First, I need to comment on the state of the church leading up to this coming election. As the saints of God we are to get our marching orders from heaven. Those directives come to us through the Scriptures. I fear that too many in the conservative wing of the evangelical think that their marching orders are coming from the RNC or the Tea Party. There is an errant notion that by electing Governor Romney as president and a Republican majority in the House and Senate - our problems will be on the way to being solved in this nation. Even though I believe in voting in elections and seeking for political action toward things like abortion, homosexual marriage, racism, and matters of justice and righteousness - I do not see the United States government (even if it is the hands of conservatives) doing a whole lot to advance righteousness in America. They may use such things as election issues - but I've been burned to many times over 32 years of voting by their actual ruling looking little like their stump speeches. Also, I seem to notice in Matthew 28:18-19 that Jesus did not call us to go and make Republicans of all the nations. We are called to God's will in conduct, purpose, principle, and action. That won't fly in any political arena in present day politics. And I am not willing to cede the work of the gospel to those who are offended that the Bible presents truths that show that Muslims, Mormans, Hindus, Buddhists, and anyone else who does not repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are lost and destined for God's judgment. Such things are not up for a vote.
As I've read the prophets this year I've been somewhat overwhelmed with the reality that God commands us to repent and return to Him. If we do not repent - if we continue to serve other gods - gods acceptable to our culture and acceptable to our flesh - God will begin bringing difficulties upon His people. The prophets thunder with God's unrelenting call to Himself. They do not apologize that God is sovereign. They do not apologize for His moral standards. They do not apologize that God authoritatively calls men to worship and serve Him only. And they certainly do not want to make adjustments so that the Baal worshippers, the Asherah-adherants, and the worshppers of other false gods can feel more comfortable and be a part of a "big-tent." The prophets say things very offensive to a multi-cultural world - not so much to the culture - but to anything driven by a culture's embrace of false deities. But God is not focused on the "lost" in the prophets. He is focused on His people - those who should know better. He is focused on calling His people to much needed repentance.
What happens in a society when its Christians refuse to return and to repent? According to the prophets, God begins to remove first His blessing and later His protection from them and from their nation. If you've ever read the prophets you know that over time this can get very rough. God will allow earthquakes, disasters, and military conquest to overtake His people. Israel and Judah experienced horrific consequences for their love of foreign gods and the lifestyles that came with them. Baal and Asherah embraced a lifestyle of sexual immorality. Marriage was denigrated as first men committed heterosexual immoralities - and eventually moved on to homosexuality as well. Those who think the 1960's ushered in free love, know little about how far Israel and Judah fell in their pursuit of these false deities. The worship of Molech led many to sacrifice their babies in a firey death. Those who see such a thing as disgusting should remember the modern day Molech - Planned Parenthood - who promote the sacrifice of babies for the sake of supposed greater sexual freedom. Actually what they are getting is greater sexual bondage in the guise of immorality without consequences. Then there is the immorality that disguises itself as free trade, or socialism, or communism, or any other "ism" that takes precedent over Scriptural principles of business or government. You see, our culture is not all that different from the days of the prophets. We have just named things with a more sophisticated name - hiding the hideousness of what they truly are. We've also got better at lying about the true nature of things while ignoring Scripture - and occasionally insulting God and the way that He needs to improve His own image by becoming far more "hip" and "culturally-sensitive."
The truth is, WE are Israel and Judah in the times of the prophets! WE have our modern day worship of Baal, Asherah, and Molech - along with calls for accepting the gods of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and a host of cults embraced even by political candidates of our day (oops, did I say that out loud - nope, just wrote it). But the church is different, some may assert! But my question to you is to take a long look at her and answer the question, "Is it?" Do you see a movement of repentance and return in the church today? Do you see scores of people in broken repentance and prayer meetings where they are crying out for revival? Do you see the church expanding its evangelsitic outreach the point of being persecuted by groups whose numbers are being decimated by the number of people being saved? Do you see complaints by wicked businesses Who sell porn and other ungodly products that the church and her efforts in evangelism is hurting their bottom line? God calls us in 2 Chronicles 7:14 to "humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways. Read of the revivals that took place in the 1700-1800's. Read of what took place on a far wider scale in our country. Imagine what they would look like in our day - a revival driven by repentance, brokenness, and prayer. A revival with the aisles filled with repentant church members - and others being radically saved from sin.
What then am I trying to say through all this? After reading the prophets . . . honestly - I'm concerned - no - I'm scared. We are about to be ushered into MORE discipline as a nation - and that discipline is meant to wake-up God's people to repentance, prayer, and brokenness. I don't want to say this - but sense the need to do so for the sake of the saints who read this. We are about to experience events that will make 9-11 look like a picnic in the park. God tried to wake us up by allowing that disaster to come upon us. We didn't wake up though. Therefore - more is coming. Far worse is coming. Do I know what that will be? No, because I am not a prophet. But I can tell you that things like a devastating earthquake come to mind. Military disasters that involve the destruction of entire armies have happened to God's people. Drought and famine are also options for God. He has soereignly allowed the destruction of entire cities - whch is terrifying in our day of bombs that can do that in a matter of moments. With our current arrogance toward money - a complete financial collapse unlike anything we've ever seen is very possible. All these things and a dozen others are possible - even probable considering our currrent lack of response to God's call to pray and seek His face. I read recently where the Mississippi river is at historic lows. If the drought we are in continues, it is possible to see the Mississippi so low that no boat traffic is allowed. That will cut off over 300 million dollars of commerce a day. That is a monthly total of 9 billion dollars of our economy stifled. The prognosticators said that would throw our natin into depression within 2 months. Kind of sobering isn't it?
I can hear the comment, "Why are you writing stuff like this, pastor John?" Do you get some kind of sick thrill scaring people to death? NO! A thousand times NO! That is not my intent. My intent is to help wake up Christians to what is looming in our future. Do you really think God is going to continue to bless our nation as it is currently going? Do you really think that the church is not going to be affected by what happens in our nation? Do you really think that by maintaining a positive confession in the midst of such spiritual squallor that we will be delivered? God is going to continue allowing greater and greater disasters and troubles to come upon us until we repent, drop to our knees, and begin to cry out in desperate prayer for revival in the church and spiritual awakening in our land! This is not going to magically get better - neither is it going to be averted by electing a Morman as president and a group of Tea Party conservatives to the Congress - who have NO INTENT on addressing the moral and spiritual rot of the church and our country. We are currently as blind as Israel and Judah during the times of the prophets. The same situations and the same false prophets of health, wealth, prosperity, and "nothing bad is going to happen to us" exist today. The political leaders (kings in those days) who made a difference made it by leading the nation to repentance and a whole-hearted return to God. Such a leader who would start doing this in our day - would most likely be impeached for such actions.