The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord;
He turns it wherever He wishes.
Every man’s way is right in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the hearts.
To do righteousness and justice
Is desired by the Lord more than sacrifice.
Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
The lamp of the wicked, is sin.
Proverbs 21:1-4 NASB
When the US was a group of 13 colonies, and they decided they wanted to be independent of Great Britain, God allowed it, and/or he moved them in this direction, by his providence. He took this nation, this people, by the hand and he guided (pointed) them to walk in his ways and in his truth. He showed this people the way to worshiping him as their only God, and he instructed them in the way of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
This is not saying that everyone followed his guidance or his direction, but that he pointed them in the right direction.
Over the years, he gave them many men (and women) of God who taught them the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and he sent many people from this nation into other nations with the gospel of our salvation from sin, too. So, this nation came to be called a “Christian” nation, not that our government was founded alone on Christianity, for it wasn’t, for it was very syncretistic and eclectic religiously from the very onset. But, even this was in the providence of God for our nation.
God had his hand on this nation from even before he created the world. It was in the providence of God that this nation should be created and that it should serve God’s purposes in this world. The Bible teaches us that it is God who raises up kings, and removes kings, and that all the authorities that exist have been appointed by God, and that includes good kings and bad ones, good judges and bad ones. God is not the creator of evil, but he allows evil to exist, and he uses it to accomplish his purposes in people’s lives.
A man who wanders from the way of understanding
Will rest in the assembly of the dead.
He who loves pleasure will become a poor man;
He who loves wine and oil will not become rich.
The wicked is a ransom for the righteous,
And the treacherous is in the place of the upright.
Proverbs 21:16-18 NASB
At some point in time, though I don’t know exactly when, the people of this nation began to move away from Christian principles, and away from God, and to fall into error. The church largely (though not all) began to compromise with the world and to dilute the gospel message to make it more appealing to human flesh. The church at large was now beginning to no longer be the light of the world, for they were now becoming one with the world in order to draw the world into their gatherings.
I am 68 years old, and I have seen much of this transition take place in my lifetime. I think a lot of this can be attributed to the invention of movies, then TV, and the unholy union of the church with the US government, i.e. the incorporation of the church, turning it into man-made businesses. Then, came the invention of home desktop computers, the internet, then laptop computers, tablets (like IPads) and then smart phones.
Although some of these things have good uses, and God has used some of them for good, for spreading the gospel message of salvation throughout the world, many of these devices have also opened up the whole world of evil to children and adult alike, at their fingertips, in the privacy of their own personal space, even in a room full of people. Statistics now have it that a large percentage of American males regularly indulge in pornography, and many women and children, too, and pastors and elders of churches, as well.
Our nation, and the church in this nation, have been on a moral and spiritual decline, at least in my lifetime, if not before. The church, overall, is barely recognizable as the temple of the living God anymore, for entertainment and marketing schemes and a false grace gospel have replaced true worship of God, and the Word of God, and the grace of God. A false or adulterous faith in union with a false (cheap substitute for) grace have now born the America we see today, which is far from God, and largely living in utter wickedness.
“Proud,” “Haughty,” “Scoffer,” are his names,
Who acts with insolent pride.
The desire of the sluggard puts him to death,
For his hands refuse to work;
All day long he is craving,
While the righteous gives and does not hold back.
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination,
How much more when he brings it with evil intent!
Proverbs 21:24-27 NASB
This adulterous faith, in union with a cheap substitute for God’s grace, has produced a people, a nation, which is proud, insolent, scoffing, slothful, addicted to sinful practices, selfish, pleasure-driven, adulterated, deceived, and blinded to their own sins, and the sins of their leaders.
So, God has been sending her messengers with his messages, and he has been calling her, for some time now, to repentance. He has been pointing out her sins, and the sins of her leaders, and he has been cautioning her that she needs to watch her steps, i.e. the way in which she has been walking, and that she needs to be looking straight ahead and not meandering off to the right or to the left. He is telling her that she needs to pay attention to the path she is on, and examine it before God, and she needs to walk in the straight way, the way which is upright, honest, unadulterated, unmixed, holy, pure and righteous before God.
Yet, although the connection is broken between the way in which this nation is walking and the God it claims to trust in, the nation, as a whole, but not to include everyone, is turning a deaf ear to God’s calls for repentance. And, the reason is that they have bought into this false grace gospel, i.e. this union of an adulterous faith with a cheap substitute grace. They believe that they can be children of God, saved from their sins, and bound for heaven while they continue in willful sinful practices and are truly bound for hell.
For, this false faith produced by a false grace gospel doesn’t permit its followers to be delivered from slavery to sin, to be truly set free from their addictions. For, it doesn’t believe that repentance and obedience to Christ are necessary for salvation. And, it does not believe it must submit to Christ and to his cross. It teaches, instead, in some type of non-descript belief which seems to be nothing more than an emotional decision or a mere acknowledgment of the existence of Jesus Christ or of what he did for us in dying for our sins. And, then it teaches that one can just accept God’s grace and forgiveness and now they have the hope of eternal life with God and are part of his family, no matter how they live from that moment on.
Because there is no repentance, i.e. no turning from or death to sin, and thus no resurrection to newness of life, and living to righteousness, there is also no freedom from slavery (addiction) to sin. So, they hold on to this false faith and false grace and false hope of salvation and eternal life with God based on a lie. And, therefore, heaven is not their eternal destiny. For, God’s word teaches us that if we live in sin, if we make it our practice, we will die in our sins, not have the hope of eternal life with God. So, those who are teaching this false grace gospel are literally keeping its followers away from union with God and with his salvation.
They make our salvation totally God’s responsibility, as though we have no part in it at all. But, that is not what God’s Word teaches us. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap corruption. But, if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:8; cf. Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Eph. 4:17-24; Lu. 9:23-25; Gal. 5:19-21).
A false witness will perish,
But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.
A wicked man displays a bold face,
But as for the upright, he makes his way sure.
There is no wisdom and no understanding
And no counsel against the Lord.
The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But victory belongs to the Lord.
Proverbs 21:28-31 NASB
Those false shepherds and false teachers who are teaching this false grace gospel, as well as this false grace gospel, are going to perish. They will not remain. But, the Word of God (the Word of Truth) will remain forever. Amen!
God is going to judge this nation, and he is going to take us through some hard times. The true church, the saints of God, will suffer persecution and are already suffering persecution and rejection at the hands of those who are holding on to this false grace gospel, and who think they don’t have to repent of their sins or obey God. They are heaping abuse upon God’s servants and witnesses who are still teaching the truth of the gospel of our salvation, and this will begin to get much worse.
But, we don’t have to fear what man may do to us, for God is with us, and he will take care of those of us who are his. He is still completely sovereign over all that he has made, and his purposes will be accomplished in human hearts. So, we need to trust him. And, we need to rest in him. And, we need to keep following his lead. Humans may look like they are the ones in charge, and that they are being successful in their evil plans, but God is the victor, and our enemy is already defeated. So, as things get worse, which they will, just keep trusting in the Lord, for he will guide you all the way.
He Keeps Me Singing
Luther B. Bridgers
There’s within my heart a melody
Jesus whispers sweet and low,
“Fear not, I am with thee, peace be still,”
In all of life’s ebb and flow.
All my life was wrecked by sin and strife,
Discord filled my heart with pain;
Jesus swept across the broken strings,
Stirred the slumbering chords again.
Though sometimes He leads through waters deep,
Trials fall across the way,
Though sometimes the path seems rough and steep
See His foot-prints all the way.
Soon He’s coming back to welcome me
Far beyond the starry sky;
I shall wing my flight to world’s unknown,
I shall reign with Him on high.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus –
Sweetest name I know,
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.
Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 6:57 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from your word. May you bring it home to our hearts.