My fellow Christians,
This past year has been a whirlwind. COVID-19, social unrest, cries for justice (both right and wrong), and intense political polarization have culminated in a cocktail of anger, confusion, and despair. Watching the President leave office with a bang of pitiful narcissism and delusion which has sparked one of the saddest riots in our nation’s history, set against the backdrop of another soon-to-be President whose platform casts serious doubts about the future of free speech, religious liberty, and the rights of the unborn — it is easy to feel that hope has been lost in all directions.
Like many of you, I have been moved to tears at the state of our nation. Even more than that, the state of Western civilization as a whole is painfully bleak. Secularism has wrought hopelessness and moral bankruptcy to our nations, just as we knew it would. God has been replaced by the State, or perhaps worse, the individual. Sexual “liberation” has led to the breakdown of the family unit, causing the very idea of “family” (as it has been understood throughout human history) to become oppressive.
The threat of the Equality Act — which President-elect Biden has sworn to pass within 100 days of his inauguration — leaves us wondering how Christians will be able to continue operating in the workforce as our convictions essentially become outlawed. Furthermore, increased social media censorship begs the question, How long it will be until we are silenced on all public platforms, or unable to sell our books and resources on sites such as Amazon?
And to make matters even worse, many of us haven’t even been able to consistently meet with our local churches due to COVID restrictions. For too many congregations, certain laws make it impossible to safely gather without fear of fines or jail time (particularly in Europe, the UK, and Canada). Online “gatherings” are tolerable, but they aren’t church.
Churches watched as our governments labeled us as “non-essential” (which is as much of a blasphemy to Christ as anything else). Now we’re left wondering: If they can successfully shut us down for this, what else will they use to shut us down? How long until “homophobia” or “patriarchal views of gender” are labeled “public health crises” and our gatherings are banned until we capitulate to the progressives?
So where does this leave us? The inclination is toward hopelessness and exhaustion.
But now is not the time for fear. Now is the time for confidence. We are not the Church cowering, we are the Church militant. We do not stand behind men and women in Washington who will “protect our freedoms,” nor do we look to Presidents to “save our nation.” We stand behind our great older Brother — the King and Ruler of all governments and civilizations — Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, the Creator of the entire universe (Col. 1:16), the One who sustains all things by the word of His power (Heb. 1:3), the One who does all that He pleases without approval from anyone (Ps. 115:3), the One before whom mountains melt like wax (Micah 1:4).
Jesus Christ is God’s answer to the nations that rage against Him. He is the final word from God to all who would oppress His people and undermine His rule. Allow me to replace a few words in the first few verses of Psalm 2 to illustrate its application today (bold words are mine):
Why do the political mobs rage
and the politicians plot in vain?
The Presidents of the earth set themselves,
and the governments take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”
Do you see those words?
It’s amazing that the first two lines make up a question. It’s as if David is saying, “How foolish are these people that they rage and plot against the Living God?” As the rulers of this world join together against the Lord, His Son, and His people, seeking to break free from His law and design for human flourishing, God responds not with worry. Instead, He is moved to laughter.
The futile efforts of Congress, the EU, the UN, or any other conglomeration of world powers to threaten God’s kingdom is a premise so absurd that even the Almighty cannot hold back laughter.
Christ is not threatened by the legislation of pagans. Was He threatened by Rome? The Saracens? The Communists? The Nazis? Take one look at China right now and discover how futile their strivings to stay the growth of the Church are. Every effort by pagans to defy Christ has led not to the dissolution of the Church, but the expansion of it. Kings who tried to prevent their people from hearing the gospel eventually saw their kingdoms conquered by it. Governments who are the most serious about suppressing Christianity are also the most susceptible to it.
Christ will not be threatened or intimidated by anyone. The harder the nations rage, the harder He laughs. The more they plot, the more He points them back to Himself as the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
There has never been a time when Christ did not have the utmost certainty that His plans would come to fruition. How can He be afraid of men when they are as dust before Him?
So as the people of God, what are we supposed to feel?
Psalm 2 goes on:
I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me,
“You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
God has given all the nations of the earth to Christ. At this very moment, He is in the process of bringing the nations under His sovereign rule. The “rod of iron” He will use to break them doesn’t refer to any violent or military powers, but to His Word. The Word of God is the most powerful force in the universe. And it is with His Word that Jesus will bring the nations under subjugation to Him.
Look at Revelation 19:11–16 (emphasis mine):
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
With such great love does He strike down the nations! How loving it is to dismantle all the wicked plans that are set against Him. The plans of pagan governments lead to suffering for their people — just turn on the news and watch that truth play out in real time. Christ’s plans to conquer the nations leads to flourishing, equity, justice, and joy for all. There was once a time when the civilizations of the West knew this. We have forgotten it, and now we suffer.
But Christ is building His Church nonetheless. The gospel is exploding in Africa and South America. China is trembling at the rate of gospel expansion within its borders. I even have confidence that all the turmoil in the United States right now is priming our people to fall in love with Christ all over again.
Christian, we aren’t on the wrong side of history. How can we be when our Lord is the author of history?
You may feel tempted to give up or give in. “Maybe,” you think, “if we just give up this certain belief or this certain conviction, things will improve for us.” Don’t buy the lie. Don’t ever compromise the Word of God for the sake of appeasing those who hate Him. Stand firm on His Word, for it is with His Word that He brings the nations under His rule! Don’t be afraid to share the gospel, because sharing the gospel is our greatest protest against the powers of darkness. Don’t be afraid to suffer, because suffering is what builds your faith and makes Christ shine even brighter through you.
And don’t be afraid to die, because it is very hard to control those who aren’t afraid of death.
There is a world of people out there who don’t have the hope we have. They don’t know the joy and peace that Christ gives. They don’t know the sweetness of trusting in Jesus as their Savior. And they won’t know until we tell them. We cannot be intimidated into silence.
Great powers have risen against us before. Plagues have swept through our lands. Heretics have been in our midst. The powers of Hell have been set against us from the outset.
But triumphing over all these things is a bloodied cross, an empty tomb, and a reigning Christ.
Turn off the TV, get off social media, open your Bible, and conquer your community with the gospel. Devote yourself to your church. Love and serve your neighbors. Read, pray, and sing with your family. Love your spouse. Obey the Lord.
There may be a storm gathering around us, but we have built our houses upon the Rock. We will not be moved by the futile schemes of godless men. On the contrary, we will bring the nations to their knees — not out of fear — but out of reverence to the one true and living God: Jesus Christ.
Yours in love and confidence,