In the coming year, the members of God’s Church will face increasing pressure against maintaining a firm position on God’s truth. It will be a year of challenge and change. The change will be all around us and the challenge will be “holding fast.” We will have reason to be very mindful of the Apostle Paul’s admonition to “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13).
We are not making predictions, but simply trying to watch. Watchfulness is a spiritual condition meaning “to keep awake.” If we are awake and standing fast in the faith, then we will have the discernment necessary to be aware of the cultural changes swirling around us that can erode even well-established foundations.
The President of the Advanced Studies in Culture Foundation recently noted there are “growing cultural fissures” along with acrimony and dysfunctions in our culture. He notes that: “… something new seems to be going on.” He goes on to suggest that this alienation could get worse, and it might get ugly.
We can expect more censorship regarding the truth of God. Very recently, a Church of God TV program on marriage was rejected in one country because it doesn’t give mention to the option of alternative unions, etc.
We can expect further attacks on the godly institutions of marriage and family. You may not have noticed that in 2018 the British Supreme Court ruled in favor of civil partnerships instead of marriage. One of the first couples to use this new law this past week stated that it creates “new, modern possibilities” for thousands of people to express their love and commitment and ends “the unrivaled position of marriage.” They called for “deeper discussions” on giving legal recognition to other kinds of caring relationships, including those between friends, siblings and co-parents.
A civil partnership removes the structure of a husband-wife relationship as God intended it. The male role is demolished, and God is no longer in the picture. Those who would uphold the traditional marriage will risk censorship.
We can expect a growing opposition to religion and religious groups. The Washington Times is reporting a Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles as saying, “What’s unique to our time is a widespread cultural agnosticism, and that is something kind of unique in recorded history. It’s an unusual mark of our time.” It is interesting that in this discussion, the disintegration of family bonds is cited as a cause because parents themselves have a lack of strong religious convictions.
Everywhere you turn, the things that you believe in and base your life upon are under attack. The coming year will see those attacks strengthen. Are you watching?
Christ warned of these times ahead of the end of the age when He said to the disciples (and to us), “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore, you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:42-44).