He Has Overcome
Sometimes being a Christian in the twenty-first century can be a little daunting. This is especially true for people who live in America and Europe. Two western cultures that have begun moving into a form of post Christian culture that values materialism, science, and progress above all things. When anything threatens any of these three idols within western culture people become quite agitated.
The western church has capitulated to materialism and consumerism, in some ways even utilizing the mindset and concepts to draw a crowd. The issue however is that this has watered down the gospel into something that it is not, and most who take this approach soon find themselves the member of a club and not a member of the living breathing body of Christ.
When it comes to science the western church has definitely compromised, but in different areas. For example, some deny the creation narrative within Genesis 1 stating that it cannot be true because science seems to push against it. Others object to miracles in the bible stating that there is no way that they occurred because they defy the laws of nature. Others make more considerations that affect how the church regards sin. When some scientists claimed to have found a genetic link to homosexuality, a good bulk of the church accepted that and then accepted homosexuality within their communities and leadership. These are just a few examples of how western culture has begun to worship science.
Western culture also has an obsession with progress. This progress is not just tied to certain aspects of the human experience but to all of it. The issue then is, whose progress is the one being cherished? Currently the progress of science, and secular humanism appear to be the two most prominent within our culture. At every turn we see that people are pushing for progress in every area from politics, to science, to entertainment, to fashion, and so on. This push for progress then has impacted the church an in so doing has pushed a number of people calling themselves Christian to abandon scripture and sound Christian teachings for their own opinion or the opinion of those who also seek a progressive solution to the world’s problems (versus the bible’s solution).
What are we to do then as Christians living in a western culture that is become increasingly aggressive towards the Christian worldview? Here is my suggestion, nothing. There is no need for us to get all uptight and upset over the world’s disdain for the gospel preached in truth. It does not surprise me that the prince of this world orchestrates and collaborates with the enemies of God’s people so that they may be persecuted. But, I would like to impress upon you a very simple truth, no matter what the world does against us. Whether they sue us, jail us, torture us, or kill us; they will never defeat us.
Jesus in John 16:33 states,
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
When the world persecutes us, we must remember that the world fights in a battle with a predetermined outcome. There is no glimmer of hope for its victory, for it will ultimately come to ruin and destruction under the wrath and judgment of God. In this then, we can have peace and know that our suffering is not in vain. We may know that the outcome is certain and our eternal place with Christ is assured for all time. Let us then, not be so concerned when things turn against us. Let us not be so discouraged, or so dependent on a world that is broken beyond repair (for us at least). There is no use in thinking on how things “used” to be, that is foolishness that looks at an occurrence of human history and damages our ability to minister to groups of people who were marginalized, oppressed, or maybe even enslaved during that period. The only time that Christians should be looking forward to is the future. Where we will live in an eternal kingdom at perfect peace with one another and with God. Oh how I long for this day to come, and pray for its arrival daily. May we all recognize that as the church we are a people and a nation foreign to this one, and yearn for our nations final culmination in the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Peace and blessings and as always thank you for reading.