Jim Croce sang, “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape. You don’t spit into the wind. You don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger. And you don’t mess around with Jim.” I’d like to add one more thing to that list: You don’t mock God. The Bible says, “Don’t be deceived. God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap.”
I used to laugh at Christians. I thought they were all one taco short of a combination plate … a few clowns short of a circus … collectively crazy. I thought they believed in fairy tales. I would watch them sitting around, having their Bible studies and singing their weird songs about God, and I would think, Look at these pathetic Christians with those stupid smiles pasted on their faces! Too bad they can’t be cynical and hard and miserable like me.
Then I tried a new thought on for size: What if the Christians are right? What if God is real? What if there really is a heaven and there really is a hell? What if Jesus Christ really can change a life?
So I took a little step of faith and said, “God, if you are real, make yourself known to me.” Then I prayed, and Christ came into my life.
The Bible tells the story of someone who went out of his way to mock God. King Belshazzar of Babylon ruled pretty much most of the world at that time in history. He had at his disposal the treasures of the world and thousands of slaves to do his bidding day and night. The magnificent walls of Babylon were 350 feet high and 87 feet wide. And among the seven wonders of the ancient world were the hanging gardens of Babylon.
One day Belshazzar held a massive feast for one thousand of his nobles. They were are all drinking and partying away when, all of a sudden, they saw a hand writing on the wall. It was the hand of God writing a message to Belshazzar and all the people who were there.
There they were, having a drunken feast and worshiping false gods with special chalices that were used for the worship of the Lord in the temple. They were praising their false gods, going out of their way to insult God. But right outside the city were Cyrus and the Medo-Persian forces, who were about to strike and take over the mighty kingdom of Babylon.
What’s really amazing is that this was prophesied in Scripture. The prophet Isaiah had revealed that Babylon would fall, and it would happen during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson. Not only that, but the prophet Isaiah named Cyrus as the man who would lead the invading forces against Babylon – hundreds of years before Cyrus was even born. Isaiah also prophesied this would happen when the gates were left open.
You would have thought someone might have said, “Hey, isn’t there some prophecy about an army that will conquer us?
Who is that army outside of the walls right now?”
“Those are the Medo-Persians.”
“Who is the guy leading the army?”
“That would be Cyrus.”
“And didn’t someone say the gates would be left open? Maybe we ought to shut the gates. What do you think?”
My point is, the writing was on the wall. And they weren’t paying attention.
In the same way, all around us are reminders that Jesus Christ is coming back. The Bible predicts that one day there will be a complete collapse of the world economy. The Bible also predicts there is coming a day when we will have a cashless society. There is coming a day when a charismatic leader will emerge on the world scene, identified in the Bible as the Antichrist, and no one will be able to do any kind of financial transaction unless they have his mark on their right hand or their forehead.
Two hundred years ago that would have been dismissed as foolishness. But today with our modern technology, we are already moving toward a cashless society. We have our credit cards, our debit cards, our online banking and our smartphones. We have keyless ignitions in our cars. We can even go into a store, scan the bar codes of items using our phones, and see if there’s a better deal somewhere else. We have tracking technology. We are just a step away from coming to the point where we could have this sign of the last days fulfilled in our lifetime.
If the Antichrist is close, then Jesus Christ is even closer. He is coming again. The writing is on the wall for everyone to see.
The finger of God wrote a message on the wall for Belshazzar and everyone to see, and Belshazzar was terrified. He called in his astrologers and astronomers, but they didn’t know what was going on. Then his grandmother, presumably Nebuchadnezzar’s wife, suggested that Belshazzar call Daniel in to see what he had to say.
In came the 90-year-old Daniel, who essentially said, “Here is the bottom line: You have been proud, you have been arrogant, and you have not glorified the God who gives you life and controls your destiny. You have been weighed in God’s balances, and you have been found lacking. Your number is up.”
There will come a day when your number is up. There will come a day when my number is up. Life will end. And God doesn’t look at things the way we do. When we get on a scale, many of us hope we weigh less. But when we get on God’s scales, He wants us to weigh more. He wants our lives to have weight and substance.
That brings us to a question: Why are we here on this earth? Are we here for personal enjoyment and fulfillment? No. We are here on this earth to know the God who created us and to bring him glory.
Don’t waste your life and find this out the hard way, like Belshazzar. Don’t put off getting right with God. Get right with him now.