A Peaceful and Quiet Life

This is something we all want. I was expecting it. I’m sure you were, too. However, it seems that it is not to be. The societal and cultural turmoil of the last few years has not abated. Laws and regulations are unfairly applied or not applied at all, all across the world. Likely, it will grow worse; especially if reasonable and kind-hearted people band together to oppose this exorable slide into chaos.

I don’t think we talk enough about this turmoil and slide. If we continue ignoring the problem, it will sneak up and overwhelm us. How, then, are we to understand our times?

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528,) Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Lord Jesus Christ, in His wisdom, gave us an explanation. He said,

If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.

But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.

John 15:19-21 (English Standard Version)

After explaining to His disciples that they would all abandon Him when agents of the governmental and religious authorities took Him away, He told them,

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 (ESV)

And we have this same assurance. He also said,

I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear:

Fear Him who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!

Luke 12:4-5 (ESV)

How then should we fear Him? The scriptures say,

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.”

Romans 10:9-11 (ESV)

And, consequently, we have this promise,

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5:1-2 (ESV)

This is our hope: peace with God. In this, by the power of God, we may thrive, as the scripture says,

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13 (ESV)

But, simultaneously, we must suffer in tribulation,

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. Revelation 14:12 (ESV)

Therefore, if we endure in doing His commandments and in our trust in Jesus, we will find rest for our souls. But, if we succumb to compromise with the world and deny our Lord and Savior, then we show ourselves to be earth dwellers who have no rest forever.

The world seeks to distract and deceive us from following the way. But it really is this simple to have peace.

What Does It Mean to Accept Jesus Christ? March 18, 2021, YouTube, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

The Sower

The first 23 verses of the Book of Matthew, chapter 13, record the Lord Jesus’s parable of the sower, His reasoning behind speaking in parables, and His explanation of the sower parable. This is His explanation:

“Hear then the parable of the sower:

When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.

As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.

As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.

As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

Matthew 13:18-23 English Standard Version (ESV)

John Calvin comments on the parable as a whole:

…He only intended to warn us, that, in many persons, the seed of life is lost on account of various defects, in consequence of which it is either destroyed immediately, or it withers, or it gradually degenerates.

That we may derive the greater advantage from this warning, we ought to bear in mind, that he makes no mention of despisers who openly reject the word of God, but describes those only in whom there is some appearance of docility.

But if the greater part of such men perishes, what shall become of the rest of the world, by whom the doctrine of salvation is openly rejected?

And relative to the good soil:

But he that received the seed into a good soil… None are compared by Christ to a good and fertile soil, but those in whom the word of God not only strikes its roots deep and solid, but overcomes every obstacle that would prevent it from yielding fruit.

Is it objected that it is impossible to find anyone who is pure and free from thorns? It is easy to reply, that Christ does not now speak of the perfection of faith, but only points out those in whom the word of God yields fruit. Though the produce may not be great, yet everyone who does not fall off from the sincere worship of God is reckoned a good and fertile soil

Hence too we learn that we have no right to despise those who occupy a lower degree of excellence; for the master of the house himself, though he gives to one the preference above another on account of more abundant produce, yet bestows the general designation, good, even on inferior soils…

Therefore, please:

…Put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:21 (ESV)

The Sower - Tissot

The Sower, 1886 – 1894, James Tissot, Brooklyn Museum, PD-Art-US