Today’s blog post on Cripplegate, Christians and Gun Control, jump-started my brain and convicted me to postpone my next installment of Autobiography With Purpose. Please, before you read any further in my post, read that one; what I plan to write this afternoon piggy-backs off of their main point.
According to the New York Times (a publication generally sympathetic with liberal views), Tashfeen Malik used her Facebook feed to proclaim her allegiance to ISIS just before she and her husband went on their shooting rampage in San Bernadino, CA earlier this week. Does that fact necessarily mean that ISIS officials ordered the attack? That remains to be seen. But it certainly leads me to believe that radical Islam has declared war on the rest of humanity.
I have fairly strong political opinions, as you might guess. I pretty much believe that Obama’s weak policies have made it easier for Islamic terrorists to carry out their agenda. But rather than engage in partisan finger-pointing, I believe I would best serve the conversation by taking a more Biblical posture.
The mayhem in Western culture doesn’t have a political solution. No matter who wins the White House in 2016, Pandora’s box of evil has been opened, and the Holy Spirit has lifted His restraining hand.
6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. ~~2 Thessalonians 2:6-12 (ESV)
Although it doesn’t feel like it, the Lord still has complete control over everything. Including ISIS. As He used the Assyrian and Babylonian Captivities to judge and purify Israel and Judah, so I believe He’s using ISIS to judge a culture that once claimed to be Christian.
We can’t stop this judgment, nor should we try to do so. But we must respond to it with repentance and faithfulness. Consider my following suggestions:
Stop foolishly dating Jesus, expecting Him to meet your romantic (or sexual) desires. His Bride is the Church, and even that image should be taken figuratively, Jesus is your Savior and Lord, not your Husband. Instead of having dinners with Him or inviting Him into your bed, try witnessing to co-workers.
Quit expecting church to entertain you. If it’s long on praise music that emphasizes emotions while being short on expositional preaching that confronts sin and encourages personal holiness, it’s just wasting your time. Plug into a church that exalts Christ and has a high view of Scripture.
Give up the notion that outreach activities like Trunk Or Treat, Living Nativities or Good Friday marches constitute evangelism. In all my years in drama ministry (which I enjoyed so much), I can’t recall those plays resulting in any genuine conversions. My mom attended every play I wrote–no response. I should have invested those years in telling her the Gospel and living a life that reflected Biblical values.
Proclaiming the Gospel won’t bring the non-elect to Christ, of course. Yet God’s Word commands us to evangelize. Romans 10:14-17 teaches Christians to evangelize by showing people what Scripture says and letting the Word produce saving faith. In these very serious times, evangelicals need to sober up and start declaring the Gospel with both His Word and godly lives.