As current events worsen, many people are struggling to understand what is happening around them. Fear and anger resonate with frustration and people are desperate for solutions. Some strive to promote awareness while others call for legislative action, donations, protests, and the like. While action is needed, these solutions cannot effectively address what lies at the heart of the matter: the heart.
A brief retrospective of some of the worst evils that have happened in human history tell us this. Think about it. The slave trade. The Holocaust. The world wars. Attempted genocides. Religious persecution. Events such as these have covered the earth in blood for hundreds of years.
Now fast forward to modern times. While times and circumstances have changed, while laws have been written and organizations have formed to combat many of these evils in our lifetime, the same spirit that gave rise to these terrors is alive and well. It has changed with the times and continues to stir up the worst passions of the human heart and the evidence of this is plainly seen.
But the problem is that our response to countering these things has not changed. Even men and women of faith turn to solutions that only address the symptoms of this disease and not the disease itself. Others professing the faith join the ungodly in committing the very evils that now afflict the hearts of many.
Such persons in the faith have forgotten how they were delivered from the evil of their hearts. It was Jesus that convicted them of the sins that afflicted them and their loved ones. It was He who changed their hearts and characters, even their very lives. It was through Christ dwelling in their hearts that their friends and family were inspired to either join or return to the faith. It was Jesus who warned them that these terrible things were coming.
“ For nation shall rise against nation… And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another… And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matt. 24:7, 10, 12).
Jesus changed the world because He ministered to the hearts of men, even men who hated Gentiles and looked down on others because of their poverty and/or sinful lifestyles. He didn’t do this through the legal authorities of the Sanhedrin or the Roman hierarchy. He didn’t call for marches or donations. He reached their hearts through personal ministry. He let His light shine before men (Matt. 5:16) and the people who received it were transformed by the renewing of their minds (a.k.a. their hearts) (Rom. 12:2).
As the events prophesied of continue to unfold, it is crucial for men and women in the faith to remember that they are dealing with the spirit of rebellion against God. They cannot deal with these things or minister to the hearts of men with natural means. Legislative power, donations, and protests may change behaviors, but they cannot change the heart. As Christians, we must remember how evil our hearts once were and how they were changed.
Show the world the fruits of a changed heart. Let your light shine before men. Maintain your integrity in these times Jesus told you were coming so that when you are approached, you will be ready to teach people how they can enjoy the benefits of a heart renewed by the grace of God.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6:12).
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:2)
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Pet. 3:15).
“And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe” (Jn. 14:25).