Sunday, November 8, 2009

Decline of a Nation

We have talked lately about what the Bible calls "the days of Noah", and the fact that Jesus himself said that the world would be in a similar situation as it approaches the time of His second coming. My thoughts this week surrounded the similarities between what we see happening in our nation right now, and what Noah, and the prophets Ezekiel and Jeremiah saw happening in their day. What's more, I also considered the strong possibility that we as believers share the same responsibilities as those individuals had in speaking out about what they saw.

I'm sure most of us are familiar with the following passage.

Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. [For the Son of man is] as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. Mark 13:33-37 KJV

Did you notice how many times we are told to watch? Did you also notice the last verse says we ALL are being commanded to watch? I get the idea this is a rather important point Jesus is trying to make. So why is watching such an important responsibility? Consider the following passage from the Old Testament concerning watchmen and what was expected from them.

Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take [any] person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. Ezekiel 33:2-6 KJV

It was the last verse in that passage that got my attention. If a person is appointed to be a watchman, and does not fulfill his responsibility to warn of what he sees, he will be held accountable for those who perish because of his failure. Talk about responsibility. I have no doubt that watchmen in the Old Testament took their job very, very seriously. So here is my question to you; since we are commanded to watch, have we as believers been appointed "watchmen" with the same responsibilities as those in the past? Are we required by God to not only watch, but to warn of what we see?

The state of our country has been the subject of much talk in the last year or so, what with the "changes" being instituted by the leaders in our government. Many have made no secret of the fact they believe the moral compass of our nation is seriously malfunctioning, and the direction we are going is quite the opposite of what it should be. Many have asked what we should do as believers when confronted by what we see happening in our nation today? I believe the answer is as clear as it was to Noah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and all the others appointed as watchmen. We need to stand up and be counted as opposing the direction our country is headed, and especially be clear as to why. Times like these are an opportunity to share the love of God with those around us, and to explain His laws and expectations concerning our behavior. The Bible is very clear that any nation that turns it's back on God will be judged. No question.

Look at what God had to say about Israel in Jeremiah's day.

And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands. Jeremiah 1:16 KJV

Do you see any similarities between our country and what was happening at the time of Noah? Are we as a nation turning from God and worshiping what we have created with our own hands as they did in Jeremiahs' day? Are the decisions made concerning social issues based on God's laws, or popular feeling? Is our country headed for judgement? If we continue on the course we are on, I have no doubt. Will it be hard to stand and be counted? Absolutely. However look at what God told Jeremiah when he was commissioned to serve.

Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them. For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I [am] with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee. Jeremiah 1:17-19 KJV

Are we living in the last days? Personally I am surprised we are still here given what I can see with my own two eyes. America is fast approaching the time of judgement, and as Jesus said, "no man knows the day or the hour". Do you want to be surprised at His coming, and realize you failed in your responsibilities as a watchman? I don't. May you find strength to watch and warn others of what you see by the power of God's promises to us.

Keep watching.