In our podcast on How to Love Jesus, we look at his response to the final hours of his earthly life. Even though betrayal by friends, a brutal beating, and a horrible death awaited him, his focus was not on himself. He begins his final hour with his disciples by washing their feet and he will end it by praying for them. In between, he comforts them, promises them the help of the Holy Spirit, and reminds them he is preparing an eternal home for them. He commands them to love each other and reminds them that loving him is expressed in keeping his commands. He reviews, reminds, encourages this group of disciples and friends even though he knows they will soon all run from him in fear for their lives.
We are not facing what Jesus and the disciples did, but we have our own disasters
In addition to the interpersonal challenges of life, many would say that the potential for global disasters—war, climate catastrophe, pandemics, civil unrest is growing. How will we respond?
For the larger, news-worthy disasters, there is one group that not only knows how they will respond but is planning to profit massively in the process. How they do that—not how will they do it, but how they do it now because their services are already in great demand, was detailed in an article in the New York Times, “Climate Chaos is Coming and the Pinkertons are Ready”.
Read the article if you don’t get easily frightened and I won’t detail it here, but in brief, Pinkerton is the legendary group who provided what amounted to a private army for those wealthy enough to pay for it in the frontier days, through early labor strikes, to recently providing protection and escape for corporate clients from natural disasters such as the recent hurricane in Puerto Rico.
Pinkerton believes chaos in our present world will only increase and they are training and planning to profit from it. They believe and know from experience that very wealthy corporate clients do and will pay handsomely for their services.
I read the article with a mixture of horror and fascination. Here was a company intentionally writing scripts for scenes out of science fiction where the world falls apart and only the super wealthy with their private armies are saved from the chaos. As I was thinking about that, I remembered the verse:
“But what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? (Mark 8:36)”
Pinkerton may be able to save from earthly disasters, but for our eternal soul, we need a Savior
Most of us will never be clients of Pinkerton. But we have, protection far stronger—our Lord Jesus. He gives us eternal protection for our souls, no matter what the earthly disasters and destruction. No matter what, heaven is the sure home, the final safety for every believer in Jesus.
But let’s be practical—what about the road getting there? What might we have to go through?
We may or may not face cataclysmic disasters. But what about the daily disasters, the increasing ugliness of our world, and instability in everything from climate to politics to economics today?
Jesus teaches us in his words just before he died in John 13-17, how to react. He was facing a terrible death and the world of his disciples would be destroyed. Though he would rise from the dead and his disciples would go on to turn the world upside down, their lives were never easy. What could he do to prepare them for that?
The preparation that matters to travel safely from here to heaven
Jesus did not talk about the power of Rome, or what would happen to them, or how to prepare with weapons, stockpiling food, and hiring armed guards to protect them.
He talked about preparing their souls. He talked about where their trust should be placed and based on that how they should act.
John 13 begins with Jesus total trust that he was in God’s will doing what he wanted him to do on earth and knowing he would return to heaven. Because of that Jesus washed the disciples’ feet and showed them what it meant to be a servant. He sat down and told them how to act, even though they had no idea of what was coming. He told them several times that they could show their love to him by obeying his teachings.
To obey Jesus teaching means we need to know his teachings. Read your Bible, listen to the Bible on your phone or computer, listen to Bible Podcasts, go to church, listen to sermons, be in a small group and discuss what you learn in the Bible.
The Bible gives us a proper perspective on all of life. In it, we learn we are strangers and pilgrims on earth (Hebrews 11:13, 1 Peter 2:11). If we truly believe that all we see around us, whether beautiful and comfortable or a tragedy and challenge, is not what will last forever, we would be wise to put our focus and hopes on what will.
The Bible, God’s words of challenge and comfort are waiting for you. Get to know them. Get to know your Lord through obedience and prayer. Consciously make decisions and train your mind to think based on what is important in the Bible, not what current culture tells you to fear or love.
Unlike the Pinkerton protection available only to those with fortunes they falsely believe will protect them, God’s protection is all-powerful and eternal. It will never fail—if Jesus is your Savior, you will get safely home.