My brother emailed today to tell me our cousin from Rhode Island left him the following text message:
"Cousin, I was reading the Bible and in John it said that in order to enter the kingdom one must be born again and baptized. How is that? By the way, how are you and your family? Say hi to Mom and Dad for me. Keep me in your prayers please. Cousin D."
I don't know why that made me laugh so much. You know, it was just your average text message. Just the most profound question in human history, followed by a "by the way." And here are my brother and I thinking the same thoughts, knowing what's coming: one more soul snatched from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of God (Colossians 1:13). One more soul about to plunge into joyful upheaval, and go on the ride of her life.
And how many times now has this been played out over the last 2,000 years? A guy is sitting in a chariot on a road to Gaza about 50 A.D. (Acts 8), and he's reading a book and he's getting nowhere. And here comes a man named Philip, and the Ethiopian chariot driver calls him over and asks, "Would you give me a hand? I can't make heads or tails of this book." And the two men take a look at the words together. And they read:
"Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth. . . ."
And so it goes, one soul at a time, year after year, just when you're tempted to think nothing is happening. But it was written long ago:
"Of the increase of his government and his peace there will be no end" (Isaiah 9:7).
Translation: Christ's kingdom is always advancing and never retreating---no matter what the nightly news says.
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