Judgment: God’s purview. He will inevitably judge all individuals at the end of time. Historically, He has also passed judgment on nations here on this corporeal earth. How has He done this? In some cases, He used His divine power to squash them—for example when King Ahab angered God, He caused the rain and the dew to cease in Israel for three and a half years (1 Kings 17-18). In some cases, He used other nations—recall that Israel was overrun by Assyria and the Babylonians overran Judah. In some cases, He used the surrounding culture to influence and engulf His people which brought destruction from within; He gave them over to their wicked ways (Romans 1:28).
Are we so arrogant to think that we, as a nation, are exempt from God’s judgment on earth? According to apologist James L. Morrisson, there are several things that, historically, have invoked God’s judgment against His people here on earth: godlessness, wickedness, idolatry, child sacrifice, injustice, and immorality. This sounds a lot like a description of our culture, does it not? While my brain is way too small to fathom the realm of possibilities, it seems more likely that, if God were to pass judgment on this nation, it might just come from within. So, let us consider for a moment how our culture might destroy itself.
Some cultures are “easy” to reach for God. Many Hindus, for example, are so oppressed by the requirement to worship hundreds of gods that they understand they need something different. They are willing to embrace the idea that there is really only One God. Many Muslims feel their religion is so oppressively ritualistic, that they need something different. They are willing to embrace the freedom in Christ. Our culture, however, needs nothing. We think we have it all figured out. We have food on the table, our iPhones, our bank accounts, our reality TV, and more. Science has all the answers we need. And our rampant existentialistic materialism tells us we can create our own purpose in life and that as long as we have our stuff, we are “good to go.” Our self-sufficiency has driven us to forget the Lord our God (Deuteronomy 8:12-14). We have become deaf to the words of God. The result is an imploding culture (Jeremiah 12:17).
We, as Christians, are the guards, are we not? We are the watchmen who protect the culture, are we not? Perhaps. However, “Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain” (Psalm 127:1, NIV). Is the Lord still watching over this “city” we call America? What is it that will ensure He continues to watch over our “city”?
Individual repentance may be enough to turn away God’s wrath, but recall that historically it has not been enough. Noah’s righteousness was not enough to turn away judgment. The repentance of the prophets was not enough. But the repentance of a nation was enough. If God’s people will humble themselves, pray, and repent, then God will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14). Therefore, let us consider: What is it that will energize the people to these acts of submission? I suggest that the only way we can impel our own culture to turn back to God is by sending missionaries into the fields of our own country. We need people who are willing enough, confident enough, and bold enough to not only stand firm amidst our culture, but to also engage our culture!
The message is the same as it was thousands of years ago: What you are doing is evil in the eyes of your Creator. The methods, however, must be different. As mentioned, some cultures have an ingrained spirituality (Hindu, Muslim, and so on) that helps them understand this message. Our culture does not. Therefore, the idea that they are doing something wrong in the eyes of their Creator has an easy and multifaceted response, appealing to:
1) Logic—“Your message comes from the Bible. This may be a book of morals, but it is old, outdated, and old-fashioned; therefore, I do not believe it.”
2) Science—“I have no Creator; I evolved. Therefore, how can I be doing evil against a nonexistent entity?”
3) Philosophy—“What you call evil, I call choice. Therefore, you may not preach to me about right and wrong from that ancient book for weak-minded fools.”
How can we make a dent in a culture like that? The only way is to send out God’s workers who can prove that they are able to engage the culture….not simply condemn it. We need people like Paul, who was able to reason with the culture (Acts 17:2). People like Peter who reasoned with the churches in Asia Minor in his first letter to them. We need people who can give a convincing answer regarding the hope that is in them (1 Peter 3:15). We need people who are always prepared to consider, contest, and counter the responses from our culture. Am I saying that all we need is a bunch of smart rhetoricians? Absolutely not. We need biblically wise people who have the fear of the Lord in them (Psalm 111:10); people who love God with their hearts, souls, and minds (Matthew 22:37). Where will these people come from?
All the gloom and doom above is stated simply for this purpose: You are training the God-fearing warriors who will engage our culture, who will begin the national humbling, who will bring this nation to its knees. Then, God will heal our land. It will surely not be those who accuse or condemn. It will surely not be those who blow up abortion clinics. It will not be the shallow-rooted Christians who spread the Word and immediately succumb to the temptations of the surrounding culture. And it will not be those who preach to the choir. No. You are training the warriors who will engage the culture where it lives on a daily basis. You are preparing your children to stand firm against the Evil One. Indeed, not just to stand, but to overcome and to turn our culture back to its Creator. Tell me, what task is more important than that?
So, when the worries of your day creep in, when you feel like this homeschooling thing is just too much…please understand that your endeavors go far beyond helping just your children. You are sowing the seeds for your children’s future, your grandchildren’s future, and even the future of our entire nation. Never give up, never give in! Hang in there and keep up God’s good work!