The spiritual battle over the life of our nation has rarely been as intense as it is in these days. The forces of darkness are in full attack mode utilizing all the weapons they have to destroy this country as a “light on a hill.”
The words of Paul to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3 have never been more real.
“People will love only themselves and their money.” – vs. 2. The boldness with which this self love is demonstrated in some ways takes our breath away. I don’t like the labels necessarily, but the younger generation called “snowflakes” is only living out what they have been conditioned for from the previous generation. Entitlement mentality is the lifestyle of self-love. Sadly, we see the evidence that this “self-love virus” has infected almost our entire nation.
“They will be boastful and proud scoffing at God” – vs. 3. The level of arrogant rhetoric, and the “pride” in debauchery is astounding. Being proud to be in total violation of the clear words of Scripture has infected now not just personal lives, but politics, the workplace, education at even the kindergarten level, and the Christian denominations. The latest being the Southern Baptists. A shocking sign that the delusion, and power of this spirit of darkness has gained tragic control at every level.
“Disobedient to parents and ungrateful they will consider nothing sacred” – vs. 3 – Disobedience has happened because it the guidelines of the Scriptures were thrown out of our schools, and our institutions. The philosophy of “if it feels good, do it” has replace obedience to any form of authority, especially the authority of the Word of God, and the authority of God Himself, who is ultimately the judge of all things.
“They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self control” – vs. 3. The tsunami of slander, of forgiveness, of slander on all levels, but especially in the media and politics, has infected the minds and souls of millions of Americans without any regard for any level of righteousness, love or kindness. Those who can remember other days, are or should be in total shock at the depth of this insanity.
“They will be cruel and hate what is good” – vs. 4. What greater cruelty could you imagine than to rip apart a human being while still in it’s mother’s womb? What greater cruelty could you imagine than having a baby survive the barbarism of an abortion and not be allowed medical care? What greater cruelty could you imagine than harvesting body parts of aborted human beings and selling them for profits on an institutional level?
What greater cruelty could you imagine than this happening not in a few cases, but by the thousands and millions? The Lord of the universe does not turn a blind eye to this barbarism and affront to His Word, and His heart. There will be judgment, you can count on that.
“They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.” – vs. 4. The “infection” of sin into every part of society has now reached such a level that it is made to seem normal to live out these sins, for that is what they are. The word “reckless” here has the idea of rushing headlong into something without any restraint. How often have we seen this played out before us in so many ways across our society in these days? It is astonishing. But the root of it is exactly as stated. We have become lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God. So Pleasure, and self have become out gods, and the rest of the world be damned.
“They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.” – vs. 5. How sad to watch while those who enjoy the pleasure of evil, or even those who would justify these evils, cover themselves with a cloak of religious rhetoric, and put on a false front so that they feel justified in their evil. But they have only condemned themselves, and rejected the only means of help they have… the God of the Bible.
All of this could leave us with a spirit of hopelessness and depression if that were the only things we had to look to. But there is always hope. Because the God of the Bible, the General of the Armies of Heaven is still on the throne, and His Word is still true and faithful, and obedience to His Word brings redemption, forgiveness, hope and life.
How should we then react to all that is going on around us? It’s a familiar passage, but it is still true. 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” The reality is, that the condition of society is a reflection of the health of the Church. Let me repeat that. The condition of society is a reflection of the health of the Church. Those who are called by His Name have not place to cast aspersions at what is going on in the world if we ourselves have failed in our obedience and righteousness before our Holy God. This is first of all a call to repentance. You might say, but what do I have to repent of? I don’t do any of those things. Ah, my friend, but you are comparing yourself to them, when you need to be comparing yourself to the Righteous King! For He says to us, I Peter 1: 15 – But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” The time is past due for believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to allow the Holy Spirit of God to search every area of our lives, and point out everything He finds that HE calls sin, and for us to earnestly acknowledge our sin, and humbly ask for forgiveness. He promises He will hear from Heaven, and forgive.
We must learn the spiritual discipline of seeking His face. Seeking the divine manifest presence of God in our lives, our families and our churches. There is not substitute. No other way. We in many ways, my friends are a people of God who do not know Him. We, in many cases have not learned the joy, the ecstasy of being in the midst of the manifest presence of God. His manifest presence changes everything, starting in us.
This is a time when we as the people of God should be full of hope, because God loves nothing better than for His people to desperately cry out to Him, and to answer by His presence to bring revival and transformation where the was once desolation and what I call “Societal Insanity.”
This is a time of hope because there has not been a time in many, many years where that has been such a widespread movement of prayer, fasting, and repentance in our country. There are ministries and movements across our land that God has been preparing for such a time as this. We are not alone, we are not abandoned! The God of Heavens Armies is waiting for us to hear His voice, and respond in humble, repentant, desperate faith that He is faithful to His word. Now is the time for Jesus’ Church to be who He called us to be… counter cultural light and salt. He wants us to be “infected” with hope and action!Let me close this with a promise I use many time to remind us of this hope. It is found in Hosea 6:1-3.
“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.”
I have asked this question in many places among many different peoples: “How many of your have laid awake all night worrying if the sun would come up in the morning?”
I have never had anyone raise their hand, and most people chuckle at the idea.Listen, everyone lives with the absolute certainty that the sun will come up in the morning. We plan our lives around this absolute conviction. Our calendars, smart phones, and schedule are evidence that we live with this absolute conviction that the sun will rise in the morning. It is our way of life.
But how many of us arrange our lives, our schedules around the absolute conviction that if we do what God calls us to do that He will come to us? God is not a liar. He not a deceiver. His word is perfect and true, and what He says here He will do because it is His Word, and a part of His divine character.
That is hope!
The days in which we live are a call to action on the part of God’s people. Stop complaining, stop only looking at the ills of our society. Obey His Word! Yes, we are being torn to pieces, but He will heal us. He will bandage our wounds. He will restore us so that we can live in His presence!! Don’t give up. Don’t give in to the weariness, because as we press on to know Him, He will respond as surely as the arrival of the dawn.
One last question. Did the sun come up this morning? OK then!!