Whoever believes Mark 16:16

Zephaniah 3:17
17. The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Mark 16:16 (ESV)
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

condemned /kənˈdemd/
sentenced to a particular punishment, especially death. “condemned prisoners awaiting execution”
officially declared unfit for use. “a street full of condemned buildings and burnt-out cars”

I spent a year working on a rail gang in SW Minnesota one summer. We were replacing 39 foot sections of jointed rail (the kind that make the familiar “clickity clack” noise) with ¼ miles sections of rail (or ribbon rail, the kind that doesn’t go clickity clack). We were way out in the country with a mechanized gang, 115 people, hot enough that there were warnings to drive the cattle to shade, and the whole gang was running out of water. The Minnesota River had flooded to extraordinary levels that spring. All the wells along the river were condemned because they were contaminated. That’s no problem for the railroad – cut the lock off a condemned well and fill the coolers. No one will ever know.

It wasn’t more than 10 minutes after our break that the diarrhea hit. 100°+ (hotter at track level), manually setting spikes for the pneumatic spike machines behind us, in the middle of nowhere, a production schedule to keep, and we can’t go more than five minutes before we’re running off to the woods. Oh, and the toilet paper ran out after the first 30 minutes.

Condemned is not a good thing to be, or be part of. As much as I would have wanted that water too not be condemned, it was. Drinking it led to bad, bad, consequences for a whole bunch of folks. There was no getting around it because we all trusted something flawed (the railroad) and didn’t bring our own water. We all paid the price.

The world is like that. Flawed. That well is contaminated, therefore it is rightly condemned. Yet, we keep drinking it’s tainted water instead of going to the pure source.

Romans 12:3
3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.

My bowels eventually recovered with enough Kaopectate and gallon jugs of pure, clean, safe water (had to drive 40 miles to a store that had any because the tiny town we were in got cleaned out by the first folks in that day). The contaminated got cleaned.

It took many more years until my soul started to recover as I quit drinking the contaminated water of the world. I am far, far, far, from well, but I am careful if what I drink today.

Proverbs 18:10
10. The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.

Isaiah 40:30-31
30. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31. but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Romans 12:11 (ESV)
1. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

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