I remember when Hurricane Rita was swirling in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Long before the storm made clear its landfall, a TV weatherman friend of mine told me he had no doubt it would hit the Beaumont/Port Arthur area. The weather patterns, winds, and other meteorological hints made it clear to him exactly where it would hit long before the predictions from the National Weather Service. He advised to prepare property and evacuate to a safe place. It was good advice as Hurricane Rita hit precisely where my friend said it would, leaving behind an estimated $8 billion in damages. Nearly 13 years later, nobody has to be told to prepare for a hurricane. Practically everyone on the Texas Gulf Coast knows what to do.
We are in another storm, one not weather-related. It is the massive spiritual darkness that has taken aim at our country. When it arrives, the damage will be catastrophic. Its “winds” are already being felt in large cities as protestors resort to methods used by Stalin and Mao Zedong. It won’t be long before the full brunt of the storm hits the shores destroying the relative peace we have enjoyed.
It does not take a sociologist to see what is happening. We are in a culture war much like China experienced in the mid-portion of the last century. The evil was tremendous. Young people between the ages of 14 – 21, known as the “Red Guard,” roamed the streets and villages looking for anyone to harass, beat, and kill. The “Guard” was one of the most vicious gangs in the 20th Century. Anyone not deemed worthy of the state, namely intellectuals, capitalists, religious people, was targeted. Simply wearing glasses and having soft hands could get you killed. It was only when the Red Guard became so out of control and began attacking communist party members that Mao sent in the army to subdue them. For Mao’s part, more than 50 million passed through his network of 1000 labor camps. Over 20 million of those died in the camps. Millions of others outside the camps died through killings and starvation. Some historians say approximately 65 million people died in the 30 year period known as the “Cultural Revolution.” It was horrific evil in the name of progress, cleansing, and service to the state.
Unfortunately, we are seeing some the same winds here in our country, and it looks as if we will go down much of the same path. The hatred on both sides is vehement and it makes no difference who started it. But as Christians, we must prepare for what is coming. Political rallies and candidates will not work. Going to church, being on the ministry team, studying about “end times,” or even having exciting emotionally-driven revival services will have little impact on our spiritual survival. Only the strength which comes through Christ will help us survive the attacks of the evil one.
Preparing for the storm means we must prepare our spirits. Our relationship with Jesus will be our only source of strength as we may very well watch our families killed or imprisoned because of their religious beliefs. Only those who often speak and listen to the Spirit of God will be able to withstand the temptations of the evil one. We will be tempted to give up our faith and beliefs, or at the very least, some of them to meet the mandates of the new rulers. We will be tempted to fight evil with evil. We will be tempted to curse God and die. In the midst of it all our true nature will be revealed by the fiery darts of the evil one. That is why it is so important that we prepare today, not tomorrow.
Put on the armor of God. Keep it on and don’t take it off. The more one wears the armor, the more one becomes accustomed to its feel and how to move gracefully. Keep your eyes focused on Christ. Be determined to be like Christ. Spend time with him relationally, not just doctrinally. Those who know of Christ doctrinally will be among the first to give up. Only those who know him will be victorious in the midst of trials. Get to know his voice. Spend more time listening to him than talking. The more you hear his voice in the “good times” the easier it will be in the terrible times.
Remember that this is not our home. Our true home is with Christ in the unseen realms. Yes, the evil is already here. But it will get far worse than what it is today. I can’t help but think of the gathering storm clouds in Europe, Russia, and China. There were many warning signs just as there are many signs in our country.
So, be prepared. Become like Christ in all things. Develop the mind of Christ and be willing to be a sacrifice for his kingdom. You are his son or daughter. You may lose your property, family, and even your life in this world. But the world to come is one that lasts forever…one where no evil resides.