“Awake, Thou That Sleepest”
The moral corruption in the world today approaches that of Sodom and Gomorrah. Since God judged Sodom and Gomorrah – what reason have we to presume that we shall escape judgment today? Yet a study of Genesis 18 reveals that God is open to intercession to spare a city provided there is a God-fearing nucleus in the city.
“Awake, thou that sleepest!” says the Bible (Eph. 5:14). How we Christians need to wake up to the crisis in the earth! The grave dangers of terrorism spread ever more widely around the world. The threat of weapons of mass destruction hangs heavy over the world. Despite this, the average person is too absorbed in the trivialities of life to be bothered about the critical situation. It seems characteristic of people to be apathetic in face of imminent peril.
Our Lord foretold of the listless, unknowing attitude of the multitudes when He comes back to earth again: “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt. 24:37-39).
To the unconverted, the Second Coming will be the greatest catastrophe of their lives. And yet many make no effort to repent and get right with God. The people as a whole seem indifferent to the stark dangers that confront our world. “God…spared not the old world…and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly” (2 Pet. 2:4-6).
Many people are religious, but we have divorced religion from righteous living. One is reminded of what Isaiah said about Israel, who at that time worshipped God with an insincere formalism: “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.... To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me?.... Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto Me.... And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide Mine eyes from you; yea, when you make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well...” (Isa. 1:4, 11, 13, 15-17).
The primary need today is repentance and a return to God and His Christ and His Word. Christians should pray daily, hourly for their leaders and their nation, that God will be merciful and lead us to repentance (1 Tim. 2:1-2; Rom. 2:4). The “distress of nations” (Luke 21:25) that is growing worse by the year, is indicative, along with many other signs, of the nearness of Christ’s Return.
The Christian should dedicate himself anew to His Lord and to His service, doing his best to “by all means save some” for Christ! (1 Cor. 9:22).