The rise of Boko Haram, ISIS, Al Shabaz, dictators and extremists of all kinds, including shootings in schools all over the USA have made this world a sicker place to live. Violence is now not only confined to movies and television shows but acted out everywhere and often in front of young children. Many have taken religion as a front to kill, maim, sexually assault, oppress and subdue. Jesus predicted this will happen, two thousand years ago and we live to see more of it today than ever before.
....the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God (John 16:2).
Then there is narcissism all over the world where people just couldn't care less about all that is happening around them. "What's in it for Me?" is their battle cry!
In the last days...People will be lovers of themselves.... (2 Timothy 3:1-2).
Is this the beginning of the end where the world will get worse culminating to God's final wrath? Or is God telling us that the greatest opportunity for the Gospel is now?
What can followers of Jesus do?
1. Do not add doom to the gloom.
Do not go around sulking and whining about the condition of the world. The world is broken and can never get back to its original position until Christ comes again. It will not help at all to add fire to the already raging bush fire. Your world does not need one more problem but a solution, any solution - however small.
2. Pray and lay everything in God's Hand.
Psalm 73 speaks of a leader who was about to backslide over sinners gaining greater notoriety without repercussions at all from God. Then he went into God's presence, his eyes were opened to see the final destruction of evil wicked men.
"Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written:"It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord" (Romans 12:19).
God sees the biggest picture from above while we see things with our little puny cluttered earthly minds. God answers prayers and will release all our sincere tear-filled, heart-broken prayers for justice, when the time is right. (Revelation 5:8; 8:4-5).
3. Alter the authoritative figure's mindset with God's wisdom.
Convince one person at a time of the need for Jesus, particularly authoritative figures which hold the final word in a family, a department, a company, a constituency or even a province or state. Pray for God to change these hearts. The greatest example of an authoritative turn-around guy in history is Paul in the Bible. He went from persecuting the church to being the greatest missionary and church planter for Jesus Christ!
In my many experiences of sharing the Gospel, many held back their confession of Christ because they were afraid of some authoritative figures at home, male or female. On the brighter side, I also encountered whole family saved due to the salvation of an authoritative figure.
4. Be patience with the 'patients' of God.
I must confess I did ask God to do 'zappy' things to these 'sick' people. And often God reminded me that I was also a 'sicko' once. Although the degree is different, sin is still sin. God's grace of salvation had reached and touched me and I am forever grateful. Imagine the unimaginable sufferings that will befall these sinners if they do not repent and respond to the Gospel of God. That's why God's patience can out-stretched all of us. He sees the intense darkness for the godless in the future while we want everything to end, send all 'sickos' to hell and close the case.
5. Do a good deed to people in need.
Action-oriented servings are much better than perfectly-crafted sermons. The Bible is filled with teachings of daily life examples, doing on-the-ground works and reaching the grassroots by deeds. Jesus taught His disciples through personally involved in people's lives, loving, caring and healing them. Many times He was moved with deep compassion and on one occasion, He cried. Jesus did not only preach, he also healed and not only He healed and went away, He changed lives! He believed in the future of all those He saved! For God so loved the world (that includes extremists of all kinds) that He gave His one and only Son... (John 3:16).
6. Love the Unlovable.
Hate the sin and not the sinner. The spew of hatred fuels greater hate. Never in my life will I be able to understand the victims and their families who are deeply affected by all the senseless violence. Perhaps it is more comfortable to hate than to do otherwise, I don't know. But hate is never the answer. Bear with me as I offer my two cents' opinion. In my little suffering and pain, I usually use the Gethsemane prayer principle, "I disliked it. I even hated it. But God, let Your will be done."
The greatest example I believe that left an indelible mark on Jesus' disciples was forgiving the unforgivable, those who ridiculed and mocked Him, those who lashed at Him and spitted on Him and those who crucified Him. He taught it first at the Sermon on the Mount and He did it for all to see. Today, only true followers of Christ love the unlovable, forgive the unforgivable.
And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that....But love your enemies, do good to them...Then you reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful (Luke 6:33-37).
Yes, we are living in a sick world. Yet the remedy is with the true followers of Christ and that remedy is the God-given Good News! It is like a cure for cancer in a cancerous world!