In tumultuous times it is very easy to become distracted and get swept away by the tides of society.
By simple observation I believe tumultuous times are coming to the U.S. We can easily see diametrically opposed powers lining up against each other that are utterly incapable of reconciling themselves to one another. Even more than that, we cab see dramatic shifts in the bedrock of American culture and values; such shifts are fracturing families, friendships, and churches in ways that no one had previously imagined. No country can sustain this kind of divisiveness for long before the sheer weight exerted on it by such contentions brings the whole thing crumbling down. Unfortunately there is a spirit of divisiveness in the land and it is wrecking havoc!
It is easy in light of these events to speculate about the coming end times, and while we are assured of both the signs of the end times and the certainty of their coming, Christians must not become unstable or lose the soberness of our mind during these times. It is imperative that we look to God for counsel in these days so that we may live blameless and holy in His sight in this generation.
So what is the Church to do as we look upon our nation that has long been the epicenter of lust, covetousness, pride, and violence; what are we do to as we see that same lust, covetousness, pride, and violence consuming the nation from the inside out?
STRENGTHEN THE HANDS WHICH HANG DOWN
Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears. ~Hebrews 12:12-17
The things we are observing in our time should only emphasize our need to “strengthen that which remains”; we need to look to those in our brotherhood that are weak, discouraged, weighed down but not cut off, and we need to strengthen them while there is time to straighten out our paths.
I believe it is a mistake to assume that we will get our houses in order when the pressure comes, when those things that will make up our trial arrive.
WATCH AND PRAY
Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation ~Matthew 26:41
Repeatedly Jesus exhorted the disciples to “watch and pray”. The days ahead will be difficult for the Church, especially those who have not exercised themselves to godliness, and those who are disconnected from the body, but how much more perilous will those days be for those who did not “watch and pray”?
Do you know the signs of our dear Lord’s return? Are you “keeping watch”? Have you sought the Lord’s counsel lately, and besought His mercy?
PREACH THIS GOSPEL AND MAKE DISCIPLE UNTO THE END
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. ~Mt. 24:14
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. ~Mt. 28:19-20
Many in the Church today have laid down their swords in cowardice before a seemingly overwhelming enemy and refused to fight the good fight; their condemnation is just (Revelation 21:8).
But we are not without might in this generation; the power of God for salvation is sharp and sure, it has not been blunted, nor has it been compromised.
I believe that it is the duty of the Church in the face of all that we face to take up the fight with greater boldness and preach “repentance in the name of Jesus Christ in light of the Kingdom of God”; for the righteous to do any less is an egregious sin.
LET THE CHURCH BE THE CHURCH
I believe the day warrants the elders and pastors of the Church meeting together to seek counsel from God on how they ought to walk in these difficult times.
So what is the answer for the Church in light of these troubled times, and even more so as we approach the end? I believe the answer is to let the Church be the Church!