It's Time To Stand Up And Make A Difference As The Church In America
Woe to you who are at ease in Zion…(Amos 6:1 - NKJV).
Yesterday, I mentioned what happened to me on a Sunday morning a couple of years ago with the Lord speaking the above phrase to me in my office before one of our morning services . As the worship was going, I kept hearing the phrase at ease in Zion. God was seeking to get my attention and route my message towards moving our people to pray for our beloved nation and search their lives for any area of compromise. I’ll continue today with another passage that came to me as I changed my message and ministered on Sunday.
Hosea 6:1-7 (NLT)
Hear the word of the Lord, O people of Israel! The Lord has brought charges against you, saying: There is no faithfulness, no kindness, no knowledge of God in your land. (2) You make vows and break them; you kill and steal and commit adultery. There is violence everywhere—
one murder after another. (3) That is why your land is in mourning, and everyone is wasting away. Even the wild animals, the birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea are disappearing.
(4) “Don’t point your finger at someone else and try to pass the blame! My complaint, you priests, is with you. (5) So you will stumble in broad daylight, and your false prophets will fall with you in the night. And I will destroy Israel, your mother. (6) My people are being destroyed
because they don’t know me. Since you priests refuse to know me, I refuse to recognize you as my priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God, I will forget to bless your children.
Israel had fallen into disobedience, and the prophet Hosea was called by God to prophecy to the sin plagued nation. God had even asked Hosea to marry a woman named Gomer who would become a prostitute, as an example of how Israel had given themselves to spiritual adultery by worshipping foreign gods.
Notice that in Hosea 6:1 that the Lord brought a charge against Israel for the lack of the knowledge of God in the land. In our nation, God holds the church accountable for what happens in our nation. We believers have the responsibility to pray and seek God, and to be Salt and Light so that our culture can see our God through us!
Next in verse 2, God decries the sins of His people in Israel. They had become involved in the sins of their culture as they broke their promises, killed, stole, and committed sexual sin. You will find the sins of our culture in the American church today. Adultery, fornication, lust, lying, backbiting, and gossiping are all sins that have crept into the church as a whole in America.
In verse 3, Hosea mentions that the land is in mourning, and the wildlife is affected. Nature turned against Israel due to their disobedience, and you will find in America today unprecedented strong storms, floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes. God has no recourse but to lift His hand of protection from those who know better and yet continue to violate their relationship with Him through unrepentant sin. That is the state of America today.
Again in verse 4, God points the finger of responsibility towards the priests of Israel who should be opening the way spiritually for Israel to live, but they are themselves involved in sin! While in America we have many good and faithful men and women of God, it seems that on a wide scale church leaders have not lifted their voice in opposition to the rampant immorality and loose living in our country. We are watching a rapid downward spiral of looseness in our culture. Are we, as the church of the Lord, Jesus speaking loudly enough for people to hear us?
So God tells Israel in verse 5 that because they have neglected His word and yielded to their own sinful desires, they will no longer receive His guidance. They will stumble during the day as you would over a piece of furniture in a dark bedroom at night as you make a trip to the bathroom with no lights on!
God ends this portion of His message to Israel by telling them that because they have forgotten God’s word, the blessing of God in their land would not continue to their children.
My friends, our values and the freedoms that go along with them are quickly eroding around us, while we enjoy our wonderful praise and worship and some good preaching from behind the four walls of our buildings!
Are we making an impact on our culture by training our children and making sure they have godly values, speech, and lifestyles? Are we challenging the new norms in our society that say that men can marry men, and women can marry women? Are we lovingly confronting the those involved in sexual activity outslde the bonds of marriage, including homosexuality and lesbian lifestyles? Are we challenging the person throwing their money away by gambling in the “education lottery” (give me a break!), instead of giving to the poor, or to organizations that help the poor? Are we challenging the business practices in the company we work for when they withhold part of the truth when we know full well the company is taking advantage of people and being dishonest?
Are we lovingly confronting wrong when it is blatant and open for all to see? If not, then we are falling into a trap of compromise laid by the enemy of our souls. God is looking for believers today who love Him enough that they are willing to represent Him and be persecuted for lovingly telling the truth and being honest and upfront about the wrongs they see around them.
God is calling the church in our generation to the offensive. He is asking us to once again be the salt and light in our circles of influence. What can you do my friend, to make a difference where you live? Are you ministering to others as the Lord leads you? Are you willing to advocate for purity and moral integrity in situations of compromise around you? It is time for us to pray, and then ask God to place us where we can shine and make a difference by our actions, words, and lifestyle. God is counting on you to pray and act.