In Ezekiel 22:4–5 we read, “You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed and have defiled yourself with the idols which you have made. You have caused your days to draw near and have come to the end of your years; therefore, I have made you a reproach to the nations, and a mockery to all countries. Those near and those far from you will mock you as infamous and full of tumult” (NKJV).
As I read these words a few days ago, I couldn’t help but see the similarities with which God, through Ezekiel, was declaring concerning the children of Israel and America’s present circumstances.
Both Iran and China have denounced America as a global destabilizing force. Our allies have been vocal about their disdain for the way we retreated from Afghanistan. Our NATO partners are questioning our resolve and are openly doubting that America will help them if they come under attack. Syria, Iran, and China are “saber rattling” regarding aggression toward neighboring nations. Hezbollah, Isis-K, and Al-Qaeda have stepped up their rhetoric and are recruiting enthusiastic jihadists who have been energized by America’s defeat in Afghanistan.
What does all this mean for American Christians? Some believe we should be excited because they see it as fulfilled prophecy leading to an imminent rapture of the church. Others see this time as an opportunity to witness and take advantage of the instability, uncertainty, anxiety, and hope for another “Great Awakening in America. We, as Americans, are in unprecedented times. The corruption in government, the lawlessness, the loss of a Republican governance where all are treated equally under the law, and the attack and cancellation of any conservative or Christian voice in the public square are all disconcerting, to say the least!
Certainly, there are “signs of the times.” We are in the “last days.” The Christian response to the times, as has been stated, is all over the map. Christians need to stop, breathe, and not allow themselves to be overwhelmed. It is a time to press into your relationship with the Lord! Read His Word, pray, and worship. If one is in a frenzy, the still small voice of the Holy Spirit can be entirely drowned out by the chaos. A good way to get closer to the Lord is through Christian fellowship and regular church attendance.
Hebrews 10:22–25 exhorts, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (NKJV). Most see “the day” approaching! Hebrews 10:22–25 is the perfect solution to settle us and help us stand no matter what may come. We need more of Jesus! We need a hope that can only be found in Jesus. We need close brothers and sisters who can speak into our lives, and we need to regularly attend church! Too many are falling apart because they are not a part.
-Pastor Gary Schlenz