Summary: The line has been drawn, & the battle is on. But do we realize it? Are we people who understand the times & know what should be done? You see, there are four areas in which this battle is being fought. (Powerpoint Available - #189)
MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Updated & Revised: 2015)
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A. Do you know what the word "chronicle" means? It means an "account," a "record," a "history," a "story of" whatever is being written about. And that is what the O.T. books of 1 & 2 Chronicles are an account of some of the events that took place in the history of the kings of Israel.
The first king of Israel was Saul, who disobeyed God & whose reign ended tragically. The second king was David, the one who killed Goliath, author of many of the Psalms, the one who ushered in the golden years of Israel.
Well, in the 12th chapter of 1 Chronicles, there is a list of the 12 tribes of Israel who came to ally themselves with David, to make him their King. Listen to what it says about some of them:
1 Chronicles 12:30, "...men of Ephraim, brave warriors, famous in their own clans..." Vs. 33, "...men of Zebulun, experienced soldiers prepared for battle with every type of weapon..."
Notice in particular vs. 32, "...men of Issachar, who understood the times & knew what Israel should do."
Those are important words because they tell us that these men from Issachar realized that changes were taking place in their nation & they needed to respond to those changes. Not only that, but they were the kind of men who could make the right decisions.
ILL. A few years ago, Judge Robert Bork, who had been nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court by Pres. Reagan, was being interviewed on "Face the Nation." The interviewer, after mentioning a number of depressing current events, threw up his hands in mock despair & said, "I don't understand what is going on, do you?"
Judge Bork responded, "Yes, we are on the edge of the decline of Western civilization."
Well, he may have been right. At the very least, this is a time of great changes & social upheaval, & we, as Christians, need to understand what's happening.
B. We're living in a time of spiritual warfare. The line has been drawn. On one side is the Judeo Christian view of life & family & society. On the other is Humanism. And the two views are in direct conflict with each other.
Basically, Humanism opposes the values & teachings of Christianity, & proclaims that once man throws off Christian beliefs of right & wrong, we would be a society where the will of man, not God, would be supreme.
No matter how it is presented, the conflict between good & evil is real. And still "the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8)
The apostle Paul puts it this way in Ephesians 6:11, "...our struggle is not against flesh & blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world & against the spiritual forces of evil..."
ILL. Did you see these headlines this week? I did.
COURT-MARTIAL AIR FORCE GENERAL FOR TALKING ABOUT GOD.
BRING HIM TO JUSTICE FOR HIS UNFORGIVEABLE CRIMES!
Who was making these demands? And who were they talking about?
A civil-liberties group is demanding a two-star Air Force general be court-martialed for mentioning God at a National Day of Prayer Task Force event on May 7, 2015. Despite the religious nature of the event, this group called for Maj. Gen. Craig Olson to be “aggressively & very visibly brought to justice for his unforgivable crimes & transgressions,” & that any other service members who helped Olson should be investigated & punished too.
During his speech, Maj. Gen. Olson referred to himself as a “redeemed believer in Christ,” & spoke about how God has guided his career, & credited God for his accomplishments in the Air Force.
He concluded his remarks by asking those in attendance to pray for Defense Department leaders & troops preparing to be deployed.
Mikey Weinstein, CEO of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, then sent a scathing letter to Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh, stating, "This letter is sent... on behalf of countless members of the United States Air Force who are utterly disgusted and shocked by brazenly illicit and wholly unconstitutional, fundamentalist Christian proselytizing . . ."
PROP. It is obvious. The line has been drawn, & the battle is on. But do we realize it? Are we people who understand the times & know what should be done? You see, there are four areas in which this battle is being fought.
I. BETWEEN BELIEF & UNBELIEF
The first is between belief & unbelief, between belief & rejection of a supernatural God.
A. The Christian believes that God is. We believe He is the Creator of this world, & that we are made in His image. Because He is the Creator, we have no problem believing in His miraculous power. He can part the waters of the Red Sea. He can feed the children of Israel with manna from heaven.