Too often perhaps, I go back over my life with its trials and tribulations, and I wonder (oft-times amidst tears) why I did some of the absolutely insane and plainly wicked things I was guilty of.
A sign of age I expect. For, as you get closer to the death that will temporarily (unless we are called beforehand) claim you, your life sometimes tends to become like a decomposing, broken melody.
A cacophony of recollections become your Nemesis. Some are bittersweet; many are painful reminders.
Many of them were those that you thought were successfully buried (because, after all…‘that was in my past’). Still, maybe I should view each recollection as another opportunity to ensure that nothing lies unanswered between me and Jesus; thus, I can confidently bow before my God.
Sure…I know that through the Grace of my Savior God (granted me as I gave myself to Jesus, proclaiming Him LORD and God), all has been expunged from the record that would have prevented my salvation had I remained in denial.
And most truly and sincerely do I thank and praise God for that.
I shudder to even remotely contemplate the sentence facing those who, presented with the offer of individual salvation that Jesus has made to all mankind (as the lamb of God who rose from death), then rejected Him without care or turned away with a derisive sneer.
Does any of this make sense to you, my dear ones?
Of course, some of my introspection is associated with the ‘loneliness of the long-distance runner.’
I’m still not used to existing on my own. I miss my dear wife terribly.
And, of course, I deeply miss all those things that I shared with her over the many years of our relationship.
Meantime, ‘back at the ranch,’ reality claims me as yet another day of ‘watching’ slowly passes. I write, send mails (probably annoying quite a few of you who will take time to read this homily).
Still, I know I stand alongside all my brothers/sisters. We wait, albeit impatiently. However, we well-know that it is all ‘just for a wee bit longer,’ as the Scots would say.
And I spend much time also thinking about the speed at which this World now passes.
In particular, that America, the nation that the West looked unto for the past 100 years, could so quickly unravel.
Hitler decreed his One-Thousand-Year Reich, and it lasted around 15 from the time he convinced the Germans to make him Chancellor.
Conversely, America, allegedly ‘Land of the Free,’ was established through a most dreadful war to gain her independence, then weathered the bloody conflagration of Civil War and two World Wars. In spite of which she became exceedingly prosperous, notwithstanding the Two Great financial Depressions and the Midwest Dust Bowl.
Like my own country (Australia), America had long maintained a national facade that she (like us) was truly ‘A nation under God.’
Does it surprise you as I remind that both Germany (in two World Wars) and Tsarist Russia went to their respective wars claiming a similar relationship with God. The German infantryman wore, engraved upon his belt buckle, the words ‘Gott mit uns’ (God with Us), and Russia similarly.
As history rolled inexorably on, we came to realize that claim obviously had little basis in either truth or fact. And were that no so, then truly, we would not be in the sorry state we find ourselves in now. I’m speaking to America, but believe you me, I speak to Australia equally and all the nations of the West.
Sadly, even among the most Godly within our communities, we find many who have drifted away. Either the blandishments of this rotten world got to them, or else, cowered like a dominated cur before an aggressive attack dog, they simply rolled over and submitted. And we all gave moral ground as, more and more, we took ‘personal command’ of our own lives and attempted to measure out a new, better destiny for ourselves and that of our children.
Oh, how much we resemble ancient Israel! She turned back to the world, though granted a relationship with God that ensured her success on every side, coming from nothing except the fulfilment of the covenant promise. Turning away, she lost all.
Sic transit Gloria! (and so passes glory). In this case, the glory that she had. We also had it, but having turned from God to proscribe our own destiny, even unto our search in science and technology to create immortality, we are fast losing it.
To follow the Christian lifestyle has become more difficult for many of us, as trust in God diminished. And as, aspirationally, living standard dramatically improved, along with wages, active worship of God began to seriously clash with our ‘enjoyment’ of life.
Weekend sport is a great example.
We were told by the ‘experts’ how psychologically/physiologically important it was to put kids into organized sport, particularly over the weekend. Sunday worship came under pressure as parents, putting the ‘needs’ of the kids first, began to attend church irregularly, and increasingly not at all.
Had we have truly been the paragons of religious, God-fearing adherents to Christ (that we claimed to be), then we would have sought the answer from Scripture. In commonality of theme, from beginning to end, the Bible presents anecdotal recordings that relate to the lives of those men, women and nations that thought exactly as we do now. As they began to place God in the ‘too hard’ basket, ALL invariably paid a heavy price.
If a ‘small thing’ such as taking time to give Glory to God became the thin edge of the wedge, other things soon, unfortunately, followed. As our own ‘needs’ became paramount in our mind’s eye, and indulging ourselves with all sorts of things that ‘tickled our fancy’ took our mind and hearts away from God, so ceased our reverent allegiance to Him. Again, I take the guilty as charged plea!
What about you?
We claimed to know who God is and the place that Jesus His Christ King has played even before the beginning of the Earth and our own creation.
We had learned of His might and power, his sense of justice and righteousness tempered as it is, with infinite love, mercy and compassion toward those who love Him.
We allegedly took to heart the consequences meted out to those who marched to the drum of Satan by ignoring and denying a God who will NOT be denied: the ultimate heretical insult that will damn you forever.
PARDON ME, SOMETHING IS STUCK IN MY CRAW!
Hypocrisy is almost a virtue in this Godless desert of our own creation. And yet, we profess righteous outrage at any suggestion that we were and are tarred with the same black brush that tainted the very nations we have warred against over the past two generations.
As a Bible-based Christian, I would like to say ‘soldier of Christ,’ but frankly speaking, the words often choke in my throat.
Because these statements of assumption most often do not apply to the actual reality of the playout of our lives within our respective nations. In particular, from the perspective of the way in which we have consistently failed to trust God.
If we truly trusted God, then submitting to Him would not be a chore but a simple joy.
That old saying, ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating,’ is validated by our present, consistent move towards the Godlessness of the Socialist/Communistic Left.
Regular, ‘God-fearing church folk, in spite of seeing in front of them the breakdown of society, still freely chose to elect those who, in turn, are hell-bent upon our total destruction. The very policies such politicians stand for, including the lifestyles some of them practice, should have served a warning to anyone professing to be a ‘Bible-based’ follower of Christ Jesus.
Yet we saw no harm or potential for harm in the choices ‘we made. And I doubt whether many sought the answer in prayer?
Because my perception, so vividly reinforced by current events, convinces me that many of us are also, when ‘the chips are down,’ downright sanctimonious liars.
This assertion may sound cruel but, surely, is verifiable. My contention is that we have lied to both ourselves and God by our very silence. And me being as bad as anyone else.
And we lied as we sat in our denominational ‘churches,’ sitting still for the inception of the doctrine of ‘Social Justice,’ and thereby replaced Christ Crucified, our very reason for ‘being.’
Let me be perfectly clear; silence from the pew means that we are walking away from a real and living relationship with God through the medium of Jesus.
My understanding of the Word is that God is very likely not the slightest bit interested in our ‘Sunday-come-to-meeting’ turnout as we would see it from our own perspective. And it follows, nor in our work for the church fete, seeking church office, tending the gardens and handing out pamphlets at the Railway Station or Town Center, let alone hob-knobbing with Pastor Wonderful and his Wife by inviting them to dinner.
God wants our entire attention; he wants our hearts. He gave His in Jesus. He is entitled to nothing less. And less is, of course, what he generally gets out of us increasingly so; God help us!
I stand on no moral high ground as I write this.
If I say that I am saved through and by the Grace of Jesus, then my silence in the face of this satanic world becomes an action of complicity.
Take, for example, a material witness in a murder trial who was in a position to give validation of an alibi for someone on trial for his/her life. And then, for reasons known only to themselves, they kept silent, failing to step forward to give testimony.
What would you say about such a person?
I’m sure we would all agree that we commit, by that silence, an abominable act. Besides, of course, it being an offense against the law.
Then, what say you of silence before God when we, delivered by Grace, are in a situation where faith demands we speak?
Do we not offend grievously?
Does it not follow that if we lie to God (either by act or omission), we become complicit with and to the Godless, increasingly anti-Christ theology many of our churches now teach?
We have sat still in silence to the pap, it being sold us by outright spin doctors. And many of them have been revealed over time to be manipulative, self-seeking, religious fraudsters.
You want proof?
Go onto YouTube, take off your ‘rose-tinted’ glasses, keep your Bible close, and listen to what’s being said or portrayed. Then, apply the Litmus Test of comparing Pastor ‘Wonderful’ against Scripture. Don’t even bother hearing him/her through if they cannot pass the test set against Bible literacy. ‘Shake the dust off your robe’ and quickly depart.
Sadly, we have seen the fruits. And many of us have stood by while our elders and church councils sought out and selected men and women to pastor us who came not of Jesus but of anti-Christ.
There is a dilemma here, I admit, because, unfortunately, there is a physical dimension to the situation. The larger denominational churches lay claim to the church building itself as ‘property belonging to the See.’ This often makes it virtually impossible to challenge church hierarchy to the point of upsetting the appointment of pastor, priest or those of higher office.
For instance, in Australia, we frequently witness the hierarchy, making fiscal management decisions that will arbitrarily close down little churches even though a little but faithful congregation exists, then sell off or leave the old buildings abandoned. First, the pastor is removed or made to service several parishes. Finally, the congregation itself lies abandoned.
The irony is that often that same little church was almost handbuilt from either local effort or from funds raised within the community. The large denominations are run like businesses, and I find it difficult to break bread with them.
Complain and speak out, and you may well find yourself out the door.
To a Bible-based follower of Jesus, that might be inconvenient. It is not, however, an insurmountable problem. It is they that have the problem. Speak your piece and depart. Neither Rome nor Canterbury can guarantee your arrival in Heaven. My conviction is that they never could.
These are now fairly apparent truths. We see their fruits as we view both Canterbury and Rome (the latter, of course, which still pulls at the religious strings of all but a few of the myriad smaller offshoot churches).
Moreover, lately, I see the papal efforts at rapprochement and the sycophantic, fawning noises coming from ‘churches’ that had previously long walked in the opposite direction.
I see also Protestant churches now speaking of ‘coming together’ under the one ecumenical umbrella. And my stomach churns in disgust and, frankly, anger.
I don’t have to name the ‘biggies’; you know them and the massive moneymaking machines they have established. And you have heard of the recent cultish heresies now appearing under the guise of ‘Chrislam.’
Scripture explicitly tells us to come out of them.
Jesus the King will spew them out.
And great will be the sentence of damnation upon those clerics/pastors who persist in leading multitudes of the complacent to Hell.
THE CHURCH IN THE LAST DAYS (2 Timothy 3:1-9)
“But understand this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, opposed to what is good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God. They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power. So avoid people like these.”
The following is a quote by Greg Brown, chaplain and professor at Handong Global University, teaching pastor at Handong International Congregation, and as a Navy Reserve chaplain:
“This is exactly what Christ warned the disciples of in the parables of the kingdom in Matthew 13. Christ said the kingdom of heaven is tares and wheat (v. 36-43), and good and bad fish (v. 47-50)—essentially true and false believers. He also describes the kingdom as yeast hidden in flour, which spreads throughout the lump (v. 33). Yeast typically refers to false doctrine (Matt 16:11-12) or sin (1 Cor 5:6); therefore, Christ described how evil would spread and saturate the church at various stages of history. The current state of the kingdom is a mixture of good and evil. It is scary!” (end quote)
As I agree with Greg Brown entirely, I conclude Part I of my retrospection by asking the question, “If I have described the state of the church today alongside of our own deafening silence, how do I describe America and my own country of Australia against this appalling backdrop? For truly, not only have we proven silent against the freefall of the present church system, but also on the allied question of the preservation of our nations, we have failed to speak out against the pervasive rot of Godlessness.
Our silence in the face of evil invariably validates our complicity.