Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Recently, it has become hard to ignore the unusual level of darkness and evil at work in the world. Wherever we turn we see it. For Christians that know and read their Bibles this should come as no surprise though it is still horrific to witness what is being done to people and many times our spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ around the world.
To compound this, the affect of the violence has been disheartening to watch as well. While some have actually joined the violence and seized the moment for themselves, exploiting others or surrendering voluntarily to the influence of the wicked. Others have chosen to remain ignorant, oblivious and unaware in effort to preserve their lives the way they like them for as long as possible. Both responses are tragic although there is another that I fear even more.
In reference to the last days, Jesus once said in Matthew 24:12, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold“. Now I’m no expert on end-times theology, neither do I pretend to be but I do know this: Every day brings us closer to our Lord’s imminent return and the world will get worse before it gets better (Matt. 24:8, Mark 13:8). I believe Jesus tells us here just how easily that can happen–The love of most will grow cold!
I am writing this to encourage my Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Christianity is no stranger to violence and persecution; in fact you might say that it’s our native soil. History has proven that Christianity has not only survived persecution but most often it has flourished and spread even more as a result of it. I want to point us back to a right response to the recent events of our world because I believe we need to be together on this and stay with the scriptures. Paul writes in Romans 12:21 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Friends THIS IS OUR RESPONSE. This is our battle plan. We are not doormats that must passively accept whatever the world gives us as if we have no options or no power. Neither are we scared and hiding and hoping to not be found out as Christ followers. We are bold with love for Christ and that is a very active thing. This is our response. Love is precisely the one thing we cannot afford to let grow cold right now and we keep it warm with use, as pumping blood through the veins keeps the body warm. My friends, I do not want to scare anyone with my directness but these recent events do not make me less firm in my convictions, in fact they do the opposite. I hope they do the same in you and in the depth of your conviction and the firmness of your faith you respond with bold love. Love people actively. Love with the Truth of God’s Word and love with the Gospel message. And just like Jesus, may the power of your words of truth coupled with your actions of love be a light for others in these darkening times. Stay close together. Stay close to Christ and let us love more boldly than ever.
“And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”