It’s very sad when you see someone wasting away due to their own poor choices in life. Quite often, nowadays, I see reports in the news about people being arrested for their 5th, 6th, 7th (or more) drunken driving offense. And we’ve all seen mug shots of those arrested on drug charges… and the photos showing the progression of someone that took the one-way downward spiral using heroin or Methamphetamine. Those images are haunting. They begin with a young, happy, vibrant, bright-eyed, healthy young man or woman, and each one that follows becomes more and more disturbing. In the end, we see an empty shell of a human being who’s lost their hair, their teeth, their soul. Their skin has become a ghostly gray, their eyes sunken in; they look like walking skeletons. What follows is either death — from the drugs themselves (or often from suicide) — or torturous drug withdrawl and years in prison.
I have to wonder, what happened to such poor souls? Where did the road start that brought them to this place? Was their life so horrific they had to “self-medicate” on these horrible drugs, KNOWING before they started, that using heroin or Meth is almost ALWAYS a death sentence? What would cause someone to take that first dose? What was so enticing about it that they made that decision? Was it mere rebellion or perhaps a desperate plea for help? Were they so wounded in their souls they felt that anything would be better — and this was just a “simple” solution? The easiest choice?
Over the years, I’ve personally tried to minister to many people dealing with crippling addictions. It’s sad to say, in almost every instance, my efforts were futile. Every effort was made to help, and my counsel was always spiritually focused, because drug addiction is not just physical — it’s spiritual warfare taking place within the soul of the individual. If only they would go to Jesus, seek the Lord and let HIM have control… Often they would use their own willpower to try to do that, but they’d never fully surrender their will to God’s. In far too many instances, even doctors would plainly tell them that unless they changed course immediately, they’d be looking at “end of life care.” (In other words, death). Sadly, most chose death over life. Life which they could have had in abundance, if only they would have surrendered their will to the one and only Savior. “End of life care.” I’ve heard that phrase far too many times.
But this message isn’t really about alcohol and drug use. That’s merely an example I’m using, that, sadly, I think most people can relate to now, because today, almost everyone knows someone — perhaps someone they love dearly — that is, right now, on that downward spiral toward death. Many of you, too, have wept bitterly over a friend or loved one as you reluctantly prepared for “end of life care” — at a time when the “end of life” did NOT need to happen.
In 1962, the US Supreme Court banned prayer in public schools, using the ridiculous argument that it violated the First Amendment. A year later, they declared Bible reading in public schools unconstitutional. This, in a country founded by courageous pioneers seeking the freedom to FREELY worship God; and despite what modern-day Leftists will argue, our Founders absolutely WERE followers of the one TRUE God of Heaven, Jesus Christ.
In the early days of our nation, the Bible — God’s Word — was not just FOUND, but READ, in every home and in every school. The Bibles of our ancestors were worn out from constant study and use. Youngsters learned to read in school by reading the Bible. Families endured the hardest of times, suffering through diseases, plagues, wars, natural disasters that devastated family farms, food shortages, the Great Depression and more — but those families prayed together, stayed together and grew stronger. There was a standard of morality in our country back then, and that standard was God’s Word. Psalm 33:12, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, and the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.”
Some will say there’s no correlation between the banning of the Bible and public prayer in our schools and the moral decline we’ve been on ever since. But they’re willfully blind. Once God was kicked out of the public schools, it wasn’t long before He was kicked out of every other area of our American culture too, from Hollywood to Motown to Main Street. And almost immediately following these Supreme Court decisions in 1962 and 1963, the era of “sex, drugs and rock & roll” began — a time of hedonism and wild abandon — nothing was off limits to our carnal appetites. And it left great heartbreak in its wake. Our nation has never been the same.
It’s been said that you cannot legislate morality. But you can certainly legislate IMmorality, and that’s been done quite effectively here in the United States. It would be very hard to argue that once we, as a nation, abandoned Jesus Christ and God’s Word, we haven’t been steadily declining — morally, spiritually, emotionally, socially, culturally and in every other way. It’s been plainly obvious for the whole of the 21st century — even to those who claim not to believe in God. Everyone can see, something is terribly, seriously wrong in these “United” States.
Now, here we are, near the end of the year 2020, and in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, most areas of our nation did NOT celebrate “Independence Day” on the Fourth of July this year. Because we were not ALLOWED to. How ironic. In fact, we now find ourselves on the precipice of surrendering to a Global communist take-over of our country. In the land God once blessed, the people He once prospered seem ready to surrender to those who are now DEMANDING a Godless, socialist State. So many are under such strong delusion, CHOOSING to believe the lies thrust in our faces from every direction, every single day, they actually believe that slavery is freedom.
And the lies are everywhere. From the presidential election to the filth coming out of Hollywood, to the promises of our elected government so-called “representatives, to the lies of the “social justice” so-called “churches” to the lies of the Marxist so-called “human rights” organizations that have been burning, looting, tearing down and destroying our nation from within — and all the while propped up by the lies of the mainstream media, which seems “all in” on the idea of surrendering American freedom and sovereignty.
Remember the “good old days” when our biggest concern this time of year was which big box stores were willing to say “Merry Christmas” to their customers and which ones weren’t? Now, we need to wonder if we’ll be verbally harassed or physically attacked for wearing a Trump hat — or for NOT wearing a mask as we go out in public. Such is the wonderful “peace, love and tolerance” of the Progressive Leftists, who now seem to be in full control of the whole world.
America is 244 years old. And it seems we now need to sit down and seriously consider “end of life care” for our country. In 1787, the Scottish economist Alexander Tytler wrote: “The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been about 200 years. These nations always progressed through this sequence: From bondage to moral certitude; from moral certitude to great courage; from great courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back to bondage.”
Where would you say we are in that progression? We once had great courage. But look at our young men now — many who wear “skinny jeans” and hair gel and others who go all out and dress like women. “Courage,” today is defined as “coming out of the closet as a homosexual or a ‘transgender’” — those who do are lauded as the most courageous of us all.
We once had liberty here. But now, we’re fearful to set foot in a Walmart if we don’t first put our masks on. Hard workers once had abundance here. But that was declared “unfair,” because those who refused to work hard demanded abundance too, and so it was given to them by government edict. That led to great selfishness, and once the lazy became fat and happy, that led to complacency, which led to apathy. And in our apathy, as we looked to the Almighty State for our every need and wildest whim, we grew dependent. And now we find ourselves in bondage. Or as CNN will explain it, “government mandated lockdown.”
Like the alcohol or drug addict, how terribly far — and how quickly — we have fallen. In 1989, Ronald Reagan, in his farewell address, described America as a “shining city upon a hill.” He said, “In my mind, it was a tall, proud city, built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.”
Reagan built on the phrase preached by Puritan pilgrim John Winthrop. In 1630, while still aboard a ship bound for Massachusetts Bay, Winthrop delivered his sermon “A Model of Christian Charity.” He said, “For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world.”
How quickly we have fallen. And how far we have strayed. Moses warned his people in Deuteronomy 8 of this very situation: “When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you. Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”
He went on in verses 19 and 20 to say, “It shall come about if you ever forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish. Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you would not listen to the voice of the Lord your God.”
The Psalmist warns, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”
The ancient wisdom of our eternal Creator has been freely handed to us, yet we have stubbornly chosen our own way instead. Many, today, have sealed their fate, in that they have chosen death over life; they have chosen to believe the lies of Satan. They’ve chosen pride, self, debauchery, always feeding their carnal appetites, which are never satisfied. The prophet Hosea described them this way: “Their deeds will not allow them to return to their God. For a spirit of harlotry is within them, and they do not know the Lord.”
No, they do not. But not all is lost — yet. There’s still a remnant of Christ-followers in the land. But now is the time to get serious and cry out to the Lord in humble repentance. I’m a little tired of hearing people quote 2nd Chronicles 7:14, because it seems everyone has that memorized, but few are willing to actually DO much of anything about it. But let me share it with you one more time: “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.” Are we His people, friends? WILL we now humble ourselves, pray and seek His face DILIGENTLY? Or will we, like those who are lost, choose to remain comfortable in our apathy, dependence and bondage?
Friends, I implore you… from Isaiah 55, “Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him; And to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”
Our risen Lord calls to us all, yet today: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him…”
As a nation, America has become addicted to the hard “drugs” of immorality, sensuality, slothfulness, willful ignorance, and we’ve become drunk on the “wine” of idolatry while deliberately choosing to forget God. The “doctor” has clearly stated that unless we change course immediately, we’re looking at “end of life care.” The thing is, there really IS no end of life, because we will ALL exist forever, somewhere. For some, life in this world is the only “heaven” they will ever know. For those who choose the narrow road to Christ, life in this world is the only “hell” they will ever know.
Father God, I pray You will have mercy on us, Your children. Keep us from the evil all around us. Reveal to us the deception and lies of the enemy and show us how You would have us to fight, in service to You and Your kingdom. Let us be Your servants on this earth and may those who don’t know You, see You in us. And may Your will be done in America — and on earth — as it is in heaven. Amen.
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