The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

The Days are Evil

“Christian” America, not content to teach her own youth to reject God’s moral standards, is always reaching her wicked tentacles into other nations in myriad ways. Russia’s prime minister Putin has made it illegal to purposely teach a Russian child that homosexuality is ok, and the Dominican Republic is asking that gay James Brewster’s nomination of ambassador to their country be turned down, lest he “suffer” and “be forced to leave.” Apparently this man has been an activist for the homosexual agenda for some time, and the Dominican Republic is not interested in his evangelization of their country. So much for our being a light on a hill.

These are not the only articles on my mind, but time does not permit me to list and link to all the abominations that are occurring in our country day after day. Mothers not only take their unborn babies to merciless slaughterhouses in every city, they give their infants to perverts who use them and kill them. One tries not to think of what such infants suffer before their young lives are extinguished. It seems to me that our wickedness is so very extreme, it surely must be burning in the flared nostrils of God. Is He angry?–Yes. I wonder that He hasn’t sent the fire and brimstone yet. But perhaps He has, and we are too dull to notice how everything around us is burning up.

Yesterday, Christians joined their pagan neighbors in celebration of the birthday of this outlandishly evil country. Fireworks commemorating “bombs bursting in air” were displayed with religious and traditional fervor. Pictures were taken and shared on social media sites. It was as if there was nothing wrong. It was as if Christians had every reason to celebrate and no reason at all to mourn and pray. It was as if there were no call to national repentance. It was as if Christians had not taken the time to get God’s heart on the matter. It was as if they didn’t even know Him.

Whether Christians should be patriotic is not the point of this post. The point is: there is a time for everything. And professing Christians do not know or recognize their times.

Oh, they complain about the government and the government schools, but very few will actually pull their kids out and teach them at home. Why?–The mortgage needs two incomes, and to be honest, we don’t like to be around our kids, and we don’t know if we have the patience for all that. We have a right to a big property, and a right to send our kids away all day, and a right for this and a right for that. But…we can’t understand why our kids aren’t catching our faith as well as they should. Aren’t they? Maybe your faith is hypocritical and false, and they have caught it just fine. But don’t worry–just keep complaining about how they aren’t allowed to pray in school. God will understand that you did everything you could.

Christians are great at complaining. Obama is the antichrist that replaced the saintly Bush, and the “demoncrats” have apparently destroyed our nation while righteous republicans were busy obeying Jesus Christ in all areas of their lives–right?

We are like Lot, having pitched our tents as close to immorality as possible because we liked the lifestyle it afforded us, and then complaining that our souls are vexed by all the sin we see. Like Lot, we don’t realize the world-adoring wife is a few days short of being turned into a pillar of salt, and the kids are perverts just waiting to bloom, and we ourselves–for all our victimized moralizing–are playing a terrible part in the continued spread of wickedness.

We don’t realize that our very churches have become haunts of evil.

There, thousands gather on Sundays and go home “blessed” and unchallenged, and unmoved by the Spirit that was mourning outside the door. There, our teens learn to apply whitewash to the outside of their graves. They have not heard the voice of Jesus calling them to new life. They think their freshly whitewashed tomb is the new life He promised, and they learn to defend their “positional righteousness” with Pharisaical fervor. Having raised $3000.00 for a 2 week missions trip, they are sure they have really stepped into all that God desires. They are clapped on the back by the old, and told that if they attend enough services, and agree with the right tenets, and give enough money to the building fund, they are active participants in the kingdom of God. The terrible truth is that most of these youth are not even born again, cannot see the kingdom of God, and do not know its King or how the kingdom is supposed to advance.

But hey…there is a big get-together this week. We will celebrate the nation’s birthday with good food and fireworks, and put out of our minds how our culture is fully given over to licentiousness and dangles precariously over the mouth of hell. We will eat ourselves sick while our neighbors get drunk, and complain about the drunkards who take things too far. We will let nationalistic emotion wash away so many uncomfortable truths. We will, for a time, forget about how abomination brings desolation, and pretend the day of the Lord will be only light for us. Are you sure the Day of the Lord will be light for you?–ARE YOU SURE?

We voted with our politics, but did we vote with our lives?  Did we take the great commission seriously?  Did we take souls plunging headlong into hell seriously?  Did we take the kingdom of God seriously?  Do we even now take the words of Jesus seriously?–We have found such clever  ways to excuse ourselves from literal obedience to His literal words. Yes, I am talking about those pesky chapters in Matthew (5,6, & 7) that just won’t go away no matter how many teachers we heap to ourselves to tell us Jesus didn’t really mean that.

We did not challenge the gates of hell half as much as we think we did, because we were too busy with the trinkets satan was offering us.

Satan told us we have a right to be “free,” and we bought it and elevated physical freedom over spiritual freedom, even pledging our allegiance to an earthly kingdom and proudly sending our very children to die for its unforeseeable and unknowable goals. Satan told us we could “have all this” if only we would bow, and we bowed like automatons. Satan offered our churches tax-free status if only we would give up some of our autonomy, and we did it gladly for mammon–we still have yet to discover how cruelly this hook is barbed. Satan told us to expand the kingdom of God with bigger buildings, and to draw goats into the church with gimics, and we thought that was a much better idea than the call to deny ourselves, take up a painful cross, and live like Jesus lived.

I feel sometimes like I am ranting, and no one wants to hear it. This may be true, and to be honest, I don’t even want to hear it. I want it all to blow away and be different. I want to wave a pretty flag and sit on a float and wave to cheerful onlookers, and believe in my country’s inherent goodness and that everyone in dress clothes on Sunday morning is salting the earth effectively. But I know this would be a gross misrepresentation of our times. It would be to pretend and to keep my neighbors pretending. It would be to enter into the dark world of a false reality.

I have told the Lord, “I don’t want to see this, and I don’t want to say it.” Do you think He felt sorry for me?–On the contrary, He rebuked me for preferring lies and my personal comfort, and made it clear that if I continued to wish for the comfort of lies He may turn me over to them. Shame on me for despising the cross. Beloved, we cannot afford to prefer lies over the truth, when truth is the only cure for people in bondage to lies.  Standing in the middle of a destruction all around me, I have been greatly disillusioned. But it is better to have our illusions removed, is it not?

So what do you do when you have stood momentarily in the counsel of the Lord and heard thunderings there? If you are going to be faithful to the King, you gather your feeble strength and say things that get on people’s nerves–not just any people, but people you care about–in the hope that it will make some eternal difference. And you pray fervently…and examine yourself…and try to figure out how to more exactly live up to the message in your heart. God knows this country doesn’t need any more hypocrisy.

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