Pastor Herman Kneller Editorials
God's Secrets Revealed
When Rome had banished the apostle John to the Isle of Pathos (where John wrote the book of Revelation then went back to Ephesus) Christianity grew much to the displeasure of the Romans. These Christians seemed to be everywhere.
In Paul's day one of Caesars house was a Christian. A new Caesar had come to the throne, Diocletian, and he hated Christians. Why? They were not bad people but their blameless life showed up his character. He determined that once and for all he would do away with the hated sect. What an undertaking.
What kind of life does one have that has this kind of goal? What does it do to ones health when the heart and mind are filled with hatred. When one sees some kind of pleasure in the death and maiming of people, old and young, including children. Diocletian lasted only ten years. He probably died of a stroke for what body can survive continual stress? He was subjecting his body to it.
What had he accomplished? Instead of Christianity being exterminated the number of Christians had increased during his reign. What had happened? Why had people chosen to become Christians in the face of death and follow Jesus?
It was not hard for people to see the difference between the hate filled character of Diocletian and the character of the happy, loving, caring, healing Jesus. What could Diocletian offer to stay or become pagan? What does Jesus have to offer? To become a Christian and follow Him. He gives peace, happiness, better health, the joy of doing something for others and, of course, aging (that is where I am at) and then at the end, death which the Bible calls sleep.
When we think of the word sleep we also think of awakening. The same in the Bible. Sleep is always used with the word resurrection. At the second coming of Jesus, then the resurrection what will those who sleep in Jesus look like after the resurrection?
I went out the other day and bought four tea roses to plant. I love those big, bright red, yellow marbled roses and when God's sleeping saints will come up at the resurrection they will look as good as those roses when they opened.
In Heaven we won't have the aging problem, no sickness, no crying. What a difference between what the emperor had to offer and what Jesus has to offer then and now for all who will follow Him. Jesus sacrificed everything, pain, loneliness, mockery all to give mankind a chance at a better life here and the hope for eternal life. What do we call a good life here? We think of money, power, pleasures and things but do these always bring the hoped for results? A lot of time these bring disease, sickness, disappointment, poverty, loneliness and an empty future.
Among the 12 disciples that followed was Judas a fairly bright fellow by this world's standards, he became the treasurer and the thief for the little group. One day, at a dinner party given in honour of Jesus, a lady came in with a box of ointment. It was a very expensive ointment. She opened the box and anointed Jesus' head and feet with this costly ointment. Judas was upset for this was worth 300 days pay. He thought it should have been sold and given to the poor (he, of course, would “carry” the money).
He went to the high priest who wanted Jesus for trial and promised to deliver Him for 30 pieces of silver. Everything was moving according to plan.
After the last supper Judas went to the priest and got a mob with swords and torches and clubs. He told the people when they would meet Jesus, Judas would go up to Him and kiss Him. Judas advised them to then take Jesus fast. He had seen Jesus walk away from captors before and he was sure of it again.
Things were going fine. They met Jesus, Judas kissed Him then the plan began to unravel. Jesus allowed Himself to be taken and led away to trial and condemnation.
Judas brought the money to the priests, disappointed that Jesus had actually been captured, threw it down and went and hung himself. A bad choice. Selfishness: the cause of many problems.