When I was a child, I loved watching the Thundercats. I don’t want to dwell on the storyline of post-apocalyptic feline humanoids battling mutants led by a demigod creature. Instead, I want to look at one episode that has stuck with me after three decades and how it applies to the world today.
We look around and see things changing very dramatically. Everything seems to be heading towards a post-Christian society in the United States, Europe, and other western cultures. Then, we can look to the Middle East, Africa, and Asia and see the persecution that’s driving Christians to make terrible choices. Sometimes, they must decide whether to save their lives by denouncing their faith or keep their faith while losing their lives.
The challenges faced by Christians in regions of the world where it’s dangerous to be a Christian are a different topic from what we’ll discuss here. Their challenges require a completely unique perspective, one we’ll cover in a future post.
Here, we’re talking about a western society that’s enamored by celebrities, willingly exposed to abominations, and accepting of sins that were once seen for the evil that they are. What’s worse is that these things are being allowed and even promoted by those who believe they are faithful, discerning, and conscientious. Modern sensibilities are used as excuses to be more tolerant. Forgiveness is used as a reason to reinterpret the Bible. Those who have their eyes open realize that the pace of the growing evil in the world is much faster than the hope that’s being spread through the Gospel…
… or is it?
If there’s one thing we can know for sure about this world, it’s that the powers, principalities, and rulers are gaining more control over the flow of information in the world.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)
As a result, we are manipulated beyond our earthly understanding. This means that the rise of the Gospel and its spread across the world is likely increasing much faster than we can know. We can see it in our lives when talking to the people around us if we’re looking, but the parts that stand out are the opposite. We see the evils of the world, the friends we find on the Ashley Madison list, the spread of our sinful natures accepting things that simply shouldn’t be, the rise of atheism and Islam – it can cause great despair in those of us who want nothing more than to serve our Father and honor our Lord and Savior.
If we can look beneath the surface by taking pointing our noses away from the television and the iPads, we’ll see that there’s hope. This is a post-Christian society for those who are willing to believe that it is. Unfortunately, that’s most of us. However, those who realize that God’s Will is all powerful and that nothing is impossible for Him, we can see that there truly is hope.
The adversary cannot defeat us unless we lose faith in our Lord and hope for the world. What we see around us is designed to deprive us of both faith and hope. Now is not the time to give up and accept the post-Christian society that we keep hearing about. Now is the time to fight harder, to push forward, to persevere.
In one particular episode, the leader of the Thundercats, Lion-O, has to beat all of his companions at what they do best. He has to race Cheetara, the “fastest creature alive,” in a footrace. After a long race, they are head-to-head for the final five miles. She is much faster than him and gets off to a huge lead, but we learn that she can only sustain her top speed for two miles. Lion-O can beat her if he doesn’t give up, but for a moment he allows the impossibility of the situation to fill him with doubt.
Of course, he doesn’t give up and is able to catch up with her in the end. She pulled so far ahead but she couldn’t sustain. It was Lion-O’s perseverance that allows him to win. We are faced with the same task. The world around us is telling us how impossible it is for the Gospel to continue to spread in a society that is pulling away from it and turning its attentions elsewhere. If we believe that this is the case, then it is.
If we maintain the faith and keep the hope that has been promised for all of time, then there’s nothing that the perceived changes in our society can do to us. The time is short. We’re likely in the final five-mile stretch in our race. The adversary is pulling away. It’s time for us to run faster, push harder, and be part of the fulfillment of the eternal promise of salvation.