One of the worst things that anyone can do is to deny the seriousness of a problem and therefore to miscalculate the way to fix it. Would you think much of a surgeon who wants to take care of a cancerous tumor with a prescription of two aspirins?
There is a cadre of politicians who make it clear that they are in deep disagreement with the Christian faith and with people who embrace the Christian faith. If you want to understand America’s conflicts you have to look behind the headlines and at the deep-state actors who are at war with Christianity, and who want us to believe that faith in Jesus Christ has nothing to do with America’s well-being. Don’t believe it.
Quite predictably those of us who trace America’s problems to dark spiritual forces suffer ridicule and even persecution. Take, for example, Todd Starnes, Fox News host, who was recently fired after insinuating that Democrats may be worshipping the ancient god Moloch, the god who demanded child sacrifices from its followers. While such a comment may seem offensive to many within the pro-choice community, it is still true—or at least should be—that our constitutional right to free speech protects our freedom to make religious correlations between modern political and cultural behaviors. It happens in the Bible all the time.
A modicum of intelligence and a willingness to let the evidence take us where it will, unimpeded by human ignorance, should allow us to look at the real movers and shakers behind the confusion, death, and destruction that is becoming ever more evident in our society.
Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” The particular words used in the original Greek manuscripts—archons, exousia, and kosmokrators—depict malevolent volitional entities that have an unholy hatred of all that is good and wholesome, and have sworn to their master to destroy all that is good and wholesome. They hate humanity and prey upon our weaknesses, and our foolish desires to satisfy that part of our being that rages against everything that is good. They operate by camouflaging their activities and forcing those who are in bondage to darkness to fling about memes such as, “It’s the Russians,” “It’s Trump’s fault,” “It’s capitalism,” and “It’s the rich of the world who want to perpetuate their control over minority people.”
We naturally want something or someone to blame. The truth is that none of these solutions will stop the problem, nor can the situation ultimately be blamed on any one president or policy. The world doesn’t want to admit it, but humanity is fallen—men, women, whites, blacks and every other ethnicity are all rabid sinners by nature and choice. All have sinned, and all have fallen short of God’s perfect standard. Nothing but the blood of Jesus Christ will ever change that.
Yet, what excuses can the church martial in its defense. A perusal of the churches of Revelation 2–3 show the Lord’s displeasure with some of the churches in the first century. To the church at Ephesus, the Lord of the church said: “Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” To the church at Pergamos, Jesus said: “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Ballaam.” To the church at Thyatira, the resurrected Christ spoke and said: “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.” But perhaps worst of all is the seventh church, representing this present and last dispensation: they were lukewarm. Their Christianity was like lukewarm coffee—their zeal was gone; their excitement was but a groan.
It surely makes the Lord unhappy: “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” So, with love in his heart, the Lord Jesus gives that well-known invitation: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
These words are often used in evangelistic messages to the unchurched and the unsaved, but here the Lord of the church treats His church as needing new life. “I will sup with him” means to have fellowship and to enjoy the richness, and the obligations, of the Christian life. We can indict the world for its sin and rebellion, but Jesus Christ also indicts the church for its sin and rebellion.
I think it needs to start with confession of sin and repentance, and I am thinking about the church. Too often we judge others by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions. We need to be careful in our choices, and, as the Apostle says in 2 Corinthians 7:1:—“perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
Perhaps we will all learn something during the crisis caused by the coronavirus. Hopefully, we will be truly thankful for God’s mercy. And we will become discerning. Spurgeon said, “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.”
Second Chronicles 7:14 doesn’t call on the pagans of the world to repent. It says, “If my people, which are called by my name …” and then it goes on and says, “shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn form their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Many people today are very health conscious. They don’t want vegetables that have been sprayed with pesticides. Medical science and health experts are telling us that the traditional way our food is grown, in an attempt to grow it quickly and protect it from insects, is to spray it, resulting in an accumulation of pesticides that harm consumers.
I have heard a commercial about a man who is interested in hiking, outdoor sports, and good health. He says he has eaten a lot of wild berries and other things that grow in the wild, but he has never seen a tree with Twinkies growing on it. Neither have I—and of course the point is this: When we have allowed man to spray the pesticide of this world on our souls, then we wonder why we are cold in our hearts, and we wonder why we don’t enjoy the filling of the Holy Spirit and the power of God. Revival must start with each and every one of us, and I am the first one to admit that fact.