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Monday, August 30, 2010

Restoring honor by restoring sinners

The Restoring Honor gathering at our nation's capital on Saturday has caused a stir among Christ's body. There were many, many true believers in Jesus Christ who either attended or embraced that event and its purpose. The problem has nothing to do with the state of this nation, the problem is with the beliefs of its head, Glenn Beck. This man, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is proposing a revival that ignores the boundaries of doctrine and denomination. I recently heard him say on his radio program that he believes that we all follow the same god, no matter our religion (not a direct quote, Glenn; have you called Wretched yet?). To this I say, the God of the Bible is not the god of all religions, though He is the God of all people and those who do not embrace His Son, Jesus Christ (not the anti-Christ Mormon Jesus, who they say is the brother of Lucifer, by the way) will justly experience His wrath--not His love.

God divided the nations at Babel and He does not shun patriotism, but He will not tolerate His children embracing unbelievers and treating them as being on equal terms theologically. This is the fine line we walk in a situation of this nature. It is not a lack of patriotism that has brought our nation to its current state, it is a lack of holiness. It is rebellion against God and the consequences of that rebellion, as laid out in Romans 1:18-32. This nation is under God's holy judgement right now and its people need to acknowledge their sins and turn to the King of kings and Lord of lords (and President of presidents), repenting and humbly asking Him to forgive them. Our nation, like Nineveh, can be given a stay of judgement (someone once said that God must judge nations now, because they don't have an afterlife), but it will only happen through true revival, not a works-oriented, lets-just-everybody-forget-our-differences-and-get-along-and-build-us-a-Tower-like-they-did-at-Babel revival. That will not work. 
Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. 
When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes. He issued a proclamation and it said, "In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish."
When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it (Jonah 3:5-10). 
Christians need to go directly to the throne room of God and in the name of Jesus Christ, petition Him to turn the hearts of this nation to Him.

There is an excellent piece, God, the Gospel and Glenn Beck by Dr. Russell Moore which can be found at his blog, Moore to the Point which addresses this issue very well. (Thanks to Matt Marshall for the heads up.)


Matt said...

I agree that people need to genuinely turn to the lord--but you must be careful to distinguish that it is people that must turn to the Lord. Nowhere does God promise to save nations--and our nation isn't a theocracy.

It is individual believers and the Church that can be revived and then as individuals and the body of Christ they can impact the culture--but the culture and government itself aren't entities that can be redeemed in this age.

Becky, slave of Christ said...

I completely agree, Matt; that is why I said the hearts of the nation rather than heart. It is entirely possible (and it seems to me quite likely) that things won't turn around in this nation. I believe it would take a genuine revival of a lot of people who would subsequently seek to right the wrongs that have become public policy, and a pursuit of the Lord and His truths for the Him to put a halt to this Romans 1:18 slope we are sliding down. I have my doubts that this will take place, but I would have said the same thing about Nineveh. Jonah felt exactly that way, which is why he didn't want to go there. That was one wicked, dreadful nation, but God....

God is sovereign and He can do as He wills and will do whatever pleases Him and furthers His plan.

When I speak of a our nation being given a stay of judgment, I am absolutely referring to a turning of individuals to Him in repentance, not the nation as an entity. God didn't withhold judgment on Nineveh because the nation repented, He did so because the people of that nation repented (including the king), and worshiped God.

I do believe the idea that God has to judge nations now because they don't have an afterlife is legitimate. It is incumbent upon nations to govern according to the laws of God. A nation as a whole owes allegiance and obedience to its Sovereign Lord. Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords.

In the Old Testament, there were many nations that were wiped out because they were wicked. Those nations were being judged because their cultures were evil--so evil that God didn't even want their animals or children left alive and in some cases even all of the goods were to be destroyed (as in the account of kings Solomon and Agag); this happened in spite of the fact that the children and animals were not involved in the decision-making process.

Nations rise and fall according to the will and righteous judgment of God.