Almost everyone I talk to these days is experiencing some level of anxiety, depression, or hopelessness. It’s as if this is a pandemic all its own. The world is bathed in fear. People fear a virus, their government, diminishing freedoms, or increasing violence. Between fear and depression, I think it’s safe to say a large percentage of our population is desperate for a way out. They need hope.
Meanwhile, we as followers of Jesus hold the answer to all their problems. There has never been a more necessary time to talk about Jesus. There has never been more fallow ground. Our job is to go and plant the seeds of the gospel. People are hungry, and we hold the bread of life.
So, why aren’t we telling others about Jesus? In a time demanding we speak out more than any other moment in recent history, we are self-isolating and remaining quiet. There are wonderful exceptions, but the Church as a whole has been remarkably quiet throughout the tumultuous last eighteen months. When people needed the Church the most, the great majority of houses of worship locked their doors. When our neighbors were most vulnerable, the body of Christ shut themselves inside their own homes.
Where is the boldness of the early Church in the book of Acts? Do we not have the same Spirit of God in our hearts and souls? Of course, we do! But we are squandering the power afforded to us by God’s Spirit in favor of appeasing the rulers of this world. Instead of bowing the knee to those who are not God, we need to stand firm and say with the Apostle Peter, “We must obey God rather than men!” (Acts 5:29)
This is not the time to run and hide. That day may come, but until then, we must fight as long as there is light. We must tell the world the good news of Jesus and love our neighbor as ourselves. One of my favorite passages in the Bible is I Corinthians 16:13-14, which says, “Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong. Your every action must be done with love.” Each of us is called to be alert, stand firm, and be strong. We are all called to do everything we do in love for our Savior. How are we measuring up today?
We were not alert. Instead of always preparing ourselves for the return of Christ, we got lazy and comfortable in the spoils of this world. We have not stood firm but have let the pleasures of this world slowly erode our faithfulness. Now we will discover if, in the face of persecution and trials, we will indeed be strong.
Brothers and sisters, there is no more time for indecision. There is no more time to “wait and see”. The moment is upon us. The harvest is plentiful, but will the servants of Christ go out and work the fields? This is our moment. It is pass or fail. We will hold fast to the Word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ, or we will fall away and deny our Savior. The time is now. What will you do?