History has been one of my great passions. Early in my ministry I did post graduate studies in Church History, imagining that I would one day teach that subject in an academic setting. That was never to be my principle vocation as God unfolded my life, but it has remained an interest to this day. Because of my general love of the subject I have always known how rapidly a culture or civilization could fall. I just never imagined I would live through such a cataclysm. In the year AD 2020 I now know that I am alive to see just such an event.
With ever increasing regularity the events of our day are showing that the historic American Culture, which was built upon Christian presuppositions, is unraveling. This decline is following the same trajectory already seen in Europe, but with a pace that is breathtaking. Things morally unimaginable just a few decades ago are now becoming not only normal but are increasingly demanded to be believed if one is to be included in the dominant society. The changes that are occurring in politics, law, education, economics, the military, and in the religious life of our country are sweeping away centuries of consensus. It seems that “the foundations are being destroyed.” Yet as distressing as those changes are to a traditional believing Christian, the even more pressing concern must now be, “what can the righteous do?” This question must be answered.
When King David penned Psalm 11, what was he facing? What led him to think that the very foundations were being destroyed? We do not know with any certainty, but we do know what the Spirit of God spoke into his heart. There was not a crisis from God’s point of view! He was still reigning! His righteousness and truth were not effected by the turmoil among his people. He remained their only refuge. This is still so today, and it must be the very first truth we speak to our souls. God is in charge, and he will never forsake those who are truly his.
That same truth must be embraced by the faithful church as well. It is not just an individual truth, it is also a corporate reality. We trust in the living God alone. And because the faithful people of God are submitted to God’s Word, we must turn to that source to find guidance for our own day. And when we do we are soon face to face with this truth: “It is time for judgment to begin at the household of God.”
When judgment falls on God’s people it is always because they have decided that they do not want what he has revealed. They have determined to go their own way. Biblical judgment can truly be described as God giving people what they want. And what they want, apart from his revealed truth, will lead to chaos, destruction, and death. It is only a matter of time. When a blessed nation honors and worships the one true and living God, his grace upholds and sustains them. When the majority of its leaders and people do not do so, judgment falls. The terrible truth is that it is the believers of this nation who must first repent. We have not lived nor shared the gospel faithfully with our nation.
Next Week: How Have We Sinned?