Have you noticed that civilization, as we know it in the USA, is rapidly declining? While there may be many superficial reasons for this, there is one fundamental reason: God has been systematically exiled.
All negative statistics are up: teenage pregnancies, teenage abortions, murders, suicides … just about every indicator of negative behavior trends shows we are in trouble. But, God is shunned as “Old Fahioned.”
The issues that confront America in 2013 and onward, are not political issues, but moral issues. Many Americans remember such things as prayer in schools (non-specific & non-threatening), teachers using rulers to “regulate” classroom behavior, two-parent (male & female) households, an orderly society with rules that usually worked, but even when they didn’t, it was the exception, not the rule.
I am part of the generation that helped to tear down those rules and that framework, the Baby Boomers. It’s not so bad that we tore things down, but we FAILED to put anything in place to maintain or adjust the social framework. Without BOUNDARIES, society falls into chaos. This is where we are today. Anything goes … except God’s ways.
I like to play with electronics and even put furniture together. Most items seem to be pretty self-explanatory … except for the leftover screws! My pattern is, when all else fails, read the directions.
America’s people are broken. Our communities are broken. Our schools are broken. Our government is badly broken. In fact, many of our churches are broken. Rather than celebrating the greatest love ever shown to mankind and eagerly sharing it with everyone we meet, we mistakenly tend ourselves & our buildings while lost people suffer. Many churches are so busy building and tending their “aquarium,” they have forgotten about “fishing for Men.” Instead of casting our nets into the deep river teaming with fish, we have become like the Dead Sea, keeping what we find for ourselves. Maybe it’s time to find the “directions” and READ THEM … again! Two thirds of GOD is GO!
I’ve become very disillusioned over our political system. In fact, I almost didn’t vote in the last election because I got so disgusted with the ads on television. Do you think there’s any hope of reversing all this? — Mrs. T.D.
Yes, there is always hope—and the reason is because God is concerned about these things even more than we are, and He has the power to drive us to our knees and change our hearts if we will seek Him.
In fact, some of the greatest spiritual revivals in the past occurred just when the situation seemed to be the darkest. In the history of our own nation, for example, countless thousands turned to Christ during the darkest days of the Civil War, setting the stage for national reconciliation later on.
Or take the time of King Josiah in the Bible. His father had been assassinated; the nation was in chaos; the people had almost forgotten God. But one day Josiah discovered a copy of God’s Word, and his life was changed. He then “removed all the detestable idols from all the territory … (and) as long as he lived, they did not fail to follow the Lord” (2 Chronicles 34:33).
Pray for our nation, and pray especially for those who are our leaders. In my experience, the vast majority of them are honorable and dedicated men and women who want to do what is right; only a few are driven by wrong motives. They need our prayers, and they need God’s wisdom. The Bible commands us to pray for “all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives” (1 Timothy 2:2). Think how different our world would be if we all followed that command!
“And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time,
the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault,
and violent men seize it by force, as a precious prize; a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion.”
Matthew 11:12 AMP
There are many puzzles in our daily walk, both as a Christ-follower and as an American. The verse quoted above has long been one of those puzzles because it seems to be contradictory to the overall message of the Gospel of Love. We get glimpses of the true sentiment from time to time … the righteous indignation of Jesus (Mt 21: 12-13) as he overturned the tables of the money changers in the Temple because they had turned the “place of prayer & worship” into a mercantile or the righteous indignation of Paul as he chastised the slave girl (Acts 16: 16- 40) following him. It’s not a popular topic of either teaching or conversation.
I. The CONFLICT: As human beings, our tendency is to most highly value only that which we work to earn or possess. In Philippians, we’re told to “work out our own salvation.” (Philippians 2:12-13 Later, in the same book, we’re told to “press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.” (Phil 3: 14)
SALVATION is free … It is the Gift of God. (Romans 6:23) The moment we ask, salvation is ours, BUT … it is a daily calling which we have to put on each day. It’s like buying a new, warm woolen coat. It is ours, but for it to accomplish its purpose, it must be put on. So salvation must be put on, must be wrestled with on a daily basis because it does NOT come naturally. Even when we believe, even when our motivation is love … our minds and bodies want to do their own thing. We are asked to fight for it, and take it by force, sometimes, as though someone else wants our new woolen coat. We have the coat, and no one really can take it from us, but we can lay it down and walk away without enjoying its warmth and comfort.
Our Founders prayed for God to help them build a nation that would endure.
Our nation is at a vital crossroad, and the people of America must make the choice. Either we will resign ourselves to live out our lives in the compromised civilization that we see around us, and settle for the life of dependency and lack, OR we can put on our warm, woolen coat of salvation, accept that God’s ways are better, are SUPERIOR to our ways,admit our error, and walk into the abundance God always has for His people. Do we wish to bow to those in government or to the King of Kings? Do we bow to the government of men or the government of God? God’s ways are more difficult, for sure, and sometimes more uncomfortable, but ultimately much better and healthier! We choose not just for ourselves, but for our children, our grandchildren and for our nation.
I’m not sure that’s the best way to explain it, but … Maybe John Bunyan did a better job in his amazing book, Pilgrims Progress (highly recommended book):
” Then the Interpreter took him, and led him up towards the door of the palace; and behold, at the door stood a great company of men, as desirous to go in, but durst not. There also sat a man at a little distance from the door, at a table-side, with a book and his inkhorn before him, to take the names of them that should enter therein; he saw also that in the doorway stood many men in armor to keep it, being resolved to do to the men that would enter, what hurt and mischief they could.
“Now was Christian somewhat in amaze. At last, when every man started back for fear of the armed men, Christian saw a man of a very stout countenance come up to the man that sat there to write, saying, “Set down my name, sir;” the which when he had done, he saw the man draw his sword, and put a helmet on his head, and rush towards the door upon the armed men, who laid upon him with deadly force; but the man, not at all discouraged, fell to cutting and hacking most fiercely. So after he had received and given many wounds to those that attempted to keep him out, Matt. 11:12; Acts 14:22; he cut his way through them all, and pressed forward into the palace; at which there was a pleasant voice heard from those that were within, even of those that walked upon the top of the palace, saying,
“Come in, come in,
Eternal glory thou shalt win.”
So he went in, and was clothed with such garments as they. Then Christian smiled, and said, I think verily I know the meaning of this.
Now, said Christian, let me go hence…”
II. APPLICATION: Again, I say … Nothing worth having comes easy. None of us learned to walk without falling down a few times. None of us learned to love without having our hearts broken a time or two. None of us learned to stand alone on God’s grace without failing miserably AND being hurt a few times.
“To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me!” (Col 1: 24-29 NCV)
Salvation, like Liberty, is an individual accomplishment. I can’t accomplish yours, and you can’t accomplish mine. All we can do for one another is facilitate the decision and encourage each other along the way.
Jacob wrestled with the Angel of God and would not let him go without a blessing. Genesis 32:24-28
As we walk out our salvation, we walk into greater and greater Liberty. We free ourselves from the dictates of men and focus on what pleases God. We learn to revel … to play inside God’s abounding love for us, free from worrying about what others might think of us. We know that as long as we walk inside God’s grace, whatever happens is blessed, ordered of God, and ultimately permitted GOOD for us. However, we must all realize, too, that while there are plenty of peaceful and restful times, there are also numerous “battles” we must walk through to make forward progress. We cannot stand still long, so we must choose to push ahead, upward or fall backward. The way is ready, but we must walk it.
III. CONCLUSION: God does not implant His character into our lives as the weaver might set in gold or silver threads. He does not automatically remove and replace our ugly, sinful traits with holy ones. It is through our personal struggle, each of us must work our way through temptations, trials and difficulties toward our upward goals. The help of God is given in cooperation with our aspiration, perspiration and energy. While God is at work in us, we are to work out our own salvation. The struggle is between our human nature and the implanted nature of God simultaneously occupying the same space! Our base human nature, when left unchecked produces the culture we’re looking at in the news – perverted, selfish, and violent, but the Holy Spirit within us will build into us the Character of Christ, if we permit Him. IF we permit Him. Will we? This is America’s only hope. It is OUR only hope, but it is more than enough!
That there exists an ancient mystery that holds the secret of America s future?
That this mystery lies behind everything from 9/11 to the collapse of the global economy?
That ancient harbingers of judgment are now manifesting in America?
That God is sending America a prophetic message of what is yet to come?
There have been many conspiracy theories over the years. They circle around 9/11, JFK’s assassination, and other “ground shaking” events. They arise through layers of uncertainty and unexplainable evidence.
There is a book, The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future that is drawing great attention. It contains evidence (or a string of coincidences, your call) of a powerful, even Supreme plan that includes the United States of America. The author explains 9 key prophecies that were given to ancient Israel that came to pass exactly as predicted. Then, is a long series of bizarre occurrences, these same prophecies are tied and applied to America. It’s enough to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and I admit I’m intrigued.
I have not read the book yet, but will be acquiring it this week. I’m encouraging serious Patriots to do likewise. Mr. Cahn, the author, claims the climax of these prophecies is yet to occur, and there is still time to turn back from calamity. Over and over in the Old Testament, God gave Israel opportunity to repent, to turn away from their sinfulness and return to the loving arms of God. Over and over again, Israel refused. In her defiance, she declared her wish to be like the other nations. Over and over God warned because it was not His wish to destroy anyone. Yet, their arrogance and defiance had its own price, as disobedience always does. ALWAYS!
From its birth, America was seen as a New Jerusalem, a NEW Israel where God was free to bless His people. Those who founded America, in spite of what recent politicians and political historians might claim, understood the implications of freedom and the responsibilities associated with it. There are many, many early allusions to Israel in America’s early writings and documents. More info can be found here For decades, the American people, for the most part, at least attempted to keep God first in their lives. Someplace along the line, that stopped. The last few decades have seen an incredible decline in morality associated with a turning away from God. He has warned us repeatedly. How long will we rebel? He does not wish for ANY to bring about their own destruction. His hand is outstretched still. Still, God extends His hand to America, to all people …
“if my people who are called by My name will humble themselves,
and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 2: 14
GOD always warned Israel over and over. He always gave Israel a multitude of chances to get right, to realize the folly and limitations of our humanity and acknowledge GOD’s ways as superior. God is not a tyrant, but a loving parent. The same way we warn our children not to run into the street or stick a fork into an electrical outlet, this is why God warns us. He IS warning us today.
Even if it seems overwhelming or outrageous to you, isn’t it worth a little investigation? I mean, what if it’s TRUE? What if … 2015 is coming soon.
“Blow the trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm in My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble;
For the day of the Lord is coming,
For it is at hand: …
“Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
13 So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.”
JOEL 2: 1, 12-13