From my family to yours… we hope and pray that you are enjoying a wonderful weekend celebrating America’s independence and the abundance of freedoms God has granted us in this great nation.
Over the past two and half weeks, we’ve gone through several serious storms here in the United States. Even as I write this, dark storm clouds seem to be looming off in the distance. I’m not speaking necessarily of thunder, lightning, rain, or hail (although we certainly could experience those at any given moment in Michigan!). No, I speak of the murderous actions, vitriolic hatred, and national applause for immorality that have filled the media-sphere.
Individually…on Wednesday night, June 17th, a young man strolled into a church in Charleston, SC, for their small group prayer meeting. After sitting in the circle for more than 45 minutes, he stood up and opened fire on the people, leaving 9 dead. His hatred for our African-American brothers and sisters brought us to deep grief and tears…
Nationally…the United States Supreme Court took action a week ago this past Friday, and in a 5-4 split, voted in favor of a position directly opposed to both natural law and God’s revealed design in creation and in His Word.
Internationally…immorality is being applauded across the Western hemisphere, and globally, more Christians are being martyred for their faith than at any other time in history.
The storm of nations and peoples is raging, but for all the talk of “freedom ringing,” our nation and world seems to be fracturing into splinters. True freedom is squelched, ignored, and even criticized.
As I’ve interacted with many of you who are following Jesus Christ, there has been an unmistakable tone of despondency. On this Fourth of July weekend, many of you may understandably feel torn between a wholesome love for our country and a sense of sadness about the direction our society seems to be taking.
In Jon Bloom’s insightful article “Loving and Celebrating a Defective Nation,” he wrote:
“Our national celebrations have always been tempered with the reality that the U.S., throughout its history, has at times legalized terribly destructive immoral things, such as the enslavement of African peoples, the genocide and social alienation of native North American peoples, and the systematic killing of 50+ million unborn children, just to name a few. It is right to be grieved over legalized sin.
But let the current events increase our resolve to seek America’s greatest good. Being citizens of a better country frees us from trying to make this one the kingdom of heaven. Our time here is short and “here we have no lasting city” (Hebrews 13:14). Jesus’s kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). So let us give ourselves to bring as many Americans to the better, lasting country as possible.” Click HERE for the full article at www.DesiringGod.org
As I noted on my Facebook wall yesterday morning, let true freedom ring… today and everyday. Rescue, refuge, and reconciliation is found in Jesus Christ alone. Sharing and showing the Good News is the most loving thing we can do for the United States of America.
In the midst of despair about the state of our nation, let us not lose sight of God’s mission and our eternal home. God is still in control and He is still on His throne. And one day Jesus the Christ will return and vanquish all His foes.
Those who stand against the rule of God today and seek to omit Him from their lives will one day stand before Him for final judgment. When the storm of nations and political activists and scheming sinners rages into the sound of a roar, we know all the noise is utterly futile…vain schemes that will not accomplish one iota against the LORD and His Christ.
Yet God’s judgment is also joined with God’s mercy, for the One who died in our place on the cross of Calvary is the only secure hope of rescue and refuge from God’s just judgment. He alone is the Good News for America.
Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together – against the LORD and against His Messiah, saying, “Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us! He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, “But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.” . . .
Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the LORD with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become anger, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! (Psalm 2:1-6, 10-12)
This morning at North Park Baptist Church we fixed our gaze on Jesus Christ as we celebrated the Lord’s Supper and looked to Psalm 2 to gain understanding about a storm of nations and peoples who are opposed to God and His Messiah.
You can listen to this sermon by clicking on the play button below or by subscribing to our iTunes podcast.
You’ll learn what God is doing in the middle of this storm, what He will do in the future, and what He calls His people to do right now: “A Storm of Nations” (Psalm 2:1-12) delivered at North Park Baptist Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan.