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The Light Shined

The year 2020 brought evil out into the open. We had known that dark forces were set on destroying our values. We had marveled at sinister minds who spent every waking hour plotting the overthrow of our culture. We had been naive as to the extent of their hatred of God. But now we see it clearly. This evil was there all along, waiting for an opportunity to assert itself. As with many other situations in life, we had to experience it before we really took the threat seriously.

The Bible has come alive in the minds of thoughtful Christians more than ever in recent months. We had known the stories of the Old Testament, but we failed to see that the same tragedies can happen to us and happen quickly. We had read the story of homosexuals trying to force their way into Lot’s house, but we couldn’t imagine gays and transsexuals shamelessly pushing their sin into every corner of society—schools, public libraries, restrooms, businesses, sports, movies, music, courts, Congress, the White House, and even churches. We had read about the Israelites turning from God to worship idols. How could God’s people who heard the prophets and saw their miracles even think about denying Him? Many of us read and taught these stories without realizing just how capable people are of doing the same things today. We in America had long sensed that our country was going in the wrong direction. “But surely,” we thought, “it won’t go that far.” Now we know. Now we see that, contrary to the belief that our civilization had moved past the barbarism and ignorance of pagans, men are just as wicked today and are capable of doing just about anything. These depraved tendencies have been among us for decades and were just waiting to be unveiled. All that was needed was a change of circumstances, a lifting of restraining influences that hindered them. Satan has now been unleashed in all his hatred and fury. Our comfortable, manageable lifestyle has been turned upside down. We no longer read a shocking story in the Old Testament and wonder, “How could people do such a thing?” Now we truly understand that most people will believe and do just about anything regardless of how insane it is if they hear it often enough and see others doing it. In light of what we have witnessed since March 2020, we are beginning to understand the incredible power of media propaganda, the weakness of human minds, and the lengths to which arrogant politicians will go to have more power.

No, times haven’t changed. People are the same. “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecc. 1:9). We have said many times that history repeats itself, but somehow we convinced ourselves that the details didn’t apply to us. Our society was lulled to sleep by prosperity and a false sense of security. Now we realize how unstable and unpredictable life is.

Is there an upside to all this? There is. This is no time for Christians to give up or even slow down. This is the real world, not the fantasy world that movies have conditioned us to believe. The turning of things upside down has not shaken the faith of devoted Christians. It has confirmed our faith and made it stronger. Now our feet are planted securely on the solid rock of God’s Word. Now more than ever we understand the importance of the local congregation. Now we should see that the Most High rules in the kingdoms of men and that He punishes evil and brings good out of bad situations for all who are involved or will be impacted in generations to come. Instead of seeing this collapse as a destructive earthquake, we should think of this seismic shift as a realignment of world cultures that is not happening without the permission and purpose of God.

Kerry

West End Church of Christ Bulletin, May 2, 2021

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