About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Freedom For Bondage
In Genesis 47 we see how a nation of people handed
over their freedom to the state in order to survive and keep any
resemblance of affluence they were used to.
Joseph was a shrewd businessman.
He made lots of money for Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. That's why Pharaoh liked
him so much. Joseph had
stored up lots of food in advance of the famine God told him would come.
During the famine, he sold the food to Egyptians and other
nations. The proceeds ended up in Pharaoh's pocket.
There's always somebody who profits from disaster.
The Egyptians soon ran out of money to buy food.
They accepted Joseph's deal to exchange their livestock for food.
Once that food ran out, the Egyptians had nothing left to buy
food with, so they made a deal with Joseph.
Genesis 47:19 says, "buy us and our land in exchange for
food, and we and our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh."
That's a sad statement. Self
preservation is a strong motivator, and so is the pursuit of affluence.
These people exchanged their freedom for bondage to obtain food
I can't help quoting Francis Schaeffer again.
In his 1976 book entitled, "How Should We Then Live",
on page 227 of the hard cover edition, he says the following: "I
believe the majority of the silent majority, young and old, will sustain
the loss of liberty without raising their voices, as long as their
lifestyles are not threatened. And
since personal peace and affluence are so often the only values that
count with the majority, politicians know that to be elected they must
promise these things. Politics
has largely become not a matter of ideals – increasingly men and women
are not stirred by the values of liberty and truth – but the supplying
of a constituency with a frosting of personal peace and affluence.
They (politicians) know that voices will not be raised as long as
people have these things, or at least an illusion of these things."
In 1976 Schaeffer foretold that the day would come
when people would freely hand over their freedoms and their
understanding of truth to the state in order to maintain their personal
peace and affluence. Politicians
know this, and they prey on this human frailty.
Thirty four years after Schaeffer wrote those words,
it's all coming true. People
everywhere, including those in western democracies, are beginning to
emulate the Egyptians of old by selling themselves to the state in order
to maintain a peaceful and affluent existence.
This mentality to exchange freedom for bondage is
being entrenched in our thinking as I write these words.
Nations around the world have recently bailed out corporations in
financial trouble. These
bailouts have helped cement this mentality into our personal psyche.
The next step in the cementing process is now taking place with
the bailout of Greece
. Other nations are now
standing in line with hands open. It's
hard for me to imagine that we're now rescuing, not just corporations
from bankruptcy, but entire nations.
Many Christians are falling prey to this mentality.
Many of us will hand over our freedom and the truths we claim to
believe so we can maintain our peaceful and affluent existence.
Jesus was angry with the Laodicean
This all ties in with the events that mark the end of
this age. A charismatic
leader will rise in the midst of a world wide financial crisis,
something we're now familiar with. He
will offer us personal peace and affluence in exchange for our freedom
and our allegiance to religious truth, something else we're beginning to
get familiar with. His
stimulus package and bailout program will have no rivals.
As Schaeffer said, the majority will gladly pay the price for
these bailouts. They will
exchange their freedom for bondage because
they love their personal peace and affluence, and that includes many
Whether Christians will be on earth when the
anti-christ offers this exchange might be debatable.
Whatever the case, we're well on our way to this last great
exchange. The ground-work is
being laid right now. Christians
are being confronted with issues that challenge our allegiance to Jesus
and Biblical truth. We're
being asked to trade in our freedoms and our Biblical convictions in the
name of tolerance and the good of the state.
That presents us with a problem, or at least with a decision to
make. Our allegiance is
first to the Kingdom
"Jesus, help us not be those who shrink back and