Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil,
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness,
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
The Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 5.20)
The Apostle Paul prophetically wrote that “in the last days perilous times will come” (2 Tim. 3.1). He goes on to describe a narcissistic era in which people will love pleasure and hate what is good – even those who “hold to a form of godliness”! The Apostle Peter echoes this, writing that “in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts” (2 Pet. 3.3).
We are living in those days. Evil swirls around us on every side – in politics, entertainment, media, academics – and it’s tempting to just close our eyes and pray for the Rapture! The tide is too great; we can stand against it! But while we cannot eradicate evil in these last days, we must not become fatalistic and do nothing.
The same biblical writers who foretold of these times exhort us to action: “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them” (The Apostle Paul, Eph. 5.11). “For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men” (The Apostle Peter, 1 Pet. 2.15).
So what can we do? Some simple suggestions:
- Stand unswervingly for truth. Red Dreher’s book Live Not By Lies exposes how modern culture is being fed falsehoods. Society will simply swallow what they are told. Christians must not. This will mean affirming things that are obvious: An unborn baby is a human being. There are only two genders, male and female. Marriage is only between a man and a woman. Homosexuality is a sin, and is contrary to nature.
- Don’t compromise the gospel. It is the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes (Rom. 1.16)! The task of saving the whole world is too big for you or me, but we can change one person-at-a-time. Each one who hears the gospel and believes in Jesus is a new creation (2 Cor. 5.17). When we confuse the gospel message by adding our piety or good works, we undermine it. Keep the message simple and clear.
- Be involved and impactful. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus called His followers the “salt of the earth” and “light of the world” (Matt. 5.13-16). Salt seasons what it touches; light exposes all around it. Support and vote for leaders who will uphold what is true. If you must contend with those who pervert truth, do so “with gentleness and reverence” (1 Pet. 3.15) Be winsome, and you will win some!
- Pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5.17). When you hear of Christians being persecuted, pray for them (and their persecutors). When you see people suffering the effects of sin, pray for those ministering to them (like Options for Life). When Christians are attacked in the public square, pray for them to be bold. And pray for churches to be “the pillar and support of the truth” (1 Tim. 3.15) in a world that is embracing lies.
In the TV series Reacher, Joe Reacher’s mother gave him a truth to live by: “I don’t need to solve all the world’s problems. Solving some is more than enough.” It’s not Scripture, but it’s a good reminder.