The recent presidential election in America was incredible. We saw record voter turnout, record campaign contributions, and record engagement of the younger voting population. This was not happenstance. Our nation faces enormous challenges on many fronts. People from all walks of life are crying out for and demanding solutions to the problems.
I don’t want to sound like a doomsday prophet, but the truth is that our new president and his administration do not have the answers to many of the more pressing challenges at hand. This I say not to suggest anything negative about their ability, but because there are no political solutions to the root of the problems at hand.
Of course, we must pray for those who are in authority. And we should do our part to make this world a better place. But I submit to you that we are somewhere in God’s timetable that signifies the ending of this age, and no one can turn back the clock. There is no chance of us going back to the so-called good old days.
The good news is that the Bible teaches that the end of this age will usher in a new government. One in which the best times ever known to humanity will exist. These good times will remain throughout eternity!
Isaiah the prophet spoke of the person upon whose shoulder this great government would rest. This prophet lived during the eighth century B.C. Lots of kings have come and gone between the days Isaiah pronounced the prophecy and this very day. How can we know whom he was speaking of? That is, since almost 2800 years have passed, how can we be sure that the king whom he spoke of has not already come and gone?
Because Isaiah prophesied that the person upon whose shoulder the government would fall would be a child and a son, but would also be called “The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Since the Scriptures forbid using the name of the Lord God in vain, the references to God are not loosely used titles. This is a clear reference to a special person who is both human and deity. Of course, at the time the prophecy was pronounced, it was not apparent whom the Scripture referred to. In fact, this passage is so mind boggling, the average person reading it in Isaiah’s day probably didn’t believe it could be taken literally. Who can measure up to this prophecy? We now know that this can be a reference to no one but Jesus Christ.
It gets even better. “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end” (verse 7a)! How in the world can peace and increase never cease? This means that the government of this unique person will continue to get better and better with time. Presently, we have everything but peace in our world. It seems as if all our alliances and peace agreements and efforts of diplomacy have been to little avail. The world today is as tense and dangerous as it has ever been. Rogue countries are developing their nuclear arsenal. Radical terrorists have vowed to strike a devastating blow to our nation. But our boast is that the Bible declares a day when peace will reign on earth; a day when the yield of the government will increase without end!
Thirdly, Christ’s government will be void of corruption. He will “establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever” (verse 7b). As I write this newsletter, I can think of scandals or incidents of questionable ethics at the local, state, and federal levels of government currently in the news. Corruption in government is so pervasive we have almost become cynical about those in public office. In my opinion we have moved the bar so low that political leaders who bring reproach on their office have the audacity to run for another term—and they expect to win and sometimes do. How refreshing it will be when Christ will be in charge.
That brings us to the Christmas holiday. It is without question one of my favorite times of the year. Not because of the Christmas carols, or the pretty decorations, the people shopping, or families coming together or the other things we associate with the Yuletide. For the record, I like all of the above. But to people of faith, these all miss the point.
One significance of the first Christmas is that God sent to us the token of the great aforementioned promise he had revealed to the prophet Isaiah. A token I say because the great government God has promised us has not materialized as yet, but He has sent into the world the unique person upon whose shoulder this government will someday rest. So if Christ has already come once before, and He himself said He would return and establish His rule, why should we doubt that it will happen? I don’t know about you, but each Christmas holiday my excitement about the Lord’s coming and His great government is re-ignited.
I believe that as time marches on toward the end of this “age”, the phrase “the government shall be upon His shoulder” will become increasingly precious to our ears. Consider where we currently stand in history: We have two unpopular wars raging in Afghanistan and Iraq. They have cost us hundreds of billions of dollars to date, and these wars have not brought us closer to peace. Our economy is in chaos, and nothing that’s being done seems to be able to calm the market. The recent attack in Mumbai, India reminds us that terrorism is still very real. With all of our great minds at work, we are still experiencing record foreclosures in the housing market.
America and much of the free world are depending on president-elect Obama and his administration to come up with some real answers—quickly. I believe that with time all earthly governments will buckle under the tremendous load on their shoulders. The good news of Christmas is that we need not despair because God has sent us His Son who will come and establish His righteous and prosperous government which will last throughout eternity. As I said, this truth will become increasingly precious to our ears as time rages toward the end of this age.
Somehow when Jesus was born, the wise men who came from the east knew He was destined to be the king. “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east,” they asked (Matthew 2:2). When Herod the current king of the Jews “heard these things, he was troubled” (verse 3). There was no need to be. For when Christ was born, He came not to reign on earth but to save and reign in the hearts of men. After He returns to gather to Himself all whom He has saved, He will subsequently return—with us--to establish His great government!
I find great comfort in God’s ultimate plan for His people. It is my prayer that you do too. His plan was not only to save the world from sin, though extremely important that is. Important I say because had He not given us His Son as the Savior this world would not have continued until now. For God is holy, and before Christ came He had already condemned this world to eternal damnation. Is that not why Jesus had to intervene?
But that’s not the end of the story. He also sent His Son to establish the perfect government so that we might enjoy increase and peace world without end. Praise God!!!
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