I’ve seen it on Facebook more than once: “I can’t wait for 2020 to be over.” But there is no magic in the turning of a page on the calendar. Maybe it is time to take stock carefully from a biblical perspective. Maybe the times we face are partially the result of, “Be careful what you pray for because you might get it.”
We look around us and everywhere there is wickedness. When was the last time we voted, whichever party, for a person we believed in rather than the lesser of two evils? And speaking of two, now man has proclaimed there are 5 or 6 or more sexes. Homosexuality is not just accepted but imposed. Murder goes unpunished, victims do not count. Abortion destroys millions of new lives every year. Violence runs riot in the streets. Lies and deception are the currency of both politics and business. Hatred and racism explode. Truly, things have become so bad that no one can conceive of a solution: there is no way back. God is a foolish myth and crutch in the minds of the majority and the Bible is a collection of myths that were only needed by more primitive societies. Religion is mocked, immorality praised, pornography runs rampant and a “relationship” is sex with the same person exclusively for at least a week. When was the last time there was a nuclear family on TV that was not a 50s re-run? How can we repent when we “call evil good and good evil” (Isa 5:20)?
I have prayed about it, as have you. I am not even sure what to say anymore when I pray for our country because everything has become so wicked.
So, now, what if God has heard all our voices and this is the beginning of His reckoning with our nation, the beginning of “the day of the Lord, a day of darkness and not light” (Amos 5:18-20)? If 2020 is the best year of the rest of our lives, how do we as Christians prepare?
Priority has to be to build our faith and that of our families. I have served God fifty years and I am not sure I am ready for days like those of Habakkuk and Jeremiah and Ezekiel and Daniel: days of persecution from “the people,” uprooted and cursed and hated. I like to think I could do it, but I will be upping my level of preparation.
How can one stand such trials when he has never put himself in the trial of opposing abortion openly? Or homosexuality? Or immorality? How can one stand up with a faith prepared to die for the Lord when he rarely opens his Bible between services and never stands up for Jesus by declaring the truth of the gospel to fishing or football buddies?
We want our children to go to heaven in spite of such trials, but we have not helped them with questions about the reliability of the Bible, or the science that supports the Bible, or the history and archaeology that do the same because we have not learned these things ourselves. We have not opposed the arguments against God with sound reasoning for God, so how do we or our children “stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand?” (Eph 6:13).
We want to stand the trials, but have not exercised spiritually to prepare for a hard race. We have not memorized scriptures to call to our minds for strength, we have not studied and meditated to strengthen our confidence in our tie with God, we have not prayed the hours necessary to strengthen our holiness before God.
When we do an honest analysis, many of us in many ways have not done all that well with the moderate trials of 2020. We bicker whether the one wearing a mask or the one not wearing one has the most faith rather than loving brethren more than our opinions. We complain about restrictions. We are not picking up the slack in our ability to assemble by studying more, praying more, growing more. Instead, many have become comfortable with TV church in our pajamas.
2020 may be, in fact, God’s grace, God’s “not willing that any should perish” warning, and time to face the judgment on our nation in our times. If so, have you missed the opportunity?
"And they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. " (Jer 8:11).
"For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt: I mourn; dismay hath taken hold on me. Is there no balm in Gilead? is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered? " (Jer 8:21-22).
"For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful unto the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ…. Wherefore, brethren, give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never stumble: " (2Pet 1:8-10).
"I know thy works, that thou hast a name that you live , and you are dead. You be watchful, and establish the things that remain, which were ready to die: for I have found no works of yours perfected before my God. " (Rev 3:1-2).