Summary: In light of the challenges facing the world today, what is the Chrsitian to do? How can we be certain things will be well for us in the trying times of today?
HOW DO WE EBB THE FLOW?
Text: Revelation 2:2-7
Scripture Reading: Revelation 2:2-7
1. The Old Testament is full of warnings about corrupt governments and the potential danger for God's people
a. Rom. 13:1 "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God."
b. God is in control of governments, they are under His rule
2. What is taking place in our country has been compared to a tsunami in effect, tough times are upon us and we are struggling as a nation
3. How can we ebb the flow of this tsunami? Who do we stop the effects of a tidal wave of economic and moral crises?
4. I have a fool-proof answer that will help each of us, I do not know what God will decide about the nation, but we can assure ourselves of success if we do three simple things:
a. Relearn work ethic
b. Reduce greed
c. Remember God
5. This simple model will help you no matter what might come our way
TRANSITION: First of all we must:
I. Relearn our work ethic
A. We knew how to work before
1. Great forests became log homes, mercantile stores, cities, towns, and farms
2. Meals were killed, cleaned, and cooked each and every day
a. And families ate at the table together
b. It was not a fast-food and convenience society when our predecessors came over to build this country
c. Families worked together
3. The nations was forged out of the wilderness without cordless drills, table saws, pneumatic hammers ant the like
4. Blood, sweat, and tears shed daily as families started a new nation here
B. Such was the case when Israel came out of bondage
1. The people worked with a tool in one hand and a sword in the other
2. For the nation to be rebuilt the people "had a mind to work" (Nehemiah 4:6)
3. God has never excused His people from hard work
C. I am afraid we are getting "At ease in Zion"
1. Amos 6:1, "Woe to you who are at ease in Zion, and trust in Mount Samaria, Notable persons in the chief nation, to whom the house of Israel comes!"
2. Like the cows of Bashan in Amos 4
a. They wanted to survive
b. But they did not want to work
c. They wanted to live off the sweat and labor of others
3. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 God answers this mentality, "Even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat"
a. Adam was told he would eat by the sweat of his brow
b. God never removed that criterion from us
D. Consider the virtuous woman
1. She rises early to feed her family
2. She works hard all day long, clothing her family
3. Because it is her responsibility so she works to get the job done
4. No matter the country of government, God's people must be hard working
TRANSITION: We work hard to get what we have so we better:
II. Reduce greed
A. Greed is a killer
1. Proverbs 1:19, "So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its owners"
2. Proverbs 15:27, "He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house"
a. You do not move in a positive direction by being greedy
b. You make trouble and work yourself to death to gain things that you leave behind when you die
c. And you sacrifice things you need to get you into heaven
3. 1 Timothy 3:10-11, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness"
B. You are not entitled; you are obligated
1. Obligated to love the Lord and His people (Luke 10:27)
2. Obligated to obey God (John 3:36)
3. You owe God more than you can ever repay so do not go forward with an empty handout to receive but a full hand out to give
4. Ask not what God can do for you, but ask what you can do for your God
5. Wherever you live and whatever you do, remove greed from your life and learn that you must be giving not receiving in order to please God
TRANSITION: Finally, to ebb the flow we must:
III. Remember God
A. God was at the center of establishing the US, like it or not
1. The Campbells, John Smith, Tolbert Fanning, all these men could study freely and find the truth because of the laws this government set in place