The Devil Rules This World
Jesus said that he is not the ruler of this world. The devil rules this world and will until Jesus returns. We don’t know when that will be. Many so-called visionaries throughout history have predicted the end of the world, all of them in error. Even Jesus did not know when the end would come, and if Jesus did not know, how would a visionary?
Today we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus to Heaven, after he rose from the dead and spent 40 days with his disciples. Jesus knew that the Apostles would face tremendous difficulties, even leading to their deaths, in spreading the Gospel. To help them he said a final blessing before he was taken up to Heaven and promised to send the Holy Spirit to them for strength and wisdom.
Jesus did not know when he would return, only that he would return in the manner in which he departed. His return will be unmistakable and will put an end to our suffering for the faithful. Until then we must endure a sorrowful world where hatred and intolerance reign.
The Sorrows of This World
In the past few weeks we’ve seen some awful things in our country. Abortion has been thrust into the headlines again due to a leak of Supreme Court opinions, and some in Congress desperately tried to enact a national law permitting abortion of a baby any time up to the moment of birth. Parents have taken their malnourished babies to hospitals due to a shortage of baby formula. Innocent people, including children, have been gunned down as they simply went through their daily lives in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas.
How can God permit this?
Like everyone else, I struggle to find a satisfactory answer to that question. As always, faith leads me to at least a partial one.
The Importance of Free Will
The free will given to us by God means that we are free to ignore Him. We are free to harm ourselves and to attempt to harm others. In other words, we are free to sin. Unlike angels, who are compelled to worship God, we can choose otherwise. By turning to the Lord through His Son, we make a decision to follow Him. This free decision means so much to the Lord because we are turning from sin towards Him, and that is what opens Heaven to us.
We are surrounded by people who have chosen otherwise or worse, those who commit atrocities because they believe God wants them to do so. Nowhere in the Gospels do we see where Jesus instructs us to hurt others, rather he guided us to love others. He also said that many will come claiming to be him, but that we should not be tricked into following them. Jesus’ return will be unmistakable.
Our Faith Overcomes Tragedy
Because there are many misguided souls among us, tragedies happen. These awful events give us the opportunity to express God’s love. As I’ve said in other blog posts, God dwells in all of us, even those who have not recognized him. He is there for the moment a person makes the free choice to give their lives to Him.
Watch how many react to these tragic events. Beware of demagoguery, most often seen from our politicians. They point their fingers at their political opponents and demand gun control, sealed borders, school choice, preferred pronouns, etc. All of that is noise. Real progress comes from people accepting Jesus as their Savior and acting accordingly. Ignore the distractions and share God’s Word. All else is from the Evil One and doomed to failure.