Parable of the Trees
Sermon shared by Jerry Shirley
Summary: Here is the first parable in the Bible, and it is about America in these last days just as it was about Israel in those days. 3 steps in the decline of a nation. Link inc. to formatted text, audio/video, PowerPoint.
Audience: General adults
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Parable of the Trees
Here is the first parable in the Bible, and it is about America in these last days. This passage shows us 3 steps in the decline of a nation.
1. The apostasy of an unthankful people.
God had given Gideon a great victory w/ just 300 men, trumpets and torches and clay pitchers. You'd think Israel would be so grateful that they would never again turn against God.
33 And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god.
The latter is a god of fertility--they were worshipping sex. Like we do in America today.
34 And the children of Israel remembered not the Lord their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side:
What a sad verse. And it is as much about America as about Israel.
God literally GAVE America the victory in the Revolutionary War, as well as in WWII. There's so much that almost went wrong. You don't know how close we came to speaking German! Or being reclaimed by England.
And how do we thank God? By kicking Him out of virtually all public forums.
ill.--5 years after establishing the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1647 the Puritans started the first public school system in America. They had 3 requirements:
• One qualified teacher for every 50 households.
• One school in every town of more than 100 families.
• The Bible must be used as the center of the curriculum.
That was the first public school system supported by tax dollars in America. They asserted, "It being one chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures..."
88 of the first 100 colleges organized in America were founded in order to promote the gospel of Jesus Christ. And all but 1 prior to the Revolutionary War was established by the church. Places like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and many others were founded primarily to train ministers and to evangelize the eastern seaboard.
The first building ever erected on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania was put there to accommodate the crowds coming to the hear the preaching of Evangelist George Whitfield. His statue stands outside of it today.
We have a Godly Christian heritage and I could go on and on with story after story, but the main point is that we see that we have reacted just like Israel did...God has given us victory and been on our side but we turn on Him. We are blatantly immoral and apostate.
No wonder the apostasy permeates our government...because it permeates virtually every mainline denomination today!
Example: The Re-imagining God conference of 1993.
In Minneapolis-St. Paul 2,200 people from 49 states, representing most mainline denominations got together. 1/3rd of the attendees were clergy.
[remember, we're talking about apostasy, like when Israel would turn from God to other gods.]
Here's how Christianity Today reported it,
"The central task of conference participants was to re imagine God. There was little room for the triune God of Christianity. One pastor drew whoops and applause when she noted that 'we have done nothing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.' Another
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