I read an article this morning, which said that churches are closing their doors in record numbers. Later this afternoon, I saw a disturbing video of some protestors outside the Supreme Court of the United States, chanting “**** the church,” among other obscenities, in response to the upcoming ruling on abortion. In the recent past, protestors have rallied in front of churches and caused disturbances everywhere, and it will only get worse once the ruling (Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization) comes out.
Lot, a righteous man, was vexed by the depraved conduct of the lawless in Sodom (2 Peter 2:7), much as many of us are at the evil we see around us.
The article I read this morning is unfortunately very true; I saw an article recently as well that said less people were attending church nowadays than ever before. The Pandemic did quite a job on Christianity, and very little to help people’s faith. But it wasn’t just the Pandemic; even at my relatively young age, more than half the people I grew up with going to Church and Vacation Bible School and so on, have left the faith.
At one point in Jesus’ ministry, he said something that turned a whole bunch of people away, and they followed him no more. At that moment, he asked his disciples if they also were going to leave him, to which Peter—a man who changed so much between being a disciple and being the Rock upon which Jesus would build his Church—replied, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God (John 6:68-69, NIV).”
Daniel, another servant of the LORD, lived at a time when the temple of God had been raided by the Babylonians. From the NIV Life Application Study Bible: “Those who loved the LORD—though few in number—must have felt disheartened and discouraged, especially since most people were already worshiping other gods and neglecting the LORD altogether. We feel greatly alarmed when churches around the world are destroyed, close down for financial reasons, are split by controversies, or are wracked by scandals. We do not know why God allows his church to experience these calamities. But like the people who witnessed the plundering of the temple by the Babylonians, we must trust that God is in control and that he is watching over all who trust in him. When you hear of God’s people going through difficult times, pray that he will bring restoration. Remember God’s promise that those who love him and suffer will experience joy when [Jesus] returns (1 Peter 4:13).”
The world out there offers nothing of lasting value; that much is obvious. Everything we know has a beginning and an end; what the LORD offers is eternal. He offers peace today and in the Age to come and beyond. The LORD is in control right now, just as he was thousands of years ago, and he is well-aware of everything going on in the world and is not surprised by any of it. He knew what the world would be like today, June 23, 2022, thousands of years ago. He will not be mocked, and he will have his day with wickedness, when all will be made right.
We’re living in the times foretold by the Apostle Paul: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power (2 Timothy 3:1-5).”
Christians: hang in there. Don’t bow the knee to Baal; fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith (2 Timothy 4:7). Jesus is living in His Church, and Jesus is coming for his own; the Lord knows them that are his (2 Timothy 2:19). The Kingdom of God on earth will be a time worth living for; none of the sufferings of the present can or ever will be compared to the glory of the day when Jesus will rule as the Wonderful Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), when justice will roll on like a river, and righteousness like a never-failing stream (Amos 5:24).
Grace and peace,