“Many will be purified, cleansed and refined by these trials. But the wicked will continue in their wickedness, and none will understand. Only those who are wise will know what it means.” (Daniel 12:10)
In my lifetime I have never seen such darkness descend upon my country and the world. The evil that is being revealed now is unprecedented and it is very likely to get worse. We feel it in our families and friends as we are being divided as never before over issue upon issue that pits us against each other.
The Scripture above is a very hopeful way of viewing our present situation. The verse in Daniel which seems to speak of the Great Tribulation (I don’t think we are quite there just yet) says that “many will be purified, cleansed and refined by these trials.” That is a very “good” thing for us. It’s a “severe mercy.” I want to be “purified, cleansed and refined” as I draw closer to the end of my race. It just may not be that fun going through it but the rough ride isn’t worthy compared to the joy and glory awaiting us at our final destination! (Romans 8:18)
If we are silent about the evil that is now being foisted upon our children and grandchildren, not calling evil, evil or sin, sin then haven’t we undercut the message of the “good news” of Jesus Christ? If sin isn’t seen for what it is (really “bad news” of our justly deserved wrath from a holy God) and is accepted as normal and even “healthy” then why did Jesus need to die on the cross for us? The good news isn’t really good news to our audience if the bad news isn’t boldly expressed to them.
If you’re a baby boomer, as I am, you likely remember the line from Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” song of the early 70’s during the Jesus movement, “Jesus freaks in the streets handing tickets out to God. Looking back she just laughs, the boulevard’s not that bad.” This fictional character minimized her need for the good news because she was comfortable in whatever sinful lifestyle she was presently living. To her the bad news of her lifestyle wasn’t all that bad. And now 50 years later, how that proverbial frog has been slowly boiled in the kettle to tolerate and even celebrate what now is considered “not that bad!’
I really don’t think silence is an option for us as Christians. We each need ask the Lord on this in why, what, when and how we are to speak. We will each one day give an account how we faced this growing oppression descending upon America and the world in 2021. The Germans faced a similar challenge in the 1930s. “Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor anti-Nazi dissident and author of The Cost of Discipleship, poignantly stated ‘silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” (From Dutch Sheets’ Give Him 15 online devotional)
I am seeing fear within the Body of Christ to speak out. I confess that I have been one of them. Who wants to be attacked and slandered? Who wants to stick his head above the crowd and get a rock thrown at him? Who wants to exacerbate division between family and friends when relations are shaky enough? Who wants to be exposed to whatever consequences that speaking out could cause. Our government, with the help of Big Tech, is now censoring and punishing voices that don’t fit “The Narrative.” Who wants to be labeled as a (fill in the blank)?
But our silence is deafening…deafening to those who need to truly hear first the bad news of our hopeless sinful state before God. Without clearly hearing that, they will not be able to understand the good news provided for all of who repent and put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Dear Lord, open our mouths to be bold and unafraid to speak your truth of what is happening today in our nation and world. Give us the strength and courage to speak when we need to speak. We pray against fear and intimidation from the “world” that you said would hate us as it did you. Let us not fear people but reverently fear the One to whom we must all one day stand before and give an account. In Your Name, Amen
Written by Jamie Bohnett. Contact the Author: firstname.lastname@example.org