“To act coolly, intelligently and prudently in perilous circumstances is the test of a man – and also a nation.” – Adlai E. Stevenson
The words above were spoken by a former politician and US Ambassador to the United Nations, who took a shrewd stand in the midst of the Cold War between America and Russia. Senator Joseph McCarthy, some believe in order to salvage his political career, leveraged the tensions between the nations. He went on a now infamous rampage accusing various individuals, celebrities and politicians
(including Stevenson), of having Communist ties and being, “Enemies from within.” In ‘McCarthyism’ many were blacklisted and lost jobs who were eventually found not to be Communist. At the time, Adlai Stevenson held that the nation was being duped and overreacted to McCarthy’s charges, and citizens were losing their freedoms, liberty and human rights. For this stance he lost several elections. This was a PERILOUS time in US history, and it seems we may be entering another. PERILOUS means full of danger or risk; exposed to imminent risk of disaster or ruin.
Paul described for his protege Timothy, the climate and attitudes that would prevail in “the last days.” I can imagine throughout Church history, many teachers have warned their students that they were in perilous times. I wonder if they could envision what we are now experiencing:
1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone. 2 Timothy 3:1-9
Sounds eerily familiar, doesn’t it? This is actually about apostasy in the Church! people from whom we’re to distance ourselves. Paul shared the sufferings and persecutions he endured in the midst of the peril, “but the LORD rescued me from the all.” He cautioned, “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (vs. 11-13)
What are God’s people to do when darkness and peril surrounds? Romans 12:2 instructs us not to conform to the pattern of the world. So showing their same characteristics is not the answer. The prophet Isaiah said
that in evil times, God’s chosen are to be the remedy. “Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the LORD rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the LORD rises and appears over you. All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance.” (Isa. 60:1-3, NLT)Jesus called us the salt of the earth and the light of the world, and urged us not to lose our preservative qualities, or hide our light under a basket. (Matt 5:13-16) He also warned us to be careful that the light in us not really be darkness. (Luke 11:35) So, let it SHINE!
WEDNESDAY’S WORD – REVIVAL – 2/15/2023
“A revival does two things. First, it returns the Church from her backsliding and second, it causes the conversion of men and women; and it always includes the conviction of