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America: Turning a Nation to God

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
February 2, 2021 7:00 am

America: Turning a Nation to God

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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February 2, 2021 7:00 am

The world believes religion ought to be so private that it doesn’t even show up in public let alone have any influence there. Join Dr. Tony Evans as he talks about what happens when we let that lie go unchallenged in this look at what it’ll take to turn our nation to God.

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The reason why some issues in your life have yet to be resolved is because of God, not the devil. Dr. Tony Evans says whether it's gurus, groups, or governments, if our answers come from any source with the Lord, he might let us get what we deserve. If God is your problem, only God is your solution. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans. Author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative.

The world believes religion ought to be so private that it doesn't show up in public or even have any influence there. But Dr. Evans says at the root of our cultural pandemic is a spiritual pandemic. That once God is dismissed from society, the spiritual vacuum created is filled by all kinds of trouble.

Let's join him as he explains. Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall and Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. Now all the king's horses and all the king's men could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again. We've all grown up learning that nursery rhyme.

But I wonder how many of us have actually studied it. Evidently, Mr. Dumpty was whole at one point, strong and vibrant, because he was able to lift himself up to the top of this wall. He is perusing the world around him when something cataclysmic goes wrong. We don't know what it was that happened, but whatever it was, was very serious because it knocked him off of his pinnacle. It knocked him from his place of stability. And he came crashing down. Now Mr. Dumpty, once vibrant, once whole, is now shattered. He's now collapsed on the ground and he's broken into many, many pieces. What grabs my attention is where Mr. Dumpty went for help.

He knew he needed to be put back together, but he didn't go to his friends, he didn't go to his family. The king called a meeting of Congress. Now we know Congress got involved because of all the king's horses and all the king's men. So there was this congressional meeting to try to figure out what we're going to do about the collapse of Mr. Dumpty's world. They passed a Fix Mr. Dumpty law designed to fix up, patch up, and repair his broken life and his broken world. The tragedy of the nursery rhyme is that the best that the land had to offer, the most powerful people in the land, the programs and the funding were not able to fix Mr. Dumpty's dilemma.

The most casual observer is not unaware that our world is shattered. It has become inextricably clear that all the king's horses and all the king's men don't know how to fix it. You can almost name the issue today and it is unresolved. Not due to lack of money, not due to lack of power, not due to lack of desire even. And the question is why and what needs to be done to fix it.

Is it fixable or is it hopeless? In 2nd Chronicles 15, we have a summary statement of what's wrong with the world and how the world works. It is important for you and I to know how the world works so that we can offer answers to people who do not know where to find them, even answers to ourselves. We are introduced to a crisis in verse 5. In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in. For many disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands.

It says that there was no peace to him who came out or to him who went in. And it affected everybody, all the inhabitants of the lands. There was a crisis of gargantuan proportion because everybody was impacted by it.

It says at the beginning of verse 6, nation rose up against nation and city rose up against city. Nation against nation, city against city, all the inhabitants, that's what we might call cultural chaos. There was a crisis.

Why? Why is the world unraveling at warp speed? Or maybe the question is why are you and I unraveling at warp speed? Verse 6 says nation was crushed by nation, city by city, and then we get the zinger. For God troubled them with every kind of distress. I would have thought it would have said the devil troubled them with every kind of distress. I would have expected when I got all this mess and all this madness that it ain't nothing but the devil.

I would have thought we've got this many problems, this much chaos all over the place, affecting everybody, that the devil's behind this. But that's not what verse 6 says. Verse 6 says God troubled them with every kind of distress. Now, brothers and sisters, if God is your problem, it doesn't matter who you elect. If God is your problem, it doesn't matter what program you come up with. If God is your problem, it doesn't matter what counselor you go to. If God is your problem, only God is your solution, if He's your problem.

For God troubled them with every kind of distress. Now, I know that may mess up your view of God. That may cause your view of God to be reconsidered.

Wait a minute, are you still talking about the good God that I praise? Have you ever considered the reason why some issues in your life have been yet to be resolved is because of God, not the devil? Theologically, what we are experiencing on every level, personal and national, is what we would call the passive wrath of God. The passive wrath of God.

Now let me explain that. There is the active wrath of God. This is when God directly and intentionally brings judgment. You find the active wrath of God throughout the Old Testament, like when He brings down fire and brimstone from heaven and destroys Sodom and Gomorrah, He opens up the earth and people are swallowed up. That's the active wrath of God. That's Him decreeing it to be so and bringing it about directly and personally and cataclysmically.

That's His active wrath. The death of Jesus Christ changed how God relates to the world. Some theologians, liberal theologians, struggle with whether the God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament, because they say He seems so mean in the Old Testament and so nice in the New Testament. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5 that the death of Jesus Christ reconciled the world to God. So with the death of Jesus Christ, God could relate to the world differently because His wrath was satisfied by the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ. So it's the same God.

It's a different relationship. So now we do not face the active wrath of God. We face the passive wrath of God. It's still wrath because it is part of the nature of God. He cannot ignore sin.

He cannot bypass sin. But it shifts how He relates to it. Dr. Evans will tell us more about the difference between active and passive wrath when he comes back in a moment to continue his message from this important series, Race, Culture, and Christ. This collection will help you see how the things that unite us as believers can overcome any divisions, and how putting that understanding to work can change our entire country. The material covered in these six lessons is really close to Tony's heart, and we're offering them to you on CD and digital download, along with Tony's powerful book, Oneness Embraced. This bestseller explores his personal hurts and hopes over the cultural and racial divides that separate God's people.

And there are practical kingdom-minded steps that churches and individuals can take to overcome prejudice, heal divisions, and build unity. We've packaged these restorative messages and book together as our gift to you when you make a donation to help keep Tony's vital teaching on this station. Call us today at 1-800-800-3222, or visit tonyevans.org to make the arrangements to get your copy of these important resources. Again, that's tonyevans.org. I'll repeat that contact information for you later in the program.

Stay with us. The thing about serving an infinite God is that no matter how much you know about Him, there's always more to learn. So whether you're brand new to Scripture or an experienced ministry professional, there's something for you at the Tony Evans Training Center. You'll find online courses covering core concepts of the faith. Working at your own pace and schedule, you'll dig deep into the historical context of the book, uncover the key teachings, and learn how to apply them in real-world situations. There's lots of exclusive content from Dr. Evans to keep you interested and motivated, and an online forum where you can ask questions, get answers, and collaborate with other students. The more you learn, the more you'll want to learn. Give it a try. The Tony Evans Training Center.

A world of discovery, anytime, anywhere. The passive wrath of God, which I can only summarize now, we'll look at it in more detail at another time, is described in detail in Romans chapter 1 verses 18 to the end of the chapter. Verse 18 of Romans 1 says, The wrath of God is revealed against all unrighteousness. So, he says there is wrath in the New Testament because it's nature.

God must react, must respond. He says the wrath of God is revealed against all unrighteousness. For when they knew God, they glorified Him, not as God. Then three times in that chapter, you will read the phrase, And God turned them over. And God turned them over.

And God turned them over. The passive wrath of God is when He releases you to life without Him. He lets you go. It says because they no longer wanted to retain the knowledge of God, He released them to life without Him. And then it shows the consequence that came as men departed from Him. He says as God released them, you don't want me?

I don't want to be where I'm not wanted. And so God releases you. But when He releases you to life without Him, that creates a chasm and nature abhors a vacuum, empty space.

So it's got to be filled with something. And what it is filled with are the consequences of you ignoring God. It's not because God zaps you.

It's because you have now created space to be zapped. He says that consequence shows up in Romans 1 in the decline in society, in the morals of society. And then He comes to the third one, and in the third one He says, and God turned them over. And then it says, and you knew you were at the bottom. Here's where you know you're at the bottom of the passive wrath of God.

Here's where you know it doesn't get any worse than this. He says not only do they do the same, but they okay those who do it. So when you legislate and legalize and okay and endorse unrighteousness, you're at the bottom of God's wrath. God troubled them with every kind of trouble. So I would like to suggest what you're reading in your newspaper today, what you're seeing on television, what you're seeing in the news is the passive wrath of God at work.

In fact, you may not need to see it in the news. You may need to only look at your own life. The passive wrath of God. God is loving. God is kind. God is just. God is all of that.

But in addition, God cannot, will not skip sin, so He will leave you. It's like you're telling a child who continues to rebel in your home, you can't stay here anymore because you no longer want to respect me, so you can make it on your own. There was a crisis. You and I are watching the devolution of a nation, not the evolution, the devolution.

You're watching a nation in decline, and it will continue to decline. Now, why did God trouble them? What were the causes? What were the reasons that God, that led to this?

Or that leads to it in your own life? Because the principle is not only a collective principle for society, it's a personal principle for your life and my life. Verse 3 gives us three reasons for the devolution of life. For many days, Israel was without the true God. Reason number one, they were without the true God.

Now, please don't misread that. He didn't say they were without religion. He didn't say they were without using the name God.

He defines what he says when he says without the true God. Whenever you see in the Bible decline occur, it's because idolatry has increased. Idolatry is the worship of a false god. Because they left the true God and went to idols— now, let's remember the definition of an idol. An idol is any noun—person, place, thing, or thought— that you look to as your source. In the Bible, when they worshiped an idol, they were looking for that idol to do something. That idol was to make the property pregnant for food and for fertility. That idol was to do something, protect them from their enemies. That idol was their source. They looked to it for something. It wasn't just a thing.

It was a thing to do something. One of the reasons we've not been able to solve the racial problem in America is because race has become an idol. So your race can be an idol when black trumps God and white trumps God.

Black and white just became God. Class can become an idol. Money can become an idol.

Power can become an idol. Freedom can become an idol, because it's misdefined. Because now, folk want to be free to be whatever they want to be and do whatever they want to do. And they call that freedom. There is no such thing as freedom without legitimate boundaries. You're not free in football to run up into the stands with the ball because you don't want to get tackled. But out of boundary, that's madness.

That's chaos. Folks don't want boundaries. They want to be free. So what they've done is deified freedom and made it a god. Anything you look to as your source is your God. The true God had been marginalized. The closer the true God is to the life, the family, the church, and the government, the more ordered things are.

The further an individual family, church, or government is from God, the more chaotic things become. When the kids were small, one of the things we would do was play hide-and-go-seek. Oftentimes, they could not find me.

They couldn't locate where I was. And after a while, they would get tired of looking. You could hear the exasperation in their voice. It was all fun and games for a while. Then it became, OK, Daddy. It shifted. At the point of their desperation, I would make some kind of noise or some kind of movement to make myself findable.

Because the goal was not to hurt them. But when they became desperate enough, I made it clear where I was located. People are saying, but I'm praying to God and nothing has happened. I'm going to church and nothing has happened. God, I can't find you.

You're not desperate enough. You haven't gotten to the place. I haven't gotten to the place.

We haven't gotten to the place where we like the deer that pants after the water brook. Psalm 42, my heart pants after you, O God. Dr. Evans will come back in a moment with some final thoughts to wrap up today's lesson on turning a nation to God. As I mentioned earlier, if you contact us right away, you can receive this message on CD and digital download as a part of Tony's current six message series called Race, Culture, and Christ. And for the next few days, we're adding a special bonus by including a copy of Dr. Evans' powerful bestselling book, Oneness Embraced. To get this package of resources, all we ask is that you make a donation to help keep this important program coming your way. You can make the arrangements by going to tonyevans.org or by calling our resource request line at 1-800-800-3222, where members of our resource team are manning the phones day and night. Again, that's 1-800-800-3222, or just go online to tonyevans.org. It sounds reasonable to say that we'll take a good idea wherever we can find it, but tomorrow Dr. Evans will talk about the disaster that results when we don't take time to consider the source.

Right now, though, he's back with a closing comment for today. We are in trouble. Unless you begin to look at, unless I begin, unless we begin to look at things spiritually and theologically, and not just racially or culturally or economically or politically, those have their place. But until you look behind the veil and see what God is doing, you're just looking at news reports. That's all you're looking at.

And you think it's just politics. No, it's deeper than that. Everything visible and physical is preceded by something invisible and spiritual. So if you want to address the visible physical, you must address the invisible spiritual. And if you don't know to see that and to look for that, you'll be stuck.

You'll be stuck. But you don't have to be. God is real. The God of the Bible is real, because that's the only God there is. And to take him seriously is to experience him deeply. The alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness. Thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-29 04:03:23 / 2023-12-29 04:11:09 / 8

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