Pastor's Corner

31 Aug
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Mid-Week Challenge

Depending on your age, the name Mikhail Gorbachev might mean very little to you.  If you are 45 or older you know him as the man who helped Ronald Reagan and other world leaders end the Cold War with the Soviet Union in the late 1980s. For his courageous leadership, he was awarded the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize.  Mr. Gorbachev passed away yesterday and in his passing the world was reminded of the great work he accomplished in his life time.  “Great work” can be defined as either positive or negative, depending on who is evaluating the work.  The Pizza Hunt company recognized this in Mr. Gorbachev by having him star in one of their commercials shortly after he left office.  We see two generations disagreeing on the impact he made on the world but one thing they can agree on, he made it possible to for Pizza Hut to be served in Russia.  

Christian writer Jim Denison noticed these differences too in the modern audience.  He writes, today Gorbachev is seen as a hero in the United States but in him homeland, not so much.  In a 2017 poll, only 8 percent of Russian citizens saw him in a positive light; more than 60 percent said they had a “distaste” or “hatred” for him. Why is this? The modern Russian citizen is more attuned to President Vladimir Putin’s assertion that the collapse of the Soviet empire was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” In the same 2017 poll that held Gorbachev in such contempt, 83 percent held a positive view of Putin, while less than 5 percent responded negatively to him.  Putin’s approval rating stands at 87 percent today, while 69 percent of Russians believe their country is on the right track. By contrast, only 10 percent of Americans believe our country is heading in the right direction; only 6 percent of us have confidence in Putin’s leadership.

The Lord told  Jeremiah: “If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it” (Jeremiah 18:7-10).

So, who is on the right side of history? There is a well-known saying that goes something like this: “What is true of nations is true of those who live in them.” The question is not what side of history you are on, but who do you have on your side?  Is God with you are would you rather take refuge in an earthly system of security? Psalm 118:8-9 tells us: “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes”

I’m glad I was alive to witness and benefit from the partnership of Gorbachev and Reagan. I remember that great line, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” The Lord is still using men and women to tear down walls today.  Presidents might use the phrase, “the buck stops here,” but we all know that it is the Lord who has the final say.  No matter how you view history, in the end, I pray His will be done in my life and those who lead all over our world.  

For dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations.  Psalm 22:28

Serving the Savior,

Bro. Jonathan


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