From Generation to Generation (16)

It is imperative for Christians to abandon the religion of humanism. It is imperative that they fulfill their responsibilities as members of a covenantal community. It is imperative that they see to it that their old people, as well as their young people, are not in any way dependent upon the services of a declining welfare State. To become dependent on such an institution is to become a slave. Worse than that: it is to become dependent on a master whose resources are almost spent.3

It seems astonishing that believers should need to be encouraged to “abandon the religion of humanism,” but that is a reflection of the state of the church today. A lot of things have quietly crept up on us over generations, that the church has largely been complacent about. The majority of the church has said, “Oh well, that’s the way it is.”

We may be complacent, but God isn’t. He’s been at war with humanism since Genesis 3, and this is why He sent Jesus, for “…the Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil” (I Jn.3:8).

And this is a fact: when individuals, families, churches and nations refuse to judge and deal with themselves according to scripture, they are merely inviting God to judge them; and He will.

David wouldn’t voluntarily deal with his sin, after committing adultery with Bathsheba and murdering Uriah. So God sent Nathan, who pronounced judgement on his family (II Sam.12:7-14). David lived, but he paid four-fold, as Nathan’s parable had specifically implied; four of his sons died. These were Bathsheba’s son (II Sam.12:15-18), Amnon (II Sam.13:28-29), Absalom (II Sam.18:14-15) and Adonijah (II Kings 2:23-25).

Eli wouldn’t deal with the evil taking place in his family, so God did (I Sam.4:14-18). Sodom wouldn’t deal with the evil in its midst, so God did (Gen.19:24-28). When the Corinthians were inclined to tolerate their member’s immorality, Paul challenged them: “Do you not judge them who are within the church?” He then commanded them to “remove the wicked man from among yourselves” (I Cor.5:13).

When Pharoah refused to let Israel go, pursuing Israel into where the Red Sea had been, God judged him. Pharoah drowned, and Egypt’s army along with him (Ex.14:5-31). God had raised up Pharoah only to destroy him, and Egypt was smashed. God said of Pharoah, that “…For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate my power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth” (Ro.9:17).

What is the lesson from all of this?

God’s judgements are both individual and corporate, from the individual to the family, church, society and nation. No individual or institution is exempt. We know that “…we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ…” (II Cor.5:10), “…the judgements of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether” (Ps.19:9), and that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb.13:8).

While we have tended in the church to emphasise the individual aspects of judgement, we must not neglect the judgements of God on churches, communities and nations. And because almost every nation of the world is in rebellion against God, His merciful restraints holding back these judgements have been rapidly disappearing.

Judgement hasn’t got to be in the form of fire and brimstone falling from heaven; it may take an economic form. And this is entirely logical, for nations of the world have been in breach of God’s economic laws for generations.

Governments around the world confiscate taxes like tyrants, at rates way above the tithe, and borrow with abandon. They think they are more important than God. He notes their blasphemy and rebellion and will judge them, just as He said He would with King Saul in Israel (see I Samuel 8).

And there again, God held the elders of Israel responsible, for they represented the people. So Israel’s problems were essentially spiritual, not political, for God said to Samuel concerning the nation,

Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them (I Sam.8:7).

We are seeing the judgements of God on ungodly nations. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the European Union is in serious trouble with debts and many other internal financial problems that won’t go away, and last year Britain’s Brexit vote was an indicator of the Union’s inherent instability.

The Chinese have pinned their hopes in artificially sustained economic growth, leading to the creation of massive economic bubbles such as in real estate, which must inevitably collapse. This will lead to unemployment and a host of resultant social problems in that country, for which China’s Communist leaders will have no constructive answers.

And all of this is a warning to us: no individual, family, church or nation can ignore God and survive, for God brings everybody and every institution into judgement. Judgement can be painful, but it is also an encouragement and a reminder, both to God’s people and everyone else, to walk in the light of His Word.

Conclusion:

God is going to judge the humanism of our modern era, much of which has entered the church. This will be both painful and good for us.

But these will be the big questions for Christians: will we make every effort to get our house and the house of God in order, and respond to His judgements in obedience and faithfulness?

 

3 Gary North, “The Sinai Strategy,” 1986, p.114-115.

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