This is an EXCELLENT commentary from Chuck Baldwin today!
His views resonate with me because (I have to admit) I've been prone to every now and then become so burdened and overhwelmed by what I see going on in the world that is prophetically significant that it's sometimes easy to take a "this-isn't-really-that-important-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things" approach to life.
I should clarify that those instances are few and far between and that they usually have to do with the seemingly mundane day-to-day stuff, and not the seemingly urgent issues that he's addressing here in this piece.
Still, I can identify with what he's saying and think he nails it. However, I should also note that while I'm in complete agreement about the current existence of apathy amongst Christians today in regards to such things, I do not agree with his assessment that we're not close to the return of Jesus Christ.
I've said it many times before and I'll say it again: I would be absolutely shocked if my generation (I'll be 30 in mid-June) didn't see the fulfillment of end times prophecy and the literal Second Coming of Jesus Christ. In addition, I would be shocked if the events of the Tribulation did not begin within the next few years (maybe 10 or less) if not much, much sooner. That's just my personal view.
Christians Use Prophecy To Excuse Laziness
By Chuck Baldwin
February 3, 2009
In response to my two previous columns regarding the current development of a devilish New World Order, many professing Christians wrote me with comments to the effect that we should not be concerned about whatever global tyranny may be developing, because "it's all a part of God's plan," or "Jesus is coming soon," and similar statements. I, too, believe in the imminent return of Jesus Christ to earth. But, then again, so did Christians from every generation over the last two millennia. In fact, the Apostle Paul was looking for the return of Christ while he lived (Philippians 3:20). But does anticipation of Christ's Second Coming excuse personal neglect, indifference, and downright laziness? Of course not.
Had pastors and Christians of colonial America believed and acted as most Christians believe and act today, this country would still be a Crown colony and we would never have known the freedoms and liberties that our forebears bequeathed to us. Christians of that era, however, believed that it was their duty and obligation to fight for right and do everything within their power to resist tyranny. They also believed that God would honor and bless their efforts, which He certainly did!
It is extremely difficult for me to reconcile the apathy and slave-like mentality that seems to permeate modern Christendom (in America) with both our own heritage and the very Word of God. For example, the Apostle Paul is very clear when he writes that a Christian must never "do evil, that good may come" (Romans 3:8). Yet, that is exactly what many, if not most, Christians are doing today.
When confronted with an obvious evil (a burgeoning tyrannical New World Order, not to mention a number of lesser evils), modern Christians will shrug and glibly say, "It's God's will; we must not oppose it," or words to that effect. This attitude says, "I will tolerate or even condone evil in order to hasten Christ's return."
In the first place, no one knows when Christ will return, no matter how many books or tapes they have produced to say they do. In Acts chapter 1, Jesus was asked by His disciples if He would, at that time, set up His kingdom.
The first words out of His mouth were, "It is not for you to know." Oh, we can speculate, surmise, and make educated guesses, but that's the best we can do. It's time we were honest enough to admit it: only God knows when Christ will return. In fact, Jesus said, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matthew 24:36).
In the meantime, millions of Christians across America are trying to play God. They talk as if they know when Christ will come. It's actually worse than that. They have the attitude that they have no personal responsibility to defend freedom and resist despotism. They seem to look at God as some kind of glorified fireman, who is obligated to rush in at the last minute to rescue them from a burning fire - - a fire that they helped ignite, or at least, refused to put out themselves when they had the opportunity to do so.
It's the old, "God would not let that happen in America" syndrome.
How arrogant can we be? Ask believers from despotic regimes around the world what they think about God letting tribulation come, and they will quickly tell you, "We are already in tribulation." Are Christians in the United States really that arrogant as to believe that God loves them more than He loves believers in other countries? If not, can we not see that if believers around the world have suffered (and still suffer) the heavy hand of tyranny and oppression, it is certainly possible for tyranny and oppression to come to our land? The fact is, the only reason that Christians in America have not (for the most part) suffered tyranny and oppression is because of the hard work and sacrifice of our forefathers. We are simply enjoying the fruit of their labor.
In the second place, how do we know what God would do, if we only had the backbone to do our duty? How do we know that God would not give America "a new birth of freedom" for our children and grandchildren, if we only had the courage and fortitude to oppose the evil being thrust upon us by these would-be tyrants? America is only the "land of the free," because it was the"home of the brave." Take away the latter and we lose the former. And that is exactly what is currently happening.
In the third place, Christians have a moral imperative to resist evil, even if their efforts are fruitless. We are not responsible for outcome, only effort. Believers throughout history acted on principle, leaving the results with God (read Hebrews chapter 11). Some were delivered; some were not.
That did not matter. What mattered was doing one's duty. We Christians are to give our bodies as "a living sacrifice" (Romans 12:1). It is God's prerogative to use our sacrifice as He sees fit. Therefore, there is no such thing as a "losing effort," when it comes to doing right. Doing right(resisting evil) is its own reward. The three Hebrew children were not commended because God delivered them from the burning fiery furnace; they were commended because they were willing to go into the burning fiery furnace. So must we be.
I believe the real reason why so many professing Christians are so apathetic and indifferent to what is happening has nothing to do with the teachings of Scripture, Bible doctrine, eschatology, or anything of the like. It has everything to do with old-fashioned laziness. Today's average Christian just flat does not want to be bothered. He has a comfortable house, an easychair, television, and a set of golf clubs in the closet. He takes two or three weeks' vacation every year, goes to church on Sunday (a church that does not intrude on his comfort zone, of course), pays taxes, and votes for his favorite "pro-life" Republican candidate every two years, and assumes that he is a "good" Christian and "patriotic" American. He is neither!
A real Christian patriot would never allow his country to be taken over by a gaggle of elitist goons bent on stealing his liberties - - including his religious liberties - - without doing everything in his power to prevent it. A real Christian patriot is active, alert, engaged, zealous, and committed to preserving liberty.
What if Jesus doesn't come for another 100 years? Another 200 years? What are we going to say to our grandchildren when they ask us what we were doing when our freedoms and liberties were being stolen? What will we say to our Christian forebears when we meet them in eternity? They sacrificed everything so that we could live in peace and freedom. What will we say to them? What will we say to God, who handed this land of liberty to us on a silver (albeit blood-soaked) platter?
Tell me again that "there is nothing we can do about it," or "it's God'swill," or "Jesus is coming soon." Better yet, tell it again to the suffering Christians around the world; tell it again to our Christian forebears; tell it again to your children and grandchildren who are going to inherit a land of tyranny and oppression, all because you were too lazy to resist.
I know unbelievers who have more character and determination about preserving liberty than many who call themselves Christians. And I have a ton more respect for them, too. Our Lord told us, "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required" (Luke 12:48). Yes, Christians in America have been given the best of both worlds, and many do not even appreciate it enough to see to it that their own children - - their own flesh and blood - - will live to enjoy the same blessings. They are pathetic!
So, the next time you hear some piety-draped Christian talking about how he won't engage the enemy and fight for liberty, because of prophecy, or some other spiritually-sounding platitude, just remember, it has nothing to do with prophecy, or anything of the sort: it has everything to do with old-fashioned laziness. My feeling toward him is the same as that of Sam Adams (a fellow Christian) toward the Tories of old: "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest for freedom - - go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!" Amen!
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