Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Situation in America and Christian Atheism

-          Palestine bombs Israel
-          The stock market is down
-          Gay marriage bill passes
-          Marijuana legalized
-          Abortion laws upheld
-          Unemployment on the rise
-          States seek to succeed from the Union
-          UN troops on the border
Oh, the doom and the gloom that is brought to us every day.  Oh, how scary all this is. The country is “going to hell in a hand-basket.” But why are those who professing to be God’s children acting like “chicken little?” All the social media sites are abuzz with fear-doom-hopelessness and this is the response of the “Christians!” When blessing are coming we rest in the providence of God but when the difficult times come why do so many act like God has abdicated the throne and His sovereignty?
Please do not misunderstanding. I am not saying these things are not serious. Nor am I advocating that we just “keep on smiling and think happy-happy thoughts.” The situation is this country is very serious. Yes, this is a time for prayer and fasting but this is not a time for fear or discouragement for the Christian. God has not given us a spirit of fear or timidity but of power, love and discipline. This is a time for faith and trust in the God we claim to believe in. God is working, oh you of little faith.
The worst thing God could do is simply leave this country alone. He could simply just turn it over to its worldly desires and let its material prosperity continue. By bringing these “light afflictions” on this country He is calling us to repentance. He has not forsaken this people but is working to bring them back to Him. Even His remnant (the Church) is being aroused from her slumber. We may be discouraged that so few are being awoken but does not the scripture say “narrow is the way and few will find it?” Have you not read…?
We can see throughout the Old Testament that God has always preserved His people. Regardless of one’s view on eschatology/Israel etc., we can see that even when the nation of Israel went into captivity God preserved a remnant that was His. And He not only preserved that remnant but used the remnant to glorify Himself, call the nation to repentance and even bring knowledge of Himself to the pagans. He does work all things to the good and to His purpose.
Seriously, for the Christian, what is there to fear? Persecution? Can you think of any time in history when the New Testament church was not being persecuted some place in the world? Why are Christians in the US supposed to be immune from suffering? Are we so special? And if (God forbid) persecution comes what will be the result? Historically, persecution has had a purifying affect on the church to make it stronger. Persecution has been used by God to spread the Gospel (consider the first century church, etc.)
What about financial collapse? What if we “lose everything?” Listen to those words. Everything? Really? This is a fear of the unconverted. This fear only applies to those who have treasure in this world. “Take not thought for tomorrow; what you shall eat or what you shall wear…the worldly think of these things” (my paraphrase). Paul says “Having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” If there is a financial collapse then the church and her members will realize what idolatry they had in things and will turn her eyes back to the One who provides every good and perfect gift. Faith in the church will increase and idolatry will be destroyed.
What if this is the birth pains of the end of the world? Then we labor as we always have awaiting the trump to call us home. The New Testament Church has always existed with the understanding that at any time Christ could return. Is this a bad thing? What does the true believe have to fear in this?
What if “they” kill us? HA! I wonder what Lazarus would say if they came to him after his resurrection and threatened to kill him? I can’t help but believe he would fall over and roll on the ground with laughter. Do you not believe in heaven? Have you not read that to be absent from the body is to be in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ? Christ said “I am the resurrection…do believe this?”
To profess Christianity but to live in fear, discouragement and with a “chicken little” response to every little piece of bad news is complete hypocrisy. This is Christian atheism. Fear is not faith and what is not of faith in sin. Perfect love casts out fear.
The Church has much to do in light of the present circumstances: prayer, fasting, evaluating our own spirituality, making our own calling and election sure, being a faithful witness to a world looking for answers, etc. But we are not swayed by the circumstances because our God holds steadfast. If our faith is in Him and not in ourselves or this world, we can rest in His sovereignty. And even find joy in Him despite the situation.

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