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Thots for Today's Church





Being faithful to God
in the last days.

 
 
Retreat to the Battlefront!
Acts 17:26-27
  #1 in a series Click here for print format, WORD or PDF
   


From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. Acts 17:26-27 NIV

 

American Christians are concerned about our future, and rightly so. Our nation’s culture is being transformed. The belief system about God, man, and life, which was the foundational rock that our nation was built upon, is being replaced with moral and spiritual quicksand.

We’re responding in several ways. We pray for our leaders, and we vote. As I write, many are reveling in the outcome of the 2010 mid-terms and anticipating a Conservative victory in 2012. Some are buying gold, and guns and ammo. Others are stocking up on food. Fear is our common denominator and there is a sense that we need to “be prepared.” We do, but we’re missing the point!
What’s the Point?
The responsibility for the loss of moral and spiritual vitality in America rests at the feet of the Church. God gave our nation unprecedented opportunity and privilege. I believe that He specifically led our Founding Fathers to establish the principles that this great society has been built upon.
Everything that God does is for one primary purpose. It is to make His love known to all mankind and give all the opportunity to receive the Life He offers through Jesus Christ. II Peter 3:9  He blessed America with the freedom and the resources to take the Good News to the ends of the earth. The Church has done that in a limited measure, but because of our growing love for the world we have squandered our “privileged nation” status. We have not been the salt and light of Matt. 5:13-16 to our nation and the world. Deut. 30:15-20 and 1 Peter 4:17 are still true and it’s now time to pay the piper.
This is not about Roe V Wade; Conservative/Liberal/Progressive agendas; prayer in the schools; posting the 10-Commandments in public buildings; Christmas displays; or the right to bear arms. It is about our rejection of God and replacing Him with earthly gods. However, He will now use this failure for His good purposes and He invites us to join Him.
The Battlefront
American Christians are responding to our challenges more as Americans, than as Christians. We are engaging in the political battle with an emphasis on our Constitutional rights. It’s all very American but it’s not where God is working and we need to retreat to the real battlefront.
The seeds of the destruction of the American Dream have been sown in the soil of human pride, selfishness and greed. The soil has been enriched by power-hungry politicians; watered by fear; and fertilized by political naiveté among the masses about the consequences of Socialist agenda.
Effective as democracy can be, America’s needs are deeper than the political process can address. (Don’t count on new leadership in the 2012 presidential elections.) But none of that really matters because “this” isn’t about “that.” “This” is about how the Church, the people of God, respond to Him in the events of our day. In our concern for America and for our “rights,” we have gone out on our own like Israel did at times, leading to their defeat.
Unless one has his head in the sand it is obvious that “last day” types of things are taking place. Biblical prophecies are being fulfilled one after the other. There is a reason that the eyes of the world are on tiny Israel, and her recent discoveries of huge deposits of oil and natural gas are Providential.
Acts 17:26-27 (above) says that God appoints the times and sets the boundaries of the nations – as part of His helping them find Him! That, is what this is about. He is using our challenges in economics, politics, environmental issues, false religions and more, toward that end. Psalm 46:10
The real battle is spiritual, and the only possible hope for America is gut-wrenching repentance in the Church. Jonah 3:10  But so many who ask God to heal our land on the basis of II Chro. 7:14, focus on the “then” of healing while ignoring the conditional “if” of repentance. We sit in our spiritual ivory towers and pray for our land as though it is “them” that needs revival. It’s not them, it’s us.
Now is the Time
Now is the time for us to become the people of God in America. To give ourselves to Him because that’s the right thing to do, not so that He heals our land. To do it because we want to be part of the Kingdom of God and what He is doing in our world today.
We need to invert our American and Christian loyalties, making our Christian identity of first importance by a wide margin. Consider John 17:14-19. Maybe we need to symbolize that by placing the American flag outside of our sanctuaries instead of on the platform. We will be America’s most loyal citizens, but only to the point where it could cause us to compromise our commitment to God. We grieve over her demise, but we have peace and joy, and we are secure because we have become part of something greater.
We are to be the aroma of Christ to those around us, as in 2 Cor. 2:15-17. Are we with Jesus enough to pick up the fragrance of His presence in a way that others can tell? And wouldn’t that aroma help identify what is life and what is death in the new American culture?
Our hope for the future is in God. He will take care of His own. Our gold and guns will be worthless, and even a hindrance, in the days to come. Psalm 5:11, 18:2, 23 and 91:1-2; and Matt. 6:19-34, Luke 14:26-27, Phil. 4:19 and Hebrews 11 are still true.
As the darkness grows darker, the light is getting brighter. God is at work. Bible translation for the remaining 2000 languages is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. This is the most incredible time in history to be on this earth and to be about our Father’s business! And even if we make radical changes, and the world goes on for another 1000 years, it wouldn’t be for naught. We would simply have become the Church that we ought to have been anyway! Everything ventured, everything gained!
Will you join the growing army at the real battlefront? We are comprised of men and women; young and old; rich and poor; those of every nation, tongue, culture, and level of social standing. We welcome all who truly confess Christ as Savior and Lord. We are connected by our blood-bought relationship to God and each other, and are unfettered by institutional boundaries. We are armed and dangerous as in II Cor. 10:3-6; equipped as in Eph. 6:10-18; and victorious as in I John 4:4-6. Now is the time!
Posted 1/26/11, rev. 1/7/15
 
This is #1 in the “Thots for Today’s Church” series and is one of many short articles that can be found at www.John2031.com. © 2010, Ken Stoltzfus, www.John2031.com, P.O. Box 228, Kidron, OH 44636 USA. May be printed for personal use and may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes without further permission if proper acknowledgment is given.


 
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