Friday, July 29, 2011

The Walls

My guess is that anyone who grew up attending any kind of Church/Sunday School would recognize a children's song that goes like this: "Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, and the walls came tumbling down."

Joshua 6:1-5 Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valor. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.

The children of Israel, after wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, had recently crossed the Jordan River into the land that God had promised to Abraham over 700 years earlier. Now it was time for them to occupy the country as God commanded them. But the first obstacle in their way was the city of Jericho and its walls. The inhabitants of Jericho had decided to trust in their walls to keep the Israelites and their God out, rather than to come out and fight or to negotiate.

What about these walls? Earlier Moses had sent scouts into the land and they had brought back word that "the cities are great and walled up to heaven". Now, obviously this was a bit of an exaggeration, however, the fact that they used such a description gives us a pretty good indication that these were very formidable walls. Certainly the inhabitants of Jericho felt that their walls were impregnable. With that in mind, what do you think the natural reaction of the Israelites to the method that was presented to them for overcoming the city of Jericho would have been? It just does not seem reasonable. Bringing the walls of a city down by marching around it, and then blowing horns and shouting just doesn't seem to make sense. No ladders, no ropes, no battering rams. Just horns and shouting.

Why would anyone believe that would work? Only because God said it would and they believed God

Joshua 6: 15-16, 20 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city....So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

The children of Israel were obedient in following God's instructions as to how they were to take the city of Jericho, and God fulfilled his promise to them. Despite how impossible it seemed, how miraculous, it all played out exactly as God had said.

Clear at the other end of the Bible it says this: "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days." (Hebrews 11:30)

The bringing down of the walls of Jericho was an act of God, but it was also an act of faith. Had the Israelites refused to follow the Lord's directions for overcoming the city, the walls would not have come down. That's what it teaches us in Hebrews 11: by faith the walls of Jericho fell down. It was required of them that they believed God would do what he said he would.

The same it also true of salvation. In fact, you might look at sin as a towering wall that separates you from God.

John 3:14-18 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

The question then is, do you have faith? Do you believe what God said in these verses? Do you believe that whosoever believes in Jesus will not perish, but will have eternal life? Do you believe that God sent his Son into the world that through him you can be saved?

If you have a biblical understanding of your own sin, then you will see salvation from that sin, and gaining eternal life, to be as monumental a task as bringing down those towering walls of Jericho. And God's plan for how to rid yourself of that sin may seem just as unlikely as the method he gave the Israelites to bring down those walls. Man's natural inclination is to try to make up for sin by doing right; to try to earn eternal life by doing good. But what does the Bible say?

Romans 4:2-5 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

In the Bible, God makes it clear we are not to follow our natural inclinations to try to earn our way to heaven, but rather that the only way is by faith in the fact that Jesus Christ paid for our sins.

A little further in the same chapter and still speaking of Abraham we read this:

Romans 4:20-25 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Faith is the simple answer to that towering mountain of sin that is on our shoulders. It doesn't seem to make any more sense than God's method of bringing down the walls of Jericho does it? But God has promised it, and if you believe, he will deliver forgiveness of sins and eternal life just as he delivered the city of Jericho to the Israelites.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

2nd Vintage Nationals August 13

2nd Vintage Nationals set for August 13

cars for kids accelaquarter raceway park Harrisburg Illinois)

Last month's inaugural running of a National Vintage Motorcycle Drag Racing Association event was a success on many fronts. Kosman Specialties was there with their new vintage style drag chassis on display. Also in attendance was Don Rothwell, fabricator of a reproduction of the legendary Yetman drag frame. M&H had a couple prototypes of the new run of 4" x 18" drag slicks which are in the works (these have been out of production for longer than most of us can remember, and having them available again should be a major milestone in vintage drag racing). It is my understanding that initially these will be available through Kosman. New billet crankcases for pre-unit Triumphs were on display courtesy of Donny Racing Engines in Australia.

All that said, despite pre-registered total of 72, the turn out of actual vintage drag bikes was lower than expected, though that did provide a silver lining of unlimited passes for those able to make the trip. Those of us who are interested in the success of a vintage motorcycle drag racing sanction can be thankful that Wayne Skinner, the mover and shaker behind the NVMDRA, is a man of vision. His plan is to run this and possible one more race this year, and hopefully a full schedule of six races next year. The plan is to have them in different sections of the country so that everyone will have easy access to one, and then one larger centrally located event as a grand finale. Sounds like a good approach to me!

With a little more preparation time to get those vintage racers out of mothballs, this event should be even bigger and better than the first one, and next year should be phenomenal!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ten Lepers - Part Three

.... the final installment of this three part series based on Luke 17:11-19

Verse 14 "And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed."

Jesus told the lepers to go and show themselves to the priest. The priesthood and the command for the leper to show himself to the priest was established by the law of Moses
Notice that Jesus did not tell them "I am here now, you have no use for the law, you're cured!"
Instead, it might be said that in a sense, he sent them to the law. Isn't it our duty likewise to send those who are seeking a cure for their sin problem to the law?

Romans 7: 12-13 "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful."

Here we see another purpose of the law: the blackness of sin shows up best next to the holy light of the law.

It seems that much of modern Christianity wants to give a cure without a diagnosis. They want to give you the answer to your sin problem without ever telling you that you are a sinner!
You may say "only the doctor really needs to make the diagnosis, not the one with the disease." But verse 19 of our text says "thy faith hath made thee whole." If this was what we might call a real live "faith" healing in the purest sense of the term, then the one with the disease does need to agree with the physician's diagnosis in order for him to have faith!

also in Verse 14 "As they went, they were cleansed."

These ten lepers were cleansed of their leprosy. Does this mean they were saved, born again, cleansed of their sins? If the leprosy here is a symbol of sin, then perhaps the cleansing from it is also symbolic in nature, however that does negate the lessons we can learn from it.

Verse 15 "And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,"

One of these ten, when he saw that he was healed glorified God. This one leper recognized that only God could have performed this miracle of healing. Did he recognize that Jesus was God? I don't know. He certainly at least recognized that Jesus got his power from God.
Recognizing God's mercy in salvation will certainly cause a saved man to give God the glory!

Verse 16 "And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan."

This one leper fell down on his face and gave Jesus thanks. We can only assume that this leper saw how lowly he was in relation to Jesus. True salvation causes one to have a right view of where you are in relation to a holy God . This leper was truly thankful for the cleansing that he received. True salvation will cause one to be ever mindful and ever thankful for that salvation. True salvation will cause one to be ever mindful and ever thankful for being saved from sins. Not just the penalty for sins, but the bondage of living in sin.

Verse 17 & 18 "And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger."

The other nine were cleansed, and they did as the law commanded, in fact as Jesus commanded them, to go and show themselves to the priest. I find it interesting that they went to the Jewish priest, the one who was the administrator of the ceremonial law. Could this be a symbol of those who merely trust in the trappings of religion, but never stop to worship Jesus. How many are there out there today who find their comfort in the rituals and ceremonies of religion, in their baptism, in communion, but never stop to truly worship Jesus?

Verse 19 "And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole."
faith hath made thee whole. Jesus does not say this about the other nine. The other nine were cleansed, but I suspect that they were not made whole. How many today come to Jesus "asking him into their hearts" in what has become known as "easy believism". 1, 2, 3, pray after me. Do you think some of them may only receive an outward cleansing, but are not made whole?

I think we've all known at least someone who has made a change in their life; they have "cleaned up their act. Maybe they started attending church and to most outward appearances they have turned their life around, but then something happens and they return to their old ways, or you catch them off guard and find that maybe they haven't changed as much as it appeared. Perhaps those were just outward changes, a cleansing, but there is never any inward change, no new heart.

2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

All things are become new; could that really be the cleansing that happened to the nine of these lepers? Could you really become a new creature in Christ without it causing you to return to Jesus to worship him? The one who was made whole turned back to worship Jesus.

In closing I would just like you to consider a few questions. How do your experiences compare with those of these 10 as touches leprosy being a symbol of sin? Have you ever experienced a cleansing?

If so, did you do as the one out of the ten and glorify God with a loud voice? And when I say with a loud voice, I mean that symbolically. Its not a matter of volume so much as sincerity and boldness. Have you ever testified to someone about the miracle of God making you whole?

Have you ever fallen at Jesus feet? And again, I mean that symbolically; have you seen your lowliness compared to a Holy God?

Or, instead have you gone on to find your comfort in the ceremonies of religion like these other nine lepers did?

Are you sure that you didn't just receive an outward cleansing, rather than being made whole?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ten Lepers - Part two

....continuing with part two on the story of ten lepers as found in Luke 17: 11-19. Part one is here.

As stated earlier, we cannot make the leap that every disease is a punishment by God, but I would also not take the stance that a disease is not ordained by God. We need to find a balance between these two passages:

2 Cor. 12: 7-10 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

we see some type of "thorn" in Paul's flesh, whether it was a disease or weakness or ailment, it seems to have been ordained by God to show God's strength through Paul's weakness. But that needs to be balanced against this:

Amos 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

Taken in context, this verse from Amos is just one small part of God's promise that he would punish the nation of Israel for their iniquities.

So when others suffer through some disease or tragedy, the only thing we can always be sure of is that God has his purposes in it.

Verse 12 "And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:"

Note that they stood "far off" as they were commanded in the law of Moses. Leviticus 13: 45-46 "And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean. All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be." A leper was to live away from the rest of the people, and to cry "unclean" to keep others away so the disease would not be spread

These lepers had some knowledge of the law, whether they understood its purpose or not.
Today all men have some knowledge of God and his law, whether they understand it's purpose or not. Romans 1: 18-20 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"

Today many have some knowledge of the law of Moses, though they may not grasp much of it or understand it's purpose. Some gain this knowledge through "religion" where they are taught things such as the ten commandments. Some obtain this knowledge through our legal system which is largely based on the second table of the law.

For instance, laws that put a child under authority of parents are based on God's law which states honour thy father and mother. Laws against murder come from thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal gives us our laws against theft and robbery. Likewise slander and libel laws can be traced back to thou shalt not bear false witness.

But did these lepers from our text really understand why they were to keep their distance; why they were to cover their mouth? Probably not.

What about today? Do men understand why we were given the ten commandments? Certainly many of the Jews of Paul's day believed the law was a measuring stick that they could measure up to, and that they would be judged on a scale with their good deeds in one balance and their sins in the other, and if need be, their circumcision or keeping the feast days thrown in to tilt the scales. Not much has changed since. The same could be said of many Christian denominations today; they just substitute their baptism in place of circumcision, but they are still trusting in their own right acts of measuring up to the law.

They still can't hear Isaiah when he says all of our righteousness are as filthy rags, or they would see their true condition. Sin on one side of the scales and filthy rags on the other! But that is not how it works. Those filthy rags belong on the same side of the scale as the sin. The only thing that tilts the scale in favor of forgiveness and eternal life is the blood of Jesus, and that blood alone! So what is the purpose of the law for us? Galatians 3:24 tells us "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."

Verse 13 "And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us."

All 10 of these lepers acknowledged Jesus and called him "Jesus, Master". Jesus means "Jehovah saves." Master means an appointee over, a commander or a teacher. When I put them together I get something like this: "the one appointed by Jehovah to be both commander and Saviour." Do you suppose these ten lepers understand all that was in the name Jesus? Did they recognize him as Lord and Savior?

How many today truly recognize all that is meant by Lord and Savior? Did these ten lepers all understand the title Master in the same way? Or, were they simply calling him teacher?
Do you realize that nearly every false religion in the world honors Jesus as a teacher?
Muslims call Jesus a prophet even though they deny his teachings. In order to call Jesus a prophet and not call him a liar, they have to edit the bible down to the point where only texts they agree with remain. But isn't that the same thing liberal "so called" Christian denominations do today?

I'll wrap this up with part three within the next couple of days.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ten Lepers - Part One

Luke 17: 11-19 tells of an incident during Jesus minstry wherein ten lepers came to him asking for mercy.

Leprosy is a disease which is mentioned throughout the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. It is also quite universally known as a symbol of sin. Leprosy has terrified humanity since ancient times. For many centuries, leprosy was considered a curse of God, often associated with sin. It did not kill, but it lingered for years, causing the tissues to degenerate and deforming the body.

Leprosy is spread by multiple skin contacts, as well as by droplets from the upper respiratory tracts, such as coughing or sneezing. When you consider those facts, God's mercy can be seen in the commands given in Leviticus concerning the disease. Clearly, those steps would help to stop the spread of leprosy.

The symptoms start in the nervous system, then spread to other parts, such as the hands, feet, and face. Patients with leprosy experience disfigurement of the skin and bones, twisting of the limbs, and curling of the fingers. Tumor-like growths may form on the skin and in the respiratory tract, and the optic nerve may deteriorate. But the largest number of deformities develop from loss of pain sensation due to extensive nerve damage. Someone with leprosy is constantly in jeopardy of damaging their body because they don't have the warning sensation of pain. They might leave their hand or foot too close to a fire and burn it without ever feeling the heat.

With that in mind, it is easy to see why leprosy is such a good fit as a symbol of sin. Just as leprosy is a disease that attacks the skin, sin also attacks our flesh.

Galatians 5:16-21 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

the flesh, or the earthly body, is not the problem. As my Pastor has pointed out, the Gnostic's belief that every thing to do with the flesh is sinful, is what led them to the heresy that Jesus never actually came into the world as a man. But Jesus Christ did come in the flesh and had an earthly body of flesh. So the flesh itself is not the problem, the problem is the disease of sin that attacks the body.

The passage from Galatians above describes the sin infested flesh. Remember that I said that biggest problem with leprosy was that you lost the pain sensation so that you would not realize that you were hurting your body. Sin works the same way. The deeper one falls into sin, the less warning you will get from your conscience. And finally when sin has run its course, you will receive the wages of sin, which is death, and you would no longer have even felt that you were doing anything wrong.

Yes, leprosy is a pretty powerful symbol of sin!

Leprosy was a disease which many Jews of that day understood to be inflicted by God as a punishment for some particular sin, and a mark of God's displeasure. While that view does not really affect the story of these ten lepers, it might be prudent to mention that this is not necessarily true. If leprosy was a punishment for sin, then we would all be afflicted with it, for all of us are sinners. Remember what Jesus said when asked by his disciples about a blind man: who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? His answer was that neither one. He was born blind so that the work of God could be shown through him. So we need to be careful that we don't make assumptions about someone based on what they may be going through.

In our text I would like to draw some parallels and hopefully seize on some truths, based on leprosy being a symbol of sin. Again, not a proof of sin, or a sign of sin, but a symbol of sin

Verse 12 "And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:"

If its true that many Jews looked at leprosy as a judgment for sin, then these 10 men knew that they were viewed by others as being sinners and as under God's judgment, but we don't know that they all agreed with that diagnosis

Not everyone you will meet today agrees that they have a sin problem.

But these lepers DID know that they had a problem. The condition of their flesh showed them that.

Even today most men know that they have some kind of problem. their conscience tells them so, but as I mentioned before, if you ignore your conscience long enough, it will loose its voice. Deep down that conscience will keep up its rumblings though, which helps explain why we have so much "religion" in the world geared toward making man feel better about himself.

Some of these lepers probably saw themselves as victims of the disease; that they themselves were not responsible for their condition.. As far as the actual disease of leprosy goes, as we said before, they could very well be correct. However in regards to leprosy as a symbol of sin, they were not victims; we are each responsible for our own sin. This is a common reaction of men today. "It's not my fault... "

"Sure I treat my spouse badly, but you don't know what they're like...."
"....its just man's nature to lust after more than one woman "
or even "God made me with an attraction to the same sex, so how can it be sin?"

It's just never our fault!

But my guess is that at least one of these ten lepers saw himself as being guilty and deserving judgment. be continued

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

These are Pretty Cool

Here is something a little different for you today. I bought a batch of these "trading" cards on eBay a few years back. It is obvious why they caught my attention, though I no longer remember how I ran across them.

These cards are part of a larger set of 66 from "Street Chopper/Hot Bike" magazine, and are labeled so on the back. I do not know what year they came out, but also on the back is an offer for a trial subscription to either magazine for the princely sum of $4.75 for 10 months, which may give you a clue!

Each card gives a brief description of the photo from the front, and the ones I am reproducing here all have the credit "photos courtesy TRM Publications, Inc." I will highlight the descriptions from the back for each card.

"Drag Racer, owned by Dave Campos, of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Harley Davidson Sportster. Engine: 900cc's. Carburetion: S&S. Exhausts: drag pipes. Frame: custom built. Front End: Ceriani. Rear Tire/Wheel: 18-inch M&H. Handlebars: clip-ons. Paint: blue lacquer"


"Barn Job, owned by Clem Johnson, of West Covina, California. Vincent dragster. Engine: 1000cc's. Carburetion: Injectors. Exhaust: drag pipes. Frame: custom built. Front End: Ceriani. Rear Tire/Wheel: 18-inch M&H. Handlebars: clip-ons. Paint: none"

"Dragster, owned by Sonny Routt, Routt's Cycle Center , of Hyattsville, Md. Triumph dragster. two Triumph 750 cc engines, Carburetion: Amals. Exhaust: drag pipes. Frame: custom built. Front End: Harley. Rear Tire/Wheel: 18-inch M&H. Handlebars: clip-ons. Paint: competition."


"Boris Murray's Twin Triumph, owned by Boris Murray of Pomona, California. Triumph, '71 dragster. Engines: two 45 cubic inchers. Carburetion: four Amals. Exhausts: custom single pipes. Frame: Boris Murray custom. Front End: Triumph cub. Rear Tire/Wheel: 18-inch M&H. Handlebars: drag style. Paint: frame-black, fairing-red and blue lacquer."

"Barn Job, owned by Clem Johnson, of West Covina, California. Vincent dragster. Engine: 1000cc's. Carburetion: Injectors. Exhaust: drag pipes. Frame: custom built. Front End: Ceriani. Rear Tire/Wheel: 18-inch M&H. Handlebars: clip-ons. Paint: none"

If only I had one featuring Granddaddy Joe Smith to add to the collection!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Born on the 4th of July

This is a re-post of something I wrote last year in remembrance of July 4th. It is as relevant today as it was a year ago.

It is a popular bumper sticker. There is even a song with it as its title. The phrase is well worn, but retains its aura, despite having lost its standing among the purveyors of pop culture.
You hear it at the end of a lot of political speeches. Often, it makes one wonder whether the speaker is just a servant of custom, trying to appease his audience, or maybe even just possibly could mean it. The phrase, of course, is "God Bless America."

Once upon a time, near the founding of this nation, we had a legitimate standing to ask God to Bless America. Many of our forefathers came to the new world seeking the freedom to worship God according to their understanding of the dictates of the Bible, rather than those of the unholy alliances of churches and states. Later, when in the course of human events it became necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which had connected them with another, they were careful to seek the guidance of the God of Abraham; the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Imperfect though that Union was, they purposefully laid the ground work so that slavery, that great shame on humanity, would shortly be removed from this land so that their words, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, could finally ring true for all men in this land. Surely at that point in time, it was proper for us to implore God to Bless America, for one of the blessings that Christian men prayed for was the abolition of slavery.

But just as it played out time and time again in the Old Testament, apostasy is ever the grandchild of true religion. Just as they were not all Israel, which were of Israel, America has never been all Christian, but there was a time when the vast majority of us claimed true religion and most, at the very least, lived that way. Today, there may still be a majority that claim the name of Christ, but it seems that God has only reserved a remnant who he will claim as his. Most will undoubtedly hear "I never knew you" on that day.

It is difficult to pinpoint a moment, or one event, that was the start of the great downward spiral of this once great nation. Some might say it was when we gave away our cultural values, acquiescing to sexual wantonness of every type after decades of Hollywood proselytizing. Surely this is not the case though. Being given over to a reprobate mind is but one of the symptoms of a much deeper, and older disease.

Maybe it was when our nation began to allow our children and grandchildren to be murdered on the alter of convenience, in the name of choice, by those who have declared their own deity. As dreadful to contemplate as such savagery is, it too is only symptomatic.

Could the decay have begun with the removal of prayer from schools in the 1960s, or could it perhaps be traced back even further, to the time when the Bible was removed as a textbook? Again, that is certainly just another symptom, which, though it does its damage to the body, is not fatal on its own.

But if not that, what was it that set us on the path towards destruction? We may be nearing the mark if we suspect it was the introduction of the theory of evolution, though that wicked system is merely the schoolmarm for Communism, and not its master. Or is that the other way around? The two are so intertwined that it may no longer be possible to to judge.

Communism and its cohorts, Marxism,Socialism, and Progressivism, as wielded by ungodly men, are some of the greatest threats ever to man's freedom. Worldwide communism boasts over 100 million murdered, and counting. But once again, they are the infection that attacks the already weakened body.

No. None of these horrific pestilences are the root cause of this nation's demise. In fact, I don't believe that we can pinpoint a time. But I do believe that we can name the cause. You see, as Psalm 33 says "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance." We will be blessed as a nation if our God is Jehovah. But we continue to call on God to bless America, even while we reject him as our lord.

We need to take a cue from Ezra as found in Nehemiah 8:6 "And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground."

What we really need to do is refrain from calling on God to bless America and begin to call on America to bless God!