God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them.
—Jonah 3:10

In Philippians 2:15, Paul says we are to appear as lights in the world. Imagine that you go out to dinner. When you walk into your house, it is dark. What’s your response? Do you say, “I’m so fearful of the darkness! What am I going to do?” Or do you say, “I need to sell this house and find a house with more light in it”? Of course not. You turn on the light. Paul is saying instead of allowing the darkness to cause us to fear or to run, we should dispel the darkness with the light of Jesus Christ.

Some Christians go to the extreme of political activism. But the other extreme that Christians tend to go is cultural passivism. There are Christians who say, “My only job as a Christian is to share the gospel, and I’m going to leave everything else to other people.” But God has called us to be both salt and light in the world. In describing the final world leader, the apostle Paul writes, “And you know what restrains him [the Antichrist] now” (2 Thessalonians 2:6). Right now, the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians is restraining the evil that will be poured out on this world.

I want you to imagine Hoover Dam. All of a sudden you see water leaking out of that massive structure. You and 50,000 other people decide to protect the residents downstream, so you all press your backs against Hoover Dam. Now, will you be able to prevent the collapse of Hoover Dam? No. You can’t reverse the destruction of that dam, but you can delay it. And your purpose in delaying that collapse is to give people in the valley an opportunity to escape. That is the same reason we are to delay the decay of our country.

Some of you are thinking, “If the day of America’s fall is etched on God’s calendar, then you can’t do anything to change it.” I believed that, too, until I read the book of Jonah. God sent Jonah to the wicked city of Nineveh. God had said, “I am going to destroy Nineveh.” Then Jonah preached righteousness, and the residents of Nineveh repented. And what did God do? “God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them” (3:10). God ultimately destroyed Nineveh in 612 BC. Jonah’s preaching did not prevent God’s judgment, but it did delay God’s judgment. That story reminds us we can make a difference in this country.
People ask, “Why does God allow evil to run rampant in the world?” God answers that question in 2 Peter 3:9-10: “The Lord . . . is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” That verse gives us a glimpse into the heart of God. The reason God is delaying His final judgment on this world is to give people an opportunity to repent.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.