Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him. (John 12:9-11)
...we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Cor. 2:7-8)
People just don’t realize what’s going on around them these days. Whether in the church or the world, most heads seem buried in the sand, oblivious to the times in which we live, ignorant of prophecy, and more concerned with popularity and power than preparation for eternity. We’d rather shoot messengers of impending doom than consider turning from our sinful ways. Amazingly, rather than admit what is obvious on many topics, we deny it and threaten anyone who doesn’t.
Are we really any different from the Pharisees, who’d rather kill Jesus and a man he raised from the dead, than to give up privilege? Shouldn’t it be a sign of blindness if we find ourselves in denial of the storms raging around us? Or do we choose to pretend all is well, and fight against anyone who threatens our tranquility or power?
The world is ripe once again for a savior, any savior-- that is, except the real One. They want Santa Claus. They want a genie in a lamp. They want the seats of honor by Christ’s side in the coming kingdom. And they’ll do anything to get it; they’ll follow any pied piper that plays a pleasant psalm. And the pipers, be they political or pious, wax proud on the people’s praise.
I firmly believe that God is hardening hearts now. People have had their chance, as many long-dormant evils are coming out of the closet and parading their perversions publicly, such that it should be obvious even to the most skeptical. But the whole world, church included, seems to choose deliberately to deny what is plainly in front of them. Can it be, as it was with the Pharisees of old, that God is causing those who have long turned away from Him to begin swallowing the lies prophesied about in the last days? Are we seeing another thing God is hiding from “the rulers of this age”?
While the world gasps for its last breath, the Christian community turns to navel gazing. We expend all our energy arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin (i.e., “Can women preach? Did God force us to be saved or lost? Are the ”sign gifts“ for today? Can we wear jeans to church?) while souls are drawn to the piper, following as if in a trance. We will not warn them and even silence anyone who tries, because we have turned inward and have convinced ourselves that evangelism is narrow and divisive. We have traded the awful reality of eternity apart from God for rainbow dreams and the great Sugar Daddy in the Sky.
No wonder Jesus said, ”But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8)