Sermons

Summary: The one who follows the Master must focus on Him and His will, proving to be righteous rather than responding to the disintegration of society as do the wicked.

“In the LORD I take refuge;

how can you say to my soul,

‘Flee like a bird to your mountain,

for behold, the wicked bend the bow;

they have fitted their arrow to the string

to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;

if the foundations are destroyed,

what can the righteous do?

“The LORD is in his holy temple;

the LORD’s throne is in heaven;

his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.

The LORD tests the righteous,

but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.

Let him rain coals on the wicked;

fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.

For the LORD is righteous;

he loves righteous deeds;

the upright shall behold his face.” [1]

Four years ago, it was difficult to imagine that we would actually witness biblical prophecy being fulfilled in our lifetime. I am not as blasé as I might have been at one time. Ezekiel speaks of an invasion of Israel; the invasion will be led by an individual identified as “Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.” This vast horde includes armies from Iran, Ethiopia and Libya, but they will be led by Russia [see EZEKIEL 38:1-39:24]. The prophecy of this weird and wonderful man of God appears to be taking shape before our eyes. Each day brings new evidence of a startling, stunning transformation in world affairs.

In 2009 the world was transformed, though few realised at that time either the transformation taking place or the magnitude of that change. In January, 2009, an American President who had promised fundamentally to transform America assumed the leadership of what was unquestionably the most powerful nation in the world. That man was said to be the leader of the Free World. Convinced that America needed to be humbled before her enemies, he operated according to a philosophy dedicated to diminishing American power and influence in the world. He has exceeded in his efforts beyond the wildest expectations even of his minions.

On September 30, 2015, a Russian three-star general entered the embassy of the United States of America in Baghdad to deliver a démarche to the American military attaché demanding that American armed forces stay out of Syria because Russian warplanes would be bombing enemies of the Assad regime beginning in one hour. This followed on the heels of a Chinese general warning the United States to stay out of the South China Sea. In less than seven years, American influence had been eroded to the point that they can only bluster and protest pitifully.

With the election of a Prime Minister who appears to be more “even-handed” toward Palestinians and Arabs, Israel is being deserted by erstwhile allies—increasingly the tiny nation stands alone. While Palestinians run amok, stabbing and hacking innocent people, world leaders urge Israel to avoid aggravating Muslims—they would surely commit a crime against Muslim terrorists if they attempt to protect their own people.

The Arab world surrounds the tiny nation that now stands isolated and defiant against the darkening clouds of threatened annihilation. Russia has formed alliances with Iran, Iraq, Syria and soon will have alliances with other nations who realise that they will be deserted and left standing in grave danger if they continue to rely on the United States as their national defender. Eager to gain momentary advantage with the new Axis alliance, the European nations are seizing the moment to exert their own independence from the United States.

Candidly, I could never have imagined that when prophecy began to be fulfilled the end would come so precipitously. Events are moving swiftly and ominously toward a cataclysmic, crashing conclusion that was prophesied long years ago. However, events will not conclude as the world imagines—that, also, has been prophesied long years ago.

The question is raised, how shall the child of God respond to the changes spinning about us? What steps should the believer take as the world sets itself against God and against His chosen people? Those saints who dare stand with Israel can anticipate opposition—demonic minions do not appreciate anyone standing athwart their supposed dash to creating the world as they imagine it should be. What shall the people of God do? That is our study this day.

THE GODLESS RESPONSE TO DIFFICULT TIMES —

“In the LORD I take refuge;

how can you say to my soul,

‘Flee like a bird to your mountain,

for behold, the wicked bend the bow;

they have fitted their arrow to the string

to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;

if the foundations are destroyed,

what can the righteous do?”

These are godless times; wickedness appears to be in ascendance. The righteous are told, “Worship as you wish; but keep your religion to yourself.” What is done in a church building is of no particular interest to the power brokers of our world, so long as we who believe do not permit what we believe to dictate how we shall live.

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