Group of Christians praying in the cave at Yeo...So what can we expect out of 2012 for the nation and for us as Christians?  Well, only God knows for sure, but I think by studying our recent history we can get a pretty good feel for what 2012 might look like.

As Americans, I think we will see a fierce battle for power in Washington D.C. as we elect a president in November.  Sadly, many in Washington are more concerned with consolidating or gaining power than in doing what is best for the nation, so I look for both parties to continue to put band aids on the serious problems of the economy, pandering to voters with what we want to hear instead of what we need to hear.  I think the president elected, no matter who he or she is, will face a major crisis after the election as our economy faces some stark realities and we run out of options to address financial bankruptcy as a nation.

In the Middle East I think you’ll see a major push for peace between Israel and its neighbors.  The reality of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons will create an urgency to attain peace at any cost.  And with the “Arab Spring” bringing more militant Muslims into power, we will be forced to look for solutions we think will solve the problem.  Sadly, any fix will only delay the inevitable.

As for the church in America, I think we will see a continued “dumbing down” of Christianity as it is presented in 2012.  Slowly but surely Christians who insist in holding on to the bible as absolute truth will be marginalized as close minded and judgmental.

Look for more “Joel Osteen” type preaching—preaching about how we can have happiness and prosperity now at the expense of the true gospel.  As our economic problems worsen, there will be more and more fake “prosperity preachers” willing to deceive desperate Christians into believing that if they support these ministries, God will open the flood gates of health and wealth.  God will continue to be relegated to the role of “genie”, there at our beckon call for anything we desire.

Because many churches will face increasing economic pressure, look for sermons to generally be more welcoming—and less convicting.  The church will continue to look to increase its numbers at the sacrifice of the spiritual health of the body as a whole.  I think we will witness the birth of a major home church movement as times worsen.  Some will selfishly flock to home churches for wrong reasons—but others will do so because they are increasingly concerned that our churches are teaching less and less from the bible—and more and more from the wisdom of man.

I see 2012 as a year when nothing radical will change within our nation or within the church, but seeds will be planted for a major upheaval in 2013 and beyond.  2012 will be the “calm before the storm”.  Our major institutions—government and the church—will do all they can to maintain a status quo in 2012, but change is coming whether we like it or not.  We are approaching a point where the table will be set for radical change within our nation and the church.

As Christians who believe the Word of God is still absolute truth, 2012 should be a year of spiritual preparation.  When you look at the economic, political and social deterioration of the world, it is obvious the world is ripe for radical change in the coming years.  And how we respond to this change will be determined by our level of commitment to God.  Will we respond out of fear of losing all this world has to offer?  Or will we respond with confidence in God’s promises no matter what our earthly circumstances?  Brothers and sisters, we are rapidly approaching decision time—when we are asked to put our faith in this world—or put our faith in God.  2012 needs to be the year when we ask God to prepare our hearts for a time like we never thought we would see—where our loyalties will be tested and we choose which God to serve—this world or the one true God.