I just have to face up to the fact that I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed. I have spent my entire life being continually confused by things that seem obvious to everybody else. Sometimes people would say to me "Cameron, you can't have your cake and eat it too". Now I just don't get that saying at all - whenever I've had a cake in my hands it was for the sole purpose of eating the thing! I don't get antiques either. Can someone please explain to me the good sense in buying something old when a new one costs less? And why do all those people who want to stop polluting the atmosphere smoke those strange looking cigarettes? My life has been one perplexing ride!
But amidst all this personal confusion has come a recent resolution to one of the more challenging questions I've had since high school. It was in school that I learnt about the western world and how it is often referred to as the first world. And then there was all the poor countries otherwise known as the third world. Excuse me - what about the second world? How come nobody ever talks about it? Is it some secret bunker in Roswell, New Mexico? How come it gets no airtime? During Church discussions on mission I would often point out that I had a heart for the people groups of the second world - but that was more out of confusion than compassion. Who were these people and where did they live!
My seemingly futile search for answers concluded this week when we moved house to a rural location - with no internet access. Yes, I've finally figured it out, the second world is all the people who have no access to the world wide web. It certainly explains the complete lack of blog posts on the subject. So here I am, living life in the second world. My inbox runneth over!
We might have three worlds, but when it comes to eternity there is no middle ground. Heaven and hell are divided by an unbridgeable gulf. I've learnt that the second world has one particular thing in common with the first world and the third world - it's full of sinners. And they'll all end up in the same world unless they are born again . . .
For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes on Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light, because their deeds were evil (John 3:16-19).
Soppy liberals and emergents love to point out that Jesus didn't come to condemn. What they always fail to point out is that He didn't come to condemn because the whole world was already condemned because of their lawless rebellion against God. They are bound for hell and God will be just in sending them there . . . but . . . in the fulness of time God sent forth Jesus, God in human form, to fulfill the law that God demands and nobody keeps. Christ died as a propitiation, which means he endured God's just wrath against sinners as a substitute, fulfilling the requirements of justice and making a way for God to grant repentant sinners pardon and clothe them in the righteousness of Christ. Penal Substitutionary Atonement is great news - anyone who attacks this doctrine has a zipper on their sheep suit.
So now you know which of the three worlds you live in - but do you know which of the two worlds you'll end up in. You see that death counter to the right on this blog? It's only a matter of time before you become a part of the statistic. Cry out to God - how kind He is to give us time to repent.
Weekend A La Carte (December 16)
4 hours ago