The Romans One Effect
By Hal Lindsey
Vladimir Putin lies. He looks his opponent straight in the face and lies. He’s good at it. He says that he must invade Ukraine because NATO refuses to rule out the possibility of one day admitting Ukraine. But he knows that no one joins NATO without the unanimous consent of all existing members. He knows that France and Germany flatly refuse to allow Ukraine to join, and several others have expressed strong reservations. He knows that there is no immediate possibility of Ukraine joining NATO.
Some suggest appeasement. They say NATO should have gone against its own bylaws and officially announced that it would never admit Ukraine. But when someone uses a pretext as an excuse, removing the pretext only means the creation of another excuse. For instance, there is Putin’s silly lie that with over 150,000 Russian troops on its doorstep, Ukraine decided to begin a series of atrocities against Russians living in Ukraine. When someone is willing to lie that boldly, he can always concoct a new pretext.
Others have said that what happens in Ukraine should not concern Americans. These people either do not personally visit gas stations, or they don’t understand the recent jump in fuel prices. Over the next weeks and months, the connection will probably be made plain to everyone who drives a car, heats a home, or pays an electric bill.
But Putin’s actions in Ukraine are much bigger than a series of price increases. They threaten your savings, investments, and livelihood. More than that, they endanger your life and the lives of those you love. Russia may have the most advanced cyber-attack teams in the world. Such attacks threaten electricity, water, and food. Russia also holds the world’s largest nuclear arsenal. And Putin’s threats to use it, suddenly seem credible.
A few days ago, New York Magazine ran a headline that asked publicly what people have been asking privately for months. “Is Putin Sane?” The New York Times recently noted that Putin “has fundamentally changed amid the pandemic.” They say the shift seems to have “left him more paranoid, more aggrieved, and more reckless.” People who speak with him regularly, including the President of Finland, say that he is not the same man.
What happened? Romans One happened. Putin suppressed the truth in unrighteousness (verse 18). He exchanged the truth of God for a lie (verse 25). He did not see fit to acknowledge God (verse 28). Therefore, God gave him over to a depraved mind (verse 28). A “depraved mind”—or as the King James Version says, “a reprobate mind”—means in part, a mind that can no longer think in its own best interest.
The Romans One effect is not confined to Putin. The things that brought on his change are widespread among most of the world’s leaders—and not just political leaders, but also leaders in entertainment, education, religion, and business.
How does a nation survive in such a world? Through virtue and strength (Proverbs 14:34), remembering that corruption begets weakness, and weakness invites aggression.
How do individuals survive in such a world? By turning to God the Father through Jesus Christ. We don’t have to be alone. We can walk hand in hand with the God who brought the universe into existence with the power of His word.
These times prove again the reliability of the Bible. We were never promised that life during end-time events would be easy. But the same God who told us about these things thousands of years in advance, also promises to keep and protect those who have placed themselves in His hands.
Remember the wisdom of 1 Peter 5:7. “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.”