Those Were the Days
By Lucian Thompson
Do you ever think back to the days when you were a wide-eyed little child and every thing looked so big and wondrous to you? Those in my generation can remember when the first television came out. Howdy Doody and Captain Kangaroo were the big shows on the TV.
Those were the days!
In schools all across America, in all walks of life, they said the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, one nation under God, and they repeated the Lord’s Prayer, as led by the principal over the loudspeaker system in every room. (Our Father, who art in heaven….) At lunchtime the teachers led you in a prayer: God is good, God is great, and we thank Him for this food, by His hand shall we be fed, give us Lord this daily bread, amen.
When you went to bed at night, your parents would tuck you in and help you recite a prayer: Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take, God bless Mommy and Daddy and…
In most churches in this great nation the children were taught the books of the Bible in order and they learned the Lord’s Prayer and the 23 Psalm along with many Bible verses.
Those were the days!
What has happened to our Nation, our school and our people in general? "Somewhere along the way we stopped to stray and lost the need for tomorrow. In that dark and distant part of our life we learned the meaning of sorrow."
Truer words were never spoken. In the 60’s we let a single person, Madeline Murray O’Hare, take prayer out of our schools. We let the Hippies tell us, "you can do anything you want; if it feels good do it," and "free love" became the motto of the day! In the late 60’s and early 70’s we sent our youngest men off to a political war in Vietnam and when they came home with their limbs missing and their minds messed up by the horror they had seen, we called them "baby killer" and spit on them in the streets, while we picketed for the sake of picketing and smoked our drugs while we were trying to find our head.
Yea, those were the days my friend!
The 80’s came and we danced away our lives in the Discos while drugs and sexually transmitted diseases flourished. The drugged out Hippies and the Flower Children gave way to the money motivated, cocaine sniffing Yuppies, and the beat went on. The 90’s saw the children of the Hippies and the Yuppies turned into "Latch-Key Kids". They were left alone at home to experiment with the legacies left them by their burned out parents. You know, drinking, doping, free sex and all that so-called good stuff.
Ah, now we get to the year 2000 and the "Generation X" kids. The ones with no hope, no morals, no future! Now, I’m talking about the overall group, not the great kids that are turning back to God.
History is one big cycle! Round and around we go, where we stop, nobody knows. It doesn’t have to be that way!!
You can go back! You can go home again! The world tells you that you can never go back. God tells us we need to go back – back to our first love. Revelation 2:4, Jesus told John to write to the church in Ephesus, "Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love." (Some versions say left your first love.) He instructs us in vs. 5 to, "Remember the height from which you have fallen." (And there are a lot of fallen saints in the kingdom of God today!) Then He said, "If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place."
It is my opinion that you can lose your rightful place, your inheritance. Esau sold out his inheritance for a bowl of soup! Some say that if that happened you never had the inheritance to start with. Maybe, maybe not, but why put yourself in that position? Jesus would not have said repent if it wasn’t sinful in the first place. So you see, to turn away from your first love (Jesus) is a sin and needs to be corrected right away.
Jesus has left a light on for those who have slipped away into the world, but the time is coming very soon when the light will be taken out of the world and darkness will fill the earth. Better not say mañana to the Lord while He is calling you back. Tomorrow may be too late.
I tell you, I can feel the breath of the Lord on the back of my neck; tomorrow is not promised to us. Today is the day of your salvation and today is the day to return to your first love. Jesus waits to embrace you, to come unto you and to dine with you. He wants that relationship back with you that you shared the day you first accepted Him.
Some of you are going through some really tough times in your marriages because you have lost that first love, or your spouse has departed, spiritually, mentally and physically. I know how that feels and I want to tell you, you can be loved and you are wanted! Jesus will take you back and He will never leave you or abuse you. He won’t curse you or belittle you. (God is not tolerant of those who belittle others, either) He won’t shut you out of His life like so many people do to you. He won’t make you feel like you are worthless. He has prepared a mansion for you and He will wipe away all your tears. He wants those of you who have left Him to come back to Him and have a relationship with Him again. He will turn your sorrows into joy and your mourning into laughter, like the song says.
You can go back. You must go back. Repent of your loss of affection for Christ! Jesus is not a hard Task Master. He tells us to yoke up with Him for His burden is light. Just as He heard the cries of the Israelites in Egypt, He hears your cries today. The difference today is that God has already brought you out of your certain death with the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross 2000 years ago.
If you are a Christian, your ticket is already paid. If you have lost your first love, Jesus is telling you to come back to Him, lest He remove your lamp stand from its place. If you have never received Jesus as your Savior and Lord, then today is the day of your salvation, for you are not promised tomorrow!
Do not wait – things are lining up in the Middle East that lend credence to the "last days" and the soon return of Jesus Christ to take His Church home with Him. The time is short and there is a lot of work to do. God cannot use you if you are separated from Him by your complacency. Remember God said that He would rather you be hot or cold, instead of lukewarm, (complacent.) He said that if you were lukewarm, He would spew you out of his mouth.
Come back to the one who loved you even before you were born.
You can go back!
You must go back!
Lucian Thompson is the Associate Pastor at Trinity Christian Fellowship in Virginia Beach, Virginia. His expertise is in the area of Eschatology and he is an avid writer of Bible Study and devotional materials for his church. A former Chief of Police who uses his life experiences to council others in the pitfalls of life.
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