Thursday, July 2, 2015

In the Wake of...

We are seeing the fulfillment of the “perilous times” Paul spoke of in 2 Timothy in a very pronounced way in our day. In fact, we are seeing the other part of his prediction: “while evil people and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived”. Therefore, in one sense, what is happening in our society should not surprise us. While we as Christians are not suffering physical persecution, a hostile and intolerant attitude toward Bible-believing Christians is present in many sectors of our society. The form of persecution that many Christians are experiencing in our society today varies from marginalization in the public square to personal intimidation to just louder shouts from those who oppose us. It is true, whether a good thing or not I don’t know, Christians have had a more positive and respected place in our society in the past; but, those days are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Jesus says to his kingdom citizens in the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Peter writes to his audience, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”

So, what is the Christian response? Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

In all seriousness, I’m not sure recent events change anything for the church and her primary mission.