Kingdom of God: Word of God in tense situation
We live in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan, which borders with Afghanistan, and this area is victim of terrorism and war against terrorism. The war like situation, suicidal bomb blasts, drone attacks and violence happens as a routine. And in the city of Peshawar, due to the suicidal bomb attacks, hundreds of people have lost their lives and belongings. When we go out from our houses, when our children are sent to their schools, we just put ourselves under the protection of Lord Jesus. Previously our area was hit by a horrible earthquake and many people lost their lives.
We were studying this passage a few days ago, from the Gospel of Luke:
“Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them----do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish’.” (Luke 13:1-5)
This passage from the Bible provokes thinking to evaluate our lives. Are the people around us who are dying through terrorism and earthquake are more sinners than us? And have we repented properly from our sins yet? Jesus said, “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish” is a warning for us that if we are still living a sinful life and haven’t repent so far, then this teaching is a wake up call for us.
The real meaning of repent is to take a U-Turn and to give up our sinful life, and to take a fresh start to live with Lord Jesus. The meaning of Repent is also in this way ‘to think in a different way, to feel sorry on our sin, and to change our sinful behaviour and lifestyle.’
God’s great sacrifice and grace is before us, ‘that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’. When we repent and accept Jesus Christ, then we become God’s sons and daughters, and He takes care and protects us in all kinds of situations and crisis. As Psalmist says, “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’...He will cover you with his feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart...A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you...If you make Most High your dwelling--even the Lord, who is my refuge--then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near to your tent.”(Psalm 91:2-9) This is a great console and encouraging words for all of us.
Although the situation around us is very tense, but by having faith in God we may have great encouragement, console and hope. According to His promise, our Lord Jesus is with us all the time and we shouldn’t be afraid and worried in any situation, just trust in Him.
Diocese of Peshawar-Church of Pakistan.