Last month I wrote a pastor’s page about how Christians should focus their minds in the age that we live. What I explained is that the Bible tells us how the world is going to end. Things will get dark, but that does not mean that every place in the world will get dark. During the final seven-year Tribulation when the Anti-Christ reigns there will be places that people flock to. What we see right now is the world is already getting darker. We do not know when the end will come. It may be that the light will still shine through in many places, preventing the end from coming very soon, but the end will come, and generally speaking, things will get darker as time goes on. It is not as if mainstream America is going to once again be a place where the government is small, where it is financially responsible, where Marxist ideas are seen as a threat, where the belief that life beginning at conception is the norm, where same sex marriage is considered unacceptable, where the thought of a child becoming the opposite sex is considered absurd, and most importantly, the Bible and the Bible alone is seen as the Word of God. What I just described is the old America that was greatly influenced by Christianity. But those days are gone never to return in the mainstream.
But what I described above can be the norm in communities that are not yet lost. New York City and Washington DC (and all major cities) are lost but Polk County, WI is not, since Christian morality still has a strong presence here. It may be God’s calling for some of his people to remain in the city, but for most Christians they should find places where there is still opportunity for righteousness to move forward. As I explained last month, major cities are centers for debauchery. This is why Jesus pronounced judgment upon them during his ministry (Matthew 11:20-22). There might be some there whose hearts are not completely hardened, but that number is few. What Jesus says is that when the gospel has been preached to a place for years and years, and the place turns darker and darker, it is time to move on. As Jesus said, “If anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town” (Matthew 10:14). Jesus does not tell us to change our strategy because the old strategy did not work; he says to move on to places that will receive the message of the gospel.
But thankfully in our world there are places where righteousness can be promoted and where the gospel can still go forth with power, breaking through the hearts of men, bringing them to faith in Christ. For this to happen communities need strong churches. One problem I have seen with city churches is that instead of being counter-cultural to the evil happening around them they go with the flow of society. For example, in the summer of 2020 when Black Lives Matter marched in major cities do you think city churches stood up to this godless movement? If there is one, I do not know about it. What I read and heard is that pastors and church members marched with this movement that is Marxist, pro-abortion, against the nuclear family, and so on. What fellowship does light have with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14)? Churches across the board should have been against this movement but they were not. If a church goes along with the world then darkness has no problem completely taking over. The only way that darkness does not advance is when churches stand against the darkness. In a place like Polk County, where there is still light, that is what we are to do. The debauchery of the city is not too far from us. We are sixty miles from a major American metropolitan area. In order for our area to keep the darkness away churches need to stand against the dark spirit of the age. In an age where there are efforts to confuse what is truly right and wrong (Isaiah 5:10) we need to be clear on the evil that is out there.
Every church needs to be clear that government has no role in telling churches what they can and cannot do. Every church needs to say that this woke movement is actually pushing racism not condemning it. Every church needs to unashamedly say that all abortion is evil. Every church needs to say that marriage is between one man and one woman and not apologize for it. Every church needs to be clear that it is egregious to let a child become the opposite sex, and most importantly churches need to stand fully on the Word of God. Churches need to say not only that the Bible is the Word of God, but also that it is fully sufficient to address the problems in the world and in each person. When people say we need other tools to help us we know they are out of step with Scripture (2 Peter 1:3).
The decline of society in America I largely put at the foot of the church. For decades pastors have not wanted to offend the world. To say, “Don’t get involved in politics” is really to say, “Don’t say anything controversial.” It is to say, “Let’s not bring the Bible to bear in the public square.” But if we are to love our neighbor (Matthew 22:39) we must bring the Bible to bear on the public square. It is every churches responsibility to tell Christians how to live in the home and how to live in the church, but they also need to be instructed how to live and how to have a voice in the public square. It is the responsibility of pastors to be clear on these issues so that their people will be clear on these issues to their neighbors and in their own town. The only way for darkness not to overtake a location is for churches to be biblical. It is because churches have been silent, or worse become like the world, that evil overtakes communities. May our church stand for what is good and stand strong against evil and I pray that other churches in our area do this as well. For Polk County to be bastion of light for God’s glory, the church needs to be the church.
Grace and Peace,
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