For those who hoped that our experience of living in times of crisis might end with 2020, I do not need to tell you that your hopes have already been dashed.
We might consider the string of crises that date back to last March as separate events, or we might think of them as one multi-faceted whole. We might also discuss those who appear to have engineered them, manipulated them or benefited from them.
But one thing is for sure: We are living in a time of national crisis, and our way of life has been altered—likely forever—in ways that we could not have imagined 12 months ago.
The latest round of crisis erupted before us on Wednesday, as a day that many anticipated would bring high political drama somehow escalated into life-and-death chaos through an unprecedented assault on the United States Capitol building.
We who are only able to watch these events from afar wonder how many of them are largely gamesmanship—distractions to take our eyes off of the Great Reset that world leaders promise, beginning this month; or whether the promised reset itself is merely political theater.
It is very difficult to know what to say about any of these issues. First of all, do any of us have enough of the facts to say anything meaningful at all? Secondly, what might we say that cannot be disproven—or, at least, found to be obsolete—by the time it is posted? And what is there to be said, really, that has not been said a million times already?
Ah, there is the point!
My purpose in this short column is not to tell you I have all the answers regarding what is happening in the minds and machinations of politicos who have set their designs on managing one crisis upon another over the past 11 months. Nor do I claim to have a political solution that will bring external peace and happiness to all those who read.
Nor do I think that those are the greatest needs at this hour.
Right now, the world, at its worst, needs the church, at its best. It needs a clearly considered and thoroughly Biblical response to all aspects of the crises that threaten us now from every side.
Such a unique response will not be crafted to address the political calculations of those looking for quick fixes. In fact, “the natural man (will) not receive” this prescription at all, “for” it will be “foolishness to him” (1 Cor. 2:14). It must still be offered and made available for the one “who has an ear,” that he might “hear” (Rev. 3:22), however.
Largely failing to understand such a response, the world will instead seek to place us on the horns of a dilemma that it creates for us. In so doing, the world hopes to deceive us into, perhaps inadvertently, conceding to many other points of its evil and godless agenda. Since all of us are now on social media, we must now all learn to think in terms of how media operates. That means, for one thing, that we dare not make any statement of which any part can be twisted out of context to our detriment. Sloppiness is not an option. We must all learn quickly to become “wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matt. 10:16).
Furthermore, the response that we offer must account for all aspects of the events of our time—including the ways in which these events clearly appear to be setting the stage for future prophetic fulfillment.
Some people—even my friends—do not like it when I talk this way. They accuse me of date-setting, or of attempting to shoehorn America into Bible prophecy—where it is neither specifically named nor implied. I am certainly not doing either of those. What I am saying is that the world’s lone superpower must somehow relate to the events surrounding the coming, global tribulation. We may not know how, but we certainly know that it does.
It is difficult to watch the things that are happening to our beloved nation, yet God has placed each of us here “for such a time as this” (Esth. 4:14), and He has made us stewards accountable to Him for the opportunities that He has given us at this strategic and vitally important time.
One opportunity that all of us have is that of “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15) in such a skillful and pointed way that it will become that “word fitly spoken” (Prov. 25:11) for which the world is desperately—even if unknowingly—longing.
But before we can speak wisely, we first have to think deeply. And this is our challenge:
“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord. (Isa. 1:18a)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Paul J. Scharf (M.A., M.Div., Faith Baptist Theological Seminary) is a church ministries representative for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, serving in the midwest. He also assists Whitcomb Ministries and writes for “Answers” Magazine and Regular Baptist Press. For more information on his ministry, visit foi.org/scharf or email firstname.lastname@example.org.