This title came to me as I contemplated recent occurrences, things I have seen and heard. What does “into oblivion” mean? “I am going to pound you into oblivion!” The idea here is you are going to be completely pounded, completely destroyed, by the pounding that is about to happen. “He's oblivious….” In oblivion, oblivious, not aware of what is going on around you. Fiddling while Rome burns, the old tale of Nero's madness, is that he was oblivious to important and emergent conditions while occupied with trivia. You have heard this used, and perhaps used it yourself of someone who seemed hopelessly out of touch.
So what brings this to mind?
I guess I am a little bothered. I hope I am not too bothered to say something meaningful. You decide.
I wonder about our preoccupation with trivial things while the central, substantial things of life and heart go untended. I heard Bobby Conner say one time that we are far too familiar with a God we barely know. That struck me, and anyone else who was paying attention. It was true, and in this way, we are oblivious.
One of the four types of soil in the parable of the sower is thorny ground. The seed, which was the same seed used in all types of soil in the parable (it wasn't inferior seed), was choked and didn't bring any fruit to maturity. The unique situation in this soil is that it yielded a plant. The only other ground that yielded a plant was the good ground. This soil yielded a plant, but the plant was unfruitful. What kept the seed's potential from being realized? In Jesus' review with the disciples, He reveals the problem. He said it was the cares / worries of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust of other things choke this seed (the Word of God), making it unfruitful.
What is more important than the Word of God? Heaven and earth will pass away before it passes away. How do we stand idly by while the eternal is choked by the temporal, into oblivion.
(click above to be taken to Hebrews 2 @ www.youversion.com)
1 So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.2 For the message God delivered through angels has always stood firm, and every violation of the law and every act of disobedience was punished.3 So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak?
I don't hear as much preaching as I used to, but I still hear enough of the kind of preaching I have heard lately. Preaching, that frankly, misses the mark. We are so far removed from our moorings. We have drifted far, in the very way that Jude cautioned us to be careful of, from the faith that was once delivered to the saints.
Imagine the guys from the bible living like we live. Imagine that group from Hebrews 12 saying things like we here coming from our own mouths. We are trying to find new ways to be more comfortable in our complacency, our indifference. What makes us think that we will escape our ignoring of this salvation?
Our lives, in our times, can be about so many things. Can you imagine Jesus taking the passion test? What are you passionate about Jesus? How effective could Jesus have been if they would have had tools like that available to Him during His earthly ministry? Obviously, I am being ridiculous. Your life shouldn't be about your passions, it should be about His passion. It should be about Him. (When Christ, who is your life, shall appear….)
One of the voices on the wind that I am hearing more and more these days says little of Jesus, and a lot about self. It's about you, and about you coming into your calling. We actually think this is all about us! Don't get me wrong, God has no desire to minimize you. That is what pride wants to do, and will do, if you get convinced this is about you. God wants to maximize your life into complete fullness, into abundance, overflowing. That is why He tells you to walk in humility. Pride doesn't make you bigger. It makes you drunk.
Have we come to this state of enlightenment, awareness, of spiritual evolution, that we now outrank the fallen hosts of heaven, and are no longer at risk of falling into sin? Are we beyond the reach of dark spiritual influence? We just need to come to ourselves, our “true selves”, and realize our exalted state, right? When Gabriel was contending with Satan over the body of Moses – Gabriel wasn't a fallen angel, by the way – he didn't refer to his own rank in the negotiations. NEVER underestimate the power of darkness, unless you want to go quickly under it's influence. Keep in mind that Jesus Christ, Himself, didn't have the keys of hell and death while He was in His earthly ministry. When I was a kid in Texas, my mom always told me to be careful not to get to “big for my britches.” Still sound advice.
Jude, verse 3 Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people.
The true faith, the one that has been lived out by so many great examples in scripture, and in church history, is under increasing fire in our times. We adjust the truth for comforts sake. We want to have a strong sense of self after all, so how can we contemplate or think about things in such stark terms as good or evil, heaven or hell, darkness or light.
Church history is also full of those who received something of God's grace, were raised up to become a beacon in darkness, and later went on to fade into oblivion. It is because they didn't defend the faith, the truth that had been entrusted to them, and their life and walk became about something other than Jesus. Don't let this be your story.
I leave you to your contemplations with a quote from AW Tozer:
Faith, as Paul saw it, was a living, flaming thing leading to surrender and obedience to the commandments of Christ.