Posts Tagged ‘The Search For Meaning’

‘Protection’ Removed?

28 June 20

In the past month, we have seen what happens when police ‘protection’ is removed from our cities. What do you think would happen if God removed His ‘PROTECTION’ from our nation?

SAFETY is one of our ‘basic’ needs. Most of our decisions and actions are based on keeping ourselves safe from harm and sustaining or improving our circumstances. These needs include things like shelter, job security, health, and a safe ‘environment’. While we may not be in constant danger like mankind was thousands of years ago, we are no less driven by the need for safety for us and our loved ones. If a person does not feel safe in an environment, they will seek to find safety before they attempt to meet any “higher level” needs.

[ Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-4ithG_07Q ].

 

HUMAN ‘NEED’ FOR PROTECTION
Well, a man by the name of Abraham Maslow wrote a paper, in 1943, entitled, “A Theory of Human Motivation.” In this paper, he developed a theory known as the “hierarchy of needs” (i.e. ‘hungers’ and ‘cravings’). It is often depicted as a pyramid consisting of five levels.

The lowest ‘level’ is associated with our “PHYSIOLOGICAL” needs; that is our need for air, food, water, sleep, etc. Those things which our body naturally needs to stay alive.

After satisfying our ‘core’ need for sustenance, the next most important need is “SAFETY”. These needs include the security from bodily harm, having employment and resources, having morality of family, and having good health. Most of us no longer seek shelter from predators hunting us down for food, however, the safety of ensuring our ‘survival’ is still essential.

Safety often manifested in what is referred to as the “fight or flight” response. If one feels safe, they will usually stay put. However, if they feel unsafe, they will either leave (i.e. “flight”) or attempt to change their current circumstance (i.e. “fight”). When ‘environmental’ information suggests there is some potential threat to them, their family, loved ones, their property, or something else they hold dear, they experience an emotional response, which ‘wells up’ inside such that they prepare for ‘action’. Safety ‘informs’ most of our decisions and actions in regard to sustaining or improving our circumstances.

 

Now, expanding this need out a bit to ‘public’ security, this primarily becomes the function of a government—which ensures the protection of its citizens, businesses, and institutions against threats to their well-being and to their property.

To meet the increasing challenges in the public security area, responsible public institutions and organizations can tap into their own intelligence to successfully address possible threats in advance. Public safety organizations usually include law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services. Generally, these organizations are involved in the prevention of and protection from events that could endanger the safety of the general public from significant danger, injury, or property damage, such as crimes or disasters (natural or human-made) and to maintain a stable environment for economic prosperity.

 

‘LEGAL’ PROTECTION
In the United States’ ‘founding’ document, the Declaration of Independence, it states that all people have certain rights that can’t be taken away. These unalienable rights include the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Declaration of Independence goes on to state that it is the job of the government to protect these rights.

Now, the Declaration of Independence has no ‘legal’ authority. It is not part of the basic law like the Constitution. But its words have resonated as the ‘IDEALS’ of the United States. It was intended as a simple statement for separation from the British empire—one of the most astounding events in the history of the western world. For the first time, a people declared their own independent right to found a political community, based not upon heritage, or wealth, or the “divine right of kings,” but upon an idea. An idea about natural rights, the sovereignty of the people, and the basis of ‘JUST’ government. Far from being outdated historical relics, these truths are just as applicable now as they were 244 years ago. It still is an ‘ideal’ to which America has strived for—and should continue to strive for—as the ‘foundational’ statement of the highest principles that America ‘stands’ for.

So then, referring to the Constitution, two types of ‘PROTECTIONS’ exist: the constitutionality of a ‘criminal’ statute (or ordinance), and the constitutionality of a ‘procedure’.

Though the specifics of these that can get quite technical and complicated (that’s why there are lawyers at the ‘specialize’ in constitutional law), the portion of the Constitution that most of us have at least heard of, and can understand ourselves, is the first ten “amendments” to the Constitution called the “Bill of Rights.” Here’s the really brief version of them:

1) Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition
2) Right to keep and bear arms in order to maintain a well-regulated militia
3) No quartering of soldiers
4) Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures
5) Right to due process of law, freedom from self-incrimination, double jeopardy
6) Rights of accused persons, e.g., right to a speedy and public trial
7) Right of trial by jury in civil cases
8) Freedom from excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishments
9) Other rights of the people
10) Powers reserved to the states

 

Why is the Bill of Rights so important? Well, they represented the first ‘step’ that “We the People” took in amending the Constitution “in Order to form a more perfect Union.” The original, unamended Constitution was a remarkable achievement, establishing a revolutionary structure of government that put power in the hands of the people, but the Bill of Rights expanded on that ‘foundation’, protecting our most cherished American freedoms, including freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and the due process of law. So now, for more than two centuries—as we have exercised, restricted, expanded, tested, and debated those freedoms—the Bill of Rights has shaped and been shaped by the most important thing: to PROTECT the rights of the people and the states.

 

GOVERNMENTAL ‘RESPONSIBILITIES’
Essentially, based on our ‘founding’ documents, the primary responsibility of our government is to protect the people from harm—primarily from foreign powers—but also from criminals within our ‘borders’. As our founding ‘fathers’ knew, this is primarily because, as the Bible says, humans are “desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9), and when there isn’t authority and ‘protections’, anarchy sometimes ensues:

[ Links to the videos of the riots in the Seattle, Washington “C.H.A.Z”/“CHOP” area – May/June 2020:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQnXxqXu4H8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_4FluN2Wsk ]

As these videos shows, when there ISN’T ANY ‘PROTECTION’, lawlessness ensues! This is why some sort of policing ‘agent’ is required to keep the peace.

 

ORDAINED AUTHORITY
Knowing how humans are, God instituted government to provide earthly justice and protection. Civil governments act as God’s agents of justice. “For he [ the magistrate, the government’s representative ] is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer” [ Romans 13:4 ].

The government is an institution ordained by God to punish evil to protect a citizen’s own pursuit of private property, health, and life.

The Bible goes on to say that the people should, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution; whether to a king or one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right” [ 1 Peter 2:13-14 ].

The authorities are to provide a rule of law so that there might be safety and security to “sustain stable social order in which people can live peacefully and quietly without fear of harm” [ 1 Timothy 2:1-2 ]. The government’s emphasis is primarily on upholding the rule of law and encouraging good behavior.

[ Note: I discussed, in detail, God’s wrath in last month’s “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/got-your-attention-yet-v255/ ].

 

The American colonies separated from England over the issue of the ‘role’ of government. They then ratified the United States Constitution only after lengthy deliberation about the purpose and scope of their new federal government.

Some of the founders looked to the Bible to help them develop our founding documents. The Bible doesn’t give us an easy, one-verse answer about government, but it does provide us with some guidelines:

– Government is established by God
– Government’s role is more negative than positive
– Limited government suits a fallen people
– The Bible warns about large and ‘dictatorial’ governments

In fact, theologian E. F. Harrison noted that “the most notable passage in the New Testament on Christian civic responsibility” is Romans 13. It is the most well-known and authoritative passage on the topic of ‘submission’ to governmental authorities:

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” [ Romans 13:1-7 ].

This is a strong endorsement of the intrinsic goodness of government, in its proper role. This endorsement is reinforced in verse four, where government is twice called a “minister of God,” and again, in verse six, rulers are called “servants of God.” In a sense, this is saying that as the ‘lesser’ evil it restrains and counteracts ‘greater’ evils.

Governments are to “bear the sword” (Romans 13:4) and carry out earthly justice against wrongdoers. The clearest Biblical justification for war is in defense of the citizenry from “those who do evil” (1 Peter 2:14). They are also supposed to establish ordered and peaceful social ‘space’ where not only is judgment carried out, but good is recognized and encouraged (1 Peter 2:14). Governments are to act on behalf of the good of all people (Romans 13:4).

 

Now, although earthly government authority is necessary (and ordained), for me, all authority rests ultimately in God, and there is no authority invested in any institution or in any person except through the delegation of that authority from Him. Any authority that I have in any area of my life is a derived, appointed, and delegated authority. It is not intrinsic but extrinsic. It is given ultimately by the One who has inherent authority. The God-ordained ‘institutions’ are the home, the government, and the church, instituted in that order.

Relative to this discussion, God established civil government shortly after Noah and his family exited the Ark after the worldwide flood. The first responsibility was given to the civil government. “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” [ Genesis 9:6 ]. It establishes a primary purpose of government as the protection of its citizens, beginning with the protection of the foundational right to life as a gift from God.

 

‘POLICE’ PROTECTION
As was mentioned, the primary responsibility of our government is to protect the people from harm, law enforcement then plays a VERY important role in undertaking efforts to ensure justice. A REALLY BIG job!

In 2018, according to “Statista,” the following were the number of committed crimes in the United States, by type of crime:

– 7.2M Property crimes
– 5.2M Larceny/Theft crimes
– 1.2M Burglaries
– 1.2M Violent crimes
– 0.8M Aggravated assaults
– 0.75M Motor vehicle thefts
– 0.3M Robberies
– 0.14M Rapes
– 0.02M Murders/Non-negligent manslaughter

[ Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/202714/number-of-committed-crimes-in-the-us-by-type-of-crime/ ]

WOW! That’s a lot of crime!

Now, specifically, the purpose of law enforcement in a free society is to promote public safety and uphold the rule of law so that individual liberty may flourish. Trust and accountability between law enforcement and the communities they are sworn to protect is essential to advancing these goals. The government holds the power to exercise force in achieving its ends, but must do so in a way that protects the rights of community members and upholds the rule of law. Proper policing practices require that law enforcement build positive relationships with their community, respect civil liberties, and avoid tactics that encourage the use of excessive force against citizens.

As was shown in the list above, many people are victims of crime, and it has been abundantly evident as one watches the media coverage of the riots that have been happening in America (June 2020). The riots originally were being ‘purported’ to be in response to the dead of George Floyd (which WAS HORRENDOUS!), but as the days drug on, it was looking more like it was something that had been planned (pallets of brick ‘showed up’ in many cities around the U.S. where there was NO construction going on, and most people who were arrested were from other STATES!).

[ Note: The actual data DOES NOT substantiate the claim that white police officers are responsible for killing the most black people. The data DOES show that black ‘thugs’ (primarily gang members) kill the most black people in America! ].

 

Now, although police departments are not perfect—since they are made up of humans—every ‘situation’ will never be rectified properly (like the recent George Floyd situation). However, in America, MOST situations are rectified properly. New York police union boss, Mike O’Meara, said (in the video below) that there were 375 million interactions last year with police (I’m assuming he was talking about N.Y.), and most were “overwhelmingly positive.” [ I have heard other law enforcement experts mention that 90-95% of police ‘interactions’ are positive ].

Of course, the police can always strive to do better, but considering what they go through on a daily basis, they are doing a FANTASTIC JOB overall, considering they sometimes have to make split-second decisions and sadly, have to approach an ‘interaction’ with someone with heightened precaution since they don’t know what that person might try to do to them.

[ Links to videos of Michael O’Meara, President of N.Y. State’s Police Benevolent Association:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0dyAUR1CUE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYGA5lYIgeY ]

 

Now, this post is not primarily intended to offer analysis and solutions to what has been termed “police brutality” or even the riots that are happening in America as I write this post. Since these topics were in the news on a daily basis, I just used them as an ‘illustration’ of my main ‘focus’ of NEEDING ‘PROTECTION’ for ourselves, and what can ensue when that protection is ‘REMOVED’—people get hurt/killed, property gets destroyed, and people lives/families/livelihoods get devastated!

 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN ‘PROTECTION’ IS REMOVED?
For governments to function effectively, they must be able to ‘control’ the society, be able to predict what the members of society are going to do, as well as direct their energies into productive directions. To the degree that they lose that ability, anarchy most likely will set in (Like when hundreds of thousands of people turned out into American city streets recently in protest and they turned violent).

 

It is estimated that over 45 million people were unemployed in America by the end of May 2020. This was primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic, where many businesses were closed and, sadly, many will not reopen after the Coronavirus ‘lockdown’. [ Unemployment rose higher in the three months of COVID-19 than it did in two years of the Great Recession! ].

Now, the primary ‘blame’ for America’s financial straits is the COVID-19 pandemic, but it does show that when the financial climate of a country greatly affects people’s ability to take care of their basic needs and those of their families, the people’s anger spills forth in acts of defiance and lawlessness.

The thing is, when a society becomes fearful and divided, they are more likely to turn against one another. This can turn to low-level ‘warfare’ between different races or classes of people. Left long enough, it can lead to ‘genocide’.

 

So, without the law to protect its people, any nation (yes, even the United States!) is only a ‘step’ away from anarchy. Any major disaster can bring on anarchy in a moment, and it doesn’t matter if it is a man-made or natural disaster. Plagues (like COVID-19) have been known to bring it on.

[ Note: For what can happen with horrendous pandemics, review the details of the 10 plagues that God ‘imposed’ upon Egypt (in Exodus 7-10) ].

While any one of these and other things can be a harbinger of anarchy, the greatest danger is when you see a combination of them working together. The more going on at the same time, the closer a society is to fall into anarchy.

 

LAWLESSNESS
Civil disorder, or civil unrest, refers to public disturbances generally involving groups of people, and sometimes results in danger to persons and/or destruction of property. Now, the low-level civil disorder can be in the form of ‘peaceful’ protests, which is lawful and even encouraged by the Constitution. But, when the ‘protests’ turn into illegal parades, sit-ins, riots, sabotage, and other forms of crime—a state of disorder due to a TOTAL DISREGARD of the law—it turns into ’lawlessness’ which, most of the time, becomes disruptive, violent, and can morph into anarchy.

The German philosopher Immanuel Kant treated anarchy in his “Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View” as consisting of “Law and Freedom without Force.” For Kant, anarchy falls short of being a true civil state because the law is only an “empty recommendation” if force is not included to make this law efficacious (“legitimation,” etymologically fancifully from “legem timere,” i.e. “fearing the law”). For there to be such a state, force must be included while law and freedom are maintained, a state which Kant calls a “republic.”

Kant identified four kinds of government:
– Law and freedom without force (Anarchy)
– Law and force without freedom (Despotism)
– Force without freedom and law (Barbarism)
– Force with freedom and law (Republic)

Now, there’s nothing wrong with protesting—our nation has a history of protests, and many times protests have been the antecedents to needed reform in America. However, there is a big difference between peaceful protests and rioting, looting, and the vandalizing/destruction of buildings. That is LAWLESSNESS, and God ‘hates’ it! (1 John 3:4).

Not only is lawlessness wrong, but the ‘demand’ that you hear by many now to completely dismantle or defund the police is completely CONTRARY to the teachings of the Bible. God has ‘ordained’ governing authorities to punish those who do evil (Romans 13:1-7).

Now, most people understand that the government doesn’t always get it right (because humans work there), and relative to the ‘environment’ in America right now, many Chiefs of Police have said that they have some ‘bad apples’ in their department and they ought to be exposed, rooted out, and be tried for what they did. BUT, they are the EXCEPTION to the rule! There are bad apples in ANY PROFESSION, but that doesn’t mean you end the whole organization or industry. You bring about the needed reform. So, this idea for the wholesale elimination of police is absolutely antithetical to what the Bible says about this!

 

RIOTING
A riot is a form of civil disorder commonly characterized by a group lashing out in a violent public disturbance against authority, property or people. They typically involve the destruction of property, public or private. The property targeted varies depending on the riot and the inclinations of those involved. Targets can include shops, cars, restaurants, state-owned institutions, and religious buildings.

Riots often occur in reaction to a grievance or out of dissent or frustration with legal channels through which to air grievances. While individuals may attempt to lead or control a riot, riots typically consist of disorganized groups that are frequently “chaotic and exhibit herd behavior.” There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that riots are not irrational, herd-like behavior (sometimes called mob mentality), but actually follow inverted social norms (or are ‘planned’, which it looks like many of the riots in America in May/June 2020 were).

Dealing with riots is often a difficult task for police forces usually because of the tremendous number of people.

 

ANARCHY
These days in America (June 2020), we are seeing the ‘indications’ of anarchy—the state of a society being freely constituted without authorities or a governing body. Anarchy is primarily advocated by individual anarchists who propose replacing government (and police) with voluntary institutions. (Like the group of people that has ‘taken over’ a 6-square-block area of downtown Seattle, that totally reject a ‘set’ hierarchy, even though, sadly, they now have had 1 death and multiple injuries in their “festival-like ‘CHOP’” area).

The bottom line is that when ‘PROTECTION’ is removed, BAD things happen and they deteriorate into anarchy!

 

‘WHY’ DOES THIS HAPPEN?
Well, pretty much since the beginning of time here on earth, humans have been EVIL and DESPERATELY ‘WICKED’! (“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” – Jeremiah 17:9). Theologians have called this “total depravity,” and that’s exactly why God put ‘checks and balances’ into effect (government and police)—to control it!

Now, total depravity does not mean that every person is as bad as they can possibly be, but that every person is completely consumed by sin and there is no hope of them turning it around and “getting better’ on their own. The “illness” is ‘TERMINAL’ and incurable—so much so that the Apostle Paul describes the unregenerate as “dead in sins” (Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13).

 

The Apostle Paul also tells us in his ‘letter’ to the Romans that, “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” [ Romans 1:29-32 ].

Paul goes on to say, “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”… “Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.’” [ Romans 3:11-12; 15-18 ].

So, as “desperately wicked” people (ALL of us!), we cannot reform our ‘hearts’ by our own effort. The ONLY solution is for God to make our hearts new, ‘washed’ clean from sin, and fundamentally reoriented toward pleasing Him (by becoming “born again” – more on that later).

 

The human race has committed the MOST FLAGRANT ‘crime’ ever! They have REJECTED the ‘knowledge’ of God with an ungrateful heart.

When anyone refuses the truth about God, they have chosen a path that is ‘dangerous’. Such hardened unbelief places a person on a dramatic departure sending them further ‘away’ from God. This person is like a boat that was once tied to a dock. But a powerful river current has broken its rope, causing the boat to drift downstream. The longer the boat is drifting, the more it is being pulled into the swifter current and, in turn, further away from the dock. In like manner, God-rejectors are adrift from the knowledge of God, and this is taking them further away from Him—into the ‘darkness’ of sin.

 

No matter how well a society begins (as I believe America’s ‘ideals’ were), it always seems to descend into the same ‘pit’ of immoral behavior and subsequent judgment of God. Like a baby, the beginnings may be lovely and beautiful but the end is ‘ugly’ [ ‘mature’? ;^D ]. Everything starts well but the vileness of man’s nature plunges him into the pit of sin under the condemnation of God with nothing but a prospect of eternal Hell!

 

So, why does man always inevitably to sink to such a sad condition? How is it that that infant life, so lovely, so precious, so soft, so innocent, will descend to the corrupted adulthood that inevitably awaits the human race? Well, man is evil, and his nature is ‘bent’ for sin—and given his prerogatives, he will inevitably end up in the morass of immorality.

You see, because of the “Fall” (in the Garden of Eden) that initiated man’s depravity and his innate sinfulness. Man has NO CAPACITY to restrain his sinfulness! He can’t harness it nor keep from doing evil. “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” [ Romans 3:10-12 ]. Man will do evil continually. Even the “religious” men, who seemingly righteous, commit the most heinous sin of all—self-righteousness (It just so happens that this was Jesus’ biggest ‘issue’ with the Pharisees of His day).

 

Author James Waller wrote a book called, “Becoming Evil.” Its subtitle, “How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing” indicates his belief that extraordinary evil actually arises from ordinary people.

In the massive killing of people throughout human history we see how evil ‘ordinary’ humans can be. Not just sins of pride, anger, hate, brutality, prejudice, deception, rebellion, vengeance, and lawlessness, but there is a kind of ‘LUST’ in humanity that isn’t satiated short of the most heinous of all acts.

There’s an adrenaline ‘rush’ when one does evil and gets away with it. Some sins come with a ‘high’ like being on drugs. They come with a rush of emotion and energy when you’re free from restraint and you think you’re going to escape the consequences. This is a part of the human’s ‘fallenness’.

 

RACISM
Another part of our ‘fallenness’ is racism. With all of the unrest and riots being seen today in America (and in some other countries worldwide), is there a ‘reason’ for racism?

Well, the Bible is very specific and tells us that there is ONLY ONE ‘RACE’—the human race—and people just have differing amounts of “melanin” (a ‘polymer’ that determines the color of one’s skin). So, ’scientifically’, there ISN’T any “racism”—it’s a MAN-MADE construct!

Even the National Geographic agrees with this saying, “There’s no scientific basis for race. It’s a made-up label. It’s been used to define and separate people for millennia. But the concept of race is not grounded in genetics.”

The Bible does not even use the word “race” in reference to people, but it does describe all human beings as being of “one blood” (Acts 17:26). This, of course, emphasizes that we are all ‘related’, as all humans are descendants of the first man, Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), who was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26–27). The “Last Adam,” Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:45) also became a descendant of Adam.

But some people think there must be different races of people because there appear to be major differences between various groups, such as hair, skin color, and eye shape.

Environmental biologist and Christian apologist Ken Ham said regarding the biology of racial differences: “The truth… is that these so-called “racial characteristics” are only MINOR variations among people groups. If one were to take any two people anywhere in the world, scientists have found that the basic genetic differences between these two people would typically be around 0.2 percent—even if they came from the same people group. But these so-called “racial” characteristics that people think are major differences (skin color, eye shape, etc.) “account for only 0.012 percent of human biological variation.”

Dr. Harold Page Freeman, chief executive, president, and director of surgery at North General Hospital in Manhattan, agrees with Ham: “If you ask what percentage of your genes is reflected in your external appearance, the basis by which we talk about race, the answer seems to be in the range of 0.01 percent.”

In other words, the so-called “racial” differences are absolutely TRIVIAL—overall, there is more variation within any group than there is between one group and another! If a white person is looking for a tissue match for an organ transplant, for instance, the best match may come from a black person, and vice versa. ABC News claims, “What the facts show is that there are differences among us, but they stem from culture, not race.”

The only reason many people think these differences are major is because they’ve been brought up in a culture that has taught them to see the differences this way. Dr. Douglas C. Wallace, professor of molecular genetics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, stated, “The criteria that people use for race are based entirely on external features that we are programmed to recognize.”

So, if the Bible teaches—and science confirms—that all are of the same human race and all are related as descendants of Adam, then why are there such seemingly great differences between us (for example, in skin color)? The answer, again, comes with a biblically informed understanding of science and HISTORY: There was a ‘dispersion’ of the people at the “Tower of Babel”—a post-Flood ‘rebellion’ against God by Noah’s descendants.

In the book of Genesis (chapter 11), it makes it clear that the reason for God’s scattering the people over the earth was that they had united in rebellion against Him. So He judged them by dividing the then single language into multiple language ‘families’. Then, as these groups spread out and became isolated from one another, certain features (e.g. skin shade and eye shape) became dominant in certain groups.

 

So, we need to understand that the sovereign Creator God is ‘in charge’ of the nations of this world. The Apostle Paul makes this very clear in Acts 17:26: “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.” The context is that God is in charge of ALL THINGS—where, how, and for how long any person, tribe, or nation will live, prosper, or PERISH.

The thing is, in all of this, God’s primary ‘goal’ is to ‘REDEEM’ for Himself a people who are one in Christ. The Bible makes clear that in regard to salvation, there is no distinction between male or female or Jew or Greek (Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:11, and Romans 10:12-13). ‘In’ Christ, any separation between people is broken down. As Christians, we are one in Christ and thus have a common purpose—to live for Him who made us and become more like Jesus.

 

God HATES RACISM, especially since it was Him that gave that person the color of their skin! When you hate a person because of his skin color you are ‘criticizing’ God for what He has done! (that’s what the word “blaspheme” means). If this ‘perspective’ doesn’t change, the Bible says that you’re not in a “right standing” with God at that point!!! (“Danger, Will Robinson!”).

 

All that to say, racism IS NOT the ‘root’ problem in America today, and neither is lawlessness. They are just ‘symptoms’ of the root problem. The ‘ROOT’ PROBLEM in America today is SIN—‘rebellion’ against God. So, if you try to solve the problem of racism and/or lawlessness without dealing with the root problem of SIN, you will be unsuccessful! THE solution to these problems—and ALL other problems on this earth—is a ‘relationship’ with Jesus. Becoming a “born again” believer (more on that below).

So, I’m suggesting that if you try to solve racism and lawlessness without the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that would be like trying to cure cancer with a band-aid. It WILL NOT work!

 

GOD’s ‘PROTECTION’
The Bible informs us about the ‘protection’ of God. As humans, we want to see God’s protection as a magic ‘force field’ that keeps us from all harm. Yes, God can prevent any evil or destruction, but we must remember that we live in a ‘fallen’ world where we have free will. Many times, God works in ways that we do not understand. Sometimes God’s protection comes in the form of peace and strength in the middle of despair. However, other times God’s protection comes as an ‘ending’ because He sees something more on the horizon that we cannot see.

Believers in Jesus are promised a “new life” covered under the protection of God in which NOTHING can separate us from His love and know that no matter what hardship you face, God is your provider and protector!

 

PROMISES OF PROTECTION
As you read through the amazing promises of Psalm 91, do you ever have doubts spring up? Some say the psalm seems to be saying that if you trust God, nothing bad will happen to you, and your life will go smoothly (Even to the point that you won’t stub your toe!). However, the opposite seems to be implied as well: If things aren’t going well, you must not be trusting God enough.

That’s a troubling conclusion for me. It almost sounds like karma. If I’m suffering, it must be my own fault. The thing is, that IS NOT what the Bible says!

The ‘plot’ thickens as Satan quotes Psalm 91 during the temptation of Jesus to try and derail Him. He says, “Jesus, if you trust God, he will protect you—don’t the psalms say He will not even allow you to stub Your toe? So, surely You can throw Yourself off this cliff with no worries! And, if God doesn’t do that, He’s not keeping His word!”

Well, here’s a good Bible interpretation ‘rule of thumb’: If you come to the same conclusion Satan does, you’re probably not reading it right!

So, if we shouldn’t be reading Psalm 91 like Satan does, then how should we expect the fulfillment of this psalm in our lives? Well, here are four realizations:

1) We experience the fulfillment of Psalm 91 in how God uses pain to grow us in our knowledge of himself.

In John 17, Jesus declared that the essence of eternal life is knowing God. That means that, in the bigger picture, any harm that comes to you that increases your relationship with God is not really harm, but help.

The psalmist alludes to this in verse 15: “I will be with him in trouble.” This is a clue in the psalm that godly people are sometimes going to experience trouble, and he’s anticipating that the promise of protection for many of us may not always be literal and physical—at least initially.

When God says (in verse 16), “With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation,” He’s not talking about simply adding pain-free years to our lives. He’s talking about adding despair-free life to our years.

2) We experience the fulfillment of Psalm 91 in God’s promise to use all things for good in our lives.

Bible passages should never be interpreted in isolation—that’s how a lot of false doctrine gets started. It’s what Satan tried to do with Psalm 91. Whether willfully or ignorantly, he interpreted it without the knowledge of the rest of the Scriptures.

Verses in other books show you how these promises in Psalm 91 are true. While it promises that God is “working all things together for good” (Romans 8:28), “work together for good” does not mean that bad things are really good things in disguise. It means that God takes genuinely bad things and brings his power to bear in them so that you will be better off—that is, more Christ-like (cf. Romans 8:29)—for them having happened.

From the vantage point of eternity, we will be able to see how God exercised His power in such a perfect way that all the evil that happened will, in the end, only lead to greater glory for God and greater joy for us.

That’s the ultimate ‘defeat’ of evil. All evil deeds ultimately accomplish the reverse of what their authors intended. We see this most clearly, of course, in the Cross, where Satan and the powers of evil did their worst and God turned even that for good—our salvation!

Believer, you can rest assured that God is doing the same thing with your pain!

3) We experience the fulfillment of Psalm 91 in the resurrection.

As Christians, we recognize that this life is really just a prelude to the eternal one, a life in which “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” [ Revelation 21:4 ].

ALL believers are going to a ‘place’ where the worst pain we go through now will seem like brief ‘aches’ swallowed up in the joy of new birth. Psalm 91 is ultimately, literally fulfilled in that resurrection the believer looks forward to, where there are no stubbed toes and no “death by pestilence” (Revelation 6:8).

The imagery of God protecting us under His ‘wings’—like some kind of mother hen—shows us how committed God is to protect us from all harm. This is what Jesus did on the Cross. He ‘shielded’ us so that the harmful elements would not ultimately destroy us, and that guarantees us that He is working all things together for good and that ultimately this whole story is going to end for us in glorious resurrection, just like it did for Him!

Jesus’ resurrection is the promise of what is to come for us, a resurrection in which every phrase of Psalm 91 will be literally true, and that promise is supposed to redefine how we see everything now on earth.

4) We experience the fulfillment of Psalm 91 in moments of deliverance.

It is true that our primary and ultimate fulfillment is experienced in the previous three points. BUT, don’t overlook the fact that God sometimes gives us ‘signs’ of this deliverance in our day-to-day lives now.

In the book “Shadow of the Almighty,” (the journals of missionary Jim Elliot, published after his death by his wife), the title comes directly from Psalm 91, verse one. Jim’s wife Elisabeth titled here book this way because she was utterly convinced that the refuge of the people of God is not a refuge from suffering and death but a refuge through it and a refuge from final and ultimate defeat. In the book, she quotes Jim as saying, “I am immortal until my work on earth is done!”

The same is true of the believer! You are immortal until your work on earth is done. There may be some painful chapters along the way, but if you hold on, you’ll see that God was working it all together for good, just like He said!

 

GOD ‘LIMITS’ EVIL
Martin Luther once said that Satan is on a ‘leash’, or that “Even the Devil is God’s Devil” (God ‘limits’ Satan’s actions).

It is not accurate to say, “The Devil made me do it” (popularized by comedian Flip Wilson), but rather that the Devil ‘influenced’ me to do it—since we all are responsible for our own actions.

God allows Satan to ‘roam’ the earth, like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, so we must remain diligent (1 Peter 5:8), but more likely, it is a demonic ‘influence’ that we face. Satan is the ‘god’ of this world and will try to influence anyone—primarily the leaders of this world—to do his bidding. However, God is ‘sovereign’—with a meticulous control over EVERYTHING—and over the course of human history, without erasing or suppressing the intentionality of humans (free choice), He allows their deliberations, their reasoning, and their choosing between alternatives that they consider and reflect upon. [ However, it is a MYSTERY how God’s own intentionality stands above (and behind) the responsible choices of mankind while they still have free will ].

In addition to God’s omnipotence, He is also omniscient, which means He not only knows everything that we are likely to guess at, but every truth whatsoever. This means that God knows things that we cannot even fathom.

So, for the believer, even though they will never even get close to understanding why God allows evil, they are promised the He will ‘LIMIT’ evil (1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; Deuteronomy 31:6; Isiah 41:10; Psalm 34:19; Psalm 46:1; Psalm 57:1; Psalm 138:7; 2 Corinthians 4:8-9; John 10:28-30; Psalm 23:1-6; Psalm 121; Psalm 91) and He will ‘USE’ evil for good (Romans 8:28; Acts 8:1-8; Genesis 50:20; Habakkuk 1:5-11; Colossians 2:15). The thing is, immediately after one is “born again,” God give them the “Restrainer” (the Holy Spirit) that guides and comforts the believer.

So, for the believer, things could be MUCH worse than they are right now. But, for the unbeliever, it WILL BE much worse (during the coming ‘Tribulation” on earth, and later in Hell for eternity!).

[ To find out what the Bible says about how bad ’things’ are going to get, read this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/final-tribulation-v246/ ].

 

‘WHY’ DOES GOD REMOVE HIS PROTECTION?
First off, God has ‘expectations’ of mankind. He gave us the 10 Commandments as a ‘guide’ for how we are to ‘best’ live, and He lovingly expects us to obey them—for OUR own good! God also gave us four specific ‘sequential’ reasons for why God ‘lifts’ or even ‘removes’ His protection. They are Revelation; Rejection; Rationalization; and Religion.

REVELATION
People have been ‘given’ the truth—‘REVELATION’—by God. “That which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” [ Romans 1:19 ]. It’s so obvious that a creation has to have a Creator, a design has to have a designer.

God has ‘inlaid’ the evidence of spiritual and moral truth and of His own existence and His greatness and His power in the very ‘fabric’ of mankind’s being. So, they are not without excuse. “The Gentiles who do not have the law do instinctively the things of the law, these not having the law are a law to themselves in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness” [ Romans 2:14 ]. Humans have been ‘hardwired’ to believe in God

No one is without excuse for rejecting God. One of the most amazing, recent discoveries about the brain is that men have been genetically “hardwired” to believe in God! Ungodly scientists assume that this hardwiring is part of the evolutionary processes to help mankind cope with meaninglessness in their lives. Christians and Jews, on the other hand, believe that men are “pre-programmed” to believe in God, by God Himself! The Bible says it this way: “They show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus” [ Romans 2:15-16 ].

That is to say that they did not acknowledge God as the ‘Source’ of all good in their lives. They did not express gratitude to Him for all that He had provided for them. They take for granted the many provisions that God has given them.

So, despite this clear ‘revelation’ of God, mankind, by and large, has rejected it. The world has not gladly received this truth concerning the existence and character of God. Rather than desiring more knowledge about God, the very opposite occurs. They have chosen to turn away from this truth and reject it. This is because of their inherent sinful corruption. “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks” [ Romans 1:21 ].

As a result, I believe that our lives may be “played back,” sort of like a video or a tape recorder on the Day of Judgment. That’s a SCARY THOUGHT!

REJECTION
The second ‘step’ in this progression is ‘REJECTION’. “Even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened” [ Romans 1:21 ]. Though man finds God in their ‘reasoning’, they reject Him. He suppresses the truth because he loves darkness rather than ‘light’, believing that he can live his life any way he wants without any consequences. However, this leaves himself under divine ‘judgment’ of the severest kind: “They love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil” [ John 3:19 ]. They don’t want to honor God since that would then cause them to be ‘ACCOUNTABLE’ to Him and to His law and, therefore, under His judgment. Man would rather live without having to think about God at all.

When a person rejects the truth about God, it puts them in a very dangerous ‘place’. “They became futile in their speculations” (Romans1:21). Becoming “futile” means that their thinking becomes useless, worthless, vain, and foolish. They conjure up in their ‘darkened’ minds empty speculations about who God is—vain imaginations. In doing so, these God-rejectors became idolaters, who create self-conceived gods of their own insane imagination.

The Apostle Paul says, they became futile “in their speculations.” He uses the word “speculations” in a degrading manner. Paul rightly accuses them of inventing abhorrent concepts about God that are inane and nonsensical. They become plagued with empty thoughts about what they think God is like, which is utterly false.

RATIONALIZATION
Third in the sequence is ‘RATIONALIZATION’. “Professing to be wise, they became fools” [ Romans 1:22 ]. Mankind’s ‘darkness’ is so profound that they can’t even assess their true condition—so they profess to be wise.

You may say, “This is absolutely ridiculous,” and you would be right! This is no more ridiculous, no more absurd, no more bizarre than the story about the emperor who was convinced that he was wearing the most beautiful clothing when he was stark naked—then went out parading the glory of his new garments as everybody laughed. The Greek word used here is “mōrainō”, from which we get the English word “moron.” We have a society of proud morons flaunting themselves as if they are wise.

God-rejectors become moronic, incapable of having rational thoughts about God, which results in a devastating effect upon anyone’s thinking processes. God essentially blew out the ‘candle’ and left them to grope in the dark about who He is and what He is like!

People then proclaim the brilliance of their own intellect, thinking that they are wiser than the One who made them! However, instead of being wise, the outcome was quite the total opposite. They became absolute fools who are incapable of any sound thinking about God and the ultimate issues in life such as: Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? What is life about? What is my purpose? How am I to live? What is death? What awaits me after death?

This is the tragic plight of the human race. As we observe the world around us, who among us is not seeing our society unraveling before our own eyes right now?

RELIGION
Finally, the fourth element of the progression is ‘RELIGION’. They “exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures” [ Romans 1:23 ]. How ridiculous! Men create their own gods to accommodate their own useless ideas.

They have developed a ‘religion’ but they are devoted to something of their own making! “They did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer” [ John 3:19 ]. This doesn’t mean that they are not “religious.” The whole world is FANATICALLY “religious”! (just for the wrong ‘gods’).

The ultimate insanity is to reject the true God and create a non-god that doesn’t exist and then ‘worship’ that. How insane is that?

These ‘gods’ come in all kinds of forms: Primitive statues; Mother nature; an eagle (of ancient Rome); Golden bulls (of Egypt); Dolphins (of the environmentalists); the Earth itself; and every other kind of man-made false ‘religion’ they come up with.

 

So man starts at revelation, descends to rejection, descends to rationalization, and then finally descends to ‘religion’ (manmade, Satan-inspired, demonic religion), that has absolutely no truth in it and no power to restrain sin. Is it any wonder that America is struggling with riots? We’ve rejected the true God and there are no ‘standards’ to go by. We have abandoned God and God has returned the ‘favor’!

 

Although God is understanding and merciful, there comes a time where man’s ‘blatant’ sins become too much—and then God judges mankind (Numbers 32:23).

Because America has ‘blatantly’ disobeyed God’s desires for so long—drastically since the 1960s, originally the “decade of love,” then by the end of the decade, turned ‘dark’. The anti-war movement morphed into the violent terrorism of groups like the “Weather Underground” group (a small, violent offshoot of “Students for a Democratic Society”), as well as other groups were largely seen as symptomatic of what the counter culture had become.

In 1962 (Engel v. Vitale), the Supreme Court ruled that based on the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment that the government can’t sponsor a prayer and require schoolchildren to say it. One of the first ‘warning shots’ across God’s ‘bow’!

Pastor D. James Kennedy commented about this in 1998 saying, “Many of the humanists’ goals have been realized in the public school arena. They have managed to throw the Bible out of the schools. But the result has not been what they imagined. By every conceivable criterion, our public schools are a mess, and the banishing of our rich Judeo-Christian heritage in the schools has everything to do with it.”

 

However, probably the most horrendous ‘rebellion’ against God was, in 1973, when the Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision which legalized “abortion on demand” across all 50 states in America! Since this decision, our nation has murdered over 61 MILLION babies (as of 2019) under the name of “choice” (which I call “murder,” since the Bible defines life is beginning at conception).

Decades later, America experienced the first ‘substantial’ attack on since Pearl Harbor—“9/11”—the attacks on the World Trade Tower in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2001, where almost 3,000 people died. According the 9/11 Commission report, the property damage alone cost about $100 billion, and estimates of the total economic damage inflicted by the attack range up to $2 trillion!

Pastor Robert Jeffess told the Liberty University students (in 2015) that he suggested that the attacks might be God’s punishment for abortion.

“All you have to do is look in history to see what God does with a nation that sanctions the killing of its own children. Just look at the nation of Israel… Because they got involved in the worship of Moloch, the pagan god, and they sacrificed their children on the altar, what did God do? He raised up the godless Babylonians and Assyrians to bring judgment on his own people.”

“People ask me all the time, ‘Well, I just don’t understand why God wouldn’t protect our nation and he would allow these radical Muslims in 2001 to kill 3,000 of our citizens and why God doesn’t protect us. Surely, God doesn’t use pagans to bring judgment upon his own people, does he?

“Just read the Bible. God will not allow sin to go unpunished and he certainly won’t allow the sacrifice of children to go unpunished.”

 

Then, in 2015, what could be the ‘Roe v. Wade’ decision of this generation, the Supreme Court decreed that same-sex ‘marriage’ is now protected under the Constitution (even though the past 6,000 years has defined marriage as between a man and a woman—even in horrendously evil societies!).

[ Note that the Supreme Court imposed ITS ‘WILL’ against the will of the people, since voters in 31 states had previously passed laws defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Five judges—who are supposed to ‘interpret’ the law, not ‘create’ them—redefined the most foundational structure of our society, and they have ‘imposed’ it upon our nation! ].

 

Sadly, just a week or so ago (June 2020), the Supreme Court issued the ‘Roe v. Wade’ of religious liberty. Just as that ruling upended scores of state ordinances and laws concerning abortion based on a “right” that can be found nowhere in the U.S. Constitution, in the same way, the court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton has redefined words to suit a political agenda. This is an agenda that would impose extreme ideas about human sexuality throughout our society, and redefining nothing less than the very ‘nature’ of humanity (transgenderism), in addition to being a piece of legislation, issued by a court, not by a legislature! This is UTTER ‘LAWLESSNESS’, by the highest supposedly ‘law’ court in the land!

In the intervening decades—since the 1960s—America has seen a continuing of the degradation: teenage pregnancies went up 200%, divorce went up 200%; teen suicide went up 300%; violent crime went up 500%; abortion went up 1,000%; and child abuse rose to an all-time high.

 

When a person does not believe the truth, they will pursue the opposite, which is loving sin. Because they rejected the light, God will cause them to delight in the darkness. Their refusal of the truth causes them to live for wickedness. There is no neutral ground here! There is no middle position concerning the knowledge of God. If a person rejects the light, he will be given over to the darkness and because he refuses the light, God will push him further into the blackness of lawlessness!

We see this same truth in the opening chapter of Proverbs with the teaching of Solomon. When wisdom calls out to those passing by, countless individuals foolishly reject its appeal. But when calamity comes, they will call out to wisdom. But wisdom will refuse to heed their call. Instead, wisdom rebukes these people, saying:

“Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; and you neglected all my counsel and did not want my reproof; I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, when your dread comes like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but they will not find me, because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord. They would not accept my counsel, they spurned all my reproof. So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way and be satiated with their own devices” [ Proverbs 1:24-31 ].

 

This starts the downward ‘death spiral’. According to the doctrine of total depravity, men are ‘running away’ from the knowledge of God in their ignorance. Their fingers are in their ‘ears’, lest they hear the truth about God.

So, if a person deliberately denies divine wisdom, God will turn this person over to ‘darker’ sins. After that, such a person will NEVER see the ‘light’ again!

Pastor Dr. Erwin Lutzer made a chilling prediction in his 1986 book: “We have not yet seen the full result of humanism in the United States. We are still coasting on the values derived from our rich Judeo-Christian heritage.” Unfortunately, more and more people are following that atheistic logic out to its conclusion—and we are seeing the tragic results!

William Holmes McGuffey (author of the best-selling McGuffey Readers), predicted in the late 1800s: “Erase all thought and fear of God from a community, and selfishness and sensuality would absorb the whole man… Virtue, duty, principle, would be mocked and spurned as unmeaning sounds. A sordid self-interest would supplant every other feeling; and man would become, in fact, what the theory of atheism declares him to be—a companion for brutes.”

I believe that God has removed His ‘umbrella’ of protection and is allowing America to ‘reap’ the consequences of their evil!

 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN GOD’S ‘PROTECTION’ IS REMOVED?
An umbrella is designed to provide protection from various elements of nature: rain, hail, snow, wind, or sunshine. As long as a person is under an umbrella, they can find shelter from harsh weather conditions. If they step out from under the umbrella, they ‘expose’ themselves to the environment.

God is the ultimate ‘UMBRELLA’ OF PROTECTION over all people. Since the Bible says that God is sovereign (Acts 4:27-28; Ephesians 1:11; Colossians 1:16-17; Isaiah 45:7-9; Proverbs 16:33; Job 42:2), He rules over the universe and governs in the affairs of nations. He defines the parameters of His ‘umbrella’ of protection by the commands in His Word, the Bible. When we honor God’s authority, obeying His Word, we enjoy the protection of living within His jurisdiction.

However, there are consequences of rebellion. If you resist God-given authorities, you will experience God’s judgment.

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience” [ Romans 13:1-5 ].

If an umbrella is torn or broken, it can’t provide the protection it was designed to give. In the same way, when people fail, they often suffer the consequences.

 

It was said that for the first 200 years or so of America, God’s ‘hand’ of protection was on it. Author and political commentator Michael Medved believes that God has withdrawn his special blessing from the United States and brings to life ten haunting tales that reveal this Republic’s providential protection in the past (in his book, “God’s Hand on America: Divine Providence in the Modern Era”):

– A near-fatal carriage accident forces Lincoln’s secretary of state into a canvas-and-steel neck brace that protects him from a would-be assassin’s knife thrusts, allowing him two years later to acquire Alaska for the United States

– A sudden tidal wave of Russian Jewish immigration, be­ginning in 1881, coincides with America’s rise to world leadership, fulfilling a biblical promise that those bless­ing Abraham’s children will themselves be blessed

– Campaigning for president, Theodore Roosevelt takes a bullet in the chest, but a folded speech in his jacket pocket slows its progress and saves his life

– At the Battle of Midway, U.S. planes get lost over the empty ocean and then miraculously reconnect for five minutes of dive-bombing that wrecks Japan’s fleet, convincing even enemy commanders that higher powers intervened against them

– A behind-the-scenes “conspiracy of the pure of heart” by Democratic leaders forces a gravely ill FDR to replace his sitting vice president—an unstable Stalinist—with future White House great Harry Truman

Medved believes that America’s remarkable rise and con­firm that the founders were right about America’s destiny to lead the world and there was divine ‘intervention’ in the early centuries of this nation. He finds that what might look like happy accidents or random occurrences to some, are, in his eyes, quite simply signs of heavenly favor. Medved believes that America is not just exceptional, it is God’s ‘chosen’ nation!

 

Well, as I’ve mentioned, I interpret the ‘signs’ that I am seeing to be God is ‘REMOVING’ His ‘hand’ of protection from America. The thing is, America is NOT the first nation this has happened to. God has got to be getting ‘tired’ of this discipline/restoration cycle mankind has been ‘caught’ in.

 

OLD TESTAMENT EXAMPLES
The passage of Scripture that comes to mind first is Genesis chapter six where it describes the condition of the earth prior to the Flood: “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” [ Genesis 6:5 ]. After 125 YEARS of warnings and mercy, only eight people were saved from God’s judgment!

Then, the Amorites and other Canaanites were exceedingly wicked (for a list of some of their sins, see Leviticus 18). “The land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants” [ Leviticus 18:25 ]. God had warned them all the way back in Abraham’s time that ‘Judgment Day’ was coming.

However, rather than immediately wipe out the Amorites, God chose to wait for over 400 years to bring judgment upon them (Genesis 15:16)—demonstrating His love, mercy, and His longsuffering with sinful man. God was keeping track of the measure of their sins, and during Abraham’s time, it was not yet “full.” So the Amorites were warned that judgment was coming. It is sad that they did not take advantage of their time of grace. They wasted their 400 years and continued to fill up the measure of their sin. Like most other pagan nations that Israel later encountered, the Amorites stubbornly continued in their sin until judgment finally befell them in God’s own time—God brought Joshua and the children of Israel against them.

A similar fate that befell the unrepentant Amorites awaits ALL those who rebel against God today. America dare not make the same mistake as the Amorites and spurn God’s grace (the sins of America may not have yet reached “full measure” today, but I am thinking that God is JUST ABOUT out of patience with America).

[ Note: Most scholars believe that the “Tarshish” mentioned in the Book of Revelation is believed to be England, so that one of the “sons of Tarshish” would be America—and that America IS NOT a ‘substantial’ nation prior to the ‘Tribulation’! Meaning what we are experiencing today just might be the beginnings of America’s end. ]

 

“So the Lord said to the children of Israel, ‘Did I not deliver you from the Egyptians and from the Amorites and from the people of Ammon and from the Philistines? Also, the Sidonians and Amalekites and Maonites oppressed you; and you cried out to Me, and I delivered you from their hand. Yet you have forsaken Me and served other gods. Therefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in your time of distress.’” [ Judges 10:11-14 ].

Here we have an example of God abandoning a nation and even pointing out how many times He had rescued them and given them chances in the past. Notice the final ‘straw’: even after being rescued, they still turned their back on God and served other ‘gods’ (idols). God had finally had enough. He said that He would deliver and rescue them no more!

Notice the rebuke as God tells them to go cry out to their false gods that they had willfully chosen to serve and let them come to the rescue in their times of trouble. I often wonder when things like 9/11 or Katrina occur, how many times God will continue to answer the call to come to America’s rescue when it is usually a matter of weeks—or even days—before the people have returned to ‘business as usual’. This return to normal usually consists of criticizing God’s renewed presence in the public dialogue because of the disaster and then legislating more ways to remove Him from our nation’s daily life.

 

Then, 700 years before Jesus, God was confronting the nation of Israel, steeped in sin and transgression. Having rejected Him, they were on the brink of judgment. “Alas, sinful nation, people weighed down with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away from Him” [ Isaiah 1:4 ].

“Where will you be stricken again as you continue in your rebellion? The whole head is sick, the whole heart is faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head there is nothing sound in it, only bruises, welts and raw wounds, not pressed out or bandaged, not softened with oil. Your land is desolate, your cities are burned with fire” [ Isaiah 1:5-7 ]. Sennacherib, king of Assyria attacked the fortified cities of Judah in 701BC, and desolated the Israelites.

 

Later, in the fifth chapter of Isaiah’s prophecy, there is a specific indictment among all of the sins that were part of Israel’s rebellion against God. Here is one that substantially defines their true condition. “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” [ Isaiah 5:20 ]. Essentially that’s the sin that signals the coming of judgment. Turning truth, righteousness, and virtue all upside-down!

Israel was headed for a devastating divine judgment. They had turned against God and had flipped truth and morality on its ‘head’. Isaiah says they found refuge in lies (Isaiah 28:17) and that “For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue mutters wickedness. No one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly. They trust in confusion and speak lies; they conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity” [ Isaiah 59:3-4 ].

 

A bit later, because the people of Judah had persistently refused to ‘walk’ in God’s ways and had rejected His instructions (Jeremiah 11:20), Jeremiah warned that God would bring a nation from afar to punish them for their idolatrous unfaithfulness (Jeremiah 1:14-15; 5:15; 6:22; 25:9), and that they would be exiled to Babylon for 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11).

In 605BC, Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked Jerusalem and carried off 10,000 of the most able Jews (including Ezekiel and Daniel). At that point, Jeremiah’s role was expanded to bring God’s Word to the Jews in exile (chapter 29). Among the captured Jews were false prophets who assured the exiles that Babylon’s days were numbered and that God would never allow Jerusalem to be captured. Jeremiah warned the exiles that they would be in Babylon for 70 years. Instead of acting on false hopes, the Jews there were to settle down in the land, build houses, plant gardens, marry off their children—and stop listening to the false prophets.

Meanwhile, the remaining inhabitants of Judah continued to refuse God’s message. In 586BC the Babylonians returned, sacked Jerusalem, pulled down its walls, destroyed its Temple (stone by stone), and carried off the remaining able-bodied people as captives. Once more, God kept Jeremiah in the destroyed city—now governed briefly by Gedaliah—to encourage the new ruler and help his people understand what had happened and how they were to go forward amid the destruction. (God is still ‘concerned’ with His people!).

Yet once again, despite his plea that they would hear God’s message, they put their faith in an unfortunate military alliance with Egypt, that Babylon quickly defeated. Jeremiah was taken to Egypt where he died. To his very end, Jeremiah had to endure the rulers’ stubborn refusal to heed God’s messages and the ruinous outcomes that resulted.

The final chapters (Jeremiah 46-52) deal principally with the judgment God will bring upon all nations, not merely Judah. While God ‘used’ Babylon against Judah (God just ‘allowed’ them to do what they had chosen to do), Babylon would not escape punishment either. In 539 BC, the Babylonian Empire fell to Cyrus the Great, king of Persia. [ Cyrus later issued a decree permitting the Jews to return to the Promised Land and rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem (dedicated in 516BC) ].

We cannot read Jeremiah without a vivid awareness of the disastrous results of the persistent faithlessness of Judah’s leaders—the kings, the priests and the prophets. Their short-sightedness and willingness to believe the lies they told one another led to the complete destruction of the nation and its capital, Jerusalem. The work God gives us to do is serious business. Failing to follow God’s Word in our work can inflict serious damage on ourselves and those around us. Leading the people of Israel was the job of the king, priests, and prophets. The national catastrophe that soon engulfed Israel was the direct result of their poor decisions and failure to perform their duties under the Covenant (Which may be what is happening today to America!).

As we come to the conclusion of Leviticus, God very clearly establishes the blessings of obedience and curses of disobedience. It’s a pretty simple proposition. In these first 13 verses, Israel is told what they can expect if they obey God. Israel must do the following:

– No idols or any kind of religious image (verse 1)
– Keep the sabbaths (verse 2)
– Keep the statutes and commandments (verse 3)

Then God will do the following:
– Give rain in due season (verse 4)
– Cause the Land and trees to yield well (verse 4)
– Keep the agricultural calendar consistent (verse 5)
– Keep them living in peace (verse 6)
– Cause their enemies to flee from them (verses 7-8)
– Make them fruitful and multiply them (verse 9)
– Establish his covenant with them (verse 9)
– Make their food last between harvests (verse 10)
– Make his dwelling among them (verse 11)
– Maintain a relationship with them (verse 12)

So, with all of the blessings in verses 1-13, why wouldn’t Israel obey God? Well, it’s particularly puzzling when we see the curses for their disobedience. If they do the following, they will be punished:

– Not listen to God (verse 14)
– Not keep His commandments (verse 15)
– Reject God’s decrees (verse 15)
– Abhor God’s laws (verse 15)
– Violate God’s covenant with them (verse 15)

Then God will do the following:
– Bring terror and diseases upon them (verse 16)
– Let their enemies get their planted seed (verse 16)
– Deliver them to their enemies (verse 17)

However—to give Israel a ‘chance’—if that doesn’t bring Israel back to obedience, then God will do the following:

Punish them ‘SEVENFOLD’ over for their sins (verse 18). [ This is an increase in intensity, not a actual number of times – The Hebrew word for “seven times” is “Sheba,” and is merely a ‘multiplication factor’. The purpose of the seven times punishment was repentance. If the Israelites wouldn’t repent, another punishment would come, then another one, accumulating to four consecutive punishments. ]

So, God told Israel specifically how He would bless them if they obeyed Him, but also laid out clearly how He would punish them if they did not obey Him. Sadly, there then followed five ‘cycles’ of sevenfold punishment:

– “You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters
– “I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars, and cast your carcasses on the lifeless forms of your idols; and My soul shall abhor you
– “I will lay your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries to desolation, and
– “I will not smell the fragrance of your sweet aromas
– “I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished at it
– “I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you
– “your land shall be desolate and your cities waste

Unfortunately, they did not heed these warnings nor did they heed the disasters when the Lord cast those punishments upon them! (Are you kidding me?!). So, the following happened:

First Cycle:
– Give them bad ground and bad weather (verse 19)
– Take the yield away from their crops (verse 20)

Second Cycle:
– Multiply their afflictions seven times over (verse 21)
– Send wild animals to kill their children and cattle (verse 22)

Third Cycle:
– Afflict them another seven times over (verse 24)
– Send enemies with the sword to afflict them (verse 25)
– Send plagues on them when they head for their cities in retreat (verse 25)
– Facilitate their capture by their enemies (verse 25)
– Cut off their food supply (verse 26)

Fourth Cycle:
– Display hostility toward them (verse 28)
– Punish them another seven times over (verse 28)
– Turn them over to cannibalism (verse 29)

Fifth Cycle: (2 Kings 6:28-29)
– Destroy their pagan altars and pile their dead bodies on those altars (verse 30)
– Destroy their cities (verse 31)
– Destroy their sanctuaries (verse 31)
– Reject their offerings (verse 31)
– Lay waste their land (verse 32)
– Scatter them among the nations (verse 33)

Then, for the people who are left in the Land, God will do the following:
– Cause them to live in constant fear (verse 36)
– Cause them to stumble over one another in confusion (verse 37)
– Cause them to waste away before their enemies (verses 38-39)

It is impossible to legitimately say that God did not warn Israel. You can’t be any clearer than the itemized warnings of Leviticus 26. Israel, (the Northern Kingdom) after the split following Solomon’s reign, fell to the Assyrians in 721BC (2 Kings 17). When Jerusalem (the Southern Kingdom) finally fell completely to the Babylonians in 586BC (2 Kings 24-25), all these ‘punishments’ had come to pass. Now the whole nation—having been warned by God right here in Leviticus 26—had met its demise because they violated these very ‘components’ of their Covenant with God!

 

Even after all that, God says that though His people will utterly forsake Him, He will still keep the Covenant! He will bring them back despite their own sin. He will change their hearts no matter how ‘hard’ they are. He will give them life no matter how close to death they come. WOW! God’s ‘makes good’ on His vow to His people and ‘PROTECTS’ them from extinction!

 

So, Israel realized that neglect leads to abandonment. “Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the Lord, They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies” [ Proverbs 1:24-31 ].

Did you catch that? “Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way.” That’s a more poetic way of saying, “Fine, have it your way”. Notice that God is not saying He tried to get someone’s attention one time, and when they didn’t respond, He abandoned them. God called and was refused MULTIPLE TIMES. He stretched out His ‘hand’ and it was not ‘grabbed’. He offered advice and correction, and it was not heeded. God’s knowledge was hated and no one ‘feared’ Him. Only after all of that does God finally says, “Fine, have it your way”.

Now notice in the Proverbs verse above, that even more than that—and this should SCARE US SILLY—God declares that He will “laugh at us when we’re in trouble and will mock us when we are terrified” (Proverbs 1:24). When we are in distress and anguish, we will once again call out to the Lord for help, but He WILL NOT ANSWER! Notice that it does not say God will not hear; it says God will not answer. We will look for God and He will ‘hide’ from us! In the end, we will get the ‘fruit’ of our own way and be filled with our own fancies. In other words, God will finally ABANDON US and allow us to have what we have been asking for!

 

NEW TESTAMENT EXAMPLES
Well, it’s the “new” testament (new “Covenant”) because of one reason, Jesus. So, let’s find out what He had to say about ‘abandonment’: “Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” [ Matthew 15:14 ].

So, here we have Jesus telling his disciples not to bother responding to the hypocritical religious leaders and trying to present the truth to them. Jesus recognized that the truth had been abandoned, and so He had reached a point where He was satisfied with letting them alone to go their own way. He ABANDONED them!

It’s important to recognize here that Jesus is not forsaking someone in the sense that He does not want them to repent and be saved. In the same way that a parent might finally tell an extremely rebellious child, “Fine, live life the way you want and maybe the consequences will teach you a lesson,” that parent does not wish for the death and destruction of the child, but for the REPENTENCE and return of them.

In the same way, while God may abandon a person or nation, ultimately it is because He wants us to ‘RETURN’ to Him, not because He no longer cares about what happens to us.

 

The Apostle Paul mentioned that, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” [ Romans 1:18 ]. This declaration of sinful mankind’s condemnation is VERY GRIM! This is REALLY ‘BAD’ NEWS! (I mentioned in last month’s post that people want the ‘bad’ news before the ‘good’ news).

[ FYI: In last month’s “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post I discussed how God is trying to get our ‘attention’, warning us of His soon-coming ‘wrath’—the coming ‘Tribulation’ on the earth: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/got-your-attention-yet-v255/ ].

 

The human race has been weighed on the divine ‘balances’ of inflexible justice, and is found wanting. There is NO EXCUSE that any sinner can offer God to escape their condemnation in the final judgment. On the last day, every mouth will be closed before God (Romans 3:19). No guilty sinner will even open their mouth to render a counter-argument against God! (They will know better; that they are guilty!).

 

Now, normally when we consider God, we think of Him as a ‘rescuer’ and Someone who will always attempt to correct the course of a person who is off the right path. However, Scripture is clear that there is a point in time, in certain situations, where God says, “Leave them alone, let them go their own way, do not help them” (Acts 5:38; Psalm 81:12).

SO, when God lifts His ‘hand’ of protection, generally ‘BAD’ things happen: Ineffective military campaigns, inadequate administration of justice, corruption, evil leadership, civil unrest, violence, crime, injustice, discrimination, economic depression, and natural disasters are among the many consequences that a nation under divine discipline can expect to experience.

Usually, personal and national moral decline takes place slowly over an extended period of time (Exodus 7-12; Acts 5), and so does the corresponding levels of discipline (Leviticus 46:14-29; Hebrews 12:6).

When more and more sin and evil becomes socially accepted (Isaiah 5:20) and/or endorsed by the government (as the previously mentioned Supreme Court decisions have done), the ‘flood gates’ of evil swing wide open placing the general population in harms way!

 

Since nations are in a constant mode of change, they are usually heading in one direction (spiritual advancement) or another (moral decline). Some of us are born into a nation at a time when it is spiritually inclining (becoming more godly). Some of us are born into a nation when it is in moral decline (becoming more ungodly). Depending on which direction one’s nation is going at any given time, the general population will usually experience either the blessings or the consequences that each scenario generates.

No society that man establishes will ever be perfect, but if one lives long enough, one will be able to say that they can remember when their nation was either more or less godly than it once was.

 

Again, going back to Leviticus 26, most Bible teachers will concur there are five ‘stages’ of divine discipline, with the consequences of each one being more severe than the preceding one(s). The thing is, they also apply to ANY NATION that disobeys God:

1) Starts off with the first cycle of discipline in which there’s a loss of inner peace, fear and paranoia among the people, there are business and agricultural failures, defeat in war, poverty and sickness (Leviticus 26:14-19).

2) Describe the second cycle in which as a result of rejecting God, the nation begins to accelerate its rate of decline, and loses its honor and prestige (Leviticus 26:18-20).

3) Concerns punishment through plagues, the death of children, the destruction of wealth (Leviticus 26:21-22). [ cattle were considered wealth in ancient Israel ].

4) Details the fourth cycle with its increasing intensity of these judgments, including invasions by foreign powers, and extreme economic adversity, and famine. Plagues and disease increase (Leviticus 26:23-26).

5) Details the fifth cycle of discipline which involves the complete loss of personal and national sovereignty, the destruction of the family and the nation. The land is made desolate and conditions can be so bad that people resort to cannibalism (Leviticus 26:27-39).

 

As nations continue their mad ‘dash’ away from God and national apostasy increases—embracing of abortion, homosexuality, turning away from Biblical principles concerning individual freedom, marriage, family, and nationalism—and as the perverting of Christianity continues to increase, then a nation will continue to come under more and more SEVERE JUDGMENT from God.

 

RESULTS OF ABANDONMENT
So, what does this mean for us? Some people see the ‘social’ problems of America as the CAUSE of our decline. The reality is, these problems are just the ‘signs’ of OUR REJECTION of God—our ‘spiritual’ problems—and HIS ‘ABANDONMENT’ of us!

So then—based on how God has ‘disciplined’ nations in the past—what kinds of ‘issues’ can a nation expect to ‘crop up’ when they disobey God? Violence, loss of national identity, national instability and economic decline, social polarization, government control, persecution, turmoil, and anxiety.

Violence
You can expect violence to increase. The violence in our country today is bad (but getting worst with the riots in June 2020). It’s not at the ‘crisis’ level and we are not in a state of anarchy. Yet, when compared to 40 or 50 years ago—or even just 20 years ago—‘major’ violence is on the increase.

Loss of National Identity
Expect the loss of the American ‘identity’. With the acceptance of “hyphenated Americanism,” unrestrained illegal immigration with no expectation of assimilation, and the tolerance of religions that barely try to mask their intended goal of overthrowing America, we have invited and embraced the degradation and eventual loss of American culture and identity. Not only is America no longer able to be proud of our European Protestant heritage, but it is also both implied—and many times directly stated—that it is “racist” and “bigoted” to promote or preserve either.

[ In many people’s opinion, America is disintegrating at record speed towards partisan groups of self-interest, self-protection, and self-promotion that threaten to fracture the “United” States of America into the “Divided States of America” ].

National Instability and Economic Decline
You can expect our nation to become increasingly ‘unstable’ (as we are seeing with the riots in June 2020). The American culture and ideals that have made us one of the strongest and most successful nations in all of mankind’s history are collapsing, and being deconstructed along the lines of political self-interest, ethnicity, religion, and class.

An economic crisis of apocalyptic portions looms as fiscal irresponsibility and record out-of-control spending force us to sell off more and more of our country to foreigners. Then, we can temporarily enjoy the unfunded benefits of social welfare and cheat consumers, causing the dollar to sink to historic lows with almost daily announcements of another foreign government or world trade commodity that is abandoning the dollar.

Social Polarization
You can expect our society to become socially polarized—increasingly divided and opposed to each other. Contrary to politically correct multiculturalism, people naturally and comfortably gravitate towards their own groups of people based on bloodlines, language, culture, and religion. This is natural and provides social cohesion.

When society declines, this natural ‘grouping’ turns into racial division motivated by hatred and the desire to dominate, control, and harm the other groups.

Violent gangs and hate groups (like white supremacists, black/Hispanic/Asian gangs and Islamic fascists) seem to be how it is evolving.

Government Control
You can expect a sharp increase in government control. Environmentalism, scientific crisis-scams (like global warming), social policing, governmental regulation, and the rising need to keep “religious extremists” from doing anything to hamper the personal freedoms of other people, will continue to inspire an increase in government control over every aspect of our life.

In the name of security, we give up freedom and increase government control (as we have done during this COVID-19 crisis). For the cause of environmentalism, no matter how spurious and unproven, we accept more government control. For the purpose of maintaining our consumerism lifestyle, we allow the government more control.

As people reject God, they lose their innate ability and desire for personal responsibility. Their depraved thinking clamors for cradle-to-grave control, security, and care from the government, and takes away the productivity from one segment of the society by force to give it to another segment.

Persecution
You must absolutely expect a rise in persecution of all true Christians and patriots. Hate crimes, hate speech, and religious intolerance were unheard of a decade ago, and now are on the cusp of being routinely prosecuted activities. Any person who dares proclaim the absolute truth of Christianity or the virtuous promotion of European Protestant heritage is immediately labeled an extremist and dangerous. Persecution of Christians, while largely ignored by the American media, is already an accepted worldwide “standard operating procedure,” which is well on the way to the shores of America.

Persecution is a historical fact when a society has been abandoned by God. It is not a matter of IF for the shrinking, authentic American Church, it is a matter of WHEN.

Turmoil
You can expect growing turmoil and conflict as a whole in our society. The hatred, name-calling, viciousness, politics of personal destruction, race bating, class warfare, and rabid partisanship that we are witnessing today is only a taste of what it will become when you add economic decline and growing violence to everyday life. As the economy falters, a society segregates into self-protection and aggressive groups. As our justice system degrades into Third World corruption, daily life in America will cease to be the unending pursuit of our next source of pleasure and leisure, and it will instead become a constant vigil of self-preservation.

Anxiety
You can expect the stress and anxiety of people to increase dramatically as they will have more to worry about and have no God who will ‘hear’ the cry (Proverbs 1:24; Judges 10:11-14). The pandemic of over-the-counter drugs and humanistic psychology to counter the depression one use the drugs for, just causes MORE stress, anxiety, worry, and hopelessness [ Sadly, it is estimated that there will be just as many suicides because of the COVID-19 pandemic as there were actual deaths because of the virus—about 100,000! ].

Coming ‘full circle’ back to the prophet Jeremiah, “The heart is deceitful above all else and desperately wicked. Who can understand it?” [ Jeremiah 17:9 ]. The unconverted heart is sinful BEYOND any human comprehension and is far more wicked than any man’s imagination can conjure! So, when God ‘abandons’ a people they plunge lower and lower to a deeper involvement in wickedness. Such a person finds themselves with both feet on the ‘slippery slope’ of immorality, plummeting rapidly downward to ‘baser’ forms of impurity.

This “impurity” speaks of various kinds of immorality in profligate living. It encompasses every sexual perversion that is outside of the husband-wife relationship—from pornography to adultery, bestiality, and deeds improper to mention—wanton, fleshly, and sinful desires.

 

At a point known only to God, this rejection of Him inevitably leads to DIVINE ABANDONMENT! “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves” [ Romans 1:24 ]. This is a severe judgment issued by God in which He delivers them over to deeper sins. This is not God simply letting go of the ‘rope’ and allowing the current of sin to take this individual further away from Him. Instead, this is God ‘shoving’ this person ‘downstream’. “So, you want to go away from Me? Then I am going to give you a shove in that direction you want to go. I am going to send you further away from Me.” WOW! SCARY!!!

Then there comes a point in time with a God-rejecting nation when God gives them a ‘shove’ in the direction they want to go. This abandonment by God turns them over to the DEVASTATING JUDGMENT of becoming yet further ‘engrossed’ in their sin!

 

God is the ONLY ‘restraining’ influence there is in the universe to hold back evil—and the more God ‘ lets go’, the worse it gets! “Evil men will grow worse and worse” [ 2 Timothy 3:13 ]. God is just continuing to let man do what he wants, and man continues to go his own way. In the process, he compounds sin upon sin upon sin, which escalates his evil, until ultimately, it will end up in the “Tribulation” period, when the final restraints are taken off and the One who hinders (the Holy Spirit), hinders no more (2 Thessalonians 2:7 – “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.”). Then, literally, ALL ‘HELL’ BREAKS LOOSE across the earth (Revelation 9).

 

So, how did God ever get to the point where He gave people up, where He just turned them over, and let them go? What is it that brings God to such a place where He gets so angry, so full of wrath that He lets people go, that He just takes off the restraint?

 

GOD’S ‘ABANDONMENT’ OF A NATION
Nations can get to a point where God will abandon them: “Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way” [ Proverbs 1:31a ]. In essence, God says, “Fine, have it your way,” and we end up getting our own way—which is always ‘CALAMITOUS’!

Sometimes we only think of God’s relationship with a wayward nation in terms of judgment. We wonder if an earthquake, famine or an outbreak of disease is a direct judgment from God on national sin. While God most certainly does take direct action and judgment, I believe Scripture shows us that the more common result of turning your ‘back’ on God—whether individually or nationally—is that God simply turns His ‘back’ on you. More accurately, He ‘ABANDONS’ us.

 

God says, “Okay, you can have what you want and you get what you deserve.”
Like a parent who finally quits trying to keep a rebellious and destructive child from his choices, God removes His restraining ‘hand’ and allows a nation to pursue their wickedness without constraint.

As I mentioned, Jesus pointed this out when He confronted the Pharisees and then described them to the disciples: “Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit” [ Matthew 15:14 ]. When Jesus pronounces you over to abandonment, it’s SERIOUS!

 

Many people (including me) are convinced that God HAS abandoned America. Well, that’s a pretty strong statement, so let’s look to see if the Scriptures say this.

As the previous examples showed, America is not the first nation God has abandoned, nor is it the only one being abandoned now, nor will it be the last. So, like the nations in the past, we are following the same ‘cycle’ of HAVING the truth but then REJECTING the truth—and then being abandoned by God.

 

To the sons of Israel, God said, “You have forsaken Me and served other gods; therefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your distress” [ Judges 10:13 ]. God was saying, “I’m done with you. Have a nice life on your own without Me.”

Later, God said, “Ephraim is joined unto idols; let him alone” [ Hosea 4:17 ]. The Apostle Paul said something similar: “In the generations gone by, God permitted all the nations to go their own way” [ Acts 14:16 ].

So, there comes a time when God abandons a nation and lets them go to experience the consequences of their own sinful choices. They will not accept His counsel and they spurn all His reproof, so they ‘eat the fruit’ of their own choices and they have to be satisfied with what they have chosen (Proverbs 1:24-31).

 

Romans chapter 1 presents the most clear and comprehensive discussion of God ‘abandoning’ a nation: What that looks like, what happens, and why He does it. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” [ Romans 1:18 ]. God will abandon sinners to their own choices and the consequences of those choices. He will remove His of restraining grace. It is when God ‘lets go’ and turns a society over to its own sinful freedoms and the consequences of their choices.

The Book of Romans explains clearly the moral chaos and the ‘confusion’ that we are experiencing in our own nation at this very time. So, let me show you why I believe we are currently experiencing God’s abandonment.

 

This specific passage (verses 18-32) has for its theme the judgment of God upon a world that has gone ‘mad’ with sin. When we read it, we come face to face with “our true condition,” but many of us would rather not think about that. [ I would prefer to be discussing ‘lighter’ things, but believe that we all need to hear this because of what has been happening in America in the past few months (May/June 2020) ]. I believe I would be doing you no favor if I kept back from you the hard truth about God’s judgment (as I detailed in last month’s post: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/got-your-attention-yet-v255/).

First off, the Apostle Paul addresses God’s judgment by repeating three times what He will do in ‘circumstances’ that we find ourselves in (and throughout the Bible, repetition indicates something REALLY IMPORTANT!). In rapid-fire succession, we see this sobering truth reinforced three times. It is impossible to miss the devastating force of this three-fold pronouncement of divine judgment!

“God gave them over” (Verse 24)
“God gave them over” (Verse 26)
“He gave them over” (Verse 28)

The Greek verb Paul used for this is “paradidōmi.” It is a very strong word meaning to “ABANDON,” It’s as if God is saying, “All right. If you want to turn away from Me, I’ll let you go. I won’t try to stop you. But you’ll have to face the consequences of your own actions!”

It can also have a ‘judicial’ sense. It is often used in Greek literature in terms of law courts and criminal courts. It comes down to ‘handing over’ a prisoner for punishment. This verb describes Jesus being given over to the judgment of God upon the Cross when He bore our sins: “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over” [ Romans 8:32 ]. Jesus was delivered over unto the MOST STRINGENT judgment imaginable for our sins upon the Cross. He suffered under the FULL FORCE of the holy wrath of God as He died in the place of sinners. He was ABANDONED by the Father upon the Cross, and only the damned in Hell know what He experienced!

Those who repeatedly reject God are in danger of being sentenced to a similar judgment that Jesus endured! They are perilously close to suffering a similar divine abandonment because they have abandoned Him. It is SOUL-THREATENING—and possibly even SOUL-DAMNING—for any person to reject the knowledge of God. Everyone is HELD ACCOUNTABLE by God for the truth that is revealed to them. When a person defiantly rejects the knowledge of God, they may find themselves ‘given’ over unto divine judgment!

 

This passage, then, describes the downward progress of the human race as it steadily moves away from God. Each ‘step’ takes mankind further away from God and deeper into moral depravity. Each time the phrase is repeated, it describes a further stage in man’s turning away from God. Stage 1 is bad; Stage 2 worse; and Stage 3 is horrendous! In the end, society has turned all moral values on its ‘head’.

God lets them follow their own desires. He doesn’t try to stop their meteoric descent into the ‘abyss’, letting men reap what they sow. NOTHING more terrible could ever be contemplated! When men “abandon” God in their thinking, God “abandons” them. Why? Well, because God is a perfect ‘gentleman’. He respects the freedom of the human will. If a person decides to live without him, he says, “Fine. You can live without me. But, in the end, you’ll be sorry. However, if that’s your decision, I’ll respect it.” God will not ‘force’ anyone to do something they don’t want to do (2 Peter 3:9).

But there is a deeper reason at work here. God “abandons” mankind so that they will see what life is like without Him! In that sense, there is a ‘REDEMPTIVE’ PURPOSE that is behind the wrath of God. By letting mankind go its own way, He is not only punishing them, but He is also allowing them to see the emptiness of life without Him.

Author Ray Pritchard notes that he had been given a cartoon that graphically illustrates how this process works:

The first frame shows a man saying, “I used to smoke to ease the pain… But I gave it up because it can kill you.” Then he says, “So I started to drink to ease the pain… But I gave it up because it can kill you.” The next frame says: “So I started on drugs to ease the pain… But I gave it up because it can kill you.” Next frame: “So then I had nothing to ease the pain. So I faced the pain… And worked through the pain… Now I am pain-free.” Now, in the final frame, the man stands with his arms outstretched and says: “What do I do to ease the emptiness?”

That’s Romans chapter one in a ‘nutshell’! Turning away from God brings only more pain. But when you get rid of the pain, what do you do about the emptiness? Where does modern man go to solve the deep void within? Sex, drugs, alcohol, and any ‘pleasure’ he can think of.

It is only when a man comes to the ‘end’ of himself that he is ready to think about Jesus. But, when that moment of emptiness comes—when he finally faces the “God-shaped vacuum” inside, discovers that disobedience only leads to pain, and reaps the bitter harvest of his own sin—then, and only then, has he become a candidate for the grace of God! UNFORTUNATELY, some people never figure it out in time. They die without realizing the folly of their own behavior, and end up in HELL! BUT, others come to the end of themselves and finally, after many mistakes, they begin to look ‘up’. When they do, they find that God is there waiting for them!

 

GOD’S ‘WRATHFUL’ RESPONSE TO SIN
Now, in last month’s post, I talked a lot about the ‘wrath’ of God, but didn’t mention that there are five different ‘manifestations’ of His wrath: Eternal wrath; Eschatological wrath; Calamitous wrath; Consequential wrath; and the wrath of Abandonment.

1. Eternal Wrath: God’s eternal wrath comes in the form of judgment of sin. Those who are judged sinful and absent of the justification and cleansing of the shed blood of Jesus Christ will experience the eternal wrath of God in the eternal torments of Hell (Matthew 25:46).

2. Eschatological Wrath: This wrath has to do with the ‘unfolding’ of God’s wrath at the end of human history (which will be released at the end of the world—described by Jesus in the “Olivet Discourse” and clearly laid out for us in the Book of Revelation, chapters 6-19).

3. Calamitous Wrath: This type of wrath is what we would see in something like Noah’s flood. God’s wrath was poured out over the earth because of the pervasive wickedness of the entire human population (only eight people survived). On a smaller scale, we might consider whether or not a famine, a hurricane, a volcano, a tsunami, or a disease pandemic is evidence of God’s wrath being purposefully enacted on a group or nation because of sin. Was Katrina wiping out America’s modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah (New Orleans) an act of God’s wrath? Was an earthquake centered in San Francisco—the pornography capital of the world—a divine act of retribution? Is a disease (AIDS) that primarily afflicts only a certain part of the population that practices moral perversion the punishment from God? Was a plane flying into the Twin Towers, resulting in thousands of deaths and tremendous financial loss, a judgment for the greed in America? We can’t know these answers for sure, but we would be foolish not to consider the possibility. [ FYI: This was discussed a bit in last month’s “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/got-your-attention-yet-v255/ ].

4. Consequential Wrath: God is not mocked and we will reap the consequences of our choices. If we make enough bad choices, we will then end up with an entire life of severe consequences. There even comes a time when the rejection of God by an individual becomes so egregious that God turns that person over to Satan. Again, it’s not because God desires the person to be destroyed or eternally lost. God allows the person to suffer to that degree in hopes that the destruction of their flesh will result in his ‘spirit’ (soul) being saved. In other words, God hopes that we suffer so much because of our sin that we decide we were wrong, that it’s not worth it, and we turn back to God for salvation: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” [ Galatians 6:7 ].

5. Abandonment: This means that God’s protection and constraint of evil is removed, and He ‘LETS GO’ of a society and lets it catapult full speed without restraint in the direction of its own sinful desires and choices: “For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven” [ Romans 1:18 ]. This is a cycle that has happened over and over throughout mankind’s history.

 

Now, I think everyone would agree that we are not in ‘eternity’ yet, so God has not unleashed His ‘eternal’ wrath yet. Similarly, I think we can all agree that we haven’t entered in the “Great Tribulation” yet, so ‘eschatological’ wrath is still in the future, too. Now, even though we have had some riots and destruction of property in America in recent weeks (May/June 2020), this still does not compare with what the Bible describes as “calamitous” destruction. So, again, we haven’t experienced the full ‘weight’ of this kind of God’s wrath either.

HOWEVER, I’m convinced that the MASSIVE concept of the wrath of ‘ABANDONMENT’ is at work RIGHT NOW in our society (which includes, of course, the ‘consequential’ wrath of sin). [ Abandonment is the wrath of God that I am focusing on, and how to get ‘protection’ from it. ]

 

Some like to talk about the fact that America was founded on Christian principles and that God was at the center of our focus. Whatever it might have been at our founding—which I believe I proved that it was reasonably strong—it is NO LONGER the way it is! I believe it is more like what the end of the Scripture I noted above: “The wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all
ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” [ Romans 1:18 ].

The Apostle Paul then goes on to talk about the reasons for the wrath of God: “Therefore, God gave them up to the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them, for they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator who is blessed forever. For this reason, God gave them over to degrading passions, for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural. In the same way, the men also abandoned the natural function of the woman, burned in their desire toward one another, men with men, committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

“And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind to do the things that are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossip, slander, haters of God, insolent, arrogant boastful inventors of evil, disobedient to parents without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful. “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” [ Romans 1:24-32 ].

 

Related to what the Apostle Paul says here, Mark the Evangelist (writer of the Gospel of Mark) takes a profound look at the condition of the human ‘heart’: “For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness” [ Mark 7:21-22 ]. Mark uses a very specific Greek word for this, “ek tēs kardias,” which means “out of the heart comes forth.”

Mark includes twelve ‘elements’. The first six are plural and the second six are singular. The first six are acts and the second six are attitudes.

“Sexual immorality”:
“Porneia” in the Greek, is where we get the word “pornography” from—which includes all kinds of deviant sexual sin.

“Thefts”:
Theft is forbidden by the strongly negative precept of the Decalogue, “You shall not steal.” In Old Testament times, this also related to the slave trade.

“Murders”:
So serious that God said that whoever takes a human life will also be put to death! (Leviticus 24:17). Yes, God condones capital punishment.

“Adultery”:
Sex of any kind that violates a marriage covenant.

“Greed”:
Also “coveting” this is behind so much sin. Was there ever a thief who wasn’t greedy? Was there ever a rioter who looted that wasn’t greedy?

“Wickedness”:
This is ‘malicious’ evil. It is evil that intends to harm people.

“Deceit”:
Lying is so pervasive in our country. It is used to ‘protect’ oneself from getting caught, or to get something they want. God said the one who lies will not “dwell in My house” (Psalm 101:7) Pretty serious!

“Lustful desires”:
Essentially the lasciviousness of gratifying the desires of the flesh, and the lewdness of behavior and speech.

“Envy”:
Literally an ‘evil’ eye. You look at something and you want it, and you ‘hate’ the person who has it. It leads to coveting.

“Slander”:
“Blasphēmia” in the Greek, which means abusive, blasphemous speech.

“Pride”:
The feeling of superiority over someone else (The primary reason Satan was ’thrown out’ of Heaven.)

“Foolishness”:
Senselessness behavior without understanding.

The thing is, when Jesus said these things, He was talking to the religious leaders in Israel—the Scribes and Pharisees—and they were talking about “being clean.” They were criticizing Jesus because He didn’t go through the ceremonial washing of hands. So, Jesus responded by saying, “Your hands are clean, but your hearts are foul” (as if you could do anything to please God by washing your hands). Jesus went on to say that all of their ‘defilement’ came from inside. “All of it comes from within.” From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, bad ideas, bad plans, bad designs, bad intentions, and bad motives. All sin is conceived in the ‘heart’. Jesus was saying that they needed a new ‘heart’.

 

So, there comes a time in a nation when God HAS HAD ‘ENOUGH’, and He literally ‘lets go’, ’steps back’, and turns them over to the ‘sentence’ of their incessant sinful choices. They will not accept His counsel, they spurn all His reproof, and as Proverbs says, they eat the fruit of their own choices and they have to be satisfied with the devices they have chosen (Proverbs 1:31).

Said another way, they are deprived of ‘RESTRAINING’ GRACE. When there is a deprivation of restraining grace, sin runs rampant through a society. Sin is the cause and sin is the consequence. It’s a frightening thing to think that you might be ‘abandoned’ by God. The opportunity for salvation is past. The day of grace is over!

 

So, let’s look at the three ‘stages’ (progression of abandonment) of God’s judgment on the human race—sexual immorality; homosexuality revolution; and a ‘debased’ mind (total ‘depravity’)—each one of which takes mankind farther ‘away’ from God.

 

SEXUAL IMMORALITY
Generally, the first thing that happens in a nation when it is abandoned by God is a SEXUAL REVOLUTION—with sexual perversion and pornographic desire describing the general ‘character’ of the culture. It operates only out of the passions of its own impure heart. When a society is abandoned by God, it operates out of its own perverse sexual passion without restraint. It is the first ‘sign’ of what happens when a society decides to ‘turn away’ from God.

In America, this pretty much started in the 1960s with the “flower children” and Hugh Hefner with his “Playboy world”—and it has continued like a flood ever since then! The body follows the feelings then lust conceives in the ‘heart’. “Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” [ James 1:15 ].

Since then the American society has become increasingly pornographic, where the Internet is dominated by millions and millions of immoral pornographic websites to feed the insatiable lusts that dominate our culture [ In 2019, there were about 25 million websites (12% of all websites) making up over 30% of all web traffic, and worth over $100 billion (yes, with a “B”) globally each year! ]. This leads to the ‘destruction’ of marriage, pedophilia, and all kinds of horrendous child abuse. Sex runs rampant and marriage becomes a minor option as people engage in immoral behavior readily and constantly without commitment. This is ‘destroying’ the family unit which has been the ‘foundation’ for all societies since the beginning of time!

The Apostle Paul specifies the result, “so that their bodies would be dishonored among them” (Romans 1:24). To be “dishonored” describes all kinds of shameful sexual acts committed in their bodies. Paul is designating sexual sin as being in a SPECIAL ‘category’ unto itself. “Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body” [ 1 Corinthians 6:18 ]. It affects the body like no other sin. “Can a man take a fire into his bosom and be not burned?” [ Proverbs 6:27 ]. The one who commits sexual sin is playing with a consuming ‘fire’. Sexual sin ‘destroys’ a person like no other sin!

 

So, whenever any society or nation rejects the knowledge of God, it descends into unrestrained sexual immorality and it will eventually tolerate and even ‘endorse’ immorality. It is like a dump truck barreling down a hill without any brakes. The runaway truck picks up speed as it plummets down the hill, until it crashes at the bottom, where it empties its ‘trash’ on the landscape.

So it is with any people who reject the truth of God. They will be ‘abandoned’ by God and given over to lower and lower immoral filth!

 

First, men are indifferent to the truth they know. Then their minds become confused. Then their hearts are darkened so they no longer know the difference between right and wrong. Then they think they can live without God. Finally, they turn to idolatry. From idolatry man moves to immorality, “degrading of their bodies with one another” (Romans 1:24). Idolatry always leads to immorality

Then, once men invent gods of their own making, they can then rewrite the rules of human conduct. You can live however you like. The Ten Commandments no longer apply. You can indulge your wildest fantasies once you begin making your own rules.

Once people have the truth of God made known to them. But they cast it aside, they believe a lie. They “exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures” [ Romans 1:23 ].

How could anyone end up in such a degrading place? It is quite simple. When they rejected the knowledge of God when it was made known to them. They find themselves ‘groping’ in greater darkness, grasping for anything to worship and man IS made to worship. So, many worship a man-made ‘idol’—their own body, possessions, career or something or someone other than God. “Little children, guard yourselves from idols” [ 1 John 5:21 ]. What a person is preoccupied with determines what he is going to ‘serve’. Such misplaced affections cause an individual to serve the ‘creature’ rather than the ‘Creator’.

 

So, that then raises an interesting question: “Why is illicit sex singled out as the first major ‘step’ away from God?” Well, sex is closely related to the human spirit. The way you conduct yourself sexually is a good ‘barometer’ of what’s going on in your ‘heart’. When two people come ‘together’ at a very deep level, they are looking for acceptance, fulfillment, freedom and meaning in life—hoping to discover a way to fill those ‘void’ within themselves. By turning to illicit sex, instead of fulfilling our dreams, one exposes the ‘emptiness’ within.

It NEVER works out like one hopes it will! Immorality NEVER SATISFIES because it always involves deception. We lie to each other, we lie to ourselves, and ultimately we lie to God. When people turn away from God, they ‘exchange’ the truth of God for “a lie.” What lie? The lie that you can ignore God and still find fulfillment in this life. The lie that you can break God’s laws and still be happy. The lie that you can live the “good life” without God. The TRUTH is that living without God isn’t the good life. It’s quite literally ‘hell’ on earth!

God allows this whole process of widespread, unchecked sexual immorality to pervade a culture as a means of showing how empty and barren life is without Him. When people think they can find fulfillment in sex, God says, “Look, it won’t work. But you won’t believe that until you find out for yourself.” So God ‘abandons’ people to sexual immorality. He lets them indulge their fantasies. He ‘stands back’ while they rush headlong off the cliff of unbridled lust to be broken on the jagged ‘rocks’ of disobedience. Why? He does it because he knows that in the end they will be more unhappy than they were in the beginning. Only then will they begin to see their need for Him. God ‘abandons’ people to their own desires in order that they might see how empty life is without Him.

 

Now, that’s just ‘step’ one. So you look at a society and ask, is it driven by sexual immorality? Is it filled with lust in the heart, leading to impurity and the body follows in dishonorable behavior? The answer for American society today is “Yes.”

The thing is, even though America is considered to be the worst purveyor of pornographic materials in the world, it would be very hard to imagine any other nation in this media-saturated western world in which we live, that hasn’t exposed its culture to this. So, it’s not just a national issue, it’s a world issue.

 

HOMOSEXUAL REVOLUTION
The second ’step’ in the progression, that follows the sexual upheaval, is “degrading passions,” a HOMOSEXUAL REVOLUTION. Gross affections, vile desires, perversion, and even ‘inversion’.

It shouldn’t surprise any of us that immorality leads on to homosexuality. By itself, sex can never satisfy a person. You never get enough to satiate your lusts, your mind can always imagine new and different perversions, you keep ‘pushing the limit’ to see how far you can go. But there is a law of DIMINISHING RETURNS. You have to do more and more to satisfy your sexual ‘thirst’. This desire then crosses the line into homosexuality.

Whenever people turn away from God, terrible things begin to happen in society. Long-held standards disappear. The basic distinctions between male and female are obliterated. Things once considered incredible now become commonplace. Evil no longer seems ‘so’ evil. No one knows the difference between right and wrong. In such an atmosphere, homosexuality is first tolerated, then accepted, then praised, and finally enshrined as the ultimate freedom.

The thing is, homosexuality is a ‘willful’ choice, NOT a biological imperative. It is a learned behavior, a chosen path, a personal lifestyle decision. “God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way, men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion” [ Romans 1:26-27 ]. Homosexuality is a DELIBERATE ‘exchange’ of the natural for the unnatural. It is a WILLFUL ‘abandonment’ of what is right in favor of what is wrong.

In addition to homosexuality being a willful choice, it is one that completely ‘reverses’ the natural order of creation established in the garden of Eden. It is thoroughly “unnatural,” literally it is “against nature.” Men and women have to deliberately ‘REPRESS’ the way God made them in order to practice homosexuality.

 

The Apostle Paul describes this sin as a “PERVERSION”—which leads to a “due penalty” from God. No one can argue that Paul is unclear about his meaning. Homosexuality is a terrible sin, degrading, indecent, perverted, evil, and horrendous!

Homosexuality is a self-punishing sin. It ‘punishes’ those who practice it. First, there is the emotional penalty of confusion, self-hatred, and sexual uncertainty. Then there is the physical penalty of sexually-transmitted diseases, especially AIDS. These diseases are a reminder that God WILL NOT be mocked. Those who break His laws will eventually pay a high price!

Homosexuality is also a ‘willful’ choice. No one can say, “I was born that way.” NO ONE is born homosexual. Anyone who argues otherwise is either ignorant of the Bible (and science) or has deliberately lied to themselves.

Some of those things may indeed create a ‘predisposition’ to this particular sin, but the fact remains that every act of homosexuality is a personal moral ‘choice’. Temptation in and of itself is not a sin, but giving in to temptation—whether mentally, verbally, or in actual deed—is a sin. It’s a moral choice for which God will hold you 100% accountable! (You can’t blame your choices on the size of your hypothalamus, your absent father, an over-protective mother, an early sexual confusion, or even about sexual abuse (even how horrible that is!).

Widespread homosexuality is the tragic fact of exactly where America is today. On every front, we are told that homosexuality is good, right, and normal. Those who oppose it, are called homophobic. It is ‘approved’ by many people in the mainstream culture. It says it is good to come to grips with who you really are, and it is time to get rid of the ‘restrictions’ of the past (religions) which treat homosexuality as a sin.

There is no greater misnomer in the English language than to call homosexuals “Gay.” They are anything but gay. Their life is a long trail of tears, heartache, anger, frustration, and guilt. They are locked in the ‘chains’ of sexual lust—chains they hate but seem unable to break.

Christian author, speaker, and former pastor Stuart Briscoe puts the issue of homosexuality in its proper biblical perspective:

“The logic of Paul’s argument should not be missed. Those who reject what they know of God in so doing divorce themselves from truth and reality. This means, among other things, that a person out of touch with the reality of God is out of touch with reality, period, including the truth about humanity. To be out of touch with the meaning of humanity means a crisis of identity which is demonstrated in many ways, not least in confusion about sexuality. When sexuality is misunderstood, the sheer power of unrestrained sexual drive and uneducated sexual insight will produce all manner of aberrant sexual behavior. In short, confusion about God breeds confusion about man, which breeds confusion about sexuality which produces sexual confusion and chaos. Far from being, as was fondly imagined by many, an enlightened age of sexual freedom, Paul showed his contemporaries that they lived in a dark day of divine wrath.”

 

The Apostle Paul then says, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions.” These “passions” (“pathos” in the Greek) are “degrading,” meaning that they are disgraceful, dishonoring, shameful, vial, and depraved. It describes the ‘fomenting’ lust in a person’s flesh. Paul continues by saying, “For their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural” [ Romans 1:26 ]—a bizarre trade-off of the ‘natural’ mate, a man, for a woman! Plain and simple, female homosexuality or “Lesbianism.”

This is entirely contrary to God’s design. Lesbian activity is a ‘FLAGRANT’ violation of the divine plan. They have swapped the brilliant design of God for an INSANE ‘LIE’. Exchanged the natural function for an abnormal function. This inevitably leads to yet grosser sexual sins, and this abandonment by God does not stop here!

The Lesbian movement is proof that absolutely all virtue is gone when motherhood, the highest, normal, virtuous human relationship is abandoned and the people who do it are ‘elevated’ as cultural icons. All virtue is gone when homosexuality invades the female gender!

 

Why are women mentioned first? Well, normally, women are the last to turn their back on God. Their instinctive desire for nurturing, family, child-raising, and their openness spiritually to God makes them the last element of a society that accepts perverseness. However, when lesbianism becomes rampant and even erotically ‘snickered’ at by otherwise godly men, you know the culture is on the verge of being abandoned by God. (Lesbianism is rampant, growing, and becoming increasingly, if not completely normalized in America.)

Ironically, though Eve was the first to be deceived, it was Adam who willingly chose to embrace rebellious sin. In our society, our mothers, sisters, and daughters have been the last holdouts against sexual perversion. Feminism, the sexual revolution, the degrading of the standards of modesty, and the absence of solid Bible teaching has finally engulfed even the heart of women into the perverseness that men have embraced.

So then, homosexuality becomes normalized: “In the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error” [ Romans 1:27 ]. What are the consequences of this? Well, it’s venereal disease and AIDS. Sinful choices lead to deadly diseases.

However, the just penalty of their sin ends in ‘ETERNAL’ DAMNATION: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals… will inherit the kingdom of God” [ 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ]. The burning desire of men for men (and women for women) will end in the ‘burning’ of both their soul and body in Hell forever!

There is no politically correct ‘spin’ to put on this gross sin—and is diametrically opposed to what we, most often hear today. Sadly, this teaching is popular in today’s liberal churches. This teaching by the Apostle Paul is a LONG WAY from, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”

 

In America, we see a society that is pornographic. Sexual immorality, fornication, and adultery as a dominant way of life, is approved and exalted in every way in the media. Homosexuality is also rampant and out of control, demanding to be accepted as ‘normal’, and the society rushing to affirm that acceptance. When a society exalts homosexuality, lesbianism, and sodomy, you know the wrath of abandonment is in operation.

 

That is our world today. BUT, to leave the matter there would be incomplete and misleading. The Bible does more than condemn homosexuality. It also shows the WAY ‘OUT’! Homosexuality IS a sin, but it is a sin that CAN BE FORGIVEN!

Paul spells it out very plainly: “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolators nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” [ 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ].

Paul specifically says that homosexuals WILL NOT go to Heaven (as will not any other unbeliever!), since that’s what “inherit the kingdom of God” means. Those who persist in choosing that lifestyle will eventually end up in Hell. BUT they DON’T have to end up that way! Paul says, “Such were some of you.” Meaning, some of you ‘were’ homosexuals (the Greek tense is crucial). “You were,” not “You are.” The entire difference between Heaven and Hell is found in the difference between “were” and “are.” What happened to those former homosexuals? They were “washed” in the ‘blood’ of Jesus. They were “justified” by the grace of God. They were “sanctified” by the Holy Spirit. Jesus FORGAVE THEM, God declared them ‘righteous’, and the Holy Spirit changed them from the inside out!

ANY person mired in homosexuality (or any other sin) CAN be forgiven, changed, have their desires redirected, and be given a new ‘heart’, a new mind, and a new disposition! It can take a person ‘bent’ on sin and replace that desire for sin with a new desire to please God in everything they do. IT’S TRUE! You don’t have to stay the way you are. Homosexuals CAN CHANGE!

Having said all that, we must not miss the main thrust of this passage. As American society turns away from God, it first displays widespread sexual immorality, followed by open homosexuality. From there it is only a short ‘step’ to the final stage of social decay—a “debased mind”—unlimited and unrestrained evil! Total depravity.

 

DEBASED MIND (Reprobate Mind)
Then, the final ‘step’ is when God gives them over to a depraved, DEBASED MIND. “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done” [ Romans 1:28 ]. The word means: non-functional, useless, can’t think, can’t reason, can’t comprehend. Just like when you look at our world and see rampant sexual immorality, out of control people (even in the church). Reasoning is so corrupted that it is crippled.

A society that has removed all the ‘RESTRAINTS’, a culture that has lost all sense of right and wrong, where literally every man does what is right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6). At this stage—which I believe America is at—God abandons the world to a “depraved mind.” The word means “rejected, disapproved.” It speaks of a mind that is so clouded by sin that it is no longer able to make reliable moral judgments. Here we have gone beyond deliberate iniquity to something much more frightening. At this stage, mankind has lost the desire and the ability to think clearly. They have LOST THEIR MIND and they don’t even know it!

 

Paul describes two men named Jannes and Jambres as those who “resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith” (2 Timothy 3:8). Here the reprobation is regarding the resistance to the truth because of corrupt minds. In Titus, Paul also refers to those whose works are reprobate: “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16). Therefore, the reprobate mind is one that is corrupt and worthless.

Those who have reprobate minds live corrupt and selfish lives. Sin is justified and acceptable to them. The reprobates are those whom God has rejected and has left to their own devices and live only for themselves.

They do the “things which are not proper”—not moral. So, immorality goes in every direction and now you can’t find your way back—because the mind is so corrupt. People don’t think right. People’s brains don’t follow the ‘paths’ that they should. They advocate all the wretched things and depreciate all the virtuous things. Then what flows out of this pornographic, homosexual, depraved culture? All kinds of evil: “They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless” [ Romans 1:29-31 ]. This describes a world that has left God far behind.

All of life is affected by man’s decision to turn his back on God. Nothing is left unaffected, no area of life is untouched—hopelessly lost, inherently corrupt, debased, reprobate, TOTAL DEPRAVITY!

 

An instructive illustration of a sad situation is one of a mother, who has just given birth, who drops her infant in a garbage dumpster. Now, you say, “Mark, that is sick!” Yes, I totally agree. Horrendously sick! So, what is it that possesses a mother to do that? Well, it is a sign of a DEPRAVED MIND, and it comes from a person who has abandoned God and then has been abandoned by God.

This is the final ‘stage’ before TOTAL SOCIAL COLLAPSE (might the recent riots be a ‘harbinger’ of this?). BUT, even this is not the worst of it! There is one more ‘step’—the RESULT of these three stages: The final loss of public morality!

“Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” [ Romans 1:32 ]. People know what they are doing is wrong, but they do wrong anyway. In addition to that, they ‘praise’ other wrongdoers!

Theologian R.C. Sproul summarized Romans 1 better than I can:

“Three times in this section we read about human beings being given up by God. They are given up to their vile passions, the lust of the flesh, and their reprobate minds. When God judges people according to the standard of his righteousness, he is declaring that he will not strive with mankind forever. We hear all the time about God’s infinite grace and mercy. I cringe when I hear it. God’s mercy is infinite insofar as it is mercy bestowed upon us by a Being who is infinite, but when the term infinite is used to describe his mercy rather than his person, I have problems with it because the Bible makes very clear that there is a limit to God’s mercy. There is a limit to his grace, and he is determined not to pour out his mercy on impenitent people forever. There is a time, as the Old Testament repeatedly reports, particularly in the book of the prophet Jeremiah, that God stops being gracious with people, and he gives them over to their sin.

“The worst thing that can happen to sinners is to be allowed to go on sinning without any divine restraints. At the end of the New Testament, in the book of Revelation when the description of the last judgment is set forth, God says, ‘He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still’ (Rev. 22:11). God gives people over to what they want. He abandons them to their sinful impulses and removes his restraints, saying in essence, ‘If you want to sin, go ahead and sin.’ This is what theologians call ‘judicial abandonment.’ God, in dispensing his just judgment, abandons the impenitent sinner forever.”

 

At this point, society has reached the ‘bottom’, and it’s NOT a nice ‘place’ to be! Evil becomes good and good becomes evil!

This might be a good time to bring to mind the prophet Isaiah’s impassioned plea: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” [ Isaiah 5:20 ].

In America, the wrongdoers are publicly praised while defenders of morality are reviled. “They were fully aware of God’s death penalty for these crimes, yet they went right ahead and did them anyway” [ Romans 1:32 ]. This is THE ‘BOTTOM’ when evil is celebrated publicly. This is where America is today!

 

At this point, you have a total ‘REVERSAL’ of values in society. I do not think it is unfair to say that we have essentially reached this point in America today, when a major magazine argues that homosexuality is “normal” and when a public figure is chastised for speaking out against it. Even worst, when the churches are ordaining homosexuals and those who object are mercilessly vilified. What you have is the FINAL ‘LOSS’ of public morality! No one knows the difference between right and wrong because the values of society have been TURNED ‘UPSIDE DOWN’!

Senior pastor R. Kent Hughes does a good job of applying all of this:

“What a telling application this has on our media-captivated society. Millions sit in their living rooms watching debauchery, violence, deceit, and many other vices—and applaud what they see! It makes little difference whether the vices are real or portrayed, the effect is much the same—an increasingly depraved mind on the part of the viewer. Approving another’s sin is a sign that life has reached its lowest dimension.”

 

I confess, that I find the Apostle Pauls’s words on all of this troubling, and DEEPLY CONVICTING! ALL OF US must be extra careful about what we watch and read. What we watch becomes a ‘part’ of us. If we see it enough times, it doesn’t seem so bad. Once it seems not so bad, it soon looks pretty good. In the end, we tacitly approve of evil we once condemned—which is exactly what Paul was talking about in the last sentence of this passage.

A portion of a poem written by Alexander Pope, who was regarded as one of the greatest English poets and the foremost poet of the early eighteenth century, had great insight into ‘who’ man is:

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

[The entire poem is in the “Articles” section below ].

 

These words are for ALL OF US! The great tragedy is that we can’t seem to find a stopping place nowadays. No one seems to be able to stand up and say, “This far and no farther.” There seems to be no limit on sensuality, no limit on immorality, no limit on pornography, no limit on any of the sins mentioned in this passage. Each year we push the ‘line’ a little farther.

We are experiencing a MASSIVE MORAL DISASTER! Why can’t people see it? Why can’t they figure it out? Well, the Apostle Paul had this answer: “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” [ 1 Corinthians 1:21 ]. Human wisdom on its own can’t ‘get there’. This world has ‘blinded’ the minds of them that do not believe, which then ‘compounds’ their ‘blindness’. Then, add to that the fact that they are blinded by the dominating elements of this culture, and you’re just not going to get anybody to rise up and rally behind it.

God has given our culture over to allowing the carnal mind to spend itself on continuous sensation-seeking stimulation—the “lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16)—and ALL are virtually ‘RUNNING’ WILD!

 

A depraved mind is one that is tested and found useless—therefore, DISQUALIFIED for its intended use, and corrupted by the influences that surround it. (This is why people laugh at the Jerry Springer Show—where it’s just so bizarre and so corrupt. They laugh at the unconventional corruption instead of falling on their ‘faces’ and WEEPING at the aberrations!)

 

So when we look at American society today, you can see that it is a pornographic, homosexual, and depraved society manifesting all these characteristics.

This severe abandonment by God of impenitent sinners is not an isolated truth that is only is taught in this passage. Paul describes this same divine judgment in 2 Thessalonians 2:11: “For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false.”

This deluding influence is being sent by none other than God Himself! In this case, the knowledge of God that a person has received becomes deluded. The word “deluding” means “a working of error,” “a straying to a wrong opinion,” or “to be led into error.” God will send a deceiving influence so that those who repeatedly reject the truth will believe what is false. This divine intervention causes them to believe what is false. Being forsaken by God, these unbelievers plunge into deeper levels of unbelief. This causes them to believe a damning lie. By this startling verse, we learn that God is the PRIMARY ‘CAUSE’ that leads them further away from the truth!

So then, why does God gives them over? Why does God judge them? It is because when they heard the truth and they did not believe the truth. When the truth about God was presented to them, they blatantly rejected it. Because they turned away from the knowledge of God, He gave them a ‘shove’ in the direction they chose to go. God sent this ‘hardening’ influence that causes them to believe the lies of the Devil. Just like He did with the Pharaoh in Moses’ time, this is not against their will, but consistent with it! If a person does not act upon the truth when it is made known to them, they are in danger of losing what they have. “So take care how you listen… and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him [ Luke 8:18 ]. What truth they have will be taken from them if they do not respond to it by faith!

 

HAS GOD ‘ABANDONED’ AMERICA?
The blatant refusal of God reaches a ‘TIPPING POINT’ for any society. The moral decline that we are witnessing in America is the aftereffect of an all-out ‘war’ against God. America has made it clear that they do not want the truth of God in its public life.

This country does not want the justice of God in the courtroom. It does not want God in the classroom. It does not want to see the name of God in the public square. The repudiation of God in our national life arises out of the TOTAL DEPRAVITY of the human heart!

 

The word “evil” means “a desire to injure others.” They harm others in order to get what they want (indicative of the rioters in America). They ’step’ over people to work their way up the ladder. They step on people in order to fulfill their greed. They loot and destroy other people’s property to get what they want. These sins are like ‘links’ in one chain, each interconnected with the other, each being pulled forward by the previous sin.

The thing is, there is a much severer condemnation for those who refuse the ‘general revelation’ of God in creation and conscience and nations that have received the ‘special revelation’ of God. Nowhere is this more true than in the United States. There has NEVER been any nation that has received so much ‘gospel’ truth than this country. There has been an unprecedented number of church pulpits, television programs, radio broadcasts, Bible colleges, and publishing houses that have proclaimed the message of salvation in Jesus. There has never been a people that have had more direct exposure to the divine revelation in the Word of God. Yet, no people have so resolutely REJECTED this knowledge of God more than America!

 

As I said last month, before we can understand the ‘good’ news (of salvation), we must first know the ‘bad’ news (of condemnation). Before we can appreciate the grace of God, there must be an awareness of our guilt before Him.

Now, I find that there are WARNING ‘SIGNS’ of the impending ‘death’ of America. The ‘graveyard’ of past civilizations is filled with these corpses. Can any society function without acknowledging the moral laws of God? Can any culture endure without the moral restraint of the law of God? Is there any hope for a collective group of people to function successfully without God in its center? (Consider asking these questions as you watch the riots in America.)

The Apostle Paul answers “No!” to every one of these questions, and describes that any collective group of people who reject God WILL descend morally into a ‘death spiral’. It WILL BE a ‘slippery slope’ for any society that has turned its back on God, and it ACCELERATES at a rapidly increasing speed! This ‘sewer’ of sin flows until it becomes a polluted ‘river’ that floods a society with its immoral corruption!

As people refuse God the rightful place He deserves in their lives, He ‘abandons’ them to this moral tailspin. Because they reject Him, He rejects them. The Apostle Paul later writes, “‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Hebrews 10:30). It is because of their DEFIANCE of Him that He repays them with His wrath of divine abandonment.

 

Whenever a collective society hits this point, it has sunk to new lows. They have reached the point of no return! Their depraved mind causes them to make illogical decisions. (This is what we have in the transgender bathroom situation. Is there anything more insane than that?). America is obsessed with living immorally.

 

The final sign of being abandoned by God is applauding that which God hates—and that is what is happening in America right now. We are condoning what God has condemned. We are calling natural what God calls unnatural. We are calling good what God says is evil. America has ‘abandoned’ God, so God has removed the ‘restraints’, and He is allowing us to follow the downward path to our own destruction!

 

So, in my opinion, God is ‘ABANDONING’ (in the process of) America BECAUSE WE FIRST ABANDONED GOD! There is no surer and no sadder evidence of a corrupted, wicked abandoned society than when that society will not tolerate anger against sin.

As a result of this depraved mind, they do the things that are not proper, fitting, sensible, and reasonable—filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. You know what, that’s pretty much most of the nightly news and the local newspaper!

Our society ‘feeds’ on sin and wants no one to deny it its iniquities. This society gets more immoral, more homosexual, and more depraved every day because they ‘SUPPRESS’ THE TRUTH. They silence the truth speakers and ‘cling’ to their sin.

 

America is experiencing a massive moral disaster of pandemic proportions made up of all manners of perversion, violence, and destruction, and none of our leaders will stand up and call it what it is. Why? Because at a national level we’ve become depraved, unable and unwilling to expose sin and call it what it is. The most fearful part of this is knowing that we are now at this stage of the national rejection of God and we can’t objectively measure His abandonment of us by evaluating the depravity of our society and its leaders.

The thing is, many American leaders give hearty approval to sin, without even ‘blinking an eye’. This reminds me of the Bill Clinton and the Monica Lewinsky affair. The Christian poet, Kay Hedger, described President Bill Clinton with these powerful words written in her book, “The Parched Soul of America”: “A draft-dodging, drug ‘exhaling’, sodomy protecting, shady dealing, tax-raising, child exploiting, baby-killing, feminist pandering, religion robbing, border betraying, gun confiscating, military reducing, womanizer becomes Commander-in-Chief and the nation gets a leader who reflects the true condition of its heart.” HOWEVER, even though Clinton was impeached—caught in his scandalous immorality—his approval ratings actually WENT UP! He explained that the affair as “managing my anxieties,” Are you kidding me!!!

Well, it’s because America ‘approves’ of somebody like that. It’s their kind of guy—without reason, without conscience.

There’s no surer indicator of a corrupted, wicked, and ‘abandoned’ society—under God’s wrath—than when that society does not tolerate anger against sin, or there is no toleration of displaying any type of righteous indignation against sin! It was author and lay theologian C.S. Lewis who said, “The last experience of the sinner is the horrible enslavement of the freedom he desired.”

 

Again, in Romans chapter one, the Apostle Paul is unfolding this ‘picture’ of what a society looks like when it’s abandoned. Why does he say it happens? They “suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18). As pastor and theologian Francis Schaeffer used to say, “The true truth.” The biblical truth. Then, when you suppress it, you have no ‘foundations’—and that’s when everything collapses!

Suppressing the truth is something governors in many states have done recently. They were vehemently opposed to people going to church—restricting them to less than 50 people, needing to follow ALL the social distancing restrictions, and having police arrest congregants if more than 50 arrived—BUT, the very same governors actually marched with protestors shoulder-to-shoulder, arm-in-arm. It’s also alright to loot, steal, and burn down property (even a church), but not okay to peacefully meet in a church! Wow! Really?! But, that’s what suppressing the truth is all about!

 

Sometimes God will destroy a nation by just letting it collapse under the ‘weight’ of its own sin (that’s what happened to the Roman Empire). However, sometimes God just ‘wipes out’ civilizations—like Sodom and Gomorrah—because of their prodigious wickedness. (Have you seen in Jebusites lately?)

 

Just like Sodom and Gomorrah or the Roman Empire, any civilization that rejects God will not survive long, but will most likely self-implode from within. These are the telltale signs of the death of any godless society and I believe America IS currently in the midst of all of these—up to our ‘necks’ in them!

 

In America’s history, what has been the key or the catalyst to our rejection of God and His abandonment of us? Well, I believe it has been the systematic removal of God from our public life and our national education. I don’t mean just from the school system, but from EVERY aspect of most lives. God has been removed from the schools, from the courts, from politics, and for the most part from families and parenting.

Also, in large part, solid, Biblical, uncompromising preaching and teaching have been removed even from many of the pulpits of Christianity (“Your Best Life Now” by Joel Osteen is heretical), as well as, without a doubt, most of the halls of academia, Christian or otherwise. We suppress the truth as a nation by removing the truth from our focus of attention and by somehow solidifying the idea that religion should somehow be totally separate from the rest of life.

America suppresses the truth by teaching evolution, by fostering godless academia, by environmentalism, humanism, materialism, postmodernism, immoralism, glowing abortion, and the removal of God in the public ’square’.

 

God has given us CLEAR and ‘MEASURABLE’ indications of what occurs when He has chosen to abandon a nation—and when He is on the ‘verge’ of that choice. For me, given the clear signs, if America has not been abandoned in totality yet, we are PERILOUSLY CLOSE to it!

 

It also looks like God has already ‘removed’ His ‘hand’ of protection from many of the nations of the world, too. The thing is, I DON NOT believe that life will “get back to normal” after the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe things will only GET WORSE!

As I have written about in the past dozen posts, the “birth pangs” (natural disasters) of this earth are happening with greater frequency and with greater intensity. “Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes” [ Joel 1:14-15 ]. I believe God is ’setting up’ the world for the coming “Tribulation.”

 

At this low point, America is now so deviant that they applaud debaucheries. Shameful acts are no longer hidden in the ‘closet’, but are strutting down main street for all to see. They are so proud and defiant in their evil ways (Seattle’s “C.H.A.Z.”/“C.H.O.P.” zone is one example). As the collective society gives its “hearty approval” to debaucheries, depravity only increases.

As we see on TV/Internet every day now (June 2020), this is the downward trajectory on which we find the world in this present hour. Our nation is nearing the ‘BOTTOM’ of immorality and there is ONLY ONE HOPE to pull them out of this death spiral. It is what Paul declared: “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe” [ Romans 1:16 ]. Only the power of God unleashed through the working of the Gospel can change lives and reverse this downward course!

Some years ago, Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth, was reading the draft of a book he was writing. When she finished a section describing the terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards and the idolatry of worshiping false gods such as technology and sex, she exclaimed, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

I wonder what Ruth would think of America if she were alive today. In the years since she made that remark, millions of babies have been aborted and our nation seems largely unconcerned. Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.

 

I believe that America is very close to denying God completely. This is a terrible place to be because there will be nothing but God’s wrath left for America! Sadly, I say that America deserves everything that God gives it!

 

Now, God can send a great ‘awakening’ (and He did in the pastime in the 1730s) but outside of that the only thing that is left is the judgment of God—and I believe that America is already experiencing some of it!

 

If this nation will respond and listen to God’s truth, He will open the ‘floodgates’ and we might just become the greatest ‘recovery’ story in history. BUT, there’s no other way than those people “listen to me and walk in my ways” [ Psalm 81:13 ].

It is also just as likely, given the presence of authentic Christianity in America, that God has not totally abandoned America 100% yet, and is still trying to get our ‘attention’. [ Note: See last month’s “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post for a discussion on God getting our ‘attention’: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/got-your-attention-yet-v255/ ].

How long can America take advantage of God’s patience and mercy? Well, I not a ‘date-setter’ (for the Rapture either), but I’m thinking that America is at a ‘TIPPING POINT’ and has been PARTIALLY ‘abandoned’. But just like God did with Israel in the past (many times), I believe there STILL IS TIME for America to repent and turn back to God! The ‘KEY’ IS “If my people who are called by My name 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 7:14 ]. THAT IS the ‘heart’ of God!

 

There is a ‘progression’ that I’ve seen put forth called the “4 R’s.” It speaks of the cycle mankind must take to get back ‘right’ with God. The first “R” stands for man’s “Rebellion” against God. The second “R” stands for God’s “Retribution.” Then when mankind properly responds to retribution, the next “R” stands for “Repentance.” Finally, when proper repentance is given, then the last “R” stands for “Restoration.”

 

If America gets ‘serious’ about changing its ways and repenting to God, there still is a ‘wisp’ of a chance to turn America around! FERVENTLY PRAY FOR THIS!

 

GOD ‘WILL’ ABANDON THE WORLD!
Not only does God ‘abandon’ nations, He has been telling us that there will be a time in the future that He will ‘abandon’ the ENTIRE WORLD! The Book of Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Joel, Amos, Isaiah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, 1/2 Corinthians, 1/2 Thessalonians, and of course the Book of the Revelation all refer to a time of “tribulation” that has never been experienced by mankind before—VERY TERRIBLE TIMES!

The ‘problems’ we see happening around us today will be AMPLIFIED ‘EXPONENTIALLY’ and the “Great Tribulation” will be a HORRENDOUS period of time where worldwide hardships, disasters, famine, war, pain, and suffering will affect ALL of creation. Only Jesus’ Second Coming will stop a TOTAL EXTERMINATION of mankind: “And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short” [ Matthew 24:22 ].

 

BIBLICAL PROPHECY
The ‘spirit’ of the antichrist (1 John 4:2-3) is INCREASING tremendously in the world today—especially evident with the riots and lawlessness (destroying people’s property and memorial statues) in America. To me, it seems like all of this is a ‘precursor’ to the anarchy that is prophesied in the Bible just before the Last Days’ “Tribulation” period.

Jesus prophesied that in the ‘last days’ “lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold” [ Matthew 24:12 ]. (I watched a video recently about one of the rioting mobs beat a shop owner to death, and then robbed his business and on the way out, kicked him like he was nothing more than a piece of garbage!).

Just think of the ‘spirit’ of a people who would ‘murder’ 61 MILLION babies aborted in America since Roe v. Wade (1973), and almost that many EVERY YEAR worldwide! THAT IS ‘DEMONIC’!

 

Another prophesied ‘sign’ of the End Times is “pestilences.” This refers to disease and plagues—something we are still struggling with (in June 2020) during this worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The Bible is filled with prophecies about Jesus’ Second Coming, and He commanded us to watch for Him (Mark 13:35-37). Our ‘generation’ is also expected to recognize the “signs of the times.” But do we? Do YOU recognize the signs of the times?

Unfortunately, a large number of people are not ‘watching’ for Jesus—they’re ‘asleep’ when it comes to the End Times, even though Jesus warned us about it.

So, why do I say the world is asleep? Well, because right now, there is a ‘flood’ of signs that have never before been happening all at the same time. Here’s just a few from 2020:

– COVID-19
– Global Riots
– Global Depression
– Huge Unemployment
– Swarms of Locusts
– Wars

 

CONVERGENCE
But these are just the latest signs. Many of the signs Jesus and the prophets said to look for appeared long before 2020. The term that is used to describe these and many other signs is “convergence.” [ For more details on convergence, read this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/got-your-attention-yet-v255/ ].

Many generations of Christians lived and died without witnessing a single ‘sign’ of Jesus’ Second Coming. However, our ‘generation’ is witness to ALL OF THEM! Those signs include:

– Israel back in the land
– Israeli control of Jerusalem
– Geometric increase in travel and knowledge
– Exponential increases in natural disasters
– Most deaths in the past century
– Israel surrounded by enemies
– Israel’s exceedingly great army
– Rise of “God and Magog” alliance (Primarily Russia, Iran, and Turkey)
– Rise of a united Europe
– Rise of global government
– Apostasy in the church
– Denial of the signs
– Gospel is being preached throughout the world (Primarily via the Internet)

 

Given all these signs, you can be certain of one thing: Jesus IS coming, and I believe that OUR ‘GENERATION’ will witness His return!

[ For more details on this being the last ‘generation’ before Jesus’ Second Coming, consider reading this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/last-generation-v249/ ].

 

So, how can I be so confident of this? Well, as I mentioned, ALL these signs are ‘CONVERGING’ and Jesus said that when you see these signs coming at the same time, you can know His return is near. In fact, He said the “generation” witnessing these signs would not pass away before He returns (Matthew 24:34).

Now, keep in mind, for 1,878 years of Christianity (70AD-1948AD), NONE of these signs were present. HOWEVER, today ALL of them are! To me—and many other prophecy experts—that means Jesus is right at the ‘door’! (Matthew 24:33).

 

When the disciples asked Jesus to describe the signs of His coming and the end of the age, He pointed to many ‘signs’. But one of the most overlooked is the idea that when He returns, the world will be “like it was in the days of Noah.” Jesus said, “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man” [ Matthew 24:38-39 ].

So, look around. Despite all of the chaos and turmoil, people are living their lives as if everything is ‘normal’ (or the “new normal” after we get past the COVID-19 crisis). As was in the days of Noah, MOST PEOPLE don’t realize what’s coming. Noah’s generation didn’t think the flood would come, but IT CAME. Our generation doesn’t think Jesus will come, but I believe HE WILL—and all the signs say He’ll come in our generation!

 

THE COMING ‘TRIBULATION’
The world is hurtling to a great ‘climax’, referred to as the “Apocalypse,” “Armageddon,” or the ‘FINAL’ “TRIBULATION.” When that occurs, where will you ‘be’ at that time? Will you be in Heaven with Jesus, or on earth with Satan?

As a BELIEVER, the GOOD ‘NEWS’ is that they will not have to experience the horror of the Tribulation. They are never told to watch for the Antichrist, rather they are told to look for Jesus. They are assured that they will be “delivered from the wrath to come” [ 1 Thessalonians 1:10b ]. That is a glorious promise! That’s why the Apostle Paul calls the Rapture our “Blessed Hope” (Titus 2:13), and it’s also the reason that he tells us to “comfort one another” with the promise of the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

As an UNBELIEVER, you have NO ‘HOPE’, and based on what Jesus says, you are HEADED TO HELLl! You will probably go through the Tribulation period (unless you pass away before that time), and may have to go through the entire seven-year period! You will be praying that the mountains and rocks would, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” [ Revelation 6:16 ], but God will not let you die! You will think that dying in an avalanche would seem better than experiencing God’s judgment! Although you recognize that God reigns supreme from His throne, you STILL WILL REFUSE to repent and submit to His rule! I pray that this ‘SCARED’ you, so you will get ‘PREPARED’!

[ For more details on the coming “Tribulation,” and the “Blessed Hope,” view these previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” posts:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/final-tribulation-v246/;
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/blessed-hope-v245/ ].

 

I see the ‘spirit’ of lawlessness increasing tremendously throughout the world today, which is ‘prepping’ the world for the coming “Antichrist”—who will offer a solution to fix all the world’s ‘issues’, and eventually take control over the entire world. Then, after 3-1/2 years—essentially begin ‘directed’ by Satan—he will try to ‘annihilate’ all of Jews in the world (God’s “chosen people”). However, when there is just a ‘remnant’ of Jews left, Jesus will come back and cast the Antichrist and the False Prophet into the “Lake of Fire” (Revelation 19:20b).

 

I believe that we have already entered into the ’stage’ that is the harbinger of Great Tribulation, the most horrendous time ever experience on earth! PLEASE, HEED THIS WARNING!

[ For details on what warnings you should be heeding, read this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/heed-the-warning-v251/ ].

 

IS THERE ANY ‘HOPE?
At this point, you might be saying, “Mark, are you kidding me?” and dismiss what I have said about America as exaggeration and sensationalism. However, as I just mentioned, the Bible says that not only CAN this happen to us, it WILL happen to us! (as long as we refuse, on a national level, to repent of our blasphemy, wickedness, idolatry and our rejection of the Creator God).

So, how show one respond to all of this? Well, believers are told that they should not respond with despair or hopelessness—since Jesus is ‘PROTECTING’ them in His ‘arms’ (1 Corinthians 16:23; Psalm 91:1-16; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; Deuteronomy 31:6; Isaiah 41:10).

No matter how hard things are or in what situation we find ourselves in, believers know that life on this earth is but a ‘whisper’ of time compared to the eternity they will spend with God in Heaven. Any despair that they feel now is based on a lack of understanding of God’s sovereignty, and is aggravated by how accustomed they have become to comfort, leisure, and personal freedom. No matter what, they are to live ‘for’ Jesus, and know that the day is coming soon when all the hopelessness of this life will be no more:

“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh” [ 2 Corinthians 4:8-11 ].

 

HOWEVER, most of America has decided to ‘turn off the light’ and live as though God doesn’t exist. In fact, they have created ‘gods’ of their own making that will affirm them in the things that they desire to do. Truth has no place, and error meets with no scorn. What is right is shouted down, and what is wrong is celebrated. Society, in essence, has declared, “God is dead.”

Now, as soon as you say God is dead, the Bible says that your society is the one that is dead! God, in His RIGHTEOUS judgment, has turned you over to the ‘darkness’ of your own mind, so that you think He’s dead, even though the deepest recesses of your ‘inner man’, you know He’s not dead—and one day you will have to give an ‘ACCOUNTING’ of your life to Him!

As a society continues to head down a ‘pathway’ of sin, they almost cry out for God to just leave them alone (that’s the God-given conscience working). The thing is, you DON’T want God to ‘turn you over’ to your own sinful desires—to take the ‘brakes’ off, and remove His restraining grace! You don’t want that!

What we SHOULD BE DOING is like the tax collector did in the Temple who “would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” [ Luke 18:13b ]. Jesus then went on to tell the disciples: “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted” [ Luke 18:14 ]. We should be ‘CRYING OUT’ to God in repentance and ask Him to FORGIVE US of our sins!

America is at a point where it CAN STILL turn to God. So far, throughout America’s history, God has continued to honor this nation when it has called out to Him. HOWEVER, recently, once the ‘urgent’ need is over (9/11, Coronavirus, riots, etc.), America has ‘quickly’ turned its ‘back’ on God. Sadly, unless America repents, there will be a time when God will finally be ‘fed up’ with America, and ABANDONS us to our wickedness!

 

‘THE’ ABANDONMENT
So, you probably think that you don’t ‘deserve’ to be abandoned by God with everyone else—since you are a ‘good’ person. You haven’t murdered anyone or committed adultery. Well, the thing is, sin is a “stench in the ‘nostrils’ of God” [ Isaiah 65:5c ]. Even the ‘SMALLEST’ of sins is ‘abhorrent’ to God!

So, you ARE NOT ‘good’ enough for a perfect God, and NEITHER was Jesus on the Cross! God ABANDONED Him there because of YOUR SINS! Jesus took ‘upon Himself’ ALL of humanity’s sins, once and for all, so you could possibly be forgiven of all of our sins and have eternal life in Heaven with God!

So, God is going to abandon Jesus and not abandon you? Hmmm.

When Jesus cried out on the Cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34), at that time—for the first time ever—Jesus was banished from the ‘presence’ of God, for NO SIN can exist in God’s presence.

 

That mystery is so great and imponderable that it is not surprising that Martin Luther is said to have gone into seclusion for a “substantial amount of time” trying to understand it, and came away as confused as when he began. In some way, and by some means, in the secrets of divine sovereignty and omnipotence, Jesus, the “God-Man,” was separated from God for a brief time at Calvary, as the FURIOUS WRATH of the Father was ‘poured out’ on His sinless Son, who, with matchless grace, became sin for those who believe in Him—the ‘propitiation’ for ALL the sins of the elect (1 John 2:2).

The prophet Habakkuk declared of God, “You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong” [ Habakkuk 1:13 ]. God turned His ‘back’ when Jesus was on the Cross because He could not ‘look’ upon sin, especially in His own Son. Just as Jesus loudly lamented, God the Father had indeed ‘abandoned’ Him.

The Father abandoned Jesus because He took upon Himself “our transgressions… our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus “was delivered up because of our transgression” (Romans 4:25) and “died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3). He “who knew no sin [became] sin on our behalf” (2 Corinthians 5:21) and became “a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross” (1 Peter 2:24), “died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust” (1 Peter 3:18), and became “the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

When Jesus was abandoned by the Father, their separation was not one of nature, essence, or substance. Jesus did not, in any sense or degree, cease to exist as God or as a member of the Trinity. He did not cease to be the Son, any more than a child who sins severely against his human father ceases to be his child. However, Jesus did, for a while, cease to know the intimacy of ‘fellowship’ with His heavenly Father, just as a disobedient child ceases, for a while, to have intimate, normal, loving fellowship with his human father.

At the Cross, Jesus’ separation from the Father became immeasurably more profound than the humbling incarnation during the 33 years of His earthly life.

God the Father is ‘SERIOUS’ about sin—so serious He ‘made’ His one and only Son, Jesus, to ‘be’ sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21) so we have the opportunity to be forgiven by God, and be in Heaven with Him forever!

The GOOD ‘NEWS’ is that God the Father RESURRECTED Jesus from the dead, restoring their ‘fellowship’ and preparing a ‘way’ for anyone that puts their trust in Jesus for the ‘propitiation’ of their sins to be restored to God the Father the same way Jesus was!

[ For more details on how you can be restored to ‘fellowship’ with God, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/saved-from-death-v219/ ].

 

WRAP UP
When a nation turns away from God, its course is always ‘downward’. The Roman Empire fell for many reasons, not the least of which is that it ‘rotted’ from the inside. Long before the political decline came the moral decline. This has been the story of the collapse of every great civilization. They rot from the inside out so that when the climactic moment comes, the final battle is over swiftly. I think that is exactly where America is RIGHT NOW!

Then, when a nation chooses evil instead of good, God punishes that nation by letting evil reign supreme. This happened 50 years ago in Nazi Germany. It is an ‘immutable’ moral law. When men willfully choose evil over good, God says, “If you want evil, you can have it. But you’ll have to live with the consequences.” In the end, the nation itself collapses because no nation can long survive that enshrines evil on the throne. Just ask a man named Lenin what happened to his dream. His ideas reigned supreme for nearly 75 years, but in the end, his way brought only suffering and poverty to the people of Russia.

 

“THE GREAT EXPERIMENT”
George Washington called the American political ideal “The Great Experiment.” In a letter to historian Catharine Sawbridge Macaulay Graham, thanking her for her support for him becoming the President of the United States, Washington wrote, “The establishment of our new Government seemed to be the last great experiment, for promoting human happiness, by reasonable compact, in civil Society…That the Government, though not absolutely perfect, is one of the best in the World, I have little doubt.”

Others expanded what Washington said. The second president of the United States, John Adams, said that, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Contemporary English historian Paul Johnson wrote, “The creation of the United States is the greatest of all human adventures” and “a human achievement without parallel.”

 

The early days of “The Great Experiment” bristled with questions. Can human beings establish good government simply through reflection and choice? Can a free people govern itself? Can a self-governing people sustain its freedom? What form of government best suits those who are neither angels nor animals, but imperfect human beings?

Recently, English author Os Guinness said that the American experiment was genius on the part of the framers, since they were fully aware of how tough it would be to sustain the Christian ideals they were putting forth—since the humans ‘running’ the government for other humans were sinful, too!

Michael Medved, a Jewish author and political commentator, agrees that America was indeed founded as a Christian nation:

“The framers may not have mentioned Christianity specifically in the Constitution, but they clearly intended that charter of liberty to govern a society of fervent faith, freely encouraged by government for the benefit of all. Their noble and unprecedented experiment never involved a religion-free or faithless state, but did indeed presuppose America’s unequivocal identity as a ‘Christian’ nation.”

 

HOWEVER, 244 years later, A LOT the ‘shine’ of the founding documents has ‘tarnished’, and sadly, I believe that “The Great Experiment” might just have run it course.

Stanley Rothman’s recent book, “The End of the Experiment” discusses what the impact of the 1960s had on America’s culture, and the emergence of new post-industrial humanistic values is having on American culture. Rothman argues that the “experiment” of America—as a new nation rooted in democracy, morality, and civic virtue—is being destroyed by a “disaffected intellectual class opposed to traditional values.”

 

Now, I am not ‘inspired’ in anything I say—only ‘perspired’. BUT, from what I have read in the Bible, I think America is a perfect ‘candidate’ for God’s abandonment. We can and should pray for America—we need God’s mercy BIG TIME! But, it is certainly POSSIBLE that the day of mercy is NOW OVER for this once great nation!

God doesn’t ‘give up’ on a nation because He hates the people that make it up. Far from it! God ‘gives up’ because He loves the sinning people who have chosen to turn away from Him. Like a weeping father who must let his ‘prodigal’ son go to the far country (Luke 15:11-32), hoping the experience will cure the desire for rebellion, God lets a nation go deep into sin because He knows that is the only hope of curing the desire for sin.

Every parent understands this. Sometimes you’ve got to let your children make serious, even life-threatening mistakes, because they will never ‘mature’ unless they face the consequences of their own disobedience. If you don’t let them go, they will never learn the difference between right and wrong.

 

Behind the wrath of God ‘stands’ the LOVE of God: “I love you enough to let you go.” God loves you enough to let you go so far into sin that you will one day wake up and say, “This is awful. I need God.” When that day comes, you’ll discover that He has been standing at the ‘door’ of your heart all along, waiting for you to let him in (Revelation 3:20). God promised to bless those whose lives conformed to His law (Genesis 15:6; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; John 8:56).

 

TODAY’S ’SITUATION’
It’s so confusing today. It is “essential” to keep harmless working people locked down at home, kept away from their jobs and businesses so they don’t get the Coronavirus. BUT, it is more essential to let people bent on doing harm run free in the cities destroying the very places people earn their living! So, we should lock up the ‘weak’ and the fearful (law-abiding citizens) and let the ‘strong’ and violent (hooligans) run loose and create havoc. Grind the whole world to a halt to stop a virus, but then remove all restraint when a far more deadly ‘virus’ sets out to destroy a whole nation. Demand justice when a man’s life is taken, but then applaud lawless mobs of criminals for killing residents and business owners and attacking the police. Put the police in a position where they can’t act to protect property, but allow rebel mobs to destroy it.

You can’t shop in a store, but you can loot it. You can’t work, but you’re free to steal. You can’t attend church, but you can burn it down. You can’t eat in a restaurant, but you can demolish it. Now we’re seeing charges being brought in these riots, not against the rioters, but against the police! We see leaders who totally control the weak with fear of the flu, but can’t control the strong because they’re afraid of them. So, it’s okay to do mayhem and promote the perverted solution to this is to abolish the police—those who are the protectors of the good and the punishers of those who do evil—but not support the rule of law! How do criminals become heroes and the real heroes—law enforcement—are vilified?

 

What’s going on? Well, referring back to the prophet Isaiah: “Woe” on those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” [ Isaiah 5:20 ]. That’s a DIVINE ‘CURSE’!

Again, the real problem is HUMANS since, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one. Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving, the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their paths, and the path of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes” [ Romans 3:10-18 ].

 

Since the riots in America are in the news 24/7 these days (June 2020), some people ask, “Who is to blame for the riots?” Well, specifically “SINNERS”—all of them (just like all of us!)—who came from families who failed to raise virtuous, disciplined children in loving marriages; who are weak government leaders that fail to punish those who do evil and protect those who do good; and are from ‘false’ churches that not full of ‘transformed’ hearts that are living righteous lives!

Since humanity is so deceitful, depraved, degenerate, dangerous, destructive, and so deadly, how did God ever expect us to survive? Are we just a whole planet living out the “Lord of the Flies” (descending into savagery, regressing to a ‘primitive’ state)?

[ FYI: the name “Lord of the Flies” is a literal translation of “Beelzebub” from 2 Kings 1:2-3, 6, and 16 ].

 

The violence that ‘reputedly’ resulted from the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has been shocking to observe. In less than a week’s time of unrest (May 2020), over 300 businesses were destroyed in the Twin Cities area. The violence and looting then spread to several other American cities (then to other cities worldwide!).

I watched YouTube videos that show levels of destruction that I would have never thought possible. In New York and Los Angeles, thousands of people were moving with ‘military precision’ to strip whole city blocks of anything of value (planned?). There are groups that are using highly organized efforts to orchestrate violence on a nationwide basis. The most shocking thing is that 40,000 police in New York were unable to contend with mobs of people who have no regard for the law.

The unrest has been the most widespread in the United States since 1968, when cities went up in flames over the slaying of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., and rekindled memories of 1992 riots in Los Angeles after police were acquitted in the brutal beating of black motorist Rodney King.

 

Today, we hear people saying, “black lives matter”—and THEY DO! HOWEVER, they matter just as much as ANY OTHER LIFE! So, I’m thinking that if people say they matter so much, then how is it that Planned Parenthood can support the “Black Lives Matter” movement (a radical Left socialist group).

I hope we can all agree that the Jewish Holocaust during WWII was horrendous, but why don’t we think about the ‘holocaust’ of thousands of little Black lives that are being aborted every day? “Their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their paths” [ Romans 3:15 ].

 

In my opinion, the whole “Black Lives Matter” movement is not doing African Americans any good. Over the past six years, the value of life has been in a steady descent with each major incident they are involved in.

The death of George Floyd seems to be an open and shut case. The officer had his knee on Floyd’s neck for ten minutes. Despite Floyd saying he couldn’t breathe and witnesses telling the officer on video of the problem, he continued to apply pressure to Floyd’s neck long after he quit breathing.

The ‘root’ of the problem is the collapse of our moral foundations. Our nation has turned its back on God, and we have been given over to the pitfalls of sin.

 

The only form of moral compass we have today is from Democratic mayors and governors that issue meaningless platitude:

– New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is blaming the violence being seen at protests in Brooklyn and Manhattan on people with a “warped ideology.” Speaking to Spectrum News, de Blasio said a “small number” of people at these protests are “clearly trying to incite violence against the police, and create property damage and vandalism.”

– Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey: “This is about violence, and we need to make sure that it stops. We’re in the middle of a pandemic right now. We have two crises that are sandwiched on top of one another.”

– Minnesota Governor Tim Walz: “Let’s be very clear. The situation in Minneapolis is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd. It is about attacking civil society, instilling fear and disrupting our great cities.”

 

The greatest threat to Blacks isn’t from police officers or even the Ku Klux Klan. Read the FBI crime statistics. Check out white-on-black crime, black-on-white crime, and black-on-black crime. Is the truth racist? The numbers, in this instance, don’t ‘lie’.

An important underlying factor is the “gangsta” sub-culture that’s so alluring to minority youth. No, I didn’t attack a skin color; I’ve addressed a destructive mindset of machismo, violence, profanity, prolific promiscuity and lawlessness that directly leads to low expectations, broken families, substance abuse, poverty, incarceration and death. Until it’s addressed forthrightly by blacks and whites, this problem isn’t going away!

 

I am greatly concerned that the luxuries that blacks already have will soon be taken away from them. Our economy is on the ‘BRINK’ OF CALAMITY! We cannot keep pumping trillions of dollars into a system that has no ability to service this debt. When the dollar crashes in value and the welfare state quits working, people will make this recent violence look like a Sunday ‘picnic’.

When the unrest reaches a level that threatens the stability of the government, military action becomes the only way to restore order. The tear gas will be replaced with live rounds, and fear of death will replace the rule of law.

“And I say unto you my friends, be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, fear him” (Luke 12:4-5).

 

Sadly, like in other cases of what was ‘deemed’ police brutality (by whom?), the media TOO quickly, encouraged the violence by giving the rioters camera time and even moral support. The genuine expressions of protestation—the acts of the ones who lawfully assembled to express their anger—were lost in the anarchy that ensued.

Even CNN’s headquarters being targeted for destruction in Atlanta didn’t cause that media entity to come against the rioters to any meaningful extent. To my way of thinking, it was for that news organization, like for the anarchists, yet another opportunity to push the anti-American agenda they seem to champion.

 

For me, all this violence brings to my mind the RAPTURE of all believers before the “Tribulation” period. Since the Holy Spirit will be ‘REMOVED’ as the Restrainer of evil after the Rapture (2 Thessalonians 2:7b), if people act as they have in the recent days by burning their cities and looting at every opportunity (with the Restrainer present), how do you think they will react when there is NO ‘RESTRAINT’, no conscience? I’m thinking it will be COMPLETE ANARCHY!

 

In recent weeks (May/June 2020), I think we have seen a ‘foretaste’ of what the post-Rapture time will be like. Do you—or anyone you love—want to be ‘LEFT BEHIND’ to suffer the throes of enragement witnessed within America’s cities the past few weeks—but at “50-100” TIMES the destruction? If not, you may want to consider to repent of your sins, believe Jesus is the ‘propitiation’ for your sins, and ask God the Father to reconcile you to Himself!

 

APPLICATION
So what is the ‘application’ for all of this for us? How shall we respond to this truth? Well, I’m thinking that this should ‘HEIGHTEN’ our ‘accountability’ to God.

Every one of us must be careful that we act upon the truth when it is made known to us. We must obey the truth whenever it is made known to us. We must not have a head full of knowledge, but fail to ‘respond’ to it with our lives. The mere possession of knowledge about God is not going to advance us anywhere God wants us to be. We must OBEY THE TRUTH that is revealed to us. To know the truth, but not act upon it, will only increase our condemnation from God. It would be better not to know the truth, than to know the truth, but reject it!

The more truth a person knows, the greater is his accountability to God (there are ‘degrees’ of punishment in Hell, as well as ‘levels’ of rewards in Heaven). The thing is, God holds us responsible for the truth that is revealed to us. The greater the truth entrusted to us, the greater is our responsibility to believe and live it (Luke 12:48).

There is a far stricter judgment for those who know more truth than for those who know less truth. (If you will not live the truth, it would be far better to attend a liberal church that does not preach the truth than to attend a Bible-teaching church and not live the truth.) If you are going to go to Hell, it would be far better to go to Hell from the ‘bush’ Africa than to go to Hell from the ‘suburbs’ in Detroit, Michigan. It is CRITICALLY IMPORTANT that every one of us respond to the truth whenever it is made known to us!

 

As the Apostle Paul proclaimed, the result of rejecting the knowledge of God inevitably leads to sexual perversions. Do not think that these deep sins against one’s own body appear mysteriously out of thin air or are a result of bad DNA. Sexual perversions of the grossest order are the result of the ‘REJECTION’ of the knowledge of God.

So, we must GUARD our ‘hearts’ in order to remain pure. We cannot allow our eyes and hearts to go where they are forbidden to go. We must refuse to look at pornography or whatever is defiled. We are FOOLS to commit such a breach of God’s Word! We might as well be playing with a live nuclear bomb to allow this kind of an influence to enter our lives! Don’t kid yourself! This sin starts with ‘apathy’ towards the truth about God.

 

Now, as a believer, we must not be ‘lukewarm’ (Revelation 3:16). Neither must we be marked by apathy or spiritual coldness. Any violation of this will lead us to where we do not want to be! When you reject the truth, you are opening your mind up to whatever the world is going to ‘dump’ into it!

 

Everyone ‘without’ Jesus is on the slippery slope leading to deeper sin. You are ‘tending’ away from God, so my STRONG SUGGESTION is to be like the tax collector in the Temple and CRY OUT, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”

 

This passage gives the only explanation for the moral collapse in America (and in the world around us). We are living in the midst of a godless society that can only be described by what we looked at in Romans chapter one. This text describes right where we live today.

This should ‘SOBER’ US to the reality of what we are seeing take place all around us!

 

So then, what the possibility that all this is going to happen? Well, I can’t speak for this country or for this moment, but the Bible says that eventually, we will have to face the reality that it’s going to get worse until Jesus—the “Redeemer”—comes back and MAKES EVERYTHING ‘RIGHT’:

“A Redeemer will come to Zion… Arise, shine; your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has arisen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; but the Lord will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you” [ Isaiah 59:20-60:2 ].

Jesus IS coming back! BUT, before He comes, true Christians will be taken out (“Raptured”). When they are taken out, Paul says the “Restrainer” (the Holy Spirit) is gone, and there will be a period of time called the “Tribulation,” when ALL ‘HELL’ BREAKS LOOSE (described in Revelation 6 through 19). After Jesus consigns the Antichrist and the False Prophet to Hell, He sets up His own ‘Kingdom’.

[ Note: For more details about the “Tribulation” view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/final-tribulation-v246/ ].

 

So what’s the answer? How do we fix this? Well, it’s all about ‘RESTORATION’. Restore the law of God so the conscience can be informed; Restore the family so restrained children can be the next generation; Restore the government to its role of true justice; and Restore the Church to it prominence in guiding society (to be “salt and light” to the culture – Matthew 5:13-16).

It’s also about ‘RESTRAINT’. God put some ‘restraints’ into human life: the conscience (Romans 2:11-14), the family (Deuteronomy 6:7; Ephesians 6:4), the government (Romans 13:1-3), and the Church (Matthew 5:13-16). Specifically, as Romans chapter one presented, we must ‘restrain’ our sexual desires to what God has prescribed, because when they are not, they progress to more degrading passions (homosexuality), and ending up when God ‘abandons’ one (or a nation) to a “debased mind”—with the RESULT of these three stages being the TOTAL ‘LOSS’ of PUBLIC MORALITY!

 

These are SAD TIMES yet, if we take the steps of RESTORATION, we can possibly experience a ‘revival’, as God has ‘sustained’ in the past. SO, if we go back to the Word of God, back to ordered families, back to just government, and back to sound, faithful, and godly churches, it CAN CHANGE! Apart from that, it WILL ‘GROW’ WORSE, until believers are Raptured, and the final judgment falls!

 

Have you been ‘PROTECTED’ from going to an eternal Hell without God? Meaning, are you a ‘born-again’ believer in Jesus? If not, WHY NOT? It will ‘save’ you from God’s ‘ABANDONMENT’, and reserve a ‘place’ for you in Heaven with Him for eternity!

 

[ Excerpts from: Michael Oh; Dr. Art Lindsley; R.C. Sproul; Got Questions; John MacArthur; Dr. Ray Pritchard; Brent Riggs; Doug Laird; Steven J. Lawson; Todd Strandberg; Terry James; Britt Gillette; Jack Wellman; John Piper; Robert Jeffress; J.D. Greear; S. Michael Houdmann; ]

 

 

>>> SUMMARIZATION OF POST <<<

HUMAN ‘NEED’ FOR PROTECTION
After satisfying our ‘core’ “physiological” need for sustenance, the next most important need is “SAFETY”. These needs include the security from bodily harm, having employment and resources, having morality of family, and having good health. Most of us no longer seek shelter from predators hunting us down for food, however, safety of ensuring our ‘survival’ is still essential.

‘LEGAL’ PROTECTION
In the United States’ ‘founding’ document, the Declaration of Independence, it states that all people have certain rights that can’t be taken away. These unalienable rights include the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Declaration of Independence goes on to state that it is the job of government to protect these rights.

So then, referring to the Constitution, two types of ‘PROTECTIONS’ exist: the constitutionality of a ‘criminal’ statute (or ordinance), and the constitutionality of a ‘procedure’.

Though the specifics of these that can get quite technical and complicated (that’s why there are lawyers at the ‘specialize’ in constitutional law), the portion of the Constitution that most of us have at least heard of, and can understand ourselves, is the first ten “amendments” to the Constitution called the “Bill of Rights.” Here’s the really brief version of them:

1) Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition
2) Right to keep and bear arms in order to maintain a well-regulated militia
3) No quartering of soldiers
4) Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures
5) Right to due process of law, freedom from self-incrimination, double jeopardy
6) Rights of accused persons, e.g., right to a speedy and public trial
7) Right of trial by jury in civil cases
8) Freedom from excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishments
9) Other rights of the people
10) Powers reserved to the states

GOVERNMENTAL ‘RESPONSIBILITIES’
Essentially, based on our ‘founding’ documents, the primary responsibility of our government is to protect the people from harm—primarily from foreign powers—but also from criminals within our ‘borders’. As our founding ‘fathers’ knew, this is primarily because, as the Bible says, humans are “desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9), and when there isn’t authority and ‘protections’, anarchy sometimes ensues.

Knowing how humans are, God instituted government to provide earthly justice and protection. Civil governments act as God’s agents of justice. “For he [ the magistrate, the government’s representative ] is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer” [ Romans 13:4 ].

– Government is established by God
– Government’s role is more negative than positive
– Limited government suits a fallen people
– The Bible warns about large and ‘dictatorial’ governments

‘POLICE’ PROTECTION
As was mentioned, the primary responsibility of our government is to protect the people from harm, law enforcement then plays an VERY important role in undertaking efforts to ensure justice. A REALLY BIG job!

Now, although police departments are not perfect—since they are made up of humans—every ‘situation’ will never be rectified properly (like the recent George Floyd situation). However, in America, MOST situations are rectified properly. New York police union boss, Mike O’Meara, said (in the video below) that there were 375 million interactions last year with police (I’m assuming he was talking about N.Y.), and most were “overwhelmingly positive.” [ I have heard other law enforcement experts mention that 90-95% of police ‘interactions’ are positive ].

Now, this post is not primarily intended to offer analysis and solutions to what has been termed “police brutality” or even the riots that are happening in America as I write this post. Since these topics were in the news on a daily basis, I just used them as an ‘illustration’ of my main ‘focus’ of NEEDING ‘PROTECTION’ for ourselves, and what can ensue when that protection is ‘REMOVED’—people get hurt/killed, property gets destroyed, and people lives/families/livelihoods get devastated!

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN ‘PROTECTION’ IS REMOVED?
For governments to function effectively, they must be able to ‘control’ the society, be able to predict what the members of society are going to do, as well as direct their energies into productive directions.To the degree that they lose that ability, anarchy most likely will set in (Like when hundreds of thousands of people turned out into American city streets recently in protest and they turned violent).

Civil disorder, or civil unrest, refers to public disturbances generally involving groups of people, and sometimes results in danger to persons and/or destruction of property. Now, low-level civil disorder can be in the form of ‘peaceful’ protests, which is lawful and even encouraged by the Constitution. But, when the ‘protests’ turn into illegal parades, sit-ins, riots, sabotage, and other forms of crime—a state of disorder due to a TOTAL DISREGARD of the law—it turns into ’lawlessness’ which, most of the time, becomes disruptive, violent, and can morph into anarchy.

Riots often occur in reaction to a grievance or out of dissent or frustration with legal channels through which to air grievances. While individuals may attempt to lead or control a riot, riots typically consist of disorganized groups that are frequently “chaotic and exhibit herd behavior.” There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that riots are not irrational, herd-like behavior (sometimes called mob mentality), but actually follow inverted social norms (or are ‘planned’, which it looks like many of the riots in America in May/June 2020 were).

Dealing with riots is often a difficult task for police forces usually because of the tremendous number of people.

These days in America (June 2020), we are seeing the ‘indications’ of anarchy—the state of a society being freely constituted without authorities or a governing body. Anarchy is primarily advocated by individual anarchists who propose replacing government (and police) with voluntary institutions. (Like the group of people that has ‘taken over’ a 6-square-block area of downtown Seattle, that totally reject a ‘set’ hierarchy, even though, sadly, they now have had 1 death and multiple injuries in their “festival-like ‘CHOP’” area).

The bottom line is that when ‘PROTECTION’ is removed, BAD things happen and they deteriorate into anarchy!

‘WHY’ DOES THIS HAPPEN?
Well, pretty much since the beginning of time here on earth, humans have been EVIL and DESPERATELY ‘WICKED’! (“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” – Jeremiah 17:9). Theologians have called this “total depravity,” and that’s exactly why God put ‘checks and balances’ into effect (government and police)—to control it!

The human race has committed the MOST FLAGRANT ‘crime’ ever! They have REJECTED the ‘knowledge’ of God with an ungrateful heart.

Another part of our ‘fallenness’ is racism. With all of the unrest and riots being seen today in America (and in some other countries worldwide), is there a ‘reason’ for racism?

Well, the Bible is very specific and tells us that there is ONLY ONE ‘RACE’—the human race—and people just have differing amounts of “melanin” (a ‘polymer’ that determines the color of one’s skin). So, ’scientifically’, there ISN’T any “racism”—it’s a MAN-MADE construct!

God HATES RACISM, especially since it was Him that gave that person the color of their skin! When you hate a person because of his skin color you are ‘criticizing’ God for what He has done! (that’s what the word “blaspheme” means). If this ‘perspective’ doesn’t change, the Bible says that you’re not in a “right standing” with God at that point!!! (“Danger, Will Robinson!”).

All that to say, racism IS NOT the ‘root’ problem in America today, and neither is lawlessness. They are just ‘symptoms’ of the root problem. The ‘ROOT’ PROBLEM in America today is SIN—‘rebellion’ against God. So, if you try to solve the problem of racism and/or lawlessness without dealing with the root problem of SIN, you will be unsuccessful! THE solution to these problems—and ALL other problems on this earth—is a ‘relationship’ with Jesus. Becoming a “born again” believer (more on that below).

So, I’m suggesting that if you try to solve racism and lawlessness without the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that would be like trying to cure cancer with a band-aid. It WILL NOT work!

GOD’s ‘PROTECTION’
The Bible informs us about the ‘protection’ of God. As humans, we want to see God’s protection as a magic ‘force field’ that keeps us from all harm. Yes, God can prevent any evil or destruction, but we must remember that we live in a ‘fallen’ world where we have free will. Many times, God works in ways that we do not understand. Sometimes God’s protection comes in the form of peace and strength in the middle of despair. However, other times God’s protection comes as an ‘ending’ because He sees something more on the horizon that we cannot see.

As you read through the amazing promises of Psalm 91, do you ever have doubts spring up? Some say the psalm seems to be saying that if you trust God, nothing bad will happen to you, and your life will go smoothly (Even to the point that you won’t stub your toe!). However, the opposite seems to be implied as well: If things aren’t going well, you must not be trusting God enough.

That’s a troubling conclusion for me. It almost sounds like karma. If I’m suffering, it must be my own fault. The thing is, that IS NOT what the Bible says!

Martin Luther once said that Satan is on a ‘leash’, or that “Even the Devil is God’s Devil” (God ‘limits’ Satan’s actions).

It is not accurate to say, “The Devil made me do it” (popularized by comedian Flip Wilson), but rather that the Devil ‘influenced’ me to do it—since we all are responsible for our own actions.

God allows Satan to ‘roam’ the earth, like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, so we must remain diligent (1 Peter 5:8), but more likely, it is a demonic ‘influence’ that we face. Satan is the ‘god’ of this world and will try to influence anyone—primarily the leaders of this world—to do his bidding. However, God is ‘sovereign’—with a meticulous control over EVERYTHING—and over the course of human history, without erasing or suppressing the intentionality of humans (free choice), He allows their deliberations, their reasoning, and their choosing between alternatives that they consider and reflect upon. [ However, it is a MYSTERY how God’s own intentionality stands above (and behind) the responsible choices of mankind while they still have free will ].

‘WHY’ DOES GOD REMOVE HIS ‘PROTECTION’?
First off, God has ‘expectations’ of mankind. He gave us the 10 Commandments as a ‘guide’ for how we are to ‘best’ live, and He lovingly expects us to obey them—for OUR own good! God also gave us four specific ‘sequential’ reasons for why God ‘lifts’ or even ‘removes’ His protection. They are Revelation; Rejection; Rationalization; and Religion.

So man starts at revelation, descends to rejection, descends to rationalization, and then finally descends to ‘religion’ (manmade, Satan-inspired, demonic religion), that has absolutely no truth in it and no power to restrain sin. Is it any wonder that America is struggling with riots? We’ve rejected the true God and there are no ‘standards’ to go by. We have abandoned God and God has returned the ‘favor’!

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN GOD’S ‘PROTECTION’ IS REMOVED?
An umbrella is designed to provide protection from various elements of nature: rain, hail, snow, wind, or sunshine. As long as a person is under an umbrella, they can find shelter from harsh weather conditions. If they step out from under the umbrella, they ‘expose’ themselves to the environment.

God is the ultimate ‘UMBRELLA’ OF PROTECTION over all people. Since the Bible says that God is sovereign (Acts 4:27-28; Ephesians 1:11; Colossians 1:16-17; Isaiah 45:7-9; Proverbs 16:33; Job 42:2), He rules over the universe and governs in the affairs of nations. He defines the parameters of His ‘umbrella’ of protection by the commands in His Word, the Bible. When we honor God’s authority, obeying His Word, we enjoy the protection of living within His jurisdiction.

OLD TESTAMENT EXAMPLES

NEW TESTAMENT EXAMPLES

So, what does this mean for us? Some people see the ‘social’ problems of America as the CAUSE of our decline. The reality is, these problems are just the ‘signs’ of OUR REJECTION of God—our ‘spiritual’ problems—and HIS ‘ABANDONMENT’ of us!

So then—based on how God have ‘disciplined’ nations in the past—what kinds of ‘issues’ can a nation expect to ‘crop up’ when they disobey God? Violence, loss of national identity, national instability and economic decline, social polarization, government control, persecution, turmoil, and anxiety.

GOD’S ‘ABANDONMENT’ OF A NATION
Nations can get to a point where God will abandon them: “Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way” [ Proverbs 1:31a ]. In essence, God says, “Fine, have it your way,” and we end up getting our own way—which is always ‘CALAMITOUS’!

Sometimes we only think of God’s relationship with a wayward nation in terms of judgment. We wonder if an earthquake, famine or an outbreak of disease is a direct judgment from God on national sin. While God most certainly does take direct action and judgment, I believe Scripture shows us that the more common result of turning your ‘back’ on God—whether individually or nationally—is that God simply turns His ‘back’ on you. More accurately, He ‘ABANDONS’ us.

Now, in last month’s post, I talked a lot about the ‘wrath’ of God, but didn’t mention that there are five different ‘manifestations’ of His wrath: Eternal wrath; Eschatological wrath; Calamitous wrath; Consequential wrath; and the wrath of Abandonment.

Generally, the first thing that happens in a nation when it is abandoned by God is a SEXUAL REVOLUTION—with sexual perversion and pornographic desire describing the general ‘character’ of the culture. It operates only out of the passions of its own impure heart. When a society is abandoned by God, it operates out of its own perverse sexual passion without restraint. It is the first ‘sign’ of what happens when a society decides to ‘turn away’ from God.

The second ’step’ in the progression, that follows the sexual upheaval, is “degrading passions,” a HOMOSEXUAL REVOLUTION. Gross affections, vile desires, perversion, and even ‘inversion’.

It shouldn’t surprise any of us that immorality leads on to homosexuality. By itself, sex can never satisfy a person. You never get enough to satiate your lusts, your mind can always imagine new and different perversions, you keep ‘pushing the limit’ to see how far you can go. But there is a law of DIMINISHING RETURNS. You have to do more and more to satisfy your sexual ‘thirst’. This desire then crosses the line into homosexuality.

Then, the final ‘step’ is when God gives them over to a depraved, DEBASED MIND. “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done” [ Romans 1:28 ]. The word means: non-functional, useless, can’t think, can’t reason, can’t comprehend. Just like when you look at our world and see rampant sexual immorality, out of control people (even in the church). Reasoning is so corrupted that it is crippled

A society that has removed all the ‘restraints’, a culture that has lost all sense of right and wrong, where literally every man does what is right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6). At this stage—which I believe America is at—God abandons the world to a “depraved mind.” The word means “rejected, disapproved.” It speaks of a mind that is so clouded by sin that it is no longer able to make reliable moral judgments. Here we have gone beyond deliberate iniquity to something much more frightening. At this stage, mankind has lost the desire and the ability to think clearly. They have LOST THEIR MIND and they don’t even know it!

HAS GOD ‘ABANDONED’ AMERICA?
The blatant refusal of God reaches a ‘TIPPING POINT’ for any society. The moral decline that we are witnessing in America is the aftereffect of an all-out ‘war’ against God. America has made it clear that they do not want the truth of God in its public life.

This country does not want the justice of God in the courtroom. It does not want God in the classroom. It does not want to see the name of God in the public square. The repudiation of God in our national life arises out of the TOTAL DEPRAVITY of the human heart!

So, in my opinion, God is ‘ABANDONING’ (in the process of) America BECAUSE WE FIRST ABANDONED GOD! There is no surer and no sadder evidence of a corrupted, wicked abandoned society than when that society will not tolerate anger against sin.

As a result of this depraved mind, they do the things that are not proper, fitting, sensible, and reasonable—filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. You know what, that’s pretty much most of the nightly news and the local newspaper!

Our society ‘feeds’ on sin and wants no one to deny it its iniquities. This society gets more immoral, more homosexual, and more depraved every day because they ‘SUPPRESS’ THE TRUTH. They silence the truth speakers and ‘cling’ to their sin.

As we see on TV/Internet every day now (June 2020), this is the downward trajectory on which we find the world in this present hour. Our nation is nearing the ‘BOTTOM’ of immorality and there is ONLY ONE HOPE to pull them out of this death spiral. It is what Paul declared: “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe” [ Romans 1:16 ]. Only the power of God unleashed through the working of the Gospel can change lives and reverse this downward course!

Some years ago, Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth, was reading the draft of a book he was writing. When she finished a section describing the terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards and the idolatry of worshiping false gods such as technology and sex, she exclaimed, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

How long can America take advantage of God’s patience and mercy? Well, I not a ‘date-setter’ (for the Rapture either), but I’m thinking that America is at a ‘TIPPING POINT’ and has been PARTIALLY ‘abandoned’. But just like God did with Israel in the past (many times), I believe there STILL IS TIME for America to repent and turn back to God! The ‘KEY’ IS “If my people who are called by My name 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 7:14 ]. THAT IS the ‘heart’ of God!

GOD ‘WILL’ ABANDON THE WORLD!
Not only does God ‘abandon’ nations, He has been telling us that there will be a time in the future that He will ‘abandon’ the ENTIRE WORLD! The Book of Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Joel, Amos, Isaiah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, 1/2 Corinthians, 1/2 Thessalonians, and of course the Book of the Revelation all refer to a time of “tribulation” that has never been experienced by mankind before—VERY TERRIBLE TIMES!

The ‘problems’ we see happening around us today will be AMPLIFIED ‘EXPONENTIALLY’ and the “Great Tribulation” will be a HORRENDOUS period of time where worldwide hardships, disasters, famine, war, pain, and suffering will affect ALL of creation. Only Jesus’ Second Coming will stop a TOTAL EXTERMINATION of mankind: “And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short” [ Matthew 24:22 ].

The ‘spirit’ of the antichrist (1 John 4:2-3) is INCREASING tremendously in the world today—especially evident with the riots and lawlessness (destroying people’s property and memorial statues) in America. To me, it seems like all of this is a ‘precursor’ to the anarchy that is prophesied in the Bible just before the Last Days’ “Tribulation” period.

Jesus prophesied that in the ‘last days’ “lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold” [ Matthew 24:12 ]. (I watched a video recently about one of the rioting mobs beat a shop owner to death, and then robbed his business and on the way out, kicked him like he was nothing more than a piece of garbage!).

Just think of the ‘spirit’ of a people who would ‘murder’ 61 MILLION babies aborted in America since Roe v. Wade (1973), and almost that many EVERY YEAR worldwide! THAT IS ‘DEMONIC’!

But these are just the latest signs. Many of the signs Jesus and the prophets said to look for appeared long before 2020. The term that is used to describe these and many other signs is “convergence.”

Many generations of Christians lived and died without witnessing a single ‘sign’ of Jesus’ Second Coming. However, our ‘generation’ is witness to ALL OF THEM! Those signs include:

– Israel back in the land
– Israeli control of Jerusalem
– Geometric increase in travel and knowledge
– Exponential increases in natural disasters
– Most deaths in the past century
– Israel surrounded by enemies
– Israel’s exceedingly great army
– Rise of “God and Magog” alliance (Primarily Russia, Iran, and Turkey)
– Rise of a united Europe
– Rise of global government
– Apostasy in the church
– Denial of the signs
– Gospel is being preached throughout the world (Primarily via the Internet)

Given all these signs, you can be certain of one thing: Jesus IS coming, and I believe that OUR ‘GENERATION’ will witness His return!

The world is hurtling to a great ‘climax’, referred to as the “Apocalypse,” “Armageddon,” or the ‘FINAL’ “TRIBULATION.” When that occurs, where will you ‘be’ at that time? Will you be in Heaven with Jesus, or on earth with Satan?

As a BELIEVER, the GOOD ‘NEWS’ is that they will not have to experience the horror of the Tribulation. They are never told to watch for the Antichrist, rather they are told to look for Jesus. They are assured that they will be “delivered from the wrath to come” [ 1 Thessalonians 1:10b ]. That is a glorious promise! That’s why the Apostle Paul calls the Rapture our “Blessed Hope” (Titus 2:13), and it’s also the reason that he tells us to “comfort one another” with the promise of the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

As an UNBELIEVER, you have NO ‘HOPE’, and based on what Jesus says, you are HEADED TO HELLl! You will probably go through the Tribulation period (unless you pass away before that time), and may have to go through the entire seven-year period! You will be praying that the mountains and rocks would, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” [ Revelation 6:16 ], but God will not let you die! You will think that dying in an avalanche would seem better than experiencing God’s judgment! Although you recognize that God reigns supreme from His throne, you STILL WILL REFUSE to repent and submit to His rule! I pray that this ‘SCARED’ you, so you will get ‘PREPARED’!

IS THERE ANY ‘HOPE?
At this point, you might be saying, “Mark, are you kidding me?” and dismiss what I have said about America as exaggeration and sensationalism. However, as I just mentioned, the Bible says that not only CAN this happen to us, it WILL happen to us! (as long as we refuse, on a national level, to repent of our blasphemy, wickedness, idolatry and our rejection of the Creator God).

So, how show one respond to all of this? Well, believers are told that they should not respond with despair or hopelessness—since Jesus is ‘PROTECTING’ them in His ‘arms’ (1 Corinthians 16:23; Psalm 91:1-16; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; Deuteronomy 31:6; Isaiah 41:10).

America is at a point where it CAN STILL turn to God. So far, throughout America’s history, God has continued to honor this nation when it has called out to Him. HOWEVER, recently, once the ‘urgent’ need is over (9/11, Coronavirus, riots, etc.), America has ‘quickly’ turned its ‘back’ on God. Sadly, unless America repents, there will be a time when God will finally be ‘fed up’ with America, and ABANDONS us to our wickedness!

‘THE’ ABANDONMENT

So, you probably think that you don’t ‘deserve’ to be abandoned by God with everyone else—since you are a ‘good’ person. You haven’t murdered anyone or committed adultery. Well, the thing is, sin is a “stench in the ‘nostrils’ of God” [ Isaiah 65:5c ]. Even the ‘SMALLEST’ of sins is a ‘abhorrent’ to God!

So, you ARE NOT ‘good’ enough for a perfect God, and NEITHER was Jesus on the Cross! God ABANDONED Him there because of YOUR SINS! Jesus took ‘upon Himself’ ALL of humanity’s sins, once and for all, so you could possibly be forgiven of all of our sins and have eternal life in Heaven with God!

So, God is going to abandon Jesus and not abandon you? Hmmm.

When Jesus cried out on the Cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34), at that time—for the first time ever—Jesus was banished from the ‘presence’ of God, for NO SIN can exist in God’s presence.

God the Father is ‘SERIOUS’ about sin—so serious He ‘made’ His one and only Son, Jesus, to ‘be’ sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21) so we have the opportunity to be forgiven by God, and be in Heaven with Him forever!

The GOOD ‘NEWS’ is that God the Father RESURRECTED Jesus from the dead, restoring their ‘fellowship’ and preparing a ‘way’ for anyone that puts their trust in Jesus for the ‘propitiation’ of their sins to be restored to God the Father the same way Jesus was!

WRAP UP
When a nation turns away from God, its course is always ‘downward’. The Roman Empire fell for many reasons, not the least of which is that it ‘rotted’ from the inside. Long before the political decline came the moral decline. This has been the story of the collapse of every great civilization. They rot from the inside out so that when the climactic moment comes, the final battle is over swiftly. I think that is exactly where America is RIGHT NOW!

Then, when a nation chooses evil instead of good, God punishes that nation by letting evil reign supreme. This happened 50 years ago in Nazi Germany. It is an ‘immutable’ moral law. When men willfully choose evil over good, God says, “If you want evil, you can have it. But you’ll have to live with the consequences.” In the end, the nation itself collapses because no nation can long survive that enshrines evil on the throne. Just ask a man named Lenin what happened to his dream. His ideas reigned supreme for nearly 75 years, but in the end, his way brought only suffering and poverty to the people of Russia.

George Washington called the American political ideal “The Great Experiment.” In a letter to historian Catharine Sawbridge Macaulay Graham, thanking her for her support for him becoming the President of the United States, Washington wrote, “The establishment of our new Government seemed to be the last great experiment, for promoting human happiness, by reasonable compact, in civil Society…That the Government, though not absolutely perfect, is one of the best in the World, I have little doubt.”

Others expanded what Washington said. The second president of the United States, John Adams, said that, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Contemporary English historian Paul Johnson wrote, “The creation of the United States is the greatest of all human adventures” and “a human achievement without parallel.”

It’s so confusing today. It is “essential” to keep harmless working people locked down at home, kept away from their jobs and businesses so they don’t get the Coronavirus. BUT, it is more essential to let people bent on doing harm run free in the cities destroying the very places people earn their living! So, we should lock up the ‘weak’ and the fearful (law-abiding citizens) and let the ‘strong’ and violent (hooligans) run loose and create havoc. Grind the whole world to a halt to stop a virus, but then remove all restraint when a far more deadly ‘virus’ sets out to destroy a whole nation. Demand justice when a man’s life is taken, but then applaud lawless mobs of criminals for killing residents and business owners and attacking the police. Put the police in a position where they can’t act to protect property, but allow rebel mobs to destroy it.

You can’t shop in a store, but you can loot it. You can’t work, but you’re free to steal. You can’t attend church, but you can burn it down. You can’t eat in a restaurant, but you can demolish it. Now we’re seeing charges being brought in these riots, not against the rioters, but against the police! We see leaders who totally control the weak with fear of the flu, but can’t control the strong because they’re afraid of them. So, it’s okay to do mayhem and promote the perverted solution to this is to abolish the police—those who are the protectors of the good and the punishers of those who do evil—but not support the rule of law! How do criminals become heroes and the real heroes—law enforcement—are vilified?

What’s going on? Well, referring back to the prophet Isaiah: “Woe” on those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” [ Isaiah 5:20 ]. That’s a DIVINE ‘CURSE’!

I am greatly concerned that the luxuries that blacks already have will soon be taken away from them. Our economy is on the ‘BRINK’ OF CALAMITY! We cannot keep pumping trillions of dollars into a system that has no ability to service this debt. When the dollar crashes in value and the welfare state quits working, people will make this recent violence look like a Sunday ‘picnic’.

When the unrest reaches a level that threatens the stability of the government, military action becomes the only way to restore order. The tear gas will be replaced with live rounds, and fear of death will replace the rule of law.

So what is the ‘application’ for all of this for us? How shall we respond to this truth? Well, I’m thinking that this should ‘HEIGHTEN’ our ‘accountability’ to God.

Every one of us must be careful that we act upon the truth when it is made known to us. We must obey the truth whenever it is made known to us. We must not have a head full of knowledge, but fail to ‘respond’ to it with our lives. The mere possession of knowledge about God is not going to advance us anywhere God wants us to be. We must OBEY THE TRUTH that is revealed to us. To know the truth, but not act upon it, will only increase our condemnation from God. It would be better not to know the truth, than to know the truth, but reject it!

So, we must GUARD our ‘hearts’ in order to remain pure. We cannot allow our eyes and hearts to go where they are forbidden to go. We must refuse to look at pornography or whatever is defiled. We are FOOLS to commit such a breach of God’s Word! We might as well be playing with a live nuclear bomb to allow this kind of an influence to enter our lives! Don’t kid yourself! This sin starts with ‘apathy’ towards the truth about God.

Everyone ‘without’ Jesus is on the slippery slope leading to deeper sin. You are ‘tending’ away from God, so my STRONG SUGGESTION is to be like the tax collector in the Temple and CRY OUT, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”

So what’s the answer? How do we fix this? Well, it’s all about ‘RESTORATION’. Restore the law of God so the conscience can be informed; Restore the family so restrained children can be the next generation; Restore the government to its role of true justice; and Restore the Church to it prominence in guiding society (to be “salt and light” to the culture – Matthew 5:13-16).

It’s also about ‘RESTRAINT’. God put some ‘restraints’ into human life: the conscience (Romans 2:11-14), the family (Deuteronomy 6:7; Ephesians 6:4), the government (Romans 13:1-3), and the Church (Matthew 5:13-16). Specifically, as Romans chapter one presented, we must ‘restrain’ our sexual desires to what God has prescribed, because when they are not, they progress to more degrading passions (homosexuality), and ending up when God ‘abandons’ one (or a nation) to a “debased mind”—with the RESULT of these three stages being the TOTAL ‘LOSS’ of PUBLIC MORALITY!

These are SAD TIMES yet, if we take the steps of RESTORATION, we can possibly experience a ‘revival’, as God has ‘sustained’ in the past. SO, if we go back to the Word of God, back to ordered families, back to just government, and back to sound, faithful, and godly churches, it CAN CHANGE! Apart from that, it WILL ‘GROW’ WORSE, until believers are Raptured, and the final judgment falls!

Have you been ‘PROTECTED’ from going to an eternal Hell without God? Meaning, are you a ‘born-again’ believer in Jesus? If not, WHY NOT? It will ‘save’ you from God’s ‘ABANDONMENT’, and reserve a ‘place’ for you in Heaven with Him for eternity!

 

RELATED POSTS:

“Two ‘Choices’, One Way”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/two-choices-one-way-v254/

“The Only ‘Way’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-only-way-v253/

Are You ‘Blind’?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/are-you-blind-v252/

‘Heed’ The Warning!”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/heed-the-warning-v251/

Being A ‘Watchman’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/being-a-watchman-v250/

Last ‘Generation’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/last-generation-v249/

Mankind’s ‘Destiny’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/mankinds-destiny-v247/

‘Final’ Tribulation”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/final-tribulation-v246/

‘Blessed’ Hope”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/blessed-hope-v245/

Leaving A ‘Legacy’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/knowing-assurance-v243/

Knowing ‘Assurance’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/leaving-a-legacy-v242/

‘Outworkings’ Of Grace”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/outworkings-of-grace-v241/

Amazing ‘Grace’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/amazing-grace-v239/

It Will ‘Cost’ You”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/it-will-cost-you-v233/

One’s ‘Last Words’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/ones-last-words-v232/

The Greatest ‘Gift’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-greatest-gift-v226/

“Missing The ‘Mark’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/missing-the-mark-v222/

A ‘Place’ To Retire”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/a-place-to-retire-v221/

‘Saved’ From Death”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/saved-from-death-v219/

“‘Mayday!-Mayday!-Mayday!’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/mayday-mayday-mayday-v218/

“The Purpose of ‘Tests’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-purpose-of-tests-v213/

“End Of Your ‘Rope’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/end-of-your-rope-v212/

“Are You ‘Prepared’?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/are-you-prepared-v210/

“Unshakable ‘Resilience’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/unshakable-resilience-v200/

“Having ‘Joy’ Through Trials”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/having-joy-through-trials-v198/

“The ‘Greatest’ Worry”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-greatest-worry-v195/

“Perfect ‘Storm’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/perfect-storm-v193/

“‘Hope’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/hope-v187/

“‘Perseverance’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/perseverance-v184/

 

‘PRAYER’ OF REPENTANCE
In the Bible, there is a parable that Jesus told about a Pharisee and a tax collector praying in the Temple. He notes that the tax collector didn’t even dare to lift his eyes toward Heaven as he prayed. Instead he “beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner’”—and Jesus said that the tax collector “went home justified,” he had been “born again” and ‘reconciled’ by God. (Luke 18:9-14).

If you are ‘sensing’ something like that right now, let me strongly encourage you to HUMBLE YOURSELF, CRY OUT to God, and PLEAD for Him to mercifully ‘SAVE’ YOU! None of us have a ‘claim’ on our salvation, nor do we have any ‘works’ that would cause us to deserve it or earn it—it is purely a gift of Divine grace—and all any of us can do is ask. So, CONFESS YOUR SINS and acknowledge to God that you have no hope for Heaven apart from what He provides through Jesus.

There is no ‘formula’ or certain words for this. So just talk to God, in your own words—He knows your ‘heart’. If you are genuinely sincere, and God does respond to your plea, one will usually have a sense of joy and peace.

Jesus said, “He that comes to Me, I will not cast out” [ John 6:37 ].

[ FYI: This is a great sermon on the “Call to Repentance” by John MacArthur from his book “The Gospel According to Jesus”: https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/90-22/the-call-to-repentance
(Transcript: http://www.spiritedesign.com/TheCallToRepentance-JohnMacArthur(Jul-27-2019).pdf) ].

[ NOTE: If you have ‘tasted the kindness of the Lord’, please e-mail me—I would love to CELEBRATE with you, and help you get started on your ‘journey’ with Jesus! ].

 

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“A Nation Worth Fighting For”
By: D. James Kennedy

Have Americans lost the will to fight for our nation and our freedoms? “Is this country—or any for that matter—worth fighting for?” asks Dr. D. James Kennedy.

A close study of our nation’s founding reveals that our forefathers built a Christian nation. Today, however, our religious freedom is in jeopardy. The newest volume of The Kennedy Collection challenges Christians to fan the flame of liberty in their hearts.

—————-
“7 Steps For A Nation In Crisis”
By: D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe

America is facing a crisis of our own making. As a nation we have rejected God’s moral law. For instance:

Same-sex “marriages” are acceptable across the land.
Preborn babies are sacrificed on the altar of “choice.”
Males who “self-identify” as females are free to use women’s locker rooms.
At her founding, America knew that only God’s divine shield could protect from death and desolation. Has God now lifted His shield of protection? In this small volume, D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe offer meditations and prayers on the seven steps necessary to restore America and maintain God’s shield over it.

7 Steps for a Nation in Crisis is for the believer who wants to see restoration, healing, and wholeness in our country. This extraordinary booklet takes you through an in-depth exploration of 2 Chronicles 7:14 and gives powerful, biblical solutions to the challenges America currently faces.

—————-
“Abandoned: America’s Lost Youth and the Crisis of Disconnection”
By: Anne Kim

A deeply affecting exposé of America’s hidden crisis of disconnected youth, in the tradition of Matthew Desmond and Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
For the majority of young adults today, the transition to independence is a time of excitement and possibility. But nearly five million young people—or a stunning 11.7 percent of youth aged sixteen to twenty-four—experience entry into adulthood as abrupt abandonment, a time of disconnection from school, work, and family. For this growing population of Americans, which includes kids aging out of foster care and those entangled with the justice system, life screeches to a halt when adulthood arrives. Abandoned is the first-ever exploration of this tale of dead ends and broken dreams.

Journalist Anne Kim skillfully weaves heart-rending stories of young people navigating early adulthood alone, in communities where poverty is endemic and opportunities almost nonexistent. She then describes a growing awareness—including new research from the field of adolescent brain science—that “emerging adulthood” is just as crucial a developmental period as early childhood, and she profiles an array of unheralded programs that provide young people with the supports they need to achieve self-sufficiency.

A major work of deeply reported narrative nonfiction, Abandoned joins the small shelf of books that change the way we see our society and point to a different path forward.

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“A Nation Worth Fighting For: 10 Steps To Restore Freedom”
By: Robert H. Knight

At our request, veteran Washington journalist Robert Knight has written a compelling new book, A Nation Worth Fighting For: 10 Steps to Restore Freedom. For too long we, as believers, have been on the defensive, slowly adapting to a hostile culture. Yet Christ’s reminder to the Church in Matthew 16:18 is that the gates of Hell will not prevail against it—which means we can boldly step forward to overtake the dark forces in our culture. As a cultural warrior for decades, Knight shows us how to:

preserve religious liberty
restore the courts
resist cultural Marxism
expose false charges of hate
and more…

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“Has God Abandoned America?”
By: Brent Riggs

Has God abandoned America or is this just more Christian sensationalism? If it’s true, what do we do? Christians are known for alarmist sensationalism, partly because of Biblical apocalyptic beliefs, and partly beca use of ignorance and opportunism. One blatant example was Y2K when Christians were leading the scare. Another would be the many proclamations of the end of the world or naming the Antichrist. I’m not doing that. I’m answering one question: Has God abandoned America? And, if yes, in what way? How can we tell? How should we respond? Does the Bible give us clues or instruction about how to recognize this? Whether or not this applies to other countries is for non-Americans to evaluate in light of the principles I set forward in this presentation.

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“America, Return to God”
By: Thomas Wang

Download: http://www.globalmissiology.org/gcci/pdf/ARTG_EN.pdf\

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“America Return to God: Repent from Sin, Rebuild the Wall, Repair the Gates, Restore the Dream”
By: Dr Alveda King

One reason that America borders on the brink of economic disaster and constant violent upheaval is we have turned blind eyes and deaf ears to the plight of our brothers and sisters. Like Cain who killed his brother Abel, we have despised good and have turned away from caring about what happens to others. We must humble ourselves as Nehemiah did: “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.” (Nehemiah 1:4 NIV). Amazingly, in 2015, there emerged an unlikely presidential candidate who wanted to “make America great again.” He spoke of “building a wall” around America’s borders. The people became fearful; the naysayers furious. Yet the talk of America’s wall continued.Finally, 21st century America has taken notice that something more is required if there is hope for America.Yes, there’s hope, and there is still time to return to God and rebuild God’s wall of protection around our nation. If we sincerely desire to rebuild, there is much to be learned from the lessons in the books of Esther, Ezra and Nehemiah.It’s the season for the “hidden prophets” to speak out!

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“The End of America?: Bible Prophecy and a Country in Crisis”
By: Jeff Kinley

Will God’s Wrath Fall on America?

What happens when a country glories in its immorality, turning away from faith in God and obedience to Him?

Jeff Kinley, author of As It Was in the Days of Noah, explores historical and biblical precedents for the demise of a nation and addresses pressing questions such as…

How did we get to this point?
Is America in Bible prophecy?
Will Christians face widespread persecution here?
What effect will the rapture have on America?
How should I respond to the moral decline?
This forthright survey of current events and trends offers valuable perspective on the future of America—along with powerful motivation to embrace the only source of lasting hope.

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“Deserted by God?”
By: Sinclair B. Ferguson

Suffering, failure, sin, illness, loneliness, disappointment. They all come in a seemingly endless variety of shapes and sizes. At times there seems to be no way to turn, either backwards or forwards; there is no light at either end of the tunnel. For many people such experiences raise the question: Why has this happened to me? Has God abandoned me? Can nobody help? Is despair all that is left to me? Large numbers of people today share such experiences and privately ask these very questions. But there is an answer. In fact there is a whole series of answers. Deserted by God? begins with the question ‘Can Anyone Help Me? and draws on the experience of the psalmists in the Old Testament to help us to being to understand the ways of God. It shows how others have walked the same pathway before us. They provide us with wisdom which will lead us to the conviction of the closing chapter that we are ‘Never Deserted’.

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“The Truth War”
By: John MacArthur

Right now, truth is under attack, and much is at stake. Perhaps no one in America is more passionate than John MacArthur about exposing those who are mounting this attack?especially those bringing the assault right into the church.

There is no middle ground?no safe zone for the uncommitted in this war. The battle for truth is raging, and this book reveals:

– The pitfalls of postmodern thinking
– Why the Emerging Church Movement is inherently flawed
– Past skirmishes in the Truth War and their effect on the Church
– The importance of truth and certainty in a postmodern society
– How to identify and address the errors and false teachings smuggled into churches

“[The postmodern age] is the age of no truth, an age that has reached a point of deadly fatigue when it comes to facing the truth?a generation that no longer believes truth can be known. Dr. John MacArthur knows better, and he is armed with the courage to confront this age with a bold defense of truth. . . . His argument is compelling, his defense of truth is brilliant, and his concern for the church is evident on every page. The evangelical church desperately needs this book, and it arrives just in time.” [ R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary ]

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“Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God: The Life Story of the Author of My Utmost for His Highest”
By: David McCasland

What do you know about the man behind the popular devotional My Utmost for His Highest? Trace the life of Oswald Chambers from his boyhood in Scotland through an astounding journey of faith and trust in God’s provision. From the United Kingdom to a YMCA training camp in Egypt during World War I, Chambers was a man utterly devoted to God and to sharing the timeless wisdom of the Bible with others. Discover a remarkable story, and find inspiration for your walk with Christ.

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“God’s Hand on America: Divine Providence in the Modern Era”
By: Michael Medved

The national radio host and bestselling author of The American Miracle reveals the happy accidents, bizarre coincidences, and flat-out miracles that continue to shape America’s destiny.

“A hopeful message for our troubled times . . . Michael Medved has an eye for a story, and a preternatural gift for telling it in beguiling ways.”—Joseph J. Ellis, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award–winning author of Founding Brothers

Has God withdrawn his special blessing from the United States? Americans ponder that painful question in troubled times, as we did during the devastation of the Civil War and after the assassinations of the ’60s, and as we do in our present polarization. Yet somehow—on battlefields, across western wilderness, and in raucous convention halls—astounding events have reliably advanced America, restoring faith in the Republic’s providential protection.

In this provocative historical narrative, Michael Medved brings to life ten haunting tales that reveal this purposeful pattern, including:

• A near-fatal carriage accident forces Lincoln’s secretary of state into a canvas-and-steel neck brace that protects him from a would-be assassin’s knife thrusts, allowing him two years later to acquire Alaska for the United States.
• A sudden tidal wave of Russian Jewish immigration, be­ginning in 1881, coincides with America’s rise to world leadership, fulfilling a biblical promise that those bless­ing Abraham’s children will themselves be blessed.
• Campaigning for president, Theodore Roosevelt takes a bullet in the chest, but a folded speech in his jacket pocket slows its progress and saves his life.
• At the Battle of Midway, U.S. planes get lost over empty ocean and then miraculously reconnect for five minutes of dive-bombing that wrecks Japan’s fleet, convincing even enemy commanders that higher powers intervened against them.
• A behind-the-scenes “conspiracy of the pure of heart” by Democratic leaders forces a gravely ill FDR to replace his sitting vice president—an unstable Stalinist—with future White House great Harry Truman.

These and other little-known stories build on themes of The American Miracle, Medved’s bestseller about America’s remarkable rise. The confident heroes and stubborn misfits in these pages shared a common faith in a master plan, which continues to unfold in our time. God’s Hand on America con­firms that the founders were right about America’s destiny to lead and enlighten the world.

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“A Stench in the Nostrils of God: The Fall of the United States”
By: Harold J. Farrall

I have often wondered why the United States came into being and why it became the greatest nation on earth. Also, over the years I have wondered about why other things happened around the world and why other events that affected me personally occurred. I turned to the Bible to try to find the answers to these things. I discovered that the answers to most problems and most questions are in the Bible. One just has to search for them. I found in the Bible the answer to why the United States was formed and also what is going to happen to the United States. It is very exciting to discover who we are and why we are. There is no true knowledge except that knowledge that is revealed from God. How is knowledge revealed? The Bible says to search the Scriptures daily with all readiness of mind like the Bereans did and knowledge will be revealed to you (Acts 17:10‑12; Isaiah 28:9‑13). It takes many months of study for knowledge to be revealed to a person (Proverbs 28:5). People don’t seem to realize that the commandments, statutes, judgments and tenets in the Old Testament of the Bible apply for all time, not just for those olden times. Jesus did away with the animal sacrifices, rituals, and circumcision, but the commandments, statutes, judgments and tenets of the Bible were retained. The commandments, statutes, judgments and tenets of the Bible apply to our modern times now. Anyone who wants to be a Christian and be saved must follow the commandments, statutes, judgments and tenets of the Old Testament which were reinforced in the New Testament of the Bible (John 12:44‑50). Which Bible? The Bible that was assembled by Jesus Christ’s disciples; namely, The King James Bible. Any other so‑called bible written by men/women with an agenda is not worth reading. God (Jesus Christ) made a new covenant with his people on earth. That new covenant is that God’s commandments, statutes and judgments are to be embedded in the hearts and minds of those people who accept Jesus Christ as their savior (Hebrews 8:6‑13). The old covenant of Moses’ time of do’s and don’ts and animal sacrifices was changed.

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“One Nation under God: Healing Racial Divides in America”
By: Keith Haney

Amid divisive rhetoric, violence, riots, and racial tensions, confusion arises—how can Christians tear down the racial walls dividing our country?

This division stems from a lack of communication, empathy, and understanding. Author Rev. B. Keith Haney, an African American LCMS pastor, encourages everyone to seek answers to racial tensions in the only place where truth and peace can be found—God’s Word. Healing must begin with Jesus.

In this downloadable six-session study, you’ll openly communicate and begin the healing process. Healing takes time and effort and can only be accomplished as God changes our sinful human hearts.

Let’s be a nation united—united under God.

https://www.cph.org/p-31186-one-nation-under-god-healing-racial-divides-in-america-downloadable.aspx

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“One Race One Blood”
By: Ken Ham and A. Charles Ware

It is a rarely discussed fact of history that the premise of Darwinian evolution has been deeply rooted in the worst racist ideology since its inception. Read a thorough account of the effects of evolution on the history of the United States and discrimination based on ethnicity, including slavery and the Civil rights movement. One Race One Blood goes one step farther to show the global harvest of death and tragedy that still finds its roots in Darwin’s destructive writings.

The tragic legacy of Darwin’s controversial speculations on evolution has led to terrible consequences taken to the deadliest extremes. One Race One Blood reveals the origins of these horrors, as well as the proof revealed in Scripture that God created only one race.

You will discover:

– Nazi Germany used evolutionary concepts to justify the extermination of “unfit” people groups such as Jews, Gypsies, and Slavs
– The origins of people groups, the genetics of skin color, and what the Bible says about “interracial” marriage
– Eye-opening discussion on racism and its roots in the hearts and minds of millions still today.

Within these compelling pages, Dr. A. Charles Ware, president of Crossroads Bible College, and Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis examine the historical roots of racism that have permeated evolutionary thought, and the Bible’s response to this disturbing issue. This is a crucial and timely study that profoundly addresses the Christian worldview regarding “race” from a compassionate and uniquely compelling perspective.

Previous printing: https://www.amazon.com/One-Blood-Biblical-Answer-Racism/dp/0890512760/

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“Living for Christ in the End Times: Coping with Anarchy and Apostasy”
By: David Reagan

How are Christians to live in the midst of a society that is collapsing into anarchy and a church that is being overwhelmed by apostasy? In other words, how are we to respond to increasing paganism? Are we to ignore it, embrace it, or take a stand against it in behalf of righteousness? Dr. Reagan begins this hard-hitting book with a breathtaking review of the breakdown of society and the apostasy that is raging within the church. He then outlines how we are to live for Christ by: Standing on the Word of God Believing in the Power of God Relying on the Holy Spirit Practicing Tough Faith Ordering Priorities Keeping an Eternal Perspective Standing for Righteousness Persisting in Prayer Surrendering in Worship Clinging to Hope The book concludes with a survey of God s prophetic promises for the future which guarantee believers a great victory over this world when the Lord Jesus Christ returns.

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“Unmasking and Triumphing over the Spirit of Antichrist”
By: Jack Van Impe

Dr. Jack Van Impe studies the antichrist and explains how to unmask and triumph over him.

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“The End of the Experiment: The Rise of Cultural Elites and the Decline of America’s Civic Culture”
By: Stanley Rothman

The End of the Experiment ties together Stanley Rothman’s theory of post-industrialism and his four decades of research on American politics and society. Rothman discusses the rise and fall of the New Left, the sixties’ impact on America’s cultural elites, and the emergence of new post-industrial humanistic values.

The first part of this book explains how cultural shifts in post-industrial society increased the influence of intellectuals and redefined America’s core values. The second part examines how the shift in American social and cultural values led to a crisis of confidence in the American experiment. And in a final section, Rothman’s contemporaries provide insight into his work, reflecting on his continued influence and his devotion to traditional liberalism.

Rothman presents a quantitative study of personality differences between traditional American elites and new cultural elites. Rothman argues that the experiment of America—as a new nation rooted in democracy, morality, and civic virtue—is being destroyed by a disaffected intellectual class opposed to traditional values.

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“Can Man Live Without God”
By: Ravi Zacharias

In this brilliant and compelling defense of the Christian faith, Ravi Zacharias shows how affirming the reality of God’s existence matters urgently in our everyday lives. According to Zacharias, how you answer the questions of God’s existence will impact your relationship with others, your commitment to integrity, your attitude toward morality, and your perception of truth.

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“God’s Devil: The Incredible Story of How Satan’s Rebellion Serves God’s Purposes”
By: Erwin W. Lutzer

“It is the best treatment of the person and work of the enemy I have ever read.” — R.C. Sproul, from the foreword to God’s Devil

Many Christians are oblivious to the Devil and his schemes, and this is precisely the problem. If you don’t know why you need to know about the Devil, then this book is especially for you.

In God’s Devil, pastor and scholar Erwin W. Lutzer takes us to the corners of Scripture to which we seldom go. With surprising insights and potent quotes at every turn, God’s Devil will:

Teach you how Satan fits into God’s great plans for the world
Give you confidence in God’s everlasting victory over Satan
Equip you to withstand Satan’s schemes against you
Martin Luther once said, “Even the Devil is God’s devil.” So while this is a book about Satan, it is even more about God’s sovereign power over him. Read it for comfort, read it for peace, and read it for strength.

Consider digging deeper with the God’s Devil DVD and study guide.

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“The Gathering Storm”

A STORM IS COMING
President of Southern Seminary Dr. R. Albert Mohler reveals how secularism has infiltrated society and how Christians can meet it head on with hope, confidence, and steadfast conviction.

Western civilization and the church stand at a moment of great danger. The coming storm is a battle of ideas that will determine the future of Western civilization and the soul of the American church. The forces we must fight are ideologies, policies, and worldviews that are deeply established among intellectual elites, the political class, and our schools. More menacingly, these ideas have also invaded the Christian church.

From threats to religious liberty and redefinitions of marriage and family to attacks on the sacredness and dignity of human life, the perils we face are unprecedented. How should Christians respond to this challenge? The Gathering Storm provides the answer, showing Christians how to contend for the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints.

[ R. Albert Mohler, Jr. ]

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“Antiquity Echoes: A Photographed Tour of Abandoned America”
By: Rusty Tagliareni and Christina Mathews

Antiquity Echoes is a guided tour of some of our nation’s most compelling abandoned locations. With a wide spectrum of places covered, readers will be walking the dark halls of an abandoned mental asylum on one page and lost in the overgrowth of an abandoned theme park on the very next. With a focus on history and first-hand accounts by the authors, Antiquity Echoes is far more than a collection of photography and text; it’s an adventure story—one that is enhanced by QR codes linking to videos of these incredible locations.

Rusty Tagliareni and Christina Mathews have spent years traveling the country documenting forlorn locations throughout the United States, sharing their deep passion for history and preservation in an effort that has helped generate alliances with many historic societies and preservation organizations.

What makes a place worth remembering? Antiquity Echoes ventures that this value derives from the lessons a place can teach us, even long after it has been of use. No matter how forgotten a place has come to be, underneath the overgrowth, cracked paint, and filth of ages, lie countless stories awaiting a sympathetic ear.

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“Abandoned Malls of America: Crumbling Commerce Left Behind”
By: Seph Lawless

What happens when the symbol of commerce crumbles?

This collection of nearly two hundred stunning yet melancholic photos captures the decline of one of the biggest symbols of American consumerism—the shopping mall. Seph Lawless, whom Huffington Post refers to as the “master of the abandoned,” details the dilapidated state of these buildings that were once thriving with people and merchandise, now left to rot and be overrun with plant and animal life.

In Abandoned Malls of America, Lawless showcases haunting images of shopping malls from all across America, from his hometown of Cleveland, OH in the Midwest to Birmingham, AL in the South and all the way to Los Angeles, CA on the West Coast. Alongside these beautiful images are first-hand accounts from people who grew up going to these malls, reminiscing on the dually wistful and fond memories of their once-favorite local hangouts. These essays include anecdotes from actress Yvette Nicole Brown (Drake and Josh; Community; etc.), actor Justin Kucsulain (The Walking Dead), New Yorker investigative journalist Ronan Farrow, and more.

In this follow-up to his previous book, Abandoned, “artivist” Seph Lawless continues his journey photo-documenting the America left behind in the throes of economic instability and overall decline. Abandoned Malls of America is a perfect read for those interested in photography, architecture, or just longing for a little bit of nostalgia.

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“Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences”
By: Matthew Christopher

Originally conceived as an examination of the rise and fall of the defunct state hospital system, Philadelphia photographer Matthew Christopher’s award winning website Abandoned America rapidly grew to encompass derelict factories and industrial sites, schools, churches, power plants, hospitals, prisons, military installations, hotels, resorts, homes, and more. Through his collection of writing and photography, Christopher has spent the last decade documenting the ruins of one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever known: our own. The locations presented are the monuments to America’s great ambition and crumbling future. They are the remnants of a nearly forgotten past. They are some of America’s last standing vestiges of our industrial age, the buildings that put our forefathers to work.

Now, broken and ruined, these places are documented in Christopher’s book, Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences. Exploring sites like the charred remains of the Hotel Do De, the rusted cells of the Essex County Jail Annex, the majesty of the Church of the Transfiguration, or the eerie and dilapidated remnants of the New Castle Elks Lodge, the work spans architectural treasures left to the elements and then all too often lost forever.

With 240 pages of beautiful photographs, a foreword by celebrated author James Howard Kunstler, and detailed historical background on each site, Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences is sure to captivate anyone with an interest in the modern ruins in our midst.

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“Abandoned Places: A Photographic Exploration of More Than 100 Worlds We Have Left Behind”
By: Kieron Connolly

Steam trains half-buried in the desert, roller coasters entangled in trees, hulks of ships perched high and dry miles from water – images like these are bound to make us wonder: what happened here? From forgotten railway stations to flooded shopping malls, from secret Cold War bunkers to radiation zones, Abandoned Places explores more than 100 fascinating lost worlds from all around the globe. Surveying the ruins of industrial sites and military bases, ghost towns, holiday resorts and airports, the book explains the story of how each place came to be abandoned – whether through natural or chemical disaster, war, economic collapse, or changing tastes and customs. Throughout, though, a picture emerges, not only of what has been lost, but of what remains. Left to the elements but ignored by humanity, these ramshackle settlements and dilapidated structures illuminate times and designs that we thought were long gone. With 150 outstanding color photographs exploring hauntingly beautiful locations, Abandoned Places is a brilliant and moving pictorial examination of worlds we have left behind.

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“Abandoned Michigan”
By: Kyle Brooky

“In 2006, Michigan’s unemployment rate was recorded as being the worst in the entire United States. People left. Businesses closed. Once swarming cities were full of boarded-up windows and locked doors. Some have since recovered and reopened, but many have not.

This is where Abandoned Michigan picks up the story. What became of these forgotten buildings? Have you ever wondered what lies within that old building as you drive past? Join us as we step foot inside these haunting and beautiful locations including: factories, ski resorts, mines, restaurants, hospitals, houses, and much, much more.

Featuring over 200 full-color photographs, you will witness the beauty that can be found in decay as we look at these buildings, many for the last time before they are lost forever to time or the wrecking ball. Abandoned Michigan not only takes you inside these lost places, but tells the history of them and how they came to be abandoned.”

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“Abandoned Michigan: Doorways to Decay”
By: Kyle Brooky

In 2006, Michigan’s unemployment rate was recorded as being the worst in the entire United States. People left. Businesses closed. Once swarming cities were full of boarded-up windows and locked doors. Some have since recovered and reopened, but many have not.

Abandoned Michigan: Doorways to Decay continues to shed light on these forgotten places. Step inside haunting and beautiful locations including mental asylums, paper mills, churches, ghost towns, trailer parks, and more. Witness the beauty that can be found in decay as we look at these buildings, many for the last time, before they are lost forever to time or the wrecking ball.
Abandoned Michigan not only takes you inside these lost places, but tells their history and how they came to be abandoned.

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“Abandoned After the Storm: Hurricane Michael (America Through Time)”
By: Kim Hill

On October 10, 2018, a category 5 hurricane hit the panhandle of Florida. Left in its wake are thousands of damaged buildings. Some will be rebuilt or repaired, and some will be torn down; however, many are left exactly as they were over a year ago and may possibly remain that way forever.

These are not your usual abandoned buildings. They are the remains of people’s homes, businesses, boats, and livelihoods. This book is a respectful representation of the destruction that Hurricane Michael left and the bittersweet beauty of the abandoned buildings still standing.

In Abandoned After the Storm: Hurricane Michael, photographer Kim Hill allows a glimpse into the remains of what was left in hopes of drawing attention to the struggle that the people of the panhandle are still dealing with.

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“THE SEARCH FOR MEANING” WEBSITE

This site presents discussions on the 12 most commonly asked questions about the Christian faith.

The 12 discussions are accessed by the “tabs” at the bottom of the page. The tabs are numbered 1-12. Roll your mouse over them and you will see the question displayed at the right. Click on the number to select that question.

Within each question (i.e. tabs 1-12), there are subtopics (or dialogues) to select that appear as smaller tabs underneath the numbered tabs. Roll your mouse over them and the title of these topics is also displayed to the right. Click on the open rectangle to select that dialogue.

For each question (1-12), a link to related resources and an optional flowchart is provided. To access this material, click on the respective words, “Related Resources” or “Options Flowchart.”

To play a more detailed discussion of the subject, between two people, select the desired dialogue and click on “Play Audio Dialogue.”

In the upper right-hand corner of the page, there is an icon that looks like binoculars looking at a question mark. Click on this icon to return to the homepage.

In the upper right-hand corner of a “Related Resources” page, there is an icon that looks like some books. Click on this icon to get to an “overview” page that has links to all of the resources for all of the questions. There also are additional “appendices” for most of the questions.

In the upper right-hand corner of a “Flowchart” page, there is an icon that looks like an Org chart. Click on this icon to get to an “overview” page that has links to all of the flowcharts.

http://4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q1_d1_1of10.html

[ Content by: Bill Kraftson and Lamar Smith; Website by Mark Besh ]

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“FRUITS OF THE BEATITUDES” WEB SITE
(The ATTITUDES of Jesus that produce the CHARACTER of Jesus)

CLICK ON THE LINK to view:
http://fruitsofthebeatitudes.org/

FACEBOOK PAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/FruitsOfTheBeatitudes/

[ Mark Besh ]

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[ P.S.: If you would like to investigate further how to pay ‘attention’ to God’s warnings, visit the following link:
http://www.4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q11_d6_1of10.html ].

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ARTICLES:

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III. CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTION OF INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS

A. Original Textual Provisions

The original text of the Constitution contained very few provisions protecting individual rights. This probably occurred for two reasons. First, some of the framers believed that they had created a central government with limited powers that would not have the authority to violate individual rights. Others of the framers feared that any list of enumerated rights might be incomplete and might later be interpreted to deny rights not listed.

Those few provisions protecting individual rights include Article I, Section 9, which provides that “the privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion, the public safety may require it.” The writ of habeas corpus was a common law procedure that allowed the courts to order the release of persons unlawfully imprisoned or detained. Although it has been an important protection in some cases, the courts have given Congress great leeway in limiting the use of the writ.

Article I, Sections 9 and 10, prohibit ex post facto laws (punishing conduct that was not illegal at the time it was performed) and bills of attainder (singling out individuals or groups for punishment). Article III, Section 2, provides for the right to trial by jury in all criminal cases, and requires that the trial be held in the state where the crime was committed.

The “privileges and immunities clause” contained in Article IV, Section 2, provides, “The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens of several states.” This limits the ability of states to favor their own citizens and discriminate against out-of-state citizens with respect to certain fundamental rights.

Although these provisions, and a few others can be important in some cases, the main protections of individual liberties comes not in the Constitution itself, but the first ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights.

B. The Bill of Rights

During the ratification process, several state legislatures expressed concern over the lack of protection of individual liberties. In response, the first Congress passed twelve amendments to the Constitution, ten of these which were ratified by the states and became known collectively as the Bill of Rights.

Before describing the protections of the Bill of Rights, it is important to note that they originally were interpreted as restrictions only on the power of the federal government, and not the power of the states. It was not until the twentieth century that the Supreme Court began to hold some of these rights enforceable against the states.

1. A Brief Summary of the Bill of Rights

The First Amendment protects freedom of religion and freedom of speech and of the press. It also protects the right of peaceful assembly and to petition the government.

The Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms, for the purpose of maintaining a militia. Although there has been debate as to whether this protects an individual’s right to own firearms, the Supreme Court has held that it applies only to the states’ right to have an armed militia.

The Third Amendment prohibits the quartering of troops in any house during peacetime and allows it in times of war only in a lawful manner.

The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizure and requires a search warrant before a search can take place.

The Fifth Amendment requires indictment by a grand jury before a person can be charged with a serious crime. It also prohibits a person from being tried twice for the same crime (double jeopardy) or from being forced to be a witness against himself (self-incrimination). It protects against deprivation of life liberty or property without due process of law (due process clause). It also prohibits the taking of private property without just compensation.

The Sixth Amendment provides important rights for criminal defendants, including the right to a speedy and public trial, to a trial by an impartial and local jury, to be informed of the charges against him, to be confronted by witnesses against him, to compulsory process for obtaining witnesses, and to have a lawyer.

The Seventh Amendment preserves the right to a trial by jury in most civil cases.

The Eighth Amendment prohibits excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishments.

The Ninth Amendment makes clear that the enumeration of some rights shall not be interpreted to deny other rights retained by the people (although it does not indicate what those rights may be).

The Tenth Amendment reserves all powers not given to the federal government, or prohibited to the states by the Constitution, to the states or to the people.

2. Application of the Bill of Rights

The rights contained in the Bill of Rights were originally construed to apply only against the federal government and not against state or local governments. The rights of individuals were protected from state intrusion only by the state constitutions themselves.

This changed after the American Civil War, with the passage of three amendments intended to protect the rights of the newly feed slaves. The Thirteenth Amendment prohibited slavery, and the Fifteenth Amendment protected the right to vote from discrimination based on race. The Fourteenth Amendment contained a number of important provisions.

Section one of the Fourteenth Amendment first made clear that all persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens both of the United States and the States where they reside. Then it provided three restrictions on the states. The states may not (1) “abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States,” nor (2) “deprive any person of life liberty or property without due process of law,” nor (3) deny any person “the equal protection of the laws.”

The first attempt to apply the Bill of Rights to the States relied on using the “privileges and immunities” clause. It was claimed that the protections of the Bill of Rights were the most basic privileges and immunities of citizenship. The Supreme Court rejected this view in the Slaughterhouse Cases of 1873, giving a very narrow interpretation of this clause that has never been overruled.

Instead, the court has adopted a “selective incorporation” approach under the due process clause. Starting in 1897 the Court has held that certain protections of the Bill of Rights are so fundamental, that when a state denies them it denies “due process of law” guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. Although some justices have taken the position that the entire Bill of Rights should be deemed incorporated, the Court has consistently held that each right must be examined separately to see if it so fundamental that it should be incorporated.

Nonetheless, most of the important rights contained in the Bill of Rights have been incorporated under this theory. Only a few have been held not to apply, such as the right to bear arms, the right to a grand jury indictment, and the right to a jury trial in civil cases. It was not until the 1960’s, however, that some important rights were incorporated, such as the right to an attorney in a criminal case and the protection against self-incrimination.

3. The State Action Doctrine

Although the coverage of most of the Bill of Rights has been expanded to the actions of state and local governments, it does not generally apply to private conduct. With some exceptions, private persons and organizations do not have to comply with the Constitution. For example, while a public university cannot unduly restrict the free speech rights of its students, private universities are not subject to this rule. This “state action” doctrine applies not only to the Bill of Rights, but also to the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Supreme Court held in 1883 in the Civil Rights Cases, that the language of the Fourteenth Amendment which begins “no state shall…,” requires this result. Although the doctrine is called the “state action” doctrine, it actually refers to any governmental conduct. Local governments are considered arms of the states for this purpose.

There are a few situations in which the Constitution does apply to private conduct, such as situations in which a private entity exercises powers usually exercised by the State, for example, holding a primary election, or running a prison or a city. The law also applies to private parties when they conspire with public officials to violate constitutional rights, or when they otherwise form a joint enterprise with the government. Private conduct usually is not held to constitute state action when the government merely licenses, regulates, or partially funds a private organization.

Congress does have the power, under other constitutional provisions, to pass statutes that apply constitutional standards to private conduct. Under the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery, Congress has the power to prohibit private racial discrimination (using its power to abolish “all badges and incidences of slavery”). Congress also has used its power to regulate interstate commerce to prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, age and handicap.

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“Cross and the Switchblade”

Although the original events depicted in this classic from the drug infested, gang dominated streets happened over thirty years ago, the life-changing solution that David Wilkerson brought to desperate lives was just beginning. The beat goes on. The change in the life of notorious gang leader Nicky Cruz, as shown in the film, proved to be wonderfully lasting and real. Nicky continues today to reach young people around the world with the same life-changing message of the gospel of Jesus Christ that delivered him from violence and despair. And what about the skinny preacher, David Wilkerson, who braved the meanest streets of New York to tell desperate and drug crazed youth that there was a better way? Now, three decades later, his ministry based in Times Square that is still changing lives and offering genuine hope to countless souls who had given up on life.

The Cross and the Switchblade, starring Pat Boone and Eric Estrada, is one of those rare films that has shown its unique power to connect with the deepest hopes and fears of youth around the world. It remains today one of the most compelling stories of love, grace and the truth that no one is ever so far gone that they cannot find the way out.

Movie: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/crossandtheswitchblade

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“The Doctrine of Divine Abandonment”

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46)

A second miracle occurred at about the ninth hour, or three o’clock in the afternoon, through an inexplicable event that might be called sovereign departure, as somehow God was separated from God.

At that time Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” As Matthew explains, the Hebrew Eli (Mark uses the Aramaic form, “Eloi,” 15:34) means, My God, and lama sabachthani means, Why hast Thou forsaken Me?
Because Jesus was quoting the well-known Psalm 22, there could have been little doubt in the minds of those who were standing there as to what Jesus was saying. They had been taunting Him with His claim to be God’s Son (v. 43), and an appeal for divine help would have been expected. Their saying, “This man is calling for Elijah,” was not conjecture about what He said but was simply an extension of their cruel, cynical mockery.

In this unique and strange miracle, Jesus was crying out in anguish because of the separation He now experienced from His heavenly Father for the first and only time in all of eternity. It is the only time of which we have record that Jesus did not address God as Father. Because the Son had taken sin upon Himself, the Father turned His back. That mystery is so great and imponderable that it is not surprising that Martin Luther is said to have gone into seclusion for a long time trying to understand it and came away as confused as when he began. In some way and by some means, in the secrets of divine sovereignty and omnipotence, the God-Man was separated from God for a brief time at Calvary, as the furious wrath of the Father was poured out on the sinless Son, who in matchless grace became sin for those who believe in Him.

Habakkuk declared of God, “Thine eyes are too pure to approve evil, and Thou canst not look on wickedness with favor” (Hab. 1:13). God turned His back when Jesus was on the cross because He could not look upon sin, even-or perhaps especially-in His own Son. Just as Jesus loudly lamented, God the Father had indeed forsaken Him.

Jesus did not die as a martyr to a righteous cause or simply as an innocent man wrongly accused and condemned. Nor, as some suggest, did He die as a heroic gesture against man’s inhumanity to man. The Father could have looked favorably on such selfless deaths as those. But because Jesus died as a substitute sacrifice for the sins of the world, the righteous heavenly Father had to judge Him fully according to that sin.

The Father forsook the Son because the Son took upon Himself “our transgressions, … our iniquities” (Isa. 53:5). Jesus “was delivered up because of our transgression” (Rom. 4:25) and “died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3). He “who knew no sin [became] sin on our behalf” (2 Cor. 5:21) and became “a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13). “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross” (1 Pet. 2:24), “died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust” (1 Pet. 3:18), and became “the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
Jesus Christ not only bore man’s sin but actually became sin on man’s behalf, in order that those who believe in Him might be saved from the penalty of their sin. Jesus came to teach men perfectly about God and to be a perfect example of God’s holiness and righteousness. But, as He Himself declared, the supreme reason for His coming to earth was not to teach or to be an example but “to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28).

When Christ was forsaken by the Father, their separation was not one of nature, essence, or substance. Christ did not in any sense or degree cease to exist as God or as a member of the Trinity. He did not cease to be the Son, any more than a child who sins severely against his human father ceases to be his child. But Jesus did for a while cease to know the intimacy of fellowship with His heavenly Father, just as a disobedient child ceases for a while to have intimate, normal, loving fellowship with his human father.

By the incarnation itself there already had been a partial separation. Because Jesus had been separated from His divine glory and from face-to-face communication with the Father, refusing to hold on to those divine privileges for His own sake (Phil 2:6), He prayed to the Father in the presence of His disciples, “Glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was” (John 17:5). At the cross His separation from the Father became immeasurably more profound than the humbling incarnation during the thirty-three years of His earthly life.

As already mentioned, the mystery of that separation is far too deep even for the most mature believer to fathom. But God has revealed the basic truth of it for us to accept and to understand to the limit of our ability under the illumination of His Spirit. And nowhere in Scripture can we behold the reality of Jesus’ sacrificial death and the anguish of His separation from His Father more clearly and penetratingly than in His suffering on the cross because of sin. In the midst of being willingly engulfed in our sins and the sins of all men of all time, He writhed in anguish not from the lacerations on His back or the thorns that still pierced His head or the nails that held Him to the cross but from the incomparably painful loss of fellowship with His heavenly Father that His becoming sin for us had brought.

[ John MacArthur ]

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“When God Abandons a Nation”

[ Tim Fellure ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH6ihJFV6Xg

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“Is America Abandoning God?”

[ Ravi Zacharias ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bzu5cQHzAw

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“Has America Abandoned God?”

[ Ravi Zacharias ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uzu1mqkv6fU

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“When God Abandons a Nation (Romans 1:18-32)”

It is always instructive, it is always enlightening, it is sometimes literally scintillating to turn to the pages of the Word of God and see what it has to say and how relevantly it speaks to our time and to our lives. That will be true tonight as we turn in our Bibles to the first chapter of Romans, Romans chapter 1. And we’re going to be looking at a somewhat familiar portion of Scripture to anyone who is a student of the Bible. Romans chapter 1, beginning in verse 18 and running through the end of this chapter.

I’m going to read just the first verse to set the stage for the unfolding of this profound truth. Romans 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” This section is about the wrath of God. Admittedly not a popular subject, certainly not a popular subject in the world and not even a very popular subject in the church. But an absolutely critical and central subject to any understanding of the gospel, the wrath of God.

Now there are a number of different aspects to the wrath of God. There is what we could call eternal wrath because it is the punishment that God brings upon unbelieving sinners forever in hell. That’s eternal wrath. And the Bible speaks often of that. There is also eschatological wrath. That is the wrath of God that is released at the end of the world described by some of the Old Testament prophets, described by Jesus Christ Himself in the Olivet Discourse and clearly laid out for us in the book of Revelation. Eschatological wrath, that aspect of God’s wrath that is released at the end of the world.

There is also what we could call cataclysmic wrath, like a tsunami, a volcano, a hurricane, an earthquake, a plane flying into the Twin Towers resulting in thousands of deaths. Cataclysms happen in this world. And they are a reflection of the judgment of God. There is also what you could call consequential wrath. Consequential wrath is the sowing and reaping wrath. You live a certain kind of life and you set in motion certain forces that will produce judgment. [more…]

[ John MacArthur ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cz8AA_Oa0EU

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“When God Abandons”

Romans 1:24-32 – And God gave them over to their own desires, cravings, lusts… But, He still wants you to return to Him… there isn’t one soul God does not Love.

[ James Reid ]

Sermon: https://youtu.be/tVoPgQafBHI?t=10

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“Amir Tsarfati: Middle East Update, June 1, 2020”

Join Amir for a live update discussing “Lawlessness – The enemy from within.”

[ Amir Tsarfati ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHtoJ7Et8B0

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“God’s Abandoning Judgment”

Introduction:
One of the ways that God judges sinful men is by giving them TO their sin.
As men abandon God, as they abandon the light of God’s self-revelation, as they SUPPRESS the truth and SUBSTITUTE for the truth, as they abandon God by embracing idols, God judges men by abandoning them.

By leaving them to their sin. By allowing them to descend further and further into the darkness of their own desires.
That’s what we see in this next section.
Here are some fundamental truths we must never forget.
God restrains evil in this world.
God restrains evil by working through the means that He has ordained to restrain sinful behaviors in mankind (like government), and He works directly, in the hearts of men, to restrain evil.

-He restrains evil through the consciences of people.
-He restrains evil through parental training.
-He restrains evil through governmental authorities.
God’s restraining work limits the MANIFESTATION of man’s potential for sinning.

Man’s depravity is more profound than he manifests.

So that one of the ways that God judges mankind IN THE TEMPORAL REALM is by allowing man to go his own way. God judges sinful men by abandoning them to their sins, or we could say, to the desires of their own darkened hearts. He gives them to their own sinful passions, lusts, desires.
Three times in verses 24-32 we find a most sobering and horrifying description.

“God gave them over.” (vs.24, 26, 28)
And each of those statements concerning God’s choice to give men to their sins follows a description of how man suppresses truth.

The description that Paul gives in these verses, of the downward trajectory of the world that rejects God’s revelation, can be expressed in three ways. The life of idolatry, the life of darkness that increases with every step away from the light of God’s revelation, is a life that progressively reveals rebellion against God’s standards. It is a life that argues against the perfectly sound wisdom of God, and by considering itself wise, it leads to a self-consuming impurity that destroys the object of its love. It loves itself and destroys itself in the process.

ABANDONED TO A SEXUAL REVOLUTION (vs.24-25)
The first expression of that rebellion is a life that has been abandoned to sexual revolution.

The word “impurity” is ἀκαθαρσία.
It is a word that can speak, in general, of anything that is filthy or dirty. It is used of the contents of graves, that which would cause ceremonial impurity.

But it is a word used many times in the New Testament to speak especially of sexual sins.

It refers to a state of moral corruption, immorality, sexual vileness.
That’s what Paul is referring to here. God “gave them over” in the lusts of their hearts (that is, turning them over in the realm of their own desires) to this sexual impurity. The reason why I say “sexual impurity” is because he specifies that what he has in mind involves the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, or we could say “with each other.”

Note:
SEXUAL SIN IS A REALITY (And those sins are defiling sins)
We are living in a time when sexual sin is no longer treated like sin. People SCOFF at those who think that a sexual relationship outside of marriage is something to be ashamed of. But God’s Word makes clear that any sexual relationship outside of the marriage of one man with one woman is a violation of God’s will.
There IS such a thing as sexual sin.

SIN IN THE SEXUAL REALM HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED BY GOD
The Bible doesn’t just address this topic vaguely. The Bible uses words that describe the sin.
FORNICATION
ADULTERY
HOMOSEXUALITY
INCEST

And anything else that doesn’t accord with God’s plan for sexuality.
1 Corinthians 6:9–11 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

[ Dr. Richard Caldwell ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjyrGyrLWUQ

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“God Is Abandoning America As We Shake Our Fist In His Face”

Right Wing Watch reports on the extreme rhetoric and activities of key right-wing figures and organizations by showing their views in their own words. In this video, Anne Graham Lotz says that God has abandoned America because we are shaking our fist in his face.

[ Anne Graham Lotz ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up7s4Kty3wA

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“Is America Abandoning God?”

Ravi Zacharias and Bob Ditmer talk about a recent USA TODAY article that reports more Americans are declaring no religious affiliation according to the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey.

[ Ravi Zacharias ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuOEAdROFUY

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“Is America Abandoning God?”

Ravi Zacharias and Bob Ditmer talk about a recent USA TODAY article that reports more Americans are declaring no religious affiliation according to the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey.

[ Ravi Zacharias ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuOEAdROFUY

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“Difficult Times in America – A Serious Call To Action & Prayer”

[ Philip De Courcy ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBuf3xeEY0g

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“Amir Tsarfati: Middle East Update, June 1, 2020”

Join Amir for a live update discussing “Lawlessness – The enemy from within.”

[ Amir Tsarfati ]

Q&A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHtoJ7Et8B0

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“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”

To me belongs vengeance, I will repay; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.
– Deuteronomy 32:35

18 Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
19 Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment!
They are utterly consumed with terrors.
– Psalm 73:18+19

Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
– Luke 13:7

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
– John 3:18

But the wicked are like the troubled sea,
When it cannot rest,
Whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
– Isaiah 57:20

For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
– 1 Thessalonians 5:3

The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provokes him to anger sins against his own soul.
– Proverbs 20:2

4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
– Luke 12:4+5

He will repay his enemies for their evil deeds.
His fury will fall on his foes.
He will pay them back even to the ends of the earth.
– Isaiah 59:18, NLT

For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
– Isaiah 66:15

Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
– Revelation 19:15, NKJV

“Therefore I also will act in fury. My eye will not spare nor will I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.”
– Ezekiel 8:18

25 Because you disdained all my counsel,
And would have none of my rebuke,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your terror comes,
– Proverbs 1:25+26

I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
– Isaiah 63:3

What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
– Romans 9:22

12 And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire.
13 Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might.
– Isaiah 33:12+13

And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
– Matthew 3:10

[ Jonathan Edwards ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vmvZIAGKJo

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“The Heart of Man is Exceedingly Deceitful”

[ Jonathan Edwards ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOe0RKYwXwo

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“FILLING UP THE MEASURE OF INIQUITY”

SERMON NO. 3043

PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, JUNE 6, 1907.

AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON,
ON LORD’S-DAY EVENING, OCTOBER 8, 1871.
“The iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.”
Genesis 15:16.

THE Amorites had indulged in the most degrading sin. God had observed this, but He did not at once execute vengeance upon them. He had determined that, as a nation, they should be destroyed and rooted out from under heaven and that their land should be given to the seed of Abraham. But He tells Abraham that his seed must wait for it, for as yet the Amorites had not filled up the measure of their iniquity. It would take more than 400 years, during which time God’s patience would wait while the Amorites continued to heap sin upon sin, iniquity upon iniquity, until they reached a certain point—and then God would bear with them no longer. When the Lord uttered the words of our text, the Amorites had not come up to that fatal point and, therefore, He did not at once mete out their punishment to them, for the measure of iniquity was not yet full.

It is a well-known truth of God that God has great long-suffering, but that there is a point beyond which even His long-suffering will not go. It has been so in the great judgments of God in the world. Before the days of Noah, men had revolted from God, but Noah was sent to them as a preacher of righteousness. And he did preach and the Spirit of God was with him. Yet, for all that, the antediluvian world turned not from its sin and when the 120 years had expired—but not till then—God opened the windows of heaven and down came the deluge which destroyed the whole race with the exception of the eight souls who were preserved in the ark. Those old-world sinners had had 120 years for repentance, and 120 years of earnest, faithful warning from holy Noah—and not till all those year’s had expired did God’s patience come to an end and His judgments begin. [more…]

[ CHARLES H. SPURGEON ]

Sermon: https://www.spurgeongems.org/sermon/chs3043.pdf

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“God gave them over to a Reprobate Mind”

God gave them over to a Reprobate Mind – Matthew Henry Bible Commentary Romans 1:19-32

[ Mathew Henry ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drQts3KfDPg

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“Essay on Man, Epistle II”

I. Know, then, thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of mankind is man.
Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the stoic’s pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a god, or beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reasoning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little, or too much:
Chaos of thought and passion, all confused;
Still by himself abused, or disabused;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled:
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
Go, wondrous creature! mount where science guides,
Go, measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides;
Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,
Correct old time, and regulate the sun;
Go, soar with Plato to th’ empyreal sphere,
To the first good, first perfect, and first fair;
Or tread the mazy round his followers trod,
And quitting sense call imitating God;
As Eastern priests in giddy circles run,
And turn their heads to imitate the sun.
Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule—
Then drop into thyself, and be a fool!
Superior beings, when of late they saw
A mortal man unfold all Nature’s law,
Admired such wisdom in an earthly shape
And showed a Newton as we show an ape.
Could he, whose rules the rapid comet bind,
Describe or fix one movement of his mind?
Who saw its fires here rise, and there descend,
Explain his own beginning, or his end?
Alas, what wonder! man’s superior part
Unchecked may rise, and climb from art to art;
But when his own great work is but begun,
What reason weaves, by passion is undone.
Trace Science, then, with Modesty thy guide;
First strip off all her equipage of pride;
Deduct what is but vanity or dress,
Or learning’s luxury, or idleness;
Or tricks to show the stretch of human brain,
Mere curious pleasure, or ingenious pain;
Expunge the whole, or lop th’ excrescent parts
Of all our vices have created arts;
Then see how little the remaining sum,
Which served the past, and must the times to come!

II. Two principles in human nature reign;
Self-love to urge, and reason, to restrain;
Nor this a good, nor that a bad we call,
Each works its end, to move or govern all
And to their proper operation still,
Ascribe all good; to their improper, ill.
Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul;
Reason’s comparing balance rules the whole.
Man, but for that, no action could attend,
And but for this, were active to no end:
Fixed like a plant on his peculiar spot,
To draw nutrition, propagate, and rot;
Or, meteor-like, flame lawless through the void,
Destroying others, by himself destroyed.
Most strength the moving principle requires;
Active its task, it prompts, impels, inspires.
Sedate and quiet the comparing lies,
Formed but to check, deliberate, and advise.
Self-love still stronger, as its objects nigh;
Reason’s at distance, and in prospect lie:
That sees immediate good by present sense;
Reason, the future and the consequence.
Thicker than arguments, temptations throng.
At best more watchful this, but that more strong.
The action of the stronger to suspend,
Reason still use, to reason still attend.
Attention, habit and experience gains;
Each strengthens reason, and self-love restrains.
Let subtle schoolmen teach these friends to fight,
More studious to divide than to unite;
And grace and virtue, sense and reason split,
With all the rash dexterity of wit.
Wits, just like fools, at war about a name,
Have full as oft no meaning, or the same.
Self-love and reason to one end aspire,
Pain their aversion, pleasure their desire;
But greedy that, its object would devour,
This taste the honey, and not wound the flower:
Pleasure, or wrong or rightly understood,
Our greatest evil, or our greatest good.

III. Modes of self-love the passions we may call;
’Tis real good, or seeming, moves them all:
But since not every good we can divide,
And reason bids us for our own provide;
Passions, though selfish, if their means be fair,
List under Reason, and deserve her care;
Those, that imparted, court a nobler aim,
Exalt their kind, and take some virtue’s name.
In lazy apathy let stoics boast
Their virtue fixed; ’tis fixed as in a frost;
Contracted all, retiring to the breast;
But strength of mind is exercise, not rest:
The rising tempest puts in act the soul,
Parts it may ravage, but preserves the whole.
On life’s vast ocean diversely we sail,
Reason the card, but passion is the gale;
Nor God alone in the still calm we find,
He mounts the storm, and walks upon the wind.
Passions, like elements, though born to fight,
Yet, mixed and softened, in his work unite:
These, ’tis enough to temper and employ;
But what composes man, can man destroy?
Suffice that Reason keep to Nature’s road,
Subject, compound them, follow her and God.
Love, hope, and joy, fair pleasure’s smiling train,
Hate, fear, and grief, the family of pain,
These mixed with art, and to due bounds confined,
Make and maintain the balance of the mind;
The lights and shades, whose well-accorded strife
Gives all the strength and colour of our life.
Pleasures are ever in our hands or eyes;
And when in act they cease, in prospect rise:
Present to grasp, and future still to find,
The whole employ of body and of mind.
All spread their charms, but charm not all alike;
On different senses different objects strike;
Hence different passions more or less inflame,
As strong or weak, the organs of the frame;
And hence once master passion in the breast,
Like Aaron’s serpent, swallows up the rest.
As man, perhaps, the moment of his breath
Receives the lurking principle of death;
The young disease that must subdue at length,
Grows with his growth, and strengthens with his strength:
So, cast and mingled with his very frame,
The mind’s disease, its ruling passion came;
Each vital humour which should feed the whole,
Soon flows to this, in body and in soul:
Whatever warms the heart, or fills the head,
As the mind opens, and its functions spread,
Imagination plies her dangerous art,
And pours it all upon the peccant part.
Nature its mother, habit is its nurse;
Wit, spirit, faculties, but make it worse;
Reason itself but gives it edge and power;
As Heaven’s blest beam turns vinegar more sour.
We, wretched subjects, though to lawful sway,
In this weak queen some favourite still obey:
Ah! if she lend not arms, as well as rules,
What can she more than tell us we are fools?
Teach us to mourn our nature, not to mend,
A sharp accuser, but a helpless friend!
Or from a judge turn pleader, to persuade
The choice we make, or justify it made;
Proud of an easy conquest all along,
She but removes weak passions for the strong;
So, when small humours gather to a gout,
The doctor fancies he has driven them out.
Yes, Nature’s road must ever be preferred;
Reason is here no guide, but still a guard:
’Tis hers to rectify, not overthrow,
And treat this passion more as friend than foe:
A mightier power the strong direction sends,
And several men impels to several ends:
Like varying winds, by other passions tossed,
This drives them constant to a certain coast.
Let power or knowledge, gold or glory, please,
Or (oft more strong than all) the love of ease;
Through life ’tis followed, even at life’s expense;
The merchant’s toil, the sage’s indolence,
The monk’s humility, the hero’s pride,
All, all alike, find reason on their side.
The eternal art, educing good from ill,
Grafts on this passion our best principle:
’Tis thus the mercury of man is fixed,
Strong grows the virtue with his nature mixed;
The dross cements what else were too refined,
And in one interest body acts with mind.
As fruits, ungrateful to the planter’s care,
On savage stocks inserted, learn to bear;
The surest virtues thus from passions shoot,
Wild nature’s vigour working at the root.
What crops of wit and honesty appear
From spleen, from obstinacy, hate, or fear!
See anger, zeal and fortitude supply;
Even avarice, prudence; sloth, philosophy;
Lust, through some certain strainers well refined,
Is gentle love, and charms all womankind;
Envy, to which th’ ignoble mind’s a slave,
Is emulation in the learned or brave;
Nor virtue, male or female, can we name,
But what will grow on pride, or grow on shame.
Thus Nature gives us (let it check our pride)
The virtue nearest to our vice allied:
Reason the bias turns to good from ill
And Nero reigns a Titus, if he will.
The fiery soul abhorred in Catiline,
In Decius charms, in Curtius is divine:
The same ambition can destroy or save,
And makes a patriot as it makes a knave.
This light and darkness in our chaos joined,
What shall divide? The God within the mind.
Extremes in nature equal ends produce,
In man they join to some mysterious use;
Though each by turns the other’s bound invade,
As, in some well-wrought picture, light and shade,
And oft so mix, the difference is too nice
Where ends the virtue or begins the vice.
Fools! who from hence into the notion fall,
That vice or virtue there is none at all.
If white and black blend, soften, and unite
A thousand ways, is there no black or white?
Ask your own heart, and nothing is so plain;
’Tis to mistake them, costs the time and pain.
Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
But where th’ extreme of vice, was ne’er agreed:
Ask where’s the north? at York, ’tis on the Tweed;
In Scotland, at the Orcades; and there,
At Greenland, Zembla, or the Lord knows where.
No creature owns it in the first degree,
But thinks his neighbour farther gone than he;
Even those who dwell beneath its very zone,
Or never feel the rage, or never own;
What happier nations shrink at with affright,
The hard inhabitant contends is right.
Virtuous and vicious every man must be,
Few in th’ extreme, but all in the degree,
The rogue and fool by fits is fair and wise;
And even the best, by fits, what they despise.
’Tis but by parts we follow good or ill;
For, vice or virtue, self directs it still;
Each individual seeks a several goal;
But Heaven’s great view is one, and that the whole.
That counter-works each folly and caprice;
That disappoints th’ effect of every vice;
That, happy frailties to all ranks applied,
Shame to the virgin, to the matron pride,
Fear to the statesman, rashness to the chief,
To kings presumption, and to crowds belief:
That, virtue’s ends from vanity can raise,
Which seeks no interest, no reward but praise;
And build on wants, and on defects of mind,
The joy, the peace, the glory of mankind.
Heaven forming each on other to depend,
A master, or a servant, or a friend,
Bids each on other for assistance call,
Till one man’s weakness grows the strength of all.
Wants, frailties, passions, closer still ally
The common interest, or endear the tie.
To these we owe true friendship, love sincere,
Each home-felt joy that life inherits here;
Yet from the same we learn, in its decline,
Those joys, those loves, those interests to resign;
Taught half by reason, half by mere decay,
To welcome death, and calmly pass away.
Whate’er the passion, knowledge, fame, or pelf,
Not one will change his neighbour with himself.
The learned is happy nature to explore,
The fool is happy that he knows no more;
The rich is happy in the plenty given,
The poor contents him with the care of Heaven.
See the blind beggar dance, the cripple sing,
The sot a hero, lunatic a king;
The starving chemist in his golden views
Supremely blest, the poet in his muse.
See some strange comfort every state attend,
And pride bestowed on all, a common friend;
See some fit passion every age supply,
Hope travels through, nor quits us when we die.
Behold the child, by Nature’s kindly law,
Pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw:
Some livelier plaything gives his youth delight,
A little louder, but as empty quite:
Scarves, garters, gold, amuse his riper stage,
And beads and prayer-books are the toys of age:
Pleased with this bauble still, as that before;
Till tired he sleeps, and life’s poor play is o’er.
Meanwhile opinion gilds with varying rays
Those painted clouds that beautify our days;
Each want of happiness by hope supplied,
And each vacuity of sense by pride:
These build as fast as knowledge can destroy;
In folly’s cup still laughs the bubble, joy;
One prospect lost, another still we gain;
And not a vanity is given in vain;
Even mean self-love becomes, by force divine,
The scale to measure others’ wants by thine.
See! and confess, one comfort still must rise,
’Tis this, though man’s a fool, yet God is wise.

[ Alexander Pope (1688-1744) ]

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“Billy Graham: ‘My Heart Aches for America’”

Some years ago, my wife, Ruth, was reading the draft of a book I was writing. When she finished a section describing the terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards and the idolatry of worshiping false gods such as technology and sex, she startled me by exclaiming, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

She was probably thinking of a passage in Ezekiel where God tells why He brought those cities to ruin. “Now this was the sin of … Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen” (Ezekiel 16:49–50, NIV).

I wonder what Ruth would think of America if she were alive today. In the years since she made that remark, millions of babies have been aborted and our nation seems largely unconcerned. Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.

Just a few weeks ago in a prominent city in the South, Christian chaplains who serve the police department were ordered to no longer mention the Name of Jesus in prayer. It was reported that during a recent police-sponsored event, the only person allowed to pray was someone who addressed “the being in the room.” Similar scenarios are now commonplace in towns across America. Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone—except God.

Yet the farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control.

My heart aches for America and its deceived people. The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance. In Jonah’s day, Nineveh was the lone world superpower—wealthy, unconcerned, and self-centered. When the Prophet Jonah finally traveled to Nineveh and proclaimed God’s warning, people heard and repented.

I believe the same thing can happen once again, this time in our nation. It’s something I long for, and my son Franklin recently shared a vision for perhaps the greatest challenge in the history of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association—to launch an outreach called My Hope with Billy Graham that would bring the Gospel into neighborhoods and homes in every corner of America next year.

BGEA has already taken My Hope to more than 50 nations. We’ve worked in close partnership with local churches across each country, and those churches have reported millions of life-changing decisions for Christ. Carrying out a nationwide American version of this evangelistic outreach will be an enormous undertaking, but in my spirit I know God has called us to do this, and I pray He will stir your heart to join us in prayer and support.

Franklin will share more about the project with you as the planning develops. In the meantime, all this year Franklin and his son Will are preaching “repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21, ESV) at Crusade events across North America—from Texas to Canada—and God has blessed the work. Already tens of thousands have heard the Gospel, and many have responded, especially young people.

As I write, I am in the middle of a busy summer enjoying visits with many of my grandchildren and other family members, but also working hard on a new book that addresses some dangerous illusions about eternal salvation that are becoming increasingly accepted in many places. I want to point the world to what the Bible says.

Although age and health restrict my mobility and my stamina, not to mention my eyesight and hearing, I am thankful for the days God has given me, and I am humbled by His continued hand of favor on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The Lord draws people to Himself daily through BGEA’s various evangelistic ministries, and I am so deeply grateful.

May God bless you,

[ Billy Graham ]

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“Has God Abandoned America or Has America Abandoned God?”

[ Dr. Michael Thompson ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUe8N_HMtpk

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“Is America Experiencing its Romans 1 Time?”

In Romans chapter one, Paul explains that since men reject the truth of God, He turns them over to a reprobate mind to think and do evil in astounding ways. Their rejection and hatred of God fuels them to believe and do unthinkable evil.

Sixty million murdered children in mother’s wombs in the U.S.; homosexual marriage legalized; and gender dysphoria accepted as “normal” with the government paying for people to try to change their gender (something medical science says is quite impossible), all point to a collective depravity in a nation established under God’s Laws and moral principles. And in the meantime, American Christianity gladly allows secular culture to infiltrate and influence her to the point that churches and their members look more like the world than a unique, holy people.

Gary Kah of Hope For the World joins us to talk about these issues and discuss globalism, Israel, the political divide in the U.S., and a report that President Trump will be unveiling a peace plan for the Middle East that seems to have Israeli officials very nervous. [more…]

[ Gary Kah ]

Podcast: https://standupforthetruth.com/2019/01/is-america-experiencing-its-romans-1-time/

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“When God Judges a Nation”

On the morning of June 25, I had a very disturbing and vivid dream. In this full-color dream I was standing on our driveway with close friends when I noticed the wind picking up. I looked up toward the sky to my left and saw a massive whirlwind descending from heaven. This tornado-like mass was brownish-gray with multi-colored dark clouds swirling in various directions all around it. It was an ominous, terrifying sight and invoked an instant sense of awe among those of us watching.

We were suddenly compelled to look toward the right. We were astonished at the sight of three more raging whirlwinds moving toward the ground. None of them had yet touched down, but they were moving lower and were about to strike. These whirlwinds were enormous and their intensity worse than anything I had ever seen. Aware of the approaching storm we began to scramble for cover. This is when I woke up.

I rarely remember my dreams, but this one was so real that it took me a while to recognize that I was actually lying in the safety of my own bed. It was around 4:30 in the morning, but I awakened my wife to share my dream with her. I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t; so I finally got up, took my Bible and devotional book and went downstairs. I asked the Lord to show me if there was anything I was to understand from this dream.

A short while later I viewed the morning headlines on our television to see if anything of significance had happened overnight. CNN’s lead story reported that New York had just become the sixth state to sign same-sex marriage into law. The state’s Senate, a majority of which is Republican, approved the measure late on the previous day to the delight of the Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo. The news segment showed the New York Senate chamber erupting in loud applause from the balcony as spectators celebrated the outcome of the vote – one day before NYC’s annual Gay Pride parade. [more…]

[ Gary Kah ]

Article: http://admin.worldviewweekend.com/news/article/when-god-judges-nation

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“The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception”

[ John MacArthur ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35LVc-lwLO4

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“Hope for a Doomed Nation”

I have some things on my heart that I want to say to you as your pastor with regard to the nation in which we live. And as I think about Memorial Day and all that’s been sacrificed through the years to give us our freedom, and as we watch those things that we love and those freedoms that have been purchased for us at the price of blood beginning to disappear, and things changing dramatically, it’s important for us to have a perspective that is biblical and God-honoring. And it is this: the Bible presents the truth that the human heart is deeply embedded with wickedness and corruption.

All are sinners. All fall short of the glory of God,

we know that. Man is evil, not only in his behavior; he’s evil in his thinking, he’s evil in his intension. Every part of him is infected with evil. He is evil to the core. He is desperately wicked – to borrow the language of Jeremiah. He is characterized by sin, iniquity, and transgression; and nothing he does pleases God. This is the biblical definition of the human condition.
Now that evil is obviously rampant in every human heart; and collectively, it encircles the globe. It infects everything that man does, everything he touches. So what we have on the planet is massive evil. It is compounded by the presence of Satan and demons who orchestrate a system of evil and a system of spiritual wickedness that corrupts the environment, that corrupts the thinking of man. And so you have the Satanic kingdom doing its work and you have sinners moving within the framework of that Satanic kingdom who are infested with evil down to the very core. That leads inevitably to disaster. [more…]

[ John MacArthur ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK2ihin4sKo

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“A Nation Worth Fighting For”

The freedoms we enjoy in America did not come without a price. As we celebrate another Veterans Day, we honor those who have served our country. Dr. Kennedy will share why this is indeed a nation worth fighting for.

We’ll look at the growing movement to protest the American flag that so many have fought for. And we will offer you an opportunity to take a stand against attacks on Christian conscience in America.

[ D. James Kennedy ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeElcnRLXyY

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“The Bible and the Constitution”

In today’s America, it’s assumed that God and Christianity is supposed to have nothing to do with the government. Dr. D. James Kennedy helps us see just how dependent our Constitution—and our free nation—were dependent on the Bible. You’ll discover that not only is Christianity allowed to influence the government under our Constitution—but the Bible had a direct effect on the writing of the Constitution!

[ D. James Kennedy ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TucVbdWtqBE

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“A Nation That Forgets God”

As we observe the 17th anniversary of the attacks on 911, there is another kind of attack taking place from within our nation. Dr. Jerry Newcombe has more in his “For God and Country” commentary.

[ Dr. Jerry Newcombe ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qSBsn-y2is

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“America at the Crossroads: The Silent Majority vs. the Advancing Power of the Mob”

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the “silent majority.”

You hear it on conservative talk-radio, Fox News and various YouTube channels.

Clearly we are living through dark times in America, unrest that feels different from anything we’ve previously known. The battle lines are more clearly drawn, the mobs more angry, the demands more audacious, the fear more palpable. Guns are flying off store shelves and ammunition is becoming an expense outside the reach of many average citizens.

But cooler heads will ultimately prevail, the theory goes, if for no other reason that this is America and they always do. The mythical silent majority will rise up at some point to save us from the chaos and insanity of these days.

We’ve witnessed the vandalizing and desecration of churches, toppling of historic monuments, smashing, looting and burning of businesses. We’ve seen the cancel culture destroying the lives of innocent, hardworking Americans whose only crime was to state the obvious. [more…]

[ Leo Hohmann ]

Article: https://leohohmann.com/2020/06/24/america-at-the-crossroads-the-silent-majority-vs-the-advancing-power-of-the-mob/

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“Business in CHOP to Sue Seattle for Abandoning the Area”

Wall Street Journal columnist and Fox News contributor Dan Henninger reacts Seattle’s ‘CHOP’ zone and nationwide protests on ‘America’s Newsroom.’

[ Fox News ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES5B2L24HjY

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“Greg Erupts on Juan in Heated Argument Over Democrat Run Cities”

Trump slams Democrat run cities ‘plagued by violence’ in Fox News’ town hall; ‘The Five’ weighs in.

[ Fox News ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyubHMx4qDg

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“God Has Abandoned America”

[ Tony Miano ]

Street Preaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDfq_cWdyMs

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“America Has Forsaken God”

Michael Rood hits America where it hurts — materialism! Putting comforts before their Creator, both ancient Israel and modern America have made gods of their possessions… but it’s not too late!

Jeremiah’s warning to ancient Israel holds true for America today: If we do not heed the awakening trump to return to our founding principles, and if we do not return to the Torah, we will soon be taken captive by our enemies.

In this 8-part teaching series, Michael delves into the book of Jeremiah with the intention of exposing how America is falling into the same perversion as ancient Israel — a much-needed wake up call to those who seek the Truth.

CONDEMNATION: The Jeremiah Verdict is a call to action. You will be inspired to fast and to pray. You will discover radical new meaning in the book of Jeremiah, and you will be driven to keep the faith once delivered to the saints.

[ Michael Rood ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8poaX7LSpjU

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“How Should Christians Respond to the Riots?”

[ John MacArthur ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah3x8MKPHrY

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“Riots and Rumors of Riots”

What we’re currently witnessing in America is nothing short of lawlessness. It’s quite obvious that the goal of the powers of darkness is to castrate the rule of law in America, through any and all of their willing puppets. It is only then that true lawlessness will follow.

Matthew 24:12, “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”

The liberal news media is either complicit or insane. They only seem to serve to exacerbate any crisis situation, like COVID-19, or now the current riots.

There is an order to everything in nature: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

There is an ebb and a flow. Think of the tides rolling in and out of a bay. The incoming tide flows in, followed by the outgoing tide flowing out. That’s just the way of nature.

If there’s bad news that points toward things against opening up our economy, there’s also good news that points in favor of opening up our economy.

Why then does the liberal media always seem to only report “news” that leads against opening up the American economy? Why must they always dwell on the negative without dwelling on the positive?

The only thing positive they dwell on are COVID-19 test results. Even if they do happen to mention something that could be construed as a positive toward opening our economy, they always add an additional negative comment that extinguishes any hope.

Why? Do they not understand the natural order of things? It’s not possible for every thing to be negative as it relates to people getting their freedom back.

It’s as if they’re not letting the incoming tide follow the natural flow back into the bay. They’re like a giant face continuously blowing their enormous breath of putrid wind against the ocean, in order to keep the bay and inland waters from being refreshed by its plentiful waters.

To a reasonable person, it’s as if they’re trying to ensure that the COVID-19 crisis lasts as long as possible. How can that be? Is the media responsible for how many people get sick?

Of course not, and that’s the point. People are gonna get sick, most people are gonna get better, and some people will not. That’s just the way of things.

However, the media can and does control the response to the crisis, and they certainly know that. Nothing will stop them from laying out the red carpet for the man of sin.

Jesus warned us of these exact days that we’re currently living in:

Matthew 24:6-8, “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

The same Greek word translated as “wars” above is also used by James to describe quarrels:

James 4:1, “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?”

It’s as if Jesus was warning us of the mobs and riots we’re seeing more and more now around the world. The word Jesus used for “wars” can also mean “battles,” and no one can deny that what we’re currently seeing around American cities today is nothing short of battles.

Then, in the next verse, Jesus described nations rising against nations. The Greek word that Jesus used for “nation” means “nationality,” “ethnicity,” or “race.”

In other words, the warning given by Jesus as to what the last generation would witness right before the Tribulation “could” rightly be translated as:

And you will hear of riots and rumors of riots. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For race will rise against race, and country against country. And there will be famines, viruses, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

With social media, information spreads at light speed, both true and false information. What’s really happening, and what’s rumored to happen.

With mobs tearing down statues, stores, monuments, police stations, and anything they can get their hands on, the words “wars” and “battles” seem very appropriate. It’s obvious that the raging lunatics have no real cause except to hate all righteous authority.

Psalm 2:1-2, “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against His Anointed.”

Based upon Christ’s warnings, it seems very likely that we’ll be witnessing wars between countries very soon. Of course, earthquakes can strike at any place, anytime; but with the fear of COVID-19, a brand-new Ebola virus outbreak in the Congo, and the pestilences of locusts and other factors causing severe famine in certain parts of the world already happening, military warfare seems next on the horizon.

Not to mention, this hurricane season is forecast to be yet another one for the record books.

Exactly when the true, faithful, watching, waiting, and warning church will be caught up to meet Jesus, will determine just how much more trouble we are going to witness.

However, nothing that is happening is outside God’s knowledge, power, and ability to protect His own. He has an exact date picked out already when we will be brought to stand before Jesus while the rest of the world stands before Antichrist.

Luke 21:36, “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

[ Daniel Payne ]

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“Reason, Riots and Liberty”

Native New Yorker Eric Metaxas is a New York Times #1 bestselling author and host of the Eric Metaxas Radio Show. He speaks to John from lockdown in New York as protests rage in the streets.

[ Eric Metaxas ]

TV Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxK9AchUfzo

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“Who’s to Blame for the Riots?”

It is because our God is faithful that we fully trust Him. He is faithful to His nature, faithful to His word, faithful to His promise, and never varies. In that faithfulness we have found our rest and our security. Now obviously, it comes to me today to speak to all of you who are listening with a view toward the current issues that all of us are very much aware of. And so I mentioned earlier in the week that I would like to pose the question this morning, and the question is, “Who’s to blame for the riots?” That’s the question, and to answer that from the Scripture, from the Word of God.

We are obviously living in very bizarre times that have produced massive fear and confusion. On top of that, our society is drowning in a sea of lies, lies about virtually everything, and lies on top of fear and confusion create an almost fatal insecurity and a devastating chaos. We have little confidence in believing what politicians say or what health officials say or what social activists say or what university professors say or what media says or, frankly, what religious leaders say. We have been lied to so constantly. And there is One to whom we can turn and always hear the truth: that is to the living God who has revealed Himself on the pages of Scripture, the one true living God. And Scripture says, “Let God be true and every man a liar.” God is the God of truth. The Son of God is the way, the truth, and the life. “Satan, the prince of this world,” – said Jesus in John 8:44 – “is a murderer and a liar.” And the whole world lies in the lap of the Evil One, and is therefore bent on killing and lying.

So we’re in a time of chaos and lies. We have only one place to turn that we can trust, one who is faithful, and that is God in His word. Jesus said in John 17 to the Father, “Your word is truth. Your word is truth.” So let’s look at the truth and find out what the truth is about who’s to blame for the riots. We can start in the book that I read to you earlier, the book of Isaiah, way back in the first chapter. [more…]

[ John MacArthur ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=Z2TbhCwBbOg

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“Racial Issues Facing Us as a Nation”

A message from my heart about the recent events in our nation.

[ Tony Evans ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7vhcF052OY

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“What Do We Do with Critical Theory?: Racism, White Privilege, and Christianity”

The question most central to defining a worldview, other than “Who is God?” and “What does it mean to be human?” is “What’s really wrong with the world?” It’s a tricky question, because there are a lot of things wrong with the world. The question is, what is the core problem that needs to be addressed in the world, the root cause of evil and human suffering, and what solution can be offered to fix it?

For example, we should want to see justice flourish and racism of all kinds come to an end, especially in light of our nation’s history and evidence that our African American neighbors are not treated equally before the law. But not everyone who talks about ending racism and creating justice means the same thing.

For a growing number of people, including some Christians with good motives, these goals are shorthand for an ideology that divides instead of reconciles, that sees people as either oppressed or oppressor rather than as divine image bearers created from “one blood.”

The ideas of Critical Theory, especially since the horrific killing of George Floyd, have become a central part of our national conversation. Once largely limited to the academy, these ideas have trickled down the way ideas do, to the media, through popular culture, and into the cultural imagination. Even those not familiar with the term “critical theory” will likely recognize its central tenets.

Critical Theory originated with a group of political philosophers who applied Karl Marx’s ideas about economics to society as a whole, especially across additional categories of class distinction, such as race, sex, and gender identity. The result was an all-encompassing worldview that purported to reveal hidden power structures behind society’s problems and institutions, by dividing people along the lines of oppressed and oppressor.

As Colson Center Senior Fellow and historian Glenn Sunshine explained in a recent episode of The Theology Pugcast, Critical Theory, like the classical Marxism it borrows from, views human beings in purely materialist terms. So, according to Critical Theory our race, sexual orientation, gender identity aren’t mere aspects of who we are, they are our defining characteristics. In each of these areas, we are either part of oppressed groups or we are oppressors.

According to critical theory, the oppressed group automatically has moral authority, while the oppressor group does not. Someone who is a racial minority or a sexual minority of some kind is automatically a victim of oppression and has claims against oppressors and the unearned privilege that makes their life easier (and this part is critical) at the expense of their oppressed neighbors.

Overlooked in this analysis are individual choices and life situations, which often has a far greater impact on a person’s life. For example, whether or not a child grows up with a father is statistically more important than their ethnic identity. Other factors, such as religious commitment, education, sexual decisions, and family stability have profound power to shape the lives and futures as individuals, families, and whole communities.

Critical theory, however, ignores every other factor or squashes it into the oppressor-oppressed dynamic. This view distorts reality, and often turns on itself.

A recent article at Quillette described a Danish professor and critical theorist attacked by fellow critical theorists. They claimed his branch of Critical Theory was racist. This is no isolated case. Critical Theorists have produced scholarly articles and whole books claiming that everything from logic to math are tools of white, heteronormative oppression.

The problem, as is explained in a recent “What Would You Say” video, is that Critical Theory’s answer to the question “what’s wrong with the world” is just wrong. Specifically, critical theory gets the human condition wrong and the human problem wrong. As a result, its solutions are simplistic and, at times, dangerous. They’re not compatible with Christianity, and we should reject them.

Now, to be clear, I believe racism still plagues our country, and is embedded in the hearts of individuals and in institutions and systems. We can reach this conclusion by care, by listening, and by statistical data, not to mention from how the Christian worldview describes the cause and condition of fallen humanity.

Too often, any attempt to listen and to engage the race issue is dismissed as critical theory. It’s not. At the same time, Critical Theory’s analysis and answers to the problem of racism violate what we know to be true about the human condition. Only the Biblical story frames for us human value, human sin, and human hope, which both allows us and calls us to confront racism wherever it rears its ugly head, without embracing a theory that sees people as nothing but their race.

[ John Stonestreet ]

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“There Is No Epidemic of Racist Police Shootings”

A new study debunks a common myth.
The Democratic presidential candidates have revived the anti-police rhetoric of the Obama years. Joe Biden’s criminal-justice plan promises that after his policing reforms, black mothers and fathers will no longer have to fear when their children “walk the streets of America” — the threat allegedly coming from cops, not gangbangers. President Barack Obama likewise claimed during the memorial for five Dallas police officers killed by a Black Lives Matter–inspired assassin in July 2016 that black parents were right to fear that their child could be killed by a police officer whenever he “walks out the door.” South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg has said that police shootings of black men won’t be solved “until we move policing out from the shadow of systemic racism.” Beto O’Rourke claims that the police shoot blacks “solely based on the color of their skin.”

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demolishes the Democratic narrative regarding race and police shootings, which holds that white officers are engaged in an epidemic of racially biased shootings of black men. It turns out that white officers are no more likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot black civilians. It is a racial group’s rate of violent crime that determines police shootings, not the race of the officer. The more frequently officers encounter violent suspects from any given racial group, the greater the chance that members of that racial group will be shot by a police officer. In fact, if there is a bias in police shootings after crime rates are taken into account, it is against white civilians, the study found.

The authors, faculty at Michigan State University and the University of Maryland at College Park, created a database of 917 officer-involved fatal shootings in 2015 from more than 650 police departments. Fifty-five percent of the victims were white, 27 percent were black, and 19 percent were Hispanic. Between 90 and 95 percent of the civilians shot by officers in 2015 were attacking police or other citizens; 90 percent were armed with a weapon. So-called threat-misperception shootings, in which an officer shoots an unarmed civilian after mistaking a cellphone, say, for a gun, were rare.

Earlier studies have also disproven the idea that white officers are biased in shooting black citizens. The Black Lives Matter narrative has been impervious to the truth, however. Police departments are under enormous political pressure to hire based on race, despite existing efforts to recruit minorities, on the theory that doing so will decrease police shootings of minorities. Buttigieg came under fire from his presidential rivals for not having more black officers on the South Bend force after a white officer killed a black suspect this June. (The officer had responded to a 911 call about a possible car-theft suspect, saw a man leaning into a car, and shot off two rounds after the man threatened him with a knife.) The Obama administration recommended in 2016 that police departments lower their entry standards in order to be able to qualify more minorities for recruitment. Departments had already been deemphasizing written exams or eliminating requirements that recruits have a clean criminal record, but the trend intensified thereafter. The Baltimore Police Department changed its qualifying exam to such an extent that the director of legal instruction in the Baltimore Police Academy complained in 2018 that rookie officers were being let out onto the street with little understanding of the law. Mr. Biden’s criminal-justice plan would require police hiring to “mirror the racial diversity” of the local community as a precondition of federal funding.

This effort to increase minority representation will not reduce racial disparities in shootings, concludes the PNAS study, since white officers are not responsible for those disparities; black crime rates are. Moreover, lowered hiring standards risk bad police work and corruption. A 2015 Justice Department study of the Philadelphia Police Department found that black officers were 67 percent more likely than white officers to mistakenly shoot an unarmed black suspect; Hispanic officers were 145 percent more likely than white officers to mistakenly shoot an unarmed black suspect. Whether lowered hiring standards are responsible for those disparities was not addressed.

The persistent belief that we are living through an epidemic of racially biased police shootings is a creation of selective reporting. In 2015, the year the PNAS study addressed, the white victims of fatal police shootings included a 50-year-old suspect in a domestic assault in Tuscaloosa, Ala., who ran at the officer with a spoon; a 28-year-old driver in Des Moines, Iowa, who exited his car and walked quickly toward an officer after a car chase; and a 21-year-old suspect in a grocery-store robbery in Akron, Ohio, who had escaped on a bike and who did not remove his hand from his waistband when ordered to do so. Had any of these victims been black, the media and activists would probably have jumped on their stories and added their names to the roster of victims of police racism. Instead, because they are white, they are unknown.

Biden Against Defunding Police
The “policing is racist” discourse is poisonous. It exacerbates anti-cop tensions in minority communities and makes cops unwilling to engage in the proactive policing that can save lives. Last month, viral videos of pedestrians in Harlem, the Bronx, and Brooklyn assaulting passive New York Police Department officers showed that hostility toward the police in inner-city neighborhoods remains at dangerous levels.

The anti-cop narrative deflects attention away from solving the real criminal-justice problem, which is high rates of black-on-black victimization. Blacks die of homicide at eight times the rate of non-Hispanic whites, overwhelmingly killed not by cops, not by whites, but by other blacks. The Democratic candidates should get their facts straight and address that issue. Until they do, their talk of racial justice will ring hollow.

[ Heather Mac Donald – July 31, 2019 ]

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“The Antichrist Won’t Have to Rent-a-Mob”

June 9, 2020

When Utter Lawlessness Visited My Home Town

Do you have “crisis fatigue” yet? That happens when we get overwhelmed by constant unrelenting pressures, images, dilemmas, and heartaches. And that describes our state of affairs since early March, 2020. This year is not for the faint-hearted!

Gun shops are selling out. Those in the know warn of a serious revolution in America. Such confusion reigns that in some cities, police officers are joining the side of the protesters and rioters! Mix some strong delusion in there because there is serious talk of cities like mine dismantling their police departments! Others are slashing their police budgets. Parts of America will resemble the wild West!

On January 25, I spoke at Pastor Barry Stagner’s annual Proximity Prophecy Conference in southern California. I reviewed ten top stories that people should keep their eyes on in the new year. Number one on my list was the rise of the spirit of the Antichrist around the world! You can find that teaching here.

Little did I know at that time that such lawlessness was going to come to my home town – Minneapolis/St. Paul, and that these two cities would become “ground zero” in the rioting and looting scenario that broke out right after Memorial Day.

I’ve had an up-close-and-personal look at mankind at his worst. Thankfully I am 30-40 minutes from the mayhem although there have been constant threats to move the turmoil to the suburbs.

In the Twin Cities, 1,000 properties have been vandalized, looted, burned, or totally destroyed along with apartments above these businesses and homes.

Our media shows business owners staring in stunned disbelief as many were reeling from Cornavirus destruction but now they face the result of rampant anarchy. The media adds insult to injury by calling the destruction “peaceful protests.”

How peaceful was it to spray wheelchair-bound woman with a fire extinguisher?

So the Twin Cities looks like Somalia. I hope Rep. Ilhan Omar, in whose district a great majority of the damage resides, is finally happy. We are Mogadishu on the Mississippi.

Our liberal politicians cry crocodile tears while their loyalties are with the demonstrators. They seem detached from reality by obsessing over proper social distancing of all involved and the looting thugs realize they can get away with literal murder in such a climate of lunacy.

To Minnesota politicians, demonstrating is “essential” but being with sick and dying loved ones is not, visiting our elderly is off the list, funerals and weddings are put on hold, and church is but an inconvenience. What bizarre reality is this?

In the meantime, mile after mile of landscape has been changed in the Twin Cities that will take years—and perhaps a decade or more—to reconstruct. The rent-a-mob business is alive and well, very organized, and brutal. And lawless—but nothing like the lawlessness that is to come.

The smoke and tear gas are gone now and I have had time to reflect. Though I am many miles from ground zero, I have seen enough film of the rioting that I had the opportunity to look at the faces of the lawless. I could sense their heartlessness and brutality. “ And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. ” (Matthew 24:12)

One of the names of the Antichrist is the “lawless one.” The term was coined by Paul in II Thessalonians 2 where he warns the Church of the soon arrival of this man who would come on the scene and deceive the masses in the latter days during the Tribulation.

Two verses read, “Let no one deceive you in any way, for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. ” (II Thessalonians 2:3-4)

Again, this occurs during the Tribulation from which the Church is absent. Yet what we have seen playing out on the streets of America in May and June is a dress rehearsal, though subdued compared to the lawlessness and turmoil in the Tribulation. It is still setting the stage.

The Antichrist won’t have to rent-a-mob . When he reigns, much of the world will be lawless, godless, tumultuous, and confused. Antifa will be the normal! The burned and looted sections of my home town will be the gold standard around the world.

With the restrainer gone, there will be absolutely nothing to hold back the evil, selfishness, and out-of-control behavior! The world can go crazy and will. They will glory in utter chaos . What we have now is a trial run that is a weak fire cracker in comparison. Multiply it by ten or a hundred or a thousand!

In Matthew 24, Jesus reminds us that the last days will be as the days of Noah. They will resemble Noah’s time of lawlessness, violence, wickedness, and depravity. Satan is working overtime today to prepare the way for the man of the hour who will, in the near future, make his grand appearance . The Church does not get to witness this thankfully.

The good news is that God will consume the Antichrist and his minions at the end of the Tribulation with the brightness of His coming!

Author Terry James writes, “The rage makes clear the existence of the Antichrist spirit in high places that continues to do everything to bring America and the world into the configuration Satan wants to establish for his soon-coming Antichrist platform. At the heart of the minions’ (both human and supernatural) effort is destruction of moral values and norms based on Judeo-Christian precepts/concepts.

“Cultures and societies throughout the world—especially in America—must be altered drastically to pave the way for the coming Antichrist regime.”

James states, “This nation, therefore, is the chief obstacle to Satan’s plans in forming the one-world order he wants to set up for the coming Antichrist. That’s why we’ve endured insane rage while the powers in high places strive to get power back into the formerly established order by getting rid of this president.”

He concludes and rightly so, “Just as we witness the Antichrist spirit surging, we, as born-again believers, should have a surging sense of excitement and comfort. Redemption is near” (Titus 2:13).

[ Jan Markell ]

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“Is CCP Involved in the George Floyd Riots? Terror Designation May Go Beyond the Riots”

The far-left extremist group Antifa will soon be designated a terrorist organization, according to President Donald Trump. Attorney General William Barr declared that the protests now spreading across the United States “are being hijacked by violent radical elements.” He also stated, “The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.”

And questions are growing on which organizations are behind the riots. While Antifa is being called out directly for subverting the protests, other far-left organizations are playing key roles. Among them is Democratic Socialist of America, which has been actively participating in the riots, and which formed a national network to coordinate “antifascist” operations. Similar organizations are also involved.

[ Joshua Philipp ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvxrtMb3mYM

*****************************
“Is CCP Involved in the George Floyd Riots? Terror Designation May Go Beyond the Riots”

The far-left extremist group Antifa will soon be designated a terrorist organization, according to President Donald Trump. Attorney General William Barr declared that the protests now spreading across the United States “are being hijacked by violent radical elements.” He also stated, “The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.”

And questions are growing on which organizations are behind the riots. While Antifa is being called out directly for subverting the protests, other far-left organizations are playing key roles. Among them is Democratic Socialist of America, which has been actively participating in the riots, and which formed a national network to coordinate “antifascist” operations. Similar organizations are also involved.

[ Joshua Philipp ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvxrtMb3mYM

*****************************
“What Does the Bible Say About Racism?”

Answer: The first thing to understand in this discussion is that there is only one race—the human race. Caucasians, Africans, Asians, Indians, Arabs, and Jews are not different races. Rather, they are different ethnicities of the human race. All human beings have the same physical characteristics (with minor variations, of course). More importantly, all human beings are equally created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus to lay down His life for us (John 3:16). The “world” obviously includes all ethnic groups.

God does not show partiality or favoritism (Deuteronomy 10:17; Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9), and neither should we. James 2:4 describes those who discriminate as “judges with evil thoughts.” Instead, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves (James 2:8). In the Old Testament, God divided humanity into two “racial” groups: Jews and Gentiles. God’s intent was for the Jews to be a kingdom of priests, ministering to the Gentile nations. Instead, for the most part, the Jews became proud of their status and despised the Gentiles. Jesus Christ put an end to this, destroying the dividing wall of hostility (Ephesians 2:14). All forms of racism, prejudice, and discrimination are affronts to the work of Christ on the cross.

Jesus commands us to love one another as He loves us (John 13:34). If God is impartial and loves us with impartiality, then we need to love others with that same high standard. Jesus teaches in Matthew 25 that whatever we do to the least of His brothers, we do to Him. If we treat a person with contempt, we are mistreating a person created in God’s image; we are hurting somebody whom God loves and for whom Jesus died.

Racism, in varying forms and to various degrees, has been a plague on humanity for thousands of years. Brothers and sisters of all ethnicities, this should not be. Victims of racism, prejudice, and discrimination need to forgive. Ephesians 4:32 declares, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Racists may not deserve your forgiveness, but we deserved God’s forgiveness far less. Those who practice racism, prejudice, and discrimination need to repent. “Present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Romans 6:13). May Galatians 3:28 be completely realized, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

[ Got Questions ]

*****************************
“What Did Jesus Say About Racism?”

[ Todd Friel ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0POOmdux1I

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“High Court Assaults Liberty in Bizarre, Unfounded and Dangerous Employment Discrimination Case”

June 17, 2020

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., June 17, 2020 /Christian Newswire/ — Dr. Frank Wright, CEO and President of D. James Kennedy Ministries, released this statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Title VII employment discrimination case—”Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia”—released Monday.

In an open assault on the rule of law and the role of America’s elected legislators, six members of the U.S. Supreme Court redefined the plain meaning of the word “sex” to reach a bizarre, unfounded and dangerous conclusion in its employment discrimination ruling.

These unaccountable justices usurped the people’s elected representatives and switched out the dictionary definition of sex (as used in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act) to make the word mean what no one in 1964 conceived possible. That the plain meaning of sex—male and female—is now to be understood to include homosexuality and those suffering from gender dysphoria is a preposterous flight away from reality.

In this ruling, the Court gives wings to the transgender revolution. It launches a storm of litigation which will clog the courts and shrink the narrowing circle of religious liberty in our land. Yes, the Court’s majority opinion claims to be “deeply concerned with preserving the promise of the free exercise of religion enshrined in our Constitution.”

But that does nothing for funeral home owner Tom Rost, or other Christian business men and women who may soon, like Rost, be hauled into court unless they bow to the Court’s newly rubberized definition of sex.

Women also are put at risk by this brazen display of judicial activism. Female athletes will be forced to compete against biological males who claim they are females. And in a bizarre twist, this Court, so obsessed in other contexts with privacy rights, here flings open the doors of women’s restrooms, locker-rooms, and overnight facilities—including shelters for battered women.

As Justice Samuel Alito stated in dissent, the Court’s opinion enables transgender persons “to argue that they are entitled to use a bathroom or locker room that is reserved for persons of the sex with which they identify” And that, as Justice Alito added, puts women at obvious risk:

“For women who have been victimized by sexual assault or abuse, the experience of seeing an unclothed person with the anatomy of a male in a confined and sensitive location such as a bathroom or locker room can cause serious psychological harm.”

With this decision, the Supreme Court has endorsed “transgender”—a dubious concept that didn’t exist just a few decades ago—and elevated it to the level of race and sex. Make no mistake, this is yet another example of judicial tyranny—a legal outrage imposed on the people in direct contradiction to the law as written.

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment right of Christians to assemble for worship is subject to arbitrary limits imposed by California officials. With this opinion, it has attacked and wounded liberty once more.

Jesus said: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” And what does His word say? From Genesis 5:1-2: “When God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. Male and female He created them.” When the Supreme Lawgiver speaks, even the “Supreme Court” should listen.

[ Dr. Frank Wright ]

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“A Nation Divided”

Never have the words spoken by Jesus been more relevant than at this moment in the history of America:

And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. (Mark 3: 24–25)

We watched this past week policemen and even members of the National Guard kneeling before the protesters in cities they were supposed to protect and govern. Amongst the protesters were the vilest of people determined to tear America down. The police and military governing officials actually were kneeling before these people as well as before the peaceful, lawful protesters.

Such entities as Black Lives Matter, supposedly an organization to champion the rights of African-Americans in particular, were, meantime, joining with the communist-backed thugs called Antifa in destroying infrastructure of cities and injuring police officers sent to assure the safety of citizens.

Still, the police and even some National Guard members knelt in ”solidarity” with those who perpetrated outrageous, unlawful acts of violence.

This, Jesus said, is what happens when a nation or a household is divided in loyalty and purpose.

America certainly is divided. It is divided at its very core. It is divided along a number of lines—politically, ideologically, racially, and one other, the most important divide of all, spiritually.

The political-ideological divide is so obvious as to need no explanation. However, mention it I will.

We have witnessed the assaults from the politically leaning left ramp up hatred against the current president. It is joined by mainstream news and entertainment media in its hatred for the president and his determination to rebuild America toward its former, founding structure—based upon constitutional authority steeped in Judeo-Christian principles.

Most all of social media join in the effort to further divide America, censoring conservative thought, which wants an America as founded. More and more, only “progressive” thinking that declares there is no desire for governance that includes godly morality dominates the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and others.

Proponents who embrace tearing America down and making it an internationalist rather than national entity, through open borders and every other globalist-engendered way, kneel before the god of this world. That god of this world is Satan, the father of lies, who knows that the way to achieve his own determination to produce his Antichrist regime is to remove the roadblock of nationalism. Particularly, he wants such a powerful roadblock to his goal as the United States removed as quickly as possible and in whatever way necessary.

The devil seems to be having his way lately. The media does its bidding in reporting the dividing of America—or seemingly so. Every night, the cameras and media voices portray this nation as tearing itself apart.

The division, they imply, is rightfully destroying America’s unfair structure of law and order. Current structures of law and order, they want us to infer, needs defunding or whatsoever else necessary in order to show how much we agree with the likes of Black Lives Matter. Media relish the scenes of some among that law-and-order establishment kneeling before the protesters who have been taken over by the violent, anti-American anarchists.

Satan, too, relishes the scenes, no doubt. He knows Jesus’ words are true: “A kingdom or house divided against itself cannot stand.”

The devil has half the country agreeing with having those assigned to protect us against the deadly destructiveness of anarchy kneeling before the anarchists.

The divide is there at every juncture of American life. We are divided right down the middle politically, ideologically, and racially, it seems. But it is the spiritual divide that’s most virulent.

It seems that fully half the nation, including most of the Millennials, has been deluded through decades of anti-American, anti-God inculcation. The education system has been corrupted so that most every higher educational administration has avowed communist or atheist teachers and professors at its core. This is considered a good thing by those on the left, because Thomas Jefferson said there must be separation of church and state. Only Jefferson meant no such thing, as anyone who sincerely examines his statement to the minister in his letter will conclude.

So much of America today, rather than standing, is kneeling before the anti-God forces of Satan’s planning for the globalist regime to come.

There is a remedy. God always provides a way out of a sin-strapped predicament. Let’s look at Jesus’ words in totality in the matter of a house divided.

And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. (Mark 3: 24–27)

America is in a state of division. Satan has all of his agencies, both human and demonic, working in one direction to bring the nation down so he can complete his one-world order. He must disarm the nation by defunding the protective services through doing away with the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms.

Half the nation, it seems, is kneeling before these forces of evil. The answer to our dire predicament is to do the same. We, who call upon the name of Jesus Christ, must kneel also. We must kneel before our Lord and invoke again the prayer as instructed by the Heavenly Father. As we approach election this November, it is imperative that we heed and do as instructed.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall 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 7:14)

We are not naïve. Our beloved nation and the world of nations will eventually fall to the global scheme Satan and his minions are working day and night to bring into being. The satanic, global order is there in Bible prophecy. But our prayers and efforts at the voting booth and in other ways can delay the devil’s implementation of his hellish scheme.

When the Church is called by Christ (Revelation 4:1) in the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51–55 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18), the world of rebels, sadly, will get their abominable New World Order. Let us be salt and light to the world until that glorious moment.

[ Terry James ]

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“Ben Shapiro calls Seattle protesters’ neighborhood takeover ‘beyond parody’: ‘You stupid Communists’”

Ben Shapiro called reports of chaos in Seattle’s “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ) “beyond parody” on Thursday’s episode of “The Ben Shapiro Show”, adding that he was “really enjoying this live showing on continuous loop of the ‘Dark Knight Rises.'”

“It’s really exciting stuff,” the host added.

MEDIA DOWNPLAYS ‘INSANITY IN SEATTLE’

Protesters have declared the six-block area a “Cop Free Zone” after officers effectively abandoned the neighborhood during violent clashes with demonstrators calling to defund the police.

The demonstrators have since set up occupancy in that downtown section, but Shapiro said their attempts to send a message had turned into a “raucous comedy almost immediately.”

President Trump has taken notice of the situation, tweeting late Wednesday that “domestic terrorists” had taken over and blaming the city’s “radical left Democrats” for contributing to the unrest.

“My outrage at the destruction of law and order turned to bemusement as I watched the mayor of Seattle cave to all of this,” Shapiro said, “and now it has turned to full-scale amusement as the whole thing turns into a predictable debacle.

SEATTLE ‘AUTONOMOUS ZONE’ HAS ARMED GUARDS, LOCAL BUSINESSES BEING THREATENED WITH EXTORTION, POLICE SAY

“It turns out that anarchy is usually a pretext for tyranny,” he went on. “Chaos is usually a pretext for terrible people taking over.”

Andy Ngô

@MrAndyNgo
72 hours after the establishment of the #CapitalHillAutonomousZone, there are apparently already food shortages.

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Shapiro highlighted a tweet sent by a protester who warned of food shortages, urging outsiders to bring “vegan meat substitutes, fruits, oats, and soy products.” The protester claimed that their food supply was running low after a group of homeless people they invited “took away all the food.”

“You got rid of law and order and then the homeless people came and took all your food … this is what happens, you stupid Communists,” Shapiro said.

“This is beyond parody,” he concluded. “It’s like the right wing made this up … it’s as though it came from the fever dream of Tom Wolfe.”

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“You Are Now Leaving The USA”

Black Lives Matter forms its own “autonomous zone” in Seattle; white liberals begin to embrace radical chic; and everything from the Washington Monument to Paw Patrol is on the chopping block.

[ The Ben Shapiro Show ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=wozB6-xUlPU

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“Spirit of Anarchy”

The nation appears to be descending into anarchy! Was that prophesied in the Bible? Find out with guest Don Perkins and the Lamb & Lion Ministries evangelism team as they provide their Prophetic Perspectives.

[ Christ in Prophecy ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0JlhlPWgEI

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“Our Nation’s Two Greatest Problems”

What is the real cause for today’s chaos across America? Find out with the Lamb & Lion Ministries evangelism team as they provide their Prophetic Perspectives!

[ Christ in Prophecy ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sv4LTW8pS5A

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“The Cure for Racism”

Ethnos versus ethnos in the end times! Is there a cure for racism? Find out with guest Don Perkins and the Lamb & Lion Ministries evangelism team as they provide their Prophetic Perspectives.

Christ in Prophecy ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gys65bRv6x8

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“Sin had not reached its full measure?”

Question
What does it mean when the Bible states the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure in Genesis 15:16?

Answer
Thanks for your question. God sovereignly times the arrival of his divine judgment with the fullness of the sin(s) to be judged. God is not quick tempered; he is patient, even with the wicked (Rom 2:4). However, there comes a time when the sins of the wicked ripen to full harvest (Joel 3:13; Rev 14:14-15,18-20). That is the time of God’s decisive judgment, which is always holy, righteous, and good (Rom 7:12).
The Amorites were a very wicked people (Deut 9:5). They were unrepentant. The Hebrew word translated as “iniquity” in Genesis 15:16 is avon, meaning ‘iniquity, guilt, or punishment for iniquity.’ Part of their iniquity is recounted for us in Numbers 21:21-26 and Deuteronomy 20:16-18. In addition, they worshipped false gods, such as Baal. The Apostle Paul later wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:20 concerning things which the Gentiles sacrificed to demons (cf. Lev 17:7; Deut 32:17; Psa 106:37). Clearly, this was an abomination, which led in time to other societal abominations, such as child sacrifice (Lev 20:1-5; cf. Deut 12:31; 18:9-10; 2 Kings 16:3; 21:6; Isa 57:5; Jer 7:30-31; 19:5; 32:35; Ezek 16:20-21; 23:36-39, etc.). So, over time the vat of wrath was filled.

The wicked have a measure of iniquity to fill up; such as Sodom whose sin was great and exceedingly grave (Gen 18:20). Some fill up the vat of wrath quicker, while others slower. In either case, God waits patiently and bears with the wicked (Rom 9:22). However, when the time is full, he holds off no longer, but delivers vengeance upon them (Matt 23:32). So, while the guilt of man is accumulated little by little, when the time comes God moves swiftly, like a thief in the night (cf. 1 Thess 5:1-2).

We often ask, “Why do the wicked live such long lives, why do we see so many of them prosper?” Why do the United States and other nations seem to go unpunished for all of their evil? For instance, LifeNews cites that Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards is proud of their record of murdering 7 + million babies. [1] The United States by their laws support such abomination! Why does God allow this? The answer is seen here in Genesis 15:16; their sin has not yet reached it full measure. But, even those who run nations and corporations are “storing up wrath” for “the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” (Rom 2:5; 1 Thess 2:16).

Wrath, like wealth, is not all exhausted at once, it remains in a sealed vault to be used at some future time (2 Pet 3:7). Like snow that accumulates upon a mountain top flake by flake, it builds and builds until that day of a great avalanche. So, he that continues to sin is building up wrath against himself. But, overwhelming judgment will surely come. Their damnation is just (Rom 3:8). The wages of sin is death (Rom 3:23).

References:
[1] Ertelt, Steven. LifeNews “Cecile Richards: Planned Parenthood “Proudly” Kills 7 Million Babies in Abortions, “We’re Just Getting Started” October 14, 2016.

[ Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr. ]

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“Not Yet Complete”

“They shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete” (Gen. 15:16).

– Genesis 15:14–16
Continuing our study of Genesis 15, today we examine verses 14–16 and the important lesson they teach us about God and His patience. Lest we ever think the Lord is too slow and ignores the troubles of His people, today’s passage can provide us with comfort and a deeper understanding of our Creator’s justice.

First, in verse 14 Yahweh asserts He will most certainly bring judgment on the nation that enslaves Israel. As is well known, the Lord did send many plagues upon Egypt, and the people of God left that country with many possessions (Ex. 7:14–12:42). Moses wrote Genesis for this redeemed people, and therefore this story gave the Israelites a firm hope that all of the promises to Abram would be realized. Leaving Egypt, judged just as the Lord promised in 15:14, they would have seen firsthand God’s Word being fulfilled and would be encouraged to expect His faithfulness in the future.

The Lord waited four hundred years to save the Israelites from Pharaoh and Egypt (Ex. 12:40). This is, of course, entirely in keeping with the word God spoke to Abram in Genesis 15:13 and with the promise that Canaan would be his only after the fourth generation (v. 16). Our Lord did not forget His people, He was merely waiting for the right time to avenge His servants. In this, we see that God may allow persecutors and oppressors to trample on His people for a long time; yet in the end, He certainly will deal with them.

God, who is longsuffering, desires His creation to give Him thanks and worship. The Amorites (the pagan citizens of Canaan), an idolatrous people, desired no such thing. Thus God waited to give the promised land to Israel until the iniquity of the Amorites was “complete” (v. 16). The Lord does not arbitrarily punish; He allows people to run themselves into hell, which makes His verdicts fitting. In Abram’s day, the Amorites had not yet become corrupt enough to lose Canaan, and so it does not go immediately to Abram. When it does, God uses His people Israel to carry out His sentence (see Joshua and Judges). Men can sin brazenly only for a short time; judgment will surely fall when their evil works are complete.

Coram Deo
John Calvin writes of this passage: “The more graciously [God] waits for men, if, at length, instead of repenting they remain obstinate, the more severely does he avenge such great ingratitude.” God graciously waits for people to repent before He sends judgment — such is His kindness (Rom. 2:4). Let us not despair over our society’s wickedness, for the Lord will judge it in time. Likewise, let us never sin boldly, for He will not indefinitely suspend His discipline.

[ Ligonier ]

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“The Damning Deception of Empty Words and Empty Hearts”

We all understand that false religion is damning deception, we know that. We also know that Satan is an angel of light, at least he’s disguised as an angel of light, and his minister is disguised as well, as angels of light; and that is to say that he operates in the realm of religion. That is why false religion is called doctrines of demons in the Scripture. And the Bible repeatedly warns about doctrines of demons, it repeatedly warns about false religion. It warns about its presence: it is ubiquitous, it is everywhere all the time. It warns about its purveyors, or its prophets, those who propagate it. And most specifically, the Bible warns about its peril. Nothing is more ultimately terminally perilous than false religion.

And the world, of course, is easily drawn into false religion. The world readily drinks its fatal poison. And you might ask why false religion is so attractive to the world. Why do people have so little resistance to false religion? Why is false religion so globally dominating and all-encompassing? And the answer is this: because, “The whole world lies in the lap of the Evil One,” as 1 John 5 says.

The whole world belongs to the kingdom of darkness. Jesus said this is in John 8. He said, verse 43, “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word.” Why? “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.” And then Jesus said this: “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” [more…]

[ John MacArthur ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1VQLTCEbN4

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“The Slow Burn of America”

When the mobs picked up guns and baseball bats and headed back into the streets last night, it was no longer about George Floyd. The chaos that’s erupting at dark has stopped telling his story — and started telling ours as a lost and desperate country. “It’s okay to be angry,” George’s brother said. But the man in whose name policemen are being shot, cities are being burned, and businesses are being destroyed would have never wanted this. He was “about peace.” And if the rioters cared about justice, they would be too.

But as dawn broke, even more cities had been brought to their knees by raging crowds that left officers in critical condition and communities beyond ruin. Despite curfews, low-flying military helicopters, and the deployment of the National Guard, hordes of crowds bent on violence hurled whatever they could find — rocks, fireworks, bricks — at teams in riot gear, torching cars and buildings along the way. As President Trump said earlier in the day, “These are not acts of peaceful protest. These are acts of domestic terror. The destruction of innocent life and the spilling of innocent blood is an offense to humanity and a crime against God.”

Like most Americans, the Floyd family has looked on with horror. “If his own family and blood are trying to deal with it and be positive about it, and go another route to seek justice,” Terrance Floyd insisted on ABC, “then why are you out here tearing up your community?” Floyd’s girlfriend also tried, emotionally telling them that “Waking up this morning to see Minneapolis on fire would be something that would devastate [him]. He loved the city.” Even Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s daughter, Bernice, tried to break through the madness. Peaceful protests “did not fail my father.” And, President Trump insisted, they will not fail us now.

“America is founded upon the rule of law,” he reminded the country. “It is the foundation of our prosperity, our freedom, and our very way of life. But where there is no law, there is no opportunity. Where there is no justice, there is no liberty. Where there is no safety, there is no future. We must never give in to anger or hatred. If malice or violence reigns, then none of us is free.” If state leaders refuse to realize that and act, he will. “If a city or a state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”

To the anarchists, arsonists, looters, criminals, rioters, Antifa, and others, the message was simple: America won’t tolerate more. It’s time, former Cincinnati mayor Ken Blackwell said, “for local leaders to harness peoples’ grief and anger and channel it in a constructive direction.” Mayors, he insisted, “are the ones whose leadership matters the most right now… If they sit on the sidelines or if they fiddle [in fear] while their cities burn, they create a context where this sort of lawlessness is this accepted. And if you cower to lawlessness or you turn a blind eye… what you’re going to get is more of it.” And that, he warned, will rip apart the fabric of the community. In the end, Ken promised, that “will do more harm to [America] than COVID-19.”

Unfortunately, Americans have already seen what comes from a wasteland of leadership in places like Minneapolis, where Mayor Jacob Frey (D) stepped back and fueled the lawlessness by refusing to contain it. And quite frankly, he bears a lot of the responsibility for what’s spreading across the nation. He put his hands up and turned his city over to the agitators — giving leaders in other communities the license and excuse to do the same. Now look at the mess America’s in. Our law enforcers are literally engaged in hand-to-hand combat on U.S. streets. “What he did,” Ken agreed, “was actually tantamount to a dog whistle to terrorists and lawless thugs to terrorize his city.”

President Trump is taking the issue seriously, because he understands, as Ken said, “Those of us in positions of authority or influence have a duty to restore and unite for justice. Chaos and mindless destruction will destroy our communities.”

And for change to ever take root, there are deeper problems at work in this country that have to be addressed. Mob violence and police brutality spring from the same fountain: moral bankruptcy. As I explain in the Washington Times, the abuse of power, disregard for human life, and uncontrolled rage were witnessing in cities across our country, all flow from a society that is rapidly losing a sense of right and wrong, of transcendent truth. If there is an upside to this, it might be that in the quiet of our hearts, we’ll finally realize that goodness, truth, and beauty only comes from God. He’s the One who delivers hope — and in the midst of this crisis — the One who delivers healing.

For more, check out Ken Blackwell’s Fox News column on what this former mayor would do in a nationwide wake-up call like this one.

[ Tony Perkins ]

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“Bible Prophecy Update – June 7th, 2020”

Pastor J.D. addresses what’s happening to America and in America as it relates to the conspicuous absence in Bible prophecy of America

[ J.D. Farag ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gn-ztA06KEA

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“What on Earth is Happening?”

Pastor J.D. provides answers from Bible prophecy to the question of, what on earth is happening?

[ J.D. Farag ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBmS1GHjwmM

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“A Timely Word in Tumultuous Days”

[ John MacArthur ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smwNMxXuuNs

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“June 10th Prophecy Update with Tom Hughes”

In this weeks Prophecy Update with Tom Hughes, we look at the calls for defunding or abolishing the police and what the Bible has to say about lawlessness in the End Times.

[ Tom Hughes ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tQxgYXAPPQ

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“Tom and James – June 12th Prophecy Update”

Deception and Delusion

[ Tom Hughes and James Kaddis ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bASxnYEmM9E

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“June 17th Prophecy Update with Tom Hughes”

In this week’s Prophecy Update with Tom Hughes, we look at the Pale Horse of the Apocalypse and how the vigilantism we see on the rise today is setting the stage for Bible Prophecy.

[ Tom Hughes ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jctHNdmu4c8

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“Prophecy Update – Wake Up!!!”

[ Tom Hughes and James Kaddis ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsB2pBg0WPU

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“Restoring Order”

In the face of civil unrest, strong leaders emerge to lead people away from lawlessness.

[ Laura Ingraham ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOX2T8si7xw

*****************************
“How To Heal”

The honest feeling of sadness and righteous anger over George Floyd’s death that could be channeled into a positive dialogue is being overshadowed by destruction and chaos

[ Laura Ingraham ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TQ6_QcMAeY

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“Inside Seattle’s Anarchical ‘Autonomous zone’”

Townhall.com senior reporter Julio Rosas has been on the ground for days covering the chaos in Seattle.

[ Laura Ingraham ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2RE7IYuXVo

*****************************
“Our Leaders Dither as Our Cities Burn”

People will not forgive weakness. That’s not a partisan point, it’s human nature.

[ Tucker Carlson ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n5_D59lSjc

*****************************
“Media Fan Racial Flames”

Things are falling apart in Minneapolis and, as they collapse, our leadership class seems thrilled by it.

[ Tucker Carlson ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxMuOe81yqM

*****************************
“Seattle Police Officers Guild President Mike Solan”

SPOG President Mike Solan interviewed by Tucker Carlson, discusses his position on the “CHAZ” take over in the Capitol Hill District of Seattle WA.

[ Tucker Carlson ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1DDVUdGNBA

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“Tucker: Rayshard Brooks went ‘berserk’ on police officers (GRAPHIC VIDEO)”

Former Atlanta officer charged with murder in Rayshard Brooks death.

[ Tucker Carlson ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Da1ArUdWhyM

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“Tucker: Why mobs are tearing down America’s monuments”

These aren’t protests. This is a totalitarian political movement and someone needs to save us from it.

[ Tucker Carlson ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxxHV5vu1Mo

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“Andy McCarthy calls on Trump to restore order”

Former U.S. attorney and Fox News contributor Andy McCarthy says President Trump has a constitutional obligation to help law enforcement protect the states and restore order.

[ Fox News ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ux0-e1l0sYE

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“Bannon: We saw two alternative futures for America yesterday”

George Floyd’s death worsens social and economic inequalities highlighted by the pandemic; Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon reacts on ‘Sunday Morning Futures.’

[ Fox News ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ix0M9hgHqjg

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“Collins Blasts Pelosi, Schumer for Not Calling Out Rioters”

Republican Rep. Doug Collins says there’s misplaced outrage in response to the violence in cities across America.

[ Fox News ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fo1Oj6R-_g

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“Seattle is ‘closest I’ve ever seen’ to being a ‘lawless state’: Police union chief”

Seattle Police Officers Guild President Michael Solan tells Fox News the city is now close to becoming “a lawless state.”

[ Fox News ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZ4D3q5suVk

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“Anarchists clash with police during May Day protests”

Dan Springer reports from Seattle, Washington

[ Fox News ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZ502_2-mj8

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“Minneapolis protesters burn down police precinct as tensions escalate”

House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise joins ‘Fox & Friends’ to react to Twitter targeting the president’s Minneapolis tweets and House Democrats canceling a planned FISA vote.

[ Fox News ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5FOBePmTg4

*****************************
“Defunding the Police”

Minneapolis officials vow to dismantle city’s police department.

[ Greg Gutfield ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8t-hMoszGR4

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“When Rioters Come to Your House”

Protesters target politicians’ homes.

[ Greg Gutfield ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5ym8exk57Q

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“Huckabee rips officials’ response to Seattle CHAZ: It’s a ‘hostage situation’”

Former Arkansas governor and Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee weighs in on Seattle’s leadership and handling of the city’s ‘cop-free zone’ on ‘Fox and Friends.’

[ Fox News ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMiUNhfnl2c

****************************
“Anarchy reigns supreme in Seattle”

Roadblocks, checkpoints, barricades, armed vigilantes: Anyone with a functioning brain knows this is unacceptable.

[ Sean Hannity ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4Mp-xM-w0c

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“America is at a Tipping Point”

Law and order, peace and safety or liberal lawlessness and total anarchy.

[ Sean Hannity ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqYdGD6zl1k

——–

TRANSCRIPT:

WELCOME TO HANNITY. TONIGHT, SO MUCH BREAKING NEWS WE WILL BE COVERING THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE HOUR TONIGHT. NOW BOTH OFFICERS ARE CHARGED IN THE RAYSHARD BROOKS KILLING IN ATLANTA. THEY HAVE NOW ALSO SURRENDERED AND WE HAVE KEY DETAILS SURROUNDING THE ARREST THAT YOU DIDN’T HEAR FROM THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY YESTERDAY. KEEP IN MIND, YOU CAN’T INDICT A HAM SANDWICH BUT THE HIGH BAR WILL BE 12 PEOPLE ON A JURY BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. A LOT OF DEVELOPMENTS.

BUT FIRST, I WANT IS ALL TO STEP BACK AS A COUNTRY. WE NEED TO STEP BACK AND TAKE A COLLECTIVE DEEP BREATH AND UNDERSTAND THIS MOMENT AND REALIZE THIS COUNTRY IS AT A TIPPING POINT. IT’S DANGEROUS. WE ARE AT A POINT WHERE WE WILL EITHER GO THE WAY OF LAW AND ORDER, PEACE, PROSPERITY, ONE AMERICAN FAMILY IN THE WAY OF SAFETY ON THE WAY OF SECURITY. OR WE WILL GO DOWN THE ROAD OF LIBERAL LAWLESSNESS AND TOTAL ANARCHY.

NOW BECAUSE THE SWEEPING BROAD AND IN MANY CASES FALSE GENERALIZATIONS OF GROUPS OF PEOPLE, AND LET’S BE HONEST, OUTRIGHT LIES AT TIMES, THAT WE ARE ABOUT SEEING OFFICERS AND THE SMEARS AGAINST THOSE THAT STAND IN THE WAY OF CHAOS AND YOU AND THE SAFETY OF YOUR FAMILY, THIS NONSTOP RUSH TO JUDGMENT IS INTENSIFYING ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY ESPECIALLY IN BIG CITIES BY THE HOUR.

NOW THIS MADNESS TO DEFUND, DISMANTLE, DESTROY POLICE DEPARTMENTS IS NOW A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER TO THE ENTIRE COUNTRY.

WE WILL HAVE MORE DETAILS LATER HAS DAN HETTINGER POINTED OUT IN “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL,” THEY WILL BE FLEEING BIG CITIES IN DROVES.

POLICE ACROSS THE COUNTRY NOW ARE UNDER ATTACK. IS UNFAIR, IT IS SICK, AND IT IS TWISTED. NOT ALL COPS ARE BAD. 99%, AS A MATTER OF FACT, OUR HEROES.

LOOK AT THE CITY OF ATLANTA WERE JUST LAST NIGHT IT APPEARS WE ARE NOW SEEING THE BEGINNING — IT ACTUALLY HAS A NAME, A LOT OF POLICE ARE CALLING IN SICK, BLUE FLU. LARGE NUMBERS OF OFFICERS CALLING IN SICK. BASICALLY SAYING YOU KNOW WHAT? ENOUGH IS ENOUGH FOLLOWING THE CHARGES IN THE BROOKS CASE, THE OFFICERS HAVE LOST FAITH IN THEIR LEADERSHIP, THEY LOST FAITH IN THEIR ABILITY TO ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO PERFORM THEIR JOBS TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY. THIS EVEN ACKNOWLEDGED BY THE ATLANTA MAYOR DESPITE DEMOCRAT, EVEN SHE IS ADMITTING MORALE IS DOWN TENFOLD. HERE IS A QUESTION, DO YOU BLAME THEM? TAKE A LOOK.

>> ACROSS THE COUNTRY, MORALE IS DOWN WITH POLICE DEPARTMENTS AND I THINK OURS IS DOWN TENFOLD. THIS HAS BEEN A VERY TOUGH FEW WEEKS IN ATLANTA.

>> Sean: ACCORDING TO A NEW REPORT FROM “THE NEW YORK POST” TONIGHT, NYPD OFFICERS IN NEW YORK CITY ARE BEING ENCOURAGED TO STRIKE ON THE FOURTH OF JULY. ALTHOUGH A DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN IS DENYING THAT STRIKE WILL THE CURRENT, REALLY? CAN YOU GUARANTEE THAT? BECAUSE OF THAT HAPPENS, NOT JUST IN NEW YORK CITY BUT CITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY, I PROMISE YOU THAT WILL NOT END WELL FOR WE THE PEOPLE.

IT’S NOW BECOMING UNTENABLE FOR THE GOOD POLICE OFFICERS TO DO THEIR JOBS AND DO IT SAFELY WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE COMMUNITY AND THOSE POLITICIANS.

IS DISGRACEFUL, UNFAIR, UNJUST, AND IT IS HAPPENING. THEY RUSH TO JUDGMENT, BROAD SWEEPING GENERALIZATIONS, THEY ARE ALL RACIST AS WE HAVE BEEN REPORTING, BY THE WAY. SO MANY MAJOR CITIES THAT WE TALK ABOUT HAPPEN TO HAVE A MAJORITY OF MINORITIES ON THE JOB. IN OTHER WORDS, THE MAJORITY OF MINORITY POLICE OFFICERS AND WHILE I DON’T NECESSARILY ENDORSE THE IDEA OF THE BLUE FLU BECAUSE OF WHAT COULD POTENTIALLY HAPPEN, WE HAVE TO ASK OURSELVES, PUT YOURSELF IN THEIR SHOES, HOW WOULD YOU BE FEELING TODAY? IN OTHER WORDS, WOULD YOU LIKE BEING CALLED A RACIST OR THOUGHT OF AS A RACIST OR AS WE HAVE SEEN IN NEW YORK, HAVE BUCKETS OF WATER POURED ON YOUR CAR AND IT BE ASSAULTED AND NOT HAVE A MAYOR THAT SUPPORTS YOU AND THEN HAVE POLITICIANS, FORGETFUL JOE AND COMRADE de BLASIO,

HOW DO YOU THINK THOSE OFFICERS THAT AREN’T RACIST THAT PUT THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE FOR US EVERY SINGLE DAY AND NIGHT, HOW DO YOU THINK THEY FEEL? GIVEN THE CIRCUMSTANCES. GIVEN THE FACT THAT LIBERAL CITIES LIKE WE’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT NEW YORK, SEATTLE, CHICAGO, DETORIT, ARE SURRENDERING TO FAR LEFT LAWLESSNESS AND ANARCHY MAKING IT HARDER AND HARDER, IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE NOW FOR POLICE OFFICERS TO DO THEIR JOBS.

EARLIER TODAY, THE NEW YORK POLICE UNION CHIEF PAT LYNCH TOLD FOX NEWS “YOU ARE SEEING THESE MESSAGES FROM NEW YORK CITY POLICE OFFICERS BECAUSE THEY NOW HAVE REACHED THE BREAKING POINT. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION. THEY ARE COMMUNICATING SOMETHING VERY LOUDLY TO BE THE PEOPLE. OVER THE PAST FEW WEEKS, WE HAVE BEEN ATTACKED IN THE STREETS, DEMONIZED IN THE MEDIA, DENIGRATED BY PRACTICALLY EVERY POLITICIAN IN THE CITY AND STATE.”

NOW SOME POLICE OFFICERS AS A RESULT OF THE VIOLENT RIOTERS, NOT THE PEACEFUL PROTESTERS, BUT SOME OF THEM ARE NOT. A LOT OF THEM ARE NOT. 800 PLUS POLICE OFFICERS INJURED. ROCKS, BRICKS, MOLOTOV COCKTAILS. BUT WE ARE SEEING PLAYING OUT ACROSS THE COUNTRY WITH THESE OFFICERS BEING ATTACKED, RUNOVER, SHOT, TARGETED, IS UNACCEPTABLE. AND THEY WILL BEGIN TO LEAVE THIS PROFESSION IN DROVES AND FRANKLY, ASK YOURSELF, CAN YOU BLAME THEM?

800 OFFICERS INJURED. ROCKS, BRICKS, BOTTLES, MOLOTOV COCKTAILS. OTHERS HAVE DIED AND SOME ARE PARALYZED FROM THE NECK DOWN. IT SHOULD DISTURB EVERY GOOD DECENT AMERICAN THAT BELIEVES IN LAW AND ORDER.

ASK YOURSELF AGAIN, WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR COMMUNITY WHEREVER YOU HAPPEN TO BE TONIGHT WILL LOOK LIKE IF THESE FAR LEFT LEADERS GET THEIR WAY?

WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN THESE POLICE OFFICERS SAY WE ARE RETIRING, THANKS BUT NO THANKS?

AGAIN, I ASKED THE QUESTION, WHO ARE YOU GOING TO CALL WHEN IT IS TEN, 11, 12:00 AT NIGHT AND SOMEBODY IS BREAKING INTO YOUR HOUSE TO DO HARM TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR CHILDREN?

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO HEAVEN FORBID WHEN VIOLENT STRIKES?

WE ARE AT A POINT NOW WHERE POLICE ARE GOING TO GO ON STRIKE STRIKE, AND THEY ARE BEING BLAMED FOR THESE BAD ACTIONS. WE ALL ACKNOWLEDGE THIS. WAS UNIVERSAL AGREEMENT IN THE CASE OF GEORGE FLOYD

AND WE ALWAYS WANT TO BE A MORE PERFECT UNION. WE WILL GET BETTER. THE PRESIDENT LAID OUT REFORMS TO MAKE US BETTER.

HOW ARE DEPARTMENTS GOING TO RECRUIT GOOD CANDIDATES? I USUALLY DON’T PAY A LOT OF MONEY ESPECIALLY IN THE EARLY YEARS OF BEING A POLICE OFFICER.

HOW ARE POLICE DEPARTMENTS SUPPOSED TO FUNCTION IN AN ENVIRONMENT LIKE THIS?

I TO BE VERY CLEAR, ACCOUNTABILITY IS GOOD. OF COURSE WE NEED TO EXPOSE ABUSE OF POWER, CORRUPTION AT ALL LEVELS. WE DO IT ON THE SHOW EVERY NIGHT. WE DID IT AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF THE DEEP STATE, WITHIN THE FBI OF ALL PLACES, WITHIN THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY OF ALL PLACES.

BUT WE ALWAYS SAID THE 1%, NOT THE GOOD 99%.

WHAT IS GOING ON RIGHT NOW WITH THE DEFUND POLICE MOVEMENTS AND NO MORE POLICE MOVEMENTS PICKING UP STEAM. YOU DON’T NEED A HARVARD DEGREE. THIS WILL LEAD TO A CRIME WAVE, THIS WILL LEAD TO AN EXIT IT’S FROM CITIES LIKE YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN.

I GO BACK TO THIS PIECE, EXPLAINING THAT LIBERAL LAWLESSNESS AND FAILED FAR LEFT GOVERNANCE IS SIMPLY MAKING LIFE TOO STRESSFUL, TOO CHAOTIC, AND CRIME-RIDDEN TO STILL LIVE IN PLACES LIKE NEW YORK AND SAN FRANCISCO AND MINNEAPOLIS AND MANY OTHER BIG CITIES.

WHAT WILL THESE CITIES DO WHEN THEIR TAX BASE LIKE CHICAGO FOR EXAMPLE, THEY MOVED AND STATES THAT DON’T HAVE INCOME TAXES, LET’S SEE, FLORIDA, TEXAS, ARIZONA FOR STATES LIKE CAROLINA OR TENNESSEE, NO OR LOWER TAXES.

STATES LIKE CALIFORNIA, NEW YORK. THEY HAVE A MAGS AS IT MASS EXIT ON ALREADY. THET’VE BEEN LOSING RESINCES LONG BEFORE ALL THIS.

JUST LOOK AT THE POOL HALL COSTS, LET’S SAY YOU WANT TO MOVE FROM CALIFORNIA TO TEXAS. OKAY, GUESS WHAT? YOU’RE GOING TO PAY A LOT LESS. AS A MATTER OF FACT, IT’S ABOUT $2500 TO MOVE FROM CALIFORNIA TO TEXAS BUT ONLY ABOUT 400 TO GO BACK. YOU WERE DOING U-HAUL A FAVOR BECAUSE THEY NEED THOSE TRUCKS BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE RACING OUT OF CALIFORNIA

AND BY THE WAY, THESE MEN AND WOMEN THAT PUT THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE EVERY DAY FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES DO THIS BECAUSE THEY LOVE WHAT THEY DO. THEY ARE WILLING TO TAKE ON THE RISKS ALL DAY AND EVERY NIGHT. MOSTLY 99 PERCENT DO AN AMAZING JOB, THEY SAVE LIVES AND KEEP US SAFE. AN YET, LIBERAL LEADERS ARE TRYING TO TURN THEM INTO VILLANS.

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“America’s Liberal Cities in Crisis”

Our cities are rapidly deteriorating, but the Democratic mayors who have been in charge for decades are clueless on how to fix it

[ Sean Hannity ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxNV7JaxpLk

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“Shooting Inside Seattle’s ‘CHOP’ Zone Proves it’s ‘Chaos’: Police Union Chief”

Seattle Police Officers Guild President Michael Solan told ‘Fox & Friends Weekend’ that violence, chaos in Seattle’s ‘CHOP’ autonomous zone cannot stand in America.

[ Fox News ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yY-Sgk4uE0

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“Seattle under siege as protesters take over City Hall”

Protesters in Seattle take over portion of the city renaming it Capital Hill Autonomous Zone; Fox News’ Trace Gallagher reports

[ Fox News ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQnXxqXu4H8

****************************
“The Candace Owens Show: What Does Black America Want?”

This week, Candace Owens discusses the hot-button issues of the day: reactions to her viral video on Black Lives Matter, Rayshard Brooks, defunding the police, and the state of Black America. You don’t want to miss this.

[ Candace Owens ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY3zbL7trhE

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“A Sentence or a Movement? A Look at Black Lives Matter”

Words matter. Christians understand that words always matter. And especially when words are at the center of controversy and conflict, sometimes confusion, it is the Christian’s responsibility to look at the words very carefully, to understand what the words are, what they mean and even what the words are doing. When you consider the words “Black Lives Matter” in the year 2020, you’re talking about words that together have become a major part of the American conversation, an urgent part, yes, a controversial part. About those words there is often more heat than light. It’s our responsibility to try to look at those words, “Black Lives Matter” and figure out what they mean and how we as Christians should understand those words when put together, considering those three words, every single one of them is a simple English word, very short. English words that at least at first appearance should be readily understood, “Black Lives Matter.” You put them together and it is a phrase, but not only that, you put them together and they are a sentence, “Black Lives Matter.”

Now, what do we think about that sentence? Well, just taken as a sentence it is obviously and profoundly true. We’re talking about human beings made in the image of God, we’re talking about black lives in particular in the United States and we are saying that those lives matter. In the sense of a sentence, when you say “Black Lives Matter,” that doesn’t mean that you’re saying that other lives do not matter.

And of course, it’s right for Christians always to affirm that we believe that every single human being at every point of development, under every condition and of every race and ethnicity and language, and you could go throughout all of the human characteristics, every single human being, every single human being past present and future is a creature made in the image of God, an image bearer, a human being that possesses full human dignity and needs to be recognized as having by divine right full human rights. That’s a very important issue.

In the aftermath of the words “Black Lives Matter” becoming a part of the national conversation, there were those who said, “It’s wrong to say ‘Black Lives Matter’ because that’s singling out one part of humanity. You need to say, ‘All Lives Matter.’” And in the middle of controversies in which the phrase “Black Lives Matter” sprang into the American imagination, there were those who said, “You need to say that police lives matter,” or according to at least one construction, “Blue Lives Matter.” Is that true? Of course, it’s true. But it’s not wrong in a particular moral and historical context to say something emphatically directed as the words “Black Lives Matter” as a sentence would make clear.

Just consider an analogy from the 20th century. This should be very easy to understand and for a lot of Christians it should be immediately clarifying. Let’s say that we’re in the context of Germany during the 1930s and not to mention into the 1940s. Let’s consider the fact that even in the 1930s with the rise of the Nazi Party, there was an official and deadly anti-Semitism that was already becoming official state policy in Nazi Germany.

It would have been right in every sense, it would have been right in every way, it would have been morally urgent and necessary in that context to say, “Jewish lives matter.” Looking back at that horrible moment of anti-Semitism and eventually the genocide of the Holocaust in the 20th century, Christians would understand that it is a matter of Christian truth telling to say that Jewish lives matter. Now, you fast forward and you understand that when there are particular dangers to any part of humanity, and in this case, we’re talking about very real urgent moral concerns about the lives and the wellbeing of black Americans in our midst, it can’t be wrong to say in that context, “Black Lives Matter,” as a sentence.

But the problem with the sentence is that it didn’t emerge merely as a sentence. And so, as it functions now, those three words together are effectively a movement. They are a message, they’re a platform, they’re a political statement. And in the age of social media, they are often a hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter. Now the clarification comes when we understand that the phrase “Black Lives Matter” right now is not merely in our culture, the combination of those three simple English words into a simple sentence. That is not now how the phrase “Black Lives Matter” functions. Again, it would be a violation of the gospel and of the Holy Scriptures to say that black lives do not matter. We have to say, “Black Lives Matter,” but it’s not just a sentence anymore. Nor was it a sentence when those words put together began to become a part of our national conversation. It wasn’t just a sentence. It was going back to the year 2013, but especially in 2014 and thereafter, a political statement referring to a particular movement that emerged in a particular context. And as we come to understand, even those three words, “Black Lives Matter” don’t mean exactly what we might think they mean. Those simple words are not operating in this sense as simply as you might think.

The organization, the platform, the movement known as Black Lives Matter emerged in the year 2013. It was organized by three women who say they are not the leaders because the movement we are told has a decentralized leadership, but nonetheless they are the founders. And especially when it comes to one of those three women, Alicia Garza, she has been the primary spokesperson for the movement.

The three African American women who started the movement are Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi. They started a movement back in 2013, but it really sprang into the American consciousness the following year in 2014, with protests that had followed the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson near St. Louis and Eric Garner in New York City. Both of them died in a confrontation with police. The protest that followed began to use the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. It became a major development in social media and in the nation’s consciousness. And it came as a political argument, a specific and rather well-organized political argument. One of the explanations for that is that the movement had actually begun before 2014 by a matter of months, and the arguments were already coming together.

Now, as you consider Black Lives Matter in 2014 and fast forward over the course of the last six or seven years, the reality is that it has become a rather well-defined political movement. In more recent times, and especially in the national foment in the year 2020, it’s important to recognize that the movement that was begun in 2013 as the Black Lives Matter network joined with other similar groups later to establish the Movement for Black Lives. Basically the same people still involved, the Movement for Black Lives as it is organized, an extension of the movement known as the Black Lives Matter network. When the Movement for Black Lives was organized, it declared itself to be the continuation of the argument of Black Lives Matter, and the hashtag and the nomenclature is still very much used.

One of the most interesting developments of recent months, indeed you could say recent years, but with real intensity and velocity in recent months, you’ve had many American organizations, political leaders, and in particular corporations and businesses declare themselves now allied with Black Lives Matter. They often use the hashtag, they’re often now putting it in advertising and on their websites to make clear their solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

Now, there are huge ironies here. In order to understand that we need to look at Black Lives Matter in several different, very, very important dimensions. One has to do with the fact that if you look at the statement available right now at the Black Lives Matter website, What We Believe, it begins by saying that the Black Lives Matter Global Network began to organize as a chapter-based, member-led organization “whose mission was to build local power and to intervene when violence was inflicted on black communities by the state and vigilantes.”

The next sentence says this, “In the year since we’ve committed to struggling together and to imagining and creating a world free of anti-blackness where every black person has the social economic and political power to thrive.” As you continue looking at this What We Believe statement at the website of Black Lives Matter, it comes to certain affirmations. “We work vigorously for freedom and justice for black people and by extension all people.” You continue on down through the list, “We see ourselves as a part of a global black family and we are aware of the different ways we are impacted or privileged as black people who exist in different parts of the world. We are guided,” says the statement, “by the fact that all black lives matter regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs, or disbeliefs, immigration status, or location.”

If you’re catching onto a theme, it continues with intensity. “We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead.” The next sentence, “We are self-reflective and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift black trans folk, especially black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence. We build,” says the statement, “a space that affirms black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.” Later the statement says, “We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work double shifts so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.”

Immediately following is this sentence: “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.” It continues, “We foster a queer affirming network. When we gather we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather the belief that all in the world are heterosexual unless she, he, or they disclose otherwise.” Finally says that We Believe statement, “We cultivate an intergenerational and communal network free from ageism. We believe that all people regardless of age show up with the capacity to lead and learn. We embody and practice justice, liberation, and peace in our engagements with one another.”

Now, when you look at that you recognize there’s some language here that would be very familiar to anyone who knows the civil rights movement during the 1960s and beyond. But perhaps what becomes most evident is the fact that there is a great deal of language here that wouldn’t have fit in the traditional civil rights movement at all.

[ Albert Mohler ]

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“George Floyd, Riots, and God”

Ray Comfort shares his thoughts on the devastation going around the country following George Floyd’s tragic death, and then points people to our only hope: the gospel.

[ Ray Comfort ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq6zIwoppeQ

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“The Slow Burn of America”
June 2, 2020

When the mobs picked up guns and baseball bats and headed back into the streets last night, it was no longer about George Floyd. The chaos that’s erupting at dark has stopped telling his story — and started telling ours as a lost and desperate country. “It’s okay to be angry,” George’s brother said. But the man in whose name policemen are being shot, cities are being burned, and businesses are being destroyed would have never wanted this. He was “about peace.” And if the rioters cared about justice, they would be too.

But as dawn broke, even more cities had been brought to their knees by raging crowds that left officers in critical condition and communities beyond ruin. Despite curfews, low-flying military helicopters, and the deployment of the National Guard, hordes of crowds bent on violence hurled whatever they could find — rocks, fireworks, bricks — at teams in riot gear, torching cars and buildings along the way. As President Trump said earlier in the day, “These are not acts of peaceful protest. These are acts of domestic terror. The destruction of innocent life and the spilling of innocent blood is an offense to humanity and a crime against God.”

Like most Americans, the Floyd family has looked on with horror. “If his own family and blood are trying to deal with it and be positive about it, and go another route to seek justice,” Terrance Floyd insisted on ABC, “then why are you out here tearing up your community?” Floyd’s girlfriend also tried, emotionally telling them that “Waking up this morning to see Minneapolis on fire would be something that would devastate [him]. He loved the city.” Even Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s daughter, Bernice, tried to break through the madness. Peaceful protests “did not fail my father.” And, President Trump insisted, they will not fail us now.

“America is founded upon the rule of law,” he reminded the country. “It is the foundation of our prosperity, our freedom, and our very way of life. But where there is no law, there is no opportunity. Where there is no justice, there is no liberty. Where there is no safety, there is no future. We must never give in to anger or hatred. If malice or violence reigns, then none of us is free.” If state leaders refuse to realize that and act, he will. “If a city or a state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”

To the anarchists, arsonists, looters, criminals, rioters, Antifa, and others, the message was simple: America won’t tolerate more. It’s time, former Cincinnati mayor Ken Blackwell said, “for local leaders to harness peoples’ grief and anger and channel it in a constructive direction.” Mayors, he insisted, “are the ones whose leadership matters the most right now… If they sit on the sidelines or if they fiddle [in fear] while their cities burn, they create a context where this sort of lawlessness is this accepted. And if you cower to lawlessness or you turn a blind eye… what you’re going to get is more of it.” And that, he warned, will rip apart the fabric of the community. In the end, Ken promised, that “will do more harm to [America] than COVID-19.”

Unfortunately, Americans have already seen what comes from a wasteland of leadership in places like Minneapolis, where Mayor Jacob Frey (D) stepped back and fueled the lawlessness by refusing to contain it. And quite frankly, he bears a lot of the responsibility for what’s spreading across the nation. He put his hands up and turned his city over to the agitators — giving leaders in other communities the license and excuse to do the same. Now look at the mess America’s in. Our law enforcers are literally engaged in hand-to-hand combat on U.S. streets. “What he did,” Ken agreed, “was actually tantamount to a dog whistle to terrorists and lawless thugs to terrorize his city.”

President Trump is taking the issue seriously, because he understands, as Ken said, “Those of us in positions of authority or influence have a duty to restore and unite for justice. Chaos and mindless destruction will destroy our communities.”

And for change to ever take root, there are deeper problems at work in this country that have to be addressed. Mob violence and police brutality spring from the same fountain: moral bankruptcy. As I explain in the Washington Times, the abuse of power, disregard for human life, and uncontrolled rage were witnessing in cities across our country, all flow from a society that is rapidly losing a sense of right and wrong, of transcendent truth. If there is an upside to this, it might be that in the quiet of our hearts, we’ll finally realize that goodness, truth, and beauty only comes from God. He’s the One who delivers hope — and in the midst of this crisis — the One who delivers healing.

[ Tony Perkins ]

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“‘Stop treating us like animals’: NY police union chief hits back over portrayal of cops”

The head of a New York state police union has hit out at both lawmakers and the media for treating the police like “animals and thugs”, and vilifying the profession.

[ The Independant ]

Speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJAWematR4A

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“Live Discussion: Chaos, Anarchists, and the Seattle CHAZ Zone”

A group of protesters has taken control of several blocks in Seattle, and has declared it the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ). The group has various demands and various ideologies, including socialism and anarchism.

[ Joshua Philipp ]

Q&A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gl_Kha-FNKs

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“Should We Defund the Police?”

“I can’t breathe!”

The last words George Floyd said to his killers became the chant of nationwide protests. Sometime last week a new slogan emerged: “Defund the police!” even “Abolish the police!”

At face value, the new slogan sounds absurd. Because it is.

When a CNN news anchor asked the president of the Minneapolis City Council, “What if in the middle of (the) night my home is broken into? Who do I call?” The Councilwoman’s response, that the ability to call for help in the first place was a matter of “white privilege,” was, shall we say, less than enlightening.

Abolishing police is the stuff of utopian fantasies, only possible in worlds without evildoers. Because such worlds do not exist, law enforcement of some kind, at least here on Earth, will always be necessary. To think otherwise is to misunderstand the human condition.

“The line separating good and evil,” wrote Solzhenitsyn, “passes not through states, nor classes, nor political parties.” Neither does it pass through occupations, as if policemen are intrinsically “evil,” while social workers or teachers or protesters are intrinsically “good.”

The problem is in all of us, in every human heart.

Still, just because law enforcement will always be necessary this side of the New Earth, it does not mean reform of law enforcement is unnecessary. Indeed, this what many people mean, despite what they say.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, a veteran of the Civil Rights movement, worries that calls to defund or abolish the police could “hijack the momentum to make serious police reforms in the wake of George Floyd’s death.” As he put it, “if you mean reimagining policing, say that.”

In fact, police departments across the nation have made reforms in recent years, attempting to root out corruption and improve community relations. An oft-cited example is Camden, New Jersey, one of the most violent cities in America until not that long ago.

In 2012, after concluding police corruption was contributing to the violence, the city dissolved the department and turned over law enforcement to the county. Twice the number of officers were put on the street, with a new emphasis known as “community policing,” while still spending less money.

Within five years, the number of homicides dropped by two-thirds. Among the goals, a former chief told NPR, was “to change how the community viewed police officers . . . from ‘warrior’ to ‘guardian.’”

Behind Camden’s reforms are a handful of principles worthy of consideration.

For example, ending “qualified immunity,” which “shields government officials from being sued for discretionary actions performed within their official capacity.” This practice shields wrongdoers from accountability and is a problem not just, but especially in, law enforcement.

The police officer who knelt on the neck of George Floyd until he died should have been held accountable for a number of previous complaints. The TSA officer in Denver who was caught in 2014 selecting which male passengers he wanted to “pat down” should have faced criminal charges instead of just the loss of his job. And, hospital officials who prevented my friend from seeing his wife for three weeks before she died last month should be held accountable for the failed policies they hid behind.

A second reform has to do with police unions. Among the reasons Camden dissolved its police force was because the union made it impossible to discipline bad and corrupt officers. Mayors across the country tell similar stories.

Again, this is not a problem unique to law enforcement. If we want to see an improvement in failing schools, teachers’ unions cannot be allowed to protect bad teachers. Of course, when it comes to police, corruption and incompetence can lead to someone being killed.

A final principle is that civil society must be strengthened. As New York Magazine put it:

“In the U.S., the police are the answer for everything. To an overdose, a noisy party, a counterfeit bill in a shop. They are the first and often the last resort for any complaint, no matter how petty. There’s no end to the responsibilities with which we have charged them . . .”

In other words, police officers are carrying the weight of failed families, broken communities, invisible churches, and human isolation.

As Chuck Colson used to say, the choice often boils down to the conscience or the constable. Only moral formation and mutual accountability can reduce our reliance on police.

In the late 18th and early 19th century, communities in both Britain and the United States saw a significant drop in crime and a significant increase in safety. Why? At least one reason seems to be Sunday School.

Of course, there’s also much to be said about the increased militarization of the police. That’s not a solution for a broken community, as some often claim. Rather, it’s evidence of just how big the problem is.

So, defund? No. Abolish? No.

Reform? Yes.

But know this: it won’t ultimately be a government job.

[ John Stonestreet ]

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“The Destabilization of America”

[ Shane Idleman ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZhF3DRDZVQ

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“Andy McCarthy calls on Trump to restore order”

Former U.S. attorney and Fox News contributor Andy McCarthy says President Trump has a constitutional obligation to help law enforcement protect the states and restore order.

[ Fox News ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ux0-e1l0sYE

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“THE TAKE DOWN OF AMERICA (WHERE IS THIS GOING?)”

We analyze how the globalists and leftists are using paid rioters to hijack protests to cause division in our country. We analyze why the globalists and leftist want America to appear as a racist nation. We analyze why the globalist and leftist want to take down America and their intended goal.

[ Brandon Holthaus ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3ZwvVD0q7U

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“Live Q & A with Amir Tsarfati and Pastor Barry Stagner, June 23, 2020”

This week’s questions:

1) How should the Christian respond to a movement like BLM?
2) Why is it necessary for the devil to be released after the Millennium?
3) Where does the devil currently reside?
4) Who are the 24 elders in Revelation?
5) Do we know the nationality of the antichrist?
6) Will we speak Hebrew in heaven?
7) What do Jesus’ words mean when He says, “The first will be last and the last will be first.”…?
8) Is Matthew 24:40-41 before or after the rapture?
9) How will anyone be saved during the Tribulation if the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way?
10) What exactly is The Day of the Lord?

Q&A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPqHwQslQng

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“Rage and Revolution!”

Jan Markell spends the hour with Michele Bachmann discussing the turmoil of our times. How far will today’s lawlessness go, which is but a foreshadowing of what happens in the Tribulation? And why are some church denominations promoting some of the escalating evil?

[ Interview of Michele Bachmann ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMiGIFGfofA

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“Imagine the Dopiest Thing in the World: It Will be Normalized Tomorrow”

Romans 1 teaching.

[ Todd Friel ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRtLmlz7LVM

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“Racist Cops, Looters, and Christians. Oh My”

How Christians should respond to the current events.

[ Todd Friel ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5czxcBt9Hg

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“Are you Copping Out on Racism?”

[ Todd Friel ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRLweTrYMlg

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“Dear Keyboard Warrior: You Can’t Fix Racism”

[ Todd Friel ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gu-I9GrgQY

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“Dear Keyboard Warrior: You Can’t Fix Racism”

[ Todd Friel ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gu-I9GrgQY

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“The Biblical Response to the Current “Race” Issues Gripping Our Nation”

Just a glance at the recent news headlines in America reveals there’s a national crisis continuing to unfold—a racism crisis. How should we as believers respond?

Well, earlier this week, I used a normal 30-minute morning meeting to address the national crisis on racism with the AiG staff. I wanted to remind them of the powerful impact our attractions, the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum, as well as the Answers in Genesis ministry can have on people as we give biblical and scientific answers to deal with this sad situation. And I want you to have these answers, too.

[ Ken Ham ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNd3qKbLfaM

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“How Should We Be Understanding and Addressing the National Racism Crisis?”

Just a glance at the recent news headlines in America reveals there’s a national crisis continuing to unfold—a racism crisis. How should we as believers respond?

[ Ken Ham ]

Article: https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2020/06/18/how-should-we-understand-and-address-national-racism-crisis/

Video presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNd3qKbLfaM

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“THE PREDICTED LAWLESS SYSTEM IS BEING CALLED ‘THE GREAT RESET””

Brandon talks about the Predicted Lawless System and how it is being called “The Great Reset”

[ Brandon Holthaus ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnNycVbXNh4

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“Dr Robert Jeffress Addresses Racism and Lawlessness In America | June 14, 2020”

Watch this video to hear Dr. Jeffress address racism and lawlessness in America.

[ Robert Jeffress ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33PW5a8Jbp4

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“Beware of Spiritual Amnesia” (Part 1)

The culture is working tirelessly to water down the Gospel by steering the next generation toward humanism and universalism. In Beware of Spiritual Amnesia, Dr. Michael Youssef calls believers to repent of their spiritual apathy and to begin to intentionally intercede and equip the next generation with the Gospel Truth.

[ Michael Youssef ]

Sermon: https://www.ltw.org/listen/teaching/series/beware-of-spiritual-amnesia/part-1

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“Next | Knowing The God Who Is In The Know”

All of these events around the world today are unlike any other in human history and for many reasons, one being that the worldwide community turns out to be linked to a system of belief, a global governing agenda that has tied us together by an invisible, cyber chain of information and data, and it’s all about you.

[ Jack Hibbs ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HA33y-6zC6Q

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“What to Do When You Feel God Has Abandoned You”

I remember the tears. The days when laughter began to slip away and emotions threatened to unhinge my knowledge of truth.

It was a season in which I felt as though God had abandoned me. Life hadn’t worked out as I had thought it would. I was left in a puddle of emotions and God was nowhere to be found.

Or so I felt …

Have you been there before? In that space and time where the pain is big? Where you cry out to Jesus, and sense only a black wall of silence?

A little over 5 years ago, we arrived home from Bulgaria with our daughter. The battle to bring her home had surpassed 2 years. Our biggest cheerleaders were there to celebrate her homecoming and praise God for answered prayers.

But nothing was as we expected and sadly, celebrating wasn’t even an option. We were left with only one option and that was survival.

Our little girl was not well. Unbeknownst to us, severe trauma had inflicted its ugly wounds into her heart while hidden and untreated physical illnesses were spinning out of control. Emotionally, physically, and mentally she was in a state of emergency. Immediately, the pursuit of healing began.

Specialists, therapists, centers, hospitals, procedures, and testing monopolized our days.

But the most difficult part? Because of what trauma had inflicted upon her brain, our child couldn’t find rest. 24-hour days of hypervigilance. Sleeplessness, high anxiety, and raging consumed the lives of every one of us. She would allow no one in to love her.

The cry of my heart was to make this better for her. For our boys. For my husband. For our marriage. I felt as though I were failing because I couldn’t seem to fix anything.

This is where my emotions began to unhinge my truth.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9 NIV

Feelings are Indicators, Not Truth.

The world misleads us and tells us “Follow your heart” or “Go with your feelings.” But our hearts and our feelings are not stable. They sway with the events of each day. They can mislead us as they vacillate and often walk us into the depths of deception and pain.

Why would we follow what is unstable, inconsistent, and unreliable? Why wouldn’t we instead choose to follow an unchanging Truth? The Truth of God.

As indicators, our feelings point to a deeper wound. We need to acknowledge not only what are feeling, but why we are feeling it. For me, it was anger, fear, and desperation.

I had to get honest with God. Yes, He already knew what laid within the recesses of my heart, but when He says, “Come to Me” (Mt. 11:28), I believe He means in complete transparency. Symbolizing our trust, His love beckons a deep exchange.

As I began pouring out in prayer every gut wrenching emotion in my heart, God began revealing truth.

As I cried “injustice”, He revealed:

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine …” -Isaiah 55:8 NLT

As I poured out my fears for the future, God revealed:

I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. –Isaiah 45:2-3 NIV

As I purged my desperate desire for healing, God revealed:

And going a little farther, He threw Himself upon the ground on His face and prayed saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire. Matthew 26:39 AMP

That season of my life is now just a memory. From the gift of perspective, today I can share hope. I see the work God was doing. I know as He walked along beside me, He collected every tear and gave me just what I needed to take the next step. He brought laughter back and rebuilt our family in a new and better way. I’m quite sure all He put in motion still isn’t visible to me. I may see it yet in the future, but in all honesty, there is much I will never comprehend on this side of the cross.

My feelings tried telling me God had left my side. But the Truth I embraced said God will never leave my side.

So, friends, if you are in that place of hurting. In that place where you feel as though God has left your side. I urge you to continue pursuing deep relationship with Jesus by incorporating these 6 strategies into your everyday life. I promise, a day will come where you will once again feel His presence and see His handiwork.

1. Pray boldly and authentically. Pour out all that lies in the heart.

2. Listen for His answers. Sometimes we speak and do too much, drowning out the subtle voice of Jesus.

3. Praise God for all He is! Gratitude and praise are powerful weapons against pain.

4. Worship Him even when it’s difficult. Maintaining a life of worship keeps our hearts in tune with Him.

5. Read God’s Word keeping it sealed in the heart. Learn of the hope within those pages.

6. Contradict feelings with Truth. Taking every feeling before the Word of God. Rewriting it with the light of His Truth will bring healing and show the traces of God’s hand in each step.

Today, I pray you continue to pursue Him until laughter once again fills your home. And that each time your feelings begin to unhinge the Truth, you stand strong, faithfully reclaiming what is yours. God is for you. He is there with you. And He will never leave you.

[ Lori Schumaker ]

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“The Origins of Evil”

[ “Happening Now” by Jack Hibbs ]

Q&A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK6r-hHLYW4

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“Prophecy Update and Q&A with Barry Stagner and Don Stewart”

In these confusing and perilous times it is good to have facts and evidence about what the Bible teaches and why we believe it to be the inspired and infallible world of God.
My good friend Don Stewart has a multitude of incredible resources he has made available as free downloads on his website answering many of the common questions associated with what we believe.

Barry Stagner and Don Stewart ]

Q&A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s55j1G3jPX0

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“God’s End Time Alarm Clock is Going Off”

It’s Later Than You Think… Time is Short!

All the signs of the last days are converging at the same time. Bible Prophecy is happening right before our eyes and like birth pains, the predicted events are happening more frequently and more intently. Never, in the history throughout the world have so many forces, including economic, scientific, techno-logic, ecologic, cultural, geopolitical, moral, spiritual and religion, converged together to bring this world that’s already teetering over the edge into the abyss, to a point of no return. Jesus said when you see all these signs happening, know that I am near, even at the door.

[ Prophecy Update Videos ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iXPq4zeZCk

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“Civil Unrest in America! (2020 EVENTS)”

[ Jason A ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXQz57JvYY0

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“Trouble Ahead :: By Daymond Duck”

When asked about the signs of His coming, part of Jesus’ reply was:

Famines, pestilences, earthquakes, persecution, etc. (Matt. 24:7-9): Coronavirus, locusts, damage churches, synagogues, etc.

Kingdom against kingdom (ethnos against ethnos; people group against people group (Matt. 24:7): could include black race against white race, Sunni Muslims against Shiite Muslims, etc.

Iniquity shall abound (Matt. 24:12): Abortion, gay marriage, riots, deceit, etc.
Like the days of Noah (Matt. 24:37: Great wickedness (Gen. 6:5).

Distress of nations with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring (Luke 21:25): riots and/or storms, hurricanes, etc. (Rev. 17:15).

There now seems to be ample proof that America is the victim of an organized effort to weaken the U.S., and it could signal more trouble between now and the next election.

I have concluded that Antifa, Black Lives Matter, extremist groups and socialists that give large sums of money to the Democrats and their Party (and to a lesser number of Republicans) are tools of the Deep State.

If these people knew Bible prophecy, they would realize that God will let the Deep State succeed, and this submission to Satan is the beginning of an unstoppable worldwide day of trouble on earth (Zeph. 1:15).

Here are ten signs that there is more trouble ahead.

One, on June 2, 2020, Dave Hodges reported that Social Security is at risk, and the impact on Medicare is up in the air because of the Coronavirus lockdown.

Millions of people are out of work and not paying into these funds, but the money is still going out; and some politicians are delaying the economic restart.

Those on Social Security and Medicare need to vote in November and remember the politicians that refused to lift their stay-at-home orders when they were asked to let their citizens go back to work.

Politicians that say hundreds of people marching in the streets, rioting and looting, won’t spread the Coronavirus while refusing to allow churches and businesses to open because of the Coronavirus are clearly not acting in the best interests of our nation.

Two, concerning a global economic collapse in the Tribulation Period, on June 1, 2020, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the U.S. will lose about $16 trillion in GDP over the next 10 years as a result of the Coronavirus shutdown.

As that great sermon says, there is a payday someday.

Three, on May 29, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially ruled that the First Amendment freedom of religion clause in the U.S. Constitution can be set aside by biased public officials.

Chief Justice Roberts wrote an opinion that essentially said it is not unlawful for public officials to discriminate against churches by limiting attendance at church services, even though those same public officials did not limit attendance at bars, stores, theaters, and other places.

As I understand what Roberts said, under certain circumstances public officials must have broad authority to act without being questioned despite the plainly stated freedom of religion clause in the U.S. Constitution.

This kind of distorted thinking is no different from the thinking that says women have a Constitutional right to an abortion.

Setting aside the U.S. Constitution has caused decades of trouble in our nation.

Four, on June 3, 2020, it was reported that a former lawyer in the Obama administration posted a $250,000 bail for the woman accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail into a police car in New York City.

The alleged firebomber is also accused of passing out Molotov cocktails to other rioters and looters.

She was arrested in a van that was carrying bomb-making materials, and police have at least one photograph of her carrying a Molotov cocktail.

It was reported that the former Obama administration lawyer that bailed out the firebomber received scholarships to attend law school from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans (Paul is a nephew of George Soros).

George Soros denies that he is funding riots and looting, but his foundations have contributed millions of dollars to Democrats, Obama, (Hillary) Clinton, Biden, Antifa and Black Lives Matter.

Some will say this article is too political, but it is not hard to find the political affiliation of the officials that protected the rioters and looters while citizens were being injured and killed (mostly black people whose lives didn’t matter to the thugs and politicians that surrounded themselves with security forces), and businesses and police cars were burning, etc.

It is a fact that NY Democrat Mayor DeBlasio’s daughter was arrested, Democrat presidential Candidate Biden’s staffers took up an offering to bail out protesters, and a lawyer in former Democrat Pres. Obama’s administration bailed out a woman accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail into a police car.

On June 6, 2020, six policemen were injured in Seattle by improvised explosives.

Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself cannot stand” (Matt. 12:25).

We may well be witnessing a New World Order attempt to divide the U.S., and God may be allowing it because Pres. Trump is pushing for a map that will divide Israel (Zech. 12:3).

People are ignoring God and the Scriptures, and that is the real problem.

Five, perhaps Christians should notice that a church (St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington D.C.) has been torched, a church (St. Patrick’s Cathedral) in NY, two churches (St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and West Broad Church of Christ in Richmond VA) have been vandalized, a Jewish group (Beth Ahabah in Richmond VA) had its windows broken out, and several Synagogues in Los Angeles have been damaged.

The members of these churches and synagogues had nothing to do with the wrongful death of George Floyd (and for whatever it is worth, many black people are not blaming Pres. Trump, because his approval rating is going up with them).

Lawless people with no respect for God desecrated these churches and synagogues, and it is a reminder that the ultimate lawless one (the Antichrist; against the Christ) is coming (II Thess. 2:5-12).

Six, on June 5, 2020, the Minneapolis City Council agreed to disband their police department and replace it with a non-violent public safety group that “doesn’t fear our residents” and “murder black men,” according to one of the council members.

They offered few details about how this will work or when it will start, the Mayor is opposing it, and other politicians (including the Mayor of New York) are talking about defunding the police.

Change is needed; but without the police, lawlessness and anarchy will increase, and former New York policeman, Dan Bongino, predicts that thousands will die.

I am not a prophet, but if politicians go through with this, I predict it will fail, and then they will call for UN troops to be brought in to disarm Americans.

Seven, on May 28, 2020, Prime Min. Netanyahu indicated that he will move forward on the annexation of about 30% of Judea and Samaria on July 1, 2020, and he will accept Palestinian demilitarized rule (but not a state) over part of the Promised Land.

In connection with this, PA leaders are consulting with Arabs, international groups, terrorist groups and others on ways to stop the annexation.

For whatever it is worth, it is my understanding that the PA will not be allowed to have an independent state unless two things happen: 1)They agree to a peace treaty in the next four years (from Israel’s agreeing to it) and 2) They are no longer a threat to the existence of Israel.

Their agreement is not worth the trash that I set out by the side of the road.

Eight, on June 1, 2020, Israeli Defense Min. Gantz ordered the Israeli military to prepare to deal with increased terrorism and violence when Israel annexes part of Judea and Samaria.

He said, “Striving for peace while maintaining security (peace and safety) is foundational for every Israeli citizen.”

Saying “Peace and safety” is a reminder of trouble ahead (I Thess. 5:3).

Nine, on June 1, 2020, it was reported that the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia are holding secret discussions with Jordan’s knowledge to change the makeup of the Islamic Waqf that controls activities on the Temple Mount, with the goal of advancing Pres. Trump’s peace proposal.

Jordan is supposed to appoint, fund and control the Islamic Waqf, and Jordan has often refused to change the process; but Waqf members die, need to be replaced, etc., and some of the newer members have started taking money from Turkey.

Jordan is quietly discussing changes with the U.S., Israel, and Saudi Arabia to get Turkey (non-Arabs) out of the picture.

People should not conclude that this will lead to a rebuilt Temple, but it is linked to Trump’s peace proposal, and it signals a softening of the Islamic position on the Temple Mount.

Saudi Arabia is seeking a better relationship with Israel, and Jewish access to the Temple Mount would be a major breakthrough.

Saudi Arabia is even encouraging the PA to start negotiating Trump’s peace proposal with Israel.

Ten, on June 6, 2020, it was reported that a national emergency has been declared in Pakistan where a locust plague of Biblical proportions is threatening 25 million people with famine.

Look up, lift up your heads; true Christians will escape the worst of the trouble ahead (Luke 21:28).

[ Daymond Duck ]

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“US In Moral Freefall As Everyone Does What Is Right In Their Own Eyes”

In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. Judges 21:25

“The consequences of rejecting God’s truth are undeniable. We know that what we believe dictates how we behave. Today, we are seeing the moral breakdown permeating the culture around us, and it is playing out with devastating consequences in our culture”.

This was the conclusion of Len Munsil, President of the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University who conducted a new poll in association with the Barna Group. The poll revealed 58 percent of respondents said they look to themselves or other people when making moral decisions. Less than one third said that they look to the Bible.

The Center surveyed 2,000 adults at random in January, long before the impact of the Coronavirus and rioting across the country. The American Worldview Inventory study, interviewed all ages, ethnicities, beliefs and political persuasions on the telephone or online.

A total of 58 percent of U.S. adults agreed that “identifying moral truth is up to each individual; there are no moral absolutes that apply to everyone, all the time,” according to the survey.

Sadly, 48 percent of adults who identified as born-again Christians agreed with the statement.

The Cultural Research Center also found that the type of church the person attends often corresponded with their answer.

“The adults most likely to rely upon a religious resource — usually the Bible — were those aligned with either an evangelical church (58%) or Pentecostal church (62%),” the report states. “People associated with a mainline Protestant congregation were most likely to rely upon themselves for moral wisdom (34%). Catholics were most likely to turn to other people (34%).”

Evangelical church attendees (72 percent), Pentecostal church attendees (70 percent) and born-again Christians (69 percent) were among the most likely to say God is the basis of truth.

Political conservatives were also most likely to rely upon the Bible (40%), while moderates (17%) and liberals (11%) were least likely, instead relying on their own feelings, beliefs, and knowledge for moral direction.

Perhaps most troubling, the findings regarding the moral views of the youngest generation indicate this downward moral trajectory is likely to continue. Americans age 18 to 29 are least likely–only 15%–to turn to the Bible for moral guidance and instead look to themselves (29%) or to family (25%).

This compares with about one-quarter of older Americans, including 23% of those ages 30 to 49, 25% of those 50 to 64, and 26% of those over 64.

Even though young people reject the Bible as a source of moral guidance, hidden within the study’s findings may be some encouraging news. As Munsil explained. “A sizeable percentage of young people still look to their family for moral guidance. It’s important for parents and other family members to look for opportunities to share moral truth because the next generation wants to hear from them.”

Dr. George Barna said that he was not surprised at the results of the survey as he has observed America’s departure from its moorings for decades.

“The percentage of adults with a biblical worldview has been sliced in half since 1995,” he remarked in a statement. “As Americans embrace the consequences of unrestrained moral choices, we will see further rejections of traditional marriage, conventional child-rearing practices and objectives, millions more abortions, excessive substance abuse, and wider acceptance of suicide, polygamy, sexual perversion, and religious persecution.”

“Any society that substitutes humanity’s latest and greatest ideas for God’s truth and authority is on the fast track to ruin,” Barna warned.

He said that much of the responsibility to change the trajectory of the nation lies in the hands of the Church and the family unit.

“The restoration of biblical truth can facilitate the turnaround of a declining society,” Barna stated. “It starts with churches relentlessly and consistently teaching biblical truth principles for practical application within all dimensions of life. It requires churches equipping parents to teach those truth principles to their children.”

“It demands parents placing their young people in educational, relational, and entertainment environments where God’s truth principles are respected and practiced,” he continued. “It advances by electing public officials who pass civil laws in harmony with God’s religious Law.”

“Restoring our foundations will be neither easy nor quick, but such a turnaround can happen if a remnant of God’s people devotes themselves to such a process of cultural deliverance.”

[ Prophecy News Watch ]

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“Is CCP Involved in the George Floyd Riots? Terror Designation May Go Beyond the Riots”

[ Joshua Philipp ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvxrtMb3mYM

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“An Antifa Object Lesson”

Watching the videos of a street preacher being harassed, wrestled to the ground and dragged in the Seattle Antifa-controlled “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” is confirmation of just how your freedoms of speech and religion will be handled under militant leftist groups if they are allowed authority. Under the claim of being anti-fascist, they are fascist. They want to defund police so that they can easily take over areas of the country and rule with their brand of “democracy,” which is rule by majority in a specific area rather than rule by law. Laws in the United States are designed to protect minorities from this very kind of vigilante “justice.” You give up some freedom for protection under the law. It’s called the social contract.

Most reasonable people do not want to abolish police or give in to loser anarchists ruling over them. You can see with the Seattle example what happens to very basic rights. This time it is a street preacher. Next time, it could be you. It’s not so appealing is it? Makes you a bit uneasy, right? Makes you angry? Now imagine how black people feel when they see that those who are supposed to uphold the law treat them the same way that Antifa is being allowed to treat the street preacher. Only they have been treated this way for decades. I realize that many in America have not seen this treatment and hardly believe that it happens, but it does. Just how in the back of your mind you would feel uneasy about walking through the Seattle zone, is how many black brothers and sisters feel every day. I am reporting what I have found after many interviews.

The problem here is that a vast majority discounts this soft tyranny with “yeah but.” So many people have given so many reasons why these black men and women have been killed. It’s almost as if they are trying to justify an unjust death because of some collective misdeed assigned to the victims. Let me be very clear. An unjust (meaning deadly force is used when a life-preserving option is available) taking of a life, irrespective of what a person is accused of, or has done in the past, goes against Christian principle. Christ said in John 10:10, “I am come that they may have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” As Christians, we are called to support life over death, love over hate, and just law over unjust law. It’s not just about unjust deaths, it is about the ongoing harassment. The deaths are the tip of the spear, so to speak.

Equal protection under the law. If you break the law, your protections do not stop, but rather begin in another way, meaning you are innocent until proven guilty. Many people forget that small fact. I hear, “Well he did this or she had a record.” This is in material. Whether you agree with the Seattle street preacher’s methods, we all can agree that he should be protected under the law. Instead he is harassed and assaulted. It is an example of what will happen if the left’s army is allowed to take over. But it is also an object lesson about how laws are in place to protect the minority from the whims of the majority. And the laws are supposed to be color blind, as are those who enforce them. All this to say, that if you claim to be a disciple of Christ, the standard is far higher than the political agendas that hijack and choke out the truth. Don’t be deceived.

[ Bill Wilson ]

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“They Are Serious About Defunding the Police”

Politicians and City councils are joining calls to “defund the police.” Last week, a veto-proof majority of Minneapolis City Council members announced their commitment to disbanding the city’s embattled police department. The City Council’s decision follows those of several other high-profile partners, including Minneapolis Public Schools, the University of Minnesota, and the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation, to sever longstanding ties with the MPD.

Since George Floyd’s killing and the protests that ensued, officials in Los Angeles and New York City have called for making deep cuts to police budgets and reallocating those funds for education, affordable housing, and other social services.

There has been no clear indication that the officer that killed Floyd did so because he was black. Since Democrats have controlled Minneapolis for generations, how can there still be systemic racism? “Minneapolis has been under Democratic control since 1978. Chicago has been under Democratic control for 89 years; its present mayor is a black woman. Philadelphia has had Democratic mayors for 68 years; three of its last five mayors have been black men. Six of the last seven Atlanta, Ga., mayoral administrations were led by black Democratic mayors, and the present mayor is a black woman.

This latest ploy by the left is so crazy, the people proposing it don’t even know how to defend it. A reporter on CNN asked an advocate of this crazy plan, “What do you do if a thief is trying to break into your house?” She replied that the homeowner should contemplate their white privilege. It’s nice for his woman to assume that all home robberies are by black people, but what if a white guy is kicking your front door in? Another woman put together a video that suggested medical drug and counseling services if you get raped.

Moderate voices seem to be fading with escalating demands that leaders demonstrate an allegiance by denouncing the values that have long defined our nation. The news media is driving out anyone who shows a moderate view.

Stan Wischnowski, the now former lead editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, resigned over a headline titled “Buildings Matter, Too,” which detailed the destructive nature of social unrest on the city’s local economy over the police killing of an unarmed black man.

The headline drew immediate backlash from readers and staffers. The Inquirer issued an apology for a “horribly wrong” decision to publish the headline about looting and burning down buildings on the margins of protests. In its apology piece, The Inquirer said:

“The Philadelphia Inquirer published a headline in Tuesday’s edition that was deeply offensive. We should not have printed it. We’re sorry, and regret that we did. We also know that an apology on its own is not sufficient. The headline accompanied a story on the future of Philadelphia’s buildings and civic infrastructure in the aftermath of this week’s protests. The headline offensively riffed on the Black Lives Matter movement and suggested an equivalence between the loss of buildings and the lives of black Americans. That is unacceptable.”

The New York Times pushed out editor James Bennet because he ran an op-ed from Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark., suggesting American soldiers should be used to quell protests and violence.

The breathing of mercury vapor fumes must be a new fad. The introduction of this toxic element to the nervous system would be the only natural way to account for the sudden increase in racial craziness. The reason is the powers of darkness have taken over people’s minds at will.

In Dallas, the well-known statue of a Texas Ranger has been removed because an article in D Magazine referred to racist history connected to the rangers. USA Today reported on the possibility that TV cop shows, from “Dragnet” to “NYPD Blue” to “Law & Order” must be taken off the air now, so as not to glorify police work. The show “Cops” was cancelled after running for 31 years.

In London, England, a statue of Abraham Lincoln was vandalized by BLM people who don’t know their history. The left has been very crafty in making people think that Lincoln fought for the South. I guess he freed the slaves and got an assassin’s bullet in the back of the head for nothing.

I do not think the Ku Klux Klan exits anymore. If the organization was active, it would express outrage over the idea of defunding the police. The Klan probably died because Satan found the liberal agenda a far great killing machine for members of the black race.

There were 18 recorded murders by the University of Chicago Crime Lab for May 31, 2020: the single-most violent day in six decades, the Chicago Sun-Times recently reported. Since the Crime Lab numbers go back only to 1961, it was an all-time record. If gangs don’t have to worry about looking over their shoulder for a cop, the blood would run like rivers in the streets.

If we get rid of the police, some force will be required to ensure the peace. I’ve had some people write me to say that Antifa and Black Lives Matter are taking over their neighborhood. We are quickly going to have no-go zones all over America.

I follow actor James Woods on Twitter, and he listed all the police officers who died in the line of duty in 2020. We are in a very sad state when people who sacrifice their lives for the common good are reviled and people who loot and destroy property are campaigned as heroes. We know that we are near to the end of the Church age when society becomes so demented it totally inverses the natural perception of good and evil.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).

[ Todd Strandberg ]

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“Lawlessness Already At Work, 2 Thessalonians 2:4-12”

In a teaching out of 2 Thessalonians 2:4-12, titled, “Lawlessness Already At Work” Pastor J.D. explains what happens after the pre-tribulation rapture of the church. Connect with Pastor J.D. Farag on Social Media to stay updated on his latest Bible Prophecy teachings and End Times-related news.

[ J.D. Farag ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kV5q4ayfqHo

 

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SONGS:

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“Story of a Squirrel”

This is the story of a squirrel
Whom God Preserved when he drowned the whole world
And while things looked so dark and Noah’s Ark
Was absolutely flooded – yet she’s fine

How many days were they there?
Afloat in the boat it was over one year
And how come the world didn’t prepare?
Meteorologists said it would clear
How could they stand that raining?
Where was the hope in the souls of the crew?
Life on the waves is severe
When it’s Gilligan’s Island combined with a zoo
But Noah was aware the world would get sprayed
And the wind would never fall in quite the same way
But two of every creatures would come out of things O.K.

This is the story of a Squirrel…

And while things looked so bad and Noah’s raft
Was absolutely flooded – yet she’s fine

Have they discovered the place
Where the boat came to rest when the rain was all drained?
Why don’t we climb up it’s face? Walk up the mountain from Genesis 8?
It’s probably still there waiting there in the snow in the cold altitude
How do we get there today?
When you walk into Turkey and hiking is refused?
They’ve closed up the Ararat Mountain these days
There’s terrorists there besides – it ain’t safe
And they’re 17, 000 feet hight – I think we’ll wait

This is the story of a Squirrel…

And While she took no baths and those giraffes
Were absolutely stubborn – yet she’s fine
Well, you’re told to prepare as well and get saved
And the end of the world it might be on the way
But you’d never think you’d run out of time today

This is the story of a Squirrel…

And when we look close at Jehovah’s wrath I absolutely shudder
This is the story of a Squirrel – I tried to sing it about the old girl
But all this went so fast – I’ve noticed that
I accidentally snubbed her – yet she’s fine – Oh, yes, she’s fine

[ ApologetiX – “Keep The Change” album ]

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“Fearful”
(Parody of “Vehicle” by The Ides of March)

Hey, well, I can sense the danger of an accident a-when I hop inside my car
I’ve got scriptures that tell me God will never abandon me
I’ll take Him with me near and far

I’m not fearful, baby
He’s with me everywhere I’m gonna go
I’ve had fearful moments
But I found my Lord you know
When God loves ya (loves ya)
He keeps ya (keeps ya)
I know that lots can happen now but
Praise God in Heaven, I know I’ll come through

Well, if you want to see a move of God
I’m gonna take you to the Holy Book
And if you wanna pray to let Him in your heart
You know I think you really should

I’m not fearful, baby
He’s with me everywhere I’m gonna go
I’ve had miracle moments
I found my Lord you know
When God loves ya (loves ya)
He keeps ya (keeps ya)
I know that lots can happen now but
Praise God in Heaven, I know I’ll come through
Oh, you know it’s true
LEAD

Well, I can sense the danger of an accident a-when I hop inside my car
But God’s scriptures tell me He will never abandon me
I’ll take Him with me near and far

I’m not fearful, babe
God’s with me everywhere I’m gonna go
I’ve had tearful moments
But I found my Lord you know
When God loves ya (loves ya)
He keeps ya (keeps ya)
I know that
A lot can happen
Praise God in Heaven, I know I’ll come through
And I’m not fearful, babe
Oh, alright
You know, when God loves ya (loves ya)
He keeps ya (keeps ya)
I know that lots can happen now but
Praise God in Heaven, I know I’ll come through

[ ApologetiX – “Loaded 45s” album ]

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“Naomi Gonna Be with Ruth”
(Parody of “Only Wanna Be with You” by Hootie & the Blowfish)

Ruth and me, we come from different worlds
She was a Moabite, I was a Jewish mother’s girl
In time, she married a son of mine
It’s such a shame because my son and husband died
But there’s nothin’ I could do
I said, Ruth, I’m gonna go back home
She looked at me, she had something left to say
I’m gonna follow you and with you I will stay
I won’t let … you just leave
Because, Mom, I love you, and you are my family
And there’s nothin’ you can do
Naomi’s gonna be with Ruth
I will call on your God, too
Naomi gonna be with Ruth
Went home to live in Bethlehem, seen all my friends
I said, “My family collapsed when all the men died
“But Ruth has not abandoned me
Changed my life to bittersweet
“She was married to one of my sons
And when he died, she came with me
“I better help her find a hubby
A lonely guy who needs her, too
“Somebody local .
Naomi gonna see her through
“You can call me ‘old school’
Naomi gonna see her through
And I think I know just who
Naomi gonna see with Ruth
Sometimes I wonder what might have been
If Ruth abandoned me when I told her to back then
Ruth had a baby … and down the line
Great grandson David, yeah, the one who fought the giant And there’s the King of the Jews
I know you’ve heard of Jesus, too
You can call Him, Lord, too
Naomi gonna be with you
Yes, He came from out of Ruth
Naomi wanna be with Ruth
Naomi gonna be with Ruth

[ ApologetiX – “New and Used Hits” album ]

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“It’s Still Got the Joel You Need”
(Parody of “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” by Billy Joel)

What’s the matter with the quotes I’m sharin’?
Can’t you tell that your guy’s too dry
Babe, I’m not some kind of old, drab scholar
Well, but that dude’s from ancient times
Yeah, but you should try him out, baby, really
You can’t just trash him till you’ve read him or you’re silly
Yeah, the Bible doesn’t have a dude named Billy
But it’s still got the Joel you need

Once the man predicted Armageddon
Can you us tell that without a smile?
What he said back then was quite inspired
It’s a concept we’ve been hearin’ a while
Now it is, but it was new then to them, though
And, yes, verse 2:32’s monumental
God wants your trust even if there’s locusts
It’s still got the Joel you need

Ohhhh, there was man between Hosea and Amos
And there’s locusts in his famous scene
Maybe you’d abandon town, but you can’t get around
What the Lord predicts in chapter 3
Ain’t Armageddon extreme?

How about a prayer to fix our blindness
And deprive our arrogance?
Well, you should really read what Joel promised, baby
Would you just give Him half a chance?
Don’t waste your money on your shoes, status seekers
You get more value from a sheep-shearin’ preacher
Just pray, He’ll save, that’s great, anyway
It’s still got the Joel you need
Ooooooooooh hoo!

What’s the matter with that crowd I’m seein’
Don’t you know that’s the sound of tongues?
What did Simon Peter say they was doin’?
Said you’re wrong if you think they’re drunk
Go to Joel in chapter two – that’s the one he
Told us we should look at ‘cause Joel saw it coming
It’s the last days – hooray — verse 2:28
It’s still got the Joel you need
Yeah, the Bible doesn’t have a dude named Billy
But it’s still got the Joel you need

[ ApologetiX – “Minor League” album ]

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“Life in the Last Days”
(Parody of “Life in the Fast Lane” by the Eagles)

It’s sorta hard to understand, but it’s totally awesome
And it’s eternally finished
Who wrote it up? It was John the Apostle
Aand the Lord said it won’t diminish
He had fantastic revelations of the future news
Sent here from Jesus, sent here for you
When he saw Jesus comin’, John fell down as dead
He told him, Grab your tablet and write this down instead
Life in the last days — sure to make you lose your mind
Life in the last days — yeah, heh

He saw four horsemen, holding the reins
Of colorful stallions, who brought different things
He who rode the white conquered, and the red one brought war
And the black one brought famine; then pale horse number four
There was death in the saddle, ridin’ out through space
He had Hades right behind him, killed a fourth of the human race
All of the people, were trying to hide
When the earth started shakin’ and the moon turned to blood — the sun was
Black in the last days — sure to make you lose your mind
Life in the last days — yeah, heh
Life in the last days — everything prophesied
Life in the last days — yeah, heh

So much to tell you; I’ve got one verse. Man didn’t heed the stop signs
And the earth got worse and worse
If you’re a Christian, baby, you don’t need to fear a thing
If you’re not, go read the Bible ‘cause there’s more than I can sing
There’s a false messiah, the people will think he’s Christ
The world will take his number, but they’ll have to pay his price
They’ll look up and they’ll see Jesus and they’ll know that they’ve lost
He won the war when He was dyin’ on the cross and it was
Life in the last days — sure to make you lose your mind
Life in the last days — yeah, heh
Life in the last days — everything prophesied
Life in the last days — yeah, heh

[ ApologetiX – “The Boys Aren’t Backin’ Down” album ]

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“Look Yourself”
(Parody of “Lose Yourself” by Eminem)

Look, if you have one God and one offer of eternity
That exceeds everything you’ve ever wanted, with one opponent
Would you ask for it … or just let it slip? Yo

He parks his Chevy, needs sleep, heart is heavy
He’s thought about repentin’ already, sun is setting
This church is not having service it looks almost dead as he
Drops by but they keep on the electric
What a ghost town, he knelt down, don’t know how
He opens his mouth just the word “Help” comes out
He’s broken down, yet his heart is open now
The lost one’s found, winds up homeward bound
Heads back to his family – Look who’s home, daddy
And, look, he’s so happy, he chose his own path but he
Won’t give up babbling, he broke his old habits they
Don’t seem so bad to me, hope it’s some fad like new Coke or Shaun Cassidy Don’t need no radical holy-rollin’ masochist quotin’ old passages
That’s what’ll happen then, though, he’ll go fanatic-y
Better go batten the hatches and hope it don’t last

You’d better look yourself in the mirror
You know that you wanted to get to Heaven when you’re old
Do you really want God or not? Is it yes or no?
It’s awful soon you say, but what is the right time?
You’d better look yourself in the book since you own it
In Romans, you never read it yet I know
You only get one shot to God, here’s your chance to know
His offer to you may come once in your lifetime

His soul’s been saved even though his whole family’s gaping
This world is blinded by Satan – they can’t see
As he moves forward – it’s true George Orwell
The moral of the story is truth’s ignored, emotion’s most important
He’ll only cause problems, the Holy Ghost got him
He blows him all over, he knows the call’s on him
Goes to go show his bros at his Alma Mater, “Welcome Back, Kotter”
They know he’s just one of their own, so don’t bother
Said, “Go home you barely know the Our Father”
Well hold the phones cause he knows it holds water
If those don’t want him no more he’ll go farther
And he moved on and he read the Romans Road
Till he knows it cold and shows others
He’s on his soap box and his tone becomes bold, I suppose he’s no martyr But the weak grows strong and the dumb becomes smarter

You’d better look yourself in the mirror
You know that you wanted to get to Heaven when you’re old
Do you really want God or not? Is it yes or no?
It’s awful soon you say, but what is the right time?
You’d better look yourself in the book since you own it
In Romans, you never read it yet I know
You only get one shot to God, here’s your chance to know
His offer to you may come once in your lifetime

No more names, I’ve been changed, but you call it strange
To tell my mother ‘n father truth off the true God’s page
I was saying if you’ve been sinning pursue God’s grace
I’ve been shooed off and spit at like Rudolph the Reindeer
But I kept shinin’ a lamplight that I can’t stifle,
You best believe somebody paid for my revival
Call the name of Christ and go find a Bible
Fact is I can’t deny that I’m liable
To die if my plans collide with life’s iceberg
Like the Titanic ‘cause man needs God and you can’t go buy a lifeboat And it’s no movie; there’s no surprise survivors
This is high tide and you’re tryin’ to row hard
And you’re hittin’ deeper waters tryin’ to flee piranhas I see
Plus seaweed’s got ya caught up between PBJ Otter and Bikini Bottom Babe it’s not a submarine you’re on and you must believe the Son
He’ll save you on the spot, He’s comin’ ready or not
I’ve got to be to the point just like a nail on the cross
I formerly was lost, horrendously frail and fraught
With questions I know how Mother Hubbard’s dog felt – famine, drought Mom, I love you but this world has got to know
I cannot grow cold when Hell is hot
So please don’t go into shock, let the family talk
This way is their only opportunity to find God

You’d better look yourself in the mirror
You know that you wanted to get to Heaven when you’re old
Do you really want God or not? Is it yes or no?
It’s awful soon you say, but what is the right time?
You’d better look yourself in the book since you own it
In Romans, you never read it yet I know
You only get one shot to God, here’s your chance to know
His offer to you may come once in your lifetime

You can do anything if He gets inside you, man

[ ApologetiX – “Adam Up” album ]

 

 

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DEEP THOUGHTS:

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“We may wonder at the choice of Israel and Rome as the archetypes of the new nation, in view of the long history of suffering of the former and the decline of the latter. We may wonder that our ancestors over-looked the darker days of those earlier nations. They did not. They hoped to construct a republic on principles so sound that it might avoid their fate. But they were certain that if we should decline in piety and public virtue we would meet the inexorable fate of nations, which are as but dust in the hands of God.”
[ Robert N. Bellah ]

“Those who are vested with civil authority ought also with much care to promote religion and good morals among all under their government. If we give credit to the Holy Scriptures, he that ruleth must be just, ruling in the fear of God. Those who wish well to the State ought to choose to places of trust men of inward principle, justified by exemplary conversation. Those who pay no regard to religion and sobriety, in the persons whom they send to the legislature of any state, will soon pay dearly for their folly… the people in general ought to have regard to the moral character of those whom they invest with authority, either in the legislative, executive, or judicial branches.”
[ John Witherspoon ]

“Those public policy decisions do result in consequences… even the good guys had to go thought the nation judgment brought on by bad policies from national leaders. Even if you disagree with those polices, even if you disagree with non-discrimination ordinances if your city has one God not going to be able to bless that … Even for those who don’t get involved in politics you will pay a price for what your political leaders do. You are not isolated from that…”
[ David Barton ]

“The prosperous smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself has ordained.”
[ George Washington ]

“The Supreme Governor of the World rewards or punishes nations and civil communities only in this life… Political bodies are but the creatures of time. They have no existence as such but in the present State; consequently, are incapable of punishments or rewards in a future. We can conceive no way in which the Divine Being shall therefore manifest the purity of His nature… toward such societies but by rewarding or punishing them here, according to their public conduct.”
[ Chandler Robbins ]

“For we know when a nation goes down and never comes back, when society or civilization perishes, one condition may always be found. They forgot where they came from. They lost sight of what brought them along.”
[ Carl Sandburg ]

“But when elected representatives in state or federal government legislate against the laws of God, such as legalization of abortion, homosexuality, same sex marriage, and other laws that are blasphemous to God, they are saying to God that we refuse to honor you or your Laws, we will not follow. Those who legislate against God have not only sinned against God, they set themselves up as more important or better than God, and in doing so they have become an enemy to God. Thus appropriate for us today are words of warning given by Charles G. Finney before the Civil War. “Christians” he said, “seem to act as if they think God does not see what they do in politics. But I tell you He does see it, and He will bless or curse this nation, according to the course they take.”

“Voters cannot escape the fact that they bear some responsibility for the actions, decisions, and laws made by those who were elected on their behalf. Nor can the children of those voters escape the consequences of their parents actions in electing immoral men and women to office whose actions and laws go against God and his commandments. As many of the Founding Fathers, Daniel Webster, and others over the years have warned, acts of government or actions of man that go against God and His Laws invite chastisement upon the county. No nation in our recorded Biblical history, ever, violates divine law for any extended period of time with impunity. …

“But in a society as open as the United States, can there be any excuse for ignorance of history? Can there be any excuse for ignorance of Biblical truths or for violating and flaunting divine law decades? The country has rebelled against God. As a result, the country has not just lost its way from the path God set us on and created the country for, it has lost the reason for its existence. As Thomas Jefferson warned, history “teaches the awful lesson, that no nation is permitted to live in ignorance with impunity.” The country is in need of purification.

“Perhaps the strongest message the Founding Fathers and other patriots gave to future generations was that there is God (the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), and it is our duty to acknowledge him, to follow his laws and humbly implore his protection and blessings. Conversely, because there is a just God that presides over the destinies of nations, we were warned there would be chastisement if we went against God and his laws…”
[ Michael A. Shea ]

“America was conceived for the purpose of God, and dedicated to His glory. Formed after the pattern of ancient Israel it was called to be a city on the hill. America has been blessed as no other nation has ever been blessed. But through much is given much is required. America as did with Israel with its blessing has been turning away from God driving Him out of its public squares. Bring in idols in its place and calling what is evil good and what is good evil. … The glory of the city on the hill is fading and America now stands in danger of impending judgment, and we all know it. And to much of the church as lost its salt and cease to do anything about it. And now the same Biblical signs of national judgment that appeared in the last days of ancient Israel are appearing on American soil. … America was blessed because of God alone. If America ever turned away from God, then the blessings of heaven would be removed from the land.”
[ Jonathan Cahn ]

“A Lesson from History – No nation in recorded history has fallen from the truth and its favored position with God more quickly than America – except possibly Israel during ancient times.”
[ Gary Kah ]

“The dark, sinister clouds of political correctness have been steadily gathering over America for some 50 years now. The result? A drastic recasting of American culture…

“However, keep in mind that a sufficient number of Americans may have so rejected God that He intends to punish America. The Founders were poignantly aware of this very possibility, as expressed by them in a proclamation they released to the American public on March 20, 1779: “Whereas, in just punishment of our manifold transgressions, it hath pleased the Supreme Disposer of all events to visit these United States with a destructive calamitous war” (Journals of…, 1909, 13:343-344).

“The time has come to face the fact that America may have plummeted too far in its departure from God’s will to be recalled. …

“Who could have imagined (the Founders most certainly could not have done so) that America would ever give legal sanction to a woman to kill her unborn baby? Yet, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court did just that by ruling that “the word ‘person’ as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn” (Roe v. Wade). Who could have imagined one day that more than 48 million babies would be butchered in the United States of America?”
[ Dave Miller ]

“The butchery of babies and sexual perversion undoubtedly will go down in history as primary contributors to the moral and spiritual deterioration, decline, and collapse of American society (see Miller, 2006). Abortion and homosexuality are glaring proofs of the expanding rejection of God in American civilization. They show the extent to which Americans are severing themselves from the laws of God in exchange for wanton indulgence of human passion. Forget where a candidate stands on health care, the environment, and social security! We simply must lay aside all the other political issues that vie for our attention and affect our finances, and vote based on where a candidate stands on these two premiere moral issues that will spell the doom of our nation. If the nation is punished for its moral degradation, our finances will be the least of our worries. …

“The Founders were adamant in their insistence that the survival of the Republic depends on its citizens maintaining unchanging Christian moral virtue. They would be deeply saddened to see the extent to which our civilization has slumped from its original high moral ground. …

“What lies ahead for America when a sizable percentage of the citizenry no longer acknowledges or submits to the God of the Bible? What is going to happen to this country when many of our people no longer believe that a nation is blessed only if its God is the Lord? What does the future hold, given the direction we are going? When one examines the sweeping scope of human history.”
[ Dave Miller ]

“According to the Framers and Founders, the American republic cannot last any length of time when Christian morals do not characterize the people; no civil government of a republic can exist and last without the controlling influence of Christian principles; the government and civility in society will dissolve if the citizens become enemies of Christianity; ignorance of one’s duty to God and depravity will lead to slavery and ruin; without religion, foreign violence, domestic convulsion and ruin result; abandoning Christian virtue will result in submission to invaders; there can be no genuine freedom where religion and morality are lost; and we will then be ripe for destruction. …

“If this pattern of eventual divine retribution has repeated itself many times over throughout world history, and if God is immutable, i.e., He does not change … We ought to expect God to react to America’s degradation in two ways: (1) unleash upon, or at least refrain from protecting, the country (or specific localities within the country) natural disasters (read the Old Testament book of Joel); or (2) allow hostile enemies to inflict casualties and suffering upon us (read Habakkuk). … Indeed, it is just a matter of time. Since America is committing national suicide by its morally insane behavior, turning its back on God, disaster is the inevitable result.

“As the population of America continues its progressive entrenchment against God, the outcome is inevitable: “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17, emp. added). Indeed, as Americans turn their back on the God of their fathers, so God will cease to bestow His protection and blessings. … The only hope for America is to experience a nationwide spiritual awakening by returning to God and begging His forgiveness. … God help us. If it be His will, may God save the United States of America.”
[ Dave Miller ]

“I think what happening is the adversary (satin) in his arrogance and pride has becomes so bold that he has tipped his hand. He usually is the great masquerader who hides his reals goals. But in this case he made the mistake of revealing his true agenda.

“What is happening in America today isn’t a political debate. It is the confrontation, the conflict between two mutual exclusive religions. They can’t coexist. One is going to prevail over the other. And the godless humanism of the religion that has come to predominate throughout our culture thinks it’s now so powerful that it can intrude into every dimension of people’s lives. And Government has become more and more intrusive in that way controlling what we think and what we say.

“And Christians my finally begin recognize how much is at stake here and what stand to lose. This isn’t about Republicans and Democrats or liberals and conservatives. This is about the integrity of our faith as Christians, and our commitment to the word of God. Can we preach what God says, can we live by what the Bible teaches, or is the coercive power of the government going to destroy freedoms that we as Americas we have always pretty much taken for granted because they have always been there.

“Well now they are under attack in a blatant and obvious way that is unprecedented in American history. And hopefully that will wake up a lot of folks.”
[ Dr. Laurence L. White ]

“Thy kingdom come – You cannot understand history without understanding Divine Providence. The whole of history can be looked at from a Biblical philosophy, because there is an overall purpose that unifies all the specific events of history. From a humanistic standpoint, there is no purpose in history and hence no unifying theme that ties the events of history together. Many modern educators deny the Providential view of history and would have us believe that their promotion of one of several “secular” views of history is simply the recounting of brute facts.

“God’s plan for the nations has been unfolding in a specific geographic direction. This geographical march of history is called the Chain of Christianity or the Chain of Liberty. It seems as if God’s direction is westward. “Christian” geography (which is true geography) is the view that the earth’s origin, end, purposes, and physiography are for Christ and His glory. Like individuals, nations have a unique purpose. We will see throughout this book how God has raised up and put down nations of the world for His purposes. … During the Revolutionary War, God performed many miracles on behalf of the American army, for God desired to see America win its struggle for freedom, become a nation, and fulfill its divine purposes. – Link to Website

“I always, consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.”
[ John Adams ]

“Divine Providence exalts or depresses states and kingdoms. Not by the blind dictates of arbitrary will. Not by a tyrannous and despotic mandate. But in proportion to their obedience or disobedience of his just and holy laws. It is he who commands us that we abstain from wrong.”
[ Gouverneur Morris ]

“Is America at a Dangerous Tipping Point for Receiving God’s Judgment? – … I believe God uses the same template to judge nations … I believe God always warns nation’s before He judges them and in doing so gives them the chance to repent. However, if the nation does not repent, God’s judgment will become more severe. In reading what God said He would do to the nation of Israel if they continue in their rebellion against God as found in Deuteronomy 28, Leviticus 26, and Isaiah 5, it is in many ways like reading the newspapers here in America.” [ Rabbi Daniel Lapin ]

“The founders of the United States of America… founded it on the principles ancient convent between the Hebrews and God. The only reason that we fear that right now we stare down into the abyss of doom. The only reason that deep in our hearts we question whether the United States of American will indeed continue, and will it indeed continue as the nation we know and love. The only reason that deep in our hearts we worry for its future is because deep in our hearts we know that this country had abandoned the faith of Abraham, Isaiah, and Jacob. This county has stepped out from beneath that convent, that guaranteed durability. Not just ancient Israel but all those who followed in those paths.”
[ Rabbi Daniel Lapin ]

“America, the noble experiment, is under siege. The nation that once aspired to being a shining light on a hill is now one of the world’s leading exporters of pornography. The nation that was once a haven for religious refugees now seeks to exclude religious speech from education and the public square. The nation that once paid the blood price to free its slaves now freely spills the blood of its young on the altar of “choice.” Religious belief, once revered, is now publicly reviled. The foundation of all that most of us once held dear as a nation has so eroded that it can no longer stay the culture.

“Many have worked diligently in the public square for almost three decades in order to hold back the tide of evil in America. … How ever, every year that goes by we continue to lose more ground. For every step we take forward, we seem to take two steps back. So then a natural question arises, ‘Why?’”
[ Brad Bright ]

“Like the Pharisees and Sadducees, many people today do not recognize God reaching out to them, nor do they discover the truth of God’s Word and the simple solutions needed to turn out situation around. Most tragically, they do not foresee their own inevitable destruction because they have rejected God’s personal warning. … Today, America has only two choices: continue its ungodly path to destruction, or respond to God’s call for repentance… He will restore our nation even at this late hour.”
[ William (Bill) R. Bright ]

“Once the morals of a country goes so does the nation.”
[ Michael Savage ]

“Calamities are God’s previews of what sin deserves and will one day receive in judgment a thousand times worse.

They are wake-up calls to see the moral horror and spiritual ugliness of sin against God.”
[ John Piper ]

“We are not seeing terrible things in our culture because we vote the wrong way. We are seeing terrible things in our culture because men love darkness rather than light.”
[ Voddie Baucham, Jr. ]

“But then what are our laws about marriage? That law owns no other mixture of sexes ,but that which nature hath appointed of a man with his wife and that this be used only for the procreation of children. But it affords the mixture a male with a male and if anyone do that death is his punishment.”
[ Josephus ]

“When you start RIOTING (ie looting stores, stealing from business and burning down buildings) it no longer is about George Floyd. It’s about you and your criminal and selfish behavior!”
[ Author unknown ]

“If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”
[ Ruth Graham ]

“It is partly because sin does not provoke our own wrath that we do not believe that sin provokes the wrath of God.”
[ R.W. Dale ]

“The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart. Maybe it’s time we stepped back as a nation and considered what’s happened since we removed the spiritual foundation that’s anchored this country from its cradle. The same foundation that teaches us human beings are intrinsically valuable — not because of who they are or where they live or what color their skin is — but because they carry the image of God. If Americans are content with riots in our streets and everyone doing what’s right in their own eyes, then by all means, let’s stay this course. Otherwise, a return to hope starts with a return to God — in whose name we pledge our country and our future.”
[ Dr. Ben Carson ]

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RELATED SCRIPTURE VERSES:

God Protection

1 John 5:18 ESV / 114 helpful votes
We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.

John 16:33 ESV / 113 helpful votes
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Psalm 91:1-16 ESV / 102 helpful votes
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, …

Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV / 101 helpful votes
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, …

Isaiah 54:17 ESV / 82 helpful votes
No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”

Hebrews 13:5 ESV / 80 helpful votes
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Philippians 4:13 ESV / 74 helpful votes
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Psalm 138:7 ESV / 69 helpful votes
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me.

2 Thessalonians 3:3 ESV / 68 helpful votes
But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.

Psalm 32:7 ESV / 65 helpful votes
You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah

1 Peter 5:8 ESV / 63 helpful votes
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Isaiah 41:10 ESV / 61 helpful votes
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Proverbs 18:10 ESV / 57 helpful votes
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.

Psalm 46:1 ESV / 57 helpful votes
To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A Song. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Romans 8:28 ESV / 56 helpful votes
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Luke 12:32 ESV / 55 helpful votes
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV / 54 helpful votes
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

2 Samuel 22:3-4 ESV / 50 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

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1 Corinthians 10:13
13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

2 Thessalonians 3:3
3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
Deuteronomy 31:6
6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Isaiah 41:10
10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Proverbs 2:11
11 Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.

Proverbs 4:6
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.
Psalm 5:11
11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
Psalm 12:5
5 “Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the LORD. “I will protect them from those who malign them.”
Psalm 20:1
1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
Psalm 34:19
19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;

Psalm 46:1
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Psalm 57:1
1 Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.
Psalm 59:1
1 Deliver me from my enemies, O God; be my fortress against those who are attacking me.
Psalm 138:7
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me.
Psalm 140:4
4 Keep me safe, LORD, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from the violent, who devise ways to trip my feet.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
2 Samuel 22:3-4
3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent people you save me. 4 “I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies.
John 10:28-30
28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
Psalm 23
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 121
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD watches over you— the LORD is your shade at your right hand; 6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; 8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Psalm 91
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

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“A quick summary of the Christian “Gospel”:
JESUS’ PROPITIATION made our SINS FORGIVEN and IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS to us so that we have GOD’S ACCEPTANCE into His Heaven and receive ETERNAL LIFE.”
[ Mark Besh ]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ’pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

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FOCUS VERSES:

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God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

“Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”
[ Romans 1:18-32 ]

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”
[ Romans 13:1-7 ]

“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”… “Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.’”
[ Romans 3:11-12; 15-18 ]

“The Gentiles who do not have the law do instinctively the things of the law, these not having the law are a law to themselves in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness.”
[ Romans 2:14 ]

“They show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.”
[ Romans 2:15-16 ]

“Their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their paths.”
[ Romans 3:15 ]

“Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
[ Matthew 15:14 ]

“lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.”
[ Matthew 24:12 ]

“And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.”
[ Matthew 24:22 ]

“For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
[ Matthew 24:38-39 ]

“For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.”
[ Mark 7:21-22 ]

“would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”
[ Luke 18:13b ]

“I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
[ Luke 18:14 ]

“They love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil” [ John 3:19 ]

“Then God turned away from them and gave them up, and let them serve the sun, moon, and stars as their gods!”
[ Acts 7:42 ]

“In the generations gone by, God permitted all the nations to go their own way.” [ Acts 14:16 ]

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” [ Galatians 6:7 ]

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolators nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
[ 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ]

“Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.”
[ 1 Corinthians 6:18 ]

“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution; whether to a king or one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.”
[ 1 Peter 2:13-14 ]

“Evil men will grow worse and worse.”
[ 2 Timothy 3:13 ]

“Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
[ James 1:15 ]

“My Spirit will not always strive with man.”
[ Genesis 6:3 ]

“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
[ Genesis 6:5 ]

“The land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.”
[ Leviticus 18:25 ]

“If my people who are called by My name 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 7:14 ]

“So the Lord said to the children of Israel, ‘Did I not deliver you from the Egyptians and from the Amorites and from the people of Ammon and from the Philistines? Also the Sidonians and Amalekites and Maonites oppressed you; and you cried out to Me, and I delivered you from their hand. Yet you have forsaken Me and served other gods. Therefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in your time of distress.’”
[ Judges 10:11-14 ]

“But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.”
[ Psalm 81:11-12 ]

“Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; and you neglected all my counsel and did not want my reproof; I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, when your dread comes like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but they will not find me, because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord. They would not accept my counsel, they spurned all my reproof. So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way and be satiated with their own devices.”
[ Proverbs 1:24-31 ]

“Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way.”
[ Proverbs 1:31a ]

“Can a man take a fire into his bosom and be not burned?”
[ Proverbs 6:27 ]

“Ephraim is joined to idols; leave him alone!”
[ Hosea 4:7 ]

“The heart is deceitful above all else and desperately wicked. Who can understand it?”
[ Jeremiah 17:9 ]

“Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.”
[ Joel 1:14-15 ]

“You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong.”
[ Habakkuk 1:13 ]

“Alas, sinful nation, people weighed down with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away from Him.”
[ Isaiah 1:4 ]

“Where will you be stricken again as you continue in your rebellion? The whole head is sick, the whole heart is faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head there is nothing sound in it, only bruises, welts and raw wounds, not pressed out or bandaged, not softened with oil. Your land is desolate, your cities are burned with fire.”
[ Isaiah 1:5-7 ]

“A Redeemer will come to Zion… Arise, shine; your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has arisen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; but the Lord will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you.”
[ Isaiah 59:20-60:2 ]

“For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue mutters wickedness. No one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly. They trust in confusion and speak lies; they conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity.” [ Isaiah 59:3-4 ]

“stench in the ‘nostrils’ of God.”
[ Isaiah 65:5c ]

Mark

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If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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