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Summary: Here is the first parable in the Bible, and it is about America in these last days just as it was about Israel in those days. 3 steps in the decline of a nation. Link inc. to formatted text, audio/video, PowerPoint.

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Parable of the Trees

Judges 9:8-15

http://gbcdecatur.org/sermons/ParableTrees.html

Here is the first parable in the Bible, and it is about America in these last days. This passage shows us 3 steps in the decline of a nation.

1. The apostasy of an unthankful people.

God had given Gideon a great victory w/ just 300 men, trumpets and torches and clay pitchers. You'd think Israel would be so grateful that they would never again turn against God.

Judges 8:33

33 And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god.

The latter is a god of fertility--they were worshipping sex. Like we do in America today.

Judges 8:34

34 And the children of Israel remembered not the Lord their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side:

What a sad verse. And it is as much about America as about Israel.

God literally GAVE America the victory in the Revolutionary War, as well as in WWII. There's so much that almost went wrong. You don't know how close we came to speaking German! Or being reclaimed by England.

And how do we thank God? By kicking Him out of virtually all public forums.

ill.--5 years after establishing the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1647 the Puritans started the first public school system in America. They had 3 requirements:

• One qualified teacher for every 50 households.

• One school in every town of more than 100 families.

• The Bible must be used as the center of the curriculum.

That was the first public school system supported by tax dollars in America. They asserted, "It being one chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures..."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts_School_Laws

88 of the first 100 colleges organized in America were founded in order to promote the gospel of Jesus Christ. And all but 1 prior to the Revolutionary War was established by the church. Places like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and many others were founded primarily to train ministers and to evangelize the eastern seaboard.

The first building ever erected on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania was put there to accommodate the crowds coming to the hear the preaching of Evangelist George Whitfield. His statue stands outside of it today.

We have a Godly Christian heritage and I could go on and on with story after story, but the main point is that we see that we have reacted just like Israel did...God has given us victory and been on our side but we turn on Him. We are blatantly immoral and apostate.

No wonder the apostasy permeates our government...because it permeates virtually every mainline denomination today!

Example: The Re-imagining God conference of 1993.

In Minneapolis-St. Paul 2,200 people from 49 states, representing most mainline denominations got together. 1/3rd of the attendees were clergy.

[remember, we're talking about apostasy, like when Israel would turn from God to other gods.]

Here's how Christianity Today reported it,

"The central task of conference participants was to re imagine God. There was little room for the triune God of Christianity. One pastor drew whoops and applause when she noted that 'we have done nothing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.' Another scoffed at the idea of Christ's atonement saying, 'I don't think we need folks hanging on crosses and blood dripping and weird stuff like that.' 'We just need to listen to the god within us.'"

The deity of the conference was 'Sophia'. She is the suppressed part of the Biblical tradition and the female face of the human psyche. They prayed to her, naming her as our maker, creator god, mother, and guide.

They talked about how Sophia is god in all of us, deep in our hearts. The Christianity Today article then said, "Whether they realized it or not, the conference participants were worshiping themselves."

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1994/november14/4td38a.html

These people may have been on the fringe of their denominations, but it points out very clearly the major doctrinal apostasy going on in America today which never would have been tolerated in early Christian America. Sure, you can have a cult and go your own way religiously, but not if you distort and twist the truth of our God!

Judges 8:33 is about America. We have gone from Theology to Me-ology, man centered religion.

The goal of modern religion is to feel good about yourself. We've moved from convictions to opinions.

It was once said, "America is great because America is Godly...and when America ceases to be Godly, she will cease to be great!"

To whom much is given, much is required. No nation has been given a Godly start like America, and so God holds us to a higher standard.

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Gene Beezer

commented on May 30, 2010

Jerry, This was a tremendous sermon. I was so moved by it that I shared much of it with my congregation this Memorial Day night. I am not in the habit of sharing the messages of others, but this was too good not to be shared, I acknowledged that much of my message was the result of your sermon Thank you!

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