The harassed people of Ukraine have been beleaguered for months. First, they ousted a corrupt president and replaced him with another, a Baptist preacher. Then, Russia took over the Crimean Peninsula and now threatens to invade eastern Ukraine.
The Church of God (Keith at 25th streets) has 93 congregations in that troubled nation, most of which are in the eastern area now under dispute with Russia.
One of those churches is in Slavyansk, a city of 116,000 people. Recently, during a church service helicopters were heard overhead, and gunfire in the city. Radicals have set up roadblocks hampering access in and out of the city and churches are now required to register with the government.
As we know, not only is the Ukraine in upheaval, but some other parts of the world are in chaos also. How thankful we Americans ought to be that our government has stability.
Also, we should pray for people like those in Ukraine, who are ordinary people like us whose country is in turmoil. They love God just as we do, and they want to worship without restrictions.
America has not been promised peace forever. With the lines being drawn ever tighter between Bible-believing people and non-believers, one wonders how long our freedom will endure.
The late Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, who served under Dwight Eisenhower, proclaimed: “The world will never have lasting peace so long as men reserve for war the finest human qualities.”
Dulles continued, “Peace, no less than war, requires idealism and self-sacrifice and a righteous and dynamic faith.”
Inscribed in granite on the wall of the Lincoln Memorial is the famous Gettysburg Address, which reads in part: “Our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation ...
“Now we are ... testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.”
That speech was made while our country was locked in a civil war. Just as definitely, our nation today is embroiled in a war and the lines of demarcation are clear.
We are not in a war of guns and bombs. Dear friend, we might as well face up to the naked truth — America is enmeshed in a spiritual warfare to the death.
The Bible describes where we are: Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Did you notice who the Holy Spirit said we are struggling against? “Rulers,” “authorities” who oppose God and stand against righteousness; then was named “the spiritual forces of evil.” We are at war!
Billy Graham commented: “If the human race would turn from its evil ways and return to God, putting behind its sins of disobedience, idolatry, pride, greed and belligerence, and all the various aberrations that lead to war, the possibilities of peace exist.”
Christ-followers long for genuine, worldwide peace and we know it is coming in a Person:
“He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:6, 7).
On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16).
Oh, Lord, hasten that day!