I am a sinner, saved by the grace of Almighty God. As an evangelical Christian and Southern Baptist, I hold dearly to the tenets of the Holy Bible, God’s personal letter to each and every one of us who has chosen the path of salvation provided by the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary.  

I am unworthy of the many blessings God has bestowed upon me, and I struggle daily with the knowledge that I wasted much of my adult life not honoring and exalting God for the blessings of my family, health and professional successes.  

God never gave up on me, and as I have grown as a Christian, I have felt the power of the Holy Spirit guiding and directing my walk with Jesus Christ.

We are living in very troubling times for our nation, and the world for that matter. Christians have resigned themselves to the sidelines, content to remain silent as a secular world rapidly consumes all of mankind. The freedoms that our country was founded upon are slowly and methodically being eroded away under the guise of inclusion and a liberal progressive mentality of “if it feels good, do it.”   

Media outlets promote a seductive lifestyle through vile and violent music and movies. The expanse of social media has transplanted the family dinner table and normal, civil conversation.  

We have turned away from God and turned toward our electronic devices, supplanting civility with filth and gossip. 

And Satan smiles.   

Our young people venture out, unprepared for the world outside the comfort and confines of their homes and schools, lacking even an elementary understanding of the values of God and country, not to mention respect, civility and community service.  

We have quietly raised a generation of “snowflakes” incapable of taking responsibility for their actions, or lack thereof, sending them out into the world without a “moral compass, The Holy Bible, providing foundational guidance for their lives!  

And the Devil grins.  

We watch, often in feigned horror, as our children display their underwear either above the waistline of their jeans or below the hemline of their skirts.  We turn a communal “deaf ear” as our youth listen to lyrics (very often loud enough to be heard from blocks away) that would make the saltiest sailor blush or faint.  

Cell phones have displaced rattles and pacifiers in the hands of infants, barely out of diapers, yet parents become distraught and inconsolable when their child is victimized by on-line predators.  

Young people, struggling with their identity and desire to “fit in,” while lacking the support system the church provides through the love of Jesus Christ, often resort to acting out violently, self-mutilation and suicide.  

And Satan chuckles.

Sadly, school prayer and the teachings of Jesus Christ have become socially unacceptable in our public schools. School prayer and the Ten Commandments have systematically been removed from the classrooms and hallway walls, with the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem awaiting the secular, liberal-progressive chopping block in the very near future.  

Consequentially, our children (and parents) have lost much of their moral equilibrium, resisting authority, disrupting the educational process and behaving in such a manner that many have become “unteachable,” with parents unapologetic for their kids’ actions.  

And the Devil chortles.

We glorify actors, singers, athletes and celebrities, (who routinely disparage our country and president) placing them on pedestals in total disregard of their lifestyles and lack of accountability.  

We sit idly by as our Soldiers, police officers and emergency service personnel are threatened, assaulted and killed as they risk their lives in service to our communities and nation. 

Civility and public discourse have been tossed aside and replaced with violent protests, shout-downs and threats of disruption to our democracy with the ultimate goal of anarchy.  

And Satan guffaws.      

More than 60 million babies have been murdered through abortion in America since 1973. In God’s letter to the world, the Holy Bible, we are told that God knows us intimately even before we are born into this world.  We are created in His image and loved by Him despite our shortcomings and sin-filled existence.  

How then, have we come to devalue the life of an unborn child, a child who may have, within his or her small brain, a cure for cancer or diabetes or AIDS?  

As a society, we hold vigils for those who have been killed in accidents or school shootings or domestic confrontations but never blink an eye at the death of an innocent baby, torn violently from his mother’s womb as a convenient means of birth control.  

And Lucifer laughs hysterically.

We are a nation bent on self-destruction. We have turned our backs on Almighty God. Church is no longer important or convenient or necessary or cool or fun or whatever excuse you come up with to avoid the love of Jesus Christ. 

God sacrificed His Son, Jesus, as the ultimate price for our sins but we have forgotten to be thankful for that gift and the many blessings that have followed.  

As Christians, we are charged with making disciples of all men and women, loving everyone with a Christ-like emotion that embraces sinners and believers alike.  Oh, how we have failed.  

And the Devil applauds our lack of effort. 

We call on God in our hour of need, on the eve of an important job interview or impending surgery or after hearing that our days are numbered due to an illness or disease.  Please don’t wait too late to call on God, He’s only a prayer away. Give God a chance in your life, and He will push Satan out the door.  All things are possible through faith in Jesus.  Find a church that preaches His Word, whole and true, this Sunday.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

Take that, Satan.

Jeff Oakes is a resident of South Boston.