Friday, March 11, 2016


Many American Christians today believe our nation is headed in a very bad direction morally and spiritually - and that God is our only hope to turn things around. Signs are ever present of our moral and spiritual decline - warning us that things must change.

Furthermore, repentance is correctly heralded as the cure! Yet, I cannot help but wonder if our repentance really goes deep enough!

I say this for a few reasons:

1. Blind Spots!
We all have a list of sins which we are personally "above." It is very easy for us to agree that our nation must repent of the obvious sins which we see around us . Yet we all also have "blind spots" which hide our own sins from us!

Often they are inward and are not as easily seen - even by others around us! Yet God can see them as clear as crystal!

2. Cultural Changes!
I have lived through six decades in America! Others have lived longer. The moral and spiritual climate has changed drastically during that time! But, because the change has been gradual, I fear that it is not as obvious to young people as it is to us old folks!

Recently the changes have escalated to the point where, even many young Christians, are alarmed. My fear is that we will want God only to intervene enough to get us back to the "old normal."

Unfortunately, the "old normal" is still far from where God wants us!

A good illustration is when we find something so bad that we are would happily return to the mediocrity of old! If a war erupted in our neighborhood, for example, we would be happy if it returned to its pre-war state - however bad it might have been before the decline! It's previous condition still seems much better to us than a constant state of war! We then accept that which is inferior because, comparatively, it is still better than the extreme evil it had become!

3. God is Slow to Anger!
We must not mistake God's patience when judging our nation, as a sign of His approval! All men are fallen and sinful by nature. God has already condemned all to an eternity apart from Him!

“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 (emphasis added)

The standard we are to live cannot be completely discovered by looking back to the time of America's birth - or in some other period of our nation's history in which higher moral standards were more prevalent!

God's standard can only be found in Jesus Christ Himself! 

When we truly realize the width, height and depth of God's standards of holiness, it will humble us to the point where we cannot help but fall on our knees before Him and worship! We cannot "grade on the curve" when it comes to God's standards. We cannot live by the dictum, "The majority rules!" 

We must, instead, seek Him directly if we are to learn and truly understand, His higher thoughts and ways! (See Isaiah 55:8-9)

We may merely hope that our nation to turn from its most recent and most wicked sins - not truly realizing how far we have drifted from God! If God's standards are much deeper - then His judgments will also be more thorough and His search of our hearts, thoughts and actions, more comprehensive!

Consider some of the judgments of the churches in the book of Revelation:
  • You have left your first love. (Revelation 2:4)
  • Acceptance of false doctrines. (Revelation 2:14-15)
  • Sexual immorality and idolatry! (Revelation 2:20-21)
  • Having a reputation of being alive - but being dead! (Revelation 3:1)
  • Lukewarmness! (Revelation 3:15)
  • Self opinion of riches and wealth - yet judged by God to be wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked! (Revelation 3:17)
We might think of vices, bad habits or extreme evil when we try to pin down the sins of our nation. But the list above teaches us that God looks much deeper!

We must consider how we have fared in our walk with Him! David said, "My soul follows hard after Thee!" (Psalm 63:8) How hard are we following? How much time, effort and energy do we put into seeking Him? In prayer? In studying His Word? In forsaking all to be His disciples? 

Will God judge us for our lack of zeal in pursuing Him?

MY WAY OR GOD'S WAY? These sins in the book of Revelation indicate that the closeness of our walk with Him is a vital part in our pursuit of holiness and doing what is pleasing to God!

Rather than a list of do's and don't's, sin can be simply defined as doing our own will and seeking what pleases us - instead of doing His will and seeking what pleases Him!

When we consider Jesus' perfection, we must all ask our ourselves whether our repentance goes deep enough, or is thorough enough, for God to save our nation! Do we want to merely "clean up our act" and return to the "old normal?" Or...

Do we truly want to be conformed into the image of God's Son?

This image we may imagine of God's Son is not pleasing to God, if it conceived merely through the exercise of our own fallen imaginations! So often, the church lives out its own concepts of what Jesus is like, or what He would do!

We must seek Him and delve deeply into His Word if we are to tap into His higher concepts of holiness and righteousness - and His perfect and exalted image of the Son of God in Jesus Christ!

In this era of the "God loves you as you are" in the church, we seem to have neglected the call to grow to maturity and strive for excellence - to be all that God intended us to be in Him!



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