We, as the Lord’s people, are continuing to see our society spiral down into spiritual darkness in many avenues. Over the past generations we have seen our country disregard the Lord’s Word time and time again as the very fabric of our society continues to tear away in regard to common decency, morality, even marriage. We are tempted to wring our hands and cry out “Woe are we!” as we lament these serious issues. Religious people in general are tempted to march in the streets, cry out against wickedness with placards using politics to mend these issues, and even some are drawn to speaking in hatred and anger toward these ills and those that seem to be at the heart of such wickedness. While Christians need to be reminded of many things we can say in this regard, such as the importance of speaking the Lord’s truths in love and letting the light of the Lord shine from our lives in this dark world, there is another point that I think is important that will help us testify to the Lord’s truths in a right and just manner.
There are a number of passages that come to mind as I think on what our response should be to these things. These answers are not “exciting” as many long for as man’s wisdom often is, nor are they appealing to the flesh. However they do appeal to holy spirits and are indeed godly responses to these issues and can and will help us be the “World’s Bible.”
I recall the discussion Jesus had with Peter in John 21:15-22. Jesus had just spoke to Peter of his (Peter’s) death. Rather than meditate on the Lord’s words of admonition and take them to heart, Peter tried to change the subject to John, to which Jesus said, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow me.” That was the Lord’s answer to Peter’s concern: “You follow me.” That admonition will help us as we perceive seemingly troubling times. “You follow me.”
I recall a discussion Jesus had with his disciples in Matthew 20:20-28 when His disciples were arguing with each other in regard to some of their number wanting to be higher placed in the Lord’s kingdom then their brothers. Jesus’ answer to their concern/squabble was in verses 26-28. Rather than being concerned as to who was the greatest in the Kingdom they were told to serve one another! What a great answer! That will help us navigate through these troubling times.
Again, another discussion Jesus had in Luke 13:1-5 gives us a beautiful answer to observing and living in troubling times. Jesus was reminded of some Galileans whom Pilate had killed and of 18 people who were killed when the Tower of Siloam fell. Jesus’ answer to both observations was for people to “repent!” That will also help the Lord’s people in troubling times.
I am also reminded of the Holy Spirit’s observation of the coming parents of John the Immerser, Zacharias and Elizabeth in Luke 1:5-6. At a time when many of the Jewish leaders were corrupted by their own traditions rather than those of the Lord, the High Priesthood had become a political position, and many of the Jewish people had fallen away from the Lord’s will for their lives, Zacharias and Elizabeth had remained faithful to the Lord. The Holy Spirit referred to them as “both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.” They did not let the wickedness of others keep them from following the Lord, nor should we!
What can help us remain faithful in these troubling times? What can give us proper spirits as we observe man’s wickedness? Consider these 4 admonitions and what they call us to do. “You follow me.” “Serve one another.” “Repent.” Be “righteous before God.” What better answers for our lives as we humbly walk in the Lord’s ways. If we heed these admonitions we will be lights in a dark world. We will have a positive effect upon others. If we are busy serving the Lord we will not have as much time to worry and complain about our society’s moral issues. And most importantly, the Lord will be pleased with us! “You follow me!”
~ Jay H. Graham