Monday, February 15, 2016

Lost and Found in America

Lost and Found
Barbara Henderson

It is election time in the United States.  Right now the two parties are choosing their candidate.  It appears that no one is happy about anything.  America is furious.  Liberals are furious because America is not swinging left at a fast enough pace.  Conservatives are furious that the nation is going left at an alarming pace. 

Truly, the swing to the left would not be possible if Christianity had not been marginalized in society.  No matter what is being pushed as the truth today, Christianity was the foundation of this nation.  God Almighty raised up this nation, and in turning from Him there are certain things that are gradually lost, things that make the world better.  Christianity could only be marginalized or trivialized when Christians do not show their faith by their actions.  There are some false-Christians claiming to be Christians; but there are also a great number of real Christians who are trying to get along with the world instead of be separate from the world.  This has caused a great loss to our culture and our nation.

Things that are lost include:

Love of God
     ‘And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.’  Deuteronomy 6:5

People who don’t know the Lord don’t love Him.  Unfortunately, even many Christians are often very casual about their love for God.  When we love a person we want to please them.  We try not to do things that will cause a rift between us.  I have two friends outside family that I would rather eat glass than offend.  They are very dear to me.  I have friends inside my family that mean the world to me.  I love them.  I don’t make every decision based on whether or not it will offend them, but I do take it into consideration.  But with God every decision should be made regarding whether or not our actions will offend God.  When dealing with imperfect people we sometimes have to do something that a friend or loved one will consider offensive.  But with God there is no choice.  If it offends God we should not do it.  God is righteous all the time.  He loves us all the time.  He does what is best for us all the time.  

Fear of God
     ‘Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.’ 1 Peter 2:17
     ‘Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:’ Ecclesiastes 8:12

      Have you ever made a decision based on whether or not it will make someone mad?  If you spend a lot of time fearing someone’s reaction to you actions then that person is probably not a real friend.  If that person is a family member then you may need to get some professional help regarding how you deal with them. 
     But, with God it is different.  God is merciful, slow to anger, but ultimately He will not be mocked.  God is eternally continually righteous.  What we sow we will eventually reap.  Besides loving God, we are to fear His reaction to our bad behavior.  My concordance says we could translate ‘fear of God’ as ‘reverent awe of God’.  Either way, God’s voice is the one that counts.

In today’s world, there is no fear of God in the world.  The world, its leaders, its people deny the existence of God so they certainly have no love for God or fear of God.

A sound mind
      For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.’ 1 Timothy 1:7

When watching the world leaders reveal plans regarding how they plan to make everything equal they appear totally insane.  In their minds, the government is god.  The citizens are worker ants.  They want only a few elite people such as themselves to have the power and authority to give everyone an equitable existence.  No one will have more than another person.  No one will have less.  All things will be equitable or exactly the same.  Equality is a thing of the past.  Equitable is the thing they are seeking now.  The problem with equality is that some people will rise above others in education, pay scale, housing, ability to spend wisely, and even ability to enjoy life.  The person who works and saves should have no more than the person who doesn’t work and doesn’t save.  It is ‘from each according to his/her/gender-neutral ability.  To each according to his/her/gender-neutral needs.’  Of course it is the elite who decides who needs what and who is able to work at what.  No one but lazy people, thieves, or lunatics think that is a good idea.  Families are required to look after family members.  It isn’t the job of the government to provide for people.  It is the job of the government to work toward an environment that allows people to work and keep what they work for.  Christians know that it is God Almighty who supplies all our needs.  It is God alone who loads us with daily benefits. 

Family structure
     ‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.’  Genesis 2:24

Today people are not getting married.  Even Christians are not getting married.  They attend church on Sunday and go home to whoever they are shacked up with for the rest of the week.  I do understand the government has set it up so that couples who do get married face an economic hardship that those who don’t marry do not face.  The very sad fact is that whenever the government ‘gives’ you money they are massive strings attached.  Regardless of the government God tells His children to get married.  Don’t behave like you are married when you are not!

Christian work ethic
      Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God;
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.’ Colossians 3:22-24

Have you personally been around co-workers who are so afraid of doing more than their fair share that they spend half their time making sure everyone else does more than they do?  Christians should not worry about what others are doing.  They should just concern themselves with what their personal duties include and make sure they are doing more than is required of them.  This work ethic should be used in every situation including home, work, and volunteer situations.  Right now there are businesses who want to build a work force that could continue productivity in an event where a good portion of the staff is suddenly unavailable for work.  I have news for them.  They might be able to do this on paper, but in reality it will not happen.  Too many people are so afraid of doing more than is required of them that they refuse to learn additional job skills or learn to do someone else’s job.  If in the case of a natural disaster or epidemic that takes out 25% of the work force the business would probably have to close its doors.  The current work ethic for most employees is do as little as possible, learn as little as possible, and spend as much time as possible making sure you don’t do anyone else’s job.  There have always been slackers at work and at home, but that does not change a Christians duty to work to please God. If they get no credit for what they do at work that does not mean God Himself is not fully aware of what they are doing.  Ultimately everyone will reap what they sow.  God is not mocked.

     ‘Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.’ 1 Corinthians 10:31

I chose this verse because it covers a lot of territory.  Seriously, Christians of either gender should not dress to attract attention only.  Christians are to be an example to the world.  We are to be different on the inside first and foremost.  But, what is on the inside does show up on the outside.  Dress appropriately for the occasion.  If you are working at a soup kitchen where the hungry are fed it is best to dress in a manner that will not make those coming for a meal feel uncomfortable.  If you are going to fancy ball then you should wear something that is appropriate for the occasion with the idea that the more skin covered up the better.  You can still be elegant and attractive.  I hate to use the ‘What would Jesus do?’ phrase, but in some cases it is appropriate.  Or what would the virtuous woman in proverbs do?  Seriously, at church a while back the woman in front of me turned around facing me to pick up something.  When she bent over I had a full view of what would be called pornography if it were a photograph.  She hadn’t been coming long and probably didn’t know any better.  But, if Christians don’t set an example then new Christians will have a hard time learning.  I do not subscribe to the idea that women cannot wear pants, cut their hair, wear makeup, or simply dress to look nice.  Attracting attention by our outfit should not be our prime objective. 

These are just a few things that are lost when a nation turns from God.  The sad thing is that many Christians follow the example of the world instead of following the instructions God gives us in the Bible.  When God tells us to love Him, obey Him, marry and raise a family, work to support our family, attend church, and to do all things heartily as if the Lord is our overseer, then that is what we should be doing.  It doesn’t matter what the world is doing or thinking.  The Lord is the One who matters!

For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.  Isaiah 32:22

Whatever happens on the political scene, both nationally and globally, does not change that our future is secure with the Lord.  He is our judge.  God will judge us on our actions.  God is our law giver.  We are to obey the laws of man unless they conflict with God’s law, but our ultimate laws are based on God’s word.  God is our King.  Hallelujah!  We have a righteous King.  One day He will rule the world.  In the mean time we have to put up with earthly rulers.  Our salvation is of the Lord.  That salvation is both spiritual and physical.  It is easy to get caught up in the political and social scenes of this world.  But ultimately our salvation comes from the Lord.  It is time for the Christians to look at the things lost to our countries and make sure that nothing is being lost due to our own actions.

For Christians to ‘find’ the things that have been lost in our nation we need to mentally put God back on His throne.  This begins with individual Christians setting their hearts and minds to do the things God says to do.  God should be the King of our lives.  Our actions should be pleasing to God.  He is number one.  If your actions please God then they will ultimately please those who love God.  They really will probably never please the non-Christians in your personal life or your national life.

The truth is that most of the liberal politicians are not Christian even though they may claim to be.  They are just acting like non-Christians.  That is the way almost all of the world acted before Jesus came.  How non-believers act is not supposed to affect how Christians act. 

True Christians actually know the Jesus Christ of the Bible.  They don’t follow a made up Jesus such as those mentioned in Islam and Mormonism.  Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, eternal, sinless, and part of the Triune God of the Bible.  The Jesus of Islam is just a prophet.  They accept their Jesus as a prophet and nothing else.  To Mormons Jesus is not eternal deity.  All Mormons are on the road to becoming a god like Jesus was once on the road to becoming a god according to Mormon theology.  Jesus is the one and only way into heaven.  Jesus does not need any help from Mary or anyone else to get you into heaven.  He personally paid the price that opened one door into heaven.  I have no desire to hurt anyone’s feelings regarding their faith. My goal is to encourage people to read the Bible and apply Bible teachings to personal actions. 

Mormonism, Islam, and Catholicism adds to what is written in the Bible.  The Bible says, ‘For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:’. Revelation 21:18

Just read the Bible and learn Bible doctrine.  Don’t be led astray because of ignorance on your part or fear of violating some ritual. 

The Bible teaches that Jesus is the only way to God the Father. 

‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’  John 14:6

The Bible teaches that He is the Son of God.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.’ John 1:14
‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ John 3:16

The Bible teaches that Jesus is eternal, having no beginning and no end.  ‘Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.’ John 8:58

Don’t you love the song ‘Amazing Grace’?  The line that says, ‘I once was lost but now am found’ is wonderful.  As believers and followers of Jesus Christ we were once lost, but now we are found.  Of course God never ‘lost’ us, but we were separated from Him by our sins.  Once we have been saved, or ‘found’, we can never lose our salvation.  However, we can stray from God.  He doesn’t ‘unadopt’ us when we sin, but He is not pleased with our actions.  Like a loving father, God will take the time to correct our bad behavior.  Instead of waiting for a dire ‘correction’ it is better to look at our own lives and see what corrections need to be made. 

Applying Bible teachings to personal actions is not something that Christians should take lightly.  John 14:15  says,
If ye love me, keep my commandments.’ 

The beginning of finding what has been lost in our families and in our countries is to show our love for God by keeping His commandments.