January 1, 2011
To be separate and “touch not the unclean thing” presupposes identification with God’s truth as opposed to any counterfeit of it. In order to discern accurately between truth and a credible counterfeit, a Christian first must know “the real thing” inside out, top-to-bottom.
This is accomplished through lifelong, Spirit-directed study of God’s Word line upon line, precept upon precept. Knowing the Bible and yielding to the Holy Spirit alert Christians to distracting winds of doctrine and deceit by the sleight of men.
In all matters, one’s first and primary allegiance is to the Lord, but American Christians also have a duty to engage the representative form of government with which God has blessed our nation. To whom much is given, much is required. Though each must pick his battles wisely and determine his own appropriate level of involvement, all believers can and must nurture love for what God loves, hate for what God hates.
Today’s essential warfare is decidedly spiritual, as are the most powerful weapons in combat. All are not qualified to grasp and grapple with globalism’s multifaceted agenda, but Christians everywhere can and must release faith, fight the good fight, and pray fervently. In so doing, believers ask largely in the name of Jesus, always in accordance with God’s expressed will.
Our hope as Christians is not in a political party, a candidate of preference, partisan activism, or emergency preparedness. It is in Jesus Christ and none other. While maintaining unruffled trust in the creator and sustainer of life, Christians are called to apply God-given common sense to faith-propelled, proactive preparedness.
That none can turn the tide of globalism is not to say that political activism is useless. Civic responsibilities include obedience and godly action. Believers are compelled by creed and action to uphold liberty, defend the traditional marriage-based family, support the sanctity of human life, preserve parental rights, promote community standards of decency, protect children, and champion wise checks and balances (e.g., sovereignty of nation-states).
Spiritually, Christians must seek God’s will and remain in it as best they can. Morally, they must set and keep godly standards. Politically, they can vote and, as God leads, assume leadership positions on key battlefronts for which they are equipped and called to enter. Mentally, they must work at being fully informed and engaged, but never lose sight of Jesus.
These choices are before Christians: scoff at the threat of globalism, join the movement, beat it down, or use it for good and thereby restrain its full expression.
Scoff at It
Many scoff at the sky-is-falling rhetoric of globalism naysayers. In similar times, a committed preacher of righteousness named Noah warned corrupt contemporaries of an impending flood so that they might repent. Sadly, scoffers refused to listen and, as a result, were excluded from safety on the ark. Correspondingly, contemporary Christians mustn’t scoff at what God fingers as very real contemporary threats.
True, Christians anticipate a golden era of unprecedented opportunity, peace, and worldwide collaboration when Christ rules and reigns in the Millennium. To the undiscerning, the right use of energy among intuitive friends united by earth stewardship, sustainability, collectivism, and illumination sounds like the real deal; but it isn’t. The Bible warns even Christians that, if not wary, they too are subject to strong delusion.
Globalism’s promises of unlimited well-being, transcendence to one’s higher self, and universal brotherhood are compellingly seductive; however, in the end, a one-world religious system as enforced by the false prophet obliges all to worship Antichrist or face certain death for noncompliance. From biblical perspective, to join this order guarantees spiritual death.
Some might not like to hear this, but attempting to beat down the system is as useless as pounding molehills with a baseball bat. As I understand biblical eschatology, one-world government is a given. Rome will revive; and world financiers, acting as “kings without kingdoms,” will rule with a global Prime Minister of sorts for a predetermined and bounded time span.
It is by God’s permission that Satan empowers malevolent men and seducers to advance their errant agendas; nonetheless, in God’s time, and with the brightness of Christ’s coming, the enemy’s schemes will be revealed and utterly paralyzed. Even as dark clouds gather and loom overhead, Christians are all the more empowered to overcome evil and to fulfill their destinies simply by retaining spiritual purity.
Christians’ Two-Fold Charge: Use It for Good and Restrain It
While living in this world, Christian believers are not party to it. In his first letter to the church at Corinth, Paul allowed using the whole world order (cosmos) for godly purposes as long as they not overly use it, or rely on it wholly. With eternal citizenship elsewhere, believers are as pilgrims; they remain riveted to their Lord more so than to a world system destined in time to pass away.
Perhaps unexpectedly, twenty-first century global trends have much to offer Christian Kingdom-builders. For example, open borders promise ease of entry for Bibles and ministers of the gospel. Technological genius and limitless information invite broad access to biblical knowledge on big or small screens, in radio, and by means of the Internet. The universally spoken English language facilitates networking while abundant resources/cashless transactions support/assist global ministries of transformative spiritual impact.
What some would use for wrongdoing, Christians can and must use for good. God’s call to resist and restrain the “mystery of iniquity” falls to the universal body of Christ whose charge is to restrain iniquitous use of the system. This is not accomplished by American Christians acting alone, by any specific political administration, or under orders of some standing army security counsel.
For such a time as this, some among us are raised to leadership and action, as was Queen Esther, who risked her own life to champion her people before King Ahasuerus. Though not all lead in the church, in business, or in politics, all Christians defend righteous judgments in the civic arena.
It is not appropriate for Christians to herald planetary doom, thereby attracting and drawing together the fearful. Nor should they yawn in the face of impending calamity by escaping into a comfortable world of complacency, fantasy, or addiction. Instead, Christians must be wise as serpents, gentle as doves. To win over doubters requires wisdom, not stealth; prevailing prayer, not brute force.
Perhaps more now than ever before, it’s time to shake sleep, study to show ourselves approved, maintain spiritual sobriety, and exercise vigilance. Being well read and up-to-date on vital issues is a great start; but more exactly, believers must heed biblical mandate by praying diligently, exercising faith, and practicing charity.
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Even if one were to achieve all of the above and willingly face martyrdom, it’s never enough if God’s love evades the equation. Just imagine the magnetic draw of a surrendered life led in Christ-blessed abundance, one that is tempered by balance and lived victoriously and joyfully to the glory of God and in service to others.
This, my friend, is the restraining power of the church: experiencing the Christ life, humbly but powerfully; circumspectly but with a single eye for the Savior; no longer I, but Christ.
The Bible assures us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. By divine enablement, yes, we can. By God’s grace, yes, we will.
Isaiah 52:11; 2 Corinthians 6:17.
2- Isaiah 28:10.
3- Ephesians 4:14.
4- Luke 12:48.
5- Amos 5:14-15.
6- Ephesians 6:11-13.
7- 1 Timothy 6:12.
8- John 14:14 and 15:7 (abide and ask in Jesus’ Name); James 4:3 (in His will).
9- Proverbs 29:26.
10- 1 Timothy 1:1.
11- For the Lord’s sake, Christians are commanded to respect and obey those authorized to rule over them. Furthermore, they are to submit to rightful laws of the land while staying informed, prone to good works, and of good courage on behalf of the cities of our God. Even as Queen Esther took interest in the rights of her people, and approached King Ahasuerus on their behalf, Christians today are called to proclaim and promote righteous judgments. Indeed, righteousness exalts a nation (1 Peter 2:13; Ecclesiastes 1:13; Titus 3:8; 2 Samuel 10:12; Proverbs 14:34).
12- Matthew 5:16; 1 Timothy 6:18; Titus 2:7; Hebrews 10:24; 1 Peter 2:12.
13- Hebrews 12:2.
14- 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5.
15- Matthew 24:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:11.
16- Revelation 13:16-17.
17- Revelation 17:12-13.
18- For Satan to inflict human harm, he must first clear his intent with God. Even then, the degree of temptation allowed to be meted out is meticulously measured and masterfully limited (1 Corinthians 10:13). An example is found in the book of Job in which a righteous man enjoys God’s hedge of protection until God lifts it. Never did God allow temptation beyond what Job could endure. In the process, Job was strengthened. Having endured, he saw his sorrow turned to joy and his blessings in life doubled. Through Job’s extended trial, God gave him opportunity to prove his faith.
19- 2 Thessalonians 2:8.
20- John 17:16.
21- 1 Corinthians 7:31.
22- 1 Peter 2:11.
23- Daniel 12:4.
24- In 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul warns of a flood of evil and apostasy to come; however, until a specific event occurs (the Great Outtranslation, or Rapture), evil’s full manifestation will be restrained. By way of explanation, verse 6 speaks of “what” (neuter case, or “the thing”) that “withholds” (“restrains” or “holds back”) this flood. Verse 7 suggests that the one who “is now restraining” (continuous action in the Greek) will continue to do so until “he be taken out of the way” (Greek: “he suddenly be taken out of the midst of”).
25- Esther 2:20ff.
26- Matthew 10:16.
27- James 1:5.
28- 1 Peter 5:8ff.
29- 1 Corinthians 13:1-3.
30- Galatians 2:20.
31- Philippians 4:13.