Martin Niemoller was a German theologian and Lutheran pastor who bravely opposed Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime. Although he escaped execution, he was Imprisoned from 1938-1945 in two of the Nazi’s most infamous concentration camps, Sachsenhausen and Dachau. Niemoller is best remembered today for the following famous verse.
“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.”
In 1934, Pastor Niemoller bravely mounted the pulpit of his church and prophetically proclaimed God’s divine purpose in the pending and pitiless persecution of Christ’s church in Nazi Germany.
“We have all of us—the whole Church and the whole community—we’ve been thrown into the Tempter’s sieve, and he is shaking and the wind is blowing, and it must now become manifest whether we are wheat or chaff! Verily, a time of sifting has come upon us, and even the most indolent and peaceful among us must see that the calm of a meditative Christianity is at an end…
It is now springtime for the hopeful and expectant Christian Church—it is testing time, and God is giving Satan a free hand, so he may shake us up and so that it may be seen what manner of men we are…
Satan swings his sieve and Christianity is thrown hither and thither; and he who is not ready to suffer, he who called himself a Christian only because he thereby hoped to gain something good for his race and his nation is blown away like chaff by the wind of time.”
Like the church in Germany in 1934, the church in America in 2021 has been thrown into the Tempter’s sieve. The devil, to whom God has given a free hand, is shaking us, and the wind of time is blowing us. The time of a calm and mediative Christianity is at an end, even for the most indolent and peaceful Christians among us. As the church in America is tested, sifted, and shaken, the wheat will be separated from the chaff and we will see what manner of men we really are. Are you ready to suffer for Christ’s sake or will you be blown away like chaff by the wind of the end times?