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THE ENSIGN MESSAGE

WATCHING OUR NATION DIE

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(Very relevant to these days – 21st Century. Editor – Ensign Message)

Sometimes death comes by an accident, with the shock of suddenness and with the feeling that perhaps the tragedy could have been averted. There are many ways to die. One can die by disease; one can die by starvation, by malnutrition, or by suicide, by violence, by murder, by accident.

However, when it comes, it seems to me that when death  comes, among the saddest deaths experienced  is that of a young boy or a young girl, in teen age or younger, or in young adulthood. Their parents have brought them up through some very difficult and testing times, have seen them through elementary school, possibly even graduated from college. They are just about to move out into the stream of life, with high hopes and aspirations, and then, suddenly, they are cut off.

Perhaps there is a bit more heatbreak and grief in those situations where the life has been permitted to go to a fruitful maturity, full of years. It seems to me, as we look out on our land of America today, we face that more saddening experience. Is not America  one of the younger members of the families of nations in the world, with a very glorious and wonderful history in the providence of God? Relatively young as the histories of peoples and nations go, it has been  so vital, so alive, so dynamic, so progressive, in the way that it has risen to a position of power, prestige, glory and might in the world, the envy of all peoples. The plight in which we find ourselves  today  as a nation has surrounding it an addition weight of sadness and grief as we see America, in its relative youth, approaching  an hour when  its full life could end.

A fact I honestly believe is that we are even now watching our nation die. And what a sad story it is. There are many who seem to share  this  opinion.  I was interested to read, in U.S. News & World Report, the reprinting of an article written in a Portland; Maine newspaper, by one of the competent woman writers  of America.  She began with  these words:

“Unless there is a change deep down in the American people, a genuine crusade against self­ indulgence, immorality, public and private, then we are witnesses to the decline and fall of the American republic. Death on the highways, a pack a day, cheating from top to bottom in our society, get rich quick, break-up of the family, faltering in foreign policies, reckless debt. These have destroyed nations before us. Why should we think we can take that path and change history?”

“Watching a Nation Die!” — I suppose a theme like that will be greeted with ridicule and scorn in some quarters. They will point to this affluent society in which we live, the material blessings that are ours, the rather bright material prospects that seem to be just ahead, for the time being at least, and they will say, “What are you talking about? We never had it so good. Things were never better.” When I hear that, I think of the text in Revelation 3:17, spoken to a church, to which God said, “Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of  nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable,  and  poor,  and  blind,  and naked.”

 You and I are, at this moment, watching a nation die-our nation. Now let me suggest to you that this, of course, presupposes a certain fact that most of us would agree upon. It is the fact that the life or death of people or nations is in the hands of God. This is a fact that I think we have lost sight of in America and in  the  world-that  the  life  or  death  of  empires, kingdoms nations does not rely simply upon economic factors, on the party in power, on the ingenuity of the wisdom of men, or the lack of it,  although these factors certainly are present. Ultimately and finally, the destiny of nations and men is in the hands of God. This is the clear teaching of the Holy Scriptures.

I read in Jeremiah 18 how, in the potter ‘s house, the prophet learned the truth that nations are in God’s hands as clay is in the hands of the potter. At what instant God speaks a word to a nation, it can be built up or planted. And at what instant He speaks a word, it can be plucked up, rooted out and destroyed . If you want a New Testament reference for that, you need only to turn to Paul’s great sermon on Mars Hill (Acts 17). To that wise, cultured crowd of Athenians, he declared that “God has before appointed the times of the nations and the bounds of their habitations.” The destiny of nations and people is in the hands of the living God and, if His laws are flouted, if His will is ignored, if His holiness is not reverenced, then judgment comes. Nations rise and fall by the sovereign hand of our God. We are in God’s hands.

Death by Disease

How, then, do nations die? The same way that individuals die. They die by disease. Who can look  out over America  today  and  not  see  that  our whole society is a big cancerous sore? And it is spreading. Our own police chief, here in Peoria, Illinois, just a few days ago gave us the latest report on crime in our own community. A 20% increase in Peoria, and 70% of all the major crimes were committed by juveniles ­ young boys and girls!

Furthermore, what shall we say about the immorality and the sex obsession which grip America today? Several years ago, Dr. Sorokin of Harvard University printed a little book called The American Sex Revolution. He makes no profession of being an evangelical Christian or churchman of any sort. He is a Harvard sociologist. In his book he  comes  out in the plainest of terms and says, unless there is change  in America , we are doomed for the ash heap. No civilization, no empire, no nation, has survived obsession with sex and impurity. They have never survived it, and we never will. As we see it eating at the heart of America today, we are watching a nation die by disease.

Death by Starvation

Then again, men and nations can die by starvation, by malnutrition. I suppose these ways of death are all related actually because malnutrition and wrong diet can make one an easy victim to diseases that kill. Would you say that America today has the right kind of diet? Is it feeding on the right kind of food?

America is not being spiritually fed these days, in spite of the fact that there are more church members than ever before-millions of church members. America is dying by spiritual starvation. The churches totter first and then the nation totters.We are only as strong as we are spiritually strong. And a nation begins to crumble when it is not being spiritually fed. America is not, believe me! The opinions and ideas of men have replaced the pure teaching of the Word of God in the average American  pulpit.

Every year there is a listing in periodicals and magazines of congressmen and senators and their church affiliation-several hundred of them.

The list states that there are so many Presbyterians, there are so many Roman Catholics, there are so  many Methodists , so many Lutherans and so on. Frankly, I am not very impressed by what this may seem to imply because, in the vast majority of cases today, in this unbelieving,  apostate age, large numbers of churches of the so called regular denominations are not giving much of the pure Word of God.

I venture to say that if every church of every denomination was simply teaching and expounding the Word of God as the Word of God, you would see  it reflected in the Senate: you would see it reflected in the House of Representatives; you would see it reflected in the White House. You would  see such different voting in Congress that Socialism and Communism would be on the run in our world, instead of on the rampage. You would see such changes in this country as you have not seen in many a day.

But you are not seeing it. This is because the average church to-day gives you a lot of sweet nothings-book reviews, maybe a dance downstairs a couple of times a year, maybe a lot of social life­ but you won’t hear about a holy God. And you won’t hear about judgment ; you won’t hear about hell. You won’t hear the truth propounded in the Psalm that says “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17). It need not be that bad. It is all nations that “forget God”  that will be cast into hell. However, you won’t hear that.

As a result , the leadership of the nation , the Congress of the United States, is but a reflection of the spiritual temper, the moral tone, the religious flavor of the country. No authoritative Word of God binds men’s hearts as it once did.Therefore, we watch our nation die-from starvation!

We have forgotten that we are dealing with a holy God.We have forgotten that we are dealing with One who is the Lord of History. We have forgotten that we are dealing with a God who is not to be trifled with. Empires, nations and kingdoms have come and gone before us, always by the sovereign act of God and by the weight of their own sins. Our position today as a nation is no different. That which destroyed them can destroy  us. We  are on our deathbed.

Death by Violence

 You cannot only die by starvation, you can die by violence. And that violence may be self-inflicted, or inflicted by someone else. It may be suicide; it may be murder. I submit to you that both of these methods apply as we look out over America today. We are on the road to being victims of assassination nationally. Yet, in another sense, we are also on the road to committing  suicide!

It seems to me that nothing gives more evidence of this than the appraisal of Communism that seems to hold weight today. I am absolutely amazed at how naive many in high places in Washington can be when it comes to this bitter, vicious, atheistic foe that is set to bury us. It is appalling! We seem unable to understand, even at this late hour, that Communism is a world conspiracy. It is a world unity and, when the showdown comes, there will be no division between the Red China brand and the Soviet brand.

I honestly believe, of course, that mainly, perhaps even most suicides come as a result of some temporary imbalance, some form of insanity. And I honestly believe that our country today has evidences of an insanity present that is driving us down the brink to suicide. I see no other explanation of what goes on. It is hard for me to understand  how we can sit  down at conference tables across from representatives from the Kremlin in Geneva or elsewhere and, treating Soviet Russia as a respected member of the family of nations, deal with them in amiable terms and try to make treaties and all the rest of it. While we are doing that, they are the real culprit in Cuba; they are the culprit in Panama ; they are the real culprit in South Vietnam and Latin America and they are the culprits all over the world.

How insane can you get? How naive can you be? I feel much the same about some of  the  other  deals that have been made lately. I cannot understand the insanity whereby a gentleman whose main lifework has been largely selling automobiles will be permitted to override the decisions and the wisdom of men whose whole lives have been given to military strategy. Joint chiefs of staff, and the head of the Strategic Air Command may say, “This we ought to do” But businessmen from the automobile world can override them. I  do not  understand that.

Make no mistake about the Soviet bear that would like to strangle us to death by taking over Latin America, and in time, I suppose, cut off our world markets and put people out of jobs at home, and be the cause of seething, boiling unrest in America. With the enemy that would do that we  sit down and  seek  to talk agreeably and make constant concessions and compromises.

Soviet Russia’s word is not worth the paper it is written on. After preparing deceitfully to do it, they put on huge tests, gigantic nuclear explosions, learn all they need to learn, and want to learn, and then’ entice us into a treaty whereby we cannot  do  the same thing. How stupid can we get? There is an insanity that leads to suicide! As May Craig said in the U .S. News & World Report:

We sign a test ban treating with known enemies, known defaulters on treaties, that we will not test as we may need to. Why should we put our defense in such an agreement? If you defense experts, not businessmen, say we need to test, then let’s test, without asking permission of friend or foe. We fiddle­ faddle in Southeast Asia and may be ignominiously pushed out. Maybe we should never have gone in there-let the Reds take it-but there is one thing for sure:If we go in, we should go in to win. We are losing the respect of the world and respect is more necessary to a nation, as to a person, than affection.

And what shall we  say about insane wheat  deals? If Communist governments get into hot water with their people, whether in agriculture or  some  other area , why should we help them out of their perplexities? Why should America ‘s millions solve Communist muddles,  stabilize  Red  governments which, through their own problems, could be conceivably brought to an end by the restless citizens? As the U .S. News article puts it, “We sell wheat to Russia to save her  from  a  demonstration that Communism cannot produce  enough  food  for  its own  people .”

Appeasement , concessions, compromise, backing off, giving in-this is the order of the day. America may have gained a world of wealth, but it has lost its soul, lost its strength! We are scared to death. Around the world, people think they can take our money with one hand and slap us in the face with the other. We talk of leadership, but apparently we are not giving any to anybody.We are on the suicidal road. Millions of dollars to Tito; millions of dollars to Ghana and Sukarno; and in return for it we get our embassies bombed, cars set on fire, Americans abused, and all the rest of it.

Dr. Howard Kerstner, head of the Christian Freedom Foundation, was in London a year or two ago and he came and told of an actual experience he had there when, at the close of a series of talks, a top official in the Communist Government said to him, ” We’ll be over to finish the takeover of America sooner than you think.” Said Dr. Kerstner “Note the words ‘finish the takeover’. I came back to America with those words ringing in my ears and I studied  into the matter.”

In connection with this, Dr. Kerstner explained that this man presides over a whole floor of a large government building in Moscow, with 300 scholars working under his direction. They have all the important newspapers, journals and books published throughout the civilized world. They work on projects he assigns and their reports become the basis  of  Soviet policy. Dr. Kerstner said, “I saw there every leading periodical and paper published  in  America and other advanced countries.” At one point this man said to Dr. Kerstner, “You know as well as I that a mixed economy is not permanent, and you have already mixed so much Socialism with your formerly free economy that you cannot now avoid complete socialization. We do not have to urge you or fight you. We have only to sit here and wait until you voluntarily walk into our camp.” Said Dr. Kerstner, “I have said this myself on many  occasions,  but  I was  surprised to see this Communist leader accept the rapid socialization of America as indicating beyond doubt that we are headed  toward  Communism.  He  smiled at me self-assuredly as though he were perfectly confident  that we  are already in the  trap.”

You can die by suicide; you can die by murder. The more we make a big government in Washington, the more power we give there, the more we  sign away  our freedoms. You and I are setting  it up beautifully for the day that  could be closer that we   think.

Death by Accident

There is another way to die. If not by insanity that leads to suicide or by murder, you can die by accident. Well-not really! In the vocabulary of God there are no accidents. I speak of this only in terms of the suddenness and unexpectedness with which an accident can happen. All is smiles and sunlight and happiness one moment and then a screeching  of  brakes and a grinding crash. Somebody is fatally or seriously injured. How quickly it  happens!

Let us not think we have lots of time because we  do not. Unexpectedly and suddenly, the death we are now watching  will enthrall  our nation.

What Can We Do?

What can we do about all this? Must we just sit by with aching heart and sadness of soul and see our nation die? Let me suggest some possible courses of action. First, perhaps a deathly sick patient would be helped  by a change of doctors.

 Unless we can get rid of the domination of the present American political scene by the Liberal Establishment, by the internationalist, by socialist-oriented men who have been or are presidential advisors and in the top, echelons of our government, we are doomed right now; We have men adding the delegations in the United Nations and elsewhere who have already made statements about internationalizing the Panama Canal, and internationalizing this and neutralizing that. There are also those who are for a one-world government and the eventual surrendering of our national sovereignty. “Neutralize “, “internationalize”- these despicable words ought to make us ill.

Aren’t you tired of words like “neutral”? God is not neutral, and neither ought we to be. There’s an old gospel song, the chorus of which challenges us,  “What will you do with Jesus? Neutral you cannot be”. When   righteousness   is   involved ,   nobody   can be neutral-men or nations. You cannot be neutral when human freedom is at stake.When the liberty to preach the Gospel to tribes and nations which have never heard it is at stake, you cannot be neutral. You have to take sides, and if you do take sides and stand up for what is right, you can expect the help of Almighty God. But you will not get His help without taking a firm stand.

What else can you do when a person is dying? Secondly, you can pray and hope for a miracle. I have seen people do that too. Broken- hearted loved  ones by the sickbed implore, “O God, O God, give us a miracle”. And that is about what we need as a nation. Let us not discount that. Let us not say That is out of our reach. ” It is not. God has saved nations by a remnant of praying, believing people. England was ready to go the way of the French Revolution, and John Wesley was raised up in the providence of God. Even secular historians say that John Wesley, and the spiritual movement he led, saved England from disaster. God can do it again. Pray for a miracle. Hope for a miracle. (Hebrews 11:1). Seek the face of God. The Lord  has said,

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face,  and turn from  their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin,  and will heal their land” (11 Chronicles 7:14).

It will not be easy, but it can be done. However, it will be done only as we do what the early Christian Church did. They had no boards behind them, they had no finances; they had no organization. They were just a group of people, one by one, who went out and taught and preached the Gospel of Jesus. Beatings and jails and threats couldn’t shut their mouths. They were fools for Jesus’ sake. They were radicals; they were fanatics; they were out of step with the age. But they transformed the world, although they were accused of turning it upside down.

We are watching our nation die. God forbid we should just sit around and let it happen without protest; without doing what we can. Let us seek the Lord while He may be found. Even at this late hour He can still heal our land.

– Destiny Publishers

KING BELI THE GREAT

King Beli the Great of Britain, circa 100 B.C. is said to have introduced roads into Britain. He was a descendant of Brut the great grandson of Aeneas of Troy who came to Britain about 1130 B.C. The Billingsgate district of London is so-called because of its proximity to ancient Beli’s Gate in the old wall around the city.

Courtesy:Thy Kingdom Come

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