Robin and Janette Johnson
Everyday we are bombarded with someone speaking about change. Mostly it is ‘climate change’ or ‘culture change’ the latter referred to by some as ‘cancel culture’. It appears it is the same small crowd demanding both. Pushing fear of catastrophic climate disasters and manipulating social engineering, knowingly or unknowingly and likely unwittingly they are influenced by doctrines of demons and the antichrist spirit permeating modern day society.
The Holy Spirit has explicitly revealed: At the end of this age, many will depart from the true faith one after another, devoting themselves to spirits of deception and following demon-inspired revelations and theories. 1 Timothy 4:1 (TPT)
Of the two, the biggest threat to us is ‘culture change’ not ‘climate change’. There is no denying that we are experiencing changing weather patterns and catastrophic events, but in reality it has happened frequently before in world history. There is much scientific evidence that indicates this.
People, young and old are being deceived and radicalised by the evangelists of a new world order hellbent on destroying age-old values, which have long helped to hold our world together. To voice anything that is contrary to the new dialogue and hold on to the so called ‘old standards’; puts you in a category where your opinion is irrelevant and regarded as oppressive.
As believers committed to Jesus Christ, living our lives according to His Word and being willing to speak, the road ahead looks bumpy. There have always been challenges for those who choose to follow Christ and adhere to His Word. For believers in the Western world the challenge is becoming more obvious and intense. Brothers and sisters in other parts of the world have endured suffering and hardships for a long time, for a whole range of reasons, because they follow Jesus. That is something most Western Christians have only read about. Today though, the whole world is facing changes and new threats.
It was said of the 70s that it was the age of enlightenment and the sexual revolution. These are now an occupying force. Today we are told that gender is fluid. We are neither male or female, one can choose their own gender. Holding to the norm that our gender for life is identified at birth, male or female, can open one up to ridicule and even abuse.
Professing to be wise, they became fools. Romans 1:22
Womanhood continues to be attacked. Women are tragically being disrespected, devalued, abused and grossly dishonoured when a male is allowed to arbitrarily claim to be ‘woman’. When the world is talking about women’s rights and protecting them from abuse etc, and rightly so, it is outrageous to consider how a biological male can claim to be a woman. A man claiming to be a woman and then competing in women’s sport, is unfair and dangerous.
“People with gender issues deserve respect — but not at the expense of the biological, sex-based rights of women and children.” Kirralie Smith — Binary Australia
Truth and Mercy
In this so called enlightened age, truth can be anything you want it to be. Sadly this kind of faulty thinking is also seen among some Christians. Scripture is taken out of context and manipulated to suit. If you hold an opposing view or voice a different opinion, you can be accused of being judgemental, uncaring, cruel and bigoted. We most certainly need to walk in mercy towards those who struggle with sexual identity and life’s issues (Jude 1:23). We must hold to the truth, and with compassion guide people to genuine freedom in Christ, enabling them to be set free from destructive beliefs and life choices.
Misinformation, confusion and misrepresentation has been the devil’s weapons from the beginning. He continues to use these today. His strategy to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) has not changed! As believers we must be discerning and aware so we do not get caught up in the devil’s schemes.
Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them. Ephesians 5:11
Over the past two thousand years much of Western society’s foundations were established by embracing the teachings of Jesus Christ. This resulted in blessings that come with the pursuit of truth and righteousness. Laws and common practices that were founded on the Judeo-Christian ethic, generally speaking made for a more free, stable, prosperous and safer society. Those values and practices have been under threat for sometime now and are further disappearing. In fact there is little doubt that we are living in a post Christian Era. As disciples of Jesus Christ holding fast to His teachings, the values instilled in us, which we refuse to relinquish, mean we come under attack more and more. Jesus said:
Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Matthew 5:11
If we in the West abandon our foundations, then the whole world may suffer the consequences. The foolishness displayed through liberal values, the censorship of a Christian voice and moral decay will flow on to nations who previously looked to the West for leadership, stability and freedom. Speaking about censorship of Christians and the loss of freedom Kurt Mahlburg wrote:
“Quite simply, if in the course of time the West is no longer free, then there will be no safe harbours left.” Cross and Culture – Can Jesus Save the West?
Living in changing and difficult times
Moral values are being challenged, questioned and altered on many levels.
- Sexual preferences or orientations fluid
- Moral choices subjective
- Abortion a right
- Euthanasia an option, the compassionate choice
- Unethical business practices
- Governments’ over interference
- Children continue to suffer abuse and at risk
- Education system ineffective with standards eroding
They are just some of the difficulties. The challenges are very real. Blurring of the beliefs, concepts, norms and ethics are creating confusion as the intellectuals create new definitions around diversity and sexuality. Good is being called evil and evil is being called good (Isaiah 5:20). The community and Christians are under pressure.
Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:12-13
I remember being in a meeting listening to the great Bible teacher Erin Baxter (1974) and heard him state, “Sin makes people stupid!”
What a profound statement! Especially true as we observe the stupidity we see all around. There is a push to drop personal pronouns; he, she, him, her, etc. Language is used as a weapon and gender is lost in the confusion of moral bankruptcy and clouds of stupidity. Social engineering is continuing to take taking place before our eyes and the world goes blindly along. To believe and suggest anything different, potentially opens one up to legal action (in some jurisdictions). You are labeled cruel, lacking compassion and are told our beliefs are outdated, not relevant today.
Generations before us have faced challenges and as Jesus return still is pending generations after us will also face more difficult times. We need to see the tide turned back now for the sake of our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
What can the righteous accomplish when truth’s pillars are destroyed and law and order collapse? Psalms 11:3 (TPT)
The Psalmist continues and gives us some insight to the answer. God is in control!
Yet the Eternal One is never shaken—he is still found in his temple of holiness, reigning as Lord and King over all. He is closely watching everything that happens. And with a glance, his eyes examine every heart. For his heavenly rule will prevail over all. Psalms 11:4 (TPT)
Stand firm on the truth
The blueprint for our success and survival has not changed and will not change for the generations to follow. The Word of God remains stedfast forever (1 Peter 1:25).
Every Scripture has been written by the Holy Spirit, the breath of God. It will empower you by its instruction and correction, giving you the strength to take the right direction and lead you deeper into the path of godliness. 17 Then you will be God’s servant, fully mature and perfectly prepared to fulfill any assignment God gives you. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (TPT)
For us who believe we must stand firm, hold on to the truth, our foundation and rock, which is Christ and His Word. This may not come without a cost. However, we are promised that our God will not abandon us. Suffering is a foreign concept for many in the West. Whole doctrines, errant teaching around prosperity, living a life devoid of trouble and being in charge of ones destiny have been proclaimed and wrongly promoted for too long. Some may sound plausible, but these are not biblical truth or a pattern for true disciples of Jesus to follow. We are told to avoid such teaching (2 Timothy 3:5).
There are certain, solid foundations on which to build a godly and victorious life in Christ.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
When preaching on this verse I usually like to reverse the order.
1. Walk humbly with your God — our life must always start with God first, in genuine humility.
2. To love kindness — the goodness which originates with the God who we serve, shown in how we care for people.
3. To do justice — the practice of which has its origin with the God whose Word we follow, living in integrity in all we do and say; also desiring justice for others.
Then there is one other statement, which for us who believe is also fundamental to our life of overcoming. Wherever we are living, in whichever culture or society we dwell and whatever threat we face for the faith we hold, we can overcome.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,
“Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. Revelation 12:10-11
1. The blood — The price has been paid, our victory secured by Jesus’ blood
2. The Word — Our testimony of Jesus is a weapon to destroy the devil
3. Self sacrifice — In the face of the greatest threat, we win refusing to deny Christ
Life’s challenges are not simply going to disappear. Nevertheless, our God is the source of our strength, Jesus is our hope, the Holy Spirit helps us navigate though this life and our heavenly Father guarantees our future here and forever as we cling to His Word and not give in.
Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope! Romans 15:13 (TPT)
Bold Compassionate Voice
As believers we must not shrink back from our responsibility to keep speaking into our society, with love, truth, compassion and justice. For those who struggle with their sexuality and other diverse issues, the church must provide help; sensible and accurate guidance for anyone seeking support and freedom.
Though I have talked about ‘the change we do not need’, there is change the world definitely does need. The change that comes about through embracing the teachings of Jesus Christ, which begins by surrendering to Christ as Lord and Saviour (Acts 20:21). When I surrendered my life to Christ no one gave me a list of instructions or told me to stop my destructive and damaging behaviour. God through His mercy and grace transformed my life, set me free and put me on a new path. And today some 50 years later the amazing grace of God continues to work in my life bringing further change.
God’s marvelous grace has manifested in person, bringing salvation for everyone. 12 This same grace teaches us how to live each day as we turn our backs on ungodliness and indulgent lifestyles, and it equips us to live self-controlled, upright, godly lives in this present age. Titus 2:11-12 (TPT)
Scripture references are taken from the New American Standard Bible unless otherwise stated. (TPT) The Passion Translation