Monday, February 23, 2009

Will God Be Issuing An Apology in the Near Future?

For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly….--- 2 Peter 2:4-6

It was Billy Graham who may have coined the expression, but if he did not, then he certainly stressed it quite a few years ago in his evangelistic ministry. That expression went something like this:

"If God allows us (the United States) to get away with our many sins, then He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah!"

Never has there been a time in the history of our republic in which this question needs to be more seriously considered than right now. For years, ever since that statement was originally uttered, the descent into a moral, ethical and spiritual cesspool has been rapid and massive. It has involved millions of U. S. citizens of all ages throughout the entire nation.

The “spiritual floodgates” really broke open starting in the ‘60’s although there were numerous problems in the decades prior to that time. But in the ‘60’s the nation experienced what was known as the “sexual revolution” plus an official Supreme Court decision which basically banned God from the public school systems with Bible reading and prayer no longer permitted. A high school student in my youth group told of someone placing a sign on his school’s bulletin board which read, “In case of atomic attack the ban against prayer in this school will be temporarily suspended!” For some reason, the sign was quickly removed by a member of the school’s administration.

But that was by no means the end – about 10 years later, in January of 1973 the Supreme Court handed down another disasterous decision which said that it was a constitutional right for a female to have her unborn child mutilated and murdered if she so chose! Now, the words “mutilated” and “murdered” do not appear in the wordy decision, but if you will look at photos of the victims of the United States’ version of Holocaust, that would be the only conclusion you can come to – that is, if you are truly honest and willing to face reality! Harry Blackmun, Supreme Court justice and United Methodist layman, wrote the infamous decision. He was highly eulogized in United Methodist circles when he died. Wherever Harry is today there is one thing for sure – if you were able to engage in conversation with him, he would tell you that his views of human life and children before birth have drastically changed since he crossed the great divide into eternity – he now sees it God’s way!

As the God-rejecting snowball rolled down hill during the ‘60’s, the 70’s and through the turn of the century, it kept getting larger and larger. By no wildest stretch of human imagination can we now say that we are better off and are living on a higher moral plane than we were before those two monumental Supreme Court decisions took place.

Our massive shedding of innocent blood, idolatry, sexual immorality, violence, selfishness and greed continue to increase unabated. Our utter defiance of the standards which Almighty God has put in place for a culture to experience sanity, serenity, stability, security, sovereignty, and ongoing survival has come to the place where even a citizen of ancient Sodom would blush if he or she would walk the streets of one of our cities!

So, as you ponder the question about God’s possible apology to the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah, what is the answer with which you come forth?

Somehow with all the searching of the Scriptures for over a half century, I see absolutely no indication that God will issue such an apology – in fact, the evidence is overwhelming that He will deal with this nation as He did with those ancient cities of long ago that demonstrated an attitude in which they gave God an obscene gesture. The prevailing mindset, including that of their leaders, was that they could live any way they wanted and not have to reap the harvest for their abominations later on down the road. We are clearly demonstrating that same spirit and traveling down that same path.

"Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.” --- Jesus speaking in Luke 17:28, 29

"The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.” --- God speaking in Jeremiah 18:7-10

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