For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. Romans 5:15
There are times when we senior citizens look at our yesterdays and see that past with rose-colored glasses. That's why we refer to those younger years as "the good old days." Well, I'm here to say, there were things about the good old days that weren't that good.
What kind of things? Things like poliomyelitis, aka polio.
When I was young, there were people, usually young people, who were coming down with the disease which paralyzed, suffocated and killed. Simply put, polio was a nasty beasty. Maybe I should say, polio is a nasty beasty.
I say that because, even though there is an effective vaccine for the disease, the World Health Organization has now identified 10 cases of polio in Syria, 174 in Somalia, 14 cases in Kenya, and 6 cases in Ethiopia. Just as bad, polio continues to exist in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.
It appears that polio is being spread in these countries because all of them have strong terrorist movements, which make it difficult and even impossible for their citizenry to be vaccinated. When a polio-carrying adult, often a jihadist who doesn't even know he is infected, goes into a new area, he brings the virus with him, the disease spreads and the children suffer.
Is this a serious thing? On its website the World Health Organization says, "as long as a single child remains infected, children in all countries are at risk." It is a terrible, terrible tragedy made worse by the fact the solution to the situation is so readily available.
The same, my friends, can be said about salvation.
Right now the sickness of sin is alive and well in the world. Left untreated and unchecked, it would eventually and eternally kill every man, woman and child. Fortunately, by God's grace the Lord Jesus has come into this world and through His life, death and resurrection has done all that was necessary to give humanity a sure and certain cure.
When Scripture tells us, "the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin" (see 1 John 1:7), it is letting us know that because of the Christ there is no sinner so bad he cannot be forgiven, no transgression so heinous it cannot be erased.
This should be the end of the story. It should be, but it isn't.
You see, there are forces of evil in this world who want Christ's blood-bought cure to go away. There are political and religious powers doing all they can to make sure the cure doesn't reach the folk it was intended to save.
Because this is so, we who have been saved must do all we can to make sure the earthly and heavenly cures are distributed. To ignore the tragedy will cause unlimited and unnecessary suffering.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, how it must grieve You to see how evil works so hard to defeat good, how hatred wishes to stop Your grace. Use us to do Your work and let Christ's blood-bought cure reach into every place and into every heart. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries