Lukewarm

 

Good Morning. Thanks for having us back! We should start this morning by open your Bibles to the Book of Revelation Chapter 3 beginning at verse 14. Revelation 3:14! When you are there please stand out of respect for God’s Holy and Inerrant Word.   This morning I would like to see if it is BIBLICAL as CHRISTIANS for us to keep politics and religion at arm’s length from each other.

Revelation 3:14 the letter to the church of the Laodiceans.

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

May God bless the reading of His Word to our deeper understanding! Please be seated.

Remember, I said BIBLICAL. Is it BIBLICAL as CHRISTIANS for us to keep politics and religion at arm’s length from each other. In order for us to decide what the Bible teaches on a particular topic, we are supposed to take into account all it has to say on that topic as well as any teaching that BEARS on it from Genesis through Revelation. It is certainly a long established precedent that the sanctuary is NOT the place for political discourse. Believe it or not, where the pros and cons of a particular candidate are in view, I have to agree. BUT that leaves a tremendous amount of room for the examination of PRINCIPLES! What will We the People allow to become the law of the land? Remember we the people are responsible and will be held to account for what those who are elected to represent us determine to be acceptable in our actions as individuals and on the world stage in terms of what we will tolerate in the treatment of God’s Chosen People as well as our brothers and sisters in Christ the world over! Or how about just the treatment of human beings in general? Our presence as a power for good in the world has deteriorated a LOT and we need to correct that situation! Sounds might high falutin’ for the folks of Olney, Missouri to concern themselves about doesn’t it.

Today there is a context into which we ALL need to set this message. In the days of Noah Genesis 6: 11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

2ne Peter 2: But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;

There are two points that we really must carry away from here today. God Loves Us and He has given us example after example of how VITAL, TRUE Holiness is to our ETERNAL LIFE!

So how on earth does some political thinker who penned the Tytler cycle back in the days of George Washington have anything to do with our worship today? It is summed up in a word: APATHY! It affects our witness, our walk, our families, our church, our communities, and our nation.   It affects our citizenship not just in America, but our citizenship in the KINGDOM OF GOD!   LUKEWARM!!!

Passion, no matter how depraved, can flourish in the face of apathy. Love thy neighbor does NOT mean allowing them to destroy OUR home to please themselves! We have to develop and maintain a sense of URGENCY and share it with family and friends FIRST HAND, not just a facebook message with an assortment of emoticons and a LIKE! God’s Mouth to their ears. The boxes of religion and ‘real life’ have got to go! Our FAITH IS our real life. It doesn’t get any more real than watching what we love but have taken for granted, be destroyed NOT because we COULD do nothing, but because we DID do nothing. Question: Would you consider me guilty of murder if I did not take the keys away from a friend that I KNEW was too drunk to drive, who then had a wreck that killed someone? What if they threatened to beat me up if I didn’t hand them over? Guilty then? Does it prove that I care more about a few bruises than I do about the lives of those lost if I gave in? Guilty of murder? Probably not. But wouldn’t I be guilty of APATHY? I weighed a few bruises against the possibility of a loss of life and well? chances are nobody will die if I just give the keys up. And when I’m wrong am I at fault? Depraved passion (friend driving drunk) WILL flourish if NOT MET with Passionate Righteousness (no keys no matter what!) Christ did not yield to the depraved passion of those who conspired to kill Him! He SACRIFICED Himself for THEM AND FOR US!

Look at the slow motion train wreck playing out before us because we who name the name of Jesus Christ have given the keys to those so drunk with “power” that they refuse to recognize their responsibility both to God and the rest of Mankind for their actions! So drunk with power that they are a law unto themselves, accountable to NO ONE, knowing only their own lust!

The church has decided that politics is anathema and has no business in the sanctuary. I’m here to tell you that the church is the ONLY entity capable of taking a beating if necessary to take back control of the BLESSINGS of freedom that God showered upon US! WE will SURELY be spewed out of the mouth of Jesus Christ as the LUKEWARM, apathetic, tasteless, gruel we have allowed ourselves to become! We sit around here claiming to have the ‘free will’ to accept or reject the ‘free offer’ of salvation made by THE SOVEREIGN, ALL POWERFUL God we come here to worship, when in point of fact, if that is true at all, we should be out there USING that free will we claim to have by being either HOT OR COLD in worshipping Him! Standing up for HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS against the drunkards who want nothing but the satisfaction of their own lusts and denying any responsibility at all!

The greatest generation tolerated promiscuity. The baby boomers embraced it. Flower power and free love! We baby boomers tolerated a lack of responsibility and ambition so Generation x-ers concentrated on worthless degrees from college, got no useful skills out of High School and found it acceptable to let the grandparents raise their kids. The boomers placed little emphasis on our responsibility to Christ and Gen x-ers placed NONE! Only the form survives, virtually none of the substance. Faith is the substance of things NOT SEEN! We protect ourselves in every possible way from physical harm—seatbelts, helmets pads, training wheels, car seats the list is nearly endless and much of it government mandated! But we have ignored the most VITAL of safety equipment! We have failed to equip ourselves AND OUR LOVED ONES with God’s Armor! And we have allowed our government to kick God out of the public square! When we step out of this life and into eternity, how will WE be CLOTHED? If we have done nothing to glorify Him in this life beyond the little it takes to keep the doors open on buildings like this one, can we really expect Him to glorify us in eternity? What must we do to hear the words ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’ If we continue to allow the tale of moral degradation we see ALL AROUND US to wag the dog of our responsibility to righteousness by keeping our mouths shut and our worship inside these walls, what glory SHOULD we expect. Jesus left HEAVEN to PURCHASE OUR ETERNAL LIVES! What do we do to show our appreciation when the going gets even a little bit tough? Loving our neighbor as ourselves absolutely does NOT mean standing on the sidelines in self-imposed helpless silence while every good and decent thing we have ever stood for is destroyed!

Apathy is one short step from dependence and dependence is the first step into BONDAGE! Few if any hearing this have ever experienced true political bondage. The twentieth century was replete with object lessons of it—Russia, China, Cambodia, Cuba, Viet Nam, the Caliphate etc. Countless millions were sacrificed to and by those who exercised absolute power over them. We all face death—such is the cycle of life on earth. BUT LET IT BE SAID OF US, We offered ourselves a LIVING Sacrifice to the One Who is the Giver of Life ETERNAL!

 

We Live in a place whose Founders sought the covenant blessing of God to establish. But we have gone the way of Laodicea–17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Do we in our heart of hearts sit in front of the TV or listen to the news and tell ourselves how bad things are getting but just don’t do anything because we are just hopeless? We do not need to be hopeless! Jesus started with Twelve and one betrayed HIM! He was not hopeless. What did Jesus do while He was here? He SPOKE THE TRUTH! Why can’t we do that?   Whatever the subject is! Speak the TRUTH of it! Abortion is wrong! We know that! But Just telling someone who is firmly pro-choice requires of us an apology! What, you are not going to say ‘I’m sorry!’ because abortion is wrong? Well that is not what an apology is! The word apology means ‘offering a reasoned defense’. EVERYBODY KNOWS that there is something wrong with legal abortion, even those who claim to be pro-choice. The “lump of tissue” in there is not going to turn into a Buick! It isn’t going to come out a frog or a duck. We all know that the fertilized egg is a HUMAN BEING! With its own unique DNA identity! So the question then becomes, is it right to kill ANY individual Human Being without due process of law in this Country? Notice I did not say LEGAL, I said RIGHT! No Honest person who believes in rule of law, or ANY of the God-given inalienable rights we recognize, can say ‘Of course its right. The mother has the absolute choice of life or death of her BABY!!’ They can say but its LEGAL! Legal yes, It is legal but if you believe in God and HIS definition of what is RIGHT, there is no way you can agree with abortion on demand of ANY stripe or time constraint FROM CONCEPTION forward! It is Murder of the undeniably innocent. Thou Shalt Not Kill. The forced redistribution of wealth is THEFT! But the majority VOTED to take some from everybody and give it to “the poor”. Whether it is voted on or not, someone taking something from me that I did not agree to give them is by definition THEFT! But its legal! The outcome is that it has created a permanently dependent welfare class that votes for the politician who promises to give them more. Its not THEIR money they are playing fast and loose with! THEFT! Thou shalt not steal. I could go on and on but this is not the arena for that. NO! This is the arena where we prepare ourselves to be PREACHERS of RIGHTEOUSNESS! Righteousness is not a religious term without practical application! Righteousness is the context in which we are supposed to think and speak and act in the daily, hour by hour, minute by minute, exercise of our decision making and activity. Ours is NOT the Christian Religion. It IS living out CHRIST in the world. It is taking the keys away from the drunk because I AM my brother’s keeper! That is probably the hardest pill to swallow for me. I believe in suffering the consequences of my actions even when they are stupid. But Jesus has Commissioned us with a Greater responsibility!

So Will we go down in history as the generation who turned our back on the Founders’ covenant because we didn’t pass on the ONE undeniable FACT: If a sparrow cannot fall from the air without His notice, is it likely that a nation can maintain its freedom without His BLESSING? Let us today take up the mission of Noah and speak righteousness to the drunkards. Let us take back the keys and curb their lusts.

As we enter our time of invitation, with every head bowed and eye closed, let us open our hearts to the One Who Loves us enough to Redeem us from Death and the Grave, not asking but BEGGING for Him to give us opportunity to SPEAK HIS Righteousness into the world. Noah was ALONE as a preacher of RIGHTEOUSNESS. If there had been even five righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah, the city would have been spared. Perhaps we can help spare OUR communities but we can’t do it alone.

Do we have our Hymn of Invitation?

If you feel His call on your life Now is the time. No one is guaranteed tomorrow. Closing prayer

Thanks again for having us here today! We hope to be seeing you again. God bless.

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