Disclaimer: This is not a political post. This is a post about our God, and His nature.
I remember it well, I was terrified. I was a young child when I first heard those words spoken from a Bible class teacher on Sunday Morning. The words were something like this, “If a lot of changes don’t happen, and soon, God will destroy the U.S.”
Now picture the effect that such a statement can have on a 10 year old child. I was devastated. I left worship Sunday morning with my parents and sister, and I wasn’t even excited about watching football when I got home. I thought “What is the point? God will probably blow up the football field before the game is over.”
Allow me to say before moving forward that I understand the sentiments expressed by this Bible class teacher. I also understand those same or similar statements being made by numerous Christians all around. It is not hard to see problems that are surrounding us. We see more and more sin that is not just legalized but embraced by our nation. We see attacks on the authority of scripture, the church, and Jesus Himself. We also see examples in Scripture such as the infamous Sodom and Gomorrah, along with others that show the end of great cities and nations because of moral decay. It can be very depressing. Let me be clear, I do not think we should simply dismiss these issues and pay them no attention. They are of legitimate concern. I would however caution us to not dwell on the bad and neglect the good (Phil 4:8)
I would like to draw your attention to 2 passages of scripture that reveal to us a great deal about our God.
1. Jeremiah Chapter 5
There isn’t a preacher anywhere around here that has had to put up with the degree of problems that Jeremiah was facing. Jeremiah, as you know was God’s chosen messenger to a people who had turned their face away from God, and were living solely for self. He was proclaiming the words that God put within him to the people. It was a tough message to digest, but it was a message that begged those who used to be God’s people to repent.
Jeremiah 5:1- “Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, look and take note! Search her squares to see if you can find a man, one who does justice and seeks truth, that I may pardon her.”
Isn’t it interesting that to a people so lost, so hard of heart, that this would be a message to them from God? The message preached was that God would pardon/spare this people if they could find A MAN who was living right. Not millions, thousands, or hundreds. A man.
2. Genesis 18:22-33
In this passage we read about Abraham interceding on behalf of Sodom. One might deem this strange that he would do such a thing. It is important to remember that Abraham’s kinsmen Lot was dwelling there. Abraham was afraid for his relatives when he was told what was about to happen to the cities. Wouldn’t you be?
Abraham begins asking God, If I can find 50 people there who are righteous, will you spare the city? God answers that if Abraham could find 50 righteous He would spare the cities. After some thought (perhaps doubting himself that he could find 50) Abraham asks God, if I can find 45, will you spare the city? God affirms that He would not if Abraham found 45. Abraham, wasn’t satisfied, he continued “bargaining” He worked his way all the way down to 10. He asked God, if I find 10 who are righteous, will you spare the city? God said that He would spare it, if Abraham could find 10.
What is the point?
It is so easy to be discouraged in the world in which we live. We read about violence, we see the depressing stories on the news, we suffer personal setbacks and loss. There is never “enough” money in the bank. Our leaders are not who we want them to be, as you know the list could go on and on. In Philippians 4:8 Paul tells the church to think, on the good things. It is easy to see the bad, the bad is all around us. Just like the bad has been all around God’s people throughout the history of this world.
Will God destroy the United States? Yes, just like He will destroy the entire world (2 Peter 3). However, we should be cautious in our predictions that because of the men and women in office, a bill that was passed, the latest story of violence, and such things, that this means God is going to wipe the U.S. off the map.
I am not suggesting that sin has no consequence. I am suggesting that we have the same God that promised to not destroy Sodom if there were 10 righteous people. We serve the same God, that said he would pardon Jerusalem if there was a man found who was upright.
Living in constant fear, and constant mourning over the evils in this world, is not only spiritually damaging, but a tool of Satan. If Satan can discourage us, weaken our spirits and our hearts to the point that we feel all is hopeless, he has done his job.
- I am blessed to work for a congregation that is heavily involved in ministry working with our military. We sponsor a weekly worship service at Ft. Sill and average around 4-6 baptisms a week.
- I participate in a preacher training camp every summer. My first year at this camp, there were 15 campers. This past year, there were around 60.
- Each summer I serve as a camp counselor and watch as year after year, hundreds of young people are giving up their time to work on their walk with God.
- I participate in a LTC circuit where several thousand gather each year.
- I attended a youth rally this past Lord ’s Day where there were over 1,000 in attendance.
I say all of this without an ounce of bragging (since I have very little to nothing to do with many of those works directly) but rather to encourage. You see, these are just a sampling of a few good things that I personally experience on a routine basis.
I encourage/challenge you to do as Paul says and to control what you think. Think on the good, think on the positive; think on the good works that are being done. Think on those who are sharing the gospel. Think about the God we read about in Jeremiah chapter 5, and the God we read about in Genesis 18. The next time you hear those words “God will destroy America.” Think to yourself, “Not if I can help it!”
How much different would YOUR world look, if you no longer allowed yourself to dwell upon the evils in the world, but rather focused your time, thoughts, and energy, into making this world a better place?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.