When I was a kid, I often heard preachers declaring that the judgment of God would fall upon America as we turned against prayer and other public references to God in pursuit of the secularization of our society. Without a complete understanding of God’s ways, ministers would use fear as a tool to scare people. Of course, the cynics denied even the concept of God, relegating belief in God to those that are foolish, simple and unlearned. Over time, the continued secularization of our culture changed teaching the “theory” of evolution to the “fact” of evolution. In so doing, we have become those who the Apostle Paul observed, “worship the creation rather then the creator” (See Romans 1:25). Case in point, over time, Christmas vacation became known as “winter break” and Easter vacation became known as “spring break.” In many cases, the singing of traditional holiday songs was eliminated because of their references to God. Today, cynics are more cynical than ever, and now, even Christians have become confused and submissive to public pressure against God. Why? Because we have not seen God’s judgment we long heard about. As a result, no one is satisfied.
Did We Miss the Judgment?
Unfortunately, the problem most people have is rooted in a lack of understanding God’s judgment. We have been told that judgment would be manifest as an evil dictator taking over, or harsh judgments of catastrophic economic events. On the contrary, we have witnessed the liberalization of society and watched unparalleled economic prosperity overtake humanity as if no judgment is coming. What is the problem? We have misunderstood God’s ways and made most of our predictions based upon our fears rather than the understanding of God’s ways. The prophet Isaiah said God’s judgment would come “Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little…” (Isaiah 28:13), so the fall would essentially sneak up on us and in its end be final.
In Romans chapter one, the Apostle Paul declares that the sign of God’s judgment is actually what we are seeing in our country today. We have decided not to retain God in our knowledge so we have been given over to do those things that are not fitting. The actual judgment is not understood, and because of our lack of understanding, it creates even more severe consequences. Look what he had to say:
Change Your Focus!
In reading the scripture above, it would appear that the focus of the message from Paul is on people’s behaviors, but the real issue is the root of the problems. He then goes on to tell us the most unsettling part of all:
To walk in the victory God has for us, we need to understand that the battle we face is really within ourselves. We need revelation on spiritual warfare and the devil if we are going to have the influence God desires! The devil is not trying to get us on his side to stand against God. Going all the way back to Genesis, the devil’s plan is to get you on your own side, living a life of self-centeredness. Our rebellion in the beginning was the cause of the rebellion against God and in the end becomes the sign of His judgment. Self-centered motivations at the core of human behavior will create a trap of death resulting in a cycle of unending dissatisfaction. Having abundance and the freedom to seek our own satisfaction will bring us a “living hell” in this life. Solomon, in the book of Proverbs, said it best:
We are given opportunities to assess ourselves and look into our heart with the aid of the Holy Spirit so we can walk uprightly before the Lord. Let’s move past self-centeredness and gain the kingdom perspective so we can have the influence He desires for us in this world!