Summary: Sermon that I preached at our Associational Pastor’s Conference.
Abortions are on the rise, Divorces are on the rise, perversity, such as adultery, homosexuality and pornography, is on the rise, but yet we look at the numbers over the last few years for the SBC and salvation and baptisms are down and it leaves us asking “What’s happening?” In fact, I read last week that 1 out of 4 people in the world today are Muslims. That figured out to be 1.5 billion people in this world are Muslims. Where have all the Christians gone? Christians make up 2.1 billion people in the world. Then you add the economic mess. This past year and a half our nation has found itself in an economic crisis, our nation is currently in such an economic mess that people are scared and worried. People are wondering if they will have a job or not, wondering where they will get the money to pay their bills, put food on the table and keep their heads afloat. In the comics several months ago there was a cartoon that had a son standing on his parent’s doorstep and the father says to him, “we can’t let you move back in with us because we’re moving back in with our parents.” You read or turn on the news and the news is doom and gloom and we are left asking, “Where did it all go wrong?”
Then on top of all this you add the stress of the healthcare reform. Whatever your stance is on it I’m ready for it to be over with because I’m sick of all the negativeness between both parties and let me add it’s both sides that are being negative, not just one. So pretty much these last few weeks I have found my self just shaking my head thinking how much longer until Jesus comes back to take us home? But the reality is we don’t know when Christ is coming back so we could be left here on this earth a little longer then what we expected. These things that we are going through could very well just be the beginning of birth pains, which means the worse is still yet to come. Taking all that into consideration, I was reading the Book of Daniel and as I read it the Lord impressed upon my heart some words of warning that we as individuals as well as our churches and our nation all need to hear. These words are found in Daniel 5:21b-28a.
We must remember these words that Daniel spoke to a godless king, Belshazzar, many centuries ago. He said: “The Most High God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and sets over them anyone he wishes.” Sometimes God will allow us to have what or who we want and let me just say that’s not always a good thing. “But you his son, O Belshazzar, have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this. Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways. Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription.” Daniel spoke these profound words just before he translated the writing on the wall and understand that when God gave this message through Daniel it was God’s message to Babylon, who happened to be the world’s super-power at that time. “This inscription that was written: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin. This is what these words mean: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Your kingdom is divided…” (Daniel 5:21b-28a).
The same can be said for our nation today. We’re the world’s strongest super-power, but we have not measured up to God’s standard of being a beacon of righteousness to the world. To say our nation is divided is an understatement. November 4 of last year showed a nation that was split, 52% of the nation for Obama and 48% of the nation for McCain. These numbers reflect a deeply divided nation.
That fact right there plus all these things I spoke of weigh heavy on all of our hearts and as I said earlier we are left with the question of where did it all go wrong? Could it be that where it went wrong was when we as a nation began to make the things of this world, like money, sex and power, our God. Church is it possible that we could see a repeat of what happened to Babylon, or Greece, or Media and Persia. Who are they you ask? They were all once super-powers who chose to do it there way rather than God’s way. They chose to follow the God’s of the world rather than God the Father and they paid the price. When will we learn? Now some of us will set there and say God won’t do that again because He’s a loving God. Yes, God is a loving God but he is also a Just God. Remember the Israelites, God’s chosen people, they chose to do it there way rather than God’s way and because of their choice there was a generation of Israelites that didn’t get to enjoy the wonderful gift of the promise land.