FATHER, THE HOUR HAS COME, GLORIFY YOUR SON, THAT YOUR SON MAY ALSO GLORIFY YOU AS YOU HAVE GIVEN HIM AUTHORITY OVER ALL FLESH, THAT HE SHOULD GIVE ETERNAL LIFE TO AS MANY AS YOU HAVE GIVEN HIM. AND THIS IS ETERNAL LIFE, THAT THEY MAY KNOW YOU THE ONLY TRUE GOD AND JESUS CHRIST WHOM YOU HAVE SENT. ( John 17:1-3).
The Apostle Paul tells his young protégé, Timothy, in his second Epistle to Timothy the following: “but know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!" (2 Timothy 3:1 – 5)
We must recognize that we are living in perilous times. We are constantly besieged with a new mass shooting; a new attack by terrorists, both in the United States and in other parts of the world; a new attack on police officers, who have in many cases been tricked into compromising positions and murdered – sometimes in their own automobiles; suicides, shootings in neighborhoods, shootings in schools, shootings in hotels and other public facilities; flying planes into buildings, driving automobiles and trucks into crowds, and many other violent acts which kill and maim people,which are always followed by the nearly mandatory television programs and other news media interviewing psychiatrists, politicians and “the man on the street" asking, what can we do to “make sure that this never happens again”? What in the world is going on?
The fact of the matter is that the prince of the power of the air, Satan, is working overtime in the hearts of men and women and young people who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ to cause them to do these violent acts. The evil one knows that his time is short.
When we realize that the condition of all people is that each and everyone is a sinner, we can at least begin to identify the greatest need in the world today. Everyone who is born into the world, except the Lord Jesus Christ, is a sinner, who, according to King David, is in this condition: “behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me." (Psalms 51:5) Two other passages of scripture help us to understand the condition of every person who comes into the world. The Apostle Paul writing to the Church at Rome in the third chapter of his letter to the Church at Rome says, “there is none righteous, no not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. (Romans 3:10 – 11) In verses 15 through 18 he says, “their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes." (Romans 3:15 -18)
b. Dead Men Walking
Paul in verses 19 and 20 of Chapter 3 sums it up by saying, “now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore, by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin." His further explanation of the condition of all persons apart from the Lord Jesus Christ is found in the second chapter of Ephesians wherein in the second part of verse one he says, “[you] were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lust of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature children of wrath, just as others." (Ephesians 2:1- 3)
Therefore, the condition of all mankind is that they are dead in their trespasses and sins, without God in the world, and having no hope. They are in exactly the same condition as those that were in the world and are described in Genesis Chapter 6 verse 5 which says: “then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5) He continues in verse 11 and says, “the earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. (Genesis 6:11)
c. Jesus Is The Way
What is constantly apparent is that there have been multiple attempts after every mass shooting, from Columbine High School to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to call for the banning of guns and some form of gun control. This totally misses the point of the condition of those who have perpetrated the heinous, egregious acts of violence. There have been airplanes that have crashed into buildings, trucks and automobiles driven into crowds of people, and there is no corresponding call to outlaw automobiles, or planes, or trucks! What we have constantly seen in our society is sinners trying to treat a dread disease with aspirin! Now, we have men calling themselves pastors and teachers calling for all sorts of weird and ungodly activity. One is calling for the “pursuit of your maximum pleasure in God"; others are calling for “licentiousness and doing whatever makes you happy”; preachers and false teachers are failing to tell people of Jesus who is mighty to save. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes unto the Father except by Me." (John 14:6)There is practically no one calling for the true solution - Jesus Christ!
A. THE PROBLEM IN AMERICA
In the mid-to late 50s, the great expository preacher in London, Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who preached at Westminster Chapel in Buckingham Gate, in London, said that the problem at that time was that “the most obvious feature of the life of the Christian Church today is, alas, it's superficiality." (general introduction to his “Studies In The Sermon On The Mount") Superficiality! There is an inability of the preacher or teacher to tell people what happens to individuals who die without Christ; men pointing people to seek maximum pleasure; men telling people that licentiousness is good; men failing to tell people of Jesus who is mighty to save; men failing to tell people that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believes on the Son is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already because he believeth not on the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:16 – 19) Therefore, the greatest need in the world today is to know God! Jesus Himself says in the 17th chapter of the Gospel of John that “this is eternal life that they might know thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." That we might know God is our need. That is everyone's need. Without Christ everyone is a sinner, and will by nature do the things that are set forth in the passage of scripture from 2nd Timothy Chapter 3 quoted above.
On January 7, 1855, the minister of the New Park Street Chapel in Southwark in London, England, opened his morning sermon as follows:
“Oh, there is, in contemplating Christ, a balm for every wound; in musing on the Father, there is a quietus for every grief; and in the influence of the Holy Ghost, there is a balsam for every sort. Would you lose your sorrow? Would you drown your cares? Then go, plunge yourself in the Godhead’s deepest sea; be lost in his immensity; and you shall come forth as from a couch of rest, refreshed and invigorating. I know nothing which can so comfort the soul, so calm the swelling bellows of sorrow and grief; so speak peace to the winds of trial, as a devout musing upon the subject of the Godhead. It is to that subject that I invite you this morning…" Those words were spoken by the prince of preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who at that time was only 20 years old. They were true then and they are true now. The greatest need in the world today is to know the Almighty God through Jesus Christ His only begotten Son. What follows is a brief look at this greatest need in the world today, for we, like Nineveh, need to repent from our sins, and surrender our will to the Lord's will, and place our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation. Why are we in the condition that we are in, not merely in this country but worldwide?
I. FAILING TO PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED
In the United States of America, since the late 1940s, we have seen a concerted, organized, ever-increasing effort to eradicate God from public life in America, and to perpetuate the lie that the founders of this nation intended for it to be secular. The eternal God founded this nation for the purpose of the proclamation and dissemination of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Mayflower Compact states as much. “Having undertaken for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith….” (Mayflower Compact, 1620) William Bradford stated that the Pilgrims had come to the new world “.... for the propagating and advancing the gospel of the Kingdom of Christ….” (William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation).The founding fathers from the writing of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitutional Congress, and the ultimate writing of the Constitution, and the founding of this nation, actually sought to proclaim the Gospel of Christ.
The first meeting of the Constitutional Congress opened with a four hour Bible study and prayer time. The Congress authorized money for the purpose of printing and distributing Bibles to the schoolchildren of America. George Washington stated, “whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens". In Washington’s Farewell address in September, 1796, he stated: “Of all the habits and dispositions which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports….”. John Adams said that “our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people and is wholly inadequate to the governance of any other".
The U.S. Supreme Court in Engel v. Vitale, 370 US 421 (1962) prohibited prayer in the Public Schools of New York written by some pastors and rabbis because of the problems that had developed. The prayer required by school children to recite was: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence on Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country.” In Abington v. Schempp 374 US 203 at page 306 (1963), the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Bible reading in the Public Schools of Pennsylvania. In contrast, Our founders, knowing the Holy Scriptures and the condition of mankind apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, wanted to take those steps best calculated to tell people of Jesus who is mighty to save. The Northwest Ordinance was passed to govern all of the lands north and west of the Ohio River. It stated : “religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” Many states have adopted substantially the same language in their Constitutions. Since numerous cases from the U. S. Supreme Court have taken an anti-God stance for more that 60 years, we are seeing the results.
Our founding fathers knew and understood the truth of Jeremiah 17:9 that states, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" For all of those who are trying to find some “secular" solution to the violence, ungodliness, and unrighteousness, and those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, know this: there are not enough policemen in the world to put two policemen at the elbow of every person to prevent this violence. Only God can create the heart anew! Only the Lord Jesus Christ has borne our sin in His own body on the cross that we might be dead unto sin and alive unto righteousness and with His stripes we are healed. In short, unless we repent as did Nineveh in response to the preaching of Jonah and surrender our will to God's will, individually and collectively, and unless the Lord God gives us saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we will be destroyed. (The historical account of Jonah’s preaching in the city of Nineveh in response to the command of God is found in the book of Jonah) Consequently, the first thing that is needed is for all mankind not only in this country but, world-wide is to hear God's Holy Truth and the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek “ ( Romans 1:16). Therefore, all of us who already know the truth must be seeking and asking and knocking in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in God's Holy Spirit and asking that He raise up men to preach and teach and proclaim His Holy Truth and the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.
II. UNGODLY LEADERSHIP
We have leaders in this country, both politically and theologically, who are ungodly and unrighteous and suppress the truth in unrighteousness. This is exactly what Jesus foretold in Matthew chapter 24 where he said, “take heed that no man deceive you for there will be many false teachers and false Christ and false prophets preaching false doctrine”. (Read it for yourself in the 24th chapter of Matthew) Christians, it is time for us to wake up and realize that we are in the Army! We are not running a nursery here! We need to equip ourselves as good soldiers in Christ! You as a child of God have the privilege of coming to God's throne of grace. Are you using that privilege? One exceptional resource available to you is the teaching and sermons of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones which can be found on his website, MLJ.USA.org, and listened to, and or downloaded for free. Dr. Lloyd-Jones, who has been called the greatest expository preacher of the 20th century, can be used by you to supplement and help you grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is my sincere hope and prayer that you will listen and apply them to your own life and to those lives of the people around you.
III. BE OVERCOMERS
We can be overcomers “by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony and by loving not our lives unto death." (Revelation 12:11) All we who know the Lord Jesus Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings and who have been made conformable unto His death, were at one time in exactly the condition of those who do not now know the Lord Jesus Christ, i.e., dead in our trespasses and sins, but God has made as alive with His great love wherewith He loved us! We have been saved by Grace and raised up together in Christ Jesus that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4 – 7); being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ and access into this grace by faith, wherein we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God."(Romans 5:1 – 2). The Apostle Paul goes on to tell us in Romans 5 and Romans 6 that we “have been crucified with Christ and are therefore dead unto sin”. Indeed, in Romans 6:14 he says, “sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law but under grace”. This means, of course, that we are not under the law as the means of salvation, “for by the works of the law shall no flesh be saved”. “By the law is the knowledge of sin”. Therefore, we are called by God's Word to put to death the deeds of the flesh and to let not sin reign in our mortal bodies.
Jesus said, “he that has my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." (John 14:21) Therefore, we want to know His commandments and keep them – not as the means of salvation, for that has been given unto us as a sheer gift, but because we love the Lord and He loves us! Indeed, we see in Romans 6 verse 23 that “the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is life eternal through Jesus Christ our Lord." Do you know this freedom that we have in Christ? Freed from sin. Sin does not have dominion over you. Freedom to live as becomes the righteousness of the law and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If not, ask and seek and knock and he will give it to you. If you do, tell others of Jesus and pray that God would bring about a great preaching throughout this nation of His Holy Truth and the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ and that many would hear and receive the Lord Jesus Christ by God's divine will and that He would grant them repentance toward Himself.
We have a nation fraught with sin. We need to pray that God would remove leaders who support the killing of babies like Baal worship in Israel before the exile; we need to pray that God would stop the sexual perversion of all kinds that's going on in this nation even as he gave opportunity to Sodom and Gomorrah to cease and desist and they would not – therefore He destroyed them. We need to return the preaching and teaching of God's Holy Word to the public schools in America. “The great enemy of the salvation of man, in my opinion, never invented a more effectual means of extirpating Christianity from the world than by persuading mankind that it was improper to read the Bible at schools.” (Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Letters of Benjamin Rush, Volume 1, page 475). Finally, solicit those who will pray and seek God's face to repent from their sin and turn from their wicked ways and ask the Lord God to bring about a great awakening in this nation.
We see in Chapter 6 of Genesis that the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And we also see that the earth was corrupt before God and the earth was filled with violence. At the present time, we see these events being manifested before our eyes with television clips and television news and newspapers and other forms of media and the question is, what are we going to do about it? The greatest need in the US today, indeed in the entire world, is to know the True and Living God through our Lord Jesus Christ. The only real solution to these ever increasing acts of violence and ungodliness is for God to change the hearts of men. He is able to do that in His sovereign Will immediately! We need to be like Nineveh and repent and turn from our wicked ways and seek the Lord's face through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, asking and seeking and knocking, that He would turn this nation back to himself. Otherwise, we are going to be like Chorazin and Bethsaida and Capernaum, whose state is described by the Lord Jesus in Matthew chapter 11 verses 20 through 24. They did not repent! Jesus said, “Come unto to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls “ (Matthew 11:28-30) Now unto him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. (Jude 24 and 25)
Worldview Weekend Foundation
PO BOX 1690
Collierville, TN, 38027 USA