International (MNN) — It seems like each month or sometimes each week brings a new, devastating headline in the world. With it comes the strong temptation to make like an ostrich and bury our heads in the sand. Some Christian influencers even encourage disconnecting from the news, citing benefits for their mental health.
In such perilous times, what should Christians do? Is disconnecting from the news a biblical response?
Ron Hutchcraft of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries says, “In the countdown days before He would return, Jesus said [there would be] the ‘increase of wickedness.’ (Matt. 24:12) In other words, there’s always been wickedness, but an explosion of wickedness. The Greek word is ‘rapid multiplication.’
“Because of a rapid multiplying of wickedness, [Jesus] says here’s what will happen to His people: ‘The love of most will grow cold.’ It doesn’t say they will all become wicked. They’ll be cold, apathetic, sitting out the battle.”
While we do not know when Christ will return, each moment brings us closer to that day. In the meantime, both obsessing over the news or shutting it off entirely leads to cold inaction.
Worrying and fretting over the latest devastating headline without taking every thought captive for Christ (2 Cor. 10:5) leads to anxiety and paralysis.
Yet, avoiding the suffering of the world leads to ignorance and apathy.
On the hope side, Hutchcraft continues, “[Jesus] went on to say, ‘…and this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.’
“For me as a believer between those two explosions – the garbage and the Gospel both spreading rapidly – I’ve got one of two choices. I’m going to be cold or I’m going to be bold. I didn’t see a third choice there.”
Ultimately, being bold with the Gospel in a world filled with wickedness and suffering means engaging the news with wisdom. So we better understand the context of Ukrainian refugee neighbors. So we know how to faithfully encourage friends with connections in Israel or Gaza/West Bank. So we know how to pray for the Church in Afghanistan, Nepal, or Myanmar.
So we know how to tell the world about Jesus Christ who meets them where they are with hope and salvation.
It also means being missionally wise with the time and resources God has given us, rather than seeking distractions.
“This call to boldness says this: Whatever lesser passions have been defining how I spend my time and my influence and my money, if it isn’t going to matter in Heaven, it shouldn’t be mattering very much right now,” says Hutchcraft.
Ask God how He would use you for His Kingdom in such times as these. Then, listen.
Ron Hutchcraft Ministries has several resources to help you share your faith — your “hope story” in Christ. You can check them out here!
Header photo courtesy of Nijwam Swargiary/Unsplash.