Faith is a divine work in us. It changes us and makes us to be born anew of God (John 1). It kills the old Adam and makes altogether different people, in heart and spirit and mind and powers, and it brings with it the Holy Spirit. Oh, it is a living, busy, active, mighty thing, this faith. And so it is impossible for it not to do good works incessantly. It does not ask whether there are good works to do, but before the question rises, it has already done them, and is always at the doing of them. [Commentary on Romans (Zondervan, 1954), xvii.]
We live in urgent times. The onslaught of the world throws us back on our heels. The horrid decline of the recognition of natural law in our nation and the formerly Christian West presents a shocking display. What the Bible calls good, the state calls evil. What the Bible calls evil, our state calls good. I believe that we are living in the last times and that we are experiencing not only individuals hardening their hearts against God but now also God hardening individual hearts as he did to Pharaoh.
Last spring and early summer, I attended 21 LCMS district conventions. Over the past two years, First Vice President Mueller, and Synod Vice Presidents Wohlrabe, Nour, Murray, Preus, Kuhn and Esget have made official visits to some 30 of our 35 districts. What have we found?