As I read through various news articles related to the current anti-prayer culture war, my mind raced to memories of words I learned from the Biblical book of Revelation many years ago. The Apostle John relayed his vision of the future as given to him by God. He told of a day when the world would be in turmoil and people would stubbornly resist the call of God.
The refusal to repent is nothing new. We see it with Cain who failed to master his sinful thoughts before following through and murdering his brother Abel. The builders of the tower of Babel thought they could reach God without His help, and were scattered because of it. Noah preached the whole time he was building the ark. God didn’t want to bring the flood, but people continued in their anarchy and destruction. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah resisted the visitation of Angels and sought to harm them instead of receiving the grace that was available.
The stubborn hearts of people are prolific throughout history as we witness Israel in the wilderness and the generations of Amos, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah, Et. Al. We even see that Jesus was unable to bless His own hometown with many miracles and healing because of their stubborn obstinance. (Mark 6:5)
In Matthew 24, Jesus warned of false Christs, war and rumors of war, famines, disease, earthquakes, etc. He also warned of persecution and love-loss. While it is true that these things have been around for centuries, Jesus added important language that delineates what is happening today from what has happened in the past. He said that these signs are the beginnings of the birth-pains. As most are aware, the closer together and the greater the intensity of labor pains, the more imminent the birth. Although we cannot be absolutely certain exactly when the birth will take place, we at least know when it is near.
The recent escalation of violence, immorality, anti-God sentiment, and the prolific reporting of it, clearly shows that we are a lot closer to Biblical prophecy than at any other time. In Revelation chapter two, the glorified Christ tells John to write to the church of Thyatira. He extolled them for their charity, service, faith and patience, but He was against them because they polluted their worship of God with the worship of other gods. He noted that He had offered the church the opportunity to repent, but it had not. Jesus also said that there was still time but that if the church did not repent, they would suffer great tribulation.
Revelation 9:21 peers into a future where God is trying one last round of efforts to wake people from their spiritual slumber to recognize that while He is a loving and merciful God, His just nature and righteousness cannot abide rebellion. Despite the death of one-third of the earth’s population, people will refuse to recognize God’s sovereignty and turn from their worship of false gods, murder, witchcraft / occult involvement, sexual immorality and theft. Likewise, in Revelation 16, despite water turning to blood, a plague of sores, fire and more, people still refuse to repent.
Just a few short years ago, I could not – for the life of me – understand a mind-set that would allow people to witness the power of God and not respond in repentance. Sadly, it is easy to witness this phenomena in our culture today. Disastrous attacks, floods, earthquakes and other human and natural disasters abound, but instead of calling on God, the world is increasingly resisting prayers to God and instead calling on politicians. It doesn’t look like it will be long before one particular politician will rise up and claim to have all the answers. Be alert my friends!