November 8th is approaching quickly - what to do - what to do!? That is the scenario that most of us face as we watch the time when we will step into a voting booth and express our right and responsibility to be patriots. The problem we also face is how to be both a patriot in the United States and also be a Christian in our conscience. To be perfectly honest with you - I am also in the throes of such a decision. I continue to pray about it - read to become better informed - and maybe - just maybe fret about it a little more than I should (Told you I was going to be honest).
First of all, I need to be candid. I will not under any circumstances vote for the Democrat Party or their standard bearer Hillary Clinton. The Bible teaches us that the life in the womb does have rights. It may not have rights in the eyes of the Democrat party or in the eyes of their presidential candidate - but God’s authority is infinitely higher than theirs - and He says that the precious baby in the womb is His masterpiece. God forbid that I would do anything to strengthen the hands of those who add innocent blood through abortion to the massive amount we’ve already spilt advancing erotic freedom without responsibility. I also cannot vote for this agenda because I am not in agreement with giving the LGBT community a carte blanche to rewrite the first amendment to the Constitution so that religious freedom is stamped out via the revisionist decisions made by the Supreme Court. There are a host of other reasons that would take too long to list here, but suffice it to say that until the agenda in the Democrat party changes - I will be casting no votes for any of their candidates.
Now to the much harder part of the coming election. Can I vote for a man like Donald Trump - who if he said and acted toward my wife or daughters in the manner in which he has - I wouldn’t want him to be in charge of anything - other than his own reformation of character? If I can do this - what would I be sacrificing as a believer and as someone who holds to a biblical definition of character? (all the time knowing that I don’t even measure up in some areas myself - thank God for His grace and gift of righteousness through Jesus Christ!) That is where I am having such a difficult time - even today. These are matters that I will have to continue to wrestle with for a few more weeks. Eventually I will go into a booth and vote my conscience - and hopefully support someone who will lead our country, albeit haltingly, in a somewhat better direction that it is currently being led. Each time I consider that - I am no more excited than I was before.
If you began reading this hoping I would come up with some magic formula to make this easier - I’m sorry that you will be disappointed. God has begun taking me in another direction - even as I continue in the quandary over how to cast a vote that will in some way honor Him. It has always been a comfort to me to remember God’s sovereignty in this world. That sovereignty can both change the direction of a nation toward righteousness - or allow a nation that turns from Him to descend into ruin. Both are seen clearly in Scripture - especially when it refers to His people.
God began putting the question into my heart, “What are we going to be doing on November 9th?” If Trump is elected, and that is a big “if” will all our problems be solved? I am so glad to see so many prayer meetings and special times of prayer being called. It is an encouraging thing to watch God’s people pray. But can I ask if we will be praying after the election? Will we have the same passion to pray - when maybe, and it is a big “maybe” Hillary Clinton may be elected president of the United States? Are our hopes so set on electing one candidate over the other that we are blind to the spiritually desolate condition of the church in the United States of America? Are we so set on protecting our Constitutional rights that we are deaf to God’s call for bus to lay down all our rights for the sake of His gospel and His kingdom? Will we be so depressed that Christians were so divided over - and let’s be honest about this - such a divisive candidate that we don’t see our need to come together over a greater need of loving one another and living to glorify God and advance His gospel - no matter what form or perversion of our government that will exists after this election? Will the upward call of God in Christ Jesus be enough to motivate us to pray as passionately after the election as the political call to win an election over the ungodly agenda of the Democrat party? I hope and pray the answer to such questions is that we will pursue God with greater passion - knowing that no government has ever been able to extinguish the glorious light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The early church and the persecuted church have shown us that regardless of those who reign in the realms of men - God still reigns over the hearts of His people. They had no political standing and yet turned the world upside down. They advanced the gospel through their willingness to lay down the lives for Jesus Christ. They advanced the work of God with no favor in the courts - no favor with the emperor - and often with great persecution from others within their society. Yet God prevailed. The one thing God is graciously allowing me to begin to see is that when it comes to His gospel and His plan and purpose - neither Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will prevail over it. God is sovereign - and His eternal purpose WILL PREVAIL. I hope you will forgive me for quoting such a long section of Scripture as I close this article - and engage in a little exegesis as well - but here we go. Paul wrote something we need to grasp - prior to a call for prayer. We might need to see it again - in light of our current circumstances.
To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.
Paul makes it clear that our purpose is to “preach the unfathomable riches of Christ” which is the riches made available to us in His gospel. This glorious message has been being presented to our world since it began. It truly began to mean something to us at the Fall - when our sin meant separation from God - and the prospect of eternal punishment for such a foolish rebellion. This message is called the “manifold wisdom of God” which is supposed to be being made known to all “through the church.” This plan and purpose - that the gospel be proclaimed through the church is in accordance with God’s eternal purpose. LET ME PUT THIS IN ALL CAPS - NOT BECAUSE I’M MAD - BUT BECAUSE IT IS IMPORTANT. GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE IS THAT THE CHURCH LIVE AND PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE WORLD. According to Paul it is through the relationship we have with Christ Jesus our Lord - that we have boldness and a confident access to God - so that we might carry out this purpose!
13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.
Paul also states. in one small sentence, the reality of his life as he lives to accomplish God’s eternal purpose of preaching the gospel to the world. He is facing tribulations - troubles - trials - hardships - beatings - all because he chooses to embrace God’s eternal purpose. He tells them, “not to lose heart” at the tribulations he is facing. Instead he says that those tribulation are for your glory! What?! Yes - it is our glory to see that living for and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ will involve tribulations. In fact Jesus Himself told us that we would be treated just like He was if we embraced true discipleship. So where does this lead us? Paul had to preach the gospel in a hostile environment - without political support - facing persecution and difficulty. Yet he spoke of boldness and confidence in the midst of it. HOW!?
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. - Ephesians 3:8-21
Paul knew the true battle was not for a political win over society - but over the manifestation of Christ dwelling in the hearts of His people. He knew the true battle was that we all would be rooted and grounded in love for God and one another. He knew the true battle would be to know the breadth, length, height, and depth of the love for Christ. This is a love for the Father. This is a love for one another. This is a love for the lost. It is even a love for those who hate us, persecute us, and speak evil falsely of us on account of our embrace of Jesus as Lord. And this battle was so that we might be filled up to all the fullness of God Himself - as His Holy Spirit works in and through us to preach the gospel, speaking the truth in love. Paul also promised that this battle was going to be won on our knees as we trusted in the one who as able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or imagine - according to the power with which God will work in us and through us. This battle was to see God glorified in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever!
Dearest precious saints of God - on November 9th our calling will be the same as it was prior to the election. It will be to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. It will be to love one another as Christ has loved us. It will be to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth for the glory of God. It will be to see the glory of God shine ever brighter THROUGH His church! So - regardless of whether Trump or Clinton become president - our purpose remains an eternal one. And just as Paul has indicated through the Spirit in Ephesians - HOW MUCH MORE DOES THAT CAUSE CALL US TO PASSIONATE PRAYER! Oh pray, dear saints - pray prior to this election. But please, I beg you, please don’t think all is lost if it does not turn out as you hope and pray. Regardless of who is our president - our Lord still reigns supreme! So, therefore, let us be bold, be loving, be prayerful, and always be abounding with hope that our work in the Lord is NOT in vain! And may that work always be to take the gospel of Jesus Christ everywhere for the glory of God!
May the Lord gives us boldness and wisdom as we speak in these interesting days in which we live. This week I want to make you aware of a ruling that should concern all of us who cherish our freedom of religious speech.
Please allow me to begin by making the following statement concerning our so-called protected religious speech in the United States of America. Our constitution protects the right of free speech – and part of the speech protected is religious speech. That being said, those of us who belong to Christ need to know that God’s command for us to preach the gospel is not abridged by any government or law that is written or established by man. Regardless of what the governments of men say – we are to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and make disciples of all the nations. That command comes from a higher authority than that of mankind. It comes from God Himself. Therefore, it is imperative for us to remember that regardless of what decisions are reached by the IRS, the Supreme Court, or any other human entity, they do not trump the command of Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:18-20. We are to continue to proclaim the gospel – and if in the process we face punitive action by our governing authorities – we are to accept it gladly as we choose to obey God rather than men. This was the response made by the apostles as they were commanded by the governing authorities of their day not to speak or teach any longer in the name of Jesus. We should not respond any differently in our day.
“What is all this about?” you may ask. It is about a ruling made a few days ago by the Internal Revenue Service in answer to a suit filed by the Freedom from Religion Foundation. They charged that the IRS was not investigating and punishing churches and pastors who preach politics from the pulpit. The law or ruling used for this invasion of our nation’s pulpits is actually not even from our Constitution, but rather is from an IRS ruling in 1954. At that time Senator Lyndon B. Johnson urged this measure so that he could use it against specific opponents of his agenda and that of the Democrat party. This provision was gradually extended to include religious groups and their speech in regard to specifically endorsing a candidate in an election from the pulpit. Some may read this and wonder why this has become a problem – and why I voice concern over it. That, my dear saints, has to do with where our government is going in regards to its moral stances being taken in our day. Many of these issues are not being decided in Congress, which is the only place laws are to be passed, but by executive decisions of the President – or by courts that are legislating from the bench.
Because of decisions rendered over the past several decades, the sacred arena of religious speech has been invaded by the secular government. In 1973 the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision attacked life in the womb. And more recently a wave of lower court decisions have attacked the sanctity of biblical marriage. As these decisions have been politicized, elections have included debates over whether these decisions are just or not. Such debates REQUIRE a response from the spiritual leaders in America. Those spiritual leaders are the pastors of local churches, who have found it necessary to teach what the Scriptures have to say about these issues of life and marriage. Here is where this issue is going to reach a head. Is the IRS going to rule in such a way that pastors are no longer allowed to teach certain passages that will be deemed “preaching politics?” Will we watch pastors be cited, fined, and possibly even arrested for teaching on Romans 1:18-25 (dealing with homosexuality) and Psalm 139 (dealing with the sanctity of the womb)?
The day may come where we are forbidden by the state to teach such things without losing our tax exempt status. The day may also come when things far worse that this may result. Baring God moving in our country, the day will come when pastors will be fined or arrested for committing a hate crime because they dared teach these passages INSIDE the church. May God give us grace to stand and teach His Word, with grace and meekness, regardless of the consequences. May God strengthen us to hold fast the faithful Word He has given us – not surrendering to political correctness or even punitive threats to abandon it because it has become socially unpopular in our day to do so.
Prophecy News Update – March 6, 2014
The Fall of the United States, prologue
Well . . . many of you who come here frequently may have noticed that I’ve not posted on this blog in a long time. That is not without purpose. Maybe a better way to express this is that it is more out of fear of what I would be writing than any purpose of God. Let me explain.
Ever since the late 1980’s I’ve known in my heart that it would only be a matter of time until our country would fall. I am not sure that this was as much from some kind of prophetic foreknowledge as much as it was from being student of history. (By the way, before I write anything else know that I do not desire nor delight in this. I have always been a patriot, and love my country very much. My heart aches when I think of what we were given and where we've taken it over my lifetime. My hope is that very soon I can also say that my knees ache from prayer offered for the restoration of the church in this nation.) The three things that I knew would bring our country to its knees – or to destruction – was first the rejection of God and absolute truth that was an integral part of the agenda of multiculturalism. Second was the sexual revolution that took place in the 1960’s that had its foundation laid by the previous generation’s hypocrisy. That revolution, that many thought was relegated to the 1960’s has actually never stopped. It has had an ongoing incrementalism that has gained speed over the years to the point of overthrowing how we view sexuality, marriage, and family. We’ve moved from revolution to a fundamental transformation of our society. The third and final sphere of this fall is how our form of government has also been incrementally changing as well. That too has sped up over the years. We are now watching the government of our nation fundamentally changed as our founding documents are being openly ignored by our leaders. We are quickly becoming a nation of decrees rather than a nation of laws.
I need to admit that for the past year or so I’ve watched this happen with gathering intensity and speed. My response has followed two directions – despair and disobedience. The despair has been because I have been slowly coming to the conclusion that this may be irreversible. It seems no matter what is done – the march toward destruction seems to be undeterred by both our people and our leaders. That led to the disobedience. I reached a point where I threw up my hands and said, “Oh well, what can I do?” It has only been as I’ve watched where this led me spiritually over the course of a year that I’ve seen it as a foolish thing to have done. The end of 2013 and the start of 2014 was a time of intense soul-searching. During that time I saw that hopelessness and despair only lead to abandoning the fact that God is sovereign over all time. That error – ignoring His ultimate sovereignty not just over history, but over MY history – led to a general carelessness spiritually. I thank Him that He did not abandon me, but has convicted me greatly of my sin – and has called me to back to Himself. That also means a call back to viewing history through the clear lens of His ultimate sovereignty as well as through His ultimate purpose. That purpose is clearly delineated for us in Scripture. With the Scriptures as my compass, therefore, it is my intent to once again begin looking at what is happening and possibly going to happen in the near future.
Over the next several posts/articles it is my intent to share why I believe the fall of the United States is very near. I am aware that such a statement is highly inflammatory to many but I neither make it lightly, nor do I do so without Scriptural precedent. Please understand that these are not going to be politically motivated articles. Politics has long been a Trojan horse to the Christian community. We’ve been duped by political strategists who have promised change and action – but have delivered very little of either. In being so duped, the church has spent very little of her precious capital on spiritual renewal and revival. She has not turned to God in repentance and cries for His restoration. Repentance and prayer have been the things God has used to return His people to Himself – and yet these have been jettisoned and considered outdated for our days. The old paths are still there – abandoned – but still there. God’s intent, saints, is not to save our nation, but to call a people to Himself through the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Two passages of Scripture will probably dominate these posts, so you might want to familiarize yourself with them. The first is Matthew 5:13 and the second is Romans 1:17-29. If you want to do any other advance reading, you can take a trip through the major and minor prophets as well. The passages in Matthew and Romans will explain our particular national predicament – or – how did we get here? The perusal of the prophets will give you information as to what God says to a nation in spiritual, moral, and therefore national decline.
Please understand that my intent in writing these articles is not to place myself anywhere except among all of us. The “us” to which I refer is the church as Jesus and Scripture define and describe it. My need of what I write about is just as intense as anyone who reads this. Our ONLY HOPE is repentance and return to God. A revival in God’s church would be awesome – but know that it might not be a guarantee that our nation will be restored. God promises that if we repent and return we will get Him. We are not guaranteed that the good ole’ United States we once knew will be restored. But then again, if that is what we have in the forefront of our minds, could it be that a national idolatry might be part of the problem as well? Is not God Himself the prize which we seek? Is not a revived church, no matter what the eventual trajectory of our nation, what is in the best interests of all? Is not a return to gospel saltiness in our culture what will glorify God more than anything else?
Nations have risen up and they have fallen since the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Daniel might remind us that as he watched – a stone cut without hands hit a statue that represented the greatest nations and cultures that would arise in history. They all crumbled, but that stone grew into a great mountain and dominated the scene for all eternity. That stone is Jesus Christ, before Whom all nations shall one day bow. Our place in history will NOT be ultimately related to the United States, but to Him. It would be wise for us to remember that – now and into the future – which may seem uncertain now – but if I read Scripture right – should not be if we hold fast to the Living Stone.
Secession in America . . . What Issues Truly Hinder Unity? by Greg Smith, elder at Calvary Chapel of Jonesboro
Recently, there has been a buzz about states seceding from the Union. Jesus said a house divided against itself cannot stand. Some may wonder what the division really is. It seems to me that the nation is divided at so many levels. A level that is particularly interesting to me is moral compromise at the very heart of our supposed reason for existence as a nation. Certainly, many will see the biggest issue as the economy, the environment, gun rights or foreign policy. Though these are important, I believe one of the greatest issues is hypocrisy to our foundational principles.
Whatever people's motives, the situation is similar to the Civil War. The seed of the Civil War was sown by compromising that all men (people) had an inalienable right to liberty. Now we compromise that all people have an inalienable right to life. The former slave, Fredrick Douglas, said, "No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck." Likewise, one cannot devalue the life of an unborn baby without at last finding that one's own life has lost its value. We teach kids that life is an accident and then are surprised when they put no value on it. Or we teach kids there is a God, but set the example that we don't need to seek Him with all our hearts or be all that concerned to believe and obey Him in every way. But, Jesus knows how inconsistent I have been in so many ways. I thank God that He has and does change me from what I would be without Him.
But someone may argue that there are always divisions and the acceptance of different opinions makes America great. Certainly there are always divisions in this world, but there are times when divisions are so deep that they will cause some kind of break down. Ignorance is always a charge that can be leveled against anyone, because we are all "guilty" to some degree (otherwise, we'd have to claim to know everything). But, we all have some knowledge. I'm trying to use such knowledge as I have, while depending on God's perfect knowledge, to see what the most important issues and divisions are. I don't think we are seeing just minor divisions, but major ones that are threatening the very foundation of the nation.
One example of this would be the way we are becoming increasingly secular (atheistic) in our official government positions. This will ultimately undermine our Declaration of Independence and the inalienable rights that come from the Creator. It was a basically Christian view of God that led to the words in our Declaration of Independence. A fundamentally different view of God (including atheism) challenges everything we stand for including rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. During the Democratic National Conventioin this became a major issue. As I understand it the Democratic party recently voted as to whether they would continue to officially recognize God in their party platform. Accroding to the moderator the vote passed to put God back into their platform. But the reality of that moment was that the voice vote seemed just as loud to remove God from it. Unless something changes, I believe the time is coming where they won't and maybe no political party will. Once again, this strikes at the very heart of everything our national existence is based on.
Divisions and differences will always exist. But there is a fundamental difference betweeen my wife and I not agreeing over where we eat supper - and the two of us disagreeing as to whether our marriage was ever legal and is valid. We can eventually agree to disagree about where we eat - but there can be no such agreement on the second issue. It is fundamental to the core of our relationship. Likewise, some political divisions are relatively small, but issues of God or the nature of basic human rights are not small. They are things that will eventually create secessionist sentiments in our country.
Division is hopeless without assuming there is a right unity that could be achieved. Why discuss anything without the idea that there is one truth to arrive at? The freedom to have an opinion and voice it is a different thing from considering all opinions as equal or truth. Atheists are welcome in America as persons. But, their personal opinion contradicts everything America is built on just as much as someone who uses freedom of speech to try to abolish the Constitution. Their right to speak is protected, but the idea they express contradicts their own right to speak. They saw on the limb that holds them up and if they succeed both will fall together. Atheists are protected in America as endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights whether they believe that statement or not. They are protected by a principle that they fight against. But, if atheism becomes our official position (as seems to be gradually happening), then America does not need to define itself by the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights or any such thing.
America is deeply divided over even how to define itself and whether God is important or not in that self-definition. America is being interpreted as a place where all views are to be accepted as just as valid as the ideas on which the nation was built. If America stands for everything (all opinions) in theory, then it will stand for nothing in practice. Long ago God asked, "Can two walk together unless they are agreed?" It seems to me that we are now divided by definition because we don't see the need for unity on some very deep issues. We can all walk in different directions with different goals, but we can't call that unity or expect that to produce much more than selfishness. People either accept God's definition of Himself, life, & marriage or they follow human redefinitions of those things. To make something clear, my solution is not to force everyone to be a Christian. But as a Christian, I'm just pointing out that the effects of not following Christ will be division. The further away people get from Him, they will either become more divided or will suffer some forced plan of unity (as in Communism, Fascism, Islam and even false expressions of Christianity) where people are forced to comply with the dominant party’s ideas.
Where Do We Go From Here?
(An 5 day Open Letter to Christians After the Election)
Day 2 – God’s Sovereignty
It is now November 8, 2012. It is my hope that you have come to terms with the fact that the election is over. One thing that comforts my heart is the knowledge that God is sovereign over the rulers of mankind. Therefore I can turn to Romans 13 and take comfort in what it says. Let’s take a closer look at what this passage says and find out a little more the answer to the question, “Where do we go from here?”
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Romans 13:1-4, NASB
Let’s start at verse one and walk through this passage. The first things we see here is that we are to be in subjection to the governing authorities. That means that an overthrow of this current government is out of the question. God allows for governments to be overthrown, but I won’t be participating in that activity. The reason for this is found later in this passage. There is no authority except from God – and those which exist are established by God. There is the comfort of God’s sovereignty over the affairs of mankind. Therefore I can know that our current government under the leadership of President Barak Obama is what God has established for the United States for the next four years. Since we live under a constitutional republic, that means that his power is limited by the Constitution of the United States – and that he, as well as the Congress and the Judiciary, are to adhere to the governing principles of that document. Ours is not a system of absolute power – but of shared power between three branches of government. Where we go from here – is to support our government and to pray for our leaders. That is what God instructs us to do in 1 Timothy 2:1-4 when Paul writes the following under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4. NASB) Note that we embrace a “peaceable life” so that the Gospel may go forth. That is the gist of verse 4.
When we look at the remainder of Romans 13:1-4, we need to recognize some things. First of all, we do not need to assume that because God allowed the establishment of President Obama for a second term in office, that God agrees with his policies or his beliefs. God allowed many rulers to come into power for His purposes. But those purposes were never for them to do evil and act contrary to His Word. We need to note that three times God says that government is established “for good,” in Romans 13.
- Rulers should make us fear evil behavior – and embrace “the good”
- Rulers are to praise those who “do good.”
- Rulers are a minister of God for good.
Often when people say God is sovereign over our government – they don’t include the context of the Scriptures. God allows governments – but holds them accountable for the good – and this good is defined by the morals put forth in Scripture. That means God allowed this government – but will hold President Obama accountable for every baby aborted by his policies. God will also hold our president (and any other one from either party) accountable for “the good” of the people. Unfortunately for him that means God will hold him accountable for advancing homosexuality, which God calls an abomination. God held the presidents of our nation who oppressed the Indians and treated them unjustly by stealing their land. He holds the presidents who allowed and advanced slavery in our nation accountable for their actions. He holds the presidents in the 50-60’s accountable for the racism they upheld and for how they oppressed the black population of our nation. The men who allowed dogs to attack black protesters in Birmingham, Alabama – and who drove them away with powerful water cannons – they were accountable to God. It might do us well to review Psalm 2 at this point.
Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, "Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!" He who sits in the heavens laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, "But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain." "I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession. 'You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.' "Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the LORD with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! Psalm 2:1-12
A very brief review of this Psalm is as follows. The kings and rulers, whom God allowed and established, decided to call God’s laws fetters and cords that bound them. All their raging just elicited derisive laughter from God. He reminds all the kings and rulers that God has installed His Son on the throne of the universe. Jesus is given all power to shatter the kingdoms and nations like a rod of iron would shatter earthenware plates. The end of the Psalm involves God telling the kings and judges to be discerning. They need to humble themselves and honor God’s Son – or else they will perish in the way and experience His wrath. The blessed king, ruler, and judge – is the one who takes refuge in God’s Son – Who is the ultimate ruler! Wow, what a difference a Psalm makes! Yes, God has established President Obama over our nation – but He has NOT done so for the purpose of negating the morality that is clearly presented in the Scriptures. If anything, a government is to punish those who do evil. And please remember that evil is defined by the Bible – not by what our culture calls it in the current calendar year.
Now let me do my best to sum up what this means for us who wonder where do we go from here. If you remember, the first thing we are to do is to pray for our leaders. My guess is that most of us who are conservative evangelicals did not do that very much over the past 4 years. I will confess that I did it haphazardly – not with any great consistency. That will change over the next four years. My president seriously needs my prayers for wisdom. Any president does. He also needs me to pray for him to repent from his current positions on abortion and homosexuality. They are both very wrong – and will be harmful to him. He will stand before God and give an account for advancing abortion more than any president in history. He will do the same for how he has advanced the homosexual agenda. Not only will these things harm him – they will also harm our nation. My prayers MUST be motivated out of genuine concern and love for him – and genuine concern and love for our nation. THEY SHOULD NOT BE MOTIVATED BY ANGER AND BITTERNESS! If we are not praying – or our prayers are motivated by something so perverse as wanting the Republicans to win – we need to repent. God uses godly, praying people to change people – not governments. If we are not praying – there will be no change in the people of our nation – and if there is no change in the hearts of people via the Gospel – there will be no change in our nation.
God has sovereignly allowed this government. He will also sovereignly hold it accountable for the power He has given them. That is something that honestly should terrify us for ANYONE who rises to power over ANY state or nation. Our place is to choose to love our leaders by praying for them. Our prayers for them should not include a political agenda of any party. They should be motivated by love – and should manifest themselves in a cry for the Gospel and a godly life to prosper no matter who is in power.
Where do we go from here? We go to our knees to pray for our duly elected leaders. We go to our knees out of love for them and love for our country. We go knowing that God, who allowed them to come to power under His sovereignty – will also sovereignly hold them accountable to punish evil and advance “the good.” We do not seek to bring judgment on them – or allow bitterness to grow in our hearts against them. Listen to Paul! He ministered and lived under one of the most wicked despots of all time, Nero. We don’t hear him say anything about the government – except to give them honor where honor is due (which he always did in every illegal trial he underwent) – and to pray for them – so that the Gospel could advance no matter who is sitting on the throne. Good counsel – good biblical counsel – for those who lived in the first century – as well as the 21st as well.
The first amendment was originally written to prevent a “state” church in the United States. Unfortunately due to a wholesale ignorance of our Constitution as well as a campaign to misinform people about the 1st Amendment – we have come to understand that the 1st Amendment was to separate church and state. What is truly fascinating though is that the way our government is acting currently there is a state church being supported by millions and millions of our tax dollars. Actually it isn’t a church – it is a lack of separation of mosque and state. Let me explain.
The Obama administration has been spending millions of dollars trying to build good will with Muslims by rebuilding mosques and minarets. The State Department hides such actions under the guise of being a “cultural restoration” rather than an overt support of religion by the state. These projects have taken place in 27 different Muslim nations. The goal is to show that the United States is open to a multi-religious mindset. Yet, the use of these mosques has been anything but tolerant to the practice of Christianity in these places.
While the United States was giving money to rebuild an Egyptian mosque – the very worshippers of Islam gathered to burn to the ground the St. George Church in the village of Minarab. Even though the church sought to be peaceful by removing their cross and taking down a dome in the building, it did little to stop a crazed throng of thousands of Islamic worshippers from descending on the church to burn it down. As the building burned to the ground shouts of, “Kill all the Christians,” resounded at the site. Wonder if St. George’s Church will be rebuilt with U.S. funds?
A generous U.S. taxpayer donation was made to preserve the 900 year old mosque on the island of Zanzibar – off the coast of Tanzania. This gracious act was repaid as Islamic worshippers shouted, “Away with the church – we do not want infidels to spoil our community, especially our children!” This from a religious that our own State department calls, peaceful.
This is nothing though when you consider what has happened in northern Nigeria where the United States taxpayer has given generously to repair and restore a 15th century minaret there. Our act of kindness was repair with gross violence since 2009. Over 288 Christian churches have been burned to the ground and 2000 Christians have been killed since then. In 2012 a particularly gruesome event in this region took place as 50 members of a Christian church were burned alive in their pastor’s home.
Some would assert that this is just the fringe radical elements of Islam. But when they do this they ignore that recently Sheik Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia declared, “It is necessary to destroy all the churches of the region. And while his declaration was against churches on the Arabian Peninsula – this kind of terrorism and religious hatred is going on throughout Africa, the Mideast, and even in Asia. In the past two months Muslims in Kena have attacked 11 churches – and assaulted Christians meeting in open air meetings with grenades. This has resulted in the killing of at least three worshippers with 46 others wounded from the attacks.
It is beyond comprehension that we are spending money we don’t have to convince people that we are tolerant toward their religion – when they are making it plain that no such tolerance will be shown to us – especially the Christian religion. The North Sudanese government recently bulldozed three churches and confiscated several Catholic schools saying that such buildings were no longer welcome in a country were Islamic law (Shar’ia Law) was dominant. Even in Afghanistan, where we are fighting for the freedom of the Afghani people, the last public Christian church was demolished in October of 2011. How amazingly tolerant of them!
Even in countries where Christians have been forced to meet underground or in parking lots or sides of streets – they are still harassed. A mob of 600 Indonesian Muslims hurled bags of their own unine, as well as rotten eggs and ditchwater at 100 Christians whose only crime was that they were trying to attend a church service in an empty parking lot in Bekasi. One would think that such inhuman treatment and religious bigotry would be addressed by our State Department – yet they remain eerily silent. They don’t remain silent when Islam is supposedly insulted. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went on the offensive by cutting a video and buying over $70,000 of air time in muslim countries to say that the Islamic faith, “respects the fundamental dignity of human beings.” Not quite sure she gets all the dignity that is being shown to Christians in these lands.
What is happening should chill us to the bone. Christians face the most strident opposition to ANY kind of hint that the state gives even a dime to a Christian organization. We have people in the liberal media almost stroke out while touting the false view of separation of church and state. Such a view or statement is not even in our constitution. Yet now we see millions of dollars being spent to restore and maintain Muslim places of worship. Evidently there is NOT a separation of church and state in our Constitution in their minds. There must just be a separation of Christianity and state, because there is wholesale support of Islam evident in at least 27 nations. While we bow to them to assure them we are tolerant of their religious practices – it seems to bother us far too little to protest the destruction of Christian churches and the violent killing of those who would worship there. Confused about all this? Me too!
Events surrounding our military actions in Libya are being viewed with a collective yawn in many parts of our country. Yet what has happened and the way that it was done send shivers down the spines of those who realize that protections that our constitution are supposed to give us - and the way that it is not being followed. Yet for me, the danger here has been a long time coming - and has very little to do with our constitution.
A brief word of explanation is in order. Recent events in Libya have drawn the attention of our government. It is no shock to anyone conversant with history to know that the president of Libya is an insane thug who rules by the unjust use of power, torture, and intimidation of his people. It is just that recent events have drawn our attention to the mental unstability of Khadafi. Those events involved his people rising up and challenging his authority. As things quickly turned toxic in his nation he began to do greater and greater injustices to his people - and eventually he began using his air-force to bomb his enemies into submission. At that point the UN decided to jump into the fray - being urged by Europe to do something. What is not truthfully being reported to us is that Europe gets a large amount of their oil and gasoline from Libya - but for now we will leave that hot potatoe alone. To make a long story significantly shorter - the UN authorized a no-fly zone to be put into place. Sound military strategy and theory mandated that in doing this Libya's air defense capability be destroyed - as well as aspects of their air-force as well. This steamed ahead - and resulted in our country using its military to strike with its air-force to start the operation. Here is where things get sticky consitutionally.
What the constitution requires for us to act militarily is a declaration of war. This is to be done by the Congress - who then turns the operations of the war itself over to the presidency - who then prosecutes the war toward victory. Over the past couple of decades this whole aspect of our constitutional process has gotten foggy to say the least. More and more we have chosen to have Congress approve military action short of a declaration of war. But, even in these situations, we at least followed aspects of the Constitution having Congress involved in the decision making process. But, this time, under our current administration, this process was completely ignored - and the president authorized an action on his own. He did so on his own authority - and apart from any true submission to the ruling documents of our country. Again, as I said at the beginning of this article, outside of a few statements, our country has used the ends (a crazy dictator killing his own people) to justify the means (our president ignoring the law and acting on his own). But this action - along with countless others bode very ominous things for our country. Let me explain.
Jesus made a very interesting and ominous comment in the Sermon on the Mount. He said, that if the salt has lost its savor - it is good for nothing any longer, except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men." Throughout the history of the world this has happened again and agian as nations that began with Christian principles and ways, turned from them. In each and every situation what happened was that a godless ruler arose and pretty much crushed the church as a dictatorship developed in that country. Now some reading this may not be putting two and two together, so let me make this far more plain to you.
We currently do not have any political party that is willing to truly put moral issues at the forefront of its platform. Some might protest saying that the Republicans have a platform opposing abortion. This is true, but I do not think anyone is under the delusion that they truly have acted to DO something about it. In addition to this I have watched with a broken heart as this country (and both parties) have done nothing about the growing homosexual agenda. Homosexual marriage is gaining ground every year - as our elected officials have done little more than posture for votes about the issue. In the TRUE picture of our nation it is NOT the economy stupid - it is our morals - and our penchant to ignore and overlook the call of Scripture to be a godly nation that matters. Some decry the foolish decisions being made in the highest levels of our government. They wonder why decisions are being promoted that in effect are weakening and destroying our nation. Yet, none of these things are all that strange to me any longer. They are not strange because I am watching the evangelical movement in the United States leave God. They have decided that the moral issues of our day are global warming, social justice, and painting Israel as an evil state that is hurting the Palestinians. They do this while we continue to exterminate 4000 babies a day - and call what God considers an abomination - not so bad.
The "Ominous" truth that I see on our horizon is that of Matthew chapter 5:13 where Jesus says, "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. We've lost our saltiness and have become as tasteless as the world around us. We no longer speak with any biblical relevence to our society - because we are fear speaking the things said in the Bible. Therefore we will continue to watch our governing officials make no sense whatsoever. They will continue to weaken our nation. They will continue to ignore the Constitution and rule on their own authority. In fact, one day, unless we repent and return to God with all our hearts, I believe we will watch as our Constitutional Republic goes down in flames and is replaced by a dictatorship or an Oligarchy of the few. In that day - in light of how unpopular true biblical Christianity is becoming, we will then watch the systematic persecution of the church in America. I know that to some this may sound borderline crazy - but the more I study the Scriptures - the more I see it rising on the horizon of our own historical context.
How can we stop this from happening? First of all, I am not sure we can - nor am I convinced that God may not be engineering such a thing in His providence. The issue is if it is too late for us to truly "turn our nation around." But the real question here is not whether we can salvage our nation - but whether we are going to salvage our testimony in the midst of it. That is the real question to answer here. The church needs to repent - you and I need to repent. We need to return to Biblical Christianity - that puts the gospel and the glory and honor of God first and foremost in our lives. That would be a start. Then we need to turn from our sin and boldly preach and live the gospel of Jesus Christ. This may actually speed up the persecution in our nation. If we begin boldly proclaiming the gospel - people may become very offended with it. But that is not really the issue is it. THE issue for us is whether we are going to hold fast to the truth - preach it - live it - and if necessary - die for it. When the church begins living this way - it will return to its true roots. And those roots are not set in the protection of any one nation or people - but are firmly set in working for a kingdom that is not of this world.
What is the Prophecy/News Update?
At Calvary Chapel of Jonesboro, we believe that history is moving toward fulfilling God's plans and purposes. In an effort to help us be prepared for His appearing - and also to chronicle news items you just won't see in the national media - this page is devoted to sharing those items and their possible significance to
Thank you for visiting our website! Everything on this site is offered for free. If, however, you would like to make a donation to help pay for its continued presence on the internet, you can do that by clicking here. The only thing we ask is that you give first to the local church you attend.