Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Turning the World Upside Down

“Mom isn’t doing well. I know it’s late, but could you come?”

It’s been a long time since my husband has had a phone call like that in the middle of the night. When we first started out in ministry, it wasn’t uncommon to be called by a parishioner to come to the house, the hospital, or the nursing home—no matter what time of day or night it happened to be. People wanted the connection to God that a pastor represented. The spiritual health of their loved one mattered—whether they were in church last week, hadn’t been there in forty years, or had never attended at all. Deep down, people believed in the here-after and that God held everyone’s eternity in His hands.

It is rare now for Dick to receive such a call. Why? What has changed?

Is it that we don’t want to inconvenience pastors by asking them to give up their sleep, interrupt their meal, impose on their time? Probably. But, doesn’t that indicate that we think a person’s spiritual wellbeing isn’t important enough to inconvenience someone else for? Could it hint that we aren’t completely convinced that eternity exists? Digging deeper, does it reveal that we lack belief in God at all?

If so, it gives us a glimpse into why the world is in such a state of utter selfishness and hatred—why, every day, we hear anew of mass shootings, human and animal cruelty, provoked and unprovoked attacks. If we believe this life is all there is, that there is no afterlife beyond what we know today, and ultimately that there is no One to whom we must answer, then it isn’t any wonder that our only care and concern is for ourselves.

Living as though our earthly life is the beginning and end of all existence, is not a new problem. Job spoke of it. (Job 19:25) Paul dealt with it. (1 Corinthians 15) Peter addressed it. (1 Peter 4:7-11) Overall, the Bible shares nearly 300 verses that use the word eternal or refer to eternity directly or indirectly. That’s a lot of references for a subject that some consider hooey.

However, the bedrock of belief in eternity is belief in God. Scripture clearly reveals the existence of God—His name is mentioned in over 4000 verses! Paul explained God’s existence in Romans 1:19-21. David declared it in Psalm 19:1-4. John confirmed it in John 14:17.

Many of us have heard of Lee Strobel, the former atheist and investigative journalist who turned Christian. His numerous books share the evidence that supports the truth and claims of Christianity, including the reality that God exists and is still at work. Likewise, Marilyn Adamson, a former atheist, gives solid evidence of God’s existence in her article “Is there a God?” at

What can we do about the dreadful state of the world today? We can live as God-believers—reacting to life’s challenges in ways that reflect our trust in God, speaking our faith aloud, helping seekers understand our beliefs, and treating others as Jesus taught us to—in the hopes that one person may find out for themselves that God is real. And that can turn the world upside down.

“They dragged Jason and certain other believers before the rulers of the city, crying, "These people have turned the world upside down! (Acts 17:6)

Be encouraged!

©2017 Pamela D. Williams