When I was in my late middle school years, I dove head first into the heavy music scene. Downtuned guitars, fast time signatures and abrupt tempo changes, screaming vocals… I loved it (and still do; if you ever have to ask yourself what kinda music I’m listening to, it’s more than likely yelling at me). I remember going to a live show in this tiny, cramped venue and experiencing an incredible amount of energy and and unity among the bands and the people watching. A hardcore show is truly it’s own unique experience.
As I began to listen to more and more of the bands in the scene, I found out that a lot of them were Christians. How great! I was having a hard enough time convincing my parents to let me listen to this kinda stuff, so a lot of them being believers really helped my cause, and to this day, some of my most intimate moments worshiping and meeting with God have come out of the music created by some of these bands and the honesty and brokenness and redemption displayed in their lyrics.
Sadly though, over time, more and more of these bands stopped claiming to be Christian, and the shift in their lyrics was quite noticeable. Then came the confessions; a lot of these bands knew they could corner a market if they claimed to be believers, or at least let people think they were by signing to a predominantly faith based music label, and they went for it.
I couldn’t grasp how people who seemed so sold out for their faith could abandoned it like that… but then I began to see my friends from church growing up doing the same thing. Little by little, the kids I grew up going to church camps with decided other things were more important to them.
Matthew 7:14 says “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” That verse took on new meaning and poignancy in my life as I watched more and more people who claimed to know Jesus decided either they didn’t want to anymore or they never truly did. I never quite understood that verse, because everybody I could think of growing up around me was a believer. As time went on, I began to understand that people claiming to know Jesus and people actually knowing him are two very different things.
These things were weighing heavily on my mind during our most recent message series here at red hills. It was called “Daniel: Faithful to the end,” and that simple truth is portrayed so beautifully throughout the book of Daniel. Daniel is shown, through The angel Gabriel and even Jesus himself, that God is absolutely faithful to Israel, to us, and to himself, in a way we could never imagine or attain on our own (if you’ve never truly walked though the book of Daniel, please go back and listen to his message series… wow, what a wild ride this book is!). He’s been that way forever, and He is in our present day, and He will be as the future events of the end times unfold, and He will be beyond that for eternity.
We as humans are unfaithful. We aren’t faithful to ourselves, each other, or our creator. But praise God! He is completely faithful to the end.
“Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.”