Self-destruction lasts forever

By Bill Ellis

May 4, 2014

April dealt with the greatest fact of history – the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Millions throughout the world celebrated that event. After His resurrection, more than 500 people saw Jesus alive. That convinces me beyond any doubt.

The month of May will be another exciting month. For many high school and college students it will close out four of the most important years of life.

In the United States, we will observe Mother’s Day on May 11 and Memorial Day on May 26. For young athletes it will mark the end of their sports career or the beginning of serious preparation for advancing to a higher level.

There is also the choice of a college for advanced study. If college is not in the plans, the job of “finding a good job” becomes very important. Is the economic climate of the place where you live a positive one for getting that good job?

The Rev. Matthew J. Watts had an op-ed column in the Charleston (WV) Gazette on April 23, 2014, titled “April’s triumph, tragedy.” I have followed his ministry and call him “friend.” His first paragraph stated, “As I reflect during this Easter season on 30 years of pastoral ministry, something that stands out is the number of funerals that I have officiated or attended for young people who have died as the result of violence.”

Violence is related to anger, brute force, bloodshed, killing, destruction, physical abuse. Nothing is more violent than young people dying in an automobile wreck and finding beer cans and liquor bottles in the wreckage. Young life needlessly being snuffed out.

We so easily forget the message of Easter. The heart of it is that Jesus Christ died for the sins of every human being. The message was “go and tell.”

The headline jumped from the printed page. “Bible verse removed from school gymnasium.” It continued, “Wood County school officials have removed a Bible verse from Parkersburg South High School’s gymnasium and the school wrestling team’s website.” The story continued, “The team’s use of Philippians 4:13 drew a complaint earlier this month from the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation. The foundation’s attorney … says public schools can’t endorse religion.”

It is strange that most every thing can be endorsed and taught in a nation that was founded on the Word of God. That offending verse from the Bible says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

The founders of Harvard University believed that “All knowledge without Christ was vain.” The school’s motto was, “For Christ and the Church.”

There is hope if we return in genuine repentance and belief in God. The promise states: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12).

© 2014 Wm. C. Ellis

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