These days, it seems to be coming like a freight train. Changes are coming at us from the left and the right, whether they are technological, political, or societal. Right now, for those who follow Jesus Christ and hold fast to the truth of God’s Word, the societal changes and realities seem to be smacking us in the face on a daily basis. The problem is this. Why are we surprised?
Jesus told us exactly what to expect in this world. He told us that we would face tribulation (John 16:33). He told us that we would be out of place and the world would hate us because of our association with Jesus and the truth to which hold (John 15:18-25). The apostle Peter said that we were exiles and aliens in a foreign land (1 Peter 1:1; 1 Peter 2:11). We are not in our homeland.
The problem for much of “Christian” America is that we became way too comfortable. For decades and centuries, the American society has been willing to go along with a “Christian” culture because it did not unduly inconvenience them. In fact, they received benefits and comforts from the generosity and good will of a “Christian” America. However, it no longer serves them much purpose, as far as they can tell. It provides them with no obvious benefit. In fact, in their eyes, all that Christianity seems to do is point a finger and try to restrain them from pursuing their desires. So, why hold onto the façade any longer?
The “church,” and those who still fill many of the pews or chairs on Sunday, doesn’t look any different from those outside the church. So, why should they bother? God and church don’t seem to have anything compelling to offer. Instead of the church of Jesus Christ impacting the nation, we have just kind of blended in. We don’t really live much differently than the “pagans” in our neighborhoods and cities.
Yet, there is hope. And it is not in political change. It is not in social change. It is not in economic change. It is the same hope that has been there from the start. It is the hope of Jesus Christ.
“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” 1 Peter 1:13-16
To be clear, I am not saying that we should sit back and let society just go its own way. This is our country too. But it is not our home or final destination. Changing society is not our major calling. Our primary calling is to follow Jesus. Our calling is to be prepared for action with our hope placed solely in Jesus Christ. We are called to be obedient children, not being conformed to the society around us, but living holy lives before God and those around us. We are called to shine the light of Jesus, to love each other, and to proclaim the Gospel with our lives and, if necessary, with our words. Because if our actions don’t set us apart as belonging to Jesus, nothing we say will either.
But if we seek God, pursuing Christ with passion, seeking to be filled with the fullness of God, He will demonstrate His power and ability to transform through us. He has said so in His Word. Many of us never expected to live in a time like this. We should have though. And we should expect nothing less until the day Jesus returns. Until that day, let us awake with a love and passion for our Savior and each other and see what God can do through us.
Together for His glory…