Summary: Message grounds Christians in biblical principles that can guide us during these turbulent times. How did we get to where we are at? What is behind the national shift in leadership and how do we respond to it? What can God's people expect in the days ahead?
This morning I am compelled to step out of our series on end times and address the crisis we are currently experiencing in America. This week the election results were certified by Congress. That happened in the midst of a chaotic assault on Capitol Hill that was tragic in its results. Where are we now? A party that supports abortion and same-sex marriage now has control of both houses in Congress and the Presidency. When confronted with the election dispute earlier, the Supreme Court side-stepped its responsibility and found a technical reason to not even hear the facts of the case.
So, our nation is deeply divided with a President about to take office with millions feeling he was not legitimately elected. Little superficial appeals of “Can’t we all just get along” fall way short of a meaningful resolution. As a nation we are in big trouble, and our international enemies know it. How will they respond to our current vulnerability? While we are occupied with internal conflict, what are they planning?
It is not a time for passivity. But as Christians we need wisdom from above on how to proceed from here.i The Devil is a sly fox. If he can’t trip us up in one way, he will try to do it in another way. The narrow path to follow has a ditch on each side. On one side is a response of passivity. We must persevere with our declaration of truth. The time is short, and the need is more urgent than ever. On the one hand the Devil would try to push some into passivity. But for some of us that is not going to work. By the grace of God, we will continue stand for principles from God’s word.. We are committed and we will not give up. But what does the other side of the ditch look like? The Devil would like to push others into the ditch of carnal activity—making a stand for the right thing, but going about it in the wrong way.
There are many voices out there on the internet. Sorting out who has the mind of Christ and who is speaking out of a carnal mind is not easy. The more emotional the issue, the more difficult it becomes to discern wise counsel.
I personally believe in prophetic utterance. On the Day of Pentecost Peter applied Joel’s word to the current age. He said, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:17-18). ii
However, the Bible has a lot to say about how to test and use New Testament prophecy. People need to be instructed in that, and I don’t have time to do that today. I will just say this and save the teaching for another time: Prophecy is a powerful spiritual tool. Like a well-sharpened chain saw it can cut through the matter quickly and powerfully. But anyone who has handled a chain saw also knows you can cut your leg off with it if you don’t use it carefully and wisely. Do not despise prophesying. But test it according to New Testament instruction.iii I will move on from that issue and hopefully deal with it more fully later.
In 2 Peter 1 that apostle shared a powerful spiritual experience he had on the Mount of Transfiguration. It was genuine, and it was full of revelation. But then he said this in verse 19: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed . . .” (KJV). He proceeds from there to talk about the inspiration of Scripture. In a turbulent environment we need to make sure we stay anchored in the word of God. We need to make sure we are guided by principles from Scripture.
That’s why I want to share with four principles from the Bible that must guide our decisions and actions as we move forward from where we are now. We will only have time for the first two today. So we will cover the other two next week. The first principle we must stand on is this:
I. GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF HIS PEOPLE no matter what happens.
Turn with me to Isaiah 3 and consider the promise God made to His people in verses 10-11:
“Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, For they shall eat the fruit of their doings. 11 Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, For the reward of his hands shall be given him.”