Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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March 19 – The Apparent Demise Of God’s Church

“A Psalm of Asaph. O God, the nations have come into Your inheritance; they have defiled Your holy temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins. They have given the bodies of Your servants to the birds of the heavens for food, the flesh of Your faithful to the beasts of the earth. They have poured out their blood like water all around Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them. We have become a taunt to our neighbors, mocked and derided by those around us.” Psalm 79:1-4

Devotional Thought For The Day

It has long been noted that this psalm is a shorter, though parallel version of Psalm 74. It is not dreary to reflect repetitively upon the persecution and devastation of God’s people, and the martyrdom of His “servants,” His “faithful.” Though atheists and false religionists consider any positive mention of the church as being “persecution” against them, their very existence is in opposition to God and against His church – and they are frequently bold to literally attack and destroy the churches of God when they get opportunities. I read recently of a “fatwa” issued by the “grand mufti” of Saudi Arabia [one of the most influential leaders in Islam] regarding the building of churches on the Arabian Peninsula: “the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, declared that it is ‘necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.'” Almost daily adherents of this religion are shedding the blood of Christians – for the sake of “allah,” their blood-thirsty anti-god. The fact that in the modern nations of the West Islam has not gained this kind of ascendancy and domination, so that Muslims in these areas have to be more tactful and “peaceful” [biding their time], should not deceive us as to the real nature of Islam.

It is also the “civilized” secularists who are hard at work attacking the church, seeking to destroy it. New York City recently expelled congregations from the schools they had long been renting for worship. The “civilized” secularists have succeeded in hijacking the public educational system – which attempts to destroy the basis of Christianity by attacking God’s creation of the world and the dependability of the Biblical record, along with all common decency in regard to sexual morality. They have succeeded in hijacking and dominating the entertainment industry – most of the television programming and the vast majority of movies, which now import all manner of smut, immorality, godlessness, and irreverence toward the only True and Living God into our living rooms, and into the hearts and minds of many people. People have left the churches in droves over the past 30 to 40 years, and those who remain within the churches often bring the influences of this decadent “society” into the church, demanding that the church needs to change, to embrace the change around us. Those churches that capitulate quickly lose their spiritual vitality, and become mere mirrors of the dark culture of death around us. Those that resist become battle grounds – and it is the faithful who are under attack, often vicious and incessant attack.

The faithful become weary, downcast, perhaps even depressed. No, it is true that there are no bodies of Christians laying in church parking lots for the “birds of heaven” to feast on, and our blood has not been “poured out like water,” but the constant conflict takes its toll inwardly. So we too pray to God for deliverance, protection, and final vindication. These attacks are principally against God – we are merely collateral damage, or the place where the evil ones can inflict pain upon God. So we are blessed also to suffer persecution for the sake of Christ, and this should not surprise us – this has always been the prevalent dynamic in this fallen sinful world: “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” [2 Tim. 3:12,13]

So let us not capitulate and join sides with those who seek to destroy God’s church. Let us remember that in His earthly life our Lord Jesus Christ also suffered intense opposition, hatred, rejection, persecution, and the shedding of His blood. In this He is “the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world,” so that “in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” What is suffered for the sake of Christ is participation in His suffering. So let us continue to rejoice in God’s gracious mercy, His free gift of salvation in Christ Jesus, and to follow Him in our living and our serving, remembering His wisdom: “For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.” [1 Pet. 3:17] Let us pray God to deliver us from the forces of evil, and to steel us for any and all troubles that come our way as we stand up for Christ and His kingdom.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, we Christians have had it easy for a long time – when it appeared that Your church had ascendancy, popularity, and power. Such blessedness was corrupted by sinful arrogance and pride, and our inborn rebellion against Your Word – and so now Your church is once again plagued, afflicted, and chastened by our enemies. In such humble circumstances You purify Your dear children, and Your church – even though the outward appearance is dismal. Deliver us from our enemies and protect Your dear children, cleansing and strengthening our faith in You. Remind us that the victory is Yours – so that we wait patiently for our redemption. Amen.