The little boy stared at the engraving on the crumbling gravestone with a quizzical look on his face. “Mom, what does this mean- ‘He was on the wrong side of history?’” he asked.
“Oh, honey, come away from there! That was a bad man!” she replied.
Can you imagine a stranger scene than this? Well, maybe. But with the epithet “You’re on the wrong side of history!” being hurled about for all kinds of reasons for all manner of issues, one must wonder what it can possibly mean. Wrong side of history? Who decides which side is right and which is wrong? History, it is said, is written by the winners. If the winner is human, then it is possible to be on the right side, then the wrong side of history many times in one’s life. For instance, Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Party had a great deal of popular support and was elected democratically, becoming the ruling party in Germany. People who voted for the Party undoubtedly thought they were on the right side of history. Not too many years later, those people must have understood they were now on the wrong side of history. Who decides what the right side and wrong side of history are? The winner?
The history of this world is much greater than any single war or social issue, and the beginning of all history and the end of all history already have been written. God wins. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth ([biblegateway passage=”Genesis 1:1″]). In the end, God will destroy his creation after taking his faithful to Heaven and banishing those who rejected Him to Hell ([biblegateway passage=”Matthew 25:31-46″], [biblegateway passage=”John 11:25-26″], [biblegateway passage=”John 3:36″], [biblegateway passage=”Mark 16:16″]).
Which side of history matters? The answer is clearly THE TRUTH, already written in God’s Word, the Bible. Many more wars may be fought, many issues may become law, many sins may be legitimized and protected by governments, but the final history has already been written. God wins.
Notice I didn’t say, “We win.” Christians should never adopt a superior attitude. God wins. Christians are saved by His grace alone and are spared punishment out of divine love and mercy. God’s creation at the beginning was spoiled because of sinful man. In love, however, God promised that He would send a Savior who would finally restore His relationship with fallen mankind, and He repeated that promise many times. Finally, He fulfilled His promise in His Son, Jesus. Because Jesus was both God and man, He was able to live a life without sin, fulfilling God’s Law in our place. Then Jesus was put to death as punishment for the sins of all people of all time. And God accepted that sacrifice as payment for the sins of the whole world. That’s history- His story. And He lets us in on it all!
God continually holds out His hands to all people through His Word, sending His Spirit to break through hardened hearts, inviting sinners to repent and believe, but, sadly, many reject Him. They reject their Savior, who died for them. They reject God’s love and mercy and so reject His Word and His will for their lives. That, sadly, is also an ongoing history. But the end has been written.
In the time of history that remains, this time of grace, pray that God’s Word will continue to be spread. Pray that many more will hear His Word and believe. Pray that God will guard and protect His faithful, helping them to withstand the attacks on His truth. And remember, there is only one right side of history. God’s side, already written.Rev. Paul Fries