Week­end Bi­ble Re­flec­tions With Jon

Calhoun Times - - OPINION & VOICES - Jon Mitchell Min­is­ter, Cal­houn Church of Christ cal­hounchur­chofchrist@gmail.com

“Do not be de­ceived: God is not mocked, for what­ever one sows, that will he also reap.” ~ Gala­tians 6:7

On this par­tic­u­lar Sun­day morn­ing, the Se­cret Ser­vice agent could per­ceive that the young man ac­cused of mur­der sit­ting be­fore him likes to talk about him­self and ex­press his opin­ions. Per­haps this would be the key to find­ing the truth about the charges brought forth against him.

“What do you think about re­li­gion?” he asks the young man.

“Karl Marx is my re­li­gion,” replies the ac­cused.

“What I mean is, what faith are you?” the Se­cret Ser­vice agent in­quires.

“I have no faith,” the prisoner an­swers. A mo­ment later he adds, “I sup­pose you mean the Bi­ble?” “Yes, that’s right.” “Well, I’ve read the Bi­ble,” says the young man. “Some peo­ple might find it in­ter­est­ing read­ing, but not me. As a mat­ter of fact, I’m a stu­dent of philosophy and I don’t con­sider the Bi­ble to be even a rea­son­able or an in­tel­li­gent philosophy.”

“You don’t think much of it?” “You could say that.” The Se­cret Ser­vice agent then asks, “As a Marx­ist, do you be­lieve that re­li­gion is an opi­ate of the peo­ple?”

The young man is in his el­e­ment, and lights up at the chance to talk about ide­ol­ogy. “Most def­i­nitely so,” he an­swers.

The young man’s name was Lee Har­vey Oswald, and the Se­cret Ser­vice agent was In­spec­tor Thomas J. Kel­ley, flown into Dal­las from Wash­ing­ton, D.C. Oswald was charged with as­sas­si­nat­ing Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy and mur­der­ing Dal­las po­lice of­fi­cer J.D. Tip­pit two days prior on Nov. 22, 1963. The above con­ver­sa­tion be­tween Oswald and Kel­ley ac­tu­ally took place ex­actly as it’s been pre­sented above in the third-floor homi­cide of­fice of the Dal­las City Hall on Sun­day, Nov. 24, 1963, at about a lit­tle af­ter 10:45 a.m.

About thirty- six min­utes af­ter stat­ing that God’s Word is not “a rea­son­able or in­tel­li­gent philosophy,” Lee Har­vey Oswald was fa­tally shot by Jack Ruby while be­ing trans­ferred to the Dal­las County Jail.*

What did you say, Paul? “Do not be de­ceived: God is not mocked, for what­ever one sows, that will he also reap” (Gala­tians 6:7).

Friends, God is love. He is a mer­ci­ful, gra­cious, com­pas­sion­ate, pa­tient God. I do not share the above his­tor­i­cal ac­count as ev­i­dence that the God who cre­ated us and of­fers us sal­va­tion through His Son is sit­ting up in heaven wait­ing to strike us down with a thun­der­bolt at the slight­est in­frac­tion. For all I know, God had noth­ing to do with the events of Nov. 24, 1963.

All I’m say­ing is that while God is love, God is also supreme. He cre­ated us, and we ex­ist be­cause He al­lows it. He of­fers us rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and sal­va­tion from the hell we richly de­serve be­cause of our sin be­cause He loves us so much. He of­fers us hope. Ev­ery good and per­fect gift we have comes from Him (James 1:17). Yet we should not look at His con­tin­ual, over­whelm­ing kind­ness to­wards us as proof that we don’t need to serve Him or revere Him. We must not test Him (Matthew 4:7), and we cer­tainly must not mock Him or His re­li­gion (Gala­tians 6:7). If we treat Him in such ways and do not repent, we will an­swer for it.

Paul brought out both sides of God best in his let­ter to Rome. “Or do you pre­sume on the riches of His kind­ness and for­bear­ance and pa­tience, not know­ing that God’s kind­ness is meant to lead you to re­pen­tance? But be­cause of your hard and im­pen­i­tent heart you are stor­ing up wrath for your­self on the day of wrath when God’s right­eous judg­ment will be re­vealed. He will ren­der to each one ac­cord­ing to his works: to those who by pa­tience in well-do­ing seek for glory and honor and im­mor­tal­ity, He will give eter­nal life; but for those who are self-seek­ing and do not obey the truth, but obey un­righ­teous­ness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribu­la­tion and dis­tress for ev­ery hu­man be­ing who does evil…but glory and honor and peace for every­one who does good…For God shows no par­tial­ity” (Ro­mans 2:411).

Let us all humbly choose to serve and revere God ac­cord­ing to His Word, and never think lightly of Him or treat Him in any way other than with the rev­er­ence and honor He de­serves.

* In­for­ma­tion taken from the book “Re­claim­ing His­tory: The As­sas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy” by Vin­cent Bugliosi.

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