Watching our nation’s rapid moral and spiritual decline is disheartening. Every day it becomes easier to sympathize with the prophet Jeremiah, who grieved over the downfall of Judah: “They refused to take correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to repent. […] They have spoken falsely of the Lord and have said, ‘He will do nothing; no disaster will come upon us'” (Jer. 5:3, 12). Even the Lord’s church is in trouble. Apathy, materialism, immorality, and false doctrine are claiming one congregation after another.
But faithful disciples always have hope. That’s because Christ is in our future – no matter what. The Lord says, “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven” (Luke 6:22-23). Is America becoming increasingly hostile to Christian faith? Yes. Does Jesus want us to despair? No! We are to “leap for joy.”
But how can we rejoice when the world is going to hell in a handbasket? Jesus says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:14-16). The lights of a city are dim in the daylight, and a lamp burning in the sunshine attracts little attention.
Godless Americans are wandering ever deeper into darkness. And tragically, many once-faithful Christians are only a step behind. But never give up! The true church of Jesus Christ has an opportunity to shine for Jesus more brightly than ever.