The Immorality of Modernism
By Pastor Hal Mayer
Welcome to Keep the Faith Ministry once again. Thank you for joining me as we consider the times in which we live and how to prepare for the coming of Christ. We are facing an unprecedented rise in immorality, brought on by constant promotion of vice and crime. Everywhere you turn these days there are examples of depravity and lust. I know, partly because so many of our guests at our health retreats in Australia come from homes where they have been sexually abused. And they’re desperate to understand true love and how to find happiness. My topic today involves prophetic reflections on the shocking recent revelations of immoral predators. It is a major sign of the nearness of the end of all things.
As we begin our time together today, let us bow our heads in prayer, if you can. Our Father in heaven, thank You for Your love and patience with this wicked world. We are certainly living in similar circumstances to the time of Noah. We see the wickedness and immorality all around us and we need Your presence to keep us pure and holy in the midst of it all. We pray that Your Holy Spirit will speak to us today as we try to understand the times in which we live. There is abundant evidence that Jesus is coming soon. And I pray that we may use our time, talents, influence, and resources to win others to Jesus. Thank you for Your promise to send Your Holy Spirit as we study. Keep us holy by Your grace and power. In Jesus name, amen.
Please open your Bibles with me to 2 Timothy 3:1-7. Let us read this powerful description of the times in which we live.
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
Did you notice that they lead with divers lusts, and that many of them are laden with sins? Friends, this is a relentless description of the way society is today. Sex is glorified, love is distorted, and men take advantage of women, and women take advantage of their bodies to get what they want.
Now notice verse eight. “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.”
Long standing Jewish tradition says that Jannes and Jambres were two Egyptian magicians who duplicated some of the miracles that Moses did before pharaoh. Then they went with Israel after the Passover and caused trouble down to the time of Balaam. They were involved in the licentious worship of the golden calf and it is suggested that they may have helped to lead Israel into sexual sin in collaboration with Balaam.
Paul uses these men as types of the wide spread rejection of the truth and its moral principles in the last days. And don’t we have this problem today?
Harvey Weinstein, or Hurricane Harvey, as he is often called blew into Hollywood and became one of its most powerful and influential producers. He has been blown out of Hollywood because of his sexual depravity. He has been exposed as a serial womanizer and a brazen pervert. The powerful film executive recently blew over to a $2000-a-night Arizona “rehab” center for treatment and could face criminal charges. This goes to show you that no one is omnipotent. Weinstein’s power crumbled overnight it seems, as Hollywood’s protective wall came crashing down around him.
Weinstein held the keys to the kingdom so to speak. He was at the top of his game. And he knew he had enormous power. He became arrogant and had been indulging in his gross escapades for decades. He targeted dozens of women, many of whom complied with his scandalous requests then yielded to his threats to keep quiet, fearing harm to their careers. He had that much power.
But the Bible is clear. If you persist in sin long enough, it will eventually destroy you. And it has destroyed Weinstein.
And suddenly, everyone is appalled, as if it was a big surprise. And the reactions of his friends and colleagues is just as surprising. Weinstein’s behavior was no secret. People in Hollywood say that everyone knew. His employees collaborated in helping him get alone with many vulnerable women. His sins were condoned and nurtured within the putrid incubator that is America’s entertainment industry. He thrived within a vast system of complicity. And for many, many years, it protected him. As the saying goes about Las Vegas, “what happens there stays there,” so also can it be said of Hollywood. But that seems to have changed now, at least for the time being.
Scripture condemns the adulterer. Here is just one verse of many found in the Bible. It is from Hebrews 13:4. “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
Harvey Weinstein was a whoremonger and an adulterer. And his crimes have been blazoned upon the headlines of global news reports. His career has ended, and he is no longer respected as a leader in the entertainment industry.
Here is another biblical condemnation of adultery. It is from Proverbs 6:32. “But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.”
In the Bible the word whoremonger applies to a man who commits fornication, or sex outside of marriage. It does not matter whether he pays for it, as we often try to distinguish it today.
But Weinstein was not merely committing adultery. He was encouraging it and promoting it; not just in his movies and TV shows, but in his own life. He is what they call a predator who tried to take advantage of any pretty woman that came across his path. And he abused many.
The Bible is also clear that those who associate with this kind of person are also condemned. Listen to 1 Corinthians 5:11. “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator…; with such an one no not to eat.”
While the Bible gives a much longer list of the types of people we are to avoid, it is important to understand that a sexually immoral person is to be shunned. They will not be saved, according to scripture. Look at 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
Nobody can be genuinely shocked at Weinstein’s decadence. Hollywood glamorizes sexual immorality and perversions of all kinds. Just because this powerful producer’s movies have made billions and is acclaimed with dozens of prestigious awards does not justify the sexual crimes he committed for so long. It just emphasizes the immoral nature of the people he mixed with and the product he peddled. Thousands upon thousands of people work every day to script, rehearse, film, edit, polish, mass market, distribute, project and broadcast these very vices on screen of which Weinstein now stands guilty. How can society suddenly condemn his reprehensible actions, while paying billions to see his films? Why do they not see the link between the films and the culture that creates and disseminates them? And a more prescient question is why they do not see the link between the spiritual diet fed into the minds of millions of us, and the immorality in society at large? The immorality of Hollywood is a systemic problem that the industry supports, but its targets are the people who think they can watch all the immorality on the silver screen and expect that it will not effect them.
The Bible teaches that we are changed by the things we behold. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
And if we can be changed from our carnal nature into the same character of Christ, the opposite is also true. And the enemy knows that if he can get us immersed in the filth of Hollywood, he can separate us from Christ and we will lose our salvation. “By beholding we become changed.”
Jesus told us to judge Hollywood by its fruits, and the revelations about Harvey Weinstein are fruits by which his industry will be condemned by the ultimate universal judge from which there is no appeal. Weinstein is not the only one. Weinstein, who is a fitting symbol of a corrupt industry, is one of many in the superficial Tinseltown that exploit the culture of sex and abuse that represents even more depravity than Las Vegas. Hollywood is the real swamp that needs to be drained. The town of the silver screen is the real sin city to which Las Vegas only plays second fiddle. And Hollywood wants to make the western world a reflection of itself.
Weinstein has reached at least eight settlements with women over the years, according to The New York Times. According to the New Yorker, at least 84 women accused him of sexual misconduct, some of which are serious sex crimes, including rape. And at least six women allege in a lawsuit that Weinstein’s companies, including their boards of directors are complicit with Weinstein in covering up his sexual misconduct.
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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has expelled him; the Producers Guild of America has moved to terminate his membership; his name is being removed from credits on films and TV projects; and the Weinstein Company, whose board he has resigned from is nearly bankrupt as talent agencies cut off talent supply.
Even prominent Democrats like Hillary Clinton (who received more than $2 million in personal and “bundled” donations from him) have found their voice in denouncing him. And for many of them, they are calling the kettle black. For their own sins and wickedness are as black as Weinstein’s, some in other areas of life.
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And several police departments from Los Angeles and New York, to Scotland Yard have opened or re-opened investigations against him.
Jane Fonda said she was “ashamed” of herself for not speaking up sooner. But how long has the 79-year-old Fonda been in Hollywood? That would be for several decades. And how long has Weinstein been a sexual predator? For 25 years. It is very hard to imagine that Fonda only knew about Weinstein’s sexual abuse for more than a year, as she claims. Weinstein is down, and they are piling on him because he’s vulnerable.
But the hypocrisy is enormous. What other sins are Fonda and others still silent about? Weinstein is the tip of the iceberg. He merely reflects the wider Hollywood culture. But his brand of sexual misconduct is not the only wickedness to be found behind those big screens.
Pedophilia, for instance, is widespread in Hollywood. “I can tell you the number one problem in Hollywood,” said Corey Feldman,” one of Tinseltown’s biggest child actors of the 1980s, “was, and is, and always will be pedophilia.” Feldman claims that he himself along with another Corey – Corey Haim, was a victim of a “Hollywood mogul” pedophile. “It’s all under the radar. It’s the big secret,” he added. “I was surrounded by them [pedophiles] when I was 14 years old. Surrounded – literally. [I] didn’t even know it. It wasn’t until I was old enough to realize what they were and what they wanted, and what they were about… They were everywhere, like vultures.”
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Alison Arngrim, of “Little House on the Prairie,” said of the Hollywood pedophilia, “This has been going on for a very long time. It was the gossip back in the ‘80s. People said, ‘Oh yeah, the Coreys, everyone’s had them.’ People talked about it like it was not a big deal.”
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Anne Henry, co-founder of child-actor protection group. BizParentz Foundation, said “75 percent of the child actors who “went off the rails’ suffered earlier abuse. Moreover, Hollywood is currently sheltering about 100 active abusers,” she estimates.
Will people now believe Corey Feldman about Hollywood abusers?
Former child actor Elijah Wood, who starred in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, alluded to how some abusers host orgastic parties where young boy actors are seduced. They “threw lavish parties where young boys were encouraged to drink and take drugs before mandatory skinny-dipping sessions in the swimming pool and hot-tub.”
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And Hollywood glorifies these pedophiles. “Hollywood is littered with men—and women—who are sexual predators and provocateurs ready and willing to take advantage of most anyone and any situation in order to satisfy their lust and greed… Thus, when these ‘nasty’ Hollywood harlots, gigolos, pimps, perverts, and like-minded stooges… start howling about the sexual misconduct of President Trump—or any other politician or pundit of whom they disapprove (which is usually Christians or conservatives), we know its not really the sexual immorality that troubles them.”
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Hollywood has a larger agenda, the further disintegration of families and morality. They target men in general as if all men are suspected of sexual abuse, just because they are men. And perhaps they have surrounded themselves with so many of them that they have forgotten that real men – men who respect women and children; men whose moral fiber is built on a biblical foundation, actually exist.
But they don’t want the Bible to guide their minds. They are only interested in money and what they can get for themselves. For some, it is the almighty dollar. For others it is power. For still others it is sex and other depraved and lustful goals.
Harvey Weinstein was thrown under the bus because he became a liability. He made the mistake of getting caught. “If they were to take the [arrest] records of every filmmaker or actor, they’d have to shut this town down,” said Victor Salva, a former child movie star. “Let’s face it, anybody can work here who makes money.” But shutting down Hollywood might not be such a bad idea, come to think of it.
And the values of Hollywood have become the values of most of western society, partly by Hollywood design. Hollywood is a powerful social change agent. Only some people listen to news and commentary, but entertainment reaches almost everyone. If a picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes, then how many words are moving pictures worth? Film, which combines sight and sound in an emotion-engaging package, is amazingly powerful. It has powerfully changed the values of modern society, and depraved humanity beyond measure.
And it is truth that is sacrificed on the alter of lust. Bill Maher, the liberal and libertine comedian-cum-commentator, apparently once said on an old show “Politically Incorrect,” “The concept of Absolute truth is scary.” Yet, it is absolute truth that is needed most by a society that doesn’t want to be accountable to any one but themselves. They want to determine what is right and wrong. But if they use themselves as the foundation of truth, they will inevitably end up in the moral swamp.”
When Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” John 18:38. He was reflecting the moral underpinnings of the society that he lived in. To him there were no absolutes. He was living in a world of lies, political maneuverings, and other corruptions and wickedness. But Pilate spoke those words to the One who is the Truth – the one absolute truth. Without Christ, there is no way that anyone can understand truth. There is no way that anyone can be moral, and have happiness. And Hollywood is the epitome of lies, the antithesis of truth.
The enemy could not have come up with a more powerful influence on society. He could not have created a more influential instrument to get people to willingly give up their stability, their happiness and their peace, in exchange for depression, despair and depravity.
Sin is psychological poison. And as with all poison, it affects a person whether he realizes it or not. People feel bad about themselves when they sin. They suffer guilt and want some relief, some kind of forgiveness. Everyone wants to feel good about themselves, but to practice virtue, such as chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, humility, prudence, etc., is quite difficult. You have to have a dedication to it. It requires discipline, hard work, and perseverance, and most of all sacrifice. You can’t keep going to the parties if you want virtue. You can’t keep going back to the immoral swamp if you want to comprehend the teachings of Christ. In fact, if you really want happiness in this life, you have to establish a pattern of virtue in your life in all areas.
And this is what the Bible intends to do for you. The Bible will gradually change you and make you like its author. If you seriously take the Bible and study it to mine its principles and truths, you’ll find, eventually, that it will have stripped away your worldliness, your love of worldly music, your love of self-indulgence, the wicked desire of your eyes. It will have removed the inconsistencies in your life, and it will have subdued the sensual, cheap thinking of your mind. Your countenance will shine amid the moral darkness that surrounds you and replaces your love for the world and worldly things with a hunger for more of God.
True virtue will arise in your heart. It will not be something that you can create or make in your soul. It is a quality that comes from personal communion with Someone who is better than you are; Someone whose influence can be felt; but not seen; Someone whose counsel sees far into the future and plans for all emergencies. It will give you that which you cannot give yourself – a sense of deep happiness that is healing to the body and refreshing to the soul. And you’ll have it day in and day out. I’ve seen people change. I’ve seen it in my own life. And I know that what I speak of is true.
Friends, I don’t know about you, but if I want to overcome the enemy of my soul, and live eternally, I have to have what the Bible alone can give me. The Holy scriptures give me a certainty, and sense of purpose, and a moral compass to keep me from lust, greed, avarice, cruelty, and any other sin that would connect me to the enemy of my soul.
But virtue doesn’t bring praise in a world of wickedness. Virtue doesn’t offer worldly success. Virtue doesn’t bring worldly power. We look for a better land than this world could ever offer. Like Abraham “we look for a city whose builder and maker is God.” Hebrews 11:10.
Christ said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” John 18:36. So, anything that is of the world is not part of Christ’s kingdom. It is either a convenience, an expediency or an evil. We have to live in the world. And it is a world of sin. We have to buy things and sell things. There are governments that we have to respond to. But we are Christ’s and we are not of this world, though we live in the world.
The apostle John said in 1 John 2:15-17, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
Just think about these words for a few minutes. The lust of the flesh is the driving factor in Hollywood and the film industry in general. And it is one of the key motivators that drives the men and women that run those purveyors of sin. They love the world. They live for the flesh. How can a child of God, support that system of wickedness by either paying for and/or watching it?
The Bible exposes their deeds as evil. Harvey Weinstein and his cohorts will be judged by the ruler of the universe one day. But Harvey and many of his fellows are being judged already by people around the world. Their sins have been exposed by the media and proclaimed from the housetops. Listen to this interesting Bible verse that describes what has just happened to so many of these Hollywood moguls. Its from Luke 12:2, 3. “For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.”
These wicked men have done many of these deeds in secret. They have hidden them and covered them up. Some have tried to silence their victims by intimidation. Others have downplayed the sin as if it was just normal behavior. Yes, in some cases, others have known about it. It is an open secret, they say.
But the media was mostly silent about it. And it went on for years and years and years. Suddenly, unexpectedly, and shockingly, one allegation led to many more. And it migrated from one monster to another and another until it seems that everybody in Hollywood is tainted, some more than others, of course. It has even tainted those that are not involved in any scandals just by association.
But it also went beyond the film industry to politics and even snared business tycoons and government leaders. And it gets headline news. If you ever have a shameful moment it would be when you wake up one morning and the newspapers are blazoned with the sordid details of your life for every one to read.
But will these people heed the Bible from now on? Not likely. The film industry that spews cultural poison all over the planet will continue on. They will replace the ones who have fallen, but they will continue to produce the cultural poison and vice that is so endemic to the silver screen.
In any case, they will not heed the Bible. They will not yield their lives to God’s principles. They have set their course to oppose God, and this brings every filthy, corrupted thing into play.
So, why do secular people hate the Bible standard? People can’t help being what they are. What is in the heart of a Hollywood screenwriter, director or actor will be portrayed in their productions. They think like this “if those church people get their way, I won’t be able to indulge [in whatever lust or sin is theirs].” They don’t want their fun spoiled. They don’t want to be judged. So, they set out to destroy the very standard by which they will be judged. And consequently, we have the most sordid films and evil motives and intentions portrayed on the silver screen.
People become habituated to that in which they habitually indulge, and over time, it doesn’t seem so abnormal to them anymore. They justify it, condone it, think about it, and try to mask over it. They present themselves as respectable members of society, while conducting the worst vices and perversions behind the scenes outside of the light of day.
And the mainstream media is complicit with it all. While Harvey Weinstein was being thrown under the bus, Hugh Heffner, the founder of Playboy magazine died at 91 years of age. He was eulogized by the mainstream media as a hero and a cultural revolutionary who valiantly conquered sexual repression. Hugh Hefner was one of the pioneers of the immorality in modern America. He wasn’t the only one by any means, but he had long life and did a lot of damage to the moral barriers of society. The media loves this lifestyle. They promote it, and focus on it. They aid and abet it by their constant glorification of the actors, stars and other people that they think are important. They sneer at the Bible standard as so “Victorian” and out of date. As Hollywood continues to push the boundaries of ever more perverse, cruel and violent representations, it pushes society farther and farther away from the principles that would keep it together. Especially is the family undermined in film.
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Hugh Hefner, Playboy founder and pop culture icon, dead at 91
And as they present these lifestyles as valid, moral and neutral in their influence, more and more people adopt the idea that they aren’t so bad after all. Soon that which once repulsed them, they accept as normal and even promote and advocate.
In the wake of revelations about Harvey Weinstein, many more Hollywood moguls and movie stars have been exposed as sexual perverts and aggressors as well. Many have denounced him, only to have subsequently been exposed for similar sins of their own.
Many women have emerged in what seems like a sexual counter-revolution, making accusations ranging from harassment to rape, starting with high-profile leaders and actors in Hollywood then expanding to powerful and prominent TV and radio personalities, magazine executives, politicians, government leaders, political candidates, investment fund managers, renowned chefs, sports figures, musicians, medical professionals and fashion moguls. The list is long and its tentacles are everywhere. The moral resistance to fulfilling the lusts of the flesh hardly flickers anymore.
Now so many already accept many of the perversions that have been pushed on us by Hollywood and other venues, such as same-sex marriage, transgender, and gender-fluid individuals and other varied deviations from God’s order, that whole nations have adopted policies, both domestic and foreign that supposedly equalize them and try to prevent discrimination by Christians. While Christians must love these people, they cannot condone their behavior.
These entertainers and people in the entertainment industry, whether in film or in music, have massive influence on society. We often subsidize and idolize many of these people. It is this power over other minds that make them think they are invincible and that they can take advantage of others without repercussions. But now the repercussions are coming at breakneck speed. It reminds me of the Bible text that says, “Be sure your sin will find you out.” Numbers 32:23.
But these people shape society’s attitudes and change its standards. These are the very ones responsible, to a considerable extent for the moral depravity that currently exists in the western world. It goes way beyond America and involves many nations around the world, especially those that were once part of the British empire which God raised up and used to oppose Roman Catholicism and establish a protestant empire on a global scale that would prepare the way for the final message of the three angels of Revelation 14 to be given to the world.
Revelation 18:11-19 says these people are some of the merchants of the earth. They are purveyors of perversion and immorality and try to sell their products and wares to the people of the world. They keep them fascinated by sin, violence, corruption and vice. And it is all in collaboration with the Catholic Church or Babylon.
As you know, the sex scandals of the Catholic Church have been notorious in many, many countries. The dark record of Rome’s sheer hypocrisy and its immorality are open for all to see. During the reign of Pope Benedict XVI, there was a continual flow of evidence about the wickedness of Rome. But, Rome’s pedophilia and other scandals have only encouraged and potentiated the same depravities in the political world, the financial industry and especially in the entertainment industry.
Pretending like Weinstein’s perversion is some sort of one-off anomaly in Hollywood is as phony as a movie set. In fact, the hypocrisy of the Hollywood culture is intrinsically, systemically and grossly hypocritical. It masquerades as feminist and pro-women, while it treats women as sex objects—in private at parties and in public at the cinema. It rails against guns in the political arena but romanticizes gun violence on the silver screen. Its moral standards are fake too. This shouldn’t shock us. This industry’s business is playacting after all, pretending, all of which is living a lie.
Many people self-righteously condemn Weinstein. When the Motion Picture Academy booted him it said, “[T]he era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.” I doubt it. Hollywood isn’t about to clean up its act on any front. I would not expect the movie industry to start producing movies like the Sound of Music again as its normal fare. People still have an appetite for violence and sex.
Romans 1:24-27 condemns those who reject God and take on a reprobate mind, becoming filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, maliciousness, deceit and malignity. Listen to these words from holy scripture. “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves… For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.”
While this is obviously referring to the homosexual lifestyle, it begs the question, what came before it? The rise of sexual immorality and the normalization of fornication and adultery has not been changed by the revelations of the movie industry. They still teach and accept that it is normal. The thing they do not condone is the abuse of power to victimize women, and intimidate them into compliance.
Let me read on from Romans 1:28 and onward. “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient. Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness… etc…”
My friends, these immoralities lead to other things, which the Bible lists including “covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity.” That’s the rest of verse 29.
And why do they hide these things? Its because they know that they are wrong. Deep down they know that they have offended and they want to escape punishment.
Now notice verse 32. “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
Notice that God doesn’t just condemn those who commit such things—He also condemns those who “have pleasure in them that do them.” That’s a whole lot of people from the top to the bottom of the social food chain today. So, all those people that enjoy watching the movies that Hollywood produces and listening to sensual music are condemned by the God of heaven as well.
How can we expect blessings from the Lord, when we are continually turning our backs on Him? Listen to the words of Jeremiah 5:7-9. “How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses. They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbor’s wife. Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?”
No wonder God is withdrawing his blessings from America. It leads the world in all this decadence. While hurricanes, fires and other disasters hit the United States in recent times, many people do not see the connection to the rebellion of its leaders and social players.
Here is a statement from Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 8, and page 252. “As I hear of the terrible calamities that from week to week are taking place, I ask myself: What do these things mean? The most awful disasters are following one another in quick succession. How frequently we hear of earthquakes and tornadoes, of destruction by fire and flood, with great loss of life and property! Apparently these calamities are capricious outbreaks of seemingly disorganized, unregulated forces, but in them God’s purpose may be read. They are one of the means by which He seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger.
“The coming of Christ is nearer than when we first believed. The great controversy is nearing its end. The judgments of God are in the land. They speak in solemn warning, saying: ‘Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’” Matthew 24:44.
Listen also to this very interesting statement from Signs of the Times, September 29, 1881. “Intemperance in eating and drinking leads to the indulgence of the animal passions. And those who, understanding the effect of their course, indulge appetite and passion at the expense of health and usefulness, are preparing the way to disregard all moral obligations.”
So, what is it that prepares men to throw away all moral obligations? It is the indulgence of appetite and passion. So, when the social order is filled with vice, immorality and impurity, we can know they are preparing to push for more and more license and normalize it, making wickedness first ok, then making it “good.” Their foolish hearts were darkened.” Romans 1:21.
I’ll continue reading from the passage in Testimonies for the Church. Speaking of those who indulge appetite and passion, the author says, “When temptation assails them, they have little power of resistance. This was the cause of Israel’s continual backsliding; and it is the reason why there is so much crime and so little true godliness in the world today. The only path of safety is the path of daily restraint and self-denial.”
So, what is the path of safety? Daily restraint and self-denial. Not occasional restraint, and self-denial. Every day we must fight with the enemy and bring ourselves under restraint and self-denial.
“Nothing but the power of God, combined with human effort, can accomplish the work of ennobling and uplifting our race. Had men been willing to learn the lessons which God had given them, successive generations would not have deteriorated so greatly in physical, mental, and moral power. Christ, enshrouded in the cloudy pillar, had spoken again and again to Israel for their good; but they had not heeded his voice. Again he appeared to Manoah and his wife with definite instructions concerning the course she should pursue to insure physical and moral health to her offspring. God had a work for the promised child of Manoah to do,—a work which would require careful thought and vigorous action. It was to secure for him the qualities necessary for this work that all his habits were to be carefully regulated.”
Now, listen to this next part of that statement. It describes very clearly what is going on today. “There are today many statesmen, senators, lawyers, judges, and others in responsible positions, whose physical habits have been, nearly all their life-time, at war with natural laws. At the outset of their career, these men may have possessed rare intellectual powers; but the precious gifts of God have been soiled and dimmed, and in too many cases buried, in the mire of self-indulgence.”
Yet, there are some who see a connection. The ministers of the churches that comprise the daughters of Babylon often see a connection between the calamities and disasters that happen, sometimes in rapid succession, because they advocate the fake worship of God on Sunday. And then Satan instigates these professed Christians to accuse the followers of God’s law as the reason for the calamities. The Great Controversy, page 590 says;“And then the great deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils. The class that have provoked the displeasure of Heaven will charge all their troubles upon those whose obedience to God’s commandments is a perpetual reproof to transgressors. It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday sabbath;…”
Who would be making that accusation? Wouldn’t that be the religious leaders? After all, their purpose is to deceive the people into disobeying God’s law. But more than that, these moguls and tycoons and others will join them and point the finger at the faithful followers of Jesus in an effort to distract attention from their own vices and wickedness. The lives of God’s people are a reproof to them.
Think about it. As the darkness, wickedness and corruption expand upon the earth, God’s restraining Spirit is gradually being withdrawn. At the same time it is being concentrated and placed upon the truth followers of Jesus. It is being placed on those who have not indulged in those crimes but whose lives reflect the purity, the love and the power of Jesus Christ. While the earth is getting darker and becoming gross darkness, the people of God are shining brighter until good and evil stand in stark contrast to anyone with eyes to see the spiritual dimension.
I’ll continue reading. They argue “that this sin [the sin of violation of the Sunday sabbath] has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced; and that those who present the claims of the fourth commandment, thus destroying reverence for Sunday, are troublers of the people, preventing their restoration to divine favor and temporal prosperity.”
In other words, the very ones who are the cause of the rejection of God and His law, and the consequential calamities that come upon the earth, now become the accusers of the very ones who do keep God’s law and have actually protected the wicked by their presence and influence.
I’ll read on, “Thus the accusation urged of old against the servant of God will be repeated and upon grounds equally well established: ‘And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.’ 1 Kings 18:17, 18. As the wrath of the people shall be excited by false charges, they will pursue a course toward God’s ambassadors very similar to that which apostate Israel pursued toward Elijah.
“Satan’s policy in this final conflict with God’s people is the same that he employed in the opening of the great controversy in heaven. He professed to be seeking to promote the stability of the divine government, while secretly bending every effort to secure its overthrow.”
Do you think he is still doing that today? Does Hollywood help him? Certainly.
“And the very work which he was thus endeavoring to accomplish he charged upon the loyal angels. The same policy of deception has marked the history of the Roman Church. It has professed to act as the vicegerent of Heaven, while seeking to exalt itself above God and to change His law. Under the rule of Rome, those who suffered death for their fidelity to the gospel were denounced as evildoers; they were declared to be in league with Satan; and every possible means was employed to cover them with reproach, to cause them to appear in the eyes of the people and even to themselves as the vilest of criminals. So it will be now. While Satan seeks to destroy those who honor God’s law, he will cause them to be accused as lawbreakers, as men who are dishonoring God and bringing judgments upon the world.”
So, all the immorality will lead the religious leaders to claim that America, and for that matter other nations, need to get back to God in order to solve the cause of the disasters, so that God’s support for the nation will be restored and that the calamities and disasters will stop. This, in turn, will lead to the argument that the whole nation must attend church on Sunday to prevent moral collapse so that God’s displeasure can be turned away.
Oh, my friends. We are living once again under similar circumstances as characterized the days of Noah and Lot. In Noah’s day, “God saw the wickedness of men was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5. Then we read in verses 11 and 12 that “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.”
In Lot’s day, there was a culture of aggressive sexual perversion that God could not allow to continue. In Genesis 19 we read that the men of Sodom demanded that Lot bring out his two guests that they could have immoral relations with them. And when Lot accused them kindly of wickedness, they reacted in anger and threatened to kill him. Only the angels themselves saved Lot from their hands.
How long do you think God will allow this kind of behavior to continue? I would say that we are getting very close to the end. I think it is also significant that the Catholic Church was exposed a few years ago for its child sex scandal, and other scandals, and now Hollywood, government and business are exposed for much the same thing. And pedophilia is part of the mix as well. The Bible says the merchants of the earth lived deliciously with her. The kings of the earth commit “fornication,” the scripture says, with the great whore. This is a spiritual symbol of mixing church and state, but the metaphor is prescient. God uses that term because it is a fitting symbol of the whole system of global sin and carnal vice which is coddled in the environment of church and state collaboration. So, why should it surprise us that in both industry and in that church there are corruptions that penetrate into the physical realm?
Friends, as we consider the times we are living in, shouldn’t we pay attention to the counsel of the Lord to purify our hearts, so that we may be shining lights in a world benighted by evil? May God’s peace be with you, as you seek God’s gift of purity with all your heart. Let us pray.
Our Father in heaven, thank you for Jesus who has offered us the purity of heaven in our hearts, even amid the carnal and wicked world in which we live. Thank you for providing the power and strength to overcome the enemy. May we learn how to partake of Your character so that we may have the purity of Jesus in our lives right through until He comes in the clouds of glory. In Jesus name, I pray, amen.
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