For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
-1 Peter 4:17
Politics, culture, and economics are important. It is right that we discuss the philosophical underpinnings of today’s competing ideologies and the practical consequences of policy decisions. However, these things must be ranked second behind the Great Commission, the Church’s primary purpose. First and foremost, Christians are to preach the Gospel and make disciples of all nations.
There are times when our vision has been clouded, when we have been distracted by matters of secondary importance. Certain parts of the Church today have become little more than self-help seminars, while others have been so consumed by political questions as to seem more like Bolshevik committees than congregations of the Lord. Well, I exaggerate, but for a purpose: to hammer home the truth that it is not about us; it is about Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
I believe a time is coming when that focus will be restored to the Western Church. A fire is coming to consume our impurities, to kindle our zeal, to show us the holiness of our God. Hard times will shape us into the image of Jesus Christ; tough choices will reveal what we really believe. As this fire spreads outwards from us, the idols of the nations will fall.
This is not pure triumphalism; this is a sober message regarding the transition from where we are now to where we must be at the return of Christ. Some are more devoted than others: they have spent their lives in service to the Lord, longing for Him to bring revival and to return as the Messianic King to end the reign of the god of this age. These people will shine when the change comes. They will help the Church as leaders, teachers, servants, and spokesmen.
We are all in this together: Christ loves us all and does not want anyone to be left behind. As we all bring our gifts and labours together, we shall learn anew the teaching in 1 Corinthians about the one Body with many parts. The glory of the Lord and the persecution that Christians of all stripes will face will impress upon our hearts the Church’s early creed.
There is one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all.
A Church inspired by this truth and visited by the grace and power of God can turn the world upside down as it did in the days of the Apostles. The Lord has promised (Joel 2; Acts 2) that He will send signs and wonders upon His servants as a testimony before the great and terrible day of the Lord. The day of the Lord approaches. Judgment is coming on the world. The children of Israel will enter the time of Jacob’s trouble, and the Gentiles will know that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Be prepared for the refining fire: it will hurt, but it will clean us all. Be prepared for an increase in persecution from the nations: many will hate us, but some will repent and believe. The Lord does not forget history as the sons of Adam do. He remembers when Britain was the great missionary nation of the world; He knows what America has done and is doing to bring the Gospel to those in darkness. He can do greater things than our fathers witnessed: for with God, all things are possible.