STANDING IN THE EVIL DAY
Copyright © 2012 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:13)
What do we do when a man, who appears to hold values quite different from American Christians, is elected to the highest office in the land? If we will keep on following Christ, his election will serve to accomplish God's will in our life. If we do not follow Christ, but behave according to our fleshly reasonings, we will lose our high place in Christ.
There is a passage in the Book of Jeremiah that I believe will help us know what to do in the present hour. Israel had been taken captive by the Babylonians, Jerusalem had been destroyed. The Ark had been carried off.
What do we do?
The palace prophets were declaring that the captivity would last two years, keeping everyone at a loss to know what to do.
There was one true prophet in the land. How often it is a fact that God works with one person or with a remnant. Perhaps what God said through Jeremiah applies to us today who are upset because of the man elected as president of our country. How are we to proceed?
This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: "Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." (Jeremiah 29:4-7)
Let's think about this.
The first thing that stands out is the fact that it was God who carried Israel into captivity. "Says to all those I carried into exile."
Can it be true that it is God who gave us the current president?
For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. (Psalms 75:6,7—KJV)
'The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men.' (Daniel 4:17)
The Bible is clear that God puts the people of His choice in positions of rulership. Because America is a democracy we are under the impression that leaders are installed by our votes. But if that were true, God would not be in charge of the presidency.
The Bible is clear also that it was God who brought the Jews into captivity in Babylon, and He did so because of their sinning against Him.
Could this be true in America? Has a man been elected who does not glorify God, because of our sinning? I believe this to be the truth; and so the issue is not that of politics but of moral behavior.
How did God counsel the Jews who were in captivity? Does this counsel apply to us who have a president whom many of us do not trust?
"Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper."
Is this what we should do? Should we refrain from criticizing the government and go about our business, seeking the prosperity of our country?
Many fine conscientious Christian people worked diligently to influence the election in favor of a man who appears to us to be more godly. What are we to do now that we have lost the election? Perhaps we should go about our business as pleasantly as we can, meanwhile looking to our Lord Jesus to direct our life.
I do not believe we should be spending our efforts criticizing our government. But there still are battles to be waged. Notice that Babylon did not attempt to prevent the Jews from worshiping God. And so far our government has not attempted to prevent us from worshiping God as we please. It is true that there has been social turmoil because of the several cultures who have come to America. But the government has not forbidden us to serve Christ.
Yet, in one way it has. I am referring now to the interference by the federal and state governments in the public-school curricula. There is an effort to force the teaching of sexual perversion in the intermediate and possibly the lower grades. We still have the option of teaching our children at home, although that option may be removed some day.
We Christians are going to have to fight for our way of life. When the government with the assistance of the UN commands us to go against the laws of God, then we are to resist the government, although it may mean imprisonment or the loss of our family.
We Christian people in America do have a problem. Jesus said that we are not to be of the world. But this may not be true of many of us. We put up with many immoral, ungodly practices in our culture.
For example, there is the increase of nakedness on the part of entertainers. We should be fighting against this, when we have the opportunity, insisting upon modesty.
I mentioned the homosexual aspects of the public-school curricula. We must do all in our power to resist this.
There is the recent emphasis upon same-gender marriages. We must never accept this but do what we can to resist it.
The huge crime of the American society is abortion-on-demand. This is murder and it is carried out every day in our country. And then we wonder why we have the president that we do!
We have been warned about not putting our talents to use in the building of the Kingdom of God. How many of us seek the Lord until we know what it is we are supposed to be contributing to the Body of Christ?
There are problems with drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes, all of which defile the physical body, which is the temple of the Spirit of God.
There are the late night programs and the movies and television programs, with their morally filthy references. Christian people watch these!
There are the electronic games, and the social programs such as Facebook. These are a waste of time. The Bible commands us to redeem the time.
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Ephesians 5:16-20—KJV)
Does the above sound like the typical American church-attender? No, it does not. We are in the world and of the world. We are below the standard set for a disciple of the Lord Jesus. Then we wonder why we cannot influence the election more favorably.
We complain against the government but we are not fighting against sin as we should.
We do not realize that our occupation with the television and the games and social programs is weakening us so that we cannot stand in the evil day.
We may be forced to put our children in public schools. There they will be fed all the values of the world, including the moral abominations. What are we going to do about this? Watching the worldly programs on the television and the motion pictures will weaken us to the point we will not have the courage to face prison rather than submit our children to the satanic horrors of the American homosexual agendas.
What does the Bible have to say to us who are living under a wicked regime?
Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. (Psalms 37:1,2)
It is going to be very difficult in the days to come to keep our minds on the Lord.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (II Corinthians 10:5)
Taking every thought captive requires a determined fight. Our mind will dwell on that which is negative if we permit it to do so. We have to keep forcing our mind to place our attention on Christ at the right hand of God.
Fretting occurs when we complain about the works of Satan but can do nothing about it. It prevents us from obeying the command to rejoice in the Lord always.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)
And then we have this:
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalms 37:3,4)
This sort of reminds us of Jeremiah's prophecy to the Jews in captivity in Babylon (above). "Dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture." This is what we should do in America at this time, and cease complaining about what the government does. If we fill our minds with the works of Satan and Antichrist, the spirit that is working in the governments of the world today, we will come down from our high place in Christ.
We have to battle against depressing thoughts. Paul was in prison when he commanded us to rejoice in the Lord always. I am sure he had to wage war against the thoughts that attacked his mind constantly. Paul was attempting to survive in the presence of hardened Roman soldiers.
Satan may not be able to persuade us to behave immorally. But he still can destroy us by filling our mind with his actions in the earth.
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. (Psalms 37:5,6)
If we are to stand in the evil day we are going to have to keep committing our way to the Lord. Jesus always is knocking at the door of our personality, seeking entrance. We always are to be opening our heart to Him that He may dine on our obedience and worship and we may dine on His body and blood.
You know, if we are tortured and killed for our faith in Jesus, we have lost nothing. Rather we have entered the most wonderful of worlds, there to await our return with Jesus as He comes to govern the earth.
It will be like beginning the summer holidays after school is over for the year. Think of death, as I do, as being the true beginning of life in the presence of the Lord Jesus.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. (Psalms 37:7-9)
If it requires ceasing from watching television and reading the newspaper we shall do that. We simply shall not spend our time thinking about the behavior of wicked people.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
What is true? It is true that Jesus Christ is King of all kings and Lord of all lords. He is in control of all flesh. Nothing escapes His will and His power.
What is noble? All the works of God are noble and to be admired and emulated.
What is right? The Kingdom of God and His righteousness are right, and we prosper when we seek them.
What is lovely? All the works of God's hands are lovely. Little children are lovely. Puppies, kitties, and majestic horses are lovely. Nature is lovely. Sunsets are lovely. The whole universe that God has made through Christ is lovely. Only man is vile.
What is admirable? The wisdom of God in the plan of redemption, bringing forth the brothers of Christ from the cesspool of the world, is worthy of our admiration.
What is excellent? That which is accomplished through us when we let go and let God have His wonderful way.
What is praiseworthy? A life of strict obedience to the Lord Jesus instead of the pursuit of pleasure.
A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace. (Psalms 37:10,11)
If you can stand in faith in the passage above you will stand in the evil day.