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Summary: These are dangerous times, and there’s something that’s making it worse. It’s that People still believe in God, but they ignore Him and He is of no importance to them; He isn’t even part of their life. But how did we get to this point?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Series:"The Kingdom of Heaven”

Lesson #4: "Thy Kingdom Come"

Ezekiel 36:16-36 (NRSV)

Those that are citizens of the kingdom of God should honor God and give Him credit for all that we are and all that we have been given. Our Nation was originally founded upon the principles and teachings of Almighty God that’s found in the Holy Bible, but now it finds itself in desperate times. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just watch Good Morning America, the nightly news or some of the talk shows. These are dangerous times, and there’s something that’s making it worse. It’s that People still believe in God, but they ignore Him and He is of no importance to them; He isn’t even part of their life.

But how did we get to this point? We got here by emphasizing material things, and by deemphasizing spiritual things and by allowing a minority who hate God to have their way.

People didn’t stand-up for what they believed, and so the result was—In 1962 and in 1963 our Supreme Court ruled that prayer, Bible reading, and reciting the Lord's Prayer were in direct opposition to our constitution—now our school children can’t pray in their class room. Later, in 1973, there was the case of Roe vs. Wade, where the same court decided that life was neither valuable nor important, by ruling that a woman could choose to kill the life inside of her if she so desired. From here it was down hill.

Our nation now allows its filth to penetrate the entire world, through TV and the internet. When other nations see our movies and TV shows, no wonder they call us evil. It was a great deal like this in the days of Ezekiel. In today's text we discover some interesting, but sad events that deal with the nation of Israel. I’ll read our text now: Ezekiel 36:16-36.

16 Then this further message came to me from the Lord:

17 “Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by their evil deeds. To me their conduct was as filthy as a bloody rag.

18 They polluted the land with murder and by worshiping idols, so I poured out my fury on them.

19 I scattered them to many lands to punish them for the evil way they had lived.

20 But when they were scattered among the nations, they brought dishonor to my holy name. For the nations said, ‘These are the people of the Lord, and he couldn’t keep them safe in his own land!’

21 Then I was concerned for my holy name, which had been dishonored by my people throughout the world.

22 “Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: I am bringing you back again but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name, which you dishonored while you were scattered among the nations.

23 I will show how holy my great name is—the name you dishonored among the nations. And when I reveal my holiness through you before their very eyes, says the Sovereign Lord, then the nations will know that I am the Lord.

24 For I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again to your land.

25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols.

26 And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart.

27 And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command.

28 “And you will live in Israel, the land I gave your ancestors long ago. You will be my people, and I will be your God.

29 I will cleanse you of your filthy behavior. I will give you good crops, and I will abolish famine in the land.

30 I will give you great harvests from your fruit trees and fields, and never again will the surrounding nations be able to scoff at your land for its famines.

31 Then you will remember your past sins and hate yourselves for all the evil things you did.

32 But remember, says the Sovereign Lord, I am not doing this because you deserve it. O my people of Israel, you should be utterly ashamed of all you have done!

33 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When I cleanse you from your sins, I will bring people to live in your cities, and the ruins will be rebuilt.

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