Job said in Job 5:7, “Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.”
Well, that is true. That trouble is our human nature. That trouble is that we have been born into sin. And we can see from history, from the beginning of time, the destruction that sin has impaled into this earth. Sin is like a knife, because it cuts, and it goes deep into the heart of man who lives with an unrestrained heart.
When Adam gave up his first estate, he gave up perfection, and plunged his descendants into a downward spiral that only a loving compassionate merciful God could save us from.
Through Adam, “sin”, a word that had never been introduced into the vocabulary of man was thrust onto the earth, and everything on the earth would now be affected by it.
Living things that used to lie down together in peace would now kill each other, and places on this earth that were beautiful, with purpose, would now become desolate. What was creation and new life, would now have a stench of death. Decay would now be the norm. And since that day when sin was first revealed thousands of years ago, death and decay has been a regular part of life here on earth.
We see it every day.
On the land, and in the people.
The perfection of the Garden was lost, and that which was created to be eternal, was destined to die.
The Apostle Paul was correct in Romans 6:23, that “The wages of sin is death”, and because of the original sin, death has reigned over man ever since.
Romans 5:12 “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned.”
Death would now be the end path because of our father Adam, and from that day, we have had a culture of death on this earth, and we see it with Cane killing Abel in Genesis 4. The first recorded murder.
6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.
Well Cain didn’t rule over it. He let it consume him and set up his brother for death.
8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”[d]While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
This same spirit that Cain carried, goes to and fro throughout the earth and it will not end until Jesus casts it into never ending darkness.
We can look at the events of last week in Parkland, FL, and see that this spirit of death is alive and active because the sin nature is imbedded into man and in all the earth and its creatures. It was not surprising hearing the young man who did the deed, say “He heard voices in his head telling him to do it.”
Moving from the deaths of those teens, we can switch gears to look at another event this past week, the passing of the one of the greatest evangelists of our time, Dr. Billy Graham.
Billy a man of God who led thousands to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ who even said in one of his last meetings held, that our nation is in complete moral decay. That our nation needed a Savior.
Billy preached that message at every turn. He preached about sin, and about death from sin. He also preached that there was only one way for forgiveness and that through the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Billy knew the depravity of man, and he knew that there was only one to escape it.
I don’t know, my speculation, but maybe with this last event, God in His mercy, took Billy home, so he wouldn’t have to hear any more about the death and decay of this nation anymore. He had heard enough of it over his 99 years. Billy doesn’t have to think about that now because he is in the presence of Lord.
Sin is decay in the heart and it begins at birth. We here know that.
“Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies.” (Psalm 58:3)
But that is a scripture for all of us because it is true, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
The issues that we see today, as in many days past, are products of the heart. With no Christ in the heart, there is no hope, and with no hope, you are only driven by your desires that are not from God, but from the world.
1John 2:16, “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life.” They are not from God, so the desires of the world, are all we have to seek, because an unbridled flesh desires it.
These desires only drive you to excess, or despair.
You see this message came out of the talk I have been hearing and reading about the killing and wounding of the teens in that high school in Florida, and listening to what the shooter said about the voices in his head. Events like this will not end with fixes, nor jail.
It’s a sin problem. Depravity without God. Satan laughs when we bring up anything but the real heart issue concerning the depravity of man.
I looked up some government stats on violence, do you know that there were 17,250 murders in the US in 2016? The majority from the largest city populations. Large populations who do not profess Christ. Over 100,000 people died of alcohol related deaths in 2016. There were almost 100,000 rapes in 2016. And the list goes on.
Add in 893,000 babies were aborted in the US in 2016. We have issues of the heart here. A life without Christ has no value for life, any life. Human, animal, the land. We hear about it every day.
Looking specifically at the US, we had a problem, but it wasn’t until 1963, that everything exploded. That was the year God was removed from our schools. The numbers show the truth.
From that point on, every type of crime imaginable exploded in America, and these are from government stats. Children before 1963 read the Bible in the schools, they recited the 10 Commandments, and they prayed. Churches and Ministries were allowed in, like the Gideon’s, and Youth for Christ.
The children in the public schools learned good from bad along with their other studies. You could see that it worked. Statistics show that. The highest church attendance was during that time.
It wasn’t until the communist, Madeline Murray O’Hare, who was also an atheist, took the Baltimore School District to court in 1960, because she didn’t want her son to recite the Bible during reading class. She was a tool used by the communists to remove God from all of public life. She was a tool of Satan.
In 1963, the Supreme Court of the United States which was very liberal at the time voted 8-1 to ban mandatory Bible reading in the public schools. Prayer in schools ended in 1962 with another court case. So with no real moral base for kids coming from the schools, the 1960’s became a decade of moral decline in America. And you can see that the moral decline beginning ~ 1964, where church attendance began to severely drop off which has slid ever since, and crime rising up at a drastic rate. It did not take long for the Supreme Court ruling to take effect, and it also took effect in our Universities and in within our government.
The church was not exempt, as the power of the church, being the moral representative, and a voice for righteousness became eerily silent over time. Only great evangelists like Billy Graham, Oral Roberts and others would stand for righteousness.
The church over time evolved to have similar statistics as the those who were unchurched concerning divorce, sexual immortality, acceptance of abortion, and the list goes on.
All this because of the acceptance of sin, and man wanting to be his own god, doing what he wanted to do.
Gal 5:9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
And that is what happened. When you accept one thing; you begin to accept another. When you forgo righteousness for comfort, you become empty, with no will. You go through the motions of life with a knowledge of Christ, but without having the experience with Christ. It seems to be easier then, to blend into the world, then to fight against it. Just as God said to Abel, “you must rule over it”, you have no strength to.
James1:14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
Temptation. Ah, that that little poke. The second look, or looking back, it doesn’t take much to be sucked back into darkness.
Temptation fell Adam and Eve…….. Yes the sneaky Devil twisted his words, but Adam above all knew the truth. But, oh the knowledge….. to be like God. Hmmm. The bite of the forbidden fruit, and all was lost. Temptation, a spirit that is still wandering the earth looking to whom it can entice.
And looking back at the 60’s and the definite fall of this nation morally, the Bride of Christ ate the forbidden fruit, and lost touch with its Bride Groom. The Church, allowed itself to be tempted, and took the temptation, then tried to strattle two worlds.
Something that we cannot do. Luke warmness is death, it isn’t life. With Jesus it is one or the other. We must be hot, if not we are cold. Power only comes from the heat, and so does life.
But praise be to God, we have a way out. Jesus made the way. From His death and resurrection, we have been given the tools to be focused on His truth, and the power to overcome. But we have to set our minds to do it.
Currently, I believe God has been trying to awakening His people. He has been speaking to them directly and through the prophets for His people to come to Him. To reconnect into the power source so He can open their clouded minds. He wants to remove scales falling from their eyes so they can see. Firstly, to see the truth of their condition.
There can be no complacency in our walk with Christ. Jesus needs a church with power. He needs a church that will operate in the power of His resurrection.
Jesus said concerning the temptations of this world that we should:
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
The key here is the Spirit. We need to let the Spirit guide us, and be under His control so to speak, so He can guide us into all truth.
When we as a church begin to stand in the truth. Stand in the Word of God and not only speak the truths, but also reveal the truth through signs, wonders, and miracles, we will not only reconcile people back to God, we will have favor with man. We will have favor just like the church had in Acts 2.
The Body of Christ used to be bold, for many generations, and called out sin when they saw it, and some people may not have liked it, but we did have respect from them because we actually stood for something. We need to all stand for something again, and back it up.
When we stand for something, we will have more of a voice. We don’t have much of one now. If we did, we wouldn’t see what we see on TV, or at the movies, in magazines, or on the Internet and social media.
I believe one of the first things we need to do to show the love of Jesus is to stop the back and forth on social media with those who do not know Christ who are giving their opinion, who do not have our view. Yes, we have an opinion, but I believe all we do when we throw it out, is get people more against us, and who we represent.
The love of Jesus is about healing. The love of Jesus is about not causing an offense. Sometimes silence is good.
There is so much sin and degradation in our world today that it is overwhelming, but the individuals who are participating in it are lost, and are clueless because they are blind to the things of God. We have to love them even when they are in their state of mind. We don’t have to like how they believe or act, but love goes a long way. We have lost some civility in the church, not only with those we disagree on the other side, but also with those who are supposed to be in our camp so to speak.
We as the church need to look at the root cause of the issues that plague our society, and pray in the Holy Spirit to receive an answer so each in our own way can expose the root causes, but also have a solution to the cause.
We know the solution to the ills of our nation, its Jesus Christ, but how do we inject Him into a lost angry hurting lost people?
I am struggling now with a desire to help the homeless, single struggling moms, and others in need. I am praying that God will show me the way to reach them here in Kenosha, fund the mission, and have other believers assist.
Think of it, if we were ministering to a bunch of people, and they are receiving healing in a variety of ways, I would believe that Jesus would become a focus in their lives like He is in ours. Their sin nature would be altered, and their minds would be transformed into something new.
If we were winning the war with groups of hurting people, I would imagine that we would have favor in our community and that favor would multiply into influence, and that influence would allow us to bring truths that could alter a culture.
We could through Christ, remove a culture of sin and death, and create a culture in Christ that was all about new life, freedom, prosperity, and love.
This to me has been a hodge podge message, but with my original thoughts about what happened in Florida, it did not have to happen. And I am not referencing the lack of follow up on this disturbed lost young man, the gun issue, or the deputy sheriff who was on site who did not respond.
If we the church were in full operation of the Gifts of the Spirit in our communities, there would be a different atmosphere. Because with Jesus we would have changed it. We would have tackled the depravity of the soul, the root cause of all the anger and violence in the nation.
But it takes us to grab onto Jesus and repent from the depravity in our own hearts first, to see clearly what He wants us to do with everyone else.
I hope you will pray with me, that we the Church especially in Kenosha and SE WI, would look to Jesus the author and finisher of our Faith, for answers. He has the answers and I know He wants to pass them off to us.
We can alter the culture. But it will take us being altered too. Altered into the mindset of heaven, running away from the depravity of the current culture, to present a new culture of hope, healing and love.
In a Christ culture, we will see people who are full of the love of God, quite the opposite you see today even in our community. And you may think that what I am saying is a pipe dream, well I haven’t done that since I was 22, and I didn’t like it anyway.
But Jesus said, “All things are possible to those who believe.” We can be an oasis, we can be a sanctuary, and wow, guess what, that has actually been prophesied over the area that we are going to be that. So we have work to do. Amen!