Our nation’s 46th president, Joe Biden, has warned that we will be facing a “dark winter” as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread across America.
The impact certainly has been enormous. Hundreds of thousands have died since the first case of the virus was reported last January in Washington state. Since then, hospital ICU units have been overwhelmed, frontline health care workers have been pushed to their limits, many churches have been unable to meet for worship and our daily lives have been severely disrupted.
Millions of Americans remain unemployed as harsh lockdowns on businesses continue, and the physical isolation and quarantine have taken a huge emotional toll on millions more.
The dark winter that Biden described is not just due to the coronavirus, as devastating as it has been—it’s due also to the moral decline of our nation and the political corruption we see throughout our country.
When my father was preaching in London in 1954, he was invited to 10 Downing Street to meet with Prime Minister Winston Churchill. In those days, communism overshadowed the whole world, and Mr. Churchill said that he had no hope for the future of our world. Outside of God, that is right—there is no hope. Then Churchill asked my father if he had any real hope, which opened the door for my father to pray with him and share the Gospel—including our everlasting hope in the return of Christ.
America faces a dark period of history if God turns His back on our nation because of our sins, including our leaders embracing and flaunting evil. Sad to say, even some churches are embracing what God has defined as sin.
None of this should take us by surprise.
We have tried to remove God from schools. It’s a constitutional “right” to kill babies in the womb—by the tens of millions. Marriage, according to the Supreme Court, is no longer just between one man and one woman. All 50 states must now officially recognize and perform same-sex marriages.
The Bible says this in the Gospel of John: “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).
A society that refuses to acknowledge God is in deep trouble. A nation that calls “evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20) and openly and unashamedly rebels against His ways is in even deeper trouble.
This is why our only hope is truly in God, and in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus came to dispel the darkness. Speaking of the Savior 700 years before His birth, the Prophet Isaiah described His earthly ministry in Galilee where, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined” (Isaiah 9:2).
And the Apostle John declared in the prologue to his Gospel announcing Jesus’ coming into the world: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:4-5).
It’s the Light of the Gospel, the Light of Christ, that shines into men’s hearts when they are born again, and it transforms them for all eternity. And it’s that Light that truly is the hope for our nation and for the whole world.
We need that Light in the White House and halls of Congress. We need the moral principles of Scripture and laws founded firmly on the Judeo-Christian ethic to be once again the guiding light for legislation. We need that Light to shine in churches where the saving Gospel of Christ’s death on the cross for our sins, and His triumphant resurrection, are loudly proclaimed from the pulpit. We need that Light to shine in the hearts of believers so they can live boldly for the Name of Jesus Christ in a culture that has grown to hate God.
Jesus is the Light of the world, and there is no darkness that can dispel or extinguish the Light.
As we begin a new year with a new administration that I believe will be decidedly hostile to believers, this is my earnest prayer, from 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” Prayer and repentance on behalf of God’s people has always been the foundation for both personal and national revival. As the Holy Spirit purified His own people to live holy lives, God moves in His own mysterious ways to hear and answer their pleas.
I certainly am grateful for the past four years under President Trump, who did more to defend religious liberty and protect the rights of the unborn than any president in history. He wasn’t afraid at all to mention the Name of Christ, and there were quite a few members of his Cabinet and other officials who were outspoken about their faith in the Lord. He also was responsible for establishing the infrastructure to develop the COVID-19 vaccine in less than a year. That is a remarkable accomplishment that will save untold numbers of lives in this coming year!
We don’t know what 2021 will bring. Certainly no one had any notion as 2020 began that the entire world would be under siege from a microscopic virus.
What we must do is obey and believe one of my favorite Bible verses my mother taught me to memorize at a very early age. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
God is in control of men and nations. Our part is to pray, repent of sin, share the hope of Christ, and trust in His wisdom, love and sovereignty to lead us and guide us in the uncertain days to come.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.
Photo: Thomas J. Petrino/©2019 BGEA