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Saturday, April 11, 2015

America Needs Christians to Preach the Glorious Gospel and Walk in Obedience

Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as you have us for an example, for many walk, of whom I've told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the Cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things. For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:17–20) 
            Today we can easily observe that there are many people who are false teachers, even as the Lord Jesus Christ prophesied in Matthew Chapter 24. There are many people preaching" another gospel" which is not The Gospel. In Jude 4 these people are described as follows: "for certain men have crept in unawares, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turned the grace of our God into lewdness and the deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4 in KJ )
            In Matthew 24 the Lord Jesus Christ said to his disciples, speaking of the last days," then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved." (Matthew 24:11-13) Do we not see lawlessness abounding around the globe? As the Lord’s Word states in Paul’s Second Epistle to Timothy, “….in the last days perilous times will come….”
            In recent years we have witnessed continued killing of millions of tiny persons through abortion. Estimates now total approximately (no one knows for sure) 60 million babies killed! The people who are doing the killing are two of the most trusted classes of people, mothers and doctors! Since 1973 they have killed more people than all those who died in World War II! The deaths that occurred in the Second World War are generally said to be 52 million. The numbers of abortions which have killed tiny babies in America alone since 1973, not only total more than all of the people, (Americans and others), who died in the Second World War, but they are more than all of the Americans who have died in all of the wars in which America has ever fought!
            Not only has America legalized the killing of little babies in their mother's womb, but it has become legal for homosexuals to have "same-sex marriage";  in many of our churches there is not even a pretense of observation of the Sabbath Day; we have essentially abolished the public acknowledgment of the Lord God; Gods' Holy Word is not permitted in public schools; prayer is not permitted in our public schools in America by teachers and instructors; and, other lawless acts seem to be abounding! The Apostle Paul called on the church at Philippi, "mark those who walk so as you have us for an example, for many walk, of whom I have told you often and tell you now even weeping, that they are the enemies of the Cross of Christ."  We are witnessing an exponential increase of the enemies of Christ.
            Some may think that we who know the Lord Jesus Christ do not share the blame, however, God's Word records that Daniel prayed for his people and his nation in the 9th Chapter of the Book of Daniel and he began as follows:
"Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplication, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession and said 'Oh Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from your precepts and your judgments'." (Daniel 9: 3- 5)
Daniel attributed the wickedness and rebellion to himself and others of Israel.
            We should all challenge ourselves to pray in that manner. Daniel began his prayer by saying "we have sinned and committed iniquity"; we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from your precepts and your judgments". Therefore we can see from God's Word that the sin of all of the people is attributed by Daniel to himself. It would be as if we said "we have gone after other gods. We have gone after gods of pleasure and wealth. We have taken the Lord's name in vain. We have allowed the ungodly men and women acting as judges to legalize the killing of babies, we have legalized same-sex marriages, we have removed biblical instruction from our public's schools, and we have removed prayer from our public schools".
            This was not the case in the early history of our nation. Our nation was not founded as a "secular nation". After the Declaration of Independence on July 7, 1777, a request was placed before Congress to print or to import more Bibles. On September 11, 1777, the report to the Congress said the following:
            ".....the use of the Bible is so universal, and its importance so great… Your committee recommend that Congress will order the Committee of Commerce to import 20,000 Bibles from Holland, Scotland, or elsewhere, into the different ports of the states of the Union." Congress agreed and ordered the Bibles imported!
            On October 31, 1777… Congress appointed Samuel Adams, Richard Henry Lee, and Daniel Roberdeau to draft a proclamation for a national Day of prayer and Thanksgiving. On November 1, 1777, Congress approved that proclamation, which declared:
            "For as much as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to Him for benefits received and to implore such farther blessings as they stand in need of… [to offer] humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot [our sins] out of remembrance… And to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisted 'in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost'." Journals of Congress (1907), volume IXBIX, 1777, PP, 854 – 855,          November 1, 1777. 
            On January 21, 1781, Robert Aitken, who was the publisher of The Pennsylvania Magazine, petitioned Congress for permission to print Bibles on his presses in America rather than import them. Aitken pointed out to Congress that his Bible would be a "neat addition of the Holy Scriptures and for the use of schools. Congress approved his request and appointed a committee to oversee the project. On September 12, 1782, the full Congress approved that Bible which soon began rolling off the presses. Printed in the front of that Bible (first English language Bible ever printed in America) was the congressional endorsement:
"Whereupon, resolved, that the United States in Congress assembled… recommend this addition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States."
            Thus Congress approved the appropriation for the printing and distribution of these Bibles to the public schools of America! ** (Footnotes omitted but this appears in the Journals of Congress detailing these events from October of 1781, and September of 1782)
            An additional and perhaps the most conclusive historical demonstration of the fact that our founding fathers never intended the United States Constitution to establish this secular religion-free public arena which is being foisted on America by ungodly people in and out of government and who serve and have served in some cases on the United States Supreme Court, can be seen in the creation and passage of what was called "the Northwest Ordinance". It sets forth the requirements of statehood for prospective Territories north and west of the Ohio River and was passed at the same time that Congress was simultaneously framing the religion clauses of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and was signed into law by President George Washington on August 7, 1789. In article 3 of that ordinance it was declared as follows:
"Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged."
            Thus, the purpose  of the public school was to provide the means of education includingproper instruction in religion, morality, and knowledge! It appears in substantially the same form in the Ohio Constitution, the Mississippi Constitution, and numerous other state constitutions. Justice William Rehnquist in the case of Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38, at 113 stated the following:
"History must judge whether it was the father of this country in 1789, or a majority of the Court today which has strayed from the meaning of the [First Amendment]".
            The events and lawlessness that are going on in our nation today is a result of sin. Scripture records that “there is a way which seemeth right to a man but the end thereof leads to destruction". There are even ungodly men in pulpits across America today who either directly or indirectly call God's Holy Word untrue.
I.          PRAYER
            God's people need to pray! The Lord God himself spoke to Solomon prior to the dedication of the temple and told him that "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 I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land."(2 Chronicles 7:14)
            Jesus said "Ask, and it shall be given unto you, seek, and you shall find, knock, and it will be opened unto you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks shall find, and to him who knocks it will be opened unto him. (Matthew 7:7-8).
In the first year of Darius, the son of Ahasuerus, Daniel prayed, and his prayer is recorded in God's Holy Word in the 9th Chapter of Daniel.
“Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, ‘O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day – to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You.
‘O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him. And He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing upon us a great disaster, for under the whole heaven such has never been done as what has been done to Jerusalem.
As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth. Therefore the Lord has kept the disaster in mind, and brought it upon us; for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works which He does, though we have not obeyed His voice. And now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and made Yourself a name, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have done wickedly!
‘O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us. Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate. O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.” (Daniel 9:3-19)
            We need to be praying like that. We need to be asking and seeking and knocking and asking the Lord to hear and forgive our land and listen and act and do not delay for His own sake and for His nation which He has established and for His people who are called by His name. Let us challenge one another to pray diligently in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ doubting not; humbling ourselves before the mighty God, repenting from our sin, turning from our wicked ways, and seeking the face of the living God. He will hear. He will forgive our sin and if He be pleased He will heal our land.
II.         PREACHING
            Ministers of the Gospel of Christ are called to preach the glorious Gospel of Christ. Paul said "we preach Christ crucified"! The Gospel of Christ is God’s power unto salvation to everyone that believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Do not fear the fact, neither be apprehensive of the fact, that it is foolishness to those who are perishing. We too should be preaching the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone who will listen; calling men and women to hear the glorious and godly claims of the Lord Jesus Christ who “Himself bore 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”;  praying that God would grant those who hear come to “repentance unto life” and “saving faith” in Christ alone!
            We should be followers together of Christ and Paul and the Apostles, and mark those who walk, so as Christ is our example and godly men and women are our earthly examples. We should recognize even as God's Word says "there are many who are false teachers, for we live in perilous times, and there are wolves in sheep's clothing who are enemies of the Cross of Christ”. We should be praying for God's people. For as set out above, “our manner of life, or conversation, is in heaven from whence we also look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ”.
III.        OBEDIENCE
            Finally, we are to be obedient. Jesus said, "he who has My commandments and keeps them he it is who 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). Jesus is our example of obedience. Read and meditate on Philippians 2:5 -11 and as we meditate on that passage of Scripture we see the way in which Christ humbled Himself and "became obedient unto death even the death on the Cross".
            Jesus died for our transgressions. "He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him". Christ was obedient to his Father. "He came delighting to do the will of the Father". He said "This commandment I received of My Father, that I lay down My life. I have the power to lay it down, I have the power to take it up again. Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father save Me from this hour: but came I unto this hour. I cannot say save Me from this hour rather Father glorify thy name". (John 10:18;12:27,28a)
            Christ also told His disciples "A new commandment I give unto you that you have love one for another even also as I have loved you that you have love one for another. (John 13:34-35)By this shall all men know that you are my disciples that you have love one for another. Thus we are to be obedient. We show our love by our obedience. We should be praying for our nation, our children, our grandchildren, all of our relatives, and everyone that we know, that God's people would be obedient to him; that we would know his commandments, memorize and meditate on his commandments, and keep them, thus demonstrating our love for Him.
As we come once again to the time of the year when we celebrate the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ I pray that His Word set forth hereinabove helps you; that we all be challenged to pray; that ministers of the Gospel of Christ and all of us who are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ would preach and teach the truth of His Holy Word and the powerful glorious Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; and finally, that we would walk in obedience.
CONCLUSION
Now unto Him that 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 more. Amen
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Gray
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