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Hero To Zero
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The Lord Will Reward

Hero To Zero
By Geary Trent
 
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The Lord Will Reward
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Published in
The Christian Informer
November  2007


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HERO TO ZERO

 
Things in this old world can change so fast.  Look at the political world.  One bad story about a politician, true or not, can take them from honored to disgraced.  In the military there is the story of General MacArthur–a hero in World War Two, but was fired by President Truman in the conflict in Korea.  From on the way up, to on the way out.  What about our families?  We all have our personal examples of events, surprises, and times of disappointments.  In our employment, a Christian must work in a worldly environment, things can change so fast.  In our congregations, one sin can ruin an influence, and take years to overcome.  As the saying goes, “One ‘uh oh’ can cancel out hundreds of atta-boys.”
 
Did you know this is all nothing new?  What about Adam and Eve?  Things changed real fast for them.  In the Garden one day, out the next.  The story about Cain and Able changed things real fast.  It is sad but true, it continued in the New Testament too.  No one knew this better than our Lord.  Let us read a little story in the book of Matthew.
 
“Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set Him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strewed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when He was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee” (Matthew 21:5-11).
 
This is what the world calls “Palm Sunday.”  It is also in Mark 11, Luke 19, and John 12.  Here is Jesus entering Jerusalem with literally thousands of people, mostly Jews, rejoicing in Jesus their King.  A parade, celebration, and “multitudes.”  What a great day, and a great feeling for these people.  They were all there for the Passover, and things were looking good.
 
But it didn’t last long.  John 19:14 says, “And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour,” when Pilate finally delivered Christ to be crucified.  In the crowd before Pilate were people who wanted our Lord dead, in the most painful way.  What had changed?  The same Christ that had been celebrated was being executed less than a week later.  Matthew 27 tells about the “people” and “multitudes” in verses 17, 20, 21, 23, and 24.  Where were the folks from last Sunday?  Is this not the same crowd?  Is there not some that even remember last week?  Talk about “Hero to Zero!”  This is a tragic example of how it can be.  What happened in those few days?  Thousands of people turned on Him... changed from his being their King to being a criminal.  No friends, no advocates, nothing.  All had disappeared.
 
We always talk about Peter denying Him.  Peter wasn’t alone.  Where were the rest of His disciples?  Just where were all these folks?  Matthew 26:56 says, “Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.”  So, those closest to Him as well as the “multitudes” from a few days ago had left, were not present, or were now some of those crying out “crucify Him.”  I wonder how many of those who watched Him carry His cross to Calvary, had, just days before, carried palm leaves to honor Him.  Even then no one offered to help.  The soldiers had to recruit someone to help Jesus carry the cross.  Where were all those He had healed, all those He had fed by a miracle, all those who had seen Him raise the dead?
 
He was literally alone on this earth.  How that must have hurt!  Not one person in this world would lift a finger to help.  How cold, hateful, selfish, and cowardly man can be.  I thought what a temptation it must have been to call that 12 legions of Angels available to Him.  But, He was Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah.  He knew these things must be done (Matthew 26:54).
 
How amazing this is. How He could go through with it.  How inadequate and undeserving it should make us all feel.  With Him and His mind, and the way He looks at things, it is so unlike the ways of the world.  How much we should learn and try to mirror in our own lives.  He was “Hero to Zero” in this life.  Have you ever felt that way?  Been mistreated, lied to, cheated, betrayed, lost friends and support, left all alone?  Ever hear the phrase “it’s not fair”?  Remember this story.  Jesus knows how you feel, no matter how extreme or bad it is.  You may be alone in this world.  He was.  But you are not alone as a Christian.  As Jesus had ears and support from above, so do we.  Always remember that. You may never be a “Hero”, but for sure you will never be a “Zero”, at least in His eyes.
 
[Adapted from “Hero to Zero by Geary Trent in Pathfinder].
 
[The above article by brother Trent reminds us of how fickle man is.  God warns time and again not to count on man for our support.  Popularity is fleeting and not to be sought after by faithful Christians!  Jesus said, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.”  He also said that there were some who would sacrifice truth and right for popularity, “Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:  For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:42,43).  Man is always in danger if depending on others is too important.  “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD” (Jeremiah 17:5).]
 
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THE LORD WILL REWARD

 
Proverbs 13:21, “Evil pursues sinners: but to the righteous, good shall be repaid.”
 
People usually look for a recompense of reward for present deeds and a future destiny.  Solomon frequently reminds us that such rewards are awarded according to works, whether good or evil.  The award may be given in this life or in the life to come.  In similar fashion good government usually awards its citizens according to their deeds, good or bad.  But in any case, one must not avenge himself but must leave the matter to God and civil government.
 
God recompenses for righteousness, or the lack of it.  He will reward mercy, integrity, and faithfulness, among other virtues.  He will also recompense for unrighteousness such as bloodshed, disrespect, greed, injustice, pride, rebellion, and treachery.  This recompense rightly includes even for such folly as anger, lack of foresight, impulsiveness and self-justification.  The fact that the guilty have not escaped punishment in the past, deters evil inclinations in others. 
When we see an injustice occur, the children of God cannot punish the perpetrator.  The Lord has placed government officials in position to punish evil doers in the land.  Paul wrote, “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” (Romans 13:3,4).
 
Although there are some corrupt men in such positions, it is God’s ordained system until He brings final judgment on all.  The Lord will not allow us to “pay back,” or “get even” when we have been wronged.  We are taught, “Recompense to no man evil for evil... as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men... avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:17-20).
 
Jesus taught all those who would follow Him, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’  But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.  If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.  And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.  Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.  You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 
 
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven;  for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?  Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others?  Do not even the tax collectors do so?  Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 6:38-48 NKJ).
 
“The merciful man does good for his own soul, But he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.  The wicked man does deceptive work, But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward.  As righteousness leads to life, So he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death.  Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the LORD, But the blameless in their ways are His delight” (Proverbs 11:17-20 NKJ).

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