I am not a masochist. I don’t kneel in a corner whipping myself with a cat-o-nine-tails whispering “naughty boy” to the wall. I don’t hit my thumb on purpose when hammering in nails, nor do I ask my wife if she is getting fat. Whether physical, emotional, or psychological, I don’t like pain. Purple nurples, wet willies, and atomic wedgies were never my idea of a good time. I’m pretty basic that way. Like most normal humans, I try to avoid pain whenever possible.
That said, I’m also not a lemming. I don’t follow the crowd just because I think there is safety in numbers, nor do I go along to get along. I speak my mind, often to my detriment, because I believe it is the only noble way to live.
Who knows? If I’d been a bit more malleable, a bit more servile, if I’d praised the right people and spit-shined the right loafers, maybe I too could have been asked to join has-been charlatans who got a makeover and are selling buckets of slop to unsuspecting folks who think that’s what will get them through the hard times.
I said all that to impress upon you that the conclusion I’ve come to regarding the timing of our departure from this marred and blighted rock is not one I would have wanted to arrive at. Unfortunately, the Bible is not a pick-your-adventure video game where you get to decide how the story ends.
Granted, we can play the types and shadows game. Many people do. However, for every Lot, there is a Goshen or a Peter, a Daniel or a Jeremiah. And as far as Lot goes, you get that he wasn’t translated to heaven, don’t you? He was just hurried along out of Sodom. The only two to make it out of life alive were Enoch and Elijah, and neither was a means of escape but rather a reward. Also, where exactly do we stop using Lot as a type and shadow of things to come? Right after he escaped but right before committing drunken incest?
I get it. It is tempting to try and hammer a square peg into a round hole because it goes a long way to alleviating our anxiety, but then again, we can go to the source and see what He said about it all and trust His wisdom and plan.
Just as Maslow had his hierarchy of needs, biblically speaking, there is a hierarchy of authority. The Word, the Word that was with God from the beginning, the Word that is God forevermore, is the tip of the pyramid, and everything flows from there.
What does this mean? If Jesus said something, then someone came along and built an entire theory around symbolism, moon cycles, questionable interpretation, and types and shadows that contradicted what Jesus said, you defer to Jesus because of who He is.
It’s like being told something by the King himself, then having the slow boy who empties the chamber pots in the morning tell you the opposite and wondering whom you’re going to believe.
Remember that oldie but goody foot stomper whose report will you believe; we will believe the report of the Lord. Apparently not. It’s no surprise. It’s not like we aren’t used to singing lies in church every other week.
I realize I’m coming off a bit frisky, I do, but it can’t be helped. We’ve been pampered for so long, told what we wanted to hear for so long, that we’ve come to the dangerous crossroads of either following the Word or following our own hearts.
My heart is flesh. My heart wants to believe that any day now, before it gets really dark, before the wars and rumors of war really kick into gear, before the earthquakes in various places displace millions of souls, I’ll be caught up. The Word, however, tells me that he who endures to the end shall be saved, and the end isn’t the middle or the beginning.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.
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