before the sun goes down

"Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in His sight" (I Chronicles 19:13).

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Number 1 DESTROYER of Families Everywhere (and in the church)

When you think of a sin that destroys families, what comes to mind?

Pornography? 

Drunkenness?

Bitterness?

Rebellion?

Adultery?

Greed?

Abortion?

Yes, all these sins are grievous evils that will bring destruction to families and lives.

And they (as well as many other sins) are rampant in the world, and tragically, in so MANY churches today as well.  We are to be SALT and LIGHT in this decaying and dark generation, but we have largely gone dim, diluted, and dirty with those very sins ourselves.  

But what is the Number ONE Sin, the Enemy of Families Everywhere?

This sin is the underlying foundation for all the other sins. 

Idolatry of Self.
One word for this in the Scriptures is INIQUITY.  
Going "one's own way."  
Putting myself before anyone else.
Selfishness.  

Yes, I am saying that the Number ONE destroyer of families is that which looks out for "Number ONE".

This is the root.  The rest is the fruit.  Adding sin to sin.

Child sacrifice, Pornography, Pride, Revolting feminism, (A)pathetic manhood, Rebellion, Homosexuality, Covetousness, Bitterness, Laziness, Bullying, Drunkenness, Gluttony, Greed, Adultery, and so forth are rooted in worship of the false god of Self.  What Self wants goes.

When Selfishness reigns in the heart
  • Husbands turn from loving, leading, laboring, and laying down their lives for their wives and children.  It turns them to arrogance, unfaithfulness, slothfulness, preoccupation with vanity, indifference, diverse lusts, abuse, malice, neglect, and loathing toward their duties before the Lord.
  • Wives turn from loving and honoring their husbands and being wise keepers of the household.  It turns them to bitterness, covetousness, gossiping, vanity, pleasure-seeking, haughtiness, scorn, and rebellion against God-given design and roles
  • Parents turn from loving, valuing, nurturing, disciplining, and training their children.  It turns them to either devalue or idolize their offspring, to view babies as burdens, to cut off further (or any) children, to unwisely pander to the children they do have, to not correct or reprove them, to neglect, abuse, or provoke them to wrath, to irresponsibly turn over their instruction to the ungodly, and their heart to the world's viewpoint, cares, and pleasures, modeling for them bad examples, or inconsistency, teaching them to be complacent or unbalanced about wickedness.   
  • Children turn from loving, honoring, and obeying their parents, and submitting to the Lord their Creator.  It turns them to disobedience, to self gratification, gluttony, laziness, insolence, rebellion against righteous authority, participation in whatever feels right, and shortsighted pursuit of the crowd of their peers.
Idolatry of Self destroys individuals, families, churches, communities, and nations.

Throughout "the volume of the Book" we see this selfishness described and warned of .

We see how the first human family fell because they chose to do what THEY wanted to do (Genesis 3).  They chose to trust the serpent's words over God's word, eat the fruit that was pleasing to THEIR eyes, and seek to be wise so THEY could decide good from evil.  Mankind chose Self to be "as gods".  They doubted God's character and rebelled against God's command, and brought destruction upon the whole human family. 

We see iniquity bring destruction and God's judgment in many households in the Bible, including Eli's family: I Samuel 3:13 "For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not."

Notice that iniquity, "my own way rather than God's way" was found both in Eli's boys (Hopni and Phinehas) and in Eli himself.

We see it warned of in II Timothy 3:1-4
3:1 "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come."
3:2 "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,"
3:3 "Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,"
3:4 "Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;"
Notice how all those sins are sandwiched in what mankind loves: Self and what Self wants.

Today, we indeed see selfishness promoted and glorified in our culture.  It is accepted, expected, and applauded.  From songs entitled "I Did It My Way" to fast food slogans "Have It Your Way", the message is everywhere.  We are told to "Look out for Number ONE" by which they mean yourSelf.  Psalm 49:18 "Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself."  There is a lot of focus on self help, self image, self confidence, self pity, self improvement, etc.  Much of this is based on the worldly thinking that Self is supposed to be king.  The problem is that when we exalt our selves, our thoughts, our agendas, and our desires over God and His law, we commit sin.

Matthew 24:12 "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."

This is true whether applied to a person or a society.  When iniquity (selfishness) abounds in the heart, when we are devoted to our own way, then the care, concern, and compassion for others will necessarily grow feeble and cold. 

We see it today working out on an individual level.  Someone selfishly engages in fornication, then when a child is conceived, they go and murder that child, adding sin to sin. Fornication leading to Murder, and at its foundation - Selfishness.  Abortion is a human sacrifice to the god of Self, the modern form of Molech.  

Over 3,000 girls and boys in the womb will be slain today, due to the selfishness of their parents.  And it happens EVERY DAY.

Many of those who selfishly kill their child (whether chemically or surgically), are professing to be Christians.

There are also multitudes of people going to Bible believing churches who would never have an abortion themselves, and proudly call themselves "prolife", but who are not taking time... 

  • to actually "sigh and cry" over this abomination, vexed in spirit, weeping in prayer over the murder of millions of innocent babies made in the image of God, "under color of law" (Psalm 94:20-21; Psalm 119:126,136;158; Ezekiel 9:4; II Peter 2:8).  
  • to stand at the Gates of Death to rescue the weak and warn the wicked, preaching, praying, pleading, providing, and provoking others to love and good works (Proverbs 1:20; 8:1-4; 24:11-12; 31:8-9; James 1:27; Hebrews 10:24).
  • to engage with their culture in the public square, on the street, at the coffee shop, on social media, face to face, exposing the evil and bringing the Gospel into conflict with child sacrifice with words and literature (Proverbs 28:4; Ezekiel 22:2; Ephesians 5:11; Titus 1:8-9).
  • to actively seek the total and immediate abolition of "legal" child sacrifice, to work to bring justice, mercy, and equity for the fatherless (Exodus 22:22; Deuteronomy 24:17; Psalm 82:3; Jeremiah 22:3; Isaiah 1:16-17; Micah 6:8; Malachi 2:6; Matthew 5:7; Luke 11:42; Romans 12:9-18,21; I Corinthians 15:34).                                                          

These are only the Biblical responses of a Christian in the face of a society that practices, protects, and promotes child sacrifice.  This is not radical Christianity, but normal Christianity.  

However, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of believers in our nation know what is happening and yet go about their business as usual.  We are all occupied with our own agendas, career plans, entertainment, recreation, extracurricular activities, pursuits, and passions.  We want to stay in our comfort zone and not do the inconvenient thing.

What is at the root of the Callousness, the Complacency, the Cowardice, the Compromise, and the Complicity found in Christians who do not rise to open their mouths for the fatherless?

Selfishness.

It is quite easy to talk a lot about love, but easy also to forget that true agape love is not selfish.  Charity (agape) "...seeketh not her own..." and "...rejoiceth not in iniquity..." (I Corinthians 13:5,6).

We are to seek to know and respond as Christ would about the cause of "the least of these":
Job 29:16 "I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out."

Proverbs 29:7 "The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it."

Verily, we need to see the horror of this idolatry, confess and forsake it, go to the Saviour for forgiveness and cleansing, and love the LORD our God with ALL our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love our neighbours as ourseleves.  

May we henceforth live not unto ourselves, but for Him to Whom we belong.
II Corinthians 5:15 "And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again."

The following is something I say to my children and pray for my family every day, that we will- "Say 'NO' to Self, and 'YES' to Jesus every time." (William Borden)

Pilgrim's Progress

Faithful: Well, if you will, we will fall to it now; and since you left it with me to state the question, let it be this: How doth the saving grace of God discover itself, when it is in the heart of man?

Talkative: I perceive, then, that our talk must be about the power of things; well, 'tis a very good question, and I shall be willing to answer you.  And take my answer in brief, thus: First, Where the grace of God is in the heart, it causes there a great outcry against sin.  Secondly--

Faithful: Nay, hold; let us consider of one at once: I think you should rather say, it shows itself by inclining the soul to abhor its sin.

Talkative: Why, what difference is there between crying out against, and abhorring of, sin?

Faithful: Oh, a great deal!  A man may cry out against sin of policy; but he cannot abhor it, but by virtue of a godly antipathy against it.  I have heard many cry out against sin in the pulpit; who yet can abide it well enough in the heart, and house, and conversation.  Joseph's mistress cried out with a loud voice, as if she had been very holy; but she would willingly notwithstanding that, have committed lewdness with him [Genesis 39:15].  Some cry out against sin, even as the mother cries out against her child in the lap; when calls it "slut" and "naughty girl", and then falls to hugging and kissing it.

Talkative: You lie at the catch, I perceive.

Faithful: No, not I; I am only for setting things right.

Titus 2:11-14 
2:11 "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,"
2:12 "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;"
2:13 "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;"
2:14 "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."

II Timothy 2:19 "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."

"Down, Self!  Christ is my King!"

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