TITLE: WHAT ARE THE SIGNS THAT A NATION HAS FULLY FORSAKEN THE LORD.
TEXT: “And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.
19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles”
[1 Samuel 8:18-20]
Nothing may so reveal the spiritual state of America as her people’s choice for their President. God sees our choice as a decision of not only being for or against one of the candidates, but also as either being for Him or against Him.
As we see in Israel’s demand for a King, the Lord takes our choice PERSONAL. It shows Him if we are still willing to live under His rule, or have we reached the point that we have fully rejected Him.
1 Samuel 8 gives us three signs of a nation that now wishes to be a Godless Nation.
#1. A GODLESS NATION COMES TO THE POINT THAT THEY REJECT THE LORD’S RULE OVER THEM.
[1 Sam.8:7 “…they have rejected me…”; Vs.18,20; “…the king you have chosen…]
Israel no longer wanted the Lord’s rule over their lives, His Word was too constraining, they wanted to have a man of their choice, one that was worldly (vs.5, …a king like…all the nations.]
The results of this rebellion will lead to:
A. A Purge of the Christian Faith
The nation’s Christian history, her Christian symbols, her Christian activities will be purged from their midst. They will no longer want a challenge to their rebellion, or leave roots to grow again in the future.
Anyone that has been paying attention has watched our nations crusade to purge the Christian Faith from every institution in our nation.
B. A Persecution of the Faithful Christian
Not every Christian will feel the sting of persecution, but those who chose to live godly (2 Timothy 3:12) will pose a threat to the wicked and the opposition and persecution will only grow as the wicked increase.
We will see the persecution take 3 main forms:
1. In the Labels They Give Us:
The wicked will attempt to stigmatize the righteous with such labels as, HATER, BIGOTS, and PHOBICS. We are seeing this today as never before.
2. In the Laws They Will Use Against Us:
Like the enemies of Daniel (Daniel 6), they will create laws that outlaw the Christian Faith, and make a criminal of the Christian, knowing that the faithful Christian will obey God rather than man. They will use these laws to persecute the faithful.
We are seeing civil rights laws used against bakers, etc., in attempt to silence us and shut us down.
We are seeing prayer and the Bible now outlawed in the public square. Christianity is the only Faith that is now nearly outlawed within our nation.
3. In the Lobbying They Will Use Against Us.
Obama and other godless people in our nation can never speak without making negative insinuations against Christians. These remarks are a deliberate attempt to lobby and influence the American people to turn against the Christian Faith and the faithful
C. A Promotion of the Vile and Wicked and Their Practices
“He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are an abomination to the Lord”
I never thought I would ever live to see my President and nation justify the homosexual and their practices, while at the same time condemning the faithful Christian who still has the courage of their convictions and are willing to publicly stand against this evil, but that is where we are at today in America.
#2. A GODLESS NATION WILL REJECT ITS GODLY (CHRISTIAN) HERITAGE and IDENTITY.
[Vs.20a “…be like all the nations…”]
Israel understood that they were a nation distinct from all other nations. They believed that the one true God had created the nation for Himself and His special purposes. They believed that they were an exceptional nation. They prided themselves on being God’s Chosen People, and when they would forget that fact and go into idolatry and immorality, their God was always quick to chasten them as a means to reminding them of who they were and whose they were, but now they rejected their proud heritage and desired to be just like the rest of the pagan nations around them.
The America of my childhood believed that we too were a special people. We believed that we were an exceptional nation because of our being a CHRISTIAN NATION. We believed our founders were godly men, our history honored them as such. We were proud of that fact, we fought wars to assure we had the freedom to maintain our Christian heritage. We felt it our duty to spread our values to other nations, so they may become like us. We sent Christian Missionaries around the world not only to see souls saved, but to see our God bless their nation as He had blessed us as a nation.
Today in America our founders and our history are maligned. Our young people are now taught our founders were evil and greedy men. We too have rejected our Christian heritage and our belief in being an exceptional nation among the nations of the world. We like Israel, want to be like the rest of the nations that we fought a revolution to separate ourselves from.
Today we have a President that constantly tells us how bad our Christian heritage has been and ou and out lies to us and tells us how great a part the Muslim faith played in the history of our nation.
Like Israel, America has now rejected her Christian Heritage and identity and wish only to be like the failed nations of Europe.
1. We No Longer Pride Ourselves On Being a Christian Nation.
2. We No Longer Promote Our Christian Values to Other Nations
When Hillary Clinton was the Secretary of State she spent much of her time traveling the world promoting homosexuality to the nations of the world. How tragic has been the fall of this great nation.
3. We No Longer Perceive God’s Chastening and Warnings
[“…fighting our battles…” vs. 30]
When the nation of Israel was founded the Lord had promised His Covenant Nation peace and prosperity in exchange for their obedience and commitment to Him, but He also promised them pestilence, famines, and the sword (war) if they were to forsake Him.
In the time of the Judges (Samuel was Israel’s last Judge) Israel was a nation repeatedly in rebellion against the Lord and being true to His Word, the Lord would raise up their pagan neighbors to be the rod by which He would chasten them. Her pagan neighbors would rise up and declare war upon them and at times it would take decades, but when the misery index become so high, Israel would realize that their misfortunes were the chastening of the Lord for their rebellion against Him and they would then repent and return to the Lord. The Lord would then raise up a Judge and lead the nation to a military victory over their foes and peace and prosperity would once again be restored to the nation.
As we see in verse 20, the nation at this very point was fighting battles as they spoke, but they didn’t perceive it to be the chastening of the Lord. As this point they didn’t desire to return to the Lord, their desire was to fully reject the Lord. They had gotten to the point where they could no longer connect their misfortunes to the Lord’s chastening for their rebellion against Him.
America too has seen plenty of misfortunes in the last two decades, yet the people will not receive correction. If one were to be so bold as to tell the nation that our wars and our financial troubles were the Lord’s chastening for nation’s rebellion against the Lord, they would be ridiculed and cursed by most of America. We would say that God is to good to do anything like that to us, but what they would really mean is, that we are too good for God to do such a thing to us, but the reality is, we are too evil and God is too good, not to be chastening us in this evil day.
#3. A GODLESS NATION NO LONGER LOOKS TO GOD, BUT TO GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE and PROTECT THEM.
[Vs, 20b “…may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.”]
A godless nation will be one where the people want a big government and a little God. Israel wanted a King to provide their protection and prosperity. As a rebellious nation, they no longer wanted to have their peace and prosperity tied to their obedience to God. They wanted a Big Government to take care of them no matter how evil they would become. They were also willing to sacrifice their freedoms to their government in exchange for their protection and provisions.
At this point such a nation has a bleak outlook for their future.
1. They Become a Welfare State, a Nation of Government Dependents.
2. They Become a Nation with Continual Conflicts From Within and Without.
[“…our battles…” vs. 20]
You will notice the Scripture speaks of their battle(s), plural. They were a nation with continual internal and external conflicts.
Today in America we to are plagued with serious external and internal conflicts like never before in our history. In the Revolutionary War our conflicts were with a foreign Government, but our nation was mostly united. In the Civil War the conflict was internal, we weren’t facing serious external conflicts at the same time we were fighting each other.
These conflicts are nothing more than a Word from the Lord of His displeasure with our nation and they will only grow more severe if we do not repent and return to Jesus and do it soon.
3. They Become a Nation That No Longer Has God’s Favor, Nor Can Any Longer Depend Upon God’s Miraculous Intervention on Their Behalf.
[“…the Lord will not hear you in that day…vs.18]
In the America of my childhood their permeated throughout the nation a sense among her people, that no matter what we faced as a nation that God would sooner or later come through a provide us with a miracle to solve it. Whether it was a disease, a war, a drought, etc., we believed we were God’s people and we could count upon His favor, no matter what!
America no longer has that sense of hope and optimism, we no longer believe in God and the truth is, that for far too long our sins have separated us from God [Isaiah 59:1-15]. Our younger generations have never experienced the true favor of God upon our nation. They have not been a witness to the God of miracles.
We have not only forsaken God, but the frightful truth may be, that at this point God may have very well forsaken us. We will see oasis of revival break out here and there within our nation. We may see God bless His faithful like they have never known, but as a nation, we no longer have God’s favor, nor can we any longer depend upon God’s miraculous intervention to save us. Those days are gone and will never return unless we as a nation are willing to repent and return to Jesus with all of our heart.
Israel wanted a King and the Lord allowed them to have one, but not before warning them that they would come to a day that they may have gotten what they wanted, but they would not want what they got.
We too have gotten what we wanted, but the sad thing is that we still want what we got. Just this week I heard a news report that stated that President Obama’s approval rating is as high as it has ever been. Does that sound like a nation ready to repent and return to the Lord? NO, it sounds like a nation that is headed for a time of judgment such as we have never seen before.
What are we to do?
- To face our future, every Christian must purge their lives of any and every sin and draw closer to Jesus than you have ever been. You will not be able to stand in the evil days ahead without the power of God upon your life and Jesus will not share His power with those to whom He is not Lord of ALL. We must pray as never before. The spirit may be willing, but the flesh is weak and the battle will be lost without the power than can only come through intense prayer.
2. To face our future, every Christian must make it their goal to be salt and light to our nation. We are its only hope. By are good witness, you can be sure some will be saved out of this evil generation.
3. To face our future, we must make an attempt to win as many souls to Christ as possible. We are called in this hour to snatch lost sinners from the fires of judgment before it is everlastingly too late for them.
4. To face our future, we must be always encouraged by the Blessed Hope. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ” [Titus 2:13}
“Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, rejoice.
Let your moderation (appropriate behavior; gentle, considerate) be known to all men. THE LORD IS AT HAND!” [Philippians 4:4,5]