If on this Lord’s Day morning you are sitting in your recliner sipping coffee and reading God’s Word and suddenly your front door is kicked in and three men charge into the room with automatic weapons pointed at you and ask “Are you a Christian?”what would you say?

If you knew there was a chance that you would be killed in a hail of bullets if you went to church this morning would you go?

Some of our Afghan Christian brethren are answering these questions in the affirmative this morning. Meantime Americans who claim they’re Christians will not be in church this morning because there is a less than ten percent chance they might catch a virus and a less than one percent chance it might be lethal (unless you’re over 70 and then it’s 6 percent). Americans who claim they’re Christians are silent in the workplace and the public square, not from fear for their lives but fear of being ostracized for their faith. Americans who claim they’re Christians remain silent as millions of innocent unborn children are being murdered by their mothers in no less gruesome ways than our Afghan brethren. Americans who claim they’re Christians vote for politicians who claim they’re Christians who aggressively advocate for the murder of children. Americans who claim they’re Christians are silent as some of God’s demented image bearers rebel at their God-given gender and declare themselves otherwise…and demand we celebrate their rebellion instead of praying for their healing. And Americans who claim they’re Christians are silent as our nation’s highest court codifies the trashing of God’s covenant of marriage.

Jesus had some words for those ashamed to speak up in His defense:

“For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

The Apostle Paul had similar sound advice for the Corinthians that likewise speaks loudly to our day in America:

“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

One hundred percent of Americans stand a 100% chance of dying. “…and then the judgement.” Hell is populated with self-deluded souls who were sure they could meet the test (Matthew 7:21-23).

Oh Lord, my soul is sorely vexed in this adulterous and sinful age. At 3 score and 17 years in this fallen world I am more and more willing to be a stranger and more and more longing for your heavenly kingdom. I confess America deserves your judgment as much as Sodom and Gomorrah and ancient Judah and Israel. But you have promised, O God, “…if my people who are called by my name 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” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Gracious Father, your sure promise is conditional–“if…/ then…” The absence of your “then” in this sin-ravaged land indicates we have failed to deliver the preconditional “if.” O Sovereign God, be pleased to incline our wayward will unceasingly to that end, with full assurance in your promise that our times, and the timing of our deliverance, are in your hands. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

See you in church.

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