The Two Rebel Kingdoms

There once was a King who ruled a vast Kingdom. In his kingdom a great General led a mighty army. And the Chief treasurer multiplied the wealth for all according to the King’s Rules. All was peaceful and prosperous.

Then one day, the Manager grew greedy for more money, and he bribed a few select officials in the Kingdom promising them wealth if they would serve him instead of their king. These officials hated taking care of the poor according to the King’s rules, so they agreed, and the Treacherous Treasurer left and established a Monetary Economic culture to the East of the Kingdom, and there was slavery in the land.

That same day, the General grew hungry for military glory and led a coup and there was a war in the kingdom. The General left with a large portion of the King’s armed forces, and set up a military kingdom to the West that Rivaled Sparta.

The King was heartbroken that his subjects left him to follow the his treacherous Treasurer and glory-hungry General. He built a Wall around his kingdom to defend from the Military Kingdom’s soldiers, and the Monetary Kingdom’s slavers. Then he sent diplomats and emissaries to invite the rebellious citizens back to his kingdom to see if any perhaps were merely deceived and could be persuaded to return to the King in his Kingdom, or if they had truly turned against him. But the Military Kingdom butchered the diplomats they were sent, and the Monetary Kingdom took them as slaves.

Finally, the King said, “I will send my son the Prince to them. Surely they will remember what I am like as King, and they will be persuaded to hear him.” The Prince went and called for a truce where he met with the Kings of both these Rival Kingdoms right outside the City walls. When the General and the Treasurer saw the Prince coming, they said to each other, “Let us ransom the King’s son, so that when the King dies without an heir, then we will take the land for ourselves.” They agreed. They saw him coming carrying no weapon, and the Military General scoffed. He wore no purse and the Treasurer sneered. He offered them a  place in his father’s Kingdom, but the Manager took him and beat him as a slave stripping him down to nothing, and then the Military General threw him over to the pit of soldiers who beat him mercilessly. He did not fight back, but he said, “I love you, and I forgive you.” Then he died.

They sent back the dead body to the King on a wooden cart wrapped up. The King wet all the doctors in the Kingdom to work, and set all the people to praying that the Prince might live again. To the joy of the Kingdom, and to the dismay of the enemies, the Prince revived!

Once the Prince was revived, the King delivered his final warning to both kingdoms: if there were any who wished to come to be citizens of his kingdom, they had one more chance before he came and delivered swift justice on his Evil General and Treasurer and any who still sided with them.

Some of the soldiers and wealthy came and repented with great sorrow, and they were welcomed into the Kingdom again. Out of their great joy, they swore fealty to the King, and begged that they might go back to the kingdoms East and West, to see if they could persuade any others to come with them. So they did, they returned and pleaded with the soldiers and the slavers, “Be reconciled to the King!” But these were treated just as shamefully and mercilessly as the Prince was treated.

At last, the judgment day had come! The King took back the Treasurer’s Kingdom first, conquered them, and plundered them. Then the King besieged the Military Kingdom and Prince led the King’s army to a glorious victory, and they exterminated the province. All who did not die were thrown into the King’s Dungeon for life. But those who served the King faithfully were given rule over the newly unified Kingdom, and the Prince was given the Kingdom on his Coronation Day.

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I’ve Glimpsed Him. (Scoffer’s Response)

If you have seen Him, please tell me about Him.

You already know about Him. You have already heard much about Him. You do not need me to tell you about Him. What you need is to see Him for yourself. I can describe the effect of seeing Him, on my heart what’s left of it. I can point to the scars on my body where I have been branded for the Lord’s service. I can point out to you the truths and glimpses of Him that you can see if only you had the heart, but as it stands now, your heart is like heavy lidded eyes. And you would not see Him, even if He stood before you. It is not those who see who have the heart, it is those who have the heart who see.

Fine, so describe him.

Holy.
Related, dissimilar.
More familiar than anyone or anything.
Utterly overpoweringly enormous.
In his presence, all life within me surges to my breaking point.
I die, and come back only if He brings me, but remolded in fire.
Words are like clumsy children.
Trying to grasp with hands what’s too big.
He is good and kind.
Terrifying.

Is that all?

It is an honest and true drop from the ocean for you.

How about another “drop”?

There will be not even one drop for the tongue to cool you where you are going.

Come now, if this God should wish to reveal Himself to me, He should come and show Himself. 

Your judgments are like the reasoning of a small child telling his parent why he should get a bigger allowance. What have you done with the little of what God has given you? You do not value one drop, why should you be given more? You aim only to cast off and ridicule your Maker and your King because your proud heart has not submitted to His rule.

You claim to know a lot about me. Did “God” tell you this, or are you just speculating?

The fool has said in his heart “There is no God.” I do address you, as I address myself, because I too in my folly wish to say there is no God. I do not claim power or understanding, only acquaintance with the One who is more worthy than I to wield the power.

You’re stalling. I want you to show me God right now.

Do you not see?

No, I don’t see Him.

*silence*

Well?

*silence*

See? You can’t show me God. You claim to have seen God, but you can’t even prove that he’s real.

For whose judgment?

What do you mean?

You want me to show God so that God can be subject to your scrutiny. God does not submit to human scrutiny when the heart is proud. He is the one sitting in the judgment seat. You are being warned by one who has seen Him. HE is judge. He is going to condemn all sinners, except those who turn back to serve Him.

You are claiming a reality that has no basis in our reality. All you say is conjecture.

You can judge whatever you wish, but your judgment will be confined to a temporary life and a limited consciousness. There is a Judge who rules over all, and will repay everyone according to their deeds.

Thanks for the warning. I’ll believe it when I see it.

The sight of God will do one of two things to people: It will either utterly consume them so that they perish if there is only wickedness in their heart, or it will shatter them and all that will remain is what belongs to Him.

Interesting thoughts. I don’t care to live my life any differently.

By your own judgment, you either approve or condemn your own life. I could resort to the ways of the world to show you have fallacious your judgment is, but that will only point out the error in your logic, and the fruitlessness of your reasoning. Remember then this final thing, “God stands against the proud, but he shows favor to the humble.” May God save you from your own pride, or there will be no one to save you when He comes to requisition you.

The Gospel of the Cross

Reflections on Theology of the Cross by Gerharde O. Forde

The Cross means I must die
The Resurrection means I will live again by God’s kindness if I have faith.
The world is either heading toward the cross
Or it has already been crucified
All who are found to be on the side going toward the cross
Will not be resurrected
But all who embrace the cross
Will be resurrected
He who seeks to save his life by ignoring the cross
Will lose his life
But who loses his life for Jesus sake by dying to self
Will find that his life is saved

Why? Because our sinfulness, our pride, insubordination, and rebellion must die.
We must die since our sin means destruction of ourselves and all that is good.
But God made a doorway for the life He wanted to save.
Only those who die in submission and subordination to God will live.
God will make a new creation, but He won’t resurrect the old creation.

If you wish to be saved
Identify yourself as a rebel, a sinner, unworthy of God’s kindness
Lose your life of serving yourself
When you ignored the message of the cross: That you cannot save yourself
Like the child who knows he has done wrong, confesses and accepts punishment
Who thus shows his humility of heart to his parent’s jurisdiction
So submit your life to God, which to the detriment of all, falls short of holiness
And the God who is good, welcomes you to be resurrected into His New Creation

This is the Offensive Gospel.
This is the Narrow Gate.
Narrow as the beams of the cross itself.