God cares about U.S. “American Apostasy and Decline” October 7, 2012
Isaiah 8:11-12 The LORD spoke to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people. He said: "Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it.
Isaiah 8:13-15 The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, and he will be a sanctuary; but for both houses of Israel he will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare. Many of them will stumble; they will fall and be broken, they will be snared and captured."
"When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my 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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:13-14
Four times when God will Relent • When a threatened person repents • When an intercessor prays 3. When God believes his punishment has been sufficient 4. When God’s people agree with his will
Isaiah 8:16-20 Bind up the testimony and seal up the law among my disciples. I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob. I will put my trust in him. Here am I, and the children the LORD has given me. We are signs and symbols in Israel from the LORD Almighty, who dwells on Mount Zion. When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.
Isaiah 8:21-22 Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness.
Psalm 2 Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One. "Let us break their chains," they say, "and throw off their fetters.” The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, "I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.” I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Acts 13:26-41 "Brothers, children of Abraham, and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people. "We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: "'You are my Son; today I have become your Father’
Acts 13:26-41 The fact that God raised him from the dead, never to decay, is stated in these words: "'I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’ So it is stated elsewhere: "'You will not let your Holy One see decay.’ "For when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed. But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay. "Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses. Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you: "'Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe, even if someone told you.'"
Jedediah Morse: “To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom and approximate the miseries of complete despotism. I hold this to be a truth confirmed by experience. If so, it follows that all efforts made to destroy the foundations of our holy religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness. Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms
Benjamin Franklin: “it seemed as if all the world were growing religious, so that one could not walk through the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street.”
John Hancock: “When we contemplate the friendship and assistance our ancestors- the first settlers of this province- received from the pious pastors of the Churches of Christ…we cannot but acknowledge the goodness of heaven in constantly supplying us with preachers of the Gospel whose concern has been the temporal and spiritual happiness of this people. In a day like this…we cannot but place great hopes in an Order of men, who have ever distinguished themselves in their country’s cause and do therefore recommend to the Ministers of the Gospel…that they assist us in avoiding that dreadful slavery with which we are not threatened by advising the people of their several congregations.”
What would our American and Spiritual Ancestors say to us today? • To not fear what men fear, not believe what they believe, and not dread what they dread…BUT to fear God and, like Isaiah of old and the pastors of their generation, to speak to the issues of our day using the Word of God.
The issues of our Day… The increasing acceptance of debt as a way of producing wealth Romans 13:8-9 (NASB) Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. Proverbs 22:7 (NASB) The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender's slave. Proverbs 13:11 (NASB) Wealth obtained by fraud (inappropriately) dwindles, But the one who gathers by labor increases it.
The issues of our Day… The notion that “welfare without work” is an appropriate way to improve someone’s life 2 Thessalonians 3:7-10 (NKJV) For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; nor did we eat anyone's bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. Proverbs 12:24 (NIV) Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor.
The issues of our Day… That Gay marriage as a norm and a right- Matthew 19:3-6 (NASB) And some Pharisees came to Him, testing Him, and saying, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause at all?" And He answered and said, "Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female and said, ‘for this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?’ "Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together (in marriage), let no man separate (in divorce)."
The issues of our Day… That a child in a mother’s womb is unworthy of life if it conflicts with its mother’s interests or wishes Jeremiah 1:4-5 (NIV) The word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
The issues of our Day… The idea that the state and not the parents should have the ultimate say over a child’s physical, emotional, social mental, and spiritual well-being Ephesians 6:1-4 (NIV) Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise-- "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
The issues of our Day… The increasingly immoral character and beliefs of our state and national leaders, when practical matters or public opinion polls seem to dictate it-. Proverbs 29:2 (NIV) When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan. Psalms 10:4ff (NIV) In his pride the wicked does not seek God; in all his thoughts there is no room for God…Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, "He won't call me to account"?
What would our American and Spiritual Ancestors say to us today? • To not fear what men fear, not believe what they believe, and not dread what they dread…BUT to fear God and speak to the issues of our day using the Word of God. • To grow as followers of Jesus Christ becoming committed learners of his truth…..personally sold out for Jesus…being an ambassador for Christ and not just an attendee at Christian events. • To pray for those in authority over us…with repentance, humility, trust, courage, and persistence that God would relent as we repent….So let’s do that!