Within my “Legacy Study Bible Reading Plan,” we are now in November and staring to read the book of Romans. You want to get into Romans, one of the great pieces of literature in general, but from the perspective of a Christian, this is the infallible repository of redemptive revelation.
You see in Romans chapter 1 Paul talks about the light of creation and demonstrates that all people everywhere have the light creation. Then in Romans chapter 2, he talks about the light of conscience, the fact that the knowledge of God is emblazoned on the tablet of our heart. So, on the one hand, in Romans chapter 1 we have an outer light, but on the other hand, in Romans chapter 2 we have an inner light.
If we respond to both the light from without and the light from within, we are assured by the Apostle Paul in Romans chapter 3 that we will receive the light of Jesus Christ. This is why Paul can say in the book of Acts, “From one man he made every nation of men that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” (17:26-27).
I am often times comforted by those words from the Apostle Paul, for recently I was in Asia. I visited to Korea, Taiwan, and mainland China, and there I often times saw the teeming masses beguiled by ancestral worship or folk religions. I stood in Shanghai and watched the faces as they went by, and I wondered do they know the Lord? How can they come to know Christ? Again, I was comforted by the knowledge that they have the light of creation, and that God has placed within them the light of conscience, and if they love light as opposed to darkness, God will give them the light of Christ.
God can do this supernaturally, He doesn’t need human agency, but in God’s economy He is determined that we are the agents of Good News in a normative fashion of salvation. In other words, we have the privilege of having the Holy Spirit move through us in the process of communicating the grace, peace, and love that only Jesus Christ can bring to the human heart.
Now the question is “are we ready to seize the opportunity or are we consumed by apathy?” We stand in Western Christianity on the precipice of a great divide. Are we going to continue conforming our selves to the culture or are we going to conform ourselves to Christ, take up His cross and follow Him? If we are we can turn things around in Western Civilization, we need to get back to the basics that made Western Civilization great. Western Civilization became great because it was built on the DNA of Western Christianity.
If we fail to do so, we may well watch a shift of power, not power in terms of military power (although that is possible as well) but in terms of an economic resurgence of power in Pacific Rim nations that is unprecedented, which something we are seeing today. We are also seeing a resurgence of authentic New Testament Christianity growing at such a rate that—quite frankly—the Communist Chinese government doesn’t know what to do with it. If you have a 1,000, 10,000, or even 100,000 Christians, you can imprison and persecute them, but when it comes to numbers like 100 million, perhaps now you have a force so great that it can turn an empire upside down, very much like what happened in the first century.
So we see a balance of powers that is shifting and changing in a very dynamic fashion before our eyes. The question the West faces is, “are we going to go back to the Cross or are we going to be consumed by the culture?”
The mission of the Christian Research Institute is to equip committed Christians to go back to authentic New Testament Christianity, to take up their cross, follow Christ, to become ambassadors for Christ, as opposed to secret agents who are unwilling or unable to communicate the Gospel but haven never blown their cover before an unregenerate world. So secularism, hedonism, and humanism are on the march and Christianity is on the decline. We can change things, if we will get back to basics. Again, our mission is to equip people, and we want to equip literally hundreds of millions to think Christianly and therefore not be conformed to the culture but rather be transforming agents in the culture.