It has become increasingly popular in recent years to accuse Bible-believing Christians of being on the wrong side of history, especially when it comes to issues of cultural morality. Modern-day would-be prophets eagerly anticipate the demise of biblical Christianity in Western civilization. They believe their ungodly views on the big questions of life will triumph and, once and for all, make the church irrelevant.
You see, they have rewritten origin, identity, meaning to life, purpose, and destiny without God and His Word in their attempt to chart their own course and follow their own desires. They would heartily agree with William Ernest Henley in his poem, “Invictus,” “It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”
But what makes them so confident that they will be on the right side of history? What in their self-centered worldview allows such a prediction to come true? Is it more wishful thinking than it is accurate predicting?
Let’s look back at history and see who came out on the right side in the end. There was a man who stood alone in his generation. While everyone else pursued anything and anyone they wanted, he faithfully followed God. He must have stood out like a sore thumb. For years he hammered and sawed away on a massive building project no one could figure out. As he worked, he warned his generation that judgment was coming from God.
But in their self-centeredness, they ignored his message and went about living their lives however they desired. They must have thought he was on the wrong side of history. But one day, the divine judgment he predicted started to happen. It started to rain for the very first time. As the water level began to rise on Planet Earth, people began to realize he was right all along. They were wrong. And it was too late for them to escape judgment. His name was Noah. He was on the right side of history. God carried him and his family safely through the judgment and used them to rebuild earth after the flood.
Fast-forward about 1,500 years to another man who seemed to be on the wrong side of history. He felt like he was all alone in his stand against the blatant immorality and political corruption of his day. While everyone else turned worship into a self-serving buffet of pleasure, He faithfully followed God’s truth. He looked so out of place. He confronted the godless politicians with God’s truth and received death threats for his words. They hunted him like an animal, trying to shut up this man of God.
These wicked leaders made all kinds of shady deals, thinking they could manipulate the system to protect their power and provide whatever their greedy hearts desired. Yes, they were wicked. But they were not irreligious. They conformed religion to fit their lifestyle. You could say they created a god in their image. They thought they were the captains of their fate. But their day of reckoning came. Their god couldn’t deliver them.
The God of the faithful prophet proved in no uncertain terms that He was the one true God of all heaven and earth. The wicked rulers eventually lost their lives and their legacy, while the prophet of God flourished more and more. God cut off their descendants from the throne, but simultaneously raised up a new generation of prophets with the same convictions as this faithful man.
The wicked rulers were Ahab and Jezebel. They were on the wrong side of history. The godly prophet was Elijah. He was on the right side of history.
A thousand years or so later, there was a man who thought he was on the right side of history. He excelled in his education. His dedication was unmatched. His zeal was unrivaled. His tenacity for truth knew no bounds. His moral lifestyle was spotless. He heard about a growing sect that claimed Jesus was the Messiah.
He considered this to be blasphemy of the highest order and assembled a team to arrest the ones who were perverting his religion. He chased them out of Jerusalem then chased after them village by village. In his religious rage, he presided over the killing of one of their leaders. As this Jesus-follower breathed his last, he cried out to God in prayer, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge” (Acts 7:60). Suddenly the man who was observing this death began to question, “Am I really on the right side of history? How could anyone offer such forgiveness while dying this kind of death?” He tried to push those thoughts to the back of his mind.
He doubled down on his pursuit of these Jesus-followers, but putting a stop to them was like trying to stomp out a wildfire with your feet. Impossible. While he was chasing after more Jesus-followers, he had the encounter of a lifetime. He was transformed by a face-to-face encounter with the resurrected Jesus Christ who made it clear to him that he was really on the wrong side of truth. Jesus delivered him from his self-destruction and set him on a glorious new path, turning his dedication to sharing the good news of Jesus with the world. Even his name was changed from Saul to Paul. He was now on the right side of history.
You see, the right side of history is always on God’s side. The majority opinion may be against you, as it was for each of these three men. But the majority is not always on the right side of history. Standing faithfully and firmly upon God’s truth will always place you on the right side of history, because, ultimately, history is really His story. He is writing this story through His providence.
Which side are you on? If you’re not on Jesus’ side, you can be today by humbling yourself, repenting of your sins, and placing your faith in Him. He will transform your life just as He did Noah’s, Elijah’s and Paul’s. One day, Jesus will make it clear that His side is the right side of history. He invites you to stand with Him in victory. Don’t put it off another minute. Your history is being written as each second ticks by.