Good day, mates! I hope you are enjoying our new series, America, Israel and the Church, so far. We’ve only just begun our journey, so if you missed Laying a Firm Foundation of Hope and Promise yesterday, it is critical that you begin there. As we sail into the storm, we need solid truth and encouragement to lean upon. That’s what yesterday’s discussion was about. Please don’t miss it!
Today, we’re actually flying a reconnaissance mission above the fray to get a bird’s eye view of America, Israel and the church. So, leave your life jacket behind and put on your flight suit for today! Let’s get a glimpse of what’s happening on planet earth!
Because Israel is the crown jewel in God’s plan, let’s begin there. First, understand that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Both Jews and Arabs (as well as other people groups including Druze, Bedouins and others) call Israel home. All have equal freedoms, and you will even find Arabs serving in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) and other high ranking government and civilian positions.
Like the US, though, Israel suffers from political division and liberal media bias. Come March, Israel will face their 4th election in two years, and the previous three have been very heated and divided, leaving Israel with an unstable government. Israel is a multi-party nation, with parties along the full gamut of the conservative-liberal spectrum. For their government to stay intact, coalitions of parties must cooperate to form a majority. When one or more parties pull out of the coalition, leaving it less than a majority, new elections are held.
Similar to President Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces legal challenges and a whole host of people and organizations who wish to oust him from power, despite Israel reaching new heights of peace and power during his tenure. Evil lurks.
The Bible tells us that Israel will be attacked one day by a group of nations who, at this very moment, are more unified than ever, are very hungry for resources Israel has, and are plotting to defeat that very small nation (the size of New Jersey). Scripture tells us that Israel will stand alone in that battle, so we know America must be taken out of the picture somehow. Which brings us to…
Never in our nation’s history has evil’s head been so apparent. We’re lied to by the government, by the media, by our educational system, and yes…even by some churches. (More about that very soon.) We are seeing lawlessness abound as never before, and we are seeing blind eyes turned to much of it.
As despicable as the attack on Capitol Hill was, the selective ignorance of certain local, state and national leaders is just as despicable. I 100% condemn the actions that took place at the US Capitol on January 6, and I 100% condemn violence in the streets of NYC, Chicago and other large cities this past summer, along with the violence in the streets of cities such as Seattle and Portland that continue to this day. Dozens of people have been killed and hundreds of private businesses have been destroyed in those riots…yet we don’t see 25,000 national guard troops deployed anywhere other than the now-peaceful US Capitol. We also don’t hear much about it in the news. Those riots serve a purpose, and it is in the best interest of those in power if the media remains rather silent on that front.
In a microcosm, that is the state of America. Many things are okay for one group of people, but not for another. America is now being run by globalists who have a very specific agenda: destroy America as we know it, and turn it into a socialist state where the government controls us all. In so doing, a New World Order will emerge, just as the Bible says will occur during the tribulation. (More on that another day.)
Meanwhile, the virus continues to rock our nation (and the world). Make no mistake, COVID-19 is real, people are really dying, and it is certainly a pandemic. However, it is being weaponized to keep Americans living in fear, and to destroy the most vulnerable among us. Elderly people are being kept from all contact with their families. Some have not experienced a touch, much less a hug from their loved ones in months. They are dying alone. School children are dying in record numbers due to suicide, and depression is driving many of them to pursue dangerous drugs and other means of coping. Domestic violence, child abuse, sex trafficking, murder and other violent crimes are skyrocketing, as portions of society are desperately searching for life. Which brings us to…
At a time when the world is searching as never before, many churches are shut down totally, are limping along with partial openings, or have simply lost all fire to share the gospel and the hope of Jesus Christ. In some states, churches are ordered to remain closed, and pastors are even threatened with fines and jail time if they disobey. What have we come to when the love of Christ is locked up and stifled by fear and by government? I applaud churches whose doors are open and who are making the most of this opportunity to share encouragement, reach out with assistance, and shine the Light of Jesus in a world becoming darker by the day. That’s the role of the church!
But let’s get outside the walls of our church buildings to talk about the “real” church…the body of Christ. Believers do not need walls within which to worship! We don’t need a building to run to on Sunday morning. Yes, the Bible clearly teaches us not to forsake gathering together (Hebrews 10:25), but we can gather anywhere, and true Christianity is lived out in our day-to-day lives as we shine the Light of Jesus in all we do. It takes both parts: gathering together (though not necessarily in a church building) and living it out day-to-day. We have become “Sunday Christians,” and it ought not to be that way. Living for Jesus is a 24/7/365 calling and commitment. How are we doing?
Believers, all signs seem to tell us we are about to experience the worst of times and the best of times. Let me explain! We are entering a very dark time. We will face greater challenges than we’ve ever faced before. Our faith will be tested as never before. Many believe the church in America has been far too comfortable for far too long. We have thrived, we have built big, nice buildings with fantastic sound systems, etc. We have hired staff to do what well discipled congregations should be doing instead. Comfort almost always leads to complacency. But now the time of trial is upon us, and it is in the darkness and trials that the best of times arise as the Light of Christ burns brightest!
Soon, nominal Christianity…”playing church” or “Christian in name only”…will no longer be an option. Christians will face the challenge of being “all in,” or not in at all. We will no longer be able to straddle the fence. How will we respond when the world turns against us? For those who are “all in,” our Light will shine brighter than ever! Short of a true awakening, the church in America is about to grow much smaller, but much more powerful! The Gospel will flourish within the body of Christ that is “all in!” That, dear friends, is exciting!
But…. Where do you stand? Are you committed to the Lord Jesus Christ, or do you simply call yourself a Christian? What choice will you make when faced with the challenge of standing for truth and righteousness, or floating downstream with the rest of society? Are you in God’s Word every day, seeking His guidance and His will, or do you spend your time watching TV, surfing the internet or playing video games? If you are not in His Word right now, do you think it will suddenly change when you are under pressure?
Friends, these are hard questions and the intent is not to judge or scare you, but to prepare you for what is coming. The Bible tells us that lawlessness is already at work in our world (2 Thessalonians 2:7), and we see it clearly. Take a look at 2 Timothy 3:1-5. What parts of that list do you see evident in today’s world? There is no other means of survival than getting into His Word to find guidance in living life. Don’t be “picked off” by a world gobbling up those outside the safety and protection of our Sovereign Lord!
It is time to go “all in” with the One who gave Himself for you. If you have “played church” or you are not sure if you truly KNOW Jesus, please take 100 seconds to hear this message. If you have never met Jesus personally, or you are still not sure, no one is better than the late Billy Graham at explaining why and how to secure your relationship with Jesus Christ. Click here for a 2 1/2-minute message that could change your life forever. Now is the time of salvation!
Jesus is coming soon. Don’t miss the boat…be “all in!”
We’ve landed the plane for today and will be back about our ship tomorrow! We’ll consider the enemy that is trying to destroy us, and what Scripture has to say about the being in God’s Word. See you then!