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The value of hindsight
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Category: Bible related
If we had the capacity of hindsight, wouldn't it have been a glorious life? We would have made all the right decisions: invested in the right places, taken the right jobs, married the right person, had perfect kids, and everything would have been wonderful. How many times have we felt remorse because we made the wrong decision, or became depressed because we made stupid mistakes not realizing the unpleasant consequences? Hindsight would have been worth billions. Fortunately there is a book that helps us to understand what the outcome of certain decisions will be. That book is the Bible.
- It is written in Romans 15: 4, 'everything that was written in the past (Biblical history) was written to teach us' and to encourage us. We can learn from the successes and mistakes of people in the past, so that we can make the right decisions ourselves. There are many examples in the Bible. Numbers 26:101; 2 Peter 2:4-92 and Jude:73 explain through the destruction of the rebellious Korah and his people, Sodom and Gomorra and the death of nearly all life in Noah's flood, that God punishes sin. So hindsight helps us to know what to expect when we refuse to acknowledge and serve God.
- The Bible goes further: it helps us to understand whether we are doing the right, or wrong thing. Nobody needs to be ignorant. Ephesians 4:17-32 is one of the many passages that explain what God wants us to be like. To help us He has forgiven us, we have the power of the Name of Jesus, the indwelling Holy Spirit and the Word. There are no excuses.
- Not only that, the Bible tells us what is going to happen: how the period of human history will end, and the new order will be inaugurated. The book of Revelation discusses that.
People might object that we have no evidence that the Bible is true. That depends on what one is prepared to accept as evidence:
- Apparently for many people, the fact that the Bible is a historical revelation, the only religious book that has this credential, counts as nothing.
- The fact that the world displays a dismissive attitude towards God also counts for nothing.4 5 6 7 8
- The fact that Christians live as aliens and strangers here and are increasingly subjected to xenophobic attacks count as nothing.9 10
- The fact that the church has spread all over the globe by no apparent means except people's love for the Lord, also seem to most people to be just fancy.
- The hatred of Islam and the opposition of liberal theologians, evolution and atheism, the occult and other religions, the media and the world, is also supposedly just normal.
- It is interesting to see how people hate especially Genesis 1-11: they know instinctively in their conscience that there is a God, but they suppress that knowledge with all their might. If the world-wide flood in Noah's time is true, God is going to hold people accountable for their behavior. Sin will be judged. Yet, people imagine that all is well. This is because of one reason: a rebellious spirit in them that refuses to accept God as King. The only problem is that it leads to everlasting damnation, which is a very high price to pay for foolishness. Smart reasonings don't work with God. One cannot reason Mount Everest away, neither can one get rid of God. The only result is more guilt.
What is the value of the Bible? You know exactly where you will end. There is no maybe or possibilities. On this side of the grave God's mercy is limitless, but on the other side of the grave, only what is written in the books (objective history of our lives) will count. Either we will see God's face,11 or we won't. The hindsight of the Bible tells us what to expect.
- Numbers 26:10. 'The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them along with Korah, whose followers died when the fire devoured the 250 men. And they served as a warning sign.'
- 2 Peter 2:4-9. 'For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly' and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)- if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment.'
- Jude:7. 'In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.'
- Matthew 24:37-39. 'As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.'
- Luke 18:8b. 'However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?'
- 2 Timothy 2:25. 'Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.'
- 2 Timothy 3:1-5. 'But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.'
- Ephesians 4:18-19. 'They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.'
- 1 Peter 1:1. 'To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered....'
- 1 Peter 2:11. '...aliens and strangers in the world....'
- Revelation 22:3-4. 'No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face and his name will be on their foreheads.