July 07, 2012

The Lost Mandate of Heaven, Part 1A [Ideas Series, #1]

Luke 24:44-48
"And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things."

In the midst of global economic upheavals, we see only - for the time being - the small lapping wave on this American shore and think nothing of it. But, sooner or later, what is happening in Europe (Greece and Spain, to name a couple) and elsewhere will also happen here. That is, an economic tsunami not seen in several generations. Case in point, consider California. The Golden State has a $16 billion budget deficit. That's 16,000,000,000 dollars! They are veering in the opposite direction from growth, prosperity and limited government. Much like their counterparts in Greece and other bankrupt European nations, they seem intent on continuing the broken high-tax-and-spend welfare state experiment. The irony of the matter is that there is now an exodus from California to avoid the high taxation needed to keep the bloated government afloat. What a turn of events from the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s which was played out during the Great Depression. In a 100 year swing, it went from California Dreaming to California Screaming.

But, don't feel smug about what's happening out West, fellow Americans. There are other U.S. states that are facing the same dire economic dilemmas, too. There's Illinois, Wisconsin, Nevada, Oregon, Michigan, Florida, Ohio, South Carolina and on and on.

Aside from the economic mire we're in as a Nation, the political & cultural life - both public and private - are at all time lows. You don't need to scan the pages of American newspapers or websites too long to see the carnage of bad news and dispiriting decisions made by everyday people. Parents killing children, children killing parents or other siblings, abortion and, now, infanticide, sodomite marriages, welfare dependency and so forth. It seems like if you want good news then the best way to get it is to avoid reading the news.

And, when top political leaders intentionally mislead and cause division among the citizenry, we've tumbled a long way down from holding these public officials accountable for their actions. The mainstream media, also, has contributed to the gutterization of information and knowledge.

Heaven's Mandate

The reason we are lost, Friends, is that our basic, fundamental purpose in life has been lost. The Bible makes it very clear as to what our purpose in life should be. Men, in Old Testament times, New Testament times, pre-Industrial times and modern times, have all sought for life’s purpose. King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, discovered the futility of life when it is lived only for this world. He gives these concluding remarks in the Book of Ecclesiastes:

"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

1. Solomon says that life is all about honoring God with our thoughts and lives and thus keeping His commandments, for one day we will stand before Him in judgment. Part of our purpose in life is to fear God and obey Him. Confer with Prv. 10:9; Matt. 22:36-38; Rom. 13:12.

2. Another part is to love others as ourselves as Matthew 22:39-40 states:

"And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

3. Finally, as Luke 24:47 declares, "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations..."

Indeed, because we, as a Nation, have failed in these three areas, we have lost the mandate of heaven.

Don't think for a minute this applies only to pastors, evangelists and missionaries. It applies to each and every single professing Christian. There are no exemption clauses in this deal. Jesus Christ paid a high price - His very life - in order that no one should perish, but have everlasting life (Jn. 3:16).

This sense of being lost is not a new condition, however. God saw it and proclaimed, "There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."  (Rom. 10:10-12)

This is God's Indictment against all of us.


Pax Americana

Think about the downfall of Rome. It began as a godless nation and ended in ruins as a godless nation. In between its rise and fall over roughly a one hundred year stretch, Rome was decadent, and had monetary troubles, military problems & Imperial incompetence. Even the rise of Islam contributed to its fall.

Even during Pax Romana (ie, Roman Peace, A long period from Augstus to Marcus Aurelius when the Roman empire was stable and relativly peaceful), there were 32,000 prostitutes in Rome. Emperors like Caligula and Nero became infamous for wasting money on lavish parties where guests drank and ate until they became sick as well as torturing and killing Christians for sport.

In 476 A. D. the Germanic general Odacer (or Odovacar) overthrew the last of the Roman Emperors, Augustulus Romulus. From then on the western part of the Empire was ruled by Germanic barbarians. Roads and bridges were left in disrepair and fields left untilled. Pirates and bandits made travel unsafe. Cities could not be maintained without goods from the farms, trade and business began to disappear.

Sound familiar? Is there a pattern here? What's in store for us during our American Peace? Will it be a return to our Christian roots? Or, will our Nation - like Rome - succumb to the cancerous forces of liberalism, big government, secularism and entertainment?

If we are to ever regain the true course of this Nation, it will not occur with the changing of the guard, per se; that is, from Democrats to Republicans or even from Liberals to Conservatives. It will not happen by chance or luck. The saving of this great Nation can only come from a turning away from godlessness and towards the worship of Jesus Christ (II Chron. 7:14).
Sources: Encyclopedia Brittanica, Wall Street Journal, American Exodus: The Dust Bowl Migration and Okie Culture in California (James N. Gregory),City-Data.com, Bureau of Labor & Statistics, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Edward Gibbon)

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