'Live & Let Die'; the Law of the Jungle
And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.
Jesus spoke these words of comfort to the sister of Lazarus, who had just died. While they were meant to give hope to the believer in Messiah, they ARE a bit confusing: although many people in this world have faith in the Son of God, all of them eventually die, right? Or do they?! We know, from using our logic, that Jesus couldn't have meant that those who trusted in Him would live in this biology forever, so what DID Jesus mean when He gave Martha this hope? I believe that most Christians must admit that Jesus was speaking, not of our individual, biological bodies, but rather of our spirits, which are the part of us that has been given, through the Son of God, 'everlasting life' ( John 3:16 )
Looming largest in the news lately are the despicable events of June 12th, 2016, at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. That this was a known 'gay' or homosexual hangout was no mistake, from all accounts! This may have been the largest massacre perpetrated in U.S. history, targeted especially at homosexuals & other 'queers', but it is by no means the first incident of terrorism within these borders; this country, as well as the world, has witnessed many such attacks in its relatively short but sordid history!
Jesus told His followers that 'all who take the sword will perish[a] by the sword' ( Matthew 26:52b ). Although this is taken as a 'blanket' statement by many Christians today, the historical context & original audience must be considered before making such an assumption. Jesus' words DO bear a fairly universal truth, though; when one takes up arms against another, that one should expect the same in return; the principle of reaping what you sow is one that will follow a person to the grave!
In this world, we have two main choices; we can either live by the Law that our Heavenly Father has given us, the Law of Love & be blessed, or we can live by the Law of the Jungle, man's law & be cursed! Man's law tells us that 'if it feels right, do it'; moral relativity has taken us back to the days of the Judges, with every man & woman doing what is right in their own eyes, including some Christians. Many have taken God's Law of Love & tried to redefine it, defining Love as an emotion, a feeling to be used or abused. Rather than treating Love as the Fulfillment of the Law, as the apostle Paul wrote ( Romans 13:10 ), the phrase 'I love you' is callously & carelessly applied almost whimsically, according to one's own feelings!
Feelings are a very real part of life in this biology! Human beings are made such by the Creator & without them, life would be very uninteresting indeed. However, as our Father God warned Cain, the first murderer, in the Garden ( Genesis 4 ), we should not let them rule us, but instead, we should rule them, using them to love one another. The law of the jungle, in essence, is 'kill or be killed', a dog-eat-dog mentality that is all-too pervasive in this day & age. Rather than striving to live at peace with all men, as our Lord commanded, those who refuse His Love have chosen rather to live according to man's law, which is the deadly law of the jungle.
This is not necessarily to say that it is wrong to take up arms against another, say, in self defense, but there is always that warning to heed! Defense, whether of one's country, self or property, will almost without fail bring repercussions of like nature, especially if it ends in the death of the one being defended against. There is a tendency among mere human beings, those who ascribe to the law of the jungle, to 'shoot first & ask questions later'. These often find themselves at odds with what is considered acceptable & thus find themselves on the wrong end of the stick, so to speak!
What happened at that nightclub in Orlando, whatever truly happened, is a very real atrocity; the death of any of our Father's human creations is to be abhorred! However, we must understand that most if not all of those who felt the weight of this Judgment were living according to their own whims & by the law of moral relativity. Like it or not, agree or not, the homosexual lifestyle is prohibited by Scripture; therefore, it is not subject to ones own feelings. Though Christians have themselves suffered violence in the past & will continue to suffer it in the future, there IS this one difference: we are promised that WE will never die: those who spurn the Law of Nature & Nature's God have no such promise!
Charles Haddon Shank