Jul 30, 2005

Preserving the Godly

The older I get the more I become a news “junkie.” Some of my friends like to tease me because if they call or visit and I am watching television, it is invariably a cable news network of some kind. I have always been interested in what is going on in society, and in this way I can know what is happening 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

As I watch these programs, I often think about how much American culture has changed in the past ten years. Now by no means do I want to imply that the sky is falling; however, it seems the older I become, the more culture defies the limits as to what is acceptable and what is not.

More distressing is that this seems to be occurring in the church as well. Many denominations endorse positions on sexuality that would have been unthinkable years ago. Even where biblical, sexual mores remain unquestioned, some have capitulated to the culture in other ways by accepting teachers who promote a gospel of greed and self-fulfillment. In the face of these difficulties it is sometimes all too easy to believe things will always be this way and that the church can have no meaningful impact on the culture.

This problem is not new for the church. The tendency to think that such things will never end has been a temptation for all Christians, at least on occasion. As we have seen for the past week, even those to whom Peter ministered grew discouraged by the false teaching and the corruption of culture and needed to be reassured that such would not endlessly continue (2 Peter 2:1–9).

We too must understand that the situation will not be like this forever. God has appointed a day on which He will judge the world and even now this judgment is beginning (vv. 9–10). Though it seems hard to fathom, God continues to preserve the godly and imprison the ungodly in judgment even though our outward circumstances might lead us to different conclusions.

Walking by faith and not by sight means that we believe God will one day set all things right. In anticipation of this day we must not despair but work to build the kingdom, trusting not in our efforts but in the promises of God. He is indeed preserving His people, even if that means we become a religious minority or even suffer martyrdom. Even now the kingdom continues to break in as we look forward to the consummation when God’s will shall be done as passionately on earth as it is in heaven.