testing time

January 2016 (5)Ecclesiastes 3:16-19

16 Again, I saw under the sun that in the place where justice was expected, there was wickedness, and in the place where righteousness was expected, there was wickedness. 17 I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, because there is a time for every matter and for every work. 18 I said in my heart with regard to the children of Adam that God is testing them that they may understand that they themselves are like animals. 19 Because what is happening to the children of Adam and what is happening to the animals is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the animals, because everything is impermanent.

testing time

Solomon makes two philosophical conclusions about the time we are all living in. These conclusions are somewhat radical in that they oppose some of the basic tenets of popular philosophy and religion. Yet these two philosophical conclusions are essential to understanding the good news revealed in the Bible: the message of deliverance through Christ.

  • First, there is no lasting justice or righteousness in this time. Good does not win all the time – in fact, it seldom does. If you dare to look in the places where you would expect justice and righteousness, you will find it conspicuously absent.
  • Secondly, there is no immortality. Human beings are separated from the animals by numerous characteristics and abilities, but immortality is not one of them. In that respect, we are the same as the slugs. Remember, it was Satan who suggested to Eve in the Garden of Eden that humans cannot die.[1] The Bible teaches that God alone has immortality.[2]

Now that we have destroyed the basic foundation of most every philosophy and religion on the planet, we are free to see what the collector discovered about reality. This time which we call life is a time of testing. We are being tested to see if we can look beyond this time of injustice and believe in ultimate justice through God’s judgment. We are being tested to see if we can look beyond our present mortality and see God’s deliverance through resurrection.

As we are determined to bring people into the light, we need to avoid confusing them by agreeing that people are basically good, or that everyone will live forever. Those principles deny the reality that Solomon discovered. It is that reality that serves as the appropriate backdrop to the gospel message of deliverance through Christ.

LORD, give us the courage to speak the truth to our generation.

[1] Genesis 3:4.

[2] 1 Timothy 6:16.


About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is a former Christian missionary who now lives in Williamsburg, Virginia. If your church or small group would like to hear Jeff speak, you can contact him at marmsky@gmail.com -- !
This entry was posted in dependence upon God, discernment, justice, mortality, resurrection, righteousness, Solomon and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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