I was reading Isaiah 40 the other day when I read verse 17, wherein the Lord, through the prophet Isaiah, spoke how He looks upon the nations as nothing, less than nothing and worthless. The Lord was not speaking of the United States, but He could have certainly included us in the denunciations leveled against the idolatrous nations of Isaiah’s time. We are a nation of laws, but a nation that changes the laws to suit the whims of the people. 1) We are a nation that allows illegal immigrants to come to this country and kill a young woman, only to be exonerated for the crime. 2) We are a nation that looks upon a well-known actor (like Jim Neighbors) who was an practicing homosexual up until his passing, mourn his loss and say he is in a better place. 3) We are a nation that kills innocent children in the womb because of moral failing and political persuasion—and we continue to vote the murderers into office! 4) We are a nation that finds fault with the homosexual community, but the heterosexual community has run a-muck with the same sexual vices. 5) We are a nation that looks on alcohol as a drink of pleasure rather than what it actually is—the devil’s brew. 6) We are a nation that has become confused concerning which bathroom should be used. 7) We are a nation that looks on legalized stealing because those who do not have should get from others what they refuse to work for. 8) We are a nation that has rejected God and all things related to His way of thinking, and what should we expect from such a rejection? As Babylon, as Egypt, as Rome, as the Medo-Persians, we, too, will fall. So, as Christians, lets us take the Lord’s banner and live the gospel of Christ, for the alternative is hopeless. This is what the Lord expects! RT
The headline reads “Misbehaving politicians erode public confidence, DeWine [Ohio Attorney General] says.”
No doubt this is the case, but “witch-hunt” politicians, media and others in the community make significant contributions to the same eroding of public confidence.
All the media does is report, someone might reply. Yes, reporting they may do, but the way the story is reported or written makes a great deal of difference.
Moreover, in a secular society, standards of morality are not even extant! If there is some semblance of a moral compass, it is soon changed because someone was hurt in their feelings.
There was a day when sexual immorality was deemed wrong, and people knew why. Not anymore. Today, sexual immorality is hard to define and identify. There was a day when some knew this or that was wrong (or right), and could tell you why it was wrong (or right). People now use their opinion to determine what is right and wrong.
Chaos is now the norm.
It is reported that Andrew Jackson (Democrat) once said, “That Book [Bible] Sir, is the Rock upon which our republic rests.” Since our society no longer rests upon the Book, with the Foundation gone, soon we will be. It is the height of arrogance to think this will not occur.
Look at history.
Not long ago, I had a brief email conversation with a brother in New York regarding the recent situation in Ferguson, Missouri. A brother in Alabama shared his thoughts on the situation in Missouri with an email post that contained nothing but Scripture. Evidently, it hit the brother in New York hard, and negatively. He sent me an email expressing himself with pointed (but not unchristian) words disapproving of the post. If an email can have “passionate” written all over it this one did. I thought about engaging him in a debate, but I restrained myself from doing so, and only sent him a note:
“No fear, brother. What is important is dialogue, the Lord’s teaching, and the application of His higher will to our lives. From a distance, I am in no position to judge, so I don’t. Isn’t it a good thing the Lord looks past our individual failings as we live in the midst of collective failings? But for the grace of God there go I. I did a quick reading of your email. Tomorrow I will read again. Have a great evening, brother. You are an asset to the saints in your service to the Lord.”
Passions can run high when from a distance a person judges something with incomplete information. When such occurs misunderstanding perpetuates. In my estimation, this is what happened here. The next morning he wrote me and was very pleased with what I said and wished me nothing but the best.
It may never be easy to know just how to respond to human situations like that which occurred in Missouri; but, on the other hand, if Romans 12:9-21 is applied, we know exactly how to respond.
In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, he mentions one reason for a person to be grateful to the Lord (among many reasons). He said, “Now God who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your supply of seed and will cause the harvest of your righteousness to grow. You will be enriched in every way so that you may be generous on every occasion, which is producing through us thanksgiving to God” (9:10-11, NET). Paul said this in a context of a great collection being gathered for saints in a different location suffering deprivation. Sometimes we can fail to remember or reflect on just how well we have it in regards to material things. It may be that in our society we are poor, but those of a generous heart will even give of their poverty to help another. That is the love of God!
In Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth he admonishes them because there were some going before unbelievers to settle their disputes among themselves. Paul found this tremendously out of place. The unjust (unsaved) judge in secular court is not to judge the just (saved); rather, there should have been, Paul said, some among the church who could judge these trivial matters that were besetting the saints. He gives reasons why going to court with a brother is sinful. First, saints will judge the world (6:2). Paul does not state exactly how this takes place, but the fact that it will is a teaching from God. Second, in comparison with such a judgment, matters that pertain to this word are trivial, small (6:2). It may be that one of the parties to litigation may not regard his perspective as small or trivial, but the Lord does. Third, the saints will judge angels (6:3). Again, Paul does not explain this, but declares the fact of it. Fourth, those “least esteemed” (NKJV; “no standing in the church” both NET and ESV), are in no position to judge saints. In other words, those outside the church (secular Judges) have no standing within the church, therefore they should not be judging brethren. Fifth, there surely is a saint, wise man (or men) in the church who can fairly judge (6:5). Sixth, it is a complete failure that brothers would even have these matters unresolved that they would litigate (6:7)! Seventh, and last, it is better to suffer wrong that to “soil” the Lord’s name and church with such small matters (6:7).
Let us not misunderstand. The court system in our society is for the occasion to make right what we suffered as a wrong. It is not sinful for Christians to avail themselves of this avenue of justice. What Paul is addressing is when there exists a problem between brothers, and the saints utilize a system that does not respect God in seeking adjudication (or justice). The saints live by a higher standard (and law) than those of this earth; therefore, let us be judged by the same, by a standard higher than any secular law.
When one thinks about what the Holy Spirit is saying in this chapter—it can be a difficult think to accept. This is especially the case when one thinks about the ease at litigation today, the victim mentality, the selfish mentality, and such like. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit is clear. Those who don’t see fit to submit to His will, will be sitting amongst those identified in as not inheriting the kingdom of God (6:9-10). Those who think this way may consider such lack of inheritance as trivial, but they won’t!
Last week I mentioned the discussion I am currently having with a brother who left the Lord entirely; this week, keeping the same theme (“up to the challenge”), I recently read an article that is quite discouraging, but not surprising. The article title is “How the West Really Lost God” (Christian Research Journal, vol. 36, no. 3, 2013, pp. 20-23). The article addresses the loss of “religiosity” in both Europe and the United Sates. In Europe, the Lord has been gone for quite a long time. (What I mean is that even the little semblance we have toward the Lord in this country is not in Europe at all.) People in western culture have accepted the humanistic approach to life and brought confusion into the norm; this is their religion. It is quite disappointing to see. While they consider themselves wise in perpetuating this confusion/multi-culturalism, the wisdom they brought is, among other things, nothing more than moral chaos to people. Children are born outside of marriage, people of the same sex become intimate, alcohol and party are promoted as the accepted “joys” of life; it is hedonism (self-indulgence) at its worst. In Europe, this has been going on for years—long before the debauchery arrived on our shores.
Not to be outdone, however, are our own leaders in this country. This includes teachers, local government officials, preachers, police and county law enforcement personnel, state and national government leaders, business owners (“If you want to make money sell alcohol.”), etc., etc.
Many in this country don’t know what is right because the parents of the children, by and large, did not teach what was right. “How can you say such a thing like that?” one might incredulously ask. Parents taught, no doubt, but exactly what did the parents teach, and why did they teach it? It has been said unknown number of times that parents teach what is important, and they even teach the “why” of it. Personal hygiene is a good example; people understand the importance of brushing one’s teeth, taking a bath, having clean clothes, etc. Understanding, however, that each of us will stand in front of the Judge of all the earth—now that is not something that is readily (or easily) taught! This is because the parents little believe it or don’t even know it at all. Those children, not taught, will become (and are now) our leaders in the community.
Our country is on the ship called Titanic! Though the Titanic is going down, the Lord has prepared a life-boat for all that love Him. The ship is going to sink, but we don’t have to sink into the frigid waters; with much effort we can save as many as the Lord gives us opportunity (cf. Galatians 6:10; James 5:19-20). This is a challenge to each of us; there is no need to shy away from the evidence that is very obvious.
Here are some things you can do: first, consecrates the Lord in your life (1 Peter 3:15), second, apply the two great commands all over again (Matthew 22:34-40), third, do good unto all people (Galatians 6:10), fourth, be sure your life is a reflection of the glory of God (1 Peter 1:13-16), and fifth, live life industriously (2 Thessalonians 3:6-13).
Doing these things, because we have learned from the Lord, means that we will teach our children the same.