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Becoming Tired

by Don McGee

(Copied with permission from Crown and Sickle Ministries)

DonMcGee   Christians use various terms to describe their weariness with this world, but perhaps one of the most poignant phrases I ever heard was when a man said to me some years ago, “I’m tired.” These were not the words of an exceptionally old man, nor were they from a man with a terminal disease or some other unusually dreadful physical or emotional malady. What made his words so meaningful was the combination of their simplicity and the look of exhaustion on his face and disillusionment in his eyes. Since that day I’ve seen this repeated a few times, and I think that on a growing number of occasions I have a similar expression. Especially after watching a White House news conference.

This is not because Christians are necessarily becoming depressed. Rather it is because their hearts are not becoming callused by the constant repetition of evil and tragedy and their ever growing impact upon the world. Thus with each instance of horror that is brought into their living rooms the heart felt pain is fresh. Because Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit they never lower God’s standard, and sin and its incumbent tragedies never become common and acceptable. This, I think, reflects accurately the great heart of God.
It seems that with each news broadcast comes more horror and pain and scandal and heartbreak and what punctuates it all is that there is no end in sight. And there really isn’t, at least as far as human effort is concerned.
Each subsequent political administration promises that the country will get better, but it only becomes worse. Each year’s graduating class has some pithy motto that focuses on some assumed virtue toward which the class promises to strive as it takes its place in history. I think ours was, “In ourselves our future lies”. Today, not only do I cringe at the gullibility of many, if not most, high school and college graduates, but at the painful consequences of people actually trying to chart their own, and our country’s, destiny apart from God.
People have a tendency to think that the human race can handle the planet’s problems. They think that since mortals can send men to the moon and back, and because they can transplant hearts from one body to another they should certainly be capable of handling what ails the race. Not quite. In fact, they can not even come close. The situation is more desperate than most would imagine, and what makes it so is that this slide into ruin is becoming more steep as days become weeks. What our high school motto really said was, humanity becomes the victim of humanity.
Even during the unimaginable judgments as seen in Revelation, when humanity is suffering as never before, people will curse God and refuse His mercy demanding they continue to have things their own way. Christians know that what we are seeing in our day is the immediate prolog to that day, and it is becoming all too wearisome. Our Blessed Hope is not becoming wearisome, but the no-holes-barred hatred society in general has for everything godly is. That, I believe, is meant when Christians say they are just bone tired of the way things are going. Until the moment of Jesus’ return happens our endurance must be strengthened, because conditions will not get better for God’s people.
Consider just a few things that are becoming very wearisome. Christians are regularly labeled as being hateful and intolerant toward those who live differently than they. Take a moment and analyze that statement a little.
To think that because a person strongly disagrees with another person’s lifestyle they must surely harbor hatred for that person is illogical. To think that when a person takes a biblical stand against sinful lifestyles they must, at the same time, believe that God hates those people is also absurd. To think that Matthew 7:1 (judge not that you may not be judged) means that a person cannot look sin in the eye and call it sin is biblically nonsensical (John 7:24; Matthew 7:15-23; etc.). Yet, that is exactly what many are saying as they label all those who speak where the Bible speaks on such issues as unchristian and unloving.
To equate love with tolerance of sin is not only unbiblical but is also irrational. When parents correct children about disrespect, foul language, laziness, etc. they are demonstrating love, not hatred. When God established moral absolutes He did so out of love for humanity. Hatred was not, and is not in the mix.
That Christians do not hate the people with whom they disagree has been said and lived out often, but that does not seem to matter to many accusers. This is very exasperating to Christians, and when it is repeated often enough by those who do not take the time to think about their accusations, or who may not care that their arguments are irrational, it becomes wearisome. It reminds me of Elijah’s confrontation with Ahab in I Kings 18:17, 18. Ahab knew very well his idolatry was the reason for Israel’s trouble, yet he blamed Elijah.
Christians come from every background imaginable, and every person among them was once a sinner by habit and chosen lifestyle. Christians, repentant and forgiven, still sin (1 John 1:8), but not because they decide to live in rebellion to God. They sin because this side of heaven they still have the sinful Adamic nature which is part of their mortality. Only when the Lord removes Christians from this planet will that no longer be the case (1 Corinthians 15:53). The fact of the matter is that the only kind of people the Lord has are sinners. There is no other kind of people.
A word about the innocence of little children should be said at this point. Take heart, for little children are blameless before God. Many years ago I knew a woman who practiced a very formal liturgical religion. She and her husband had an only child, an infant daughter. Her excitement was hardly containable when the baby finally arrived. I was in her presence one day when she told our boss that her infant daughter was going to be formalized into the family’s religion the following weekend. The boss, a very direct man, then asked her if she believed her baby would be lost, or would have to undergo some form of expiatory punishment if she died without having had that ritual performed on her. The woman paused a moment, and with a very somber expression on her face said, “No, I don’t believe that.”
Folks, she was absolutely correct. Though born with the Adamic nature that will manifest itself soon enough, children are innocent before the Lord (Matthew 18:1-6; Mark 10:13-16, etc.) and go directly into His presence should they die.
Christians are very weary regarding those heart-rending tragedies that happen to innocents every day. The fact is bad things have been happening to innocent people since the beginning of time. Not only will it not stop by the efforts of Congress, the United Nations, or the President, but not even by the evangelization of the lost by the church. We live as sin-cursed people on a sin-cursed earth, and there is nothing any human can do about it.
The nation was recently shocked by the taking of a child by an alligator in Florida. For a few moments most of us stopped dead in our tracks as our minds tried to comprehend the horror of the incident, and our hearts sympathized with the parents. None of us, save those who have gone through such tragedies themselves, can even imagine this kind of loss. Though this affords absolutely no comfort for the family, the fact is such things have happened before and will continue to happen until Isaiah 11 becomes a fact during the millennium. Further, the fact that the taking of the church is imminent and that Isaiah 11 is coming to this earth does nothing for the anguish of the moment. And it is at moments like this that Christians sigh in their spirits, mop the sweat from their spiritual brows and repeat their mantra of longing, “How long, Lord? I’m tired of all this.”
Add to this the recent murder of 49 people in Orlando by a Muslim while in the process of obeying the Koran, along with the encouragement of an American-born ISIS member for other Muslims to do the same and the fatigue this world brings just keeps growing. And to add insult to injury the President persists in refusing to call it an Islamic attack upon Americans all while the Congress emasculates itself by refusing to force the issue.
The increasing exasperation Christians are feeling is not a form of surrender to evil. We are well aware that the prevailing influence of evil will increase as the time for our departure nears, and that we accept. But the truth of the matter is that God is going to deal with evil post-rapture in a way that has never been seen before. His wrath will be poured out on hard-hearted and rebellious people in ways the biblically ignorant cannot imagine.
And yet, in the middle of all the death and suffering of the tribulation period, God will save all those who will repent and cast themselves upon His mercy (Revelation 7:9ff). Unfortunately most will refuse to repent of their sins and they will not only die horrible deaths, but will spend eternity in the lake of fire. The hardness of people’s hearts today is somewhat of a very limited snapshot of how it will be in those days not so far into the future.
Yes, God will allow evil to run its course and to take its earthly toll on His people. And yes, fatigue and exasperation with evil and its associated tragedies are part of the Christian’s lot in this life. But, unlike modern politicians God has drawn a bona fide and irrevocable red line marking the moment when He will say, “Enough”. Within a short time of that moment this planet and its inhabitants will be ground zero for 7 years of calamity and suffering that will make the gut-wrenching tragedies of recent days seem as nothing. It will not be a pretty sight. Do not be deceived into thinking otherwise!
Christians are finding it increasingly difficult to take a stand for righteousness without such a stand costing them their businesses, their life’s savings, their reputations and much more. Though they are tired of fighting what they see as a loosing battle, they continue to resist evil and insist upon righteousness. They do not surrender the hearts, minds and souls of their children to a lifestyle that reeks with the rot and the foul stench of humanism. And in the middle of it all they love the souls of those with whom they disagree. A love that is, by the way, maligned, hated and most certainly unrequited.

God’s people are told, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary” (Galatians 6:9). An old saint who had lived much of his life in weariness once told me that there is a big difference between growing weary in the way and growing weary of the way. The former is a situation we know quite well, for our Lord knew it. The latter is what we are admonished to avoid. Some of our readers might remember the late Walter Brennan’s classic song “Old Rivers”, a big hit back in 1962. Brennan’s unique voice, combined with the emotionally expressive words and melody, portray something of what it is like to grow weary in the way.
For 2000 years the primitive church has been at odds with a godless world system. At times the antagonism was more pronounced than at other times, but the relationship has always been adversarial. At the same time progressive, secularly inclined religion has not had as much of a problem. Though that form of “Christianity” plays fast and free with scripture with ecclesiastical dogma taking precedent over the Bible, it has gained and maintained a powerful influence in secular global politics. It was during and after the time of Constantine that this happened, and it seems it will remain a force to be reckoned with until the end.
And if history is any precedent, it is precisely that system that will cause the greatest grief for the primitive church as we live in these last days. The discomfort being brought about by the current pope (even among his own people) along with growing numbers of Protestant leaders in the modern emergent church plus the Jesus-haters will morph into a more aggressive and abrasive force that will eventually attempt to silence the voices of God’s people. It appears that the weariness being experienced by many Christians will not be eased by appealing to the 1st Amendment, or to the Supreme Court. Even now the U.S. Executive Branch has abandoned even the appearance of supporting equal protection for Christians under the Constitution. They do not even try to hide their animosity anymore. Don’t look for that to let up, much less cease.
Yeah, like you I’m getting tired of it all. But, there is absolutely no doubt that it all could end for us at any moment. That is the moment we hope for. With Paul we say, Maranatha!

 

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I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13