“The chickens come home to roost”; “what goes around comes around”: “garbage in, garbage out.”

How many more clichés are there that describe the truism that, more often than not, the results we get come from the decisions and actions we made earlier? Yet we act surprised when those results turn out badly. Few are the folks who will go back and look honestly at the decisions they made earlier and learn from them. Instead, we hear shock and dismay and not a little grumbling and complaining.

C.S. Lewis said it well, in The Abolition of Man, “We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”

We have taken God out of the public square, then cry and complain when men kill each other with impunity. We have taken God out of our history textbooks, then wonder why our youth have little respect for the moral foundation upon which this nation was built. We’ve reduced Jesus to one of us and then wonder why the religion of Mohamed is growing at a blistering pace.

Most churches haven’t helped either. In Europe, when nations became almost completely secularized, they padlocked the doors of the cathedrals. In America, however, we left the doors of our church buildings open but changed the message and minimized the Messenger. Worship in spirit and truth and awe has been replaced with amusement and entertainment. Participating in worship, with head bowed or eyes up has been replaced with applause; the “worship” hour has become a spectator sport.

Instead of doing what he says (John 14:15), devotion to Christ has been redefined as doing what we wish he would have said. And since reading the Bible, when it’s done at all, is for validation instead of transformation, there are few wounded consciences and less reason to reorder our lives; and that’s true even among too many “church folk.”

People wonder why things aren’t going so well in our beloved nation. Well, “we laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.” The chickens are coming home to roost. Get used to it.

I’m not overstating it when I say that the times are desperate and we need saints who see that. If you are a true disciple of Christ, the time is now to exchange that 3-4 hours of TV time each day for quality Bible study time. The time is now to make sure your children are hearing the word every day, not just in Bible readings but seeing it in action in the way you live and respond to the challenges of life.

And the time is now to make men “with chests” so they will know how to navigate through a world that is becoming increasingly calloused toward truth, righteousness and holiness. We need every Christian “soldier” who is willing to sacrifice himself for the glory of God to put on the full armor of God. Now.