There's Hope Amidst the Battle!
One of the things we must never forget in a world like this is the marvelous fact that God is still in control. It was Thomas Jefferson who said, There is a just God who presides above the destinies of nations, and we can be utterly confident that this is true.
We need that confidence, especially today, when everything appears to be so out of control! People listen to the news every morning with new fear and trepidation as to what the day will bring forth. The reports that come to us from across the world are filled with accounts of rising terrorism, the collapse of nations, new national insanities, incontinent rulers making pompous pronouncements, the threat of war, assassination, and on and on. We are surely seeing the fulfillment in these days of the precise prediction of Scripture that says, Evil men and seducers shall become worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13).
As far as the rise of evil is concerned, these are turning into some of the most astonishing days in the history of the world. So astonishing, in fact, that people are asking as never before, Why are things like this? How are we to contend in a world where shadowy terrorist figures lurk in the dark corners or who-knows-where, seeking to destroy us?
In order to understand the nature of the situation in our day, we must remember first of all that this is a world in rebellion against God. The revolutionary age in which we are now living is nothing more than the successor to the first revolution of the universe. That happened when Gods most trusted created associate, the prime minister of heaven, his majesty, Lucifer, initiated a rebellion against God. He promised that he would take over the universe and tear God from His throne.
We know, of course, from the clear teaching of Scripture that this revolution did not succeed. Jesus said, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven (Luke 10:18). Lucifer was deposed from his position of authority as the leading angel in heaven and was cast out! He has been allowed to continue temporarily his dreadful revolution against God and turn this earth into a battlefield.
We must understand, therefore, that we are not living in a normal world, but rather a world that is a place of tremendous conflict between good and evil, between Christ and Satan. Whether you like it, or whether you dont, you are involved in that conflict.
While this conflict is essentially spiritual, it also takes the form of some very human and terrible things.
It takes the form of rulers who seem to be possessed by a strange insanity, and who, in response to their own messiah complex, lash out against all the nations of the world. The problem is that, because of their position of influence, their insanities reach out into the lives, many times, of millions of others, leading them into a cauldron of despair and death. Surely, this is the case in Iraq today, as well as in the heinous terrorist organization, al Qaeda.
In recent years, the spiritual rebellion against God has taken physical incarnation in the acts of terrorist suicide bombers. Who can explain the irrational activity that possesses the minds of young men and women as they commit themselves to certain death by hijacking airplanes they fly into buildings, or by strapping bombs to their bodies in order to destroy innocent, peace loving people?
These activities cannot be described as rational. Rather, they are the evidence of a strange demonic influence. Through their strange and terrible sacrifices, Satan himself moves with greater alacrity across our world as we move to the end of the age.
This rebellion against God also takes the form of hopelessness. In contrast to the flagrant, f iery things that are done by many, there are millions who move along in stodgy despair believing that they are the totally impotent victims of forces they cannot control. They look forward to the day when they will be consumed by the fires of revolution sweeping in their direction and yet wring their hands, believing that there is nothing that they can do. Demoralized completely, they move along like lambs to the slaughter. Apart from the grace of Jesus Christ, their hearts grow darker and more given to incipient despair every day!
The evil of our world also takes the form of almost universal corruption. The evidence is that almost everybody is on the take and that no one will ever be the object of true and sincere help apart from a price that is to be paid. Indeed, it can be proved that the real cause of inflation is not the misfiring of clever economics. It is rather human greed that has become endemic in our time. The governments of the world lash their people to be faithful in paying their taxes, but they themselves are again and again legitimately accused of squandering billions of the resources of the people, which the politicians themselves do not own. The tide of evil has overt but also covert forms and the disease of corruption is one of them.
There is no doubt then that we are living in a world that is being convoluted, subverted and torn asunder by new and clever devices pressed upon us by His Infernal Majesty, the Devil. We must not be surprised at these developments, for the Bible very clearly says, This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come (2 Timothy 3:1).
These should be days of great encouragement for Christians. The only answer in any given area to the fearful spiritual defection that we see on every hand is the new pressing issue of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That makes the Christian a very strategic individual in the world today. Within his heart and life, if he knows the Word of God, he has the only answer to these amazing things that are pressing upon us in our time. He is also promised that when he presents that answer, the Word of God moving from his lips will never return void. Each Christian must bear in mind that the Holy Scripture that he possesses is the one solution to the difficulties in the hearts and minds of men today.
The Christian is also strategic in todays world because he is the only repository on Earth of that inevitable and necessary commodity for humanityhope! Only the Christian has read the last chapter of history and realizes that Jesus Christ will ultimately triumph. He knows that evil will one day be put down by the return of the Son of God who will break all human authority before Him. The world will one day become the footstool of Jesus Christ and the Christian will be a part of the presiding power of the universe. Therefore, as he sees the degeneration of our time, he realizes that this is but proof to the world that it has never had a substantial foundation on which to build throughout its entire history. These foundations, now crumbling, must make way for the eternal foundation built in society, namely the rulership of Jesus Christ. The Christian, then, is the repository of faith and hope, and the only confidence that is available in todays world.
So you see, the Christian is a very important contributor to the aspirations and hopes of the world. Oh, the big, pompous presidents, kings, and wheeler-dealers who run nations are saying to themselves, I am very important. I am somebody. But let me tell you something! The only person who is somebody is the believing Christian. Why? Because he is the salt of the earth, he is the light of the world, he is Gods great witness to an unbelieving world.
We must, as Christians, ask ourselves the question, What am I supposed to do in a world like this, to be the salt of the earth, to be the light of the world, to be Gods great witness? We would therefore suggest the following:
Only by so doing will we be effective as the salt that preserves the world, the light that leads it to salvation through faith in Jesus, and the witness of the great hope that is ours as children of the Almighty God.
There is yet another note of hope that we would sound here, and that is to remind ourselves of the marvelous promise of God towards us that, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him. But God has reavealed them to us by His Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).
We are not destined to be confined to this world for all eternity, but we are creatures of bright eternal destiny. We, along with Jesus Christ, will inherit the universe! So we must never look at the problems of life, the evil and the danger that surrounds us, and say, Its all so terrible, theres nothing I can do. Rather, in the midst of all the problems, we can hear the voice of Jesus say, behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it (Revelation 3:8).
Let us, therefore, who believe the Gospel lift up the hands that hang down and strengthen the feeble knees! Let us remember that the coming of the Lord draweth nigh, and let us speak with confidence and assurance to a world that has listened for so long to too many other voices that possess neither. These are days in which, because of human degeneration, the truth and hope in light of the Gospel, will be especially appreciated. We as Christians should see that as never before and give ourselves to the propagation of the Gospel. I pray that we will.
Note from the editor: