Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Christ in the Proverbs: Proverbs 18:14

Proverbs 18:14
A man's spirit will endure sickness,
    but a crushed spirit who can bear?

One of the basic truths of life is found in the idea of realized eschatology.  Realized eschatology is normally used in the sense that believers already enjoy some of the blessings of the age to come even before the age to come is realized in a new heaven and earth.  For example, believers already enjoy eternal life, which is the life of the age to come.  Or, to use another example, we are justified and can be assured of the verdict of the last day even now.

But realized eschatology also operates for unbelievers.  Unbelievers sometimes receive a taste of hell before the time.  This taste --- the crushed spirit --- can be so awful that the person would prefer not to live.  Judas, Cain, and Saul are examples of men who experienced this anguish and torment before they died.

The only answer to this sort of torment is to use it as an incentive to be right with God.  The forgiveness and peace the gospel relieves the guilty conscience.  Eastern religions try to join the opposites to silence conscience.  Good and evil are brought together and are seen as merely two aspects of the one ultimate reality.  But in the end, guilt cannot be eliminated so easily, because we live in a universe where there is a distinction between the Creator and creator, and between good and evil.  Only the One who bore our guilt and judgment in our place can heal a crushed spirit, and bring us to heaven rather than hell. 

How is your conscience?  Has it been washed clean in the blood of Jesus?  His blood alone can cleanse the deep stain of our guilt before God.  His death and resurrection alone can bring us to heaven.

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