And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?(Luke 18:1-8)
Jesus gave us the parable of the unjust judge that ,”Men ought also to pray, and not faint….”. Christians are to see that they are in the same situation as the woman in the parable, whether they realize it or not. We live in a hostile world, with little or no worldly power or resources, godless leaders and authorities, and no recourse other than desperate prayer. We are to constantly pray for the ultimate vindication, the Kingdom of God.
There is a sense of course, in which the Kingdom of God has already come, because Jesus Himself is our righteousness, it is He that has ‘vindicated us’ personally through his shed blood, making us right with God, once and for all time.
But there is another phase to the Kingdom, it has not yet come. We still await the reconciliation of the whole world to God; the judgment and removal of all evil, and of evildoers, as well as the glorification of our bodies, and reclamation of the earth.
In between the first and the second phase o the Kingdom to come, is a long, painful interval, a time of testing, wherein evil seems to rule and reign on earth and Satan is able to seemingly “Make war on the saints and to overcome them”. it is a time in which the prevailing mood is Christ rejection.
And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.(Acts 17:22-25)
The Christian’s posture would be one of constant resistance to the sin and rebellion of the world around Him, and constant pray for deliverance from it, and as Jesus said in the parable of Luke 18:1-8, that men pray always and not faint!
What does fainting look like? Jesus gives us an example when he referred to the story of Lot. The fate of Lot’s family is an object lesson of the danger of “Fainting” in the day of adversity, of what happens when men quit praying, and succumb to the evil around them. Lot is the type of the church in the last days, surrounded on all sides by evil, and tempted to succumb in many ways.
Lot once dwelt in the wilderness with Abraham, as a family congregation they worshipped God. For business reasons he separated, setting up camp “near Sodom” on the lush pasture lands around it. Eventually we find Lot living in Sodom, and by Genesis 19, he was sitting in the gates of Sodom,(having become a leading citizen and possibly in the city Government of Sodom).
No doubt the grosser practices of Sodom shocked and appalled Lot and his family, but a man can get used to anything eventually, if he exposes himself to it often enough. Sooner or later Lot and his family became settled inhabitants of the doomed city, and even the children became exposed to perversions once unthinkable to the family.
Lot fainted, he succumbed to evil, not by practicing it, merely by giving up all internal and familial resistance to it. The family neither left Sodom physically, nor dd they pray of deliverance from it, nor were they capable of grief about it after a while. They knew what was going on around them and accepted it as a kind of necessary evil, or as a twisted norm.
This is precisely the situation of the modern Christian church. We couldn’t have in our wildest nightmares imagined the horrors which are now considered commonplace oin our society. “Gay Marriage”? The adamant promotion of abortion on demand? Gay Adoption? But there are only two ways a Christian can go with this baptism into evil.
Either they can ceaselessly resist, if in no other way than by crying out for deliverance from this evil world, praying that the Lord would come and establish his Kingdom, and being willing to be marginalized by a society plunging headlong into hell.
On the other hand, there are those who have made peace with these horrors, (not necessarily liking them) but acting like these things are an inevitability, and finding ways to work with them, such as accommodating homosexual ‘couples’ in churches, or denying the reality of hell or the exclusive claims of Christianity because those things go against the ‘spirit of the Age’.
Many Christians would be shocked by how they have changed.Like Lot and his wit, they have gotten familiar and used to what was once unthinkable to them. There was a ‘dark side’ to Sodom, but no doubt there was so much to like about it also. There were no doubt the shops, catering to the least fashions, the plays and theaters were not entirely devoted to obscenity, and the restaraunts were fantastic. By the time Angels came bringing warning of Judgment and the chance of salvation, Lot’s family didn’t want to leave the place!
We are warned of the danger of succumbing to the Spirit of the age, on issue by issue surrendering the burden of spiritual resistance, letting go of the vision of God and of the life he promises, losing the capacity to blush af evil, or to be ashamed, or to recoil in grief and horror at open depravity.
accommodation is expensive. For Abraham’s nephew Lot, it cost him his wife, sons and sons in law , and nearly cost him his two daughters. This is what Jesus meant by “Fainting”.