We are living in a time when it is becoming increasingly difficult to get through to people of all ages with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The lies of Satan abound in every imaginable social and cultural form, mesmerizing the minds of people everywhere. Vain philosophies, fables, “oppositions of science falsely called so” (I Timothy 6:20), false prophets of all descriptions (Matthew 24:11), media lies and religious confusion stemming from an apostate church spewing “seducing spirits and doctrines of devils” (I Timothy 4:1) and false gospels (Galatians 1:6-9), have all taken an appalling toll in our nation and around the world. Most folks these days are in such a stupor they cannot even faintly discern truth even when it is staring them in the face and screaming.
The gospel of Jesus Christ remains “the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth…” (Romans 1:16). Yet, in numberless ways, the god of this world (Satan) “hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (II Corinthians 4:4).
What will it take to have the light of this glorious gospel to break through to those so absolutely blinded by the enemy? How can the insidious grip of spiritual blindness be broken? What will it take for someone to see through the deceptions of Satan, to clearly recognize the guilt of their sin against a holy God and their desperate need of the saving mercy and grace found only in Jesus Christ?
What will it take? Do we need better equipped messengers, bolder, wiser, more passionate men and women truly full of and clearly led by the Holy Spirit? Yes! What about more fasting and prayer for the lost ones in our world? For sure! Would sterner warnings about the clear and present dangers of hell, God’s judgment upon the unrepentant and the ultimate eternal punishment in the lake of fire for all those who reject Jesus Christ provide a sufficient wake-up call? Perhaps. Would seeing more amazing miracles bring people to repentance and faith in Christ? Maybe. Would key personal tragedies in our lives constitute a sufficient call to awaken us to our need for God? Possibly. What about great natural disasters and/or a major economic crash? Could be.
What did it take for some people to wake up as recorded in the pages of Scripture? Some woke up early. Some woke up just in time. Some woke up late. Some didn’t wake up until it was too late
For the wicked in Noah’s day it took a worldwide flood. But for all with the exception of 8 souls (Noah and his family), it was too late to be saved. “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Mathew 24:37-39).
For the proud Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar it took being driven out of his palace, losing his mind, and 7 times (years) of living like a crazed animal, clawing and eating grass like an ox, until one day he realized “…the Most High doth rule in the kingdom of men…” (Daniel 4:25ff).
For a proud, rich, self-centered man described by Jesus in Luke 16, it took death and being locked in the torments of hell with no possibility of escape. Yes he woke up there, but for him it was too late.
For Israel in Jesus’ day, after 3 ½ years of the incarnate Son of God living, teaching and performing great miracles among them, the people, for the most part, rejected Him and demanded that He be crucified. A few had awakened and believed. The vast majority had not. “But though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him” (John 12:37).
For a zealous, violent and cruel religious leader, Saul of Tarsus, fanatically spearheading the persecution of the New Testament Church, it took a dramatic, shocking encounter with the risen Lord Jesus Christ Himself on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-16). This amazing revelation of Jesus Christ was the key event that launched the transformation of Saul of Tarsus into the Apostle Paul, who declared and detailed the gospel of Christ throughout the Roman Empire and, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, brought us a large portion of New Testament Scripture (Acts 26:16-18).
America has been warned again and again by many prophetic voices calling for true “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21b). But for the most part, despite futile attempts to hide under a now rapidly dissipating religious veneer, we are sinking deeper and deeper into rebellion, idolatry, political and corporate corruption, violence, witchcraft, sexual perversion, along with unrelenting murder of the unborn.
As a nation, we are most definitely nearing the condition Judah was in long ago under King Zedekiah. “Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the Lord which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy [no cure, no deliverance] (II Chronicles 36:14-16).
Perhaps America has crossed too many lines, ignoring and arrogantly rejecting a multitude of warnings of all kinds. And tragically most of our wake-up calls are falling on deaf ears. It may very well be too late for the survival of our nation as we have known it. It is very late to be sure. But it’s still not too late for many.
God’s loud alarms are going off everywhere today! What will it take for us to wake up?
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep…” (Romans 13:11a).
“Awake to righteousness, and sin not…” (I Corinthians 15:34).
“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (Ephesians 5:14)
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