Okay everyone, take a deep breath and say aloud with me, “My hope IS in the Lord!” We need this reminder, not only as we continue with this article but every moment of every day.
Around the office here we often say, “The war is real and the war is now.” This will be true to our dying day, but in a culture where the moral revolutionaries are now clearly in control, what will happen to the Christian who will not—and CANNOT—bend his/her knee due to their convictions based on the Word of God? What of those, who like Daniel, have “purposed in their heart not to defile themselves” with the ways of the culture they now find themselves in? What can we expect for ourselves and our children/grandchildren?
To give you an idea of where we are heading, look at this recent headline from The Washington Times, “Harvard professor: Start treating Christian conservatives like Nazis.”
NEWSMAX opened their article on this same subject with: “A Harvard law professor has proposed dealing with what he calls conservative ‘losers in the culture wars’ with a hard line similar to what was done to Germany and Japan after World War II.”
This blog which so many are referring to is written by an aggressive, liberal Harvard law professor, Mark Tushnet. It doesn’t take a very discerning eye to see the whirlwind that Christians may soon be reaping if he, and others like him, have their way.
Let’s look at just a couple of his points:
Judicially speaking, Professor Tushnet states, “Liberals should be compiling lists of cases to be overruled at the first opportunity on the ground that they were wrong the day they were decided.” In another point, he encourages liberals to “Aggressively exploit the ambiguities and loopholes in unfavorable precedents that aren’t worth overruling.” With legal swiftness, he would turn the law against conservatives and turn loopholes into nooses.
Socially and culturally speaking, the professor calls for hard and definitive actions against those who have been standing in the gap. Those who have been protecting our nation and its people from unleashed lawlessness and treasonous actions against traditional values and the family building block of society are to be seen as conquered enemies. “For liberals, the question now is how to deal with the losers in the culture wars. That’s mostly a question of tactics. My own judgment is that taking a hard line (“You lost, live with it”) is better than trying to accommodate the losers, who – remember – defended, and are defending, positions that liberals regard as having no normative pull at all. Trying to be nice to the losers didn’t work well after the Civil War, nor after Brown. (And taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.)”
Albert Mohler recently wrote a piece for TableTalk magazine entitled “The Revolution Demands Unconditional Surrender.” He reminds us that these ill winds have been blowing for some time now: “Just ask the florists, photographers, and bakers who have been dragged before tribunals. Ask the former fire chief of Atlanta. Ask a Christian student at your local college or university.” We might add that even judges are not immune from the leftist attacks, as Judge Roy Moore found out.
So this brings us back to our original question, what will happen to the Christian who will not—and CANNOT—bend their knee to the new cultural god, due to their convictions based on the Word of God?
If we are wise, we will once again take a deep breath and say, “My hope is in the Lord.” Yes, I know that sounds trite…but it isn’t. Please hear me out.
1 Peter 4:12 tells us, don’t think it strange when the flames of persecution come our way. We need to remember that even though Christian persecution on American soil has hardly been known, those days are quickly coming to an end—unless God brings a sweeping revival to this land. We must also remember that this world is not our home and our hope IS in the Lord, Jesus Christ. Remember, for Christians it’s really strange NOT to be persecuted. Even a quick perusal of Foxes Book of Martyrs, Martyr’s Mirror, Fair Sunshine, or Singing in the Fire brings the reality of 1 Peter to our mind, in a very real way. More than “heroes of the faith,” these men are examples of living out the fact that “our hope—and home—is in the Lord.”
When you’re afflicted for Christ’s sake, they are afflicting God also. As an earthly father hates to see his children suffer, so our sorrow and afflictions touch our loving heavenly Father. Our troubles don’t take Him by surprise. He ordains them and He’ll use them all to our benefit, our growth, and our sanctifying. Yes, He will ultimately deliver us out of them all.
Affliction is coming and it may take many forms: loss of friendship, rejection of family, imprisonment, loss of job, money, children, health, or even the loss of one’s physical life (think Hebrews 11). BUT, if we will respond correctly to affliction, we will be drawn closer to God, better understand the joys of His Word and of His comfort, and as we press further in to our Savior, we will move further from sin and the world. Yes, we can view affliction as a positive thing because our hope IS in the Lord.
Donald Cargill lived in a time of great affliction, moving from place to place and being hunted by government troops. He had a heart for Christ and for those in his generation who living in such times, stating: “I wish there were more true conversion, and then there would not be so much backsliding, and, for fear of suffering, living at ease, when there are so few to contend for Christ and His cause.” At his execution in 1681, he spoke these final words (in part): “Farewell all relations and friends in Christ; farewell acquaintances and all earthly enjoyments; farewell reading and preaching, praying and believing, wanderings, reproaches, and sufferings. Welcome joy unspeakable and full of glory. Welcome Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Into Thy hands I commend my spirit.” (Click here to read more about Donald Cargill and one of his sermons on affliction.)
We could all hope to speak as resolutely and victoriously as Donald Cargill, but until we are in that situation, we won’t know. Only by the grace of God will we live well and die well.
However, God promises that if we will draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8) and if we will humble ourselves before Him, He will lift us up (James 4:10). A humble and devout devotional life leads to a devoted life. Let us steep ourselves daily in the Word and in fervent prayer. Let us meditate upon that which the Holy Spirit teaches us, applying it to our lives. Through these things let us learn the difference between the sacred and the profane, living in truth and holiness. If we will walk faithfully and humbly in life, we can expect to do so in death as well—for our hope is in the Lord.
Remembering that this world is not our home and that the risen Christ has already won our ultimate victory let us respond to this ever-creasing culture of hostility in love, by living out I Corinthians 15:58. “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
Finally, we are not to sit back and just wait for affliction to come to us or hope to avoid it through apathetic lukewarm living. Raise the banner of Christ high and take to heart Spurgeon’s call to victorious battle in the face of such expected hostility: “Now, by the lilies of Christian purity, and by the roses of the Saviour's atonement… we charge you who are lovers of Jesus, to do valiantly in the Holy War, for truth and righteousness, for the kingdom and crown jewels of your Master. Onward! ‘for the battle is not yours but God's.’”
A WEEKEND CONFERENCE
“Why Do the Nations Rage?”
When: June 2-4 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
Where: The Shack Country Inn 2263 W. 14th Street, White Cloud, MI 49349
ph: 231-924-6683 - http://shackcountryinn.com/
Dave Agema, Former Republican National Committee Member, former state representative from Jenison, MI, former Airforce jet fighter pilot, former pilot for American Airlines.
Bill Johnson, Founder and president of American Decency Association, AFA’s first named state director (1987-1999), Leading ADA for its eighteen years of existence.
Pastor Ron Workman, Long time Bible Church pastor having served in Illinois, Florida and Michigan. Ron is the founder of Interim Ministries Incorporated. He has helped many churches through times of pastoral transition.
Pastor Terry D. Slachter, Is the head of Reaching America Ministries (formerly Project Philip). Terry has pastored in Dearborn, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis and he is currently pastoring in Lamont, MI. Terry encourages and equips churches and individual Christians to sow the seed of the gospel.
Mary Beeke, Author of the book, The Law of Kindness. In it, Mary examines the idea of kindness, and gives helpful advice for putting it into action. She includes specific chapters addressed to wives, husbands, parents, teachers, and children.
Dr. Joel Beeke, International speaker and president of the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, author and pastor.
Further registration information and limitations:
There are 55 lodging rooms available.
Call early to register for either a room or to reserve a place to attend the conference even though you won’t be an overnight paid guest.
$240.00 (for two nights) Back view rooms
$260.00 (for two nights) Lake view rooms
$300.00 (for two nights) Hot tub rooms
These costs include all meals and a banana split served nightly. Meals may also be purchased ala carte for those who attend the conference only, and do not spend the night.
To register for a room call The Shack at 231-924-6683 and ask for the ADA rate.
Also, call us at ADA to register for the conference. Let us know if you will be an overnight guest or coming just for the conference sessions. Call ADA at 231-924-4050.
To support our efforts please click here or mail your gift to American Decency Association (ADA), PO Box 202, Fremont, MI 49412.
American Decency Association is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.