The sin that has engulfed our nation, and infiltrated — sometimes deeply — into the professing church of Jesus Christ, demonstrates beyond all doubt that God’s judgements are at work in the UK (see ET comment, September 2015).
Far from Britain experiencing a latter day Christian ‘revival’, as some well-meaning yet very naïve people try to persuade us is taking place, the nation is surely experiencing earlier instalments of that wrath of God yet to engulf this fallen world (Romans 1:22-32).
The final visitation of divine anger against sin will be a storm of fiery indignation, a cataclysm from which nobody can escape, unless (in this life) they have trusted in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:2-4).
But, although the present situation is dire, there is an evil that still hasn’t overtaken us: God has, so far, in accountable mercy, spared Britain from one of his severest judgments — the withdrawal of all gospel influence.
Such a judgement is one the wicked paradoxically longs for — to be rid of all reminders of the Lord and of his Son, Jesus Christ — yet one which most certainly he cannot bear. It is, this side of eternity, the worst judgement of all, and a judgement this nation has tasted in distant centuries.
Gospel famine removes sinners, even if they do not realise or admit it, from all hope. It takes from them the possibility of hearing the good news of a Saviour. It separates the spiritually lost from the Good Shepherd, the spiritually sick from the Good Physician, the hell-bound from heaven’s light.
And it is a judgement that can impact communities in several ways. The gospel can, for example, be lost through its corruption, so that, instead of the message preached being centred upon justification by faith in Christ, it becomes a ‘works-based’ religion — that is, ‘another gospel’ which is no gospel at all.
Multitudes of British churches are now unable to do any lasting good, because of this device of Satan, though, thankfully, this judgement has not overtaken all churches.
The gospel’s loss can also come through the closure of gospel churches, perhaps as members grow old and die, or move away. Many chapels and churches have long since become warehouses or domestic dwellings.
The loss can be the result of fierce oppression and persecution of the Lord’s people; or through the demise of faithful Christian publishers and authors for one reason or another; or from the effect of censorship of (offline and online) Christian ministry.
The prophet Amos predicted days of such deprivation in these words: ‘Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord God, that I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord, but shall not find it’ (8:11-12).
Nothing can be worse than losing the opportunity to hear the saving gospel of Jesus Christ, to have the remedy against sin and God’s punishment totally withdrawn. May God spare our nation such a fate, even though we deserve it!
May we never take our present gospel-hearing opportunities for granted! Present gospel ministry is something to be deeply thankful for. And may we labour on for Christ ‘while it is day’, for the night may be coming ‘when no man can work’ (John 9:4).
‘Is the UK under God’s judgement?’ Yes indeed, but not yet entirely. Moreover, it is still possible that any gospel light remaining in the UK is a token from the Lord that we are, in his eyes, more ripe for mercy than for final judgment.
Let us pray so. And, if it turns out to be the case, it will indeed be an unaccountable mercy!