Judgment

January 18, 2015  I Corinthians 11: 31 & 32     Judgment 

 

     Did America make a covenant with God in the beginning?    What did our declaration of independence of July 4, 1776 say?   When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.   We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.   Our founding fathers believed in a creator that gave rights to all men. 

     Consider the Mayflower compact, November, 1620.   “In the Name of God Almighty, we whose names are underwritten . . . having undertaken for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, . . . a voyage to plan the first colony in northern Virginia (they were in Massachusetts); do by these present, solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politick . . .”

    The first amendment to the constitution said, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”  That was ratified in 1791.  Has America prohibited the free exercise of religion?    What are some other evidences of our commitment to God?    Have we not prayed and fasted in times of war and national emergency?   The pledge of allegiance was written in 1892 and adopted by congress in 1942 in which is stated “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.    Our money reads in God we trust.   Our presidents are inaugurated with a hand on the bible and say so help me God.  

     Some would perhaps argue that we have not covenanted with God.   We could ask is it good for us to turn our back on God?   We could also ask are we turning away from God?    I would trust that we are aware that America is turning its back on God.   In New Hampshire we have less than 5% who attend church.   Is there a lot of corruption in government and in business?   We have filled our homes with soap operas and pornography.   We have pretty much abolished prayer and scripture in our schools.  In many schools immorality is taught.    A few years after abolishing prayer in school we have allowed abortions and over 50 million babies have been aborted in America.  That scars a woman’s conscience.  It is certainly not unforgiveable.  The Supreme Court is likely to pass a law to make it illegal for states to ban same sex marriages by July this year.    What are the consequences of turning our back on God?    As we turn from God what have we gained?   Our nation is violent and drugs and alcohol have filled many of our stores and our homes.  There are a lot more drug stores around than bible book stores.   More and more we see all kinds of riots in the streets.  We see riots over the rich and business, riots over police and minorities, riots when a sports team wins, and riots even at pumpkin festivals.   Where is God in all of this we might ask?  

    I think God is speaking but most folks are not listening.   Was God speaking at 9/11?   I think God was making a statement.  Are we in danger of God judging us?   Does God ever quit judging?   The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness.   Do not be angry that God judges.   There would be no heaven without judgment.   If you let right and wrong be together it is not heaven.  Sin will not be in heaven. 

     Is God calling America back as the result of 9/11?   Man did 9/11 but God allowed it.   God means it for good.  God’s desire is for us to repent and turn to him.   What is the hedge of protection around America?   Is it our military?   Is it the FBI and homeland security?    Can our military, the FBI, homeland security, CIA, National Guard, police and secret service protect us?     Has God removed the hedge of protection around America?   God made it plain to the Jews that no one could touch them unless God allowed it.  God told them do not have chariots because I am your protection.   Do not trust in chariots.  Do not trust in the navy seals, Special Forces, technology and so on.  David writes in Psalm 20 some trust in chariots and some in horses but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.        Israel sinned against God and God judged them.  Israel was in terrible sin and God warned them over and over again.  They were killing their babies and offering them to the false god Molech and Baal.   They were far from God and God took their protection from them.  What happened to them?  Some of them were deported for 70 years.  The northern tribes were exiled in Assyria and later the southern 2 tribes were exiled to Babylon.  God in his grace did not allow their sin to go unchecked.  God is merciful but God is also a just God.  He does not turn away and wink at sin.  He is holy, holy, holy.    

     I believe the spiritual hedge around this nation is falling.  God can rebuild the spiritual hedge around America.   There is a breach in the wall and America is responding to it just as Israel did.  In 732 the enemy came in and attacked them but then left.   There was some destruction and they said we will rebuild.   We need to strengthen our fortresses.   Isaiah 9:10 the bricks have fallen down but we will rebuild with dressed stone the fig trees have felled but we will replace them with cedar.  Stone is stronger than bricks so we will build with stone.  Cedar is stronger than fig trees.   That verse has been quoted in regards to 9/11.     But it is really a verse of judgment.  Look at the next verses starting with verse 11 but the Lord has strengthened Rezins foes against them and he has spurred their enemies on.  Arameans from the east and Philistines from the west have devoured Israel with open mouth.  God spurred Israel’s enemies on.   You can’t fight God and win.    At 9/11 people said where is God?   Well we told God to leave our schools in our government and business.   Then something terrible happens to us and we say where is God?   God is still here and He was and is speaking.

      How did Israel respond to coming judgment?   With the attitude we will rebuild.   We will rebuild it better.  We will rise up and defend our self.  We will repair the broken wall.  We will do better.  We will work harder.  We will make it happen.   We are masters of our own fate.  Instead of bricks we will bring in stone which is stronger.  Instead of figs trees we will plant cedars which are stronger.  And America said we will punish those that did this.  We will go after them.  We will send our army and military.  We will protect our self.   We will create a homeland security department.  We will be better.  We will rebuild and do better. 

        One of the effects of 9/11 was the federal government was interested in rebuilding the economy and one thing that they did was drop interest rates.  By December 11, 2001 the target interest rate was 1.75% which is less than inflation.  As 1 person said it created free money.   There was easy money, easy credit, and easy loans.  The money flowed and people bought houses that they could not afford.   People were buying houses and flipping them because the prices kept going up.  As long as everything goes up things are OK but it was a house of cards that had to fall. 

      Seven years later in 2008 the stock market crashes.  What caused that?   Well it was Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Lehman Brothers.   The market crashed further than it did with 9/11.  It was the biggest drop; since the 1929 to 1933 crash.   Is God saying something?   Man did it.   What did our president say after the financial collapse?  CBS We will rebuild.  CNN We will rebuild.  NBC we will rebuild.  The Guardian we will rebuild.  National Public Radio we will rebuild.  Times On Line President tells America we will rebuild.  Fox News Country we will rebuild.  Al Jazeera President pledges U.S. will rebuild.  Drudge Report USA will rebuild.  Associate press said we will rebuild.  New York Times Obama vows we will rebuild.   Isaiah 9:10 Israel said we will rebuild.  We can labor all we want but if the spiritual hedge is gone our labor is in vain.  Psalm 127:1 unless the Lord builds the house its builder’s labor in vain.   Unless the Lord watches over the city the watchmen stand guard in vain.  Psalm 2 the kings of the earth and rulers take their stand against the Lord.  The one enthroned in heaven laughs.    We cannot do it on our own.  What was on National News Friday night?    It takes 20 + agents to watch a single possible terrorist around the clock and the FBI is watching dozens of such people at a tremendous cost.   I would say we cannot do it.   We need God.  

       Seven years is an interesting number meaning divine fullness, perfection, and completeness.   The seven years for the Jews meant they were supposed to let their ground rest and not plant.   So 7 years after 9/11/2001 is 2008 and in 2008 we have the worse financial collapse since 1929 to 1933 time period.   Now what is really interesting folks is add 7 years to 2008 and you come up with 2015.    What do we know about 2015?   It has the last 2 blood moons of the triad in it.  That is interesting and I do not know what that means but I suspect it is significant.

     I think God is moving in His people.  It seems like things have changed.   It seems to me that life is more difficult.   The world and the nation seem to be off.  The stock market is high right now and it has never been higher than the last few months but people know that all is not well.   Our unemployment numbers may seem to be Ok but many can’t find work.   When people go off unemployment they go onto welfare.  So the reality is unemployment numbers are huge.   Welfare has gone up 32% in the last 6 years.     Blame can be put on many things but one thing is for sure America is not doing well.     Some think that there is a move to make most people depend on the Federal government.   I hope not but that is what is happening.   The house made of cards always falls.      

       We need to be ready for what tomorrow holds.  I think God is working with his church.  I think he is preparing his people and we need to discern what God is saying what God is doing.  How is your life?   Are things getting a little more difficult?   What is God saying to you?    You need to discern.  Do you sense a breach in the spiritual wall around you?  Satan told God you put a hedge around Job and I cannot touch him.  You remove your hand and I will deal with him.  How is your spiritual hedge?   How are the spiritual walls around you?  What is God saying to you?  Certainly God wants to be closer to you.  We need to grow in our love for Him and our desire to be with Him.   Do you listen and watch things that draw you closer to Him?   He loves you more than you love you.  God will allow things in your life and the point of those things is to point you to Him.  God wants you to trust him.  God wants you to grow in your wisdom and knowledge of him.  How do you read or understand your situation?   That is difficult but I will use myself as an example.    

    In 2011 I had a staph infection in my back.  It took a week in the hospital and couple of years to heal and in the midst of that I broke a rib in an accident that I was at fault for.  This fall I had more back trouble.  What is God saying to me?   That can be hard to answer.  One thing I can say I am not 20 anymore.  I am 67 years old.  I can be doing more physical labor than I should.   Maybe I need to be more involved in spiritual things.  Maybe there is sin in my life that God is trying to communicate to me about.   Maybe it is part of living life.  I have arthritis in my back and I have a genetic condition and due to everything I have done since being on the farm when I was younger my back is not what it was years ago.  I know that I am trusting God a lot more for my health and my back.  Maybe that is what God is doing.   I plan to exercise just about every day from now on for a few minutes. That is important for me also. 

   How do you determine your spiritual hedge?  You pray and ask the Lord.  Is there anything in my life that is not right?  Lord what are you doing in my life?   What do you want to do in my life?   If we would judge ourselves we would not need to be judged.   When we are judged we are chastened of the Lord so that we will not be condemned with the world.  God seeks to correct his children just as any good parent would do.