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June 14, 2021 1:00 am
The days ahead may well be days of less money, fewer options, higher prices, and more uncertainty. For many, the comforts we’ve known may fade away into an even tougher reality—no job, no insurance, perhaps a foreclosed home. How do we handle deprivation when all we’ve known is abundance? This message will help prepare us for “such a time as this.”Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
One reason for us to Jesus will be less money were options as more uncertainty. How do we handle regression. All we know is abundance today we begin a series of parents for such a time as this church in Chicago. This is when Sir saw make it across the finish line. Insert for many of us. Life is getting harder all the time as you speak on famines, deserts and other hard places. Will this series helplife as it gets more difficult. Dave, I believe it certainly is going to help us face life as it gets more difficult.
And by the way, I think life is going to get more difficult. Just look at the evening news or for that matter.
The morning news. We have so many different pressures that are being put upon us. If I might just give a little insight.
I was planning to preach a series of messages on some other topic. I forget what that topic was, but I was discussing it with my wife Rebecca and she said no she said. Life is hard and she mentioned a couple of situations that we knew about. She said you want to preach a message on the hardness of life and faith in the midst of it.
So that's how this series of messages came about, famines, deserts and other hard places and I have to say that this series was of tremendous help and blessing because we all know that life is indeed hard and we need to face it.
As believers, recognizing that in the end we do win, but in the meantime it's very difficult so want you to listen to this series of messages carefully because it'll paint a picture of where we are, but also how to manage whatever happens to us today. I begin a series of messages entitled famines, deserts and other hard place.
So let me begin by asking what God wanted to take us where we have never been a whole new level of devastation and suffering that most of us have never experienced some of you are already there, individually, but I mean what if what if this was true of all of us. What then one of the promises of God are still true and we believe that they are thankfully indeed they are. But let us suppose that we have to apply those promises in ways that we never had to apply them both. What if we as a nation end up with the same kind of poverty that we see on television in other parts of the world and join the world in its poverty and devastation, and even natural disasters.
What then what of God in heaven simply says enough already. I've been judging you I been sending you remedial judgments and those remedial judgments were intended to warn you to repent and you didn't sell enough already. You're going to now experience the kind of judgments that were found even in the Old Testament. What then, Michael Craven, who is the president of a center for Christ and culture wrote, I do not think it is true, strong or sensational to say that we are witnessing the collapse of Western civilization across the Western world the fruits of apostasy and secularism are manifesting themselves in overwhelmingly disparate ways in my lifetime I've seen the rapid demise of the family for the first time in American history. Nonmarried households now outnumbered, married households, 52% versus 48 only 1/5 of American households represented traditional families.
This is the statistics are from the New York Times out of wedlock birth rates in the US have reached 40% following a similar trend throughout Western Europe countries, some of which are as high as 66% and then he says while out of wedlock births continue to rise more and more people are simply not having children at all, leading to a depopulation of the West on an unprecedented scale. Add to this the radical redefinition of marriage and family to include same-sex couples in the future of the natural family and institution is essential to a healthy society only promises to worsen and very quickly our academic institutions have shifted from teaching virtues and the pursuit of truth to intolerant platforms for secularized political values and godless indoctrination revenue from the consumption of pornography catch this exceeds that generated by all professional sports combined than the media. Of course, contributes to this, our political leaders have abandoned statesmanship and true public service for personal power gains in government driven social and economic engineering. Recently, Europeans and some Americans have descended into barbarism and anarchy as the state proves incapable of serving as Savior and provider in the wake of supplanting God with the state personal responsibility has been replaced by selfishness, dependency and entitlement. Finally, the church, which once was the moral authority in the West has rendered herself irrelevant marginalized in the public square. As for the church and now this is most important.
We alone bear the responsibility for our own demise. The culture did not render us irrelevant. We did we been entrusted with the truth. The message of hope and we have neglected this responsibility in exchange for security and comfort. We've tried unsuccessfully to build our lives in a way that seeks to comfortably balance the demands of following Christ with our own quest for personal peace and affluence, but it doesn't work. You either love Christ or you love your own life.
In the article goes on.
In addition to what he mentions there and I didn't read it all. I'd like to add today to show our weakness, our submission to Islam. There Catholic hospitals that are taking down crucifixes and that there are Protestant churches that are taking down their crosses so as not to offend our Muslim friends just in Canada where we came from last week. We were told about a classroom where there was a substitute teacher who brought her prayer mat and then in the middle of the class asked the class to be quiet as she went through her prayer. Could you even imagine what would happen if a Christian were to do that. Perhaps I told you that in some schools they Muslim students because of their courage and commitment.
They put their prayer mats in the holes in his have to step around them. Christian students have to be off somewhere where nobody sees them having their Bible studies or other witness.
I have a friend who works in national security.
He says that there are members of the brotherhood Muslim brotherhood that have infiltrated our security forces and he says that we are generally regarded as weak, quick to compromise and easily led, and I think that that assessment is right. So my question to you today is what happens when the song comes on the rabble. What happens when the difficulties really come in when the fruits of secularism begin to have their full impact. What then I can imagine somebody saying pastor U shouldn't preach about this because people are going to panic and fear. Well, just to be clear, my purpose is actually the direct opposite. I do not want us to fear. I do not want us to panic when other people do. We shouldn't. I can hardly wait because one of the messages I'm going to preach comes from Jeremiah where Jeremias is blessed is the man whose planted his tree near the stream because he will not fear when drought comes, that's the whole point of these messages. It's to the to be realistic about what might happen, but it's also to engender hope and fear, and commitment to God and to one another. That's the purpose.
In fact, in the final message on the series. We all are going to pray a prayer it's going to be a prayer that all of you will be invited to pray to lift any spirit of fear or panic from us regardless of what the future holds because our roots will be that strong is he is my intention.
I don't think that we can change society by the way in all tell you why. At least not a great deal. I think were too far down the river but it's my intention that when this series is over we will have changed because whom we trust will have changed.
That's really the goal Wayne Gretzky that great hockey player in Canada said that the reason that he was so good on the ice. He said he never would go where the puck was, he said, I always went where I knew the would be and that's what we want to do in these messages not just talk about what is. But what could be.
I love the sayings of Woody Allen.
He really was gifted in saying wonderful things and one of them is this, he says, you know, history has to repeat itself because nobody was listening the first time around home. And history does repeat itself and its re-repeating itself right now and nobody is listening. No matter how many times around. It goes come with me to the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah was a prophet who lived during a time of Israel's history that was much like our own Jeremiah Rhoton cotton preach during a time of decline.
There had been a revival under a man by the name of Josiah's, but the revival didn't last because the repentance wasn't deep enough, the nation's tears were not hot enough. And so, in the book God is pronouncing judgment on Jerusalem and Judah and pre-acting what we call the Babylonian captivity.
So to read all the books you find that the nation is coming down from the north. That's the Babylonian, and they're going to destroy Jerusalem and destroy all the cities and that's the message Jeremiah has. You'll notice in verse five of chapter 1 and by the way, it's on page 627 if you just happen to forget your own Bible. It 627 on the Bible that is there in the seat ahead of you, versus 45 before iPhone formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. I pointed you a prophet to the nation and of course Jeremias is whom I don't have the strength, etc. God says I'm to put words in your mouth. Verse eight do not be afraid of them because I am with you to deliver. And then you'll notice continuing in chapter 1 God says that these people the Babylonians are going to come against the gates of Jerusalem, and in verse 16 and I will declare my judgments against them. That is, the people of Judah and Jerusalem for their evil in forsaking me. They made offerings to other gods worshiped the works of their own hands. But, you dress yourself for work.
This applies to us now arise say to them everything I commanded you, do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismayed you before them, and behold, I make you this day of fortified city and iron pillar bronze walls against the whole land against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you because I am.
I know that this applies specifically to Jeremiah, but it also applies to us.
You and I are living at this moment of history, the confluence of genes that God brought together to create you was intended for this moment, there was a reason why you weren't born 30 years ago. You are called to this moment to prove God's faithfulness in the midst of a nation that is under judgment and more judgment is coming and like Jeremiah, God is going to protect us.
He's going to care for us and not only that, he says, I will fight on your behalf, but you'd better be faithful. You are called to this family.
This family of believers this moment in history. You are called by God and you and I are together.
I would like to do is to look at that phrase that I read in verse 16 all the judgments that I'm going to bring upon and can answer the question what the judgments that God brought to the people. What was God is so upset about what was it that made him so angry that he would talk about the judgments three different kinds. First of all, you have what we would call moral judgments moral judgments all the way through Jeremiah. You always have this reference to idols and other people went to the hills and they made idols of wood and stone, and silver. For example, Jeremiah says them in chapter 2 verse 27, you who say to a tree you're my father and a stone you gave me birth and then God says they have turned their back to me and not their face. Afterwards they didn't face God. They turned their back on what's going on. I used to read the Old Testament thing. What in the world where the people doing, you know, this idea of making an idol. I mean, give me a break. Who would pray to something that you made and I heard a lecture by an Old Testament scholar on idolatry.
In the Old Testament, and that I understood the reason that people preferred these kinds of gods is because these gods were very tolerant and accepting of sexual orgies. That was the whole point of the God of Israel. He opposed homosexuality, adultery, fornication, we don't want that we want to God who is compatible with anything and everything that the light and the one to do. That's the God we want. So if I make one of wood he will agree with me about everything's all the way through Jeremiah. You have these references that you know you fornicate under the trees and you do all that stuff because God says I'm going to judge you for it and he says that to him all the wells are going to dry up. You know, in chapter 2 it says in verse 13 for my people have committed two evils. They have forsaken me, the fountain of living water hewed them out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. You know you don't understand this was you realize in Israel. The cisterns were really just caves in the mountains and they would plaster them, and they in a very primitive way, and pretty soon that water would be brackish and it would be very very bitter and people couldn't even drink it. It was so bad and them in that context, the Lord says seven.
You know you forsaken me, the living water.
The streams that flow and use you and yourself out cisterns, broken ones that can hold water. And they will dry up, isn't that true of illicit sexual relations.
I remember a man here 25 years ago. Not with us anymore, but we are trying to convince him to go back to his wife, rather than commit adultery. And I remember his words to make these as I have found an oasis in the desert and now you want me to go back to the dry desert 10 years later. He writes this 10 page letter indicating all the bitterness that came to him.
The oasis turned out to be a broken cistern that could hold no water asked would've been better while so God says seven.
I'm going to judge you for this is anyone who doesn't believe that we are under judgment because of rampant unrestrained sexuality we call progress there.
Anyone who doesn't believe that the very fact that 20 million children will go home tonight with only one parent, primarily the mother is proof that we have broken God's laws. Adultery, pornography, and the home is being decimated by the way, speaking of single mothers. We here at the church believe that you are our heroes. We know that you need help and that's why we have family ministries.
We're here to help you parent your children.
That's why Pastor Bob is on staff.
He and his wife because we are committed to speaking to, and ministering to the brokenness that exists in our society. Take for example sexual addiction what is addiction, it simply the intensification of the consequences of sin. God says you want to send this way. I'll give you lots of it. Now even in those situations, we are here to help to encourage you men, particularly that's why you should be going to our men's fraternity ministries where you can find other brothers who are struggling so that you can struggle together and be victorious together for the glory of God. But God says I'm judging you because of your immorality and by the way it says in Ezekiel. They make up idols in their own mind. People today have a God who so tolerant he agrees with them about everything.
He might as well be made of stone. There's a second kind of judgment, and it follows in evitable. In that is of course economic judgment. There is so many passages but for example in chapter 2 verse 15 God says that when the Babylonians come the land that is going to be a waste. It says in chapter 2 verse 17 let's see if I can find it here quickly. Had you not brought this upon yourself. By the way, the Lord says and then goes on to say that you are under every green tree and in chapter 3 verse two lift up your eyes to the bare heights and see where have you not been ravished by the wayside. You have been awaiting lovers like an Arab in a wilderness and there might be waiting for an animal that he can kill or whatever and that's the way you've been, and that what I'm going to do is to send you judgment with your bio boredom. The Bible says you polluted the land but notice this is what I wanted. Verse three. Therefore, the showers have been withheld and are verses that say that the blessing of God in terms the productivity is going to be taken away from you. The land is going to be made Erin and remember, in those days the land was the economy, it is going to be there and so you have economic judgments that are going to take place and it says in the book of Deuteronomy God said to the people. If you follow me, you will lend to many nations and you will not borrow. Now what do I need to say about the United States of America as we begin to spend our way into oblivion and we realized, by the way that it is that children who are going to suffer. That's exactly what Jeremiah says. He says it is the children. He says the Babylonians are going to come and they are going to destroy your children will my friend, this is Pastor Luther. That certainly is sobering.
Isn't it but as we look at our nation today, we can see that much that happened in ancient times is happening before our eyes, but at the same time God wants us to walk in personal victory, you know, I've written a book entitled how to break a stubborn habit and it has not just to do with stubborn habits, but rather how do we move forward in a life of holiness and commitment to Jesus Christ. I believe that this book will be a tremendous blessing to you and to your friends. It's entitled how to break as stubborn habit for a gift of any amount. It can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 now in light of the message that you have just heard. I want to remind you that God expects us to do well spiritually, even if everything around us seems to be falling apart and I believe that you will find this book a great encouragement. It'll help you in your walk with God at a time when walking with God is more difficult than ever.
The book is entitled how to break as stubborn habit and as I just mentioned for a gift of any amount. It can be yours. And thanks by the way, for helping us as we continue to share the word of God with thousands upon thousands of people. It's because of people like you that we can do that here is what you do to connect with us. Go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 asked for the book how to break a stubborn habit. You've heard me say this before, but we hear it running to win exist to help all of us to make it all the way to the finish line and to and successfully that we might hear from Jesus.
Well done good and faithful servant. You can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago 60614 when God chooses to judge the nation has several methods at his disposal.
One of them is economic collapse in the house of cards called debt comes crashing down next time more on how God can exact judgment on the nation. Thanks for listening Erwin Luzerne this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church