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Sick to death of politics? Concerned about it? Even fearful?

God gets that. It’s not that He’s sick and tired of them or concerned. Of course not. But happy with the situation? Not at all. He never has been. But let’s look at biblical reality. He uses nations to perform His will. He is the great driver of human history, not kings or countries. For example, He chose pagan Babylon to punish His people, to destroy the temple as well as Jerusalem. He used pagan Rome to do the same. Finally, He will use nations to accomplish His will at the end of days:

“And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army” (Revelation 19:19).1

Jesus will be, after all, king of all those gathered kings.

And He is king of all rulers and leaders, now, right at this moment.

One of the rivers running through Scripture is the kingdom of man in opposition to the sovereign kingdom of God. The biblical view of secular kingdoms is rarely positive. No secular government on earth exists today or ever has existed that was fatally not flawed from the beginning; and, yes, including the United States. Are the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights the best documents devised by mankind for principles and laws with which to govern people—a democratic republic? I believe so. None devised is better. But look where we are now. The United States has turned its back on God and found a way to allow godlessness to be the accepted law of the land. It is legal to murder children. It is settled law that homosexuality is acceptable. I understand the arguments for these things, and they are centered in the rights of the individual. Thus, we see that the rights of the individual, which at its genesis seemed so right and good, has now joined hands with the works of sin. We have seen and are seeing the devolovement of the idea of human rights in the U.S. today. Sad, but true.

This has surprised Christians, but it shouldn’t. The United States is one the kingdoms of the world. It will never work its way toward godliness in its own strength, by passing laws. The future of Christian freedom in the United States is uncertain. But no matter: One day, this nation will no longer exist. Neither will any other government, no matter how good and godly they consider themselves. Why? Because God has ordained it. He has given the nations over to the evil effects of power, money, status, and influence. The greed of man. The sinfulness of man.

All the men and women of Scripture had to deal with such earthly systems, including and especially Jesus Himself. We see this vividly in His life. However, it was not a nation’s authoritarian power—Rome—that was His primary adversary. That role was fulfilled by another form of power, money, influence, and status: religion—in this case Judaism. Those religious leaders so lusted after and demanded power that they would not brook the existence of any rival even though that rival was God Himself. Jesus, of course, was not intimidated nor did He back down from that power. Jesus was not a revolutionary in the political sense, though some think Him so. True, He spoke “truth to power.” However, He spoke no truth except God’s truth—the only “true” truth. This speaking and accompanying actions infuriated the keepers of the keys to power, the scribes, lawyers, and Pharisees. If we consider their actions we will see how far men will go to retain their grasp on power. Yes, they will murder people they consider a threat.

Even God Incarnate.

Speaking the truth of God often makes people angry and desirous to stifle it. But we must speak it. Let us not be fearful as our nations descend. “For the LORD spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: ‘Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread’” (Isaiah 8:11–13).

Do not fear what they fear, the Lord said, but fear Me. A kingdom is coming the ruler of which is the perfectly strong, perfectly wise, perfectly just, merciful God, one who cannot die, whose kingdom and the believers within it are eternal. Think about that for a moment. If you are a believer in Jesus, you are an eternal member of an eternal government. But the transitory nations of men?

“All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness” (Isaiah 40:17).

Sick to death of politics? Concerned? Fearful? Lord, help us hold to the view that embraces the hope of eternity; to a time when the governments and things of man are accounted as less than nothing and emptiness.

 

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Is Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Gif courtesy giphy.com

2005-03-19_1454-56_thomsoncam0377

Tomorrow morning, all United States citizens will wake up with a new president. Well, probably, unless there is a recount or ballot-checking or…who knows?

Yes, it’s been that kind of election season.

Some Republicans believe the fate of the United States hinges on the outcome of this election.

Some Democrats think the same.

Neither are correct. Read the rest of this entry »

2004-07-06_1451_fromjoewatson

Last week, I listened to a great message from Matt Chandler on the fourth chapter of Exodus. I’m going to draw from that message in this post and hopefully enlarge upon it somewhat. The points I will make here are not those Pastor Matt made. His primary emphasis was Moses’ obedience in faith that caused God’s power to be revealed, and he challenged his church to follow Moses’ example.

It is a wonderful teaching.

The Exodus 4 passage details the exchange between the Lord and Moses in the wilderness. Much can be taught here, but we’re going to focus on acts the Lord instructed Moses to do which were to prove to him, Israel, the Pharaoh, and Egypt that He, God, was sending Moses to bring His people out of Egypt.

Read the rest of this entry »

2009-02-23_1031_ministrywall

I grew up as a kid watching WWII movies, stories of heroism. The Great Escape. The Dirty Dozen. And when I watch films today where the U.S. military is involved, such as Captain Phillips, I am moved, often to tears. Perhaps having lived abroad as a missionary has made me very aware of the relief I would experience if I needed rescue as a foreigner in a distant land. It is difficult to experience the feeling of home I felt as I walked into U.S. embassies in other countries. It sounds weird, I suppose, because I wasn’t really home. I still resided in a foreign nation. Nevertheless, that is how I felt. I also came to understand the comforting nature of the “golden passport”—the support, the justice, and accompanying power that stands behind that document. Therefore, I am extremely grateful to be an American citizen.

As much as I am thankful for that security, I must not compromise myself as a Christian in order to maintain that wonderful sense of safety that I enjoy.

Read the rest of this entry »

bank-1

I’m taking another break from the series, The God Who Is Low and Humble in Heart, to look at this article from the Motley Fool. The text is included below, and here is the link: http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/01/29/50-reasons-were-living-through-the-greatest-period.aspx

Before the article, however, a hopefully brief introduction.

Except for my time abroad as a missionary, I have lived most of my life in the United States. I grew up here. I went to school and worked here. I consider myself a patriot, one who loves the freedoms that we enjoy and the benefits of living in this nation. However, I have grave concerns about the degradation of our culture.

Read the rest of this entry »

p1040003

After the failure to put Mitt Romney in the White House in the election of 2012, conservatives were seeking answers. The defeat of their candidate caused conservatives to come to this shocking truth: In a democracy, the majority rules, and the majority of people in this nation voted for a man that many thought was a socialist who was actually trying to bring down this nation, a man who promotes gay rights and abortion. It seemed to be a surprise that this was the man the culture wanted, but if this was the man the culture wanted, the answer is to change the culture, they say.

Change the culture, huh? Good luck with that. But I don’t believe in luck. It’s a superstition, like keeping your fingers crossed, hoping that gesture will somehow change the outcome of something. God is sovereign, not luck.

Read the rest of this entry »

P1030195

My software engineer friend and I got together for our weekly coffee meeting on this 28th day in June, 2012, and lamented over the state of our country, the United States of America. It was the survival of the president’s health care law that spun us off in that direction, but it was—and is—more than that.

What baffles me, regardless of one’s political persuasion, is how those in power continue to think that we can spend more than we take in. Adding a mind-boggling expense/tax at this time in our economic state just defies imagination. I just don’t get it.

Read the rest of this entry »

2005-03-18_2302-12_thomsoncam0376

I was reading the other day and came across this passage of Scripture, spoken by the prophet Joel, hundreds—actually over two thousand—years ago:

“I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land.”

This is a prophecy about the last days, when the Lord will bring nations to a place called the Valley of Jehoshaphat, to fight what is called the Battle of Armageddon. Joel is saying that what will happen there will be the result of what the nations have done to His people, “my heritage Israel.”

Read the rest of this entry »

p1040002

I read an article today about how a chaplain has resigned because the hospice where she worked won’t allow her to use the words “God” or “Lord” in public settings.

Here’s a link to the article: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/community/news/bocaraton/sfl-flphospice0318pnmar18,0,5601993.story

I understand her resignation. I also understand the hospice wanting to disallow Ms Signorelli’s use of “religious” words. Christians may lament that the United States is now a post-Christian society, but that’s the reality. What kind of behavior should we expect from a culture that has turned its back on God? No surprises here. The only thing in this article that gave me pause was this: “None of the six other chaplains objected to the ban on God’s name, she said.”

However, this might be a good thing. We do not honor His name in this country. So perhaps it’s better that these “chaplains,” who do not object to the deletion of God’s name, do not speak His name at all.

p1030185

My favorite American president is Abraham Lincoln. My maternal grandparents lived on a small tobacco farm in Kentucky, the state in which he was born.  He was well spoken of there. I read A Stillness at Appomattox by Bruce Catton when I was a young teenager—probably the first serious title that I ever read, if memory serves. I remember being saddened and angrily bewildered by the fact that he was assassinated. My admiration for him was increased this morning as I read a piece from the Jerusalem Post. Here’s an excerpt:

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