— Brother Phil Enlow: I’ve had so many thoughts and they’re certainly not organized. All I can do is say, Lord, You’re gonna have to get out what You want. But my thoughts have run to…I guess, in a sense it’s a follow-up to the service that we had a few weeks ago about, “What is Happening?”
And, of course, that became the subject of the article in the MCM this time. And, I think the focus of that was on the fact that what is happening is not simply events in the human realm, but rather there is a satanic design behind it. And that’s certainly true, isn’t it? We see the hand of Lucifer doing everything in his power to bring about his dream of ruling over this planet and driving God’s influence out of it.
And, for God’s purposes…thank God He reigns in spite of whatever we see…for God’s purposes He is allowing these things to happen. And He’s allowing them for a reason. And, of course, we talked about that fact that this is satanic, and so then, how do we react to that?
But I guess my thoughts this morning go beyond that to what do we do? Because, I confess, when I see things unfold as they are and I’m at an age and a place where I feel my infirmities, I feel weak and tired a lot of the time…I think tired is my middle name, but thank God He’s got the energy I need. But, an easy reaction is, oh well, throw up our hands. You know, things are unfolding as they are. All we can do is hunker down and wait for Jesus to come.
But I believe that God has put us here for a reason. We’re living when we are and there’s a purpose in it. And it’s not just to sit here and do nothing. And, of course, you’ve got people out there that say, well yeah, we need to take to the streets. We need to get on social media. We need to pack guns. We need to do all kinds of stuff. And, I don’t believe those are the answers. But I believe God does have a place for His people in an hour like this.
Now, you might ask, how do we get to a place like this? What happens to bring it about? And the fact is, if you look through history you will see that nations have arisen and fallen throughout history. They have been…in the ancient world there was one empire after another and we even see, through the prophets, that God’s hand was in raising them up!
Nebuchadnezzar had the power that he had over the known world of his day because God gave it to him for a divine purpose. Part of that was judgment upon other nations. But then of course there came the time when their own wickedness caught up with them and God raised up yet another empire to tear them down. And we saw Daniel literally reading the handwriting on the wall. That wasn’t just an expression, that was quite literal. And it was that very night the Medes and Persians came in.
Well, they lasted for a while and then the Greeks came in. And then they split apart into four different empires that fought against each other until Rome finally took over. And you know, Rome had its day and you see this throughout history that God has allowed nations to rise up, within His purposes, but then He has judged them for their wickedness.
And nobody exemplifies that more than Israel itself. Israel has a unique place in history. And God raised them up to bring forth the prophets, to reveal Himself, not just to them but through them to the nations, and we see Him doing that. You read the Old Testament prophets and the history and you will see that it wasn’t just to Israel that the prophets were sent. They were sent to other nations as well and other nations recognized, hey, if a prophet of Israel says something, you better listen.
And so, we see Jonah traveling way out into modern Iraq, to Nineveh and the people immediately just take warning and they listened and they humbled themselves and God changed history, didn’t He?
And so…but we see this pattern come forth in Israel is where I started, where they had access to the Word of God like no other nation. And how many of you know that the scripture says to whom, “…much is given, of him shall be much required…”? (KJV). And so, Israel had a responsibility that went way beyond the other nations around them. Yes, God judged them. But He judged them based upon their reaction to the light that they had.
But Israel had prophets sent to them generation after generation after generation. And yet, the word of the prophet was, I spoke to you, I did all of this, but you chose what is evil. You chose to do what you did.
And, you remember last week we talked about the key to the Christian life is choices, that we have a God who has placed us in a place where we can make choices, if we will, but we reap the consequences of those choices. Those who yield to the flesh, what are they gonna get out of it? Corruption. Those who yield to the Spirit, there’ll be the fruit of life in us. And so, a lot of what defines our individual lives is built upon the choices that we make.
And it’s what we think about. That’s one thing I never really mentioned last week. What do you allow to happen in your mind that nobody else knows about? Do you realize we have a choice what we think about? That’s why Paul says, whatsoever things are good and honest and good report and all of that. There are choices that you and I make, but there are choices that human beings make.
There are choices that nations make, and God judges people based upon their response to His light, whatever it is, whether it’s a little or a lot. And God judges a nation for their choice to either accept or reject that.
And I believe with all my heart what we are seeing in this country is a fruit of America’s choices. How many of you believe that this is a nation under God’s judgment? We saw a shot across the bow, if you will, is what people have called it, 9/11. There was an act of judgment where God took His hand back and allowed us to be attacked in a way we had never before been attacked.
And, you know, we need to stop and realize where we’re at in history. If you go back to our beginnings, if you were to research it…and it’s out there for anybody to read that wants to…there is a Godly heritage in spite of all that has been wrong and all that is wrong in our nation.
There is a Godly heritage of people in the beginnings of this country, going back to the Colonial days, going back especially to the founding of the nation, of the government, of a recognition of God. A recognition that we live under His laws, under His reign, that if we respect Him and live with that acknowledgment that His blessings will be upon us and He will be with us. But if we ever depart from that, it won’t be so good.
I mean, George Washington was explicit in his inaugural address about that principle. You don’t have to go back to George Washington. Go back to Reagan. He made the statement something like this. If we ever cease to become a nation under God, then we will become a nation gone under. Simple, but truth.
And you go back…I mean, literally there are people who have documented the things that have been stood for, in our founding. You go back to the Constitution and its formation. It took a lot of people a lot of time to come up with our Constitution. And when they got done, someone was asked what they had come up with and it was a Republic, if you can keep it, was one of the statements.
But there was another one of the Founding Fathers who said this style of government, this Constitution that we’ve come up with will only work among a religious people. And, of course, he didn’t mean religious like I sometimes use it, but rather a people who respect God.
How many of you realize that during the Constitutional Congress, when they called people together to devise the Constitution, they were wrestling with different issues? In the first place, many of the delegates were ministers. They were a fruit of the first great awakening when God mightily visited this nation, back in the middle of the 1700s. God was…there was an influence baked into our culture, into our thinking, of recognizing that we live and operate under a God who is supreme.
How many of you know, and here’s a simple fact, how many of you are aware that there came times when they were devising our Constitution that they would come up against a sticky issue? How are we gonna handle this? What are we gonna devise to meet this particular need? They would literally call a halt, call a time, perhaps a day or whatever, of prayer and fasting to seek wisdom from God.
Can you imagine that happening in Congress today? You see where we’ve fallen? See what’s happened to this country? That’s our heritage. And for probably the first hundred years of our heritage, if you went to law school or you went to some kind of law training, the entire theory of law was this. There is a God who is supreme. He has laws that govern human affairs, as to what is right and what is wrong. Any law that we devise, anything that we stand for, has to first recognize that. That is over all, and under that we get down to the details, and so we make laws that respect those laws.
And somewhere toward the end of the 1800s that theory began to change, and all of a sudden, we become humanistic and, no, we’re gonna do things our way. We don’t have to recognize that stuff anymore and it just…they began to move away from that. And we have been moving away ever since.
And of course, we talked about…we talked about what happened in the 60s and the rebellion that occurred in the 60s. Well, the reality is the society we live in today the children and grandchildren of the 60s are our college professors, our newscasters, our entertainers and many of our politicians, and you go on from there.
People have gone into industry and business, and they’re still children of the 60s, people who no longer recognize that we are a nation under God. We have a major party that refuses to say those words. So, do you think that these facts have anything to do, perhaps, with where we’re at?
( congregational amens ).
Yeah, they have everything to do with it And you look back at the sins of ancient Israel that caused them to find the place…to find themselves in the place that they found themselves, facing judgment, one of them was idolatry! What do the scriptures say in the New Testament? How is idolatry defined? I mean, what is idolatry?
What would it be in our society? We don’t literally bow down to blocks of wood and stone and images. Most people don’t. You still see that in India. I’ve observed it but…what do the scriptures say? It says, “…covetousness, which is idolatry.” The materialism, the worship of money and stuff and all that comes with it, the power and the pride and all of that, we have been given over to that.
We have taken God’s blessings and worshipped the blessing and despised the Blesser. And we have imagined it is because of our goodness and our worthiness that we have what we have and we are what we are. God has allowed America to become the greatest nation, arguably, in the history of the planet. There’s never been one like it.
But we’ve got to this place because of God’s blessing, and for no other reason. We cannot look in the mirror, like Nebuchadnezzar did and say, look at this great country that I have built for my name and my glory. The spirit of Babylon…let’s build us a tower and us a city that’s gonna reach into heaven. God help us!
But we’re guilty of one of the great sins that plagued ancient Israel that God pointed out to them. But what about the area of sex and gender? My God, have we not rebelled against God and against the order that He established in the world? And it’s not just that people do certain things, but they glory in it. They have enshrined it in law.
Talk about no longer recognizing the supremacy of God’s laws? They have enshrined it in law and they are teaching it in many public schools, right down to the kindergarten level. You do what you want. It’s all about what kind of inclinations arise in you. It’s all good. And don’t dare say anything against it!
That’s where we’re at. You think God just is gonna sit back and say, oh yeah, I’m gonna bless you? God bless America. Folks, we have a nation that God has warned, that has rejected and renounced the God we supposedly recognize as supreme. The question is not if judgment comes, but when, and how?
And I believe with all my heart the things we’re seeing unfold this year are part of that…9/11 was. God knows what’s coming. And none of this is to minister fear. But I’ll tell you, we are seeing the repeating of patterns.
One of the things I’ve reacted to over the years are so many people making the equivalency between us and Israel. Well, we’re not Israel, but they’re not us, either. Israel had its place in the economy of God in that time, but we have had a place. We have had a sphere of influence on this planet. God has used America to spread His fame when we did what we were supposed to do.
I’ll tell you, how many people have read some of the effects of World War II? Some of the things the Lord did through that era. God used the United States to take down Japan, which was a stronghold of Satan. And because of that, and their defeat, and their disillusionment with their system, the Gospel found an entryway in there.
I’ve told you before about…as a young man…a boy, I guess, meeting the man who led the Japanese attack against Pearl Harbor. He was the commander. He was in the lead plane. Come on! Let’s attack them at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. That man later came to Christ, and became an evangelist. And I’ve still, somewhere…I’ve got a little New Testament with his signature in it, Mitsuo Fuchida.
And there are so many other tales that have come out of how God used people from this country to reach out, to break down walls. God knows how to take the events and the choices, the nations of this world, and to mold it all together to reach His, because God has a purpose! Satan does have a purpose, but God has a purpose, doesn’t He? The words of Jesus, “All that the Father giveth me…
( congregational response ).
…Shall come to me.” Thank God! That’s a positive statement. There’s not anyone gonna be lost. I remember seeing, years ago, on a TV network, they’re raising money and their pitch was, if you don’t give to us, millions of people will go to hell because you didn’t give.
Seriously? I’m all for supporting something that is getting the Gospel out, but my God is faithful! My God is not going to lose somebody because of me! If I mess up, He’ll have somebody else to step in, but God will save every one of His! That’s His purpose.
His purpose is not to bless nations in material ways and make that the center of anything. But God has a purpose to reach His people and they will be reached, and when Jesus comes, His Kingdom will be complete! Every seat at His table will be full!
And I’ll tell you, we’re gonna look back and say, Lord, how did you take that mess and make this out of it? What a great God you are! But the question comes again, what do we do about it?
It’s interesting the number of times in scripture, and I don’t want to make an exact equivalency out of every one of them, but where God’s people actually went to God in prayer and talked with Him about judgment that was pending…and in some cases, postponed it.
Now, Abraham is an example of somebody who went to God on behalf of Sodom and, of course, the situation had gone beyond that point. But did not God say, yes, if I find as many as ten, I won’t destroy it? So, He’s listening and responding to the intervention of…to somebody who’s reaching out and saying, oh God!
And you see this throughout history. You see Moses…you remember the time when things got so bad, I think it was in the wilderness, was one of those many incidents, when the Lord said, stand aside, let me destroy them. I’ll make a greater nation out of you and Moses said, no! What about Your great name?
You can argue the theology of that. I believe God was testing him, but the heart of Moses was an expression of God’s heart. It was, Lord, I know we don’t deserve it, but God show mercy!