social unrest and injustices of our day: How should we act or react?
Social unrest and injustices of our day are reaching far and wide in our world and have dire consequences for our young people of today. The question is, how should we act or react as believers in Christ?
How can we change this devastating effect upon our youth? It's not a simple solution, that's for sure. But continual prayer and meditation on God's Word will help in dealing with the problems they are facing today.
It seems as though everyone has a beef to talk about; an injustice to discuss; someone is hurt or offended by someone else, or by our social issues. Many of these injustices lead to feelings of rejection, depression, misunderstandings, which then lead to various points of social unrest, hostilities, or outright violence!
Personally, I'm sick of it by now, as I'm sure you must be too. But what do we do as believers in Christ? How do we act or react to this world's crazy and sometimes outrageous social issues of our day? Well, one thing's for sure; they will not be going away anytime soon; as a matter of fact, probably not at all. Furthermore, they will become worse, just as we have been warned about it in God's Word.
Social issues and the end times are revealed through scripture
As you study the Word of God, you will begin to see how various world events within our society have unfolded, which have affected nearly every aspect of life thus far--for you, for me, and for our children of today.
It's truly uncanny how scripture reveals what has happened from times past up now to the present time! When I read about historical events from times past, and there can be thousands of them, or by reading up on the present current events already going on, I see where many of them have taken place already, or are happening right here and now just from studying my Bible!
Scripture reveals to us of those things, social as well as not, which will be happening in the near future, if not already. Here's what God's Word has to say regarding some of these events:
- 2 Timothy 3:1-5 warns us, "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!" Several of our social issues of today are affected by each and every one of these sins mentioned. From these we must be careful as believers and followers of Christ, not to entertain any of them in our own lives!
- Matthew 24:3-34 reveals how the end times will be as Jesus spoke to His disciples, warning them all (also warning us) of what to look out for as these events unfold from our present social events already happening, up to the future events coming, "And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately saying, 'When shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world'? And Jesus answered and said unto them, 'Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye not be troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure til the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judea flea unto the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight might not be in the winter; neither on the sabbath day: for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days shall be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake, those days shall be shortened. Then, if any man shall say unto you, 'Lo, here is Christ, or there'; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore, if they shall say unto you 'Behold he is in the desert'; go not forth: 'Behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heaven shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Now learn a parable from the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, 'This generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled.'" Long passage of scripture, I know, but also relevant to what's going on in today's world as we struggle through various social protests and unrest as well!
social issues and injustices will always remain in society
Unfortunately, just as there were various prejudices in ancient society towards those of other races, ethnic groups, and cultural differences, we find the same in our world today.
As you go to school, work, grocery store, gas station, and yes, even as you attend church, you will find many instances of racial profiling, social injustices among young and old groups of people, and among the "haves and the have-nots".
Many times we are raised that way, where our parents have taught us, whether conscious of it or not, that we are perhaps better than others because of this or that (depending on the particular prejudice at the time). It seems to be ingrained in some of us.
We don't like to believe it or think it could happen among our own families, but trust me, it is true. Old habits and ideas die hard, regardless of Christian upbringing.I takes Christ to remove those cold-hearted thoughts, ideas, and practices that hurt so many people out there.
Even back in Bible times, there were various prejudices, racial profiling, looting/stealing from others, and social unrest of many kinds. We read throughout the Old and New Testament of the prejudice and hatred which existed between the Jews and Gentiles of the land. It was always back and forth. However, at that time, the Gentiles represented the "heathen", the "unclean" and "unjust" group of people. The Jews were taught to be separated from "the world", of which the Gentiles represented in that day.
The following is just a sample of what was experienced back then in the day of our Lord and following:
- Acts 21:27-36 gives one account, "And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews, which were of Asia, when they say him in the temple, stirred up all the people and laid hands on him, Crying out, 'Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men everywhere against the people, and the law, and this place: And further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.'"(For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus and Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple).
And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple, and forthwith the doors were shut. And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captain and soldiers, they left beating of Paul. Then the chief captain came near and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains, and demanded who he was and what he had done. And some cried one thing, some another, among the multitude. and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle. And when he came upon the stairs, so it was, that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people. For the multitude of the people followed after, crying, 'Away with him.'" Such is an example of the people rioting, social protesting and injustice (with religious tones), and angry mobs in the streets! Just as we see in today's time. We have yet another example found in...
- Acts 16:19-24,37 gives another account, "And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains were gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers. And brought them to the magistrates, saying, 'These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, and teach customs which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.' And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely. Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast within the stocks...But Paul said unto them, 'They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison: And now do they trust us out privily? nay, verily, but let them come themselves and fetch us out.'" As you can see, others in Bible times were unjustly criticized, racial profiled, and beaten for what they deemed was right in their eyes.
the christian's response to social injustice
As you see so much of the social issues, injustices, protests, looting, rioting, violence, racism, and pure out and out hatred in the streets, or in your everyday surroundings, it's hard not to get caught up into them as well.
You may feel that you too can empathize and sympathize with them on certain points regarding their message to the world, because, indeed there is so much wrongdoing among all the different people groups. So, of course it's hard not to get angry, frustrated, and upset with social injustices are happening all around you!
But, how does one who professes and claims to be born-again into the family of God and separated from the world act and/or react to all of this chaos and frustration?
God's Word gives clear instruction and indications of what we are to do, how we are to think, act, and react in a world of sin and chaos. Consider these important passages of scripture as you navigate your world and daily life through His eyes:
- Romans 13:1-7 reminds us of these important facts in curtailing some of our social issues as we practice obeying the authority of government which God put into place for our security and protection. Here it reads, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: The powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror unto good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid. For he beareth not the sword in vain, for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil."
- Hebrews 13:17 further elaborates on this point, "Obey them that have rule over you and submit yourselves, for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief, for that is unprofitable for you."
- Isaiah 41:10 also reminds us what God told His people way back in the Old Testament, applying to us today, saying, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: Be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness."
- Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
- Psalm 46:1 says to us, "God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble."
- 1 John 4:18 sweetly reminds us that, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out all fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."
- Mark 12:30-31 tells us how to treat our neighbor (during social unrest or peace) as we read here, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: This is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thy shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."
- Luke 6:27 tells us, "But I say unto you which hear, 'Love you enemies; Do good to those which hate you."
- Romans 12:19 informs and warns us here of the social retribution of God where it says, "Dearly beloved, Avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath'; For it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine; I will repay', saith the Lord."
- Leviticus 19:18 further states, " Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself; I am the Lord." Lastly...
- Romans 12:1-3 says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."
In conclusion, although social unrest and injustice probably will continue on until our Lord Jesus comes, you and I are responsible for our own part in dealing with these issues as they come to our own doorstep and into our family unit.
How will you handle these issues as a believer and follower of Christ? Furthermore, you may wish to also make these events and happenings as learning opportunities, as well as opportunities to share your faith with those who have yet to hear the gospel message of Jesus Christ and His salvation through faith in Him.
Don't allow those fears and worries of the current events and various social injustices plague your mind, nor let it keep you from doing the will of God for your life. Continue to pray, study God's Word, and seek His will in all that you do and He will honor and bless you in doing so.
May the Lord continue to bless you as you endeavor to serve and follow Him!
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Witness Effectively For The Kingdom Of God
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