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God's Providence Among The Nations Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
March 10, 2021 1:00 am

God's Providence Among The Nations Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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March 10, 2021 1:00 am

Some think random chance dictates what happens on planet earth. But believers have this perspective: The Bible reveals God as more than just a bystander. He actively determines the fates of nations. God superintends what we consider history; and ultimately nations rise and fall at God’s will.

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Maurice Jesus longer remember something random chance dictates what happens when believers have this perspective. The Bible reveals God as more than just a bystander actively determines the fates of nation today a look at how God intends.

What we call history from the Moody Church in Chicago. This is running to win with Dr. Erwin Sir was clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line test elixir is God's providence mean nations are not responsible for their actions. Well Dave I want to thank you so much for raising one of the greatest controversial issues in all of theology.

Of course the answer is yes.

Human beings remain responsible even though God rules. Now if we had time we be able to unpack that in more detail, but that will have to wait for some other time. I want to thank the many of you who support the ministry of running to win.

Running to win thanks to you is in more than 20 different countries. We here at this ministry are so deeply grateful to God and to you, would you consider becoming an endurance partner that somebody who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Here is what you do to get more information. You go to RTW and click on the endurance partner button that's RTW or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 let me thank you in advance for your support because together we are making a difference and now we open our Bibles.

God's holy word to discover what he has to say about the nations when the suffering court of the United States decided to intervene in the logjam and chose George Bush as president rather than Al Gore entailed in that decision was the demise of Saddam saying now, no one knew it. The court didn't know it. We didn't know it. George Bush didn't know it.

God knew it. But there is a connectedness in history.

History is actually going somewhere. In fact, sometimes some of the smallest events have spawned some of the most dangerous and huge global conflicts. For example World War I that is generally believed was actually begun because Ferdinand of Austria was visiting Sarajevo and there he and his wife were assassinated. What's interesting is that as he was driving along in his car. There were others who tried to assassinate him, and they either missed or their bombs didn't a lot so the driver in desperation decided to go elsewhere and as he turned down a side street. There was another assassin there who accomplish the deed that was the key that started the engine and in 1914 World War I began the 30 days after that assassination. So there's a connectedness in history. We can't predict what history is going to do because we know nothing, we know very little about all of the connection, but there's a cause-and-effect relationship and only God really knows that when we think of history. There are three agencies that we have to consider all impinging on what we read today in the headlines. First of all, there are the human the leaders here were talking about kings and presidents and those who would lead empires were talking about George Bush and Saddam Hussein, then Churchill and Hitler. These are the players that we know about their the ones who read the speeches. They're the ones who make decisions for peace or for war, but I want you to know that behind behind those leaders. There are also demonic forces in the 10th chapter of Daniel. It is very clear that God just pulls back the curtain. Daniel is there, praying, and he's saying, oh God, please help us any fasts for three weeks at the end of three weeks.

Michael the Archangel comes to Daniel is is Daniel.

I've been trying to get through to you ever since you began to pray, but the Prince of Persia withstood me. In other words, as Michael was coming down as an angel. There were other forces demonic forces that were hindering him that were really the forces assigned to Persia and finally Michael got through. So back of the headlines back of what we read every day in our newspapers. There are all of these forces human beings and demonic forces as well, but the third agency and that which is most important is God himself. Because today we're going to speak about the providence of God in nations.

The providence of God in nations and what we will discover is that God is moving the nations along that word providence means that God determines to move all things to an appointed and and today were going to see this in Scripture to speak of the providence of God among the nations.

I could speak literally from hundreds of different passages in the Bible because it's everywhere open your Bible and your probably on a verse that talks about God's sovereignty and providence in the nations. For example, Jesus made the statement in the New Testament. He said that the armies of Titus were God's armies member that parable Jesus said the Lord is sent forth his armies to destroy the city.

While the armies are God's even wicked armies are God's armies, so I'd like to do is to give you three assertions today and I want you to take your Bibles and turn with me to the book of Daniel. This is the only book of the Bible that you'll have to turn to.

As you follow along.

This is Daniel chapter 4 were going to begin there and then we will also be looking briefly at chapter 5 Daniel chapter 4 not keep in mind that Daniel had a vision here in this fourth chapter and the vision is that King Nebuchadnezzar in all of his pride is going to be humbled, and God is going to do the humbling. It says in verse 16 God is speaking, let his mind to be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal until seven times pass by for him for seven years.

Nebuchadnezzar is going to live like an animal. The word that we use today for this is called Zo entropy. It still happens today.

By the way, it is a mental condition of insanity where people actually begin to think that they are animals and live like them. But the reason for this is given in verse 17 of chapter 4.

The decision is announced by messengers the holy ones declare the verdict. Now notice so that the living may know that the most high is sovereign over the kingdoms of man and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them. The lowest the lowly this or some translation say the lowest of man while notice that God gives the kingdom to whom ever he wishes it is God who rules you say. Well, did God give Hitler the kingdom of Germany, for those 12 1/2 years. The answer is yes, of course, God gave the kingdom to Kepler for those 12 1/2 years.

He also gave the kingdom to Nero. He gave the kingdom to the actual ancient Chaldeans, who incidentally were Babylonians and it says of them in the book of Habakkuk chapter 1 verse six God is saying to Habakkuk was crying up to God and saying things are so bad why don't you do something in Israel. God says I am doing something he says behold, I raise up the Chaldeans that bitter and cruel flow that will march through the land. Doesn't that take your breath away just to read it. God says I will raise them up is I will wait a moment. Now I can handle this site you're saying that they ruled according to the will of God, whether two understandings of the will of God in Scripture.

The first is God's revealed will, what he tells us to do. God is a God of justice and compassion, and righteousness. They didn't live or rule. According to that will, to be sure they'll pose justice and righteousness and fairness and everything that God stands for, but they ruled according to God's secret hidden will.

The Bible says that God is the one who rules all things after the counsel of his own will and in that sense God's providence literally encompasses everything they were part of the total scheme.

Let me clarify very briefly. First of all, obviously, God does not do evil wicked men and to Satan do evil so were not saying that God does evil, we are saying that God uses evil, we are saying that God allows evil.

Obviously he could have chosen to not allow these evil rulers to exist and to live so that what we need to do is to understand and this is a mystery that we cannot unravel. We simply have to rejoice in it despite the fact that it blows our minds is that you have three streams that flow into history. You have the human rulers you have the work of Satan. You have the providence of God, and those three streams together are the river of God's providence. It was right when Luther said even the devil is God's devil and we can say even Saddam Hussein is God's Saddam Hussein evil, though he was an inspired obviously by wicked and evil spirits. At the end of the day.

It is God who rules I can't put it together that men do whatever they want to do. They are evil men because they want to be evil men, and they will be judged as evil men in very specific and particular ways. They will be judged. But in doing what they want to do.

They are still accomplishing a higher purpose, God rules among the children of men, and no Empire can arise without God's help and without his aid and without his providence. Did you know that that was always believed here in America. Benjamin Franklin was not a Christian as a matter fact before he died he said you know my friend Whitfield you know he was good friends with George Whitfield, the great preacher.

He said my friend Whitfield wished for my conversion to Christ.

But he says that has not happened. And then shortly before he died. Franklin says why should I believe on Jesus now. Soon I shall know whether or not it is so, what an awful way to die. But then Franklin along with all of the others of his time were deep believers in Providence.

You see, they believed in God, but they did not believe in the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. But it was Ben Franklin who was speaking about the contest with Britain. He says when we were sensible of danger.

We had daily prayer in this room for divine protection. Our prayers sir were heard and they were graciously answered all of us who were engaged in the struggle must've observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor and have we not forgotten this powerful friend or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance. I have lived sir a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth that God governs in the affairs of men. And as sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can arise without his aid and the answer is obviously it cannot Providence do you know that in American history. During this period of time when they use the word Providence they capitalized it because really it was a synonym for God's people understood Providence that God directs the affairs of man and the first assertion today is that no Empire can arise no king can come to power, no president can be installed apart from God allowing it apart from God. Standing back of it and God ultimately ruling in the affairs of man.

I hope that you can rejoice in that because it has tremendous impact as to how you live your life and I remember the days when that President Clinton was elected and there were some people who were not in favor of him being president and they went to the polls and they voted before someone else. But I remember a Christian leader saying God had nothing to do with President Clinton going to office it was the American people that voted them in a file.

Yes of course it was the American people who voted them in but I want you to know today that no one can arise apart from God's will just accept do I have a witness.

By the way ever witnessed good second nations decline. According to God's will. The Bible says in the book of Job. He makes nations great, and destroys them. He enlarges nations and disperses them as you know this is a second message in a series entitled God and the nations or the God of the nations and the last time we talked about the origin of the nations and we saw that, according to the book of acts is God who determines the time and the place and the duration of nations. That's what Paul says today. We shall see the demise of the nation, according to the will of God, you know, of course, that I should point out that Daniel mentions the Nebuchadnezzar and I failed to tell you how his prophecy how Daniel's prophecy came to pass. You can read it for yourself.

Nebuchadnezzar your member didn't turn out for seven years, living like an animal as a matter of fact, it says at the end of the time. In chapter 4 verse 34. At the end of that time I Nebuchadnezzar raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Did you know that if you think of yourself more highly than you ought to think you're insane.

It was Nebuchadnezzar who walked on the his palace in verse 30 and says it is not this the great travel and I have built is the royal residence of my mighty power and for the glory of my Majesty and the Bible says the words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, and said Nebuchadnezzar you're going to be with the animals for seven years until you learn some humility.

I want you to know how well he learned just listen to this. He says in verse 34.

At the end of the time my sanity was restored and I praise the most high. I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion. His kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the people of the earth are regarded as nothing he does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth, and no one can hold back his hand or say to him what have you done and in verse 36 it says at that time my sanity was restored and when you go into a mental institution. What you find is people who oftentimes have gone through so much anguish that the only way they can cope with it is think that they or someone whom they aren't. I have met people who say that they are Jesus Christ there people who think that they are great and that's insanity.

And so what God did is, he humbled this king do you think that King Nebuchadnezzar is going to be in heaven.

I think so.

It says in verse 31.

Now I Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven because everything he does is right in all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble, that sounds like a converted man.

Imagine being able to see Nebuchadnezzar someday in heaven and say wow you build babble and you know that my eyes have seen the Ishtar gate were Nebuchadnezzar lived in the 1920s the German archaeologists went to various sites and did archaeological work and the I don't know whether they had permission or not, will have to ask them but they took many things from the ancient world and brought them to Berlin, for example, the Pergamum museum has the Pergamum altar, but it also has the Ishtar gate. They took apart brick by brick, shifted to Germany built a museum where you can see it today and rebuilt it there so that you can walk along work.

Nebuchadnezzar walked and see what he saw at least part of what he saw in his prideful days.

But God humbled him. God humbled him. Isn't it wonderful to know that we trust in God, who is sovereign among the nations. The God who can take proud people and humbled them. And yes, Nebuchadnezzar was a great King but indeed I think he was a believer chose the power of witnessing. I want to thank the many of you who support the ministry of running to win.

Would you consider becoming an endurance partner that someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. We are dependent upon people like you to continue this ministry that really goes around the world and more than 20 different countries and in various ways. Thanks in advance for praying for us. Thanks so much for your support. Here's what you can do to find more information on how to become an endurance partner hope that you have a pencil or a pan right next to you. There you can go to RTW that's RTW

Click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer you can go and call us at 1-888-218-9337 know another chance for you to ask faster certain question about the Bible or the Christian life. The rise and fall of Adolf Hitler is the subject of much study by Pastor Luther was written a book on the subject of the Nazi leader. This has prompted one listener to ask in your book on Hitler you say that God protected him from assassination. A number of times.

Does that mean that the Germans who tried to assassinate him should not have done so, I'm thinking. For example, of Bonhoeffer in his support of the assassination of Hitler documents are one very glad to answer that question and really it comes in two parts. The first part is just because God obviously protected Hitler and God did protect him.

There were so many attempts on his life. There were so many miraculous things. Let me just tell you one story even when Hitler was a soldier.

He was in the barracks. He was eating with other men, and unexplainable. He he took all of his set of things his food and everything and went somewhere else and moments later a bomb fell there and killed all the soldiers he'd been killed if he had never left.

So those kinds of things happen in history, but your question is, does that mean that the Germans who wanted to assassinate him were doing wrong and the answer is no because there's a sense in which God keeps evil rulers alive, not just Hitler but other evil rulers have lived who perhaps would have been assassinated or should have been assassinated because they were so evil.

So just because God's providence enters into everything doesn't mean that we should back off and not be involved in the controlling realities of our leaders and the implications, but your question about Bonhoeffer's very interesting because there's a lot of discussion about him because first of all, he was a pacifist and then he changed his mind and joined the resistance. So some people have criticized him for that. But Bonhoeffer justified it by saying if somebody is going down the street and just randomly killing children, for example, you have a responsibility to assassinate to kill that killer and Hitler was so bad that Bonhoeffer became part of the resistance and he ended up dying for it's complicated issue. If you read Bonhoeffer you know that he didn't make this decision lightly but sometimes in life there are very difficult decisions. With no real good choices. Some wise counsel from Dr. Erwin looks her thank you Dr. lutes are if you'd like to hear your question answered.

Go to our and click on ask Pastor Luther or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614. As we wrestled with the mystery of God's hidden will we must acknowledge his sovereign control with history. Sometimes he uses the bad guys to judge the good guys next time we learned this. Our task is to trust his purposes to be right no matter what. Thanks for listening. This is Dave McAllister going to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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