BY REV. TIM NAPPE - REACHING THE UNREACHED — WEST AFRICA
I have been meeting with Bible Study on Wednesday nights and it has been a common discussion to lament the state of our nation. We have worried about the selfishness, lack of faith, and materialism of our society. We have been concerned about the criticism and attacks that have become evident against people of faith. People with firmly held religious convictions have been verbally and even physically assaulted over their beliefs. Some have even been brought to court because of their faith and attempts made to force them to act contrary to their convictions.
As we have been mourning the spiritual health of our nation, the question has repeatedly come up: "What can we do about it?" How can we address it? And if things continue on their current trajectory, what will God do about it?
And one of the most distressing questions has been, what will it take for our society to turn their attention back to God?
Over the last several years, a theme that has been highlighted in our studies and sermons has been a repetitious pattern seen in both the Old and New Testaments. As God's people strayed away from His Word and His direction, the culture strayed further and further from their relationship with God.
They began to listen to false promises from the world and temptations from the enemy. As a result, they descended deeper into sin and selfishness.
The next phase of the repetitious pattern is a painful, national catastrophe. It might be a physical enemy that causes a wartime threat. It might be a financial disaster like a famine, flood, or drought that causes the crops to fail and threatens starvation. Other times, it might be a sickness or pestilence that confronts us with the reality of our mortality. Loved ones get sick and die, families and individuals are threatened with the painful truth that life is short and tomorrow is never guaranteed.
I can't count the number of people, small groups, churches, or writers who have been calling the faithful to prayer and fasting, with the hope of a national or worldwide revival. People of faith have been yearning for a spiritual reawakening across our land.
And throughout history, whether it is Biblical history or secular history, it is usually a national catastrophe that forces people to turn their attention back to God.
Unfortunately, the pattern seems to be repeating itself. It's happening again. We are in the midst of a pandemic, with national and international consequences. It is attacking us physically, emotionally, financially, socially, and spiritually.