Stunning election results provide great opportunity

Americans awoke to stunning election results. I admit to a sense of relief that the Democrat nominee will not afflict the nation with harmful policies of every type. That relief at the moment is overpowering concerns for the future.

God controls the affairs of men. He delights in upsets. What appears stable and unbeatable to mere humans he upturns with a mere word. In the halls of power men plan and plot, but God continues to do his will.

We do not have the view of the future, nor can we see the immediate actions of God today behind the actions of man. We do not know how long the Lord lets the wicked have their way until he decides to call a halt.

Every new ruler might be compared, to a point, to Jehu. God provides great opportunity if the ruler will make the Lord his main counselor. That is to say, if God’s interests become the government’s program: justice, order, righteousness.

If Rehoboam’s rule promised to be heavy, Jehu’s reign was provided great potential. But he wasted it. We’ve offered our prayer for the president-elect, that he might not waste this opportunity given by the Almighty.

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¶ The reading of John 9 early this morning impressed with the author’s use of the verb to send. Jesus includes his followers in the need to accomplish the work of “the one who sent me” Jn 9.4. John’s readers must have felt the urgency once again with this word.

And the pool of Sent. Are we not still today sending people to wash in the pool of immersion for the forgiveness of sins?

Might the gospel of John have been written to disciples who had forgotten their sending? Even the great commission has it: “Just as the Father has sent me, I also send you” Jn 20.21.

¶ Satan is hard at work to confuse people on this point, even in the religions. Like the most recent Bible version in Portuguese, released Oct. 31, which translated Acts 2.38 this way—my translation into English: “Peter answered, ‘You ought to repent, for the forgiveness of sins, and each one should be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'”

Wasn’t that a neat way to dispense with the necessity of baptism?

We shouldn’t be shocked at this. Protestants have been tinkering with the Bible since the beginning of their Reformation, when Martin Luther inserted “only” in Romans 3.28 to make our salvation by faith only.

The name of the version is Nova Versão Transformadora — New Transforming Version. Might be better called the New Transformed Version.

¶ Oct. 31 was the 499th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation — the date the publishers of the NVT chose to release it. One wonders why they didn’t insert “only” in Romans 3.28 to identify even further with their beloved leader.

¶ God is love, says John, not once, but twice, 1 Jn 4.8,16. He defines it. Not even the NVT changed that statement. And his commandment is eternal life, Jn 12.50. Oops, that latter statement was too strong for the translators, so it became this, “his commandment leads to eternal life.” Still, it’s a noose around the evangelical neck, as are 1 Pet 1.22; 3.21, and a host of other ungetaroundable verses.

¶ You can tell I’m miffed by that badly translated verse, can’t you? In other ways, from the short time I’ve had the version in hand — less than a week — it reads nicely. Why did they have to go and spoil it?

¶ On to more positive thoughts on this portentous day:

  • The return of UPLift motivational mail has been well received. People are using it in their bulletins and publications.
  • The reading of a book on agape love is doing wonderful things in the heart. The Brazilian author does a great job of it.
  • Barry N. writes today that God not only saves eternally but gives purpose and meaning to life in the present. Wonderful thought!

A most comforting affirmation in the midst of many who stray from the truth is Paul’s reference to Moses’ word in Num 16 that “The Lord knows those who are his” 2 Tim 2.19. Moses said it to Korah. It is both a comfort and a warning. Let us humble ourselves before the good and severe God.