Monday, February 23, 2015

Reagan on America's Spiritual Crisis (Part 1 of 6)

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy

Our nation is spiritually sick to the very core of its existence. We have lost all sense of decency. We have been desensitized to evil. We are shaking our collective fist at God. And in the process, we are literally crying out for the wrath of God to fall upon us.

Here now I provide the evidence of our rejection of the very One who has blessed us so richly.

There are many things that contribute to this problem of America's spiritual crisis, but the fundamental problem is rooted in the apostasy that is in the Church which today is running rampant. Here's an example of such rampant apostasy which I actually saw advertised on a blasphemous church sign: "Jesus had two dads and He turned out just fine." Can you believe a church would put that on a sign? It's unbelievable!

I'm going to be touching on some very sensitive political issues, so I want to begin with two disclaimers.

First, I am neither a Republican or a Democrat. I am a Monarchist. And I say that because I have devoted my life to doing everything possible to prepare the way for the coming of the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He's going to reign with a rod of iron from Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. He's going to bring righteousness, and justice and peace to this earth, and I can hardly wait.

Here's the way social commentator, Todd Starnes, recently put it in one of his books: "We don't need more Americans bowing down to the Democrat donkey or the Republican elephant. We need more Americans bowing down to the Lion of Judah."

And that thought brings me to my second disclaimer. I do not believe that either the Democrats or the Republicans are the hope of America. Rather, I believe that Jesus is our only hope. And, because I believe Jesus is our only hope, I therefore believe we have little hope because we have turned our backs on God.

This point was illustrated after the horrible Connecticut school shooting when someone designed a t-shirt which says: "Dear, God, why do you allow so much violence in our schools? Signed, a Concerned Student. Dear, Concerned Student, I'm not allowed in schools. Signed, God." That pretty well sums it up.

I would like to begin with two foundational scriptures. The first is Psalm 33:12: "Blessed is the nation whose God is Yahweh." The second one is in Proverbs 14:34: "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people."

How God Relates to Nations

In 2003, a book of mine was published entitled America the Beautiful? The sub-title was, The United States in Bible Prophecy. The third edition was published in 2009, and most of what I'm going to share with you is in this book.

I began the book by outlining some principles that the Bible reveals about how God relates to nations. In the book I go into each one of these in detail and provide all the scripture references, but here I will only mention each one briefly.

First, God establishes nations and defines their boundaries. Consider these words of Paul, spoken in his sermon at Athens: "God made from one man every nation of mankind having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation."

Second, God determines when a nation will cease to exist. A nation can be the most powerful one on the face of the earth, like ancient Babylon or modern day Russia, but all of its power will be of no avail when the Lord decides the time has come to bring it down. And that can happen overnight, regardless of the nation's power.

Third, God has a purpose for each nation, both general and specific. The general purpose of all nations is to enable their citizens to seek God by providing an atmosphere of freedom, security and tranquility. Additionally, God will call nations to perform specific duties. The greatest example of all, of course, is the nation of Israel, a nation called to be a witness of God. But, it's interesting to note that God has called other nations to relate to Israel in specific ways. For example, He called some nations to bless Israel, some to test Israel, some to discipline Israel, and some to judge Israel.

In regard to specialized purposes, have you ever stopped to ponder what was the unique role that God might have had in mind for the United States when He raised up this nation? As I look back on the last 200 years of our history, I have concluded that God's special purpose for America was to evangelize the world for Jesus, working through our incredible natural resources and technical ingenuity. Of course, another special purpose for us was to serve a key role in the establishment of the nation of Israel and the protection of its security.

Number four, God blesses and disciplines nations in accordance with their obedience to Him and their treatment of the Jewish people. With regard to the Jews, God told Abraham, "I will make you a great nation, I will bless you, I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you." Accordingly, history is literally littered with the corpses of nations that came against Israel or who persecuted the Jewish people. Those that survived, like Spain, Britain and Russia, were stripped of their world empires.

Number five, God holds nations in contempt. Now, on the surface, this may seem contradictory in nature. After all, God is the one who creates the nations and He is the one who has them for His purposes. Why then does He hold them in contempt, as we are told very plainly in Isaiah chapter 40 that God holds the nations in contempt? Why is that? Well, it's because of their pride and their rebellion and because they serve as idols.

This is beautifully illustrated in the book of Daniel in the contrasting visions that God gave Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel, which were visions of great world Gentile empires. The vision that Nebuchadnezzar had was a great statue with a gold head and silver chest, and so forth. It was magnificent. It was beautiful. It was glorious because this is the way man sees the kingdoms of the world. But, when He gave the same vision to Daniel, it was a vision of ravenous animals devouring each other. That is the view of the nations in God's eyes.

Number six, God forgives and blesses a nation when its people repent. The only thing that touches God's heart as deeply as faith is repentance. This is illustrated throughout the Bible. One of the greatest examples is that of Jonah. God sent Jonah to Nineveh to tell them of their impending judgment. The king put on sackcloth and ashes. He repented before the Lord. He called the entire nation to repent. The result was that God relented from destroying them.

Number seven, God destroys a nation when its rebellion becomes entrenched, reaching a point of no return. I want to look at this particular point in more detail because it is one that is very important for our nation. I want us to see how God deals with a rebellious nation, for the Bible says there's a definite pattern that God uses when dealing with such a nation.

First, God will always raise up prophetic voices to call the nation to repentance. He does this because God never pours out His wrath without warning.

Second, if there is no repentance, God will place remedial judgments on the nation. These can take many forms. For example, in Deuteronomy 28 there is a long list of the types of remedial judgments God will place on a nation, including such things as natural disasters, political confusion and corruption, crop failures, economic calamities, rebellious youth, rampant disease, even epidemics of divorce, defeat in war, among many other things including giving the nation the kind of leaders it deserves. Think about that. That's sobering.

If the people of the nation still refuse to repent, God will deliver the nation to destruction. In this regard, the Bible makes a chilling revelation, namely, there is a point of no return. Thus, many years after Jonah, God raised up another prophet to send to Nineveh, a prophet by the name of Nahum. This time Nahum was told that Nineveh had a (notice these words) "an incurable wound." And, sure enough, there was no repentance as before and the nation was destroyed.

Later, the prophet Jeremiah used the same terminology of "an incurable wound" with reference to the nation of Judah. In fact, Jeremiah was told by God to stop praying for Judah! Ezekiel was told the same thing, but he was told it in even stronger terms. Ezekiel was told that if the most righteous men who had ever lived — Noah, Daniel and Job — were to intervene for Judah, it would be of no avail except for themselves and their families, because the nation had reached the point of no return and was going to be destroyed.

There is a point of no return. When the wound becomes incurable, God delivers the nation from judgment to destruction.

God is patient. He is long-suffering. But, He cannot be mocked. He will deal with sin sooner or later. Consider these words from Nahum 1, "A jealous and avenging God is Yahweh; Yahweh is avenging and wrathful. Yahweh takes vengeance on His adversaries. He reserves wrath for His enemies. Yahweh is slow to anger and great in power; and Yahweh will by no means leave the guilty unpunished."

In the second part of my teaching on America's spiritual crisis, we'll look at how God has judged the United States.

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