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What's Ahead for the New Year  

How would you feel if you witnessed the detonation of an atom bomb?

Seventy years ago this month, Christian Life Magazine featured a cover photo of 250 soldiers observing an atomic bomb explosion at a test site in Nevada. The probing headline asked: "What's Coming in '52?"

This feature responded to an ominous article from Collier’s Magazine titled, “The War We Do Not Want.” So, the magazine assembled a group of leading Christian businessmen of the day, asking them to assess where American Christianity was at—and where it might steer in the new year.

D.F. McKechnie, prominent CPA, advised, "Saved people are too complacent and need to be instructed on giving an account of 'deeds in the body.’”

Alfred Jackson, a Pennsylvania businessman, added, "The deadening poison of complacency is everywhere."

Harry Smith, vice president (at the time) of the world's largest bank, observed, "Being carnal, many are more interested in who or what organization gets credit for what is done, than in doing. Let all the glory be His!"

Asked to identify and prioritize the weaknesses that hindered evangelical Christianity in 1951, here’s what the group concluded:

  1. Indifference
  2. Disunity
  3. Lazy laity
  4. Denominational pride
  5. Lack of information

Though published 70 years ago, that list sounds disturbingly familiar. But enough of gloom and doom. With Coronavirus, inflation, and supply chain shortages, we could use a shot of encouragement. Consider these words from the Christian Life article's conclusion:

“While A-bombs fall and wars continue, born-again believers know they may rely on the time-honored formula for individual and national revival: If my people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

What's ahead for 2022? For better or worse, we don't know. But we serve a good God who does. And that's enough.

 

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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