In part one of this expose on America’s fall from grace, we looked at America’s founding on Judeo-Christians morals. Now we will identify the problems Christians must contend with when living in an increasingly hostile world, and I’ll provide some vital strategies for survival.
Exiles And Strangers in A Strange Land
Peter referred to followers of Jesus Christ as living stones that are rejected by men (1 Peter 2:4). Although we are joined to the Choice Stone — our precious Cornerstone, in this world we live as “aliens and strangers” (2:11).
This language was all too familiar to Peter’s Jewish listeners and readers. Jews identify with Abraham’s wandering as a sojourner in Canaan because as a people they awaited rescue from bondage in Egypt. They lived as exiles in Babylon, longing for their deliverance from captivity. American Christians presume that we are entitled to live in a society that honors God and respects our faith — quite oblivious to the fact that this has seldom been the experience of the saints of God.
On a deeply introspective level, it is time to realize that, like generations of the elect who have gone before us, in this world we also have a problem. Jesus told us as much. He said, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). More often than not, we will be persecuted, prosecuted, and put upon. This present darkness will give way to an even more horrific future; during the Tribulation, the Antichrist will seek to destroy all who worship the Lamb. Revelation 6:9-11 describes the outcry of all those martyred for maintaining their testimony of faith.
So, brothers and sisters, let us understand that we are not immune from the hostility of the world. That hostility will grow and metastasize as the end draws near, leading to greater ostracization for us as followers of Christ. That is not only our looming and growing problem, it is our great privilege and opportunity.
Be Careful How You Walk
“For this reason the Bible says, ‘Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:14-16).
Seizing this realization is not a defeatist attitude. It is the necessary first step in steeling ourselves for our upward call in Christ in such a time as this. Instead of clinging to a Pollyanna vision of ascendency in the world’s eyes, we can focus on honoring and serving our heavenly Father — even as we advocate for godliness and Christ-honoring policies and laws and institutions. We are called to be a restraining force on evil and beacons of hope until we are collectively Raptured out of the world.
We need to regain the bold confidence of the Apostles and early Christians who saw themselves as privileged to suffer on behalf of Christ. Paul encouraged the Philippian church to “conduct [themselves] in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” in the face of great opposition (Philippians 1:27-28). He said, “for to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake (1:29). Likewise, Peter and the other Apostles, after being flogged for teaching in Jesus’ name, went on their way “rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:41).
Consider Your Ways
Speaking of considering, in this twilight hour it is critical that we apply the admonition given to the Jewish people through the prophet Haggai. Twice, the LORD told His people to, “Consider your ways!” The NASB notes that in both instances, the original text emphasizes that people should “set their heart upon” considering their ways. Other translations render this as, “Think carefully about your ways” (i.e., the CSB). The Lord is clearly stressing the importance of His people stepping back from their routine to consider how they should proceed.
In that spirit, we need only weigh Jesus’ words regarding faith and love. He rhetorically asked, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). He also warned that as apostasy and persecution increase, “many will fall away,” and “because lawlessness is increased, the love of most people will grow cold” (Matthew 24:9-12).
I used to think those verses applied to the unbelieving world, but I now consider them warnings to Christians. Christ’s concern was for His sheep. The danger of our love growing cold in the face of rising anarchy touches on the criticism He leveled at Ephesus — the first church in Revelation 2-3. The key to avoiding those pitfalls is to cling to the third leg of Paul’s three-legged stool: faith, hope, and love.
Peter tells us that the result of active faith is love (2 Peter 1:5-7), while Hebrews 11:1 characterizes faith as “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” We do not yet see Christ face-to-face; do you hope for Him with such assurance that your heart resonates with anticipation of His coming?
An Admonition to Individuals
It is not enough to just reclaim our society. If you do not know Jesus as Savior and Lord your own eternal destiny is horrific beyond words. Like our society itself, you need to:
- Realize you have a spiritual problem
- Come to the end of yourself and confess your great need (in the spirit of Revelation 3:17)
- Turn to God, and embrace Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord
Time is of the essence. Jesus is at the gates of Heaven, ready for His Father to send Him forth to collect His Bride, the Church. It can happen any day!
However, you are not guaranteed another day — or even another hour. Call upon the Name of the Lord right now and you will be saved. Join all of us who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and love Him with all our hearts, souls, and minds. Then, together we can proclaim the Good News that He has come, He has paid the penalty for sin, and He is coming again soon!
Return To Your First Love
So, we end up where we began — with Jesus’ admonition to the church at Ephesus. He lauded their toil and perseverance. He praised the church’s unwillingness to succumb to toleration in order to please the hell-bound world. He commended their discernment and perseverance. But His rebuke poses a challenge to each of us as the days grow longer and darker: will we stay true to our first Love — to Christ our Savior and Lord?
America is manifesting all the heartbreaking Signs of Society that prophetically mark the approaching Day of the Lord. Like Judah of old, our wound appears to be incurable as our nation shuns the God Who blessed us.
The signs of our own society offer a cautionary note to those of us who aspire to follow Christ. Day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute — choose whether to stay true and follow Him.
The Glory of the Lord is indeed coming, following an unleashing of His terrible swift sword of judgment and wrath. Are you ready?