Do we know that God has departed us?

| November 15, 2012 | 2 Comments

In the last couple of days, I have been considering the scenario of Flavius Honorius Agustus in 410 AD. Did he, and his contemporaries, fully understand the significance of what they were witnessing when they observed the Visigoths come charging across that last hill on their way into Rome, capturing the city that had stood for seven centuries? Did they realize that on that day in August, they were standing witness to the beginning of the end of the Roman Empire, which would follow sixty-six years later?

We now see an America, which once excelled, in deterioration. We see ourselves ranked dismally in literacy, mathematics, science, infant mortality, and life expectancy. We see personal, business and national wealth in decline. We see ourselves receding from the world’s stage. However that was not always the case. Once upon a time, not so long ago, to be American was to stand for righteousness. We fought for the intangible reasons of morality, and the exportation of the form of freedom we enjoyed. Instead of exporting pornography, licentiousness, debauchery, fornication, adultery and lust, we once exported missionaries, doctors, scientists and engineers. We once exported ideals that lifted up mankind, rather than shackled him to the most base of sinfulness, enslaving him to live in the gutter. Americans once sacrificed for our children instead of killing them in the womb. We cared about our neighbors, and we backed our high sounding words with noble actions. We built great structures, and roads, and buildings. We explored the depths of the oceans and we traveled into the stars. We saved the free world, two times, from oppression. We fed the world from our farms. How were we able to accomplish all of this? It was because “WE THE PEOPLE” followed the edicts set forth by our founding fathers. We glorified God and we spread the freedom found in the gospel.

We now see the news regarding the results of the election. We stand witness to the celebration of our country’s deliberate and premeditated turn away from our Judeo-Christian foundation. Many applaud and celebrate the nation’s own funeral. We see the celebration of the legalization of drug use in some states. We see states’ sanctioning of sexual perversion, and the redefinition of God’s design for man and woman. This is just the start. History imparts that there is more to follow.  Tuesday night, the ship of state was turned off course. It was no accident. The facts were there, but too many deliberately chose to blind themselves to that truth, in the name of individual greed and lust. Sloth, lust and envy took the day on 6 November, 2012. America chose to have her head shaven.

The Bible records one of the most familiar scenes to us. The story of the strongest man who ever lived, Samson, finding out he had no strength.  Judges chapter 16 records this:

“When Delilah saw that he had told her all that was in his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines saying, ‘Come up once more, for he’s told me all that is in his heart.’  Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands and she made him sleep on her knees, called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his hair.  Then she began to afflict him and his strength left him.  And she said, ‘The Philistines are upon you, Samson,” and he woke from his sleep and said, ‘I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.’” And here’s the telling line written by God the Holy Spirit.  “But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.  So the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes, brought him down to Gaza, bound him with bronze chains and he became a grinder in the prison.”

Heartbreakingly, he was completely unaware that the Lord had departed from him.  There is perhaps nothing worse than to be abandoned by God.

In Judges in chapter 10, God said this:

“You have forsaken me, you have served other gods, and therefore I will deliver you no more.  Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen.  Let them deliver you in the time of your distress.” This was God saying to Israel, “I’m done with you, abandoned by God. Proverbs chapter 1 records a similar sentiment.  “Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hands and no one paid attention.  You neglected all my counsel, you did not want my reproof, and I will even laugh at your calamity.  I will mock when your dread comes, when your dread comes like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind.  When distress and anguish come on you, then they will call on Me but I will not answer.  They will seek Me diligently, they will not find Me because they hated knowledge, did not choose the fear of the Lord, they would not accept My counsel, they spurned all My reproof, so they will eat of the fruit of their own way and be satisfied with their own devices.”

 

Abandoned by God, turned over to the inevitable consequences of sinful choices.  An evocative line is found inserted away in Hosea chapter 4 and verse 17, and it refers to Israel by the name Ephraim and it says this: “Ephraim is joined to idols,” so says God.  The next line, “Leave him alone.”  Sounds out of character for God. “Let him alone?”

People and nations, even the covenant nation Israel can come to a point where they are abandoned by God.  Jesus reiterated this in Matthew 15 when He confronted the Pharisees and then described them to the disciples.  He said this: “They’re blind leaders of the blind.  Let them alone.”  When God lets you go, it’s somber.  When Jesus pronounces over you abandonment, its grave.

God has abandoned America. It is clear in Scripture. In Romans 1 chapter 18 you have the clearest presentation of God abandoning a nation. What that looks like, and why He does it.  It is the most graphic, detailed and all-embracing discussion of what it means for a people, a society to be abandoned by God. It is indicative of the moral chaos present in America today.   Verse 18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven.”  Consider that.  There is a form of wrath that is usually overlooked,  the wrath of abandonment, it is a form of God’s wrath in which He lets go of a civilization and let’s it propel  itself without restraint in the bearing of its own sinful desires and stratagems. This is the wrath being described here.  This cyclical reality of wrath has defined human history, and will continue to do so until Christ’s return.  As Paul said, in all the generations gone by, God permitted the nations to go their own way.

We need no longer to feel as if we are awaiting God’s wrath in this society. The concept of the wrath of abandonment is now self-evident.   America was instituted on Christian doctrines and God was at the center of it in our founding. Regrettably, that is no longer true.  How do we know this has happened?  Verse 24:

“Therefore God gave them over, or God gave them up, in the lust of their hearts to impurity that their bodies might be dishonored among them, for they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator who is blessed forever, amen.  For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions, for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural.  In the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman, burned in their desire toward one another, men with men, committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.  And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind to do the things that are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, envy, full of…or evil full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossip, slander, haters of God, insolent arrogant boastful inventors of evil, disobedient to parents without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful.  And although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, and not only do them, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”

Three times the phrase “gave them over” is used.  The wrath of abandonment is when God gives a nation over.  There comes a time in a country when God has had enough and He literally lets go and turns them over to the sentence that they have disseminated upon themselves by their incessant sinful choices.  Simply put, they are deprived of restraining grace.

When did this transpire? Impurity speaks of sexual sin.  When abandoned by God, the first thing observed in a nation, is sexual revolution.  Moral, sexual perversion, pornographic desire describes the general character of the culture. A society is abandoned by God; it operates out of its own perverse sexual passion without restraint   This is  characterized in  verse 24, lust coming from inside as Jesus said, “What comes out of the heart of a man is what defiles him,” leading to impurity, this means sexual impurity, and to the dishonoring of their bodies.  The heart is wicked and the bodies demonstrate it.  The body follows the heart.  Lust conceives in the heart, James says, and brings forth sin and sin brings forth death. Step one; you see a society that has experienced a sexual revolution so that illicit sex, adultery, every form of immorality is accepted as normal in that society. We are there.

Step two of the devolution of a culture is shown in verse 26, “God gave them over, not just to passions that are explicable because they’re men and women, but to inexplicable degrading passions for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural.”  You know a society has been abandoned by God when it celebrates lesbian sex.  God has given them over gross affections, unnatural, unthinkable.  So you follow a sexual revolution with a homosexual revolution, and homosexuality becomes normalized.  Verse 27 adds the male part, “In the same way the men abandon the natural function of the women burned in their desire toward one another.”   A burning that is simply incomprehensible to a non- depraved mind.  Notice however, the Holy Spirit puts the women first here and the men after.  Why?  The Holy Spirit refers first to the degradation of women because they’re usually the last to be affected in the decay of morals because their hearts are so naturally inclined toward a husband and toward the responsibility of nurturing children.  However, when society sees them, not being reluctantly pulled along, but actually leading the cause (Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, Lady Gaga, Madonna, etc.), God has removed His restraint.  Why then be amazed at our physical ailments, when in verse 27, “The man abandoning the natural function of the women, burning in their desire toward one another, men with men, committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.” Right into this wrath of abandonment comes the wrath, the consequential wrath. Even though it generates venereal disease and AIDS, they keep doing it.  This is what step two looks like and we know this has come like a flood.  But it’s not the final step.  The final step comes in verse 28, the middle of verse 28, “God gave them over to a depraved mind.”

A depraved mind is a non-functional mind. A diseased mind. It no longer performs as God intended—it is useless, can’t deliberate, can’t analyze, can’t grasp. Like a scene out of “The Walking Dead”, it simply exists to satisfy its most base of desires, with no consideration of anything else. So we see this world and we remark, “Rampant sexual immorality, out of control, destroying people willy-nilly even in the church, even in the leadership of the church.   Homosexuality, rampant, out of control, demanding to be accepted as normal and the society rushing to affirm that acceptance, rather than acknowledging what it really is, a massive, moral disaster?  Can they not see it, nor understand it?  No, and here is why.  First Corinthians 1 says, “Man by wisdom knew not God.”  Human wisdom just on its own cannot get you there. Now factor in as well, that the god of this world has blinded the minds of them that do not believe and you’ve got a compounding blindness.  Lastly, when you add to that equation, the fact that they are blinded by virtue of the all-encompassing, governing components of their culture and you are hard pressed to see anyone rise up and take that position and have people rally around it.  You’re going to have more people in leadership in the country outing themselves as homosexuals. We’ve seen it already, and if you think you’ve seen a lot of that, stand-by, you will see much more of this as it becomes more and more accepted.

A depraved mind is one that has been examined and found inadequate, therefore disqualified for its intended use.  The reasoning faculty has been corrupted by the influences that surround it.  Unconscionable behavior follows.  The result?  God gave them over, verse 28, to a depraved mind.  So as a result, they do the things that are not proper, fitting, sensible or reasonable. We end up with individuals filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, envy, murder, deceit, malice. In short, it’s the headlines on the nightly news, websites and newspapers.    They’re unconscionable.

Conscience is a device that reacts to your moral code.  If you’re a Muslim, conscience tells you to blow up infidels because conscience is not a set of moral laws.  It’s not a set of moral rules.  It’s a mechanism, like pain. Just as pain is the mechanism God gave you that respond to your physical condition, in order to indicate that there is something wrong with your body, likewise a conscience is the mechanism God gave you that accuses you or excuses you. Romans 2 plainly state this. However, it only functions if it is morally informed accurately.  If you have a culture, as we do now, that has developed an aberrant morality, what naturally follows then, is consciences that function off of that aberrant morality. Now we observe this first hand, all the inexplicable behaviors.  Verse 32  says, “Although they know the ordinance of God, all they know…all they know inherently in them, Romans 2, what is right and what is wrong, they who practice such things are worthy of death.  They know that.  They do them anyway and they give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Is that why government officials, business leaders, etc. see their approval ratings increase during a sexual scandal?  Is it due to a culture that approves of somebody like that? A perfect fit, a person just like me. Perhaps so. Little else rational or logical remains to explain it. Without reason, without conscience.  This is what it means when God abandons a society.  Sexual revolution, to homosexual revolution, to mental depravity. It is inescapable, because the mind, the cultural mind no longer exists in a healthy state. The greatest symptom of a corrupted, wicked and abandoned society under God’s wrath is when that society does not tolerate anger against sin.  Currently, our society will not tolerate you standing up and displaying righteous indignation against sin.  How long has it been since you heard it from a pulpit? Why? Pastors, you best get busy, not too much longer now, the government is going to come in and tell you, you can’t do that.  They are doing it now, and it will accelerate in the next four years.

It was C.S. Lewis who said, “The last experience of the sinner is the horrible enslavement of the freedom he desired.”

What freedom has been desired for citizens in America? Freedom from God. Freedom from the truth of God. What truth? Real truth. Biblical truth. You deny the truth and where we are today is where every culture and civilization has ended. Its ship of state torn asunder upon a reef of lies. Remove from the public arena, the Word of God, as the United States Supreme Court did in 1963, denying its supremacy and you suppress the truth.  Claim it’s a myth, not true, deny its veracity, deny its authenticity, deny its inerrancy, deny its inspiration, deny its sufficiency, deny its clarity, and enslave a people. It worked. In 1973, the same Supreme Court allowed innocent unborn life to be ripped from the womb of the mother. That same year The American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from is Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III). Is there any wonder why children suddenly found life so dangerous? We removed the two most basic protections of their life and their innocence.

So we now stand in solemn witness to God’s truth. We are observing daily, the effects of a society when God turns them over and we observe and understand why HE does so. We now see America in her sad and naked state, and understandably, our hearts are broken. We see our leaders and fellow citizens, whose minds are in the depths of a mental depravity. Believing them to be smart, they are actually morons.  They are neither able to see, hear nor understand the truth. They can no longer access the truth. Their minds completely gone.  So, they turn towards the inventions of bizarre religions.  They become religious. They like to talk about being spiritual. They claim that they are very religious, very spiritual.  However, one must ask, as we traipse through the bog of quicksand filled with lies, just what in the world does that mean?  When you can invent your own worship and your own religion, then you are seeing mankind at his lowest. His total complete rejection of the true God and the true faith.  That’s where we are.  Now the only remaining question remaining is, how much longer?

About the Author:

HANK MARTIN is a Charlottesville native, a graduate of Albemarle High School and Piedmont Virginia Community College. Growing up, he spent more than a decade in the Cub and Boy Scout Programs and was a member of the Monticello Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. As an adult, he has served as a leader in Scouting and church youth character building programs. An avid history lover, he participated in the adoption of the school anti-bullying legislation sponsored by delegate Rob Bell. Hank most recently founded and chaired Forever Albemarle, a personal property rights group. He lives with his wife and children in Charlottesville.
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2 Comments on "Do we know that God has departed us?"

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  1. America! God has left the building… Read Hank Martin's analysis of a falling nation.

  2. area58 says:

    Well, Gentlemen when are all the non-impact Church going to be holding the massive prayer meeting on downtown malls?
    Instead of moaning and groaning about this, it is time for action. It is time we as Christian get together and forget about our religion differences and start praying together. Let see one Sunday a month starting at 8 am and lasting until 8 pm or maybe 8 am next morning. Well? Not going to happen too many prideful Christians in this nation, too many!

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