Jesus Himself said: “You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:14-15). As Jesus’ followers, we should know what He is planning concerning the events for our nation. We should be involved with praying about them. As it was with Daniel, God needs those who read His Word, pray His promises into reality, and carry out His plan on this earth.
In the parable of the fig tree (Matthew 24:32–44), Jesus told His disciples that when we begin to see the events He foretold earlier in Matthew 24, they would be indications of the end of this age—just as new leaves on the fig tree indicate that summer is coming. He taught that the generation that saw these things would also see End-Time prophecy fulfilled. Look for a moment at what Jesus said would mark the final age and His return:
✧ Many would come in His name setting themselves up as Christ and establishing their own religions (Matthew 24:5, 11).
✧ There will be wars and rumors of wars; and nations will rise up against nations (Matthew 24:6–7).
✧ There will be famines, epidemic diseases, and earthquakes all over the world (Matthew 24:7).
✧ Persecution shall increase (Matthew 24:8–10).
✧ Sin shall flourish and Christian love will grow cold (Matthew 24:12).
I have seen this prophesied “falling away” in my lifetime, and it is rapidly increasing. An article in Christianity Today reported on a Pew Research Center poll regarding beliefs of people in America: “’We believe in God,’ Amy Grant famously sang in the ’90s. Today, 4 out of 5 Americans still say the same. But . . . what they mean by God varies a lot. Pastors and theologians often warn Christians against ascribing to a ‘God of their own making,’ knowing that not all who say they believe understand God as described in Scripture or in the traditional creeds of the church.” Liberals have used “freedom of speech” to legalize every form of perversity. What used to be hidden and spurned is taking to the streets and steadily growing. At the same time, Christians in the U.S. seem less and less sure of themselves, as much of our culture has turned against God. Christian expression is being increasingly limited in our schools and society in general.
Meanwhile, our pews are occupied by people who are biblically illiterate. Why? Because churches have abandoned Christian education in favor of a feel-good faith! We pay more attention to the music we sing than the Gospel that is preached. We hold “seeker-sensitive” services to gently introduce sinners into the church environment. Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for reaching out to those who don’t know the Lord; after all, it’s our Great Commission. There is, however, a fine line between making churches more seeker-friendly and compromising biblical truth. Our marching orders are to go into the world and “make disciples. . .baptizing them. . .teaching them to observe all things” (see Matthew 28:19–20) that God commanded. The goal is not for converts; it is for disciples. And making disciples requires more than a “don’t-worry, be-happy” gospel. It requires faithful preaching of all of Scripture, including the parts that are difficult to hear and convict our hearts.