Easter 1970! What can I say? The news is all bad: wars and rumors of wars; student revolts around the world; increasing immorality; more and more drug addiction; hard-core pornography on the increase. Then came the message from the honorary president and the six presidents of the World Council of Churches to their millions of adherents. “What will happen next? None of us knows.” “Nor do we, who are Christians, know what is happening to our Church or even what will happen to our faith. And with our uncertainty goes fear.” These are somber and chilling words. What can I say?
Jesus is alive. The tomb could not hold its prey. The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church of Jesus Christ. “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). Must Christians live as though the light had gone out, as though fear had beaten back courage, as though Jesus were dead? This is defeatism of the worst sort. We are on the winning side. God is finishing the work he began on Calvary. He is the Lord of history and the sovereign God. We Christians should be pessimistic optimists: pessimistic that men can bring in any utopia but optimistic that Jesus Christ will come again to establish his kingdom and his righteousness and to rule over the world forever. “Lift up your eyes! For your redemption draws nigh!”1
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