The Shepherd of Hope blog is here to serve you, to help you know Jesus better and to find hope in Him. This blog relies on the Spirit of God using the word of God to build people of God. All material has been prayerfully submitted for your encouragement and spiritual edification. Your questions and comments are welcome.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Turning the Tide

We are living in a critical time in the history of our nation. We are on the precipice of a deep dark cavernous destiny. There are efforts to change the moral, economic, political, and spiritual fabric of this land. We are a nation that has murdered and continues to murder literally millions of its preborn children. How many scientists, doctors, engineers, leaders and citizens have consequently been lost before they even took their first breath? The lack of tax payers to support social programs for the needy is directly attributable to a large extent to the emptiness left in the ranks of the population by abortion. The tax burden has increased not only because of politician’s out of control spending, but because those who would have joined in to help lift the burden have been removed. The wealth of our future generations has been and continues to be squandered. Dependence upon the state as a permanent way of life instead of a temporary help is being held out as a carrot to lure people into a trap where their freedoms are threatened without them even knowing it. We are financially overextended and in stupendous economic debt. There are forces at work to move us away from our Christian heritage and into a state where homosexuality, same sex marriage, adultery, and promiscuity are not only accepted but glorified. The media has become a propaganda machine more than an independent check and balance in our society. There is an anti-Christian spirit sweeping our land. Christians are being unduly criticized and marginalized. Marginalization of a group historically is a major step in isolating them and ultimately persecuting them in an effort to extinguish them and their voice from society. This is very serious. Like the sons of Issachar we need to “understand the times” in which we live to know what we should do (1 Chron. 12:32).

This particular upcoming election is a pivotal event in our nation’s history. For instance, political advisor Dick Morris estimates the outcome could affect the direction of our nation for the next 10, 20, even 100 years. Should Jesus tarry why is this election so important? How serious is the present state of affairs? Turning the Tide is a message by Charles Stanley that explains not only the proposed paradigm shift in our nation’s principles but why this is so important for us as Christians to know and defend against. As Christians we are directed to act responsibly as good citizens within the system of government God has sovereignly placed us (Rom. 13). Being informed and taking a stand for righteousness is part of that.

The Shepherd of Hope blog is not a political site, it is a site aimed at helping people know Jesus better and find hope in Him. It is a site that relies on the Spirit of God to use the word of God to build people of God. It’s a blog aimed at helping people maneuver through life according to the scriptures. Politics and government do not provide adequate answers to life’s questions or even true viable solutions to life’s problems. We are not to be consumed by politics. But politics and government are a part of life that Christians need to be aware of and in which we should take a healthy scriptural stand.

Jesus was not a respecter of people; He didn’t treat people differently based on their status or party affiliation (Mat. 22:16). When we consider the area of politics our party affiliation should be first and foremost a heavenly one. Our citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20). We first and foremost obey God rather than people (Acts 5:29). Therefore, regardless of our political party, we need to take a stand for what is right and true based on God and what He says in His word. God’s word is our standard. Jesus is our Lord. We bow to and obey Him above all other Phil. 2:9-11).

All political parties are imperfect. That is because they are run by imperfect people. As Christians we should look at all life, including politics and its parties, through the lens of scripture. Jesus said to, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things of God” (Mark 12:17). Politics is an area where our attention and involvement need to be rendered. Jesus commissioned disciples to be salt and light in the world; to do good works in the world that would bring glory to God (Mat. 5:13-16). In every way and in every aspect of the world, including politics, we are to be salt and light. Salt purifies and affects flavor. Light exposes darkness. We are to bring purity to and change the flavor of politics as much as possible based on God’s word.

Putting our heads in the sand and wishing for bad things to go away is a defeatist mentality. Ignoring politics as inconsequential is not the product of a deeper or higher spirituality, it is superficial and not mindful that God throughout history works in and through government (cf. the book of Daniel). Such a mindset rather than being deeper and higher spiritually exposes a weak and ignorant faith. It is not being salt and light. It is not in tune with scripture. God has placed us here in history for such a time as this (e.g. Esther 4:14). God is His word says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). God has a plan for us, a work to do in this world. And yes, politics and government are areas where there is work for us to do. None of what is happening in the world today has caught God by surprise. He has a plan. We are part of that plan. Let us walk in it.

So what do we do? First we pray. Then we always proceed with God’s word as the lamp to our feet and light to our path (Ps. 119:105). We get informed scripturally and we get informed about what is going on in the world around us. We can’t expose “the unfruitful works of darkness” unless we know what they are (Eph. 5:11). We pray for the Spirit’s guidance, wait for His word, then follow His instruction. The language of the Spirit is the word of God; scripture. (The Spirit will never, no never direct us in a way that contradicts His holy word.) Then we act in good works in the power of the Spirit according to the Spirit’s leading.

In an effort to help you get informed about the state of affairs in our nation I want to encourage you to watch the following video of a message given recently by Charles Stanley. Turning the Tide lays out from a scripturally sound perspective what is going on in our nation. It explains the potential dangerous consequences of the road we are travelling on as a nation. Then there is a call for action. Watch this prayerfully and ask God what He would have you to do. This is our first step. God bless you and God bless and save America and America’s people.

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