Summary: It's time to stand! Message on the Ten Commandments
It's Time To Stand
Earlier this week, I was kind of stuck in a rut. I am sure that many of you have had that happen to you, and it happens to pastors as well. In short, I felt somewhat "stuck in neutral". The game plan, after a sabbatical of sorts from preaching in Revelation was to return to Chapter 12 of that book; in fact, I had already laid some of the groundwork to do just that.
As one should do anytime that they are down, "stuck in neutral" or just a bit confused about direction, I went to the Lord and sought His direction. Well, I have to say that ever since that morning in prayer, God has clearly shown me a path to take for the next few weeks. As much as I would like to return to Revelation, it is not the time. In fact, this message comes at a time unseen prior and unforeseen by most people in our country.
If we have not lost our country already, we are losing it rapidly. I am concerned about many different issues in our country, but what nearly every one comes down to is this: we have, by and large, abandoned God. We are reaping what we have sown, and the seeds that have grown into weeds that are stifling our country were planted decades ago.
Is this type of thing new? Not at all. Throughout the Old Testament, you can see the cycling up and down of the relationship of Israel with God: God would bless Israel, Israel would become fat and happy, complacent and fall into debauched living and idol worship. God would then bring judgment upon the nation, the people would cry out to God for vengeance against their enemies and prostrate themselves before God. Then, God would bless Israel, they would become fat and happy, complacent and fall into debauched living and idol worship and the cycle would go on and on. Finally, God sent Babylon after Israel, Israel was taken captive and in multiple invasions was transported to Babylon, Jerusalem and the Temple destroyed and laid waste. From that point onward in time, Israel had been under the control (with a few exceptions) and was scattered to the wind and across the world until 1948 when Israel was regathered.
It is said history is bound to repeat itself. This is so true; time and time again countries rise and countries fall. In fact, our country, two hundred forty six years old, is among a handful of countries with such longevity. Why? Because our country was founded as a Christian nation.
I feel led--no compelled--to preach this series of messages that will answer key questions: Was our country founded as a Christian country--or not? Should we, as Christians, "mix politics and 'religion'"? Should we disagree with our governmental leaders? What about topics such as abortion, legalization of drugs (marijuana), gay marriage and gambling? Buckle up-it's gonna be a bumpy ride.
The Ten Commandments And America
For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 1 Peter 4:17
I think that before we get into the topic of America's Christian heritage (a deep subject worthy of at least one week or more of devotionals) we need to look at a basic subject: The Ten Commandments and America.
I start with this subject because, if you give this some thought, a proper moral compass has it's foundation in the Law. In the last week, there was a big kerfuffle in Fayette County concerning the covering and eventual removal of a monument listing the Ten Commandments. This monument, in front of a junior high school in Connellsville, was covered over by plywood along with the removal announcement in response to a the threat of a lawsuit from a law firm in Pittsburgh. The plaque has been in place for 55 years, and due to the outrage of people in the area, the school board has reversed it's decision and is keeping the monument for now and await a lawsuit. I applaud their decision.
I saw a picture of the covered Ten Commandments monument on Facebook, and made a comment concerning that monument. There was, of course, a firestorm of comments that followed both those for and against the monument. There were, however, one continual comment that flowed through that Facebook thread in favor of keeping the monument in place that is both puzzling and troubling at the same time: "If you don't like the Ten Commandments, just ignore them". Actually, I think that is a large part of the problem; Christians ignore the Ten Commandments!
I heard this question asked a few years back, asked by Ray Comfort, to teens at a local mall, and I ask you the same question: how many of the Ten Commandments can you name? While it was a bit humorous in a sense, it was also quite sad as most of the teens could name one or two at the most. However, when asked to name ten brands of beer, almost every teen complied without a hitch.