The passages below have something in common. Can you guess what it is? If not, then I’m fairly sure, as you read on presupposing I’ve done my job properly here, you’ll soon discover the answer.
2 Corinthians 4.3: “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.”
John 12.40: “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.”
2 Thessalonians 2.7-12: “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of righteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Today is June 27, 2013, one day after the Supreme Court gave more legal protections and rights to those living a homosexual lifestyle that the Bible unequivocally defines as contrary to God’s will. In recent polls, it has been stated that some 57% percent of Americans now think, that’s just fine. And why shouldn’t they when most of the major denominations of Protestantism itself believe and preach the same thing?
As I write this article, I find my premise that America’s days are truly numbered, reinforced every time I watch us abandon the God and His standards upon which this nation was founded. And upon which its strength was derived. But it goes even beyond that, as the other nations of Western civilization are going the very same route.
The truth of the matter is that this moral inversion is not limited toward the acceptance of the sexual deviancy of homosexuality, but a broad-spectrum decline overall. I have often said that one can get a quick idea of a society by looking at what it chooses for entertainment. Among other diversions, Rome had its brutal gladitorial exhibitions and drunken bacchanalias.
Greece had its sporting events, performed by naked athletes. America has its television and movies characterized by senseless violence, illicit sex between both the opposite and same genders, its modern music which often glorifies violence toward authority figures and women . . . well, unless you’ve been living on Pluto the last couple of decades, these things you already know.
A glimpse across the pages of history reveals that ALL, not just some, of the world’s great empires came from humble beginnings, grew, flourished, and then declined, some to the point of disappearing completely. Of course, most were what we consider “heathen” empires, totally removed from the true God who chose to reveal Himself to Abraham and the sons of Jacob who were his descendants. For them therefore to make a wrong turn down a decadent and morally corrupt path that characterized them all at the end of their respective tenures is at least understandable.
What boggles the mind is that this malady has fallen upon those who were privy to God’s special attention. A reading of the Bible soon reveals even those closest to God often fell short of the mark. For the ancient Israelites, their lack of faith cost them forty years of extended wandering in the desert, and later conquests and dispersions by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans. Even after the reigns of David and Solomon in which they had risen to heights of power and influence has never again been attained ever since. But the impact of the Bible, which was transmitted through the Jews, has reached across the ages to us today nevertheless.
Even though the “rewriters” of history would just as soon have the immense Judeo-Christian foundation upon which Europe, and by extension the United States was founded, the truth of the matter is that up until present times, these societies and the moral and legal framework upon which they were founded all point back to the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17), and what has become known as the Beatitudes delivered by Jesus almost twenty centuries ago (Matthew, chapters 5-7).
America, perhaps the most God-blessed nation ever to exist since human beings walked this Earth, has less excuse to plead ignorance than any other civilization, except perhaps Israel itself, which rose and fell over the course of time because we have always had not only our secular history books, but, most importantly, God’s own history book to serve as our guide as to how he would have his people live. The problem has become that very few Christians bother to read the Bible any more and even fewer, it would seem, even believe in it. Again, why should they, when most of the churches out there don’t believe in it either?
For example, how many people really understand that the principles God laid out for His chosen people─Israel─are just as true today as they were three millennia ago when he spelled it with the amazing clarity in Deuteronomy, chapter 28. Naturally, there are verses there specific to Israel, but the general message is the same: Do things God’s way and be blessed. Don’t do things God’s way and be cursed. Do yourself a favor and set aside some quiet time right now to read and ponder this chapter. As you do, where do you think the United States stacks up today?
Take a look at our economic problems, the increasing severity of the weather, the rise in crime and unrest, including that of really heinous acts which capture the headlines such as those against innocent families and children in places like Cheshire and Sandy Hook, Connecticut. That the magnitude and frequency of our difficulties seem to be increasing proportionally as our distancing of ourselves from God and his rules for society seems hardly to be coincidental.
Now, then, how does this all fit in with the opening passages of this article?
Remember “The Shadow?” This was an old-time radio character from the 1930’s who had the hypnotic ability to “cloud men’s minds” and as such become effectively invisible to his opponents. A modern movie version was produced in 1994 starring Alec Baldwin. Of course, this is all fiction.
Yet even today we have a real “Shadow” loose on earth, whose name is Satan, with the same ability to cloud people’s minds to the truth. In the 2 Thessalonians passage above, the devil’s primary modus operandi is that of deception, a tactic he has used with great success from his first appearance in the opening pages of Genesis to foster exactly the kind of decades-long propaganda campaign, which the homosexual lobby has used to convince the general population and its leaders (both secular and religious) that the kind of lifestyle which they have willingly chosen to pursue is normal and healthy.
Even if science one day demonstrates some manner of predisposition toward homosexuality, which as of this writing it has not, this still does not excuse one from exercising sound judgment in avoiding any actions which exalt immorality and cause greater illness and premature death to oneself, including that of the alcoholic who continues to drink or the drug addict to continue to take drugs to his or her own peril, not to mention the corollary effects of these actions upon their families, friends, and society in general,
Amazingly, the same people pushing to legislate the contents of what we eat on the basis that such things as a high sodium, fat, or sugar content are bad for us, have paradoxically embraced a lifestyle proven to be similarly, if not more injurious.
Unfortunately, this “shadowing” of a person or a society’s ability to make reasoned decisions has been a problem throughout human history, right from the third chapter of Genesis, when Adam and Eve effectively sublet this planet and our universe to the devil, up to the present─and the worst is yet to come. Satan will use this very ability to deceive, to ultimately convince the majority of the human race that the coming Antichrist is the actually the messiah. He’s often done it before on a smaller scale to empower truly evil men to hold their nations in complete bondage producing the Hitlers, Maos, Pol Pots, Khomeinis and all the other despots who have darkened the pages of human history.
I believe it has gotten to the point that people are not just being rebellious and doing things that are just plain wrong, but I believe we’ve reached a point in this country, and probably across most of the free world where people just no longer can tell the difference! It may very well have produced this lament of Isaiah over 2700 years ago:
Isaiah 5.20-23: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto [them that are] wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto [them that are] mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!”
As to the consequences of the people who acted like this, the ancient prophet did not mince words, either:
Isaiah 5.24-25: “Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, [so] their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases [were] torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand [is] stretched out still.”
Remember, that if this applied to Israel─His chosen─what do you think it means for the rest of us?
As I conclude this brief article, I think back to the America of my youth, never perfect, but always striving to be better, do better, and accomplish great things for itself and the world around it. I have also seen with my own eyes its decline, all of which was avoidable had those who call themselves Christians had possessed the same conviction and dedication of mind that Satan’s minions obviously have had to drag this country down to where it is now. It was not inevitable that this come to pass as we
consider these words of James:
James 4.7-10: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and [your] joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
It may very well be too late for America as a nation to be saved, but remember that God has always had his faithful remnant throughout history, those who have not sat back silently while evil consumed their respective lands. We can do our part, each one of us, to grow that remnant in these last days. It will not make us popular─quite the opposite. But isn’t God worth the effort, this very same God who sacrificed his only Son to save us all?
The choice, of course, is one each of us has to make, even as Joshua told his own people a very long time ago:
Joshua 24.15: “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD”
How about you?