Arrivals And Departures

by Tom Wacaster

It was late Friday afternoon, and I was tired and exhausted from a sleepless night before I ever began this journey, followed by a long ten hour flight from Moscow to JFK airport in New York.  In spite of the fact that we made good time from Moscow and arrived almost an hour early in New York, I was still facing a five and a half hour lay over before catching the last leg of my journey from the “Big Apple” to Dallas.   With time to kill, I tried to amuse myself by “window shopping” in the airport shops, reading, and even trying to catch a cat nap in a futile effort to alleviate the groggy feeling that naturally comes with traveling so far, so fast in our modern day jets (they call it “jet lag” – the effect on the body where you biological clock says it is later than you think).   I am always amazed that the people would spend their hard earned money to purchase T-shirts, electronic gadgets, and even leather goods from those little shops in an international airport.  The prices are always higher than at the most expensive malls, and if something goes wrong with the item you purchased you have no recourse to make amends with the dealer (unless, of course, you stand ready to purchase another airline ticket to some far off destination in order that you can “pass through” the same airport and take care of any complaint you might have).   

After clearing customs and catching the escalator to the upper floor where you enter the terminal for connecting flights a passenger can obtain information by consulting the “big board” (as some are wont to call it) for arrivals and departures.  Other than the airport employees, security personal, and shop owners, every person in that terminal had an interest in the information on that board, specifically the information having to do with their “departure.”  It was interesting how that information affected the behavior of those seeking to make a connecting flight.  If running late, you would find them scurrying through the airport with little or no time to stop along the way to shop, eat, or visit.  Those with plenty of time to spare could be found in a restaurant, browsing in a shop, or relaxing in a chair.  But no matter what they might have been doing, in the back of their mind they were thinking of their “departure.” 

I took the time to stop at Wendy’s and order a hamburger, and as I sat there watching the passengers heading to their “departure,” I was struck with the thought that each one of us will face our eventual “departure” from this world into eternity.  I wonder how many of those passengers had given any thought at all to that moment in time when they will face death and pass from this life into the eternal abode of the soul?  

Eternity!  Men have attempted to capture the essence of eternity, but their attempts are weak at best, and completely inadequate.  Here is how someone sought to describe eternity:  “If you can imagine an ant marching around a steel globe the size of this planet.  How long would it take that ant to wear a path one inch deep in that steel globe?  How long would it take to wear a path one foot deep? Ten feet deep?  The time it takes is only an inkling of eternity.”  But friends, even that illustration measures activity related to time.  In eternity, there is no time.  How can we even begin to grasp the concept of eternity?  If we could but capture its essence, it would be but for a fleeting moment, for we are quickly drawn back to the temporal; the here and now.  But will you, for just a moment, imagine yourself standing before the judgment bar of God, as you hear the sentence pronounced, “Depart, I never knew you.”  Now will you try to imagine that you find yourself, like the rich man who refused to give unto Lazarus the things for which that beggar lacked, opening your eyes in “torments.”  And so begins the punishment that you must now endure forever, time without end.  If your punishment were to be for a million years, you might could bear it, for after that first year you would know you have only nine-hundred-ninety-nine-thousand-nine-hundred-ninety-nine years to go.  There would be a ray of hope that someday, though far, far removed, you would eventually be released from that torment.  But my friend, in hell there is NO hope; NO release to be expected; NO cessation of the punishment that you will receive for your disobedience to God.  Oh what despair!  No longer will that television program have any importance.  How you did in the stock market will be completely insignificant.  The closing balance of your bank account will seem so little, regardless of the dollar figure the bottom line might show.  Those things that we placed so much importance on in this life will seem so trivial, so completely unimportant.       

When Sir William Russel was sentenced to die, someone recorded that along the way to the scaffold he handed his watch to a friend and said, "Will you kindly take my timepiece and keep it? I have no use for it.  I am now dealing with eternity."  When the time comes for us to enter eternity there are a lot of things we will no longer have any need of.  One second after my heart beats its last beat, and I breath my last breath, I will realize that much of what I valued in this life will pale in comparison to what I will value in the life to come.  One drop of water was of great value to the rich man; but alas he could not obtain it.  And while he fared sumptuously every day while living upon the earth, he was a pauper the other side of death.  Let us keep our priorities straight in this life, and when it comes time to depart the walks of this earth, may each one of us calmly and victoriously cast off those things that we cannot take with us, with the glorious expectation that we shall embrace that which is of lasting value when once we cross over the Jordan river into that eternal abode that awaits those who are faithful in this life.  The question we must entertain now is, “Am I ready for my departure?”

Has The Time Come For Judgment On America?

by Tom Wacaster

No nation in the history of this world has been as richly blessed as the United States of America.  God has turned the horn of plenty upside down upon our heads.  For more than 230 years we have enjoyed unparalleled prosperity, freedom, and world-wide influence.   I believe I can say without fear of contradiction that the Lord’s church in America over the last two centuries has done more to spread the gospel world wide than any other single nation during the same time frame.    For decades we have enjoyed the highest concentration of New Testament Christians anywhere upon the face of the earth.  It was estimated that during the late 1700’s and early 1800’s that between one third and one fourth of our citizenry were members of the church of Christ.   The nation was a shining light of democracy to those men and women who longed to be free.  At the same time, and certainly more importantly, the Lord’s church was a shining light of salvation to those lost in sin and longing for forgiveness.   Four or five decades ago the churches of Christ were the fastest growing religious group in America.   Souls were heeding the gospel’s call; the church was growing; and God was continuing to bless America.  We may very well have reached the peak of America’s greatness and the growth of the Lord’s church in our country sometime during the mid to late 60’s.   

The last four decades has seen a decline in America’s greatness.  And while she remained militarily strong, and economically sound, within she was dying.  The sexual revolution of the late 60’s brought about a “new morality” that set men free (so they thought) from rules and regulations of Bible thumping evangelists.  That rejection of heaven’s moral code opened the door, and evolution and humanism rushed in to fill the gap of moral emptiness that developed in the 70’s and 80’s.   The Bible was stripped from our public schools, religion increasingly became less popular and the baby boomer generation put God on the back burner in their mad rush for more earthly comforts.   Crass materialism became the order of the day.      Women entered the work force in large numbers so as to provide even more “things” that satisfy the flesh.    Slowly at first, and more rapidly with the turn of the century, our families began to crumble.  The divorce rate increased at an alarming rate.   Children were sacrificed on the altar of greed as parents shuffled their little ones off to some Day Care Center not because the family was in dire straits, but because a larger house, better clothes, the latest electronic gadgets, faster cars, and more and more exciting entertainment kept pressing upon our increasingly secular and materialistic society.   Meanwhile there was this gnawing feeling among the citizens that this country was not going in the right direction.   Things were broken but nobody knew how to fix the problem.  With the exception of a few brief moments of reprieve, we rushed headlong toward the precipice that now confronts us.   Godly men and women have been asking, “When is God going to render judgment upon America?”   Less than two years ago I answered that question with the following:  “God is rendering judgment on America right now. He is screaming at us to repent or suffer the consequence of every other nation that has gone the way of godless societies.”    I fear that God’s patience has run out and applying the words of the prophet to our time and circumstance, “ America, prepare to meet thy God.”   

I am not speaking of the financial crisis, though that in and of itself is enough to bring us to ruin.   A nation can survive a financial crisis if her foundations are strong and her trust is in God.  Unfortunately our citizenry no longer has the spiritual strength to endure a plunge into economic chaos.  She has become weak, imbibing the philosophy of the world to the extent that she winks at abortion, tolerates and promotes homosexuality, and ignores the moral inequities of our leaders.  She no longer has the basis to survive something akin to the Great Depression of the 1930’s.     Meanwhile, lurking in the dark shadows is something of far greater concern to this scribe than the economic “crisis” we face.    Half of our nation cannot discern what is happening in this election process currently under way.  Literally half of our nation has been so enamored with Senator Obama that they either do not care or cannot see that the Democratic candidate poses one of the greatest threats to our way of life.    The real story of Barack Obama is gradually coming to light, and the more we hear about him, the more frightening it becomes.  Here is a man who has associated with the darker side of our society for decades.   Names such as Wright, ACORN, Ayers, and Rezo belong to an element that hates America, hates God, hates capitalism, hates freedom and hates moral codes and ethical responsibility.   These are the associates of Barak Obama.  Were that not enough, information is just now coming to light (Wednesday, October 8) that Senator Obama has connections with Muslim terrorists in Kenya; that he has aligned himself with radical terrorists who sought to overthrow the Kenyan government and replace it with a socialist, Muslim government.  Here is a man that has used his power and influence in Washington to encourage, and even instruct a radical Muslim element in Kenya on how to disrupt elections and oppose the will of the people.    Senator Obama has studied well the policies of communist organizer Alyinsky, and is now putting those policies of aggressiveness into action so as to squelch the will of the people here in America and obtain the highest office in our land by hook or crook. 

There is so much more that could be said about the man that is dangerously close to becoming the leader of the free world, but I think most of my readers know of these things, though they were done in a corner and every effort has been made to cover up the details of this man’s history.   If this man is elected to the Presidency of this nation, and if the Democratic party gains just ten more seats in the Senate and House, the godly element will be silenced and our voice will not be heard.   With Nancy Palosi over the House, and Harry Reed over the Senate, and Barack Obama on the “throne,” I predict there will be a swift movement to bring bills to motion that will enshrine abortion in stone, legalize homosexual marriage and force them upon our society, restrict free speech, and remove tax exempt status from churches and/or drive them underground.

The time may very well have come for God’s gavel of judgment to fall on this great nation and Mr. Obama may be the catalyst to bring about the kind of “change” that will not be pleasant to any of us, but will, by God’s just and holy decree, be the means by which America as you and I have known it, is brought to its knees.     May God have mercy upon the United States of America!

The Day America Became A Socialist Country

by Tom Wacaster

Writing on political matters is not what one expects from a preacher. And I will freely admit that writing on political issues is not my favorite topic. However, when politics crosses the path of spiritual truths and human rights that are “endowed by their Creator,” it becomes inevitable that we preachers quit preaching and go to meddling (as one country boy was fond of saying). When our country elected Barak Obama, America officially crossed the threshold of democracy into socialism. No, it will not be immediately apparent with regard to the change that comes with such a reversal in philosophical thinking; that will take time for the fruit to be forthcoming from the seeds that we have sown this past week. The polls indicate that a large percentage of the populace of America no longer believes in hard work, entrepreneurship, and free market economy. The polls are revealing. If the following is anywhere near accurate then it proves my point. A Rasmussen report informs us: (1) “44% Of Americans agree with Obamas statement that affirms Karl Marxs statement „from each according to their ability to each according to their need.” (2) Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters under 30 agree with Obamas statement affirming Marxs “from each according to their ability to each according to their need.” (3) Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Democrats think their candidate is right. (4) A majority of those who earn less than $40,000 a year agree with Obama about spreading the wealth around, while most of those who earn more than that disagree. Entrepreneurs are strongly opposed while a slight plurality of government employees agree.”

When the populace went to the polls this week they voted to usher in a “new age,” a “change” from free market economy to a socialistic approach to government; a change from personal responsibility to the selfish notion that government is here to give me handouts and take care of my every need. Unfortunately, that vote for change will usher in an era in which worship to God will become less popular, and the control of our lives by government will become the encompassing goal of government itself. Why is it that we have not learned from history? During the Bolshevik Revolution here in Russia the government was changed by force. This past week we opened the door for the “Bolshevik revolutionists” to take control of our government but we did it by choice; by vote, if you will.

A few weeks ago I wrote an article entitled, “Has the Time Come For God To Bring Judgment Upon America?” I am confident that I can say without any fear of contradiction that the question has been answered in the affirmative. From here it will be only a downhill slide into the abyss wherein freedom will diminish, and economic hardships will be the outcome. It is not a matter of “if,” only a matter of time. History has proven this to be true. From the Backwater Report we have this excellent observation: “For you Christians that believe that socialism is a perfectly acceptable form of government that Christians should support, allow me to inform you that socialism is a system that steals God’s sovereignty in order to invest it in the state. Socialist systems teach and believe that in the state we live and move and have our being. The State is our provider, or protector, and our omnipotent caretaker. Further, socialist systems are completely predicated upon violating the 8th commandment, stealing from those who work hard producing wealth, in order to redistribute that wealth. The effect of this redistribution of wealth is to shrink the pie of wealth as people lose incentive to create wealth. The consequences of this is not the raising up of people without wealth to wealth, but rather the pulling down of people with wealth to the status of not having wealth. Equality is achieved but it is the equality of the miserable. My fellow Americans, in the name of all that is excellent, do you realize that by embracing socialism you are embracing the canker worm, the end of opportunity, and the end of freedom? Does it not matter to you that with the embrace of socialism you are embracing slavery?”

My generation has enjoyed the benefits of a country established upon the truths of God’s word. But we have grown lazy, and we have failed to teach our children why we enjoy what we enjoy. We have failed to teach them that this country has been blessed by God and instead have allowed the atheists to teach them there is no God. We have enjoyed prosperity, only to have humanists teach them that prosperity is wicked and evil. We have enjoyed freedom of speech, only to have our opinions suppressed by the media and liberal government. We have enjoyed peace and happiness that comes with a right standing with God and a reliance upon His word, only to have men like Barak Obama tell us that we only think we are happy and that true happiness comes when we trust him and those who think like he thinks.

Yes, on November 4th America became a socialist nation, forever expelling God from our national government, and embracing the philosophy of Karl Marx. Now we shall see what America gets for her foolish reasoning, her ungodly ways, and her inability to discern good from evil.