorative times.

We have a Lord who wants to save.

He said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).

While self-determination apart from Him doesn’t negate our Lord’s saving design, personal decisions for Him assist the corporate advancement of the Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

In other words, living for Jesus today is the best way to prepare for His coming back as early as tomorrow.

Meanwhile, let’s start packing!

Dr. Robert Kopp is the pastor of Bethany Presbyterian Church, Loves Park.

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