Sunday, January 13, 2013

Take God Seriously

…yes, take Him at His Word.

Today ..like all days following.. is a good day for this. 

Why? 

Well, God is holy and unchanging. And all of us humans are not. God is loving and just. But we live in a very wicked world growing more wicked with each passing day.

Why else? 

Lot and his family failed to do this, and we can learn much from them. Remember him and them? 

They wanted to keep negotiating with God saying "No" and they just wouldn't take God seriously. So what comes into your mind when you muse over God and His will for you? Are you cheating and compromising in some area of your life? 

"What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." ~ A.W. Tozer

What is a town or city like when God says, That's enough.

And what were the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah? Some of them are pretty easy to detect in their Bible context.

What was sad to see this week that related to those? I felt is was sad to see Louie Giglio, who had been announced as the pastor to give the benediction at the 2013 presidential inauguration, pull himself out of the ceremony. Man, why not share the Gospel more, and rather be cast out by others than pull yourself out? Easy for me to say. I don't know what kind of pressures Louie came under. 

Doesn't it seem like some groups and marriages are far more protected by the liberal press and those in US authority than other groups? Should we remain silent about this like wimps?   

Yes, I've been looking at the 19th chapter of Genesis today and ain't ashamed of who I serve or what God has said. He's only told us the truth and had all of our best interests at heart cuz He loves us all the same. 

The context is so important. We've got to let all the words of the Bible speak for themselves in their own contexts, and be ready to get right with and apply all that God is saying to us.  

"Then the men said to Lot, 'Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city—take them out of this place! For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.'
 
So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, 'Get up, get out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city!' But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.
 
When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, 'Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.'
 
And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife's hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.
 
So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, 'Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.'" …(and see verse 26), "But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt."

You know.. after 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945 near the end of World War II until now the large flattened city of Hiroshima in Japan has been rebuilt from scratch, but the five towns also known as the "cities of the plain" including Sodom and Gomorrah (situated on the Jordan river plain in the southern region of the land of Canaan) have never been rebuilt to this day. God basically said, Enough!

He does that sometimes and He has good reasons every time... reasons that He has clearly made known.

He also doesn't want us believers ever looking back in longing towards the world. 

In the New Testament we see God's warning to us, "Remember Lot's wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left."

Never before have we seen our country, the USA, so weak. Lately, we've been on a faster decline than in days gone by. There are a lot of wonderful people here still fighting hard against the evil (it's a spiritual battle primarily), but "are we as a whole" going to make God feel that He needs to one day apologize to Sodom if He withholds judgement from our Land (you know how Billy Graham kinda tongue-in-cheek had made mention of this)? 

When was the last time you heard anything patriotic come from our do-nothing-Congress, our Supreme Court Judges, or from those who lead our Country? 

I don't want to cause unhealthy fear in you, but it's later than ever before. Get home before dark. Get others home too

Ezekiel warned, "Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy" (16:49, nkjv).

Has your Country also been like this? Has your country exported falsehood, and filth and porn or have they chosen to repent in humility, turning to God's Word? I feel bad for how many babies have been killed in my country due to all this and it's my prayer that America turns back to God.

Sometimes God in so many words says, That's enough! 

And it can actually become too late for a town or a city or this world ..for all missions or evangelistic outreach cuz at one point.. it'll be too late and God's judgment will be upon unrepentant sinners. 

But God hasn't appointed us believers unto wrath (see 1 Thess. 5:9 - think Rapture). Yes, God already judged our sins on Christ's cross.  

Some places are so debauched—don't live or move there. Don't date or marry there. Lot should have moved far away from Sodom early. Some work places are so debauched—don't become employed there, don't partner there. Sure we are to continue to love and witness sinners. Sure we are to keep evangelizing domestically and overseas while we can, and not set dates for Christ's return. But let's take heed to God's word—let's do something new in this nation for this generation. Let's take God seriously.  

There is no prophecy in the Bible that needs to be fulfilled before the Rapture of the Church happens. Are you ready for that? Has God ever bestowed any of His grace or mercy in your life? Did you sell out to Christ then?

See in Matthew 11:20-24 where Jesus Christ tells of the fate of some cities where He did some of His mighty works:

"And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you" (nkjv).

And look in Matthew 10:1-15, and Luke 10:1-12, where Jesus declares certain cities literally more damnable than Sodom and Gomorrah, due to their response to Jesus Christ's disciples, in the light of God's greater grace (rsv):

"And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town."

In Luke 17:28-30 Jesus compares His Second Coming to the fierce judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah (rsv):

"Likewise as it was in the days of Lot—they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom fire and sulphur rained from heaven and destroyed them all—so will it be on the day when the Son of man is revealed."

In Romans 9:29 Paul quotes Isaiah 1:9-10 (rsv): "And as Isaiah predicted, 'If the Lord of hosts had not left us children, we would have fared like Sodom and been made like Gomorrah.'"

And in 2nd Peter 2:4-10 Pete uses the time of Sodom and of Lot right along with in his description of the time of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Read Jude 1:7 where God records that both Sodom and Gomorrah were "giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."

God still hates sin and loves all of us sinners. He's waiting for people to choose. There is a something that runs much deeper than all the outward symptoms of this greater spiritual sickness here called sin. And us believers going past moralizing and politics.. in simply sharing the Gospel to win people to Jesus Christ .. it strikes at the very core of what is hurting our people.   

Revelation 11:7-8 makes an allegorical use of Sodom when it describes the places where two prophets will actually descend. But you want to be ready, want to walk tight with God pleasing Him, and be eventually be snatched away before the Great Tribulation days arrive...correct? And before it's too late, you really want to help rescue your friends who are not yet walking with Christ.....right? Sure. So lets act like it. facebook.com/shareJesus

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