Fear, doubt, anger, rage – America is in serious trouble. If Americans, American Christians in particular, do not enable and create change, one of our best chances to put America and the Church in America in order will be lost. The extreme division(s) in our nation and the Church are making it extremely and increasingly incapable of resolving problems.
Ultimately, souls hang in the balance.
In America and in a world that remains starved for heroes and leaders, in a world that remains saturated by debates and opinion polls, I remain comforted in knowing the Bible continues to point beyond “us” to the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Today, the ultimate and obvious question remains not “What is the answer?” It is “Who is the answer?”
How is it that many American Christians consider sharing the Gospel as an optional extra? For the sake of clarity, by sharing the Gospel I am referring to something much more than a post on Facebook. And, for further clarification, sharing the Gospel is not to proclaim or advance the claims of a church, of a nation, of an ideology, but of Jesus Himself.
How is it possible to acknowledge Jesus as Lord if we take no notice of what He has told us to do? Christians, all Christians, are to…”declare the wonderful deeds of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were no people but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)
America and the Church is now facing a challenge, if not a test, which questions our ability and resilience to stand against internal and external forces which threaten to further divide and pull apart. On a much, much deeper level, it comes down to every Christian (a faithful follower of all the teachings of Christ Jesus) willing to make hard choices?
A word to the wise, do not ever make this statement to this pastor: “But I don’t have time.” Christian, when something, or more specifically, someone, is truly important to us, we find a way. In today’s world, we cannot afford to sit back and hope that the relatively few full-time ministers of the Word accomplish the task alone. The fulfillment of Christ’s great command to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15) is the shared responsibility of every individual who calls Christ Savior and Lord.
As a history student, I am recalling that during the Depression people clearly understood the serious choices before them: pull your hair out and jump out of a window, as some stockbrokers did after the crash in 1929, or unite and work together to see things changed, restored, and improved.
Change, true change in America and the Church will take place when we surrender to a unifying sense of a clear enemy. To neglect or dismiss the existence of the anti-God force the Bible calls Satan, the devil, Beelzebub, and the prince of this world, is to make allowance for evil to advance and thrive. There is a devil and he is out to spoil and mar God’s world in every way he can.
Call me a dreamer but I continue to believe in the greatness of America and the power and influence of God’s vehicle to reach wounded, broken, hurting humanity – the Church. That said, I remain a realist knowing if people remain unwilling to break with the habits of the past, rethink the future, and act anew, we will no doubt witness further divide and fall.
A mission, any mission for Christ Jesus involves unity. It would be a very, very wonderful thing for the world to see that what unites the Christian community is so much greater that what divides us.
The question I pose is not meant to be blunt or insensitive.
Are you a Christian?
If your answer is “Yes!” please do not be selfish with the Gospel.
The Apostle Paul said to the Corinthians, “If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
Clearly, those who do not know Christ are perishing. They have not perished yet, but they are on their way. Men, women and children are perishing, captive, and blind to both their predicament and to the Good News of Jesus Christ. Ultimately, this is all about people. Men and women are lost without Jesus Christ.
Psalm 16:11 says, “In thy presence there is fullness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.” Indeed, these are difficult and challenging times. However, there is no joy on earth to compare with that of leading an individual to Christ.
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me.” (John 14:6)
Today, the change many hope and pray for in our world today will only come about through our willingness to pay the price for it. It will require each and every one of us leaving the safety and comfort of church. Yes, our obedience to and for the Gospel will bring us into conflict with the principalities and powers of this world. However, if we are truly going to be bearers of the Good News, we must always be sensitive and kind to others, even though we might disagree with them.
Conflicts are absolutely an inevitable part of life. How we handle and resolve them will demonstrate the extent to which we understand the richness of the Gospel and God’s reconciling love.
You and I are not here at this time by chance. God has brought each of us here for a purpose. I hope and I pray God the Father will challenge and inspire each of us to be a more faithful and effective witness to Jesus Christ in the midst of a world that does not know Him.
“Not by might nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord Almighty.” (Zechariah 4:6)
Pastor Phillip Lee
His Way Out Ministries
Member of Restored Hope Network
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, the I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is tested.” Martin Luther