This decade is trending to become the “Decade of Lies and Fear.” That’s genuinely bad news.
Times like this have occurred before in other nations. Andy Andrews writes of this time in his book How Do You Kill 11 Million People? Why the Truth Matters More Than You Think. The simple, horrifying answer is, “You lie.” That’s how Germany did it prior to and during World War II.
He wrote of the method and the mindset that disingenuous leaders used, but he also wrote of the passivity and fear the governed had. They would not boldly fight first the fear within themselves to then stand against those lies and the fear the government intentionally created. (Two directly related blogs are here and here. Jesus tells us the only One to fear in Matthew 10:28.)
Some Christians have said God has started a mass delusion, has taken away reason from many, and is prepping for Jesus’ return. The amount and intensity of lies and fear have apparently accelerated so this conclusion seems logical.
However, that conclusion may be part of what is called the recency effect where we tend to remember the most recently presented information. We can thank 24/7 access to news and social media for some of this. Each person then combines those images, words, and soundbites with their worldview to try to predict the future – which humans are notoriously awful at doing.
Yet, haven’t Christians been predicting the return of Christ for nearly 2000 years? Yes, and we do it based on God's promises from His Word. God is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19).
God has proven His ability to uphold His promises despite mankind questioning His timing and His goodness. Where in history have a people been scattered across the globe for nearly 2000 years to return as a nation-state? Israel holds that sole distinction because of God's promises and power.
Regardless of when Christ returns, we should expect lies and fear to increase. Why?
In Matthew 24:12 we are told lawlessness will increase. The NLT version says, “Sin will be rampant everywhere and the love of many will grow cold.” The enemy of God who hates His creation, especially mankind, loves cold hearts and is known as the Father of Lies in the Bible.
Satan's best lies pervert truth. They add or remove from the truth. Through a combination of lies and fear, Satan loves to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10).
The combination of massive amounts of information, misinformation, and disinformation may lead to a deformation of our minds and mental health. Deformation? Fear and pain alter and distort our ability to think and reason. The minimum is increased anxiety. It doesn’t matter if the fear is real or imagined. It doesn’t matter if the pain is physical or emotional. Regardless, our thinking can be affected.
If the Devil can capture the mind, the body will follow.
God can alter our reasoning too, and in His Word, He says He will do this. This is especially true as His return draws near (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; Romans 1:21-22; Isaiah 66:3-4).
Who is to say God hasn’t removed some of the protections He previously offered America and started to harden hearts by weakening minds?
When people harden their hearts to God and His ways, God may harden their hearts further. God does this to individuals and nations (Israel in Isaiah 63:17), and Scripture notes at least 14 times it has occurred. One writer shares what happens to those who do not want God and His ways,
“Our Creator does not withhold from the reprobate what they want, but in fact, gives them what they desire – deception and delusion – which bears fruit in their further sin and condemnation.”
When we seek God’s benefits without the relationship, we are as foolish as the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). We need the relationship itself. We need to move from believing in the truth of Christianity to practicing its implications, just as A.W. Tozer once wrote.
Those implications deal with the reality of being faithful in word and deed until Christ's return. I can guarantee we are at least one second closer to Christ’s return. And another second now. But these seconds of waiting, wondering, and working won’t continue ad infinitum.
Those seconds counting down Christ’s return will stop. And only God Himself can see that clock (Mark 13:32).
There and then, our understanding of God’s grace and holiness will be altered for eternity for the good – heaven – or the bad – hell.
Jesus will have returned to judge (2 Timothy 4:1, 2 Corinthians 5:10).
Where in this is the good news?
The good news is that today is the day of salvation for those who believe in Christ, yield to God, and repent. There is no salvation without repentance.
If you ever wondered what it means to get saved, it means to be saved from the judgment of our sins and their eternal consequence of hell. The justice of God falls completely on Christ for those who love and serve Him. The good news is Christ’s work to redeem our relationship with God so we are covered by Jesus’ righteousness instead of our own sin. He is the Savior.
Earlier I wrote the Devil tries to capture the mind to drive the body. The Devil does this by lies, fear, and force (1 Peter 5:8) when we allow our thinking to be conformed to the world (Romans 12:2) or when someone who isn't saved tries to function in the world.
God wants to capture our hearts' attention with Truth (Jesus), love, and grace until we freely surrender and commit our ways to Him.
He wants us to freely love Him with heart, soul, strength, and mind. Then he empowers us to show His love to others because He first loved us. This is seen in part of the gift of salvation:
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7).
But watch out for the lie that all things work to good or it's all good, because they omit what the Bible says:
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28, emphasis added).
Yes, lies and fear may have teamed up against America and the world right now, but those who are with Christ serve a purpose greater than themselves. We are to share the Light of the World, Jesus Christ, to those wearied and lost in darkness. As you do this, as you battle the lies and fear of Satan, may you experience the joy of Zephaniah 3:17,
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Rejoice in the promises of God, be patient to trust His timing despite any tribulations, and be constant in prayer. Since all have sinned and fallen short of His glory, let the saved be His hands and feet until His return. If God is willing, if we are working, then maybe we can prevent this from becoming the "Decade of Lies and Fear." Lord, let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.