For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels (Mark 8:38).
I am confident most of you, if not all of you, have sung this song from Crum’s Sacred Selections for the church. This song has always held a special meaning for us, but it seems like singing this song may hold even more of a meaning to Christians here in this 21st century of modern America. Over the past two generations, we have seen our society fall into wickedness. But it seems like the past 2 to 3 decades have seen us spiral out of control into the depths of evil deeper and deeper. It truly helps us as His Christians to better appreciate the truth of this song, for this world is NOT our home.
The more comfortable we as the Lord’s people are, the more easily our spiritual eyes can be distracted from Christ and His will for our lives. And Christians have been comfortable for many generations, at least in this country. The wickedness of this generation has brought us back to a better and clearer reality. When Jesus uttered the above phrase, He certainly was referring to the first-century Jews, especially in regard to the majority of the leadership of the Pharisees and Sadducees. However, I wonder if every generation is wicked and perverse. Perhaps they are, and ours certainly is reaching this depth.
More and more Christians are being ostracized. We are becoming more and more different in our way of thinking compared to the world. For this reason, it has become more common for the Lord’s people to be called names for what we believe is morally upright. Being called names is certainly not new to His Christians. It is my understanding the Romans would call those who followed the Lord “Christians,” but it does not seem to have been a name of honor at first. It was a type of slur intended to embarrass Christians. It is also worth noting the Romans did not persecute Christians because they worshipped Jehovah through His Son, Jesus Christ. They persecuted Christians because they did not worship or show honor to the gods of the Romans. We can also see this happening today. Idolatry is still very much alive and well, though today’s gods go by different names, whether it is worshipping Creation or worshipping ideas. We are made fun of by those who worship such inventions.
Just consider all the vile wickedness the world is trying to “shove down our throats,” as it were. Just consider the commercials that are advertised on our TVs and even in the midst of the shows we watch. Even in some of the newer Star Treks, it is becoming obvious. Many lift these vile things up as worthy of honor. It is interesting that at one time, these ungodly lifestyles only wanted to be left to their own devices, but now it has reached a point where we are pressured to honor them as just as honorable as the Lord’s ideal for marriage. When in reality, they are perversions.
Another tactic that is being used to “silence” Christians is to urge us to keep our messages within our “church buildings.” We are encouraged not to speak of the Lord’s Ways outside them. This was a similar tactic the Jewish leaders used against the apostles. They did not seem to care what the apostles believed; they just told them not to preach it to the people! Fortunately, the apostles did not keep the Lord’s truths to themselves, for they did preach and teach them to the people! We dare not do otherwise. The Lord never intended for us not to preach to any and all who are interested. And do not be deceived. There are still those who are looking and searching for hope in the midst of this seemingly darkening world. The darker it gets, the more easily the light can be seen.
One of the other tactics used against Christians is accusing us of “hate speech.” Preaching the need for repentance is considered “hateful” to many. There are some Western nations that have made it illegal to preach the need for repentance. Bibles are a prime target for such laws, for the Holy Scriptures are considered “hateful” to many. The fact we believe in right and wrong is repugnant to many. Nowhere is this more obvious than what is being perpetrated in many government schools in regard to gender issues.
Christians are beginning to be considered a detriment to society, for we look to the Lord and His promises as worthy of hope. The very popular Bill Nye, “The Science Guy,” has stated such publicly. A growing number of people are demanding Christians stop teaching their children about the Lord creating the Universe!
We certainly have a number of things in common with those saints of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11. Consider what they were searching for, at least on an unconscious level, as noted in Hebrews 11:13-16. Yes, we have found what they did not. We have found the “heavenly country” they sought for, the Lord’s church, but we also are searching through faith and hope. The church is not a final destination. While it does provide a pathway to that final hope, our final goal is to be joined with the Creator we are indeed searching for.
Why have I brought these things to your attention? Certainly not to make you afraid. But to rejoice, for we have messages of hope for those interested whom I mentioned previously. We have children and grandchildren to teach the Lord’s righteous truths. We have the “Rock” as our solid foundation to build our lives upon, even while living in the midst of this “wicked and perverse generation.”
Let us not be afraid of what man can do to us nor what man thinks of us. Let us continue to speak boldly and with the love of His marvelous works and nature. Let us continue to worship the Lord in spirit and truth, for in so doing, we are pleasing our Lord, we are in the process of being saved eternally, and we can and must help others along the narrow path. “Come quickly, Lord Jesus!” To quote another song, “Lift up your heads! Redemption draweth nigh!”