Living Amongst the Lions

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
1 Timothy 2:1–2

The next few years may be both judgment and test of the country such as we have not seen since the Civil War. That’s not at all to say I know the mind of God, but who we are as a people as evidenced by our acceptance and promotion of abortion on demand and rampant immorality has brought us to this stand of electing a man who openly denigrates truth and righteousness. One of my pastors used to say that God has morally underwritten the universe, and a self- centered electorate choosing a man who’s centered on his own hubris is going to boomerang into its comfort and convenience. To bring in a really old Bob Dylan lyric, you don’t have to be a Weatherman to see which way the wind blows. We bear the consequences of living in a country with rotten moral underpinnings. I firmly believe that only through faith in Christ will we be able to find the perseverance and courage we need to live amongst the lions. Only God can shut their mouths.

Before the election John MacArthur preached several sermons giving a clear and biblical assessment of our nation. They are sobering. Here a few quotes not only because I want to whet your appetite to read each sermon in its entirety, but to urge your reflection on understanding the seriousness of these times, and the true nature of the crisis we face.

Abortion and the Campaign for Immorality: Romans 1:18–32, Psalm 139, and other Scriptures.

To me it is ironic that those who pride themselves on defending the rights of the weak, murder them in the womb when they are the most weak. What kind of hypocrisy is that? Self-congratulating pseudo-humanitarians advocate a deadly force of violence unleashed against infants that makes the Nazi Holocaust look mild by comparison. In our world, we’re slaughtering between fifty and sixty million babies a year. In the United States on record is 1.5 million abortions a year. Every third baby conceived is murdered in the womb. Four thousand a day plus, 170 an hour–Planned Parenthood alone kills one every ninety-five seconds.

The Physicians Association of Planned Parenthood released this statement, quote: “Abortion is a treatment for unwanted pregnancy, the second sexually transmitted disease.” Pregnancy is a sexually transmitted disease. Our nation and others are murdering a whole generation of humans in mass infanticide that was legalized in January of 1973 by the Roe v. Wade decision made by an unrighteous group of people on the Supreme Court. Now forty-three percent of all women have an abortion and forty-seven percent of abortions are repeats. It’s legal to do to a child what you might be arrested for doing to a cat, or a dog, or certainly an eagle. In fact, Massachusetts made it illegal to award goldfish as a prize at a fair. And the document from the Massachusetts law said this was to protect the tendency to dull humanitarian feelings and corrupt the morals of those who abuse them–a law to prevent the abuse of goldfish.

Homosexuality and the Campaign for Immorality: Romans 1:18–32.

But the wrath that is being referred to in Romans 1 isn’t any of those. It is the wrath of abandonment. The wrath described here is the wrath that is executed when, according to verses 24, 26 and 28, God gives them over–gives them over, gives them over. In other words, it’s when God abandons a nation. It’s when God abandons a society and gives them over to the consequences of their behavior, which is escalating iniquity and disaster leading to judgment. This wrath of God is released from heaven, “revealed from heaven,” verse 18 says, “against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth.” And he goes on to say they all have the truth; the truth is visible from creation.

You can know something of God and His nature and from the heart, Romans 2 says, the law of God is written in the heart. But when man abandons God, as revealed in creation, when man abandons God, as revealed in conscience, when man abandons God, as revealed in Holy Scripture, suppressing the truth, God judges that society. And though that society may consider itself to be wise, it is in reality the ultimate ship of fools. The heart becomes darkened when God is abandoned and then God abandons the darkened heart.

A Warning to Every Proud Ruler: Daniel 4.

And I have never, I have never heard one world leader or one American politician state the real problem in this country and in this world–never, not even close. I assume that they don’t know it or that they’re afraid to say it. So I’m going to tell you what the problem is today–the problem with this country, the problem with the rest of the world, the problem with every nation, every leader, every ruler, every counsel, every committee, every assembly, every group that comes together. It’s one problem: Romans 1, verse 28. “They didn’t see fit to acknowledge God any longer.” That’s it; that’s it.

. . . You know it says in 1 Timothy 2, “Pray for those that are over you. Pray for the rulers and the kings.” What are you praying? You should be praying for their salvation. You should be praying that they would hear the warnings of Scripture. You should be praying that they would turn from their sin and their wickedness and their unrighteousness to the living and true God. That’s what that text in 1 Timothy 2 is saying. “For God our Savior is the mediator, the one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.” Pray for their salvation.

Esther: For Such a Time As This: The book of Esther.

Where is God in the book of Esther? Well, the real hero in the story, the real power behind the story, is never mentioned, but it is God. His hand of providence is manifest in every single tiny detail. His presence is more powerfully and dominantly visible here than maybe in any other story of this complexity in Scripture, though He’s never mentioned.

The invisible hand of God is evident everywhere, everywhere. The absence of God here is, I think, intentional…intentional. It is an ingenious strategy by the writer to draw the reader to think deeply about how life’s circumstances are ordered to the divine purpose. These are not coincidences–too many. This is not random. There is a designer. There is a coordinator. There is a power behind all of this. God literally thunders through the book of Esther. . . .

And the message for you is this. While you’re going through life and trying to make sure you fix all the little pieces of your life, understand this: that there is over and in, above and below your life a divine architect ordering every detail. And if you belong to Him and are in the covenant of His love, He is accomplishing His perfect will. And you can rest in that, you can rest in that.

The Lord is still on the throne. These are challenging times, challenging days to live in. You can become pretty distressed about the way things are going, the way things are going in the world is chaotic, disconcerting, troubling, disturbing, distressing, some ways frightening. Not so in the kingdom. The divine architect is ordering our lives, those of us who belong to Him and are in covenant love with Him. He is ordering our lives to His eternal glory, every part. How wonderful to live in that confidence, amen? Let’s pray.

Father, we are so encouraged by the amazing story we have heard tonight. So thankful that You are the same God today that You were then. That all things are being worked together by Your power for our good and Your eternal glory. That is those who love You and are called according to Your purpose. We thank You that we don’t live in a world of random events, but that our steps are ordered by the Lord. That You have a plan that is working out for us in every single detail, fits into Your sovereign purpose. How wonderful to know that and it is inexorably and inevitably leading us to glory, to heaven. Thank You for this great revelation that takes all the fear and doubt and questioning out of life, and we live and rest in peace in Your sovereign providence. We pray in the name of Christ. Amen.

Nations that turn their back on the one true God do not continue in perpetuity. If you are a Christian you know that we are pilgrims and sojourners through this world. It is not our place of permanent citizenry. I’ve been told there were revivals of faith and Bible study in the Confederate camps, and I hope and pray that God in His mercy will use the consequences we undergo to grant the same to the people of our nation again and bring us to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. When God through His prophet Jonah told Ninevah that because of their wickedness they had 40 days until the city would be overthrown:

Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes. He issued a proclamation and it said, “In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.”
When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.
Jonah 3:5–10

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Abortion and the Campaign for Immorality: This article originally appeared here at Grace to You.
Homosexuality and the Campaign for Immorality: This article originally appeared here at Grace to You.
A Warning to Every Proud Ruler: This article originally appeared here at Grace to You.
Esther: For Such a Time As This: This article originally appeared here at Grace to You.
Daniel’s Answer to the King, Briton Rivière: Public Domain.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968, 1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

If any of you are interested in learning more about becoming a Christian, you can read my story here.

Ronald Reagan: On Losing

All of the landslide majority did not vote against the conservative philosophy; they voted against a false image our Liberal opponents successfully mounted. Indeed it was a double false image. Not only did they portray us as advancing a kind of radical departure from the status quo, but they took for themselves a costume of comfortable conservatism. Read again their campaign fiction and you will find their normal flamboyant Liberalism hidden under the protective coloration of “the great society,” or as Hubert Horatio Humphrey (who can’t ask what time it is without conducting a filibuster) put it: “We don’t want a planned society — we want society planning.”

. . . Our job beginning now is not so much to sell conservatism as to prove that our conservatism is in truth what a lot of people thought they were voting for when they fell for the cornpone come-on.

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Ronald Reagan, On Losing. from the Dec. 1, 1964, issue of National Review.
Via The Gateway Pundit.