Matthew 24:12-13 “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
Of all the “signs” listed in this chapter, this is the one that rings most true to me right now. America is dramatically different from Japan in the number of churches, but even here in the “Bible Belt” I see a pervasive acceptance, at least, of completely un-Biblical moral standards. As Jesus expresses it so succinctly here, that leads most of the population into a take-it-or-leave-it attitude toward Christianity, with church attendance being more social than anything else. With an incredible over-abundance of material comforts, God takes a back seat, if He’s even in the picture at all. It’s no wonder the country is in the state it’s in politically! Thankfully, there are exceptions. My son-in-law had a blow-out of a tire on a trailer he was pulling yesterday, in a “bad part of town,” no less, and a complete stranger not only got his own jack and other tools to help him, he went and purchased a new tire, brought it back and installed it, and refused to take anything at all for all of that. From what was reported to me of what he said, he did it simply because he was a Christian, deeply aware of God’s grace toward him and desiring to extend that grace to others. Such people are the hope of the nation! As the background gets darker, the points of light shine all the more brightly. The answer, for America and for the whole world, is not organized religion, but personal repentance and faith. Morality is ultimately personal. There would be no abortions if people didn’t choose immorality over chastity, for example. People are simply trying to escape the consequences of one sin by committing another even worse one. And the widespread acceptance of that sort of thing has dropped the spiritual temperature of the nation to an amazing degree, just as Jesus said. However, He also said that those who stand firm would be saved. Every thoughtful believer should take that to heart indeed, and choose to press into God for more of the oil of His Spirit, to burn for Him.
This is intensely personal for me, with some of my family being earnest for God and some definitely not. That is painful to see, not just because it damages fellowship, but because they are tasting the fruit of leaving God out of the picture. I am not to give up on them, but speak the truth in love. Some are already uncomfortable around me because of the different lifestyle, but I am never to reject them from my side. I am to pray God’s mercy and grace on each one, recognizing that I am just as dependent on that grace as they are. I am to be a light and an example, never holier-than-thou but at the same time not backing down from Biblical principles. I want everyone dear to me to walk in the best God has for them, and that will only come when they place Him first in their lives.
Father, being confronted with this sort of thing is a major reason I don’t really like to visit the US any more. It is painful. Thank You that You do have faithful children left, however small a percentage of the “church members” they might be. I do ask for a spirit of repentance and revival to fall on this nation, so that personal purity will no longer be the exception but rather the norm. May the schemes of the devil be defeated and this nation return to be the incubator of missionaries that it once was, acknowledging Your name alone as holy and actively advancing Your kingdom by doing Your will, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!