The prophet Jeremiah offers insight into the religious and political conditions of Judah during the last forty years before the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. What is to be noted is that throughout these years Jeremiah faced constant opposition from religious and political leaders. He suffered persecution but God divinely protected him to continue His message of warning to the wicked and offer comfort to the remnants that still trusted in God. God’s people failed to follow God’s laws which the lower animals instinctively recognize in so far as it applies to them. (See Jeremiah 8:7)
Spiritually and morally, just like the children of Israel; we’ve also lost our sense of direction. So in times of spiritual darkness like these, we need prophets who will preach that the only hope for us is Jesus Christ Who was crucified for our sins. The primary responsibility of the Church is to preach the power of the cross, the blood, repentance & Pentecost. It is only the cross that can transform the human heart. When people receive the gift of salvation through Christ, they live out the implications of the cross and submit to the Lordship of Christ in all areas of life.
The Church does not like to talk about repentance because we think it was taken care of the day we received Jesus. Yes the Lord died for us on the cross, but we are all works in progress. Repentance which is to (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) is an ongoing, daily requirement in the life of every disciple of Jesus Christ.
This call of discipleship sets the Christian in the middle of daily temptations against sin and the enemy. Every day and every hour we encounter new temptations, and we must be called to suffer, carry the cross, and follow Christ. But how are we to know what kind of cross we are to carry? It is as soon as we begin to follow the Lord and to share His life.
If we refuse to take up our cross and die to self daily through repentance, we forfeit our fellowship with Him. That is why Jesus said “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10-38-39). If we lose our lives in His service to Him and others, and carry our cross, we shall find our lives again in the fellowship of the cross with Christ. We need this in the modern preachers today, if we change people’s hearts with the gospel; the people will change society. As one writer clearly noted: “The government merely reflects what the people believe in their hearts; it does nothing to form those beliefs.”
It is the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ that has more power to change people’s hearts than all the military might and legislative bodies of any government. The Church should go back to teaching the Bible and preaching the full gospel and if that happens may be the Lord will leave a blessing behind us and give us the means with which to serve Him. The Church should not blame the government, because it is not the governments that have failed, it is the Church that has failed to be the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13) Dr. Jedediah Morse said in 1799 that:
In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of freedom…. Wherever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.
He was saying that Christianity, not government, is the driving force behind true freedom. When the World War II brought America back to her knees, another revival broke out that is still referred to as the era of the highest church attendance in recent history. A time of repentance and seeking God brought peace and prosperity in the nation and probably the nations of the world. The result of those good times was that the Church went into complacency.
And while it had gone to sleep, a new generation of rebellion seized the moment in the 1960’s and with that generation came drug addiction, sexual immorality, rebellion against instituted authority, Eastern mysticism, and rejection of God’s Law. This opposition to authority and decline of moral values has continued in America and Europe for all these years.
As the West descends further away from the moral values that made them great. Christians will be persecuted. We are being targeted as “intolerant “because of the stand of righteousness. The media is mocking Christianity, the Bible and our Lord Jesus in their documentaries, movie and television programs, books and the arts. The forces of humanism, paganism, secularism, atheism are all attacking Christianity. But who is to blame?
The spiritual condition of the church according to one preacher determines the economic, political, and social condition in the nation in which that church exists….When politicians turn from God as the source of salvation, life and sovereignty, and legislate, adjudicate and execute their laws and policies, they will always: (1) call evil good and good evil; (2) encourage evil and lawlessness in society; (3) bring down the judgment of God on their nation, which will dry up prosperity, blessing, health and security. Therefore, the policies such people impose are evil, and the answers they offer to the political, economic, social, agricultural, industrial, commercial, educational, and international crises of a nation are non-answers.
There are no solutions for a nation in critical decline outside of Christ and the Word of God. Without faith, repentance, and a return to God in submission to His Laws in politicians and people, neither appealing “charismatic” politicians nor referendums by the people have any substance. So long as the church of God in America and the West is from backslidden to apostate, I don’t think there are any workable answers to the road to serfdom that we are on today.” The church and the pulpits are to blame just as Charles Finney wrote in Decay of Conscience in 1873:
Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in the halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.
Preach Christ crucified for our sins
Charles Finney is trying to remind the church of its prophetic responsibility toward the state and preaching Christ crucified for our sins. This is the Christ people need. Pastors and preachers must get back to preaching the cross, the blood, and grace that leads to repentance and putting the call to make disciples and teaching people all that Jesus commanded in Matthew 28:18-20. We should preach the uncompromising Word of God and leave the results to the Holy Spirit.
Without the moving of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of men, men will be religious but will deny the power that could make them godly. Religion apart from the moving of the Holy Spirit can be very dangerous because it keeps us into a false sense of security and indifference without considering the destiny of our souls. This is what Paul prophetically said would happen in the last days:
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (2 Timothy 3:1-5 NKJV)
All the features of moral decline have been manifested in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries more openly and on a larger scale than at any previous period of world history. Yet the act of being or acting religiously is not missing. In other words people who will be guilty of these moral sins are not people without religion. For although they hold a form of godliness or true religion, they deny and are strangers to the power that could make them godly.
What kind of power could make them godly? It is the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. There is no room for His presence; they don’t have any kind of sensitivity to spiritual things and worse still there is conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment. Paul also emphasized this to this Timothy as he was giving him the last instructions:
Constantly keep in mind Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [as] risen from the dead, [as the prophesied King] descended from David, according to the good news (the Gospel) that I preach. For that [Gospel] I am suffering affliction and even wearing chains like a criminal. But the Word of God is not chained or imprisoned! (2 Timothy 2:8-9 AMP)
Again I need to emphasize, that unless Christians preach the cross and there is a true genuine repentance and revival from the church and nations, things will not get better, there will be nowhere to run from this new world disorder.