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I’m beginning to wonder if I have fallen for a lie.

Which lie is that?

That we, as Americans, could all just get along regardless of our differences.

To discuss it, I’m going to work off this statement from Jesus:

“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Matthew 12:30).1

Christians in the United States of America for such a long time have thought that, even though a friend, neighbor, business-owner, or politician wasn’t a believer in Jesus, we would all be good Americans, do the right thing, and allow people to say and believe freely what they pleased. We celebrated that freedom. However, for several decades the number of Christians in this country has diminished. Either because of that or in spite of it, our moral mindset has shifted.

That shift has been dramatically downward, toward sin, and away from Western ideals of morality. That shift has been toward sins that, in God’s eyes, are abominable. Thus, this society has become less tolerant of Christian beliefs. People are now getting fired from their jobs because they hold to biblical truth. However, this oppression is nothing new. Bakers have been sued because they wouldn’t use their artistry to proclaim an act they believed was sinful. For decades, professors and scientists who wanted to present questions about a theory—Darwin’s—were either denied tenure, forced from their jobs, or simply not hired at all.  

This is not freedom of thought and religion, and there is good reason to think it will surely grow worse.

So, as we saw, Jesus said plainly that the one who is not with Him is against Him. And plainly enough, we have a majority of American citizens who are not with Jesus and are thus against Him.

And against us.

Let’s consider these statements from Jesus:

“You will be hated by all for my name’s sake” (Luke 21:17).

“For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed” (John 3:20).

Hate. There’s a lot of it out there, and it’s not just directed at Christians. However, with hatred permeating the society, is it a stretch to consider that some of that hate, after looking at these verses, will come to believers in Jesus? What kind of behavior should we expect from people who are “futile in their thinking,” whose “foolish hearts are darkened,” and have impure and dishonorable passions? (Romans 1:18-24).

We should expect what Jesus said. Hatred of the light, the light that Jesus shines out from us. Hatred because the Holy Spirit convicts the unbeliever of sin. That is uncomfortable and provokes anger.

However, that, of course, is the way all of us were before we knew Him.

Thus, we do not condemn those who reject Jesus and the life He offers, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t recognize what sin is and the deathly price that one pays for living in it. And it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t recognize the subsequent danger to those who are endeavoring to live in obedience to Him and His words.

Am I a pessimist?

Oh, I have hope in God. But in this country? Not so much. Without a spectacular, nation-changing revival, I see no reason to hope in the future of this nation at all. We are, as we say these days, trending downward.

I urge all Christians to pray for their countries. Hatred is out there among those who aren’t believers because the one who is not with Him is in opposition to Him, as Jesus said. They hate Him, although they will give lip service to the shallow truth that He was a good man. But receive Him? Follow Him? No. They hate light and truth and righteousness, and He is the pinnacle of them all. If you are a Christian and not of this world, they will hate you because of those very same traits.

“If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:19).

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

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