Stand UP while there is Still Time

This is a very different word than I think I have ever given. Some of you may think I’m being political. I don’t believe I am being political, just reflecting reality, so I respectfully ask that you bear with me through some appeals I’m about to make because my heart is breaking and I can no longer remain silent in the face of the human suffering that is resulting from the growing depth of wickedness I see enveloping my beloved nation and the world. So I’ll begin with the hard statement.

When gross incompetence disrupts the nation as it is doing at the southern border, we can perhaps adjust. When incompetence – or malfeasance – corrupts and denies or twists our constitution, we can perhaps forgive even as we cry out about it. When our government lurches to the left in directions we do not wish to go, we can look to the next election. But when gross incompetence costs precious lives, unnecessary deaths, and makes a shameful spectacle of our nation before the world, it’s time to rise up and make our voices heard. Let your representatives and senators know that they must stand and oppose this administration’s agenda and even call for resignations as more and more courageous ones of both parties are already doing. We can’t afford three and a half more years of this.

In Afghanistan there are not only many thousands of people who stood by and helped Americans over the last 20 years, but there are thousands of Christians who have no hope of getting out of the country. The radical brand of Islam practiced by the Taliban demands that they convert or be killed. To accept any kind of reassurances to the contrary is the worst kind of naivete. We must pray for their deliverance, but if deliverance is impossible, then it would seem that Ephesians 6 applies where Paul called believers to stand and, having done all to stand. Pray for strength and courage. Pray for the manifest presence of God. Paul said in 6:18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 6:19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 6:20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. And it wouldn’t hurt a bit to pray for some power encounters to happen on the order of Elijah facing down the 450 prophets of Baal.

That being said, from our safe refuge in the US it seems all too easy to pray for embattled believers at risk of their lives in that foreign nation to bear a strong and vocal witness. How would any of us feel in a similar situation if our sons and daughters were threatened? If an armed Islamic fighter came to take away our children? Or to give our daughters to vile bearded men as wives against their will? I’m not certain I know what to pray, except for our merciful Savior to deliver them by some miracle from the situation our hapless government has had a hand in creating.

None of that even begins to address the suffering that will be visited upon the women of that nation, whether or not they’re Christian. The kind of Islam practiced by the Taliban will subjugate women into virtual slavery. Girls as young as 12 will be forced to become child brides. Freedom for them will be crushed. Twenty years of progress will be reversed.

On the home front, we have a president who refuses to enforce the law of the land at our southern border. Some 200,000 illegal immigrants per month are flooding into our country, invited to come by this administration. Crime is skyrocketing in our border towns. Private property is being violated. Here in Denver I see many out of state license plates on the roads because of our mountains and tourist attractions, but I see more Texas license plates here by a margin of 3 to 1 over any other state and I have to wonder why that is because I don’t think it’s all about tourism with all the smoke smothering everything right now from all the fires burning in the west.

This refusal to enforce the law introduces a spirit of lawlessness into our nation. That spirit was already here across the land before the border crisis and was already operating at a governmental level and in the hearts of our people in moral compromise and general attitudes toward what used to be regarded as simple integrity. This spirit of lawlessness has only gathered steam over the course of the last seven months. Laws are not enforced. Police are defunded, dishonored and disrespected. Rioters and looters go unpunished, often not even charged with a crime. Our cities burn. Murders are spiking at an alarming rate. Shootings, even mass shootings, are on the increase. Racial hatreds and political divisions grow with every passing day.

What did we expect to happen? When God’s laws are ignored, or the laws of the land designed to protect us for that matter are not enforced, then love dies. Law, good law, preserves right treatment between people. Justice. Goodness. Fairness. Lawlessness opens the floodgates to destruction and all of that dies. Jesus told us in Matthew 24 that one of the signs of the end times would be Matthew 24:12, “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. When love grows cold, the enemy of our soul is only too happy to fill the vacuum with hatred, usually under the guise of some kind of fight for justice. Destruction and injustice flood in. Society begins to unravel. Hate takes the place of love, or fairness, or any form of real justice. When hate takes root, it spreads like a cancer, violence erupts and ultimately people die. And people ARE dying.

Beyond all that, if this administration is allowed to continue on the present course and if the current congress continues on its out of control spending spree, we can expect an economic crash that will collapse the world economy. Already inflation is increasing at a frightening pace. Have you bought gas lately? It will get worse if the current party in control has its way. This is simple economic reality that this administration and congress refuse to acknowledge. When that collapse happens, and when our enemies smell increasing weakness on the part of the United States, war will become inevitable and it will likely be the most destructive the world has ever known. And all of that will be one outcome of lawlessness producing love grown cold producing hatred leading to violence.

There is still time. There is still time to raise our voices in prayer. There is still time to let our elected representatives know what we think and what we want. There is still time to stand up at school board meetings and town councils and make our voices heard. There is still time to repent for our personal sins, for the sins of the church, and for the sins of our nation. Still time deepen our devotion to the worship of the one true God, our Lord Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

But time is running out and the hour is more urgent than I fear many of us want to believe.

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