Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Forest For The Trees

There is an old saying that goes, "You can't see the forest for the trees." How do I know it's an old saying? Well, I am old and . . . I know exactly what it means. It means we get SO focused on one thing that we lose track of the bigger picture. Examples of this saying occur more often than we think. Especially in Washington, D.C.

Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 vote to make gay marriage legal in the United States. Look at the vote - five to four. Basically, it was one vote that swayed the court's decision and the direction of a nation.  Wow.

But I am not going to be writing about gay marriage today and whether it is right or wrong. I don't have an opinion on the matter. I simply follow God and His Word. Today I am writing about one of the "trees" in the forest we live in. Gay marriage is simply "one of the trees." A woman's "right" to have an abortion is another "tree." Pornography. Glutony. All trees in a forest.

We are not seeing the big picture in this historic decision by our country's highest court. Step back a minute and take a look at the bigger picture . . . the forest of religious freedom. Individual freedom.

June 26th, 2015 the government of the United States took a rather large step in extending its power of its people. "Gay rights" is just a means to an end - a vehicle used to accomplish an overall "forest" goal.

Many states had already passed laws based on "the will of the people" making marriage between one man and one woman. The federal government, through the decision made yesterday, has asserted it's authority over the state government and . . . other the will of it's people. That is huge!

In the Book of Acts there was a speech given by Setphen. He gave it in front of the religious lawmakers of his time - the Sanhedrin. Stephen lectured them on Jewish history and then on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. They killed him because of his words . . .

"51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him - 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it. - Acts 7:51-53

The Supreme Court's decision is merely an symptom of a far greater disease - our nation's disobedience to God. WE are the stiff-necked people of this time in world history. We enjoy looking at and climbing our trees, even though the forest we are living in is on fire.

I am not writing about gay marriage and its legalization yesterday. That horse got out of the barn LONG ago. I am writing about the disobedience of a people and the increasing reach of our national government over state government. And I am writing about Biblical prophesy being fulfilled before out very eyes.

We serve a loving, merciful God. No one could possibly love us more. But God is also just judge. He punishes those who disobey His commands to the third and fourth generations. Our children will pay the price for what we have done. I pray that God would have mercy on our souls.

There was once a mighty nation who very quietly removed the power of it's people from them. They instituted gun control. They began persecuting a religious people and putting them to death. And the nation's people didn't have a clue what was happening until it was too late. That nation was Nazi Germany.

Speaking of prophesy, years before World War II began, a famed statesman wrote the following words. How prophetic! And how applicable to the times we are living in today.

"“When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the sibylline books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong–these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.”" - Winston Churchill, 1935

There is still hope for our once-great nation but the light is getting dim. As usual, God, whose promises are always true, has provided a way out for us. It's quite simple really, yet it is proving too difficult for us to even consider. Because of our pride and our unwillingness to repent and humble ourselves before the Lord, we will be judged. But God has promised us this:

"14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." - 2 Chronicles 7:14

This is a time for prayer and for repentance. Worse things are coming for God's chosen people. We must be prepared for what lies ahead and we much look at the entire forest here, not just the single tree of same-sex marriage.

We are definitely a stiff-necked people. Can we truly humble ourselves? I doubt it. But the answer can be found in the Bible, where it has always been. Please read it. And our hope is in The Lord. The humble yourself . . . and pray.

Franklin Graham on the Coming Persecution of Christians

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