Lastrow, Population: 666

This blog now has the distinction of having the same number of inhabitants as the town of Monson, Maine (as of the 2000 census). That the blog is populated by posts and Monson by people is but an irrelevancy.

This often misunderstood digit makes its only appearance in Scripture here,

Here is wisdom Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six. – Revelation 13:18

I say misunderstood because many (myself formerly included) mistake it to be the number of Satan. The Apocalypse given to John begs to differ, it is actually the number of Satan’s man, the antichrist. Six is man’s number, it falls one short of the number of completeness, 7. Some say the triple 6 is a mockery of the Trinity, because three times it falls short of completeness, as each Person in the Trinity is totally complete.

This reflects the fallen state we are all born into (Augustine of Hippo dubbed it “original sin”) because of Adam’s rebellion in the Garden. As the oft-quoted statement reads,

We are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners

It was English poet Alexander Pope who said,

To err is human, to forgive, divine

Very few will disagree with at least the first part of Mr. Pope’s words, after all does not all of our experience prove that we humans are not perfect? It was another Englishman, G.K. Chesterton who commented that ‘total depravity’ is the easiest of all the doctrines of Scripture to prove. The pervasiveness of media has only pulled the curtain even further.

None of us are perfect yet if we are honest with ourselves,we demand perfection from those around us. This is none more evident than when we are trampled underfoot by another and our ego takes a broadside.

This brings to mind the words of yet another Englishman,

Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive – CS Lewis

Pope was indeed correct with latter part of his statement. For who else but a forgiving God would send His One and Only Son to die while we were at enmity with Him?

This is the Good News, the Gospel, as the Apostle put it,

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8

Not because of anything inherently good within (because of Adam’s sin no such thing exists), but because of the grace given by a just God who is rich in mercy and love and made it possible for us to be reconciled to Him through His Only Begotten Son, the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.

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