Thursday, November 8, 2012

“Who Won?”

The Roman emperor Nero killed the body of the Apostle Paul, whose spirit immediately flew into the direct presence of his beloved Lord Jesus Christ.  “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (II Corinthians 5:8).

    Nero, along with the once-mighty Roman Empire, add only dusty and fading footnotes to the pages of history.  Conversely, Paul, or rather, Paul’s Christ, marches along present pathways through the Apostle’s inspired Scriptural writings.  Paul remains as pertinent today as he was 2,000 years ago, while Nero’s mark on history becomes more negligible with every passing year.

    Who won their personal battle, Paul or Nero?  The answer is obvious.  The latter ended the earthly life of the former, but he had no effect on the heavenly Life of either Paul himself, or his Gospel.  God’s apostle lives on forevermore, and in this day, millions will read his words for the sublime purpose of drawing nigh unto their Divine Author.  Nero’s sword gained a fleeting victory in the moment; the sword of Paul, or rather, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” proclaims the victory of the ages (Ephesians 6:17).  Yes, Paul won.  Through Christ, in Christ, and by Christ, Paul won.


I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert.

Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away".
(Percy Shelley, 1792-1822)

“The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.”
(Psalm 112:6)
“The lamp of the wicked shall be put out.”
(Proverbs 13:9)

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