In some recent blogs I wondered aloud if Christians in America today could look at certain things going on around us and conclude that judgment is coming to our country. It is interesting that just today I was listening to the radio on the way to work. Rush Limbaugh was quoting a recent survey that indicated that a growing number of people have rejected the concept of God. He did not want any emails or phone calls on the topic but he asked a question. He asked those who in his audience who “were religious” and believed in God if they thought we opening ourselves up to judgment from Him. I found this interesting because that particular radio show is not “religious” by any definition of the word.
I remember some years ago reading an old Grace writer. He was talking about the Judgment Seat of Christ. He rightly understood that this judgment would deal with rewards and had nothing to do with eternal salvation. He said that if the Lord returned during his lifetime he wanted to be found serving him. He then gave an example of doing something that would be displeasing to the Lord. He said that if the Lord returns he prayed that he would not be attending a “movie picture show!”
This man wrote this about 90 years ago. His view of the sinfulness of his generation probably seems quaint to the vast majority of us. I would like to offer a more modern example. Zane Hodges wrote a short commentary on Luke. Writing about the circumstances in which he lived in around 15 years ago, he wondered if judgment was coming to American – he felt it was. For him, one obvious indication of this was that openly practicing homosexuals were guests of honor at meetings in the White House.
Such sentiments today, just a few years later, also seem quaint. How things have changed! One wonders what these two writers would think of the moral climate today.
I couldn’t help but think about a passage in Jeremiah. In that chapter, the prophet speaks about the coming judgment coming upon Judah. The judgment will come from the Babylonians and will be frightening. Then Jeremiah says that one reason for this is that the people “did not even know how to blush (Jer 6:15).”
What a picturesque description. He may be describing the leaders of the country or the people in general, but their sins had become so open and degrading they had become completely insensitive to them. Things which would have caused them to turn red in the face now occurred without them even noticing.
Surely one of the points here is that when we are surrounded by sin we run the danger of eventually not even realizing we are around it any more. In addition, this can occur with even more and more graphic sins. What at what time would have been shocking eventually becomes acceptable.
It seems obvious to me that whether a person believes we are inviting judgment or not, this has occurred to us. Partial birth abortions, selling of dead baby parts, homosexual marriages, men being able to shower with women, the proliferation of the vilest types of pornography, are examples of sinful activity that we hear about and see and they no longer are shocking. I teach a Sunday school class and I often read things that frequently occur that I cannot even mention in my class, even as illustrations. I wonder what Hodges and the other writer mentioned above would think about all of these things if they were alive today.
There is a lesson for us in all of this. As Christians, we can become desensitized to the depravity around us. Our youth, who are bombarded with postmodern thought, are certainly in danger of it. Instead of reading Hodges commentary on Luke and thinking, “Oh, how quaint,” perhaps we ought to ask the Lord to keep us from forgetting how to blush.