Imagine you wake up one morning and you’re not in your own bedroom. You look around and there is nothing in the room but the bed you are lying on and a black box on the floor.
You hop out of bed and go over to the black box – as you walk over you notice that it is ticking. Written in capital letters on top of the box is the word BOMB! You jump back in horror and start running around the room looking for a way out – but, there’s no doors and no windows! You bang on the walls and start yelling – ‘let me out, let me out!’ But there’s no answer.
You look fearfully over at the black box and you notice a black book on the floor next to it. You go over and pick up the book. On the cover in capital letters it says – HOW TO DEFUSE THE BOMB.
You feel a great surge of hope and quickly open up the book. But oh dear! It’s quite complicated – no pictures, lots of writing, maybe some formulas? Your heart sinks as you try to make sense of the instructions. This is really hard! You look at the ticking bomb – no indication when it’s due to go off. You break out into a sweat.
Just then there’s a click behind you. You turn around – a hidden door has opened and a man is standing in the doorway with a smile on his face. “Good morning”, he says cheerfully, “breakfast is being served if you come this way.” With a huge sigh of relief you drop the book and rush out the door.
We’ll come back to this story a bit later.
I’m not sure if you’ve seen the news lately, but there is another food shortage problem in Africa. People are starving and little children are very ill. It seems there is no solution to these problems – as far back as I can remember there have been famines in third world countries. I’m sure these people would LOVE to be in a better place where they didn’t have to worry about where the next meal was coming from.
It’s sad for them, but I guess because it’s around the other side of the world, it doesn’t really affect us.
You might be forgiven for thinking this picture is also from Africa. However, it’s actually from the United States! These tent cities are springing up all over the country as people are losing their jobs. They can no longer afford the repayments on their houses, so they simply send the key to the banks and move into a tent. The Global Financial Crisis is not relevant only to third world countries. The USA is now in significant financial trouble and this certainly may impact on other countries around the world including us.
This is the General Motors Headquarters in Detroit City USA. It presents the image of wealth and prosperity. However, this is Detroit City today. I’m sure the people of Detroit City and in fact the thousands of people who are on welfare in the USA would LOVE the situation to be different. What is the solution? They have to hope the economy improves – there is nothing else to do.
Surely a book that describes in detail a world where all these problems will no longer exist must be considered relevant to today? We all know that the bible says in the Kingdom there will be no more hungry people; that everyone will have their own home with no fear of losing it and that diseases and death will be enormously reduced from what we have today.
And the bible is more accessible today than ever before in the worlds’ history. You can get it in almost every language, in versions that are really easy to read. You can download it from the internet with all kinds of tools to help understand it better. If you don’t want to read it you can listen to it: - just by a set of CD’s or MP3’s and it’s ready to go!
So why on earth do people consider the bible to be irrelevant today? To be honest, I think a lot of people hide behind this as an excuse to avoid the truth. And the truth is the bible message is not irrelevant it’s just not convenient. Here are 3 reasons I could think of:
1. It DOES involve a bit of effort.
2. It requires the development of some faith.
3. There are an awful lot of distractions in the world.
Let’s go back to our room with the ticking bomb. If you wake up in that room every morning, but you know that at the same time each day a friendly little man is going to open the door and say ‘breakfast is ready’, the easiest thing to do is... nothing. Most people at some point in their life take a look at the book on how to defuse the bomb, but because it requires some effort and because it requires some faith that it really works, it’s much easier to run out the door when it opens and enjoy life’s little distractions. Until the day the bomb goes off and then there are no more options. And let’s face it, none of us knows when our individual time bomb is going to go off. God has said:
Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth (Num 14:21 NIV)
That’s His promise to us. A few people, very few, sit down and really study the book. And when the friendly man opens the door to let them know breakfast is ready, they say, ‘No thanks, I’m not hungry this morning.’
We hope you’ll be one of those.