Do you feel the darkness, the oppression, that I do as I live day by day? I don’t mean by that that I am depressed. I am talking of an objective reality. If you are a Christian, (especially an American Christian) you probably do. That is what I want to discuss.

What is this darkness, this almost tangible pall of something threatening hanging over us? Of course, on one level it is evil – the reality and outworking of evil. On the most basic level of all, I think it is the impending threat of God’s judgment on that evil.

Francis Schaeffer used to say that our free and comfortable western way of life is an historical anomaly. Then what is it based on? God’s blessing of a substantial degree of post-Reformation biblical faithfulness. He also said that as the foundation of that biblical truth was eroded, the inevitable collapse of society would be swift.

Have the biblical foundations of our culture been largely destroyed? I don’t think many of us would question that. Our society is saturated with the blood of unborn children. Fouled by sexual decadence of every description. Determined to reward ‘elite’ theft and corruption. Violent. It glorifies and celebrates evil.

But that is not really what I want to write about. We all know that. We have seen these horrors lining up for many years now. What I want to consider is the only possible response God can have to such mass behavior – judgment.

As a biblical Christian – like you – I have lived in expectation of God’s judgment. I feel strongly that it has begun. And I am astounded at it. I love history and have read of the rise and fall of different nations. But I thought God’s judgment was simple. Crops might fail for several years….or…. Plagues might devastate entire peoples…..or…. Foreign nations might invade.

I did not expect everything could fail, or threaten to fail, at once. Think of it. What aspect of national life is secure in the US at this time? The political system? The economy? Domestic prosperity? Personal freedoms? The church? Physical safety from within or from abroad? Health and medical care? Even weather patterns?

See what I mean?

And you know where this leaves me? Understanding that the time might be coming when we will be called to believe in a God of goodness, mercy and compassion when nothing in our environment, our daily life, suggests that He is so. When our faith will have to rest one hundred percent on our objective knowledge of who He is, and the Holy Spirit’s faithfulness in applying that to our hearts.

So where do we go with this? How can we prepare for such a possibility?

I don’t think there is any answer except day-by-day faithfulness. Getting up each day and determining to put on the mind of Christ so that we see as he sees, hear as he hears, and understand as he understands. In other words, to be truly and deeply Christian-minded. To let him turn our thinking about life inside-out and upside-down…

Before I end let me tell you one more little story about that that incredible man, Richard Wurmbrand. In prison, he and a few other believers began to pray that God would decrease their sufferings. This did not happen. God did not answer this prayer. But they never doubted his goodness. They rejoiced in it daily. And you know what else caused them to rejoice? That somewhere in the world there were Christians who did have the visible signs of God’s blessing with them! Isn’t that amazing?

May we all bow to his sovereignty daily. May we look forward to our unalterable hope of the New Heavens and the New Earth.

And:

   Though the fig tree should not blossom

    Nor fruit be on the vines,

   The produce of the olive fail

    And the fields yield no food,

    The flock be cut off from the fold

    And there be no herd in the stalls

    Yet I will rejoice in the Lord….

    (Habakkuk 3:17-18A)

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