Bill Clinton’s America – what will it be like? An America of flaunted homosexuality and AIDS running rampant as sodomy is forced upon the general population? An America of more abortion on demand paid for by tax dollars as the work of over twenty years begins to be rolled back by laws that grant murderers government protection? An America of government protected perversion as a promiscuous sexual agenda and atheistic education is forced upon the general population with “all stops pulled out,” as the government empowered NEA “protects” the school children from “religion” while it promotes an agenda that encourages the occult and deviant lifestyles?
An America that continues to convulse in the throes of the porno-plague as we are bombarded on prime time television and in movies, magazines and advertisements leaving unwanted pregnancy, broken hearts, ruined marriages, wrecked lives and emotionally damaged children in its wake? An America full of violence and cities full of rioting and crime, as a population rages with no idea of moral absolutes as each person full of coveting, greed and lust seeks to do what is right in his own eyes?
As the pot of moral decadence is being moved off the back burner and is now being brought to full boil, a “blitzkrieg” of the most liberal social agenda may soon be unleashed upon America. Clinton stands poised with the most liberal congress of the decade. If he lives up to his promises to the ultra-left, Bill Clinton’s America may be the most radical and perhaps the final departure from America’s traditional moral values and the love of God and country that have made America great. And to top it all off, 45% of the evangelicals voted Clinton into office, as so called “economic” reasons took priority over issues of moral goodness and upright character.
It seems as though money was more important than the biblical injunction (Deut. 28) that the curse of God will descend upon a nation whose leader has pledged to aid and protect sodomy and to strengthen the hands of abortionists. It is reminiscent of a group of sleeping disciples on the Judean hillside. While Christ in agony of prayer was shedding great drops of blood in Gethsemane, the Son of man was betrayed by another disciple into the hands of sinners for thirty pieces of silver. It appears that the lukewarm Church which is thoroughly asleep has now entrusted the cause of Christ and the stewardship of this nation into the hands of sinners for a promise of economic security.
Ultimately, it is God who sets up one ruler and puts down another. But many times throughout history, as a act of judgment, God has given nations over to the desires of their heart. Never forget Israel’s demand for a king. It was not God’s will or desire for Israel to have a king, but Israel demanded it and God gave Israel what they wanted. The saddest part of it all is that Bill Clinton and the liberal Congress and all that they stand for is no more than a magnified reflection of the sins of God’s people.
The Nation Reflects the Sin in the Church
The hedonistic, pleasure seeking nation of Israel could never find time to seek after God. They lived to please themselves and entertained themselves with the sensual “pictures of desire.” God gave Ezekiel a vision of the secret sin of Israel. As he dug underneath the temple wall and looked inside, God showed him that in the chambers of their minds Israel was worshiping and giving themselves to abominable things. Nothing is so destructive to the Church today than the violence and sexual images and profanity that are allowed to enter into the heart and mind through television and movies. Nothing so dulls spiritual sensitivity and grieves the Holy Spirit of God. And we must never forget that He is the “Holy” Spirit.
Time is found for ballgames, movies, parties, magazines, newspapers, vacations, but no time can be found to pray, to study God’s Word, to disciple our children, to witness for the Lord. As a result there is no fear of God in the Church. Correspondingly there is no fear of God in the nation. Sin is being openly tolerated and practiced by Christians with no sense of remorse. The Church is filled with division, hatred, bitterness, anger, a lack of love, pornography, divorce, worldliness, fornication, selfish living, selfish ambition, self-promotion, self-will, disrespect for authority and disobedience to God. Through this repeated disobedience the Church’s conscience has been seared.
The Church has substituted playing for praying, feasting for fasting, religion for righteousness, organizing for agonizing and compatibility for confrontation. She has allowed Church attendance to be a substitute for developing an intimate relationship with God. Through Israel’s disobedience to God, they seared their conscience and developed a twisted idea of right and wrong. They were no longer able to discern between good and evil (i.e. the election of Bill Clinton and the liberal Congress).
When Alexis DeToqueville, French historian, came to America he said that he searched everywhere for what it was that made America so great. He looked everywhere but did not find it until he went into America’s churches and there he saw that the pulpits of America where aflame with righteousness. He drew this conclusion; “America is great because America is good. And if America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
There is something wrong with America. It is a disease of heart and soul. And it is a disease that can be traced back to the empty prayer rooms, to preachers that no longer call for men and women to forsake sin, embrace holiness, and to follow a crucified and a risen Savior. God’s people have let lust, over-eating, and all the many cares of daily life keep them from seeking God and His ways and His kingdom above all else.
Why is repentance not preached? Repentance is the central theme of the entire New Testament. Jesus said that the Pharisees failed to recognize Him because they had refused John’s baptism which was a baptism of repentance. Jesus first public words were: “Repent and believe the gospel.” Jesus last instructions to his disciples before he ascended into heaven were that “repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations.”
Repentance is taught in the New Testament to be necessary for conversion as well as a continuing state of mind for the redeemed. A repentant attitude means a persistent desire to turn away from our own nature and seek God’s nature. Without this attitude Christian growth and fellowship with God are impossible. Oddly enough, the appeal of much of modern evangelism seems to be not a call for repentance, but an appeal for enlistment. Simply put: repentance is little called for in the Church because people are unwilling to accept the reality of personal sin and therefore unwilling to accept the need for repentance. Our culture has written sin out of existence and unfortunately this reflects the fact that Christians have also.
Disappearing From View?
And what will be our fate? Will the last remembrances of a Christian consciousness fade completely from view as a vast, sailing vessel with its white, billowing sails begins to sink below the horizon until it is completely lost from sight? Will our fate be the same as the fate of other nations which after it has drunken the dregs of total moral depravity, fell in utter ruin upon the ash heap of human history? Or is there hope from something else?
The burden of the Spirit of God is very similar to what it was in the day of Jeremiah when he said: “Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine has overcome, because of the Lord and because of the words of his holiness. For the land is full of adulteries; for because of swearing the land mourns; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right. For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the Lord. For I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the Lord. And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal and caused my people to err. I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem a horrible thing. They commit adultery and walk in lies. They strengthen the hand of evil doers, that no one returns from his wickedness. They are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants as Gomorrah.”
Jeremiah goes on to prophesy: “Therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood and make them drink the water of gall. For from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land. Thus says the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you. They make you vain. They speak a vision of their own heart and not out of the mouth of the Lord. They say to them that despise me, The Lord has said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto everyone that walks after the imagination of his own heart, no evil shall come upon you. For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord. Who has perceived and heard his word? Who has marked his word, and heard it? Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he has executed and until he has performed the thoughts of his heart.
“I have not sent these prophets yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord and like a hammer that shatters the rock? Therefore I am against the prophets that steal my words every one from his neighbor. Behold I am against them that prophesy false dreams saith the Lord and do tell them and cause my people to err by their lies and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all saith the Lord” (Portions of Jeremiah 23).
What is the Answer?
Surely the answer to this dilemma is clear. It is found in a message given by the Lord to Solomon thousands of years ago: “If my people, who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14). Israel learned again and again that it was only by repentance and submission to the God of their fathers that they could survive and prosper.
It is God’s desire to bring our nation to repentance through the Church. The disciples realized that the only way the great work of the Holy Spirit could be done was as the Spirit of God had a dwelling place in them. Jesus had told them, “If I depart I will send the Comforter unto you. and when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin” (John 16:7,8). They were to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and with fire. The whole purpose that Christ came into this world and that the Holy Spirit was given was so that sin might be destroyed and men might be reconciled to God. The mighty convicting power of the Holy Spirit was to dwell within them and work through them to carry on Christ’s work.
This same Spirit of Jesus sent down upon His Church would pursue Christ’s divine work, as a light that would shine and reveal and condemn sin and conquer darkness by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning. But the only way the Spirit of God can reach others through the Church is by first bringing us into perfect sympathy with God. It is only as the Spirit of God keeps alive in us the tender sense of the danger and shame of sinning again that we will be kept in a humble place before God, trusting in Jesus’ power and redeeming blood.
As the Holy Spirit reveals the holy life of Christ within the heart, the result will be a deeper sense of the sinfulness of sin. We will begin to see sin as He sees sin. It is this alone that will reach the conscience of man and carry with it the conviction of sin with power that is from above that will bring true repentance. This inner agreement with the Spirit of God and this sensitivity to sin is very important. It is easy in the power of the flesh to judge others without seeing the “beam” in our own eye. We can develop a “holier than thou attitude” and testify in a wrong spirit and we can work in our own strength. We can see the sin in others and speak out against it, but it will not be in a conviction that comes from the Holy Spirit.
The Church may have judged sin in our nation, but have we judged sin in our personal lives. Where are the men who can say with David: “I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes”? Where are those who can say with Job: “I have made a covenant with my eyes not to gaze upon a maid (to lust after her)”?
Where are those who have taken the admonition of Jesus seriously? He taught: “You have heard it said by them of old time, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery,’ but I say to you, that whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if your right eye offends you pluck it out and cast it from you for it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”
The Church has been guilty of tolerating in their homes and lives that which is not holy, pure, and undefiled. Although there has been a lot of outcry against sin, little conviction or repentance comes from it. When the Spirit of God convinces us of the sin of the world and we see sin as He does, it will bear two marks:
The first will be the sacrifice of self, the jealousy for God and His honor, combined with the deep and tender grief for the guilty.
The second will be the deep, strong faith in the possibility and the power of deliverance for the lost and the fallen. We will see sin in the light of the cross with its ugly guilt against God and its fearful power over the soul. We will see sin condemned, atoned and conquered in Jesus. We will, like God, be able to hate sin with a perfect hatred and yet love the person with a love that gives power to set captives free. We will see sin for what it is, unbelief and a rejection of Christ.
To have this convicting power in our lives, we must surrender our whole life to the Spirit of God and pray for the revelation that Christ had when He gave His life to have sin destroyed. It is in total abandonment to the Lord that it is possible to reach a total victory in subduing fleshly desires. The one who is utterly in love with the Lord will not even desire the things that might offend Him. We must turn our soul within with all its energies there to possess a very present God. Focus the main concern of your life on the Presence of Jesus Christ. Dwell upon God continually in your thoughts and God will cause you to experience a natural subduing of the flesh!
The Christian who has abandoned himself to the Lord and who seeks to worship Him and behold Christ’s beauty and glory through intimate fellowship will soon discover that he has laid hold of a God who will not rest until He has subdued everything that is offensive and out of harmony with His Spirit. We must cultivate the thought that a Holy God dwells within and let this thought quiet our min. We must begin to love and adore Him in humble fear and worship. We must surrender the great enemy that opposes God in our life – self – not just once, but day by day to Him. Soon our thoughts and feelings will be those of the Holy Spirit breathing in us.
Andrew Murray explains, “You will have a deep horror of sin and a deep faith in redemption from it. Your deep love for the souls who are living in sin, your willingness to die if men can be freed from it, will make you a fit instrument for the Spirit. If you sympathize thoroughly with Christ in this, if He sees that He can use you for this, He will dwell in you richly and work in you mightily. The one reason Christ came to die was to put away sin. The one work for which the Holy Spirit comes to men is to persuade them to give up sin. The one purpose for which the believer lives is to join in the battle against sin, to seek the will and the honor of his God. The very presence of Christ in us through the Spirit will carry its own conviction.”
Copyright © Bob and Rose Weiner 2007, All Rights Reserved