January 5, 2015
Some time ago we had an active discussion about what is happening in our world. It centered on God’s involvement in weather and the freefall of society in general. God does use weather events to accomplish His purposes and to judge humans for their evil actions. Bible prophets were not popular in most cases because they told the truth. Their message was not popular or welcome. Even believers did not want to hear truth if they deemed it negative.
Like it or not, God has begun to judge this world. He is doing this by using serious weather events, as He did in the past. His purpose is to bring judgment on those who violate His person and holiness. God is using government leaders to punish nations who turn their backs on Israel. Wickedness of the most serious nature, such as the murder of the unborn and the acceptance of sodomy, is something God cannot ignore. Worldwide economic disaster waits in the wings, and the planet “groans” under horrible military conflicts like we have never seen. The growth of Islam with all of its atrocities is just part of what happens when a world forgets the sovereign creator God.
HERE AT HOME
All of the above events are real threats to our own nation. I have said repeatedly that we are just one major event away from civil war in our own land. Now rioting in the streets has become a national pastime, with the approval of those who are supposed to be protecting everyone’s freedoms. All these things are in the hand of God, and He uses them to judge those who have trampled His truth underfoot. Any serious student of Nazi Germany would recognize what is happening in our country. Instead of a free people, able to speak and practice what they believe, a new era of slavery is underway. We are not free to condemn the evil of sodomy; we must be silent or pay the price. It is one thing for people to practice evil; it is another thing to force other people to recognize it, to accept it, to be silent about it, or to be punished for opposing it.
So here we are, and you don’t want to talk about these subjects. You don’t want to hear about them because they are negative. We are just supposed to play our silly little church games. Let me sound a warning: you will not escape the fallout of all of this. Let me add that the problem is made much worse by evangelical leaders who have taught us to hide our heads in the sand of activity and self-centered theology. We do have a responsibility in this world, and it is about light and truth.
WHERE DO WE STAND?
The sounds and images of conflict are on the horizon. Please consider some ways that God would have us respond. Deal with ignorance. There is no safety in not knowing. Those who told you not to waste your time on current events have simply given you a sleeping pill, but the truth will be there when you wake up, as you most certainly will do. Deal with denial. To say that something isn’t happening when it actually is serves only to rob us of the very attitude of power that we need for the coming conflict.
Study the scripture. I and II Peter, along with other books of the Bible, give us direction for dealing with situations similar to the ones we face today. They provide a proper perspective that will help us to stand tall. Let me remind you of a great truth: in the end, WE WIN! We are not losers; we are overcomers, so stop talking and acting like a loser!
We are strangers and pilgrims in a foreign land, and we need to look at this challenge from heaven's point of view. I don’t like pain any more than you do, but it is part of the believer's challenge in this world. I don’t like rejection, either, but remember that if they hated our Lord, we should expect the same treatment. You can’t compromise with pagans. To the worldlings, you are a bit less than human with almost no thinking ability. We might be able to fly under the radar for a while, but the day will come when what you believe and practice will be considered criminal. We already know the results of the final judgment, so their condemnation of us is but a small thing.
Pay no attention to cowardly professing Christians. They will criticize you. They should be holding your arms up, but they will condemn you. You will be accused of being political, or of lacking love. You will be accused of ignoring or hindering evangelism. When you speak the truth as it is revealed in scripture, they will allegorize the text in order to cover their disobedience. You don’t have to have the approval of those who live with superstitious fear; fear God alone.
STAND STRAIGHT AND STAND TALL
Stop whining and start winning. The present and future persecution is small compared to that of saints of the past. This is not a time to feel sorry for ourselves; rather, hateful opposition should cause us to REJOICE! We should be thankful for the privilege of suffering for our Lord. This is biblical Christianity. See the enemy for what he is and the compromisers for what they are, but stand straight and stand tall. Some of my readers may live long enough to win a martyr's crown, but we do not fear those who can kill the body; we only fear Him who can condemn the soul.
Sorry to disturb your fairy-tale, sugarplum mindset, but if you think all this will go away because you don’t know (ignorance) or don’t care (denial), you are in for a rude awakening. Wake up, stand straight, and stand tall - be an overcomer!
Shepherd’s Staff is prepared by Clay Nuttall, D. Min
A communication service of Shepherd's Basic Care, for those committed to the authority and sufficiency of the Bible. Shepherd's Basic Care is a ministry of information and encouragement to pastors, missionaries, and churches. Write for information using the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org or at the Shepherd Staff site.