Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Stench Of Moral Decay

Collapse of the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001There are times when I just feel the sadness and frustration of watching America's slide into depravity more than others. Tonight is one of those times. I look at the corruption that is so rampant and I see the perversion that is so prevalent and all the while more and more of the society is trying to marginalize those who stand for truth, and I frankly begin to welcome the judgment of the Lord.

It has taken much to get me to this point, because I know that the "Day of the Lord" is a dreadful thing. I know that many lives will be lost - and many souls will be as well. What could be more dreadful than that? It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of a righteous God. I am reminded of the words from Jonathan Edwards' sermon:

It would be dreadful to suffer this fierceness and wrath of Almighty God one second; but you must suffer it for all of eternity. There will be no end to this extreme horrible misery. When you look forward, you shall see a long forever, a boundless duration before you, which will swallow up your thoughts, and amaze your soul; and you will absolutely despair of ever having any deliverance, any end, any mitigation, any rest at all. You will know certainly that you must wear out long ages, millions of millions of ages in wrestling and conflicting with this almighty merciless vengeance; and then when you have so done, when so many ages have actually been spent by you in this manner, you will know that all is but a point to what remains.
My God, what a dreadful end!

I think that the only way that I can even hope to stomach such a thing is knowing that God is patient and that when He chooses the time to unleash His judgments against a people that it is the perfect time to do so. The people will have earned His wrath in full, and they will be beyond hope of repentance. (Well, I would also add that I do have hope, knowing that judgment will remove the stumbling blocks from our nation and will bring the purification of our land once again.)

Still, it saddens me to see what seems like the entire world running as hard as it can run to utter destruction. Yet this is the very picture painted by the Scriptures. Why am I surprised? I guess it is partly because it is so foolish and unnecessary. And perhaps I am also shocked by how evil men's hearts really can be. I have always been a little naive.

Today I read about Russian warships doing joint exercises with the Venezuelan navy and visiting Cuba. The government and Pentagon seemed very unconcerned. This seems very foolish and arrogant to me. The Russians would have never pulled such a stunt when Reagan was in office, and we would have never taken it so lightly either. Hubris is a dangerous sin.

I also read about the arson of Sarah Palin's church, and of the numerous frivolous lawsuits being brought against her to discourage her from ever even THINKING about running for office again. God help her!

Then I read about the corruption in Governor Blagojevich's administration and saw the connections between him and Jesse Jackson Jr. I read about how Blagojevich will likely be impeached because he refuses to resign - after being arrested on federal felony charges. (Is anyone else puzzled by this? What, does he think he can pardon himself?)

Finally I read about the Newsweek article that tried to make it sound as if the Bible and Jesus endorse homosexual marriage, and also about a "leader" in the evangelical movement that said that such unions should be allowed.

This is why I rarely read the news anymore. And this is why I take hope in judgment when it comes... but how I dread it.

Contrary to popular belief it is not hateful to tell a person that they are headed towards destruction. It is one of the greatest demonstrations of love that a person can give. This is especially true when that warning is coupled with the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

But how many know the true Gospel? How many churches actually teach it? How many know that our right standing does not come because of anything that we do or don't do, but it comes as a result of God's grace through faith in the sacrifice that Jesus made for us through His death on the cross and through His resurrection?

How many teach that grace demands obedience to Jesus? Is belief truly belief without corresponding obedience? Can a person walk in his own way if he has truly been converted? True grace inspires obedience. True grace is based on a walk with the Spirit of God and living life based on His laws being written on a person's heart. True grace leads us to sin less - not more. As the Apostle John wrote, a person who claims to be walking with God yet walks in sin is a liar and the truth of God does not dwell in him.

Salvation is not a "get out of hell free" card. Salvation is the trading of masters. You are either a slave to the devil or you are a slave to Christ. There is no middle ground. If you are a slave to Christ you should be seeing a dissipation of the sins of the flesh and conviction about the ones that remain. If there is no difference in your life before you were "saved" and after, perhaps you had best re-examine your conversion. It sounds like you are still a slave to the devil.

Yes, it is true that God is love, but He is also jealous, just, holy, righteous, pure, patient, merciful, vengeful... the list goes on. If we focus on only one of His attributes, we put ourselves in grave danger of error - error that has not only temporal but also eternal consequences.

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