In a traditional sense, ladies wait for men to “pop the question,” and guys think her first thought was, “Yes,” when actually, it probably was, “Well, it’s about time!”
Or maybe the guy is a cautious one, so he sneaks up on the issue, asking, “If I ask you to marry me, will you?” He dips his toe in the water to see what her reaction might be before committing.
But either way, we probably agree these are more important, life-changing questions than “What do you want for dinner tonight?”
There are at least two other questions in Scripture that demand our response.
What Think Ye of Christ?
“What think ye of Christ?” is the most profound question human beings can be asked.
Jesus asked the Pharisees this question (Matt. 22:42) to provoke their thinking about his claim he was the son of God in the lineage of David. The Pharisees were too intellectually and spiritually stumped to respond: “And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions” (22:46).
Worded variously in different Bible versions, “What do you think about the Christ?” (ESV); “What do you think about the Messiah?” (NIV), the phrasing in the title is the classic KJV. All get to the point: how are you personally and individually going to respond to the reality of the saving work, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Scripture makes it plain, “
So, the question, “What think ye of Christ” is a spiritual turning point in a person’s life. When a person by faith accepts and trusts only in Jesus as his or her Savior the Bible promises an eternal relationship with God: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
Once a person is born again, becomes a believer, Now what? What do we do from here?
In Year 2020, the word “unprecedented” has been used time and again to describe the challenging series of crises Americans have endured: pandemic, racial tension and social unrest, rancorous politics and a disputed presidential election.
We’ve been told these experiences are unprecedented, but they really are not. They are for me or you perhaps. For example, we were not alive in 1918 and thus did not experience the Spanish Flu pandemic, so this Coronavirus pandemic is in a sense unprecedented for us. But serious as this virus is, it is like many, e.g., the Bubonic Plague, that have come and gone throughout human history. The same can be said for racial tension, social unrest, rancorous politics, and disputed elections—all have come and gone before.
Solomon said, “Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before,” (Ecc. 3:15). So perspective matters. But once we become a Christian, whatever our circumstances, now what?
How Should We Then Live?
The Old Testament Prophet Ezekiel challenges the people of Israel to turn from their wicked ways and serve the Lord, then he asks them, “How should we then live?’ (Ezek. 33:10).
This is the question Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer used to entitle his influential 1976 book and 1977 documentary film series, How Should We Then Live: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture. It’s the question Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey adapted for their 1999 book entitled, How Now Shall We Live?
Another Old Testament Prophet, Micah, asked the question this way: “What does the Lord require of you?” (Micah 6:8).
The Apostle Peter asked the same question with different words: “What kind of people ought you to be?” (2 Pet. 3:11).
In the face of layered and ongoing health, social, and political crises, How should we then live?
Is there a new, “unprecedented” set of demands required of us? Does the post-COVID “new normal” create a condition God did not foresee, or if he did, does he now wants us to live differently than ever before?
Micah’s answer was basic: “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
Peter’s answer was basic: “You ought to live holy and godly lives…” (2 Pet. 3:11).
Earlier in his first epistle, Peter said, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (1 Pet. 2:12).
Interestingly, Peter immediately follows this spiritual encouragement to live good and godly lives with the statement, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors” (1 Pet. 2:13).
Peter wrote these admonitions for the scattered believers of the Early Church during the First Century, the time of the ascendant power of the Roman Empire. He likely wrote the epistle (Bible scholars debate the authorship of 1 and 2 Peter, but most agree it was Peter, and either way, the letters are part of the canon of Scripture) from Rome and he probably wrote it during the reign of Emperor Nero, the most despicable and cruel of Roman leaders. Yet in the face of this kind of tyrannical regime, Peter counseled a response that trusted the sovereignty of God.
Elsewhere in Scripture, the psalmist David reinforces this point: “Put not your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save,” (Ps. 146:3).
Annus Horribilis, “Horrible Year”
In Year 2021, following the annus horribilis 2020, it’s worth considering the question “How should we then live?”
Was God surprised by the pandemic? Is the virus something to fear? Is there nothing in the Word of God that speaks to racial tension and social unrest? What is best way for Christians to live out their faith in the midst of rancorous politics?
Was it God’s will that Donald J. Trump be elected President in 2016? Is it not also God’s will he leaves office in 2021? If it was God’s will Mr. Trump became President is it not also God’s will Mr. Joe Biden was inaugurated President?
Whether Democrat or Republican, and more importantly if we are Christian, How should we then live?
The biblical answer is straightforward, tried and true:
Trust God, not politicians or parties.
Live godly and holy lives.
Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.
Submit for the Lord’s sake to human authority as a testimony.
Love God, love your neighbors, love your enemies.
Dr. Rex M. Rogers, President SAT-7 USA,