By Brad Harrub
I recently listened to a sermon that put forth the question, what would a society look like if Satan were completely in control? The immediate answer that comes to mind would look something like a modern Sodom and Gomorrah. Pornography would be plastered everywhere, homosexuality would be rampant, abortions would be available on every corner, violence and theft would be regular occurrences in every neighborhood, and the Bible would be completely absent. While that’s one possible answer and it’s not necessarily wrong, the preacher offered a much more frightening possibility.
Rather than achieving a society completely absent of morality and anything good, many times Satan operates in another way. He offers comfort and a false feeling of safety. Therefore, this alternate society would be one in which homosexuality, pornography, and abortion aren’t really an issue. The family isn’t under attack. Atheism, secular humanism, and postmodernism have no real influence on society. That sounds pretty good, right? The catch – the Gospel is not truly preached within the church buildings and the transformational power of Jesus’ blood has little to no effect on lukewarm Christians. It doesn’t permeate their lives.
Which one of those would we choose? Undoubtedly the second, but each is equally dangerous. Quite frankly, the second scenario was not unlike what we had here in America in the last century, and it was that comfort that led to the first situation described. That brings up the question – what is our aim? What are we hoping to accomplish as a counter-cultural, Christ-preaching, Bible-living church?
While society continues to deteriorate, many of us who are located in the Bible Belt live in communities not unlike the second one described. Are we content to have “good” people around us who haven’t been reached by the Gospel? In most cases, yes. However, just because they aren’t trying to persecute us for being anti-homosexual or for believing in God doesn’t mean we can continue to operate in an “I’m ok, you’re ok” manner. We must view the world the way God views it – either for Him or against Him. Paul described himself and his readers as former enemies of God (Ephesians 2:3, Colossians 1:2). Those good, nice people who make up our neighborhoods, schools, and work environments have been an excuse for Christian stagnation and silence for far too long, and it’s time that changed.
Where does that change start? In our hearts. We can’t look at ourselves as mostly good people who needed a little forgiveness for small, insignificant sins. We need to view ourselves as wretched, worthless sinners who were bought by blood. Once we have an accurate grasp of the cost of just one sin, we can begin to see our comfortable, upstanding communities as they truly are, desperately in need of God’s healing power.
We all come together to cry out against media silencing of Phil Robertson, the Benham Brothers, and other public figures who have been labeled hateful because they teach the Bible. Once that storm blows over, though, we go back to our comfortable silence. Until we view the world as a daily battlefield for hearts and minds the way God does, nothing is going to change.
Are you comfortable living in a “good” community that is yet to submit to Jesus Christ as Lord? As long as the answer to that question is “yes,” Satan may just be doing his best work yet.