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Hope of Nations - What is Happening?, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
July 23, 2021 6:00 am

Hope of Nations - What is Happening?, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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July 23, 2021 6:00 am

Is there any hope for America's future? How did we get to where we are today? In this program, our guest teacher John Dickerson begins answering these tough questions. He identifies the prominent forces that are constantly reshaping our world, and encourages us to put our faith in God's unchanging Kingdom.

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Is there any hope for America. I mean can you see what's happening all around us. How did we get here and what should we do, that's today on Living on the Edge stay with welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with your finger up. Thanks for joining us as we begin a new series that seeks to answer the tough" help us do that you'll hear from her close trusted friend of Kipling John Dickerson is constantly changing time Living on the Edges made a commitment to turn teachers what fresh perspective on the challenges believers are facing our mission to encourage Christians to live like Christians remains the same whether it's through chips, teaching, or the occasional invoice so we hope you enjoy this series. John is a sharp young pastor with a background in journalism you will join us after the teaching to talk about his friendship with John sure his excitement for the series over the next several programs John Pierce's deep understanding of God's word skills as a reporter made a picture of America's potential spiritual future begins by reminding us of where we've been. With all that said, let's listen to John's message. What is happening series of nature. I want to talk you today about the times when your world shakes and very often in our series is as we open the word of God.

We talk about the real struggles that each of us face like cancer are death of a loved one, or sometimes divorce her financial difficulties and in this series were applying God's word to those things, but were also looking even bigger were looking at the world at large because there's times when our world shakes, but there's times when the world shakes. How many of you remember where you were.

On September 11 when the terrorist attacks began in the planes were flying into the twin towers. I remember where I was.

I was a college student at the time. I know some of you are like wow you're that young and others of you are like wow you're that old okay I was a college student and I remember all the classes shut down and we all gathered around different TVs on campus because we didn't know what was happening in the one plane hit and then the next plane hit and then we heard about the Pentagon and was just a sense that we were under attack and the world was shaking.

If you live long enough, you will go through times when the world shakes Mavis remembered when the stock market crashed, and many people looked at their homes or their businesses or their retirement in the world shook. The reality is that if we live long enough will live through a few of these times when the world shakes.

We don't like to think about it, but it's part of human history. And so my heart for you in this series is to prepare you spiritually, so that no matter how the world ever shakes in your lifetime or in the lifetime of your kids and grandkids that you're prepared and your kids and grandkids are prepared to stand strong and to be unshaken in a shaking world.

So that's the question that were asking today. What can we do when the world shakes. What can we do, not just when our world shakes. But when the world shakes. What can we do as a group of people and as individuals. If there is another major terrorist attack. What will we do if all these countries who talk about firing off a nuclear missile.

What will we do if one of them actually.what will we do if the stock market crashes again like it did in 2008 what will we do when the world shakes in our lifetime and in the lifetime of our kids or grandkids was always when we gather here. We look into the word of God to answer these hard questions of life, and here's what God tells us in Hebrews chapter 12 written the followers of Christ.

It says therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken if we understand how Christ's kingdom that there were citizens of it. It will never be shaken. Then we can be thankful and we can worship God acceptably with the reverence and awe interesting thing about this passage written almost 2000 years ago is that when this was written, a guy named Nero was in control of what seemed like the world and Nero hated Christians he was crucifying Christians. In fact, Nero was so sadistic.

This is all recorded in history. He would often impale Christians and light them up on fire as human torches in his gardens at night for his garden parties to entertain his friends. It was a time when Christians felt like they didn't know how they could keep going in the writer of the word of God reminds them you about citizenship in a kingdom that will continue advancing long after Rome has fallen our own fell 1600 years ago to us but to the people who read this Rome seemed on defeasible and here's the reality about this truth that were learning today. The object of hope. If you look at the object of our hope, no matter what we go through.

It's not our circumstances. It's okay to hope for good circumstances and as Americans we largely have really good circumstances compared to most people in the world and most Christians throughout history, but as a follower of Christ. You can have a deeper hope and that is I have a citizenship in a kingdom that will never be shaken right there were Christians at this time who clung to this idea when they were pushed out into a coliseum in front of a jeering crowd to be eaten by a lion, there are Christians who clung to this idea in the last 50 or 60 years in the Soviet Union when Christians were often marched out into the snow and sometimes the soldiers they find a pit of water in the make a Christian take their clothes off and get in that water in it so you can stay in that water until you freeze to death, or until you denounce Christ and denounce your Christianity, and there are Christians who have clung to this idea, even as their earthly body passed away in their soul went into this kingdom that will never be shaken. One of my prayers and this series is for us to think bigger about the world to see reality from God's perspective and in one of the realities of the time we live in is that today there are Christians in the world who are clinging to this idea as they see their pastors arrested in China. Did you know that right now in China.

Many church buildings are being bulldozed. Many pastors are being arrested. We hear about this or some of us heard about this back in the 80s, but the way that the communist government persecutes Christians in China is flaring back up. There's a real crackdown right now on anyone who doesn't toe the line of the communist ideology. Did you know that right now, today, in India there are Christians who are being hunted because they don't believe the Hindu religion of their family and their clinging to this I had a friend when I lived in California. He was an immigrant to the United States and I asked him about his life story.

He was an heir to a significant fortune in India, but his dad and his brothers who are devoutly Hindu when he became a Christian. They actually started hunting him down to kill him because of his Christian faith and so he fled to the United States today in the world. There are Christians clinging to this idea in some Muslim majority nations not all, but in some Muslim majority nations.

It's illegal to be a Christian and there are Christians who are meeting today in living rooms, defying the law, hoping that guards don't show up and arrest them.

I met a lady when I was in Iran. She's about my age who fled Iran through Turkey and ended up coming to the United States because she was a Christian the whole house church. She was a part of. They all got arrested and she was able to escape on a train to Iran there Christians in the world today clinging to this and here's my heart for us as followers of Christ who happened to be born into the wealthiest and most free church in world history. My heart is that we would understand that what we have experienced is exceptional. It's not the normal and to us because it's normal to us. We can think will. This is how it's always been for Christians or for people over to see in this series is that we who have been born in about the last hundred and 50 years or so, especially in what we call the Western world, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Western Europe drives our life expectancy is two times as long as average human life expectancy in world history.

The fact that we can read is an anomaly. Most people in human history, did not know how to read the medicine that we have the education that we have the freedom that we have the prosperity that we have these things are not normal there exceptional their unusual and being born in such a time if were not careful we can think that Christianity is kind of a good luck charm to help us live out the American dream I got doesn't have anything against us, living free and prosperous lives. He's all for that. Our hope is in a higher citizenship. Our hope is in a higher kingdom. And if we anchor ourselves and that deeper hope that eternal hope.

The no matter how the world shakes around us in economies or in warfare or in terrorist attacks, or even in persecution, we can be unshaken and this is my heart for you as a shepherd is to grow your faith at that level and for us to raise a generation with our kids and grandkids who have a faith at that level so that no matter what happens in US culture or in world politics in the next 30 years that our kids and grandkids will be able to stand strong for Christ. What are we learning will today were learning that when the world shakes Christ's kingdom will not be shaken when the world shakes Christ's kingdom will not be shaken.

Scripture talks about. Even if the mountains should tumble into the sea. We will not be shaken as followers of Christ we really talk about culture and social change. In some people, as we will talk about social issues and social changes.

This is a series for Democrats or is this a serious for Republicans in which political candidate is the series about only really clear this is not a Democrat series or Republican series and it's not a series endorsing any political candidate or politician. In fact, this is a series that will challenge us to zoom out and see those important debates as much smaller in the scheme of human history. Here's an example. There is a true story in the word of God where Joshua was leading God's people, and God's people were engaged in a physical war against the pagan enemy.

They were in battle and Joshua was out one day surveying the battleground and he sees this angelic messenger from God with the sword and Joshua says to the angelic messenger. Are you for us or for our enemies.

And here's how the messenger responds neither. I'm here representing God and it's this paradigm shift where all our little things that we debate about and argue about which are important, not demeaning the importance of the social debates going on today but those things are down here and we tend to say will is God on my side or their side and God says neither the question is God above all this who's on God's side. God is not a God who takes sides in human affairs. He's a God who is above, in the sense of hierarchy and power, and the question for us is, are we on God's side, and I want to encourage you as we go through this series. There are great Bible believing Christians who are Democrat who are Republican, who have all sorts of different views and beliefs politically, who say my allegiance is to God and as we go to the series. What were going to see is that just like Rome seemed undefeatable but then it fell and the Soviet Union seemed undefeatable but then it fell some day please don't hear this is heresy, but according to the word of God.

Someday there will be no Democrats or Republicans. Okay, that that that in all human history of czar that offends you, but according to the word of God someday that you could put it this way.

Someday the Democrats and Republicans will be as forgotten as the ancient cities of Troy and Constantinople. Some York waterfront Constantinople.

That's the point.

Okay, when the city those cities were undefeatable until they were defeated and it here's the more important thing for us as followers of Christ. I believe America is the greatest nation in all of human history. Very patriotic American.

I love this country but is much as I love this country I have an even higher citizenship, and here's what were learning in this series we are pledging our allegiance, our goal is to be on the side of Almighty God, pledging our allegiance to his eternal kingdom okay is doesn't mean that things in this world don't matter.

They do we devote our consciences, etc., etc., but in this series where zooming out to a bigger view and saying working to pledge our allegiance to an eternal kingdom where Jesus Christ will be worshiped as King of Kings and Lord of lords. And that's where we find our stability. That's where we find our identity and the more that we do that in a time of peace and prosperity.

The more we will be prepared for anything that may come our way in the next 30 years or in the lives of our kids and grandkids. Anyone want to be less surprised by the next big calamity that happens and more prepared.

What a surprise for repair. That's what were going for in this series. Okay, so here's what I want to teach you today, five forces that are reshaping the world right now really see four of these forces are always at play.

They been a play from the garden of Eden when Adam and Eve invited Satan and evil into this world, until Christ returns for these forces are true at all times. One of them is unique to the arrow we live in first course of the five and it's true.

Ever since the garden to be in until Christ returns is that humans are sinning.

Humans are sinning. Romans one says, for although they knew God, humanity, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Now, to be clear, Scripture is not saying that everyone always sins okay. Even people who don't believe in God or Jesus are capable of doing really noble things of saving lives of making good choices.

Drifter doesn't say that all people always sin, but it does say that all people sins. Sometimes all sinned and fall short of the glory got another passage says.

In other words, whenever we look at human history in any century and every any civilization where there is money where there is power. Where there's prestige there will be some people who are lying, cheating and killing and stepping on other people to get to that power and money is just part of human history. And if we understand that will be a little less surprised by some of the things that we see some people do we think, how could. How could that happen while humans are always sitting until Christ returns.

Doesn't make it easier when were in a hard situation, but at least we know what's going on is, like, you know when you're going through medical treatment and you have uncomfortable tests and MRIs and other things Ruby and poked and prodded and they're taking your blood and it's painful. But if you understand why it's happening you can go through it because understand there's a purpose for this and we understand we live in a world where people sin and their sins will affect us. It doesn't make it less painful but we can be less surprised second force that is shaping human history is that Satan is scheming. Satan is scheming. In other words, it's not just that people make miss make sins which are against God and hurt us that will happen until Christ returns. But in the unseen round home. There's an adversary of your soul. You have an unseen part of you that God calls your soul and what God teaches is that you have a part of you that is invisible and eternal.

And when your body dies that internal party of your soul will live for eternity with God or apart from him. And Christ came so that if you believe in him, you can be with God for eternity. He came to give you eternal life, but there's an enemy of your soul, and Jesus describes Satan who is a fallen angel. He's an angel who turned away from God.

And when he left heaven, he took one third of the angels with him, fallen angels that we call demons and Jesus describes Satan as active in this world and the unseen realm and in John chapter 10 Jesus says that the thief Satan came into the world to steal and kill and destroy. So in the unseen round. There is an enemy of your children's souls of your grandchildren, souls, and he comes into families to divide and destroy. He wants to get into your thoughts in a way that will destroy and cause death in your life. He comes into nations and groups of people and she operates in the round home of ideas.

Scripture interestingly describes that Satan, the whole angelic realm is a little bit smarter than us. We know this because the book of Hebrews says that when Jesus left heaven as God and humiliated himself to be compressed down into human form, he became a man in Hebrew says that he made himself a little lower than the angels, in other words, angels. You can't outsmart them. And that's true of Satan, Lucifer of the demonic angels as well. They have a little bit higher IQ than Albert Einstein and you and me. So you can't outsmart Satan and this is why Jesus tells us over and over. He's the way he's the truth he's the life and he's given us the word of God, so that where we can't outsmart Satan. God leads us in paths that protect us from Satan. When we follow his word. But the point is this that Satan works in the round of ideas. Not only is he a little bit smarter than us, but he has been doing his thing of killing and stealing and destroying for thousands of years so you know some of you in this room about live for 70 years, or maybe 80 you got a little bit life experience your our spiritual enemy has thousands of years of life experience that he's gained he knows exactly how to turn people against each other how to enslave people he knows exactly how to kill and steal and destroy.

And this is why we need Christ so much as our hero is our Savior as our rescuer.

But what Satan knows more than most Christians is that whoever controls the ideas controls the power that ideas are what shape human history that ideas are what move the wheels of tanks that ideas are what make nations march and armies go to war. He knows the power of ideas and we've seen in the last 100 years of human history, the power of ideas. If you think back to World War II you think of Nazi Germany and the evils that it committed the industrial scale, genocide, the killing of millions and millions of people. If you were to ask Americans today. Some people say will is all because of adult Hitler is partly true. But the bigger truth is that it's because of ideas, there were ideas that were planted 10 years before World War II in the minds of young Germans and as a nation embraced a set of ideas or sometimes recall an ideology.

That's a lens through which you see reality. The set of ideas that you use to view reality is your ideology and it was as the German people embraced an ideology about race and an ideology about Jewish people and about who they were and who villains are and what is moral and what is right and wrong from that came some of the most horrendous evil in all of human history in the midst of this horrendous darkness shine some beacons of light of Bible believing Christians who stayed true to their faith in Christ.

Even as the world shook around them, one my favorites of those is a sister in Christ, named Corrie 10 boom, Corrie 10 boom was a follower of Christ who lived under Nazi rule and as the Nazis overtook the country in which she lived in the city in which she lived. They started saying if you know any Jewish people. You got it you know turn them in, and Corrie 10 boom knew from reading the word of God. She could not be a part of something like that and she decided she would defy the laws and the authorities and she would actually hide Jewish people in her home. So Corrie 10 boom was a part of Christians who bound to the word of God, and committed to God's view of reality said no matter what the government authorities say were not to be part of killing Jewish people and so they actually built these secret compartments and secret passageways in their houses so they can hide Jewish people will eventually Corrie 10 boom got discovered as someone who is hiding Jewish people and so the Nazis arrested her and they took her to one of their concentration camps in that concentration camp.

Corrie tragically watched people starve to death and people die from disease and people die from abuse her own since her sister Betsy. She watched Betsy die in that concentration camp. Her dad died in another concentration camp.

Through it all Cory kept her faith in Christ at the end of World War II she had survived in God then used Corrie 10 boom to write a number of books. Some of my favorite books where she describes a faith in Christ that carried her through unthinkable suffering because she had a citizenship in a higher kingdom and she was able to endure unthinkable things because of her faith in Christ. And here's the thing, you can have that kind of faith in Christ whether what you're going through his cancer, or someday, something much worse. You can have that same kind of faith in Christ. Cory wrote this about the ideas that produced the genocide and evil and the industrial scale murder of World War II. She writes about her brother Wilhelm who was a doctoral student in Germany 10 years before World War II. You maybe have heard of this night called the crystal night. The night of broken glass. The Kristallnacht in 1937 teachers and bakers and architects went out and started to drag Jewish people into the street, break the windows of Jewish restaurants earn Jewish synagogues and that's when the real persecution erupted. But 10 years before that a number of thinking Christians were starting to say there are ideas in our culture that will lead to death. In fact, here's what Cory writes about her brother Wilhelm.

She says Wilhelm saw things I felt he knew what was going on in the world. Oftentimes indeed I wished that Wilhelm did not see quite so well for much that he saw was frightening.

She's talking about 10 years before the eruption of the culture she's is a full 10 years ago, way back in 1927 Wilhelm had written then in his doctoral thesis done in Germany that a terrible evil was taking root in that land quote right at the University. He said seeds ideas seeds were being planted in the minds of the incoming generation of a contempt for human life such as the world had never seen, and the few who read his paper back in 1927 last data sale.

Those ideas are and have those kind of consequences in Cory writes after World War II will now of course people aren't laughing about Germany. As Christians we know the principle from Scripture of sowing and reaping what you choose to believe about yourself and others will define your life and what nations and people groups choose to believe defines human history. And that's the third force that is always at work in human history that ideologies sense of ideas adopted by groups of people are warring are competing John Dickerson's message what is happening from a series hope of missions trip will join us here in studio with some additional thoughts, and his application just a minute John subtitle for these messages is standing strong in the post truth post-Christian world and sadly were living in a time when God is being disregarded right and wrong are considered subjective and followers of Jesus are persecuted, but it didn't used to be this way. So what happened, how did we get here and what can be done if anything to right the ship through the series. John will reflect on the impact of the Christian faith throughout history and where the society and America in particular is headed will also highlight opportunities we could take advantage of to engage the culture around us.

For complete information for hope of missions just go to helpless nurse taps special offers ship this is a brand-new series you're introducing featuring the teaching of your friend John Dickerson take a minute to talk about your work together over the years, and why these messages will be so impactful for our listeners. Will Deva have to tell you that people have been asking me all kind of questions like what happened to America is there is there hope for our nation and how did we get here and it seemed like it all happened so fast. John wrote a book really kind of put him on the map called the great evangelical recession. He was a very acclaimed award-winning research journalist. I actually won the Tom Brokaw award, and out of that God begin moving in his heart.

He became a pastor and I met him after he pastored for for five years and I asked him if he would join me on my staff in California and we shared the teaching and what I found was a young man with a mind like a razor blade who loved to do. Literally a research at a level that knowing that I've met, that was deeply biblical.

That was a millennial and care deeply for his generation, and I thought oh John, you need you need to share what you're learning. And so this hope of nations was developed in our time together and then he taught it and that he refined it. Then it became a book and I just thought the Living on the Edge family needs to hear this.

If I was 4045 and under with kids, family, or single, I would want to know this because it's how we got here and what you need to do and if I was like 55 and up and I had older kids or grandkids on the way I would want to hear this and actually get the book so that I could begin to know how do you respond in a post truth post-Christian culture excited for John to share his thoughts with us and I think are Living on the Edge family is going to deeply resonate and learn a lot. Thanks for that trip.

We hope you lick plans to be with us for this entire series. And if you happen to miss a program you can always listen on the chipping remap or it okay trip. Let's get to that application. As we closed today's program I like you to lean back and ponder what you have heard my good friend John Dickerson chair.

It's sobering isn't it. I mean he's going back and in helping us see how things that were unimaginable happened in Germany.

He's helping us see that there's a power in ideas and when those ideas are followed me long for John Dickerson. There was Francis Schaeffer, and many others who told us as long as 30 or 40 years ago. There are certain ideas when truth gets eroded that will play themselves out in ways that are disastrous and we are now in the midst of some of those no were not without hope. Jesus, that I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. And Jesus said I'm with you always. Jesus says I've put you here my children you the salt you the light where the difference makers. But you know you can't make a difference and you can't do anything other than get either afraid or angry.

If you don't know where we've come from, why were here and then what were supposed to do about it so don't miss this next broadcast you can love it just before we close. I want to say thanks to those of you who are giving regularly to the ministry of Living on the Edge you're making a huge difference helping other Christians lived like Christians if you're enjoying the benefits of Living on the Edge, but aren't yet on the team would you do that today. You can set up a recurring donation by calling us a triple late. 333-6003.

Tapping the donate button or visiting us online at

Thanks for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do over all of us here, this is Dave Drury saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge

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