Summary: It is not a question of prophets in the land today, it is just which should we listen to.
Habakkuk Chapter 2 (READ 2:1-3)
In 1930 a member of the British Parliament wrote a book called "The Gathering Storm" In the book he told of gathering storm clouds that were coming and would change the face of Europe. He was scorned and laughed at. Winston Churchill who wrote that book was running to be Prime Minister and they turned from him and went with Neville Chamberlain. This man made a practice of compromise and appeasement and with the gathering storm clouds, he made a pact with Adolph Hitler. Until 1938 Europe was involved in confrontation and nobody wanted to talk about it much less listen to the voice of Churchill.
In the late 20’s and early 30’s a young military officer by the name of Billy Michael’s prophesied there would be a naval strike on the base in Hawaii. He said it would be by air, and they laughed at him. He continued to tell the people of this impending disaster until he was called to Washington for a general court-martial. He had told them the attack would come from Japan and when they asked how airplanes could get from Japan to Hawaii he said the day was soon ahead when they would be launched from the deck of ships. They court-martialed him.
Church we need to understand tonight we live in a time today where the issue is not whether or not there are prophets in the land, there are both worldly and spiritually prophets who see through the clouds. The problem is where are those who will listen to the prophets.
Habakkuk said I will keep watch and see what God wants to speak to me. I do not believe that Americans believe there will be a day of accounting, a day of reckoning coming to this nation. I have watched at the end of this past week, the allegations coming out of Washington concerning the President of the United States. I have listened to the people on the street who are ambivalent toward another potential scandal, who act as if anyone can conduct themselves in such a manner and have no judgment come upon them. Church, the storm clouds are gathering. There is a day on the not so distant horizon where America is going to have to answer for her corporate sin, and the sin of its individual members.
America has unfortunately learned how to cop a plea. The Unabomber pleads guilty to avoid the death sentence, a sentence his victims were unable to avoid. Criminals daily work to plea bargain for reduced sentences, and somehow we must think we can plea bargain with God. If a commit a sin, I can plea bargain, if I cannot plea bargain, I can get a parole, if I cannot get a parole, then I can get a governors pardon, if not a governor’s pardon, then a presidential pardon. There is a belief in our society that somehow I will be able to do something to escape the judgment, to walk away from the reckoning. The Bible tells us that when justice is not administered speedily, it encourages men to do evil.
And the church, to some degree, because of time, because it has been 2,000 years since Jesus walked this earth, it has lost the foresight to look forward to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, when the heavens will open and the trumpet will sound and He will come back again. We have lost confidence that Jesus is coming again to judge both the living and the dead. The church has lost confidence that the wages of sin is death. We have lost the belief to be sure that your sins will find you out. But I want you to know that they are going to find you out. Habakkuk says in vs. 3, 4 (READ).
The proud soul will not listen to anybody. It doesn’t listen to the law. It doesn’t listen to its boss. It does not listen to authority. The proud soul shows no respect to the office of the pastor, it does what is right it its own eyes. And that is what the devil wants the proud soul to do. The devil has no plan for your life, only God does. The devil hates God with a passion because God held him accountable, and satan is trying to get back at God by getting back through God’s children.
So here is this man who is proud and doesn’t answer to anybody, who doesn’t pay heed to the coming clouds that are gathering, clouds of judgment.
The Lord’s delay in bringing this judgment is positive proof of the love of God. His desire is that not one should parish but that all would come to the saving knowledge of Jesus as Lord and Savior. God is waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Out of divine love.