I’ve heard numerous times lately from very conservative friends that it’s time to start stockpiling food and water as we face the end of America as we know it. I’ve heard of FEMA concentration camps being built, drone bases being established to spy on and take out American citizens, the UN’s Agenda 21 and the plan to confiscate all citizen owned guns, censorship of the Internet, and numerous other government led preparations to crackdown against civil unrest. I’ve been told that I need to stock up on guns; because it’s about to come the time to need them, and that anyone who stands for freedom will be labeled a terrorist in this new age of government control in the America to come. Is it just paranoia, or is it real?
Today in church the sermon text came from Daniel 4. King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and the interpretation of the dream that the Lord gave to Daniel was the ruin of the king. He was told by Daniel, “You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes” (Daniel 4:25). King Nebuchadnezzar was told that if he confessed his sins and repented unto the Lord that maybe his prosperity would continue.
Instead of confessing Nebuchadnezzar was boastful saying, “Is not this the great Babylon built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” Yep, that’s not a confession of sin, that is boast in self, and the prophesy of the interpretation of the dream was fulfilled. Nebuchadnezzar was “driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird” (Daniel 4:33). He was brought to repentance and praised the Lord and he was restored.
This story made me think about the “end of America as we know it” prophecies. What if they are true? What kingdom of man has ever stood the test of time? Greek fell and Rome fell. The Great British Empire fell to a ragtag bunch of hillbillies in the American colonies. Who would have guessed that? We must remember what Scripture teaches – God is the potter and we are the clay, at anytime if he wants to raise up a nation he can, and if a nation doesn’t stay in his hands he can bring it down as quickly as he brought it up! That’s from Jeremiah 18! Romans 13 teaches that God has placed all authority in place – that’s all rulers and all governors. Christians are called to submit to the authorities, since they are God’s servants. Of course, Acts 5:29, Peter says, “We must obey God rather than men!” If a government or authority figure orders us to disobey one of God’s moral laws, we must obey God rather than men, but we must also anticipate and expect the due penalty.
The points of the sermon were:
1. God should not be our last resort. He is our only resort. I shouldn’t place my trust in the government, but in God. The government will fail, even the best of them, but God is faithful.
2. Speak the hard things and listen to the hard things. Namely, speak the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s hard to speak – it’s divisive after all. It brings contradictions – either Christ is Lord of all, or He is nothing at all. He is either to bowed to as Lord, or shut up as a fool or liar! Knowing that a rejection of his message will bring persecution, or separation, even amongst family, makes it hard to proclaim. It’s hard to also proclaim that someone is wrong, that repentance is needed. Daniel made the proclamation though to the King. He denied it at first, but he came to accept the need to confess. It was worth the proclamation.
3. We should confess ourselves. To build upon our own rock is silly. To boast at our own works is futile. What have we done apart from the Lord? What can we do apart from him? Nothing at all. To avoid boasting and self-reliance, confession is needed to bring us into the refuge that is Christ Jesus our Lord.