Wednesday, February 7, 2007

In the 21st Century It's Not the "Black Death" but Rather, the "Green Death!"

“You must understand this: In the last days there will be violent periods of time. People will be selfish and love money. They will brag, be arrogant, and use abusive language. They will curse their parents, show no gratitude, have no respect for what is holy, and lack normal affection for their families. They will refuse to make peace with anyone. They will be slanderous, lack self-control, be brutal, and have no love for what is good. They will be traitors. They will be reckless and conceited. They will love pleasure rather than God.”
--- 2 Timothy 3:1-4 (God’s Word Translation)

Back in the Middle Ages it wiped out millions of people in Europe – the Bubonic Plague or more commonly known as the “Black Death.”

The 21st Century version is a plague of a different kind – not a physical disease, but every bit as deadly, if not more so and appropriately titled the “Green Death!”

Greed has enslaved millions in our culture as well as in all other nations of the world. Studies done and surveys taken provide clear evidence that the gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen with the passing of time.

It is not a sin to have money but it can be a sin of the first magnitude when it comes to motives and methods in getting it, how it is used, and the affection attached to it. Money quickly becomes a merciless deity for those who view and use it with a perverted perspective. Not only is money a merciless deity but ultimately it destroys all who have bowed down and paid homage to it.

Present day examples are too numerous to list completely, but here are a few starters:

  • Companies fiercely compete for government contracts because these are very lucrative and it’s almost standard procedure that there will be what is termed “cost overruns” with the U.S. tax payers being ripped off repeatedly. Recent disturbing information reveals that millions of dollars are unaccounted for in the rebuilding and reconstruction which is supposed to be taking place in Iraq by U.S. contractors!

  • And another news item that has surfaced asking a question about what has been going on in the hurricane ravaged areas of the Gulf Coast -- where have all those millions and millions of dollars gone? Those with fairly good memories will remember there was some scandal early on about "abuses" and "price gounging" -- any idea as to why such things take place -- if you look closely you will see that a lot of people have dollar signs flashing on and off in the place where their eyeballs ought to be!

  • Competition is always deeply intense among members of the law profession as evidenced by their TV and newspaper ads along with billboards standing next to our highways. There is a constant bombardment of messages exhorting us to sue someone for something so that we can “get the money we deserve!” Of course, the award in a lawsuit will be drastically reduced once the attorneys get their “share.” So look around and see if there isn’t some reason to launch a lawsuit to get a ton of money, even if it’s for that hang nail that’s been irritating you lately – it is someone else’s fault, didn’t you know – just ask one of those characters that yells at you over the TV screen reminding you that he will help you get the money you deserve for your “pain and suffering!”

  • Elected officials have provided clear evidence of their own infection with the virus of greed when their well traveled trail of salary increases and perk benefits is followed. This is the only group among supposedly “paid” employees which has the power to increase constantly what goes into their pockets, both short term and long term! For an experience that will make you want to lose the contents of your stomach quickly, compare the salaries and perks of our elected officials with that of the average citizen which they claim to represent either in Washington DC or a state capitol.

  • Companies involved in petroleum distribution have held us hostage for a long time with price gouging tactics. Is it any surprise that companies in the business are reporting record breaking profits year after year? It gets to be a real circus when the officials of these outfits are challenged about this and to hear their “explanation” – a real lesson in how to use the forked tongue and persuade the public that what it pays for petroleum industry products is a good and healthy thing for all of us!

But enough of that – have you been getting the picture that something is far off base in the matter of money exchange in our nation and throughout the world at large?

Almighty God has made some statements about the subject of money which means that there are a substantial number of persons and their way of handling money that are in very deep doo-doo!

No further comment needed on the following:

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. – 1 Tim 6:10 NKJV

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
--- Matt 19:23, 24 NKJV

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
--- James 4:1-4 NKJV

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten.Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter.
--- James 5:1-5 NKJV

But keep looking up – it’s not going to always be like this – one of these days Jesus Christ is going to return to this sin ravaged planet and set things right side up. When He takes charge it will be a whole new ball game which very few persons will be prepared to face – only the few who are looking for His glorious return (Titus 2:11-14) and have in their hearts each day the closing prayer of the book of the Revelation which says, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”

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