These would appear to be the worst of times for America. There are very good reasons for Americans to be concerned today and even valid reasons for people to be fearful. However, for those who love God and are called by Him for His purposes, we have reason to be hopeful and optimistic. These could very well be the best of times.
God shows us in His Word that He is a God who longs for people to cry out to Him. He is a God who loves to save. Time after time in Scripture, the Lord shows His immeasurable patience and goes to great lengths to save His people, the nation of Israel. It has always been His desire that no person should ever perish. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) But for the lack of 10 righteous people, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. God was willing to save, but the people rejected Him. And judgment came.
The results of the 2012 election on November 7th would appear to show that we have lost the culture war in our nation. America, by a small majority, seems pleased by the direction this country began heading in 2008. We saw states choosing to legalize use of marijuana – a damaging and destructive drug. Other states chose to legalize abominable, harmful counterfeit marriage. In many ways, Americans chose to continue down the same destructive path started in 2008 that, among other things, includes:
• $1.3 Trillion more spending than revenue
• Crushing debt of $6 Trillion in just four years
• Homosexuality becoming a civil right on equal footing with racial discrimination
• Abortion being forced on us making life worth less and less
• Being taxed just for existing (Obamacare mandate)
• Trashing the Constitution by executive fiat and deception
• Experimenting with persecution of the Christian church
Though God can heal our land if He were sought, the majority have chosen to push God out and to follow their own path of godlessness. Americans chose to keep a leader who pursues a culture of death – through his advocating and legislating abortion and homosexual sin. Americans made the decision to forsake Israel and thus bring God’s curse upon our nation.
No nation can long choose to thumb their nose at God. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) God’s patience is not forever unlimited. For a nation who refuses to repent and turn to Him, His patience will end. “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions…God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.” (Romans 1:26, Romans 1:28) Here God tells us His patience does have limits.
Scripture says “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan. (Proverbs 29:2) This nation was already groaning under the pressures of financial and moral maladies brought on by evil leadership. It is certain that America will eventually reap the consequences of her godless choices. Ultimately, the results will be a loss of international standing and of national sovereignty, a decidedly poorer and more impoverished people, intensely more individual physical and emotional pain, a sharp increase in the death and dying of its citizens, an increased loss of societal and personal freedoms, and an increased persecution of the righteous and unrighteous by those in power. These are the Biblical effects of providential judgment.
At this critical time in American history, the church of Christ can little afford to allow fear or hatred to infect it. We cannot allow these to disqualify us from His service or to hinder His Word from being proclaimed. The gospel message of hope, grace, and love must now be proclaimed louder than ever before. As the world grows ever darker, Christ’s love is the light that will shine even brighter.
Soon, very soon, the people of America will cry out for real freedom. Because the ways Americans have chosen to pursue freedom will lock them into further bondage, they will long for real freedom that only Christ can provide. The church must stand courageous and be ready to respond. Jehovah God commanded Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) The apostle Paul exhorted persecuted Christians to be strong in God’s strength. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” (Galatians 6:10)
There is real hope. Hope for God to move. Hope that God’s people will repent from their sins, rise up, take up their cross, and follow Him wholeheartedly. To effectively fight against the rising tide of secularism, immorality, godlessness, and persecution will take nothing less than full devotion to God Himself. Jehovah Himself promises to be with us as we do. America needs godly heroes to arise from the ashes of the scorched American culture.
On talk radio very recently, I heard a commentator speak of godly heroes and what the Bible teaches us about godly heroes. For there to be real heroes – righteous warriors – there has to be evil, oppression, and persecution to fight against. The commentator made the point that for there to be a Moses, there had to be a pharaoh. For there to be a David, there had to be a Saul. For there to be an Esther, there had be a Naman. Each time, these heroes chose to trust their God and take action, even when it meant possible death. Each trusted God “…who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…” (Ephesians 3:20)
The Lord can and will enlarge the faith of His people when they become obedient in the face of such adversity that we as a nation now face. The reigning evil gives wonderful opportunity for God’s people to become godly heroes in the land. Jesus Christ lives in us. He chooses to use us to let His light shine in the darkness. God Almighty always stands ready to forgive and revive the nation whose people cry out to Him in brokenness and repentance. “So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes…Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.” (Jonah 3:5-6, 10)
All indications are that American conservatism is dead or dying. Many Christians in the church placed their hope for America in the conservative movement. In my humble opinion, the end of American conservatism could be the beginning of real revival that America needs. The death of conservatism could be God’s answer to the many prayers of revival that have long been lifted up by the saints. November 7th could be the day in history where God answered the prayers of His people for real revival and began moving America back toward Himself.
Scripture shows us that sometimes God has to smash any hope in things which the people trust to save them. A hope placed in anything other than God Himself quenches the Holy Spirit’s work in the church and in the world. Only when He takes away that false hope can He light a fire that will actually burn. It is then that He shows us His power and starts to greatly use His servants who desire to be used and who have prepared themselves for effective use. Through a shattered hope in vain things, genuine brokenness, and true repentance God can do this. It is only at this point can America ever hope to become a real 2 Chronicles 7:14 nation.
The Bible is crystal clear: God Almighty is in complete control of human history and current events. In fact, we know it is the Lord who ordains the kings and gives them their authority. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1) Sometimes the king is placed in authority because the people cry out to Him for a king. Israel did. The nation suffered greatly with many evil rulers because they did. It appears that America has now asked for a king. And God has granted their request. It would be prudent for America to look at what God told Israel when they asked for their king.
“Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.” So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked him for a king. And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you in that day.” (1 Samuel 9:9-18)
Now that America has formally rejected God and His Word, what should true believers do? Should we be fearful and anxious? No. God is in control. Should Christians be vengeful and hateful? God forbid. Should we give up and hide inside our church walls and in our homes? Never. Now, more than ever, believers must be intentional about living out our faith in the world. But there are things believers should do.
First, each believer should commit to intense, extensive prayer. Pray for your families, your churches, your pastors. Pray for our enemies and our leaders who are deceived or who are themselves deceivers. Pray for our nation and for national repentance. Pray for personal repentance and revival. Pray like everything is counting on your prayers. Ask God what He would have you do and for the power to be obedient to His leading. Seek God with all of your heart. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
Next, we should strive to ultimately become more loving towards outsiders. Unbelievers must be able to see the love of Christ in our actions, our words, and our attitudes. As I am fond of saying, we should ever strive to share the Gospel in everything we say and do. And when necessary, use words. Let the love of Christ compel you to good works and let it convict them of sin.
Next, Christ followers should stand firm in the truth of God’s Word, never faltering. In the coming months, we will be tempted to compromise God’s truth. We will hear cries from political conservatives and liberals alike to compromise the Christian values of life, morality, and prudence for the sake of political expediency, financial benefit, and political power. Refuse to compromise and stand firm on His Word at any cost.
Lastly, we should prepare ourselves to speak the truth in love and with divine boldness. The time for timidity in preaching God’s truth is over. Now is the time for boldly proclaiming what Christ has done for man. We must learn to skillfully brandish the Sword of the Spirit with accuracy and with confidence. Believers must always be ready to tell the hopeless and the lost why we hope in God and exactly where our faith lies. Be ready with straight answers from God’s Word and never hesitate to share Christ in all circumstances. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;” (1 Peter 3:15)
President Obama promised his followers they had chosen a man who would fundamentally change America when he was elected in 2008. No one could argue that he has failed to do so. It is certain the American king has bigger, more sinister changes to make in the next four years.
However, nothing could more fundamentally change this nation than true, Bible-believing Christians who take God at His word. Now is the time to faithfully read God’s Word, to learn God’s Word, and put it in our hearts. Now is the time for the hearing and obeying of God’s Word. Nothing could have a more powerful influence on a dying nation than an obedient servant of the Most High God who is wholly sold out to Him. That, my friend, is real change we can believe in.
Mr. Duane Carley