Monday, September 12, 2005

SPECIAL: After the Hurricane

September 2, 2005
2 Chronicles 7:22 and 2 Chronicles 7:14

At times like this, times when tragedy strikes in a way that leaves us weak in the knees and barely able to breathe, we long to hear an encouraging and uplifting word. We long to hear how much God loves us and that all things will work for the good. We need to hear that God is still in control and that the world has not spun off of it's axis while we were asleep. All of that is absolute truth, but.....

God is love. He is also a just and jealous God. He is long-suffering but the Bible affirms over and over again that He is not forever-suffering, just long-suffering. I believe that God reaches His limit and says, "That's enough!"

So many are asking right now, "Why has God done such a thing to this land? How could a loving God allow this to happen?" In 2 Chronicles, Chapter 7, Verse 21, it says that people would ask that question in times of disaster. Could it be that God has given us His answer, right there in His Word? "Because they have forsaken the Lord, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshipping and serving them - that is why He brought all this disaster on them."

This great United States of America was founded on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It's laws and foundation were grounded on Judeo-Christian principles. Our founding fathers believed that government without God was unheard of. But look at where we are today. God has been thrown out of our schools. The display of His Ten Commandments are being outlawed. Homosexuality is changing the face of marriage and the family as we know it and of how our Master created it to be. Millions of babies are being slaughtered everyday in the abortion houses. Our respect for life has been reduced to determining it's usefulness to society. Judicial tyranny runs rampant. Judges who are appointed for life are rewriting our Constitution to make laws that fit their own personal agendas or cow-tow to the homosexual agenda (only 3% of our population) and Planned Parenthood. We have allowed the Jews, God's chosen people to be evicted from their homeland. God says that He will "vigorously defend their cause." (Jeremiah 50:34) God has a proven history of avenging Himself on nations that are against His people, Israel. This country has turned it's back and shaken it's fist at Christ.

I have asked many times - How long, Lord until you say "That's enough?" Well maybe...just maybe...

We can't blame it all on the devil. The responsibility rests on the shoulders of the church and it's individual members as well. Notice the 14th verse in 2 Chronicles, Chapter 7. A verse we are all very familiar with. God says, "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Notice that God said, "my people." That's you, that's me, that's the Church. It's not the unbeliever, the unsaved, the activist for evil or the devil -- it's you and me! God has expectations of us. We should know better. Unless we live in a cave, we know what kinds of evil are permeating our society. And many choose to do nothing. We get so wrapped up in our lives, our problems, our needs that as long as things don't seem to directly affect us, we do nothing. We say, I've never committed murder. I've never had an abortion. I'm not gay. I'm okay. No, really you're not. Proverbs 24:11-12 says "Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?" Proverbs 31:8 says, "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." We are commanded to do something. Our inaction and complacency are sin. Proverbs 1:32b says.."the complacency of fools will destroy them." Jeremiah 49:31 says, "arise and attack a nation at ease, which lives in confidence, declares the Lord."

There are some wonderful pastors throughout this country who are not afraid to address these issues. However, the church in general thinks that God doesn't want them to be outspoken about them. It is time for the churches of this nation to stand up and as Pastor Rod Parsley says, "Be Silent No More."

Our allegiance is to Jesus Christ. Not to our fear of the government taking away our 501c3 status. Not to our fear of offending someone. My goodness..the preaching of the Cross is offensive - should we stop that as well? Our allegiance is not to our desire to be seeker-friendly and non-threatening. I believe that those words make Jesus sick.

As individual believers, God spells out what we are to do, right here-right now. "If my people" - that's you. "Humble themselves" -- See the might and power of the living God and come under His direction and mighty hand. Acknowledge your nothingness. "And pray". Oh, pray like you've never prayed before. Go boldly to the throne of grace and intercede for this nation and it's people. Pray for our President. Don't blame him for not doing enough. If you can do a better job right now...go for it! Pray for our Congress, Representatives, local officials. Pray that God will bring constructionist judges who are Christ followers to the bench to enforce the Constitution, not rewrite it. Pray for Roe v. Wade to be overturned. Pray for people to see that Allah is not the same God that we serve and that we will not become a Muslim nation. Pray for the church, that they would be bold and stand up for truth, unafraid, in the example of the church of the Book of Acts - filled with the Holy Spirit and putting Jesus Christ and truth first.

"Seek my face". Stop seeking His hand. Seek His face! Cry out for Him to manifest Himself in our lives and in our assembling together. Hunger and thirst for more of His presence. Surrender it all to Him, make everything all about Him. Chase Him, run after Him, He will show Himself to you.

"Turn from your wicked ways." Examine yourself and confess your individual sin. Confess the corporate sin of the Church. Repent and do His will. Be ashamed if the tragedy in the Gulf Coast doesn't break your heart; it should.

He promises that He will "hear from heaven and will forgive our sin and will heal our land."

I am like Jeremiah in Jeremiah 20:9. "But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak anymore in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed I cannot."

So, I implore you to do something. Pray. Be concerned. Give your money to a good organization who will use it to help those who are so devastated along the Gulf Coast. Go and help if you can. Start paying attention to the issues of our day and our country's responses to them. Write or call your Senators. Stop supporting companies and causes that do not adhere to Christian values. Be bold, speak out, do not be afraid. It is time for the church of Jesus Christ to stand up and be counted. Jesus took a beating for us and died a horrible death. We are not being asked to suffer to the point of shedding our blood (Hebrews 12:4). It's the least we can do for Him.

Speaking the truth in love,

Donna Schultz

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