God’s Social Program by Pastor Don
Pastor Don asked us if we wanted the TRUTH. You probably guessed our response, a resounding, “Yes.” What will happen in the end days, how we can be victorious in the end days? Or will we have failures and live by our emotions in the end days?
2 Timothy 3:1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come.
It is not possible to escape perilous times. It is not Heaven on earth, the perilous times are a sign of the last days. Whether we picked to be alive in the last days or God chose to put us here in the last days, we are here on the last days, and the times will be perilous. We need to stop expecting that everything in our life will be smooth and easy, we are not in a cartoon. All we have to do is look at the news to see that it is perilous times, and count our blessings that we are not in Uganda, Sudan, Bosnia, etc. It is dangerous and difficult times in these end days.
2 Timothy 3:2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy
Another term for “lovers of themselves” is selfish, people only care about themselves, money, and they boast. Listen to the lyrics of the rap music and you will hear these topics. Blasphemous is taking what is holy and calling it unholy. And notice that the passage does not blame the parents for the disobedience. This is not an indictment against parents, but a sign of the times. Today the “village” raises the children, and the people in the village are selfish, so they teach the children the selfish values. Parents may teach values in the home, but children are bombarded in the world with values that are contrary to the parent’s home values. The educational system teaches things parents do not value. And it isn’t just the school, but the media, books, what they hear in the headphones through their music. Remember Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. What we listen to also affects our behavior.
2 Timothy 3:3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
In another translation of this passage, instead of “unforgiving” the words “truce breakers” is used. Pastor Don spent some time talking about children in the legal system, and said that a child cannot form a covenant with the legal system. The self is more important even for the workers in the legal system, and there is the saying, “there is no honor among thieves.” How come when our kids are in the legal system that they don’t learn from the punishment or keep the conditions of the contract of parole? It is because the role models are wrong and the decision to keep the covenant is lost. They are appealing to the wrong sensibilities. Children will only keep a contract when they arrive at the point where they realize that the contract truly is to their best advantage.
Today there is a focus on abstinence rings – Pastor Don says that that promise will only work as long as the kids see it is to their best advantage. But one day that handsome dude, that beautiful girl will come who has a nice car and then the kids may switch what they think is to their best advantage. “Right now he NEEEEEEDS my love.
They are without self control.
2 Timothy 3:4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
Traitors, self absorbed.
2 Timothy 3:5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
Paul’s prophecies sure look like what 2000+ is like. The world view is, “Do what you want, but don’t get caught.” Our value system has changed. The village has changed the world view. The world view is “Don’t get caught,” and the reason has nothing to do with the shame of being caught doing wrong, shaming the family, it has to do with losing what you were trying to get away with. The value of love and wanting to do well because of love received from God does not enter the picture of the world view.
So, with the world view there is an increase in crime and problems. What does the world do in this case? They devise programs to try and reach the kids, to reduce recidivism, delinquency, etc. The adults decide that we have to do something, so they come up with programs that they think will work. They call meetings with people in power, big wigs, the police, governor, mayor, etc. They put articles in newspapers, throw money at the problem, SAVE THE YOUTH, with slogans, banners, t-shirts, clubs, etc.
LBJ had a program called the Great Society. He created Upward Bound, threw billions of dollars into the ghetto, the slogan “a mind is a terrible thing to waste” was used for the Negro College fund. NAACP came into existence. After all that effort the ghetto was still there, there were still thugs, drunks, single moms and out of work people. Why did all of these efforts fail? It was because the village was still raising the children with the values of the world.
Pastor Don, who used to be a social worker, said that once a family got on social services they usually remained on it for three generations.
So, what is God’s Plan for Social reform?
Malachi 4:1-3 For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up, says the LORD of hosts, “That will leave them neither root nor branch. But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves. You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this,” says the LORD of hosts.
This is in the future, at the end times.
Malachi 4:4-5 “Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.
GOD’S PLAN TO SAVE THE YOUTH
Malachi 4:6 And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.
The only way the children will be saved is when the hearts of the fathers are turned toward the children and the hearts of the children are turned toward the fathers.
Social programs where the villages raise the children will not work, the world view does not give them a way to be saved.
Pastor Lafayette Scales once spoke about how there was a reservation project in Africa to protect the elephants. In doing this, the bull elephants were taken away, leaving the mothers and kid elephants isolated. Within a few months the young teenage elephants were going wild, picking fights, destroying the park, uprooting trees for the fun of it, and the park turned into fighting and chaos. Testosterone out of whack. The game wardens decided to reintroduce the bull elephants into the park, and order was restored seemingly overnight.
Now we set up artificial systems where our youth are isolated, the welfare system does not encourage families to stay together – the fathers often leave so that there are welfare payments. Marriages are at risk, single parent families, and the gay agenda that seeks to deny the roles of father and mother are both necessary to raise children, all work to keep the fathers from the kids. And we are seeing the result of this. Our kids have gotten out of control. It really is the norm today to have single parent families. Even the prison system does not encourage mentors for the youth, the youth are moved around the system every couple of years, and rather than the jailers providing the moral mentoring, the youth seek mentors among the prison population, and do not come out changed for the better.
Pastor Don said that he did not want to leave us without hope, so we need to look at some promises from God.
Jeremiah 30:16 Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured; and all your adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; those who plunder you shall become plunder, and all who prey upon you I will make a prey.
Don’t forget that we are grafted into the vine of Israel, so these promises are also for us.
Jeremiah 30:19 Then out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of those who make merry; I will multiply them, and they shall not diminish; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.
Pastor Don pointed out that here there will be THANKSGIVING, one of the things Paul pointed out would be missing in the end days.
Jeremiah 30:20-22 “Their children shall also be as before, and their congregation shall be established before Me; and I will punish all who oppress them. Their nobles shall be from among them, and their governor shall come from their midst; then I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach Me. For who is this who pledged his heart to approach Me?” says the LORD.” ‘You shall be My people, and I will be your God.’
Jeremiah 31:12-14 Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, streaming to the goodness of the LORD–for wheat and new wine and oil, for the young of the flock and the herd; their souls shall be like a well-watered garden, and they shall sorrow no more at all. Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old, together; for I will turn their mourning to joy, will comfort them, and make them rejoice rather than sorrow. I will satiate the souls of the priests with abundance, and My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the LORD.
What joy. The youth in our church love to dance and worship. We saw that on New Year’s Eve when they had so much fun at our church gathering.
Then Pastor Don said, let’s hit the nail on the head.
Jeremiah 31:29-30 In those days they shall say no more: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ But every one shall die for his own iniquity; every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.
Our generation was brought up with TV, the 50’s-80’s are the parents who ate the sour grapes. We, the baby boomers, were the most blessed generation, greatest technological increases, gifts, scientific breakthroughs, riches, job possibilities, and per capita income. And what did we do with all of this, sex, drugs, rock and roll, our music with values like, “let it all hang out”, “doing it my way,” “do what you want”. We have all eaten of the sour grapes of debauchery, and have forgotten to be thankful to God. There were protesters, who are now the teachers of our children. We protested for peace. Did you know that the peace sign is an upside down form of a devil’s sign – the crows foot, a broken cross? Our generation ate a lie, and now our children, who are in their 20’s and 30’s are the product of this lie, and their teeth are set on edge.
Mothers of the 60’s and 70’s were into drugs, getting high, and free love lifestyle. And many from this generation are still so self-absorbed that they are not pouring out their hearts and love to their kids. We still live in a world of idols, just look at TV, American Idol, 15 minutes of fame not caring what you do to achieve that fame, Fear Factor, reality shows, Jerry Springer.
Jeremiah 31:30-34 But everyone shall die for his own iniquity; every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge. Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah–not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. 33) But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days says the LORD, I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God and they shall be My people. 34) No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, “Know the LORD,” For they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
Pastor Don gave great emphasis to verse 33, which we all read together is what God will do for Israel and in the last days. We have failed a whole generation, we didn’t mean to. Now we are playing catch-up. Our kids are raised without the Word of God, and the village is raising the children and feeding them lies, it was an experiment that failed. But in the last days, the generation will see the truth, become aware of the lies that affected the whole world, radio and TV, our kids are treated just like cattle.
We need to remember that we, as believers, are in a battle with unseen forces. And the evil is not reality, but God’s truth is what is real. Our social programs will not work. Nothing will work but God’s plan, that the heart of the fathers turns towards the kids and the heart of the kids turns toward the fathers. That is the ingredient that is missing in the social programs.
There is a move to make the father relationship null and void. There is a move afoot to imply that children do not need both a father and a mother to grow up healthy.
The sad thing is that we have a generation that is broken, and one that is still so self-serving that they do not want to turn their hearts to their kids. The world view still tells this generation to take care of itself, do it’s own thing. But that is not God’s best for man.
What is needed now is mentors, good father figures in the church, on the street, in the community that will touch the lives and hearts of the kids. We need to get out in the street and reach those kids. Show them that there are alternatives that are far better than what is offered by the village. Our men have to reach out to these kids, show them good people who are cool, and love God too. We have to do this now before another generation goes into the world system. Give the kids examples that will help them to figure out that their best interest is in God and Jesus, not in the world system.
We need to get the message across with power and authority, and consistency. How do we handle this? We have to set our minds and hearts into the mode to get down to the nitty-gritty. We need to pray that those God entrusted to us are not lost. If we have failed with our own sons and daughters, it still is not to late to reach out to our spiritual sons and daughters.
We have to be ready to be picked as a mentor – we do not pick who mentors us, but the mentoree picks us. We have to live out loud God’s truth. We need to reconcile how to find a way to live in a world with different value systems that are set to destroy us. It will get more difficult.
Romans 7:13-14 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.
We need to come to a sense of realization of sin in our lives, to look at ourselves in the mirror and see that this is true. Sin blinds us to truth. In our carnality, when given a choice between right and wrong, we often pick the wrong and justify it. They pick according to the flesh and what feels good, and then they feel good about it. But when they look at their lives through spiritual eyes, they see the carnality, and instead of just acting to please themselves, they then make a different choice, to please God. We spend a lot of time in lies and deceiving ourselves.
Romans 7:15-16 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.
The key word in the above verses that we often look is I WILL to do. The problem with using OUR will is that we do not see clearly what is in our best interests. We pick what is easy, what feels right, and often then fall prey to carnality. We give immature excuses such as, ” I have no will power to apply myself to something.” We need to will to yield ourselves to what God has told us is good and true, and this is not usually the easy path. Jesus told us that narrow is the way.
Romans 7:17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
We are no longer in the power of sin when we realize what Paul realized, the scam that the world feeds us. Spiritual Maturity is recognizing the scam and creating a different plan. We will be choosing to do God’s will over that of the world all the way to our graves. Some people will spend their whole lives growing up. Just because a person looks like an adult, or looks old, does not mean that they are spiritually mature. Some old people are arrested adolescents.
We are up against people, in these last days, who are in positions of power and authority but are still arrested adolescents, with a warped world view from the 60’s and 70’s..
Romans 7:21-22 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.
Until we choose to follow the inward man (spirit and truth) we will stay arrested adolescents. We need to WILL to do the response of the inward man.
Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
There is a mental battle going on inside of us between the world view and the Truth of God. If we know the Law of God, we can make right Choices.
Then we read verses 24 & 25 out loud together.
O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
God wants us to listen to His truth in our hearts. Where we lose the battle is in our minds. We need to focus on God and the truth. And avoid the appearance of evil, if it looks like something that is wrong, don’t do it. Do what is right and good, true and holy.
Hoping you have a blessed day.
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