Pentecostal Sermons & Bible Studies by Pastor Jim Feeney, PhD

What’s Making Our Country Lose Its Marbles? Easy Answer

by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.

Summary:  Men posing as women and dangerously invading women’s previously safe spaces (ladies’ rest rooms, etc.), with government approval! … talented women athletes being overwhelmed by biological males “identifying” as females … millions of the most innocent among us — that is, unborn babies — being heartlessly, savagely executed in their mothers' wombs … students at elite American law schools and other universities screeching like banshees to silence guest speakers simply because they hold contrary views … violent, destructive mob protests, ironically called “peaceable” by the national media because those mobs and their agenda fit the preferred narrative … woke parents permitting (often encouraging) their teen daughters to get irreversible mastectomies, and their young sons to be chemically or surgically castrated … “drag queen” shows in our public elementary schools sexualizing innocent little children with perverted conduct … same-sex marriage and conduct, in defiant opposition to many clear biblical Scriptures against homosexual conduct … the list could go on and on, but I want to focus on the easily identifiable source of these problems and the very real solutions. There is hope, and it’s not in politics! — for the record, I am a registered Independent voter. My approach to these problems and their solution will be entirely from the Scriptures of the Bible.

There Is One Primary Source Behind These and Other Societal Ills

Why do we have all these problems that are ruining our once-great nation? Easy answer. Tens of millions of Americans have consciously chosen to eliminate the knowledge of God from their lives. They reject Him, or outright deny Him, or say they do believe in Him but ignore Him.

Romans 1:28  Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. [KJV: “a reprobate mind”; ESV: “a debased mind”; TLB: “evil minds”; NLT: “foolish thinking”]

This is the bottom line of our country’s ever-expanding list of moral depravity. What? Why? Because more and more millions of Americans are forsaking the knowledge of God Almighty and choosing instead their own fluid, subjective codes of belief and conduct. When a Creator God is eliminated, anything goes! Believe what you want, right! And out of that mindset emerge things like: the wanton slaughter of unborn babies created in the image of God in their mothers’ wombs; young, impressionable teen girls having double mastectomies because in a spurt of mental confusion they “identify” as males; similarly, young boys and teens are doing irreversible harm to their bodies surgically or chemically, because their minds, uninformed by God whom they reject, tell them that they “are girls”; many cities have become war zones, incapable of safe and civilized inhabitation, because lawless criminals with no moral conscience informed by a holy God, rob and plunder for their own satisfaction. I could go on, but you can read the news or watch it. You see all this and more happening in our nation. And you know in your heart that our once-great nation is in severe distress and is disintegrating before our very eyes.

Hosea 4:1f,6; 5:4; 6:6, ESV  Hear the word of the Lord, O children of Israel, for the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed… [6] My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge… [5:4b] They know not the Lord… [6:6] For I [God] desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

These things are not new. Nearly 28 centuries ago, in ancient Israel, they too were experiencing lawlessness, swearing, lying, murder, stealing, adultery, the breaking of all bounds, and bloodshed following bloodshed. Does that sound like today in America? And I want to sound out the same prophetic call to America that the prophet Hosea cried out to ancient Israel: You have forgotten the Lord God Almighty. There’s “no knowledge of God in the land.” You are being “destroyed for lack of knowledge” — that is, you “know not the Lord.”

If this catastrophic lack of a sincere knowledge of and obedience to God and His ways is not corrected, America is done! The 10-tribe northern kingdom of Israel failed to heed the prophet Hosea’s call to repent and return to God. The result? Within just decades, in about 722 B.C., Israel fell and went from their land into Assyrian Captivity, from which as a whole they have never recovered to this day. Will we Americans learn our lesson from the northern kingdom Israel? Will we return to God in faith and repentance? Or will be continue to forsake and even deny the knowledge of God and come as a nation to catastrophic ruin?

There Is a God Who Created and Rules All Things

Genesis 1:1  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The very first verse of the Bible declares that there is a God and that He created all things, including the sun, moon, and stars (vs. 16). At this point some may be saying, “But I don’t believe that because I don’t even believe in God.” They are simply fulfilling Scripture — for example, the above-quoted prophet Hosea’s tragically unheeded warning to Israel to repent and turn to the knowledge of God; or the great Jewish King David’s psalm: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 53:1).

Hebrews 11:6b, NLT  Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

The many promised blessings of God in Scripture must begin at one simple point: belief in God. We can’t just claim Bible promises at random. They are all based on the existence of God who inspired human authors to write them down. As we come to God in repentance for sin and faith in His Son Jesus Christ who died on a cross and rose again for our sins (Acts 20:21), we become sons or daughters of God and undergo dramatic changes:

• We transition “from darkness to light” (Acts 26:18)
• We go “from the power of Satan to God” (Acts 26:18)
• We are “rescued from the dominion of darkness…into the kingdom of the Son [Jesus]”
• We were once the devil’s children (John 8:44) and are now God’s children (2 Corinthians 6:18)
• You were once destined eternally for hell (Matthew 23:33) and are now destined for eternal life in the presence of the Lord (John 10:28; Psalm 16:11).
• And many more such dramatic, life-changing blessings

God’s Wisdom Is Infinitely Higher and Greater than Man’s ‘Wisdom’

1 Corinthians 3:19, KJV  The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.

I grew up in a culture that highly valued education and human wisdom. So I dutifully did the college and graduate school thing, then became an Air Force officer. I thought with pride that I “knew stuff.” What a mistake that was! In my mid-20s I was encouraged by a lady friend to begin reading the Bible. I did so, then quickly moved into voracious reading of those holy Scriptures. Outside of work hours, I could hardly put it down.

What was happening? I had begun to read and learn God’s wisdom. And I increasingly noticed that my so-called human wisdom was foolish by comparison, and correctly so — “The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” I began to hear other men and women voicing ideas that to them were “wisdom,” yet they openly contradicted the Word of God, the Bible, on numerous issues — fulfilling the Scripture: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22, KJV).

I began to see the truths of God’s Word that said, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my [God’s] thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9). It dawned brightly on me that God’s Word the Bible contained a revelation of His profound, perfect wisdom for all that is needed in our lives. Simple Bible statements answered profound questions, such as “What is truth?” Jesus Himself answers that with a reference to the Bible in its totality: “Your word is truth” (John 17:17). And a related verse: “Consult God’s instruction … If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn” (Isaiah 8:20).

In God and Jesus Christ We Find Access to that Higher Wisdom

But I must add a personal and revealing testimony by way of caution. Just reading the Bible “academically” won’t necessarily redeem you from man’s self-deluded wisdom. I took four years of Religion courses in a high school pre-seminary and four years of Theology in college. Some of that was Bible-related. But in all of that I did not find the Lord in the sense of a personal, faith-based relationship with Him.

But in 1969, while in the Air Force, I began to read the Bible differently. I was looking to find Jesus in a very personal way, and I did find Him in the Scriptures, illuminated to my mind and spirit by God’s Holy Spirit. I was being steered by God toward the realization that the Bible from cover to cover — prophetically in the Old Testament and literally, historically in the New Testament — was a revelation of the crucified, resurrected, salvation-providing Son of God Jesus Christ. In His words: “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me [Jesus]” (John 5:39).

In those Scriptures of the Bible we are exposed to “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). That’s what we need! The mind of Christ. And there’s no better place to find it than in the Bible’s Scriptures. Jesus said they tell us about Him. Without the Bible’s truths, without Christ’s wisdom, we expose ourselves to falling into the deceptions of “seducing spirits and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1, KJV).

Here’s one good example. Our current American culture is increasingly supportive of two 100% antibiblical practices: gay marriage and transgender. But the all-wise Savior Jesus Christ settles both these issues in two short verses (Matthew 19:4-5) — “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?” Our culture glorifies gay marriage. Jesus says marriage is between “a man ['male']… and his wife ['female'].” Transgender advocates say you can choose your gender. Jesus says that the Creator God makes us male or female. It’s entirely His choice, not ours.

How Do We Get Beyond Man’s Corrupted Wisdom?

In Jesus Christ and His revealed Word the Bible we have all the answers we need to live a victorious life in this world. The apostle Peter wrote in Scripture (2 Peter 1:3) — “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” We have been given “everything we need” to live a godly life on this earth. And it comes “through our knowledge of Him” who has called us all to serve Him.

John 17:3  Now this is eternal life: that they know you [God the Father], the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

In His famous prayer from earth to God His Father in heaven, Jesus defined for us the essence of eternal life: KNOWING God the Father and KNOWING Jesus the Son of God, the Savior of the world. That’s knowing in a very real, personal, relational way; it is not merely intellectual knowledge of facts. I knew “facts” about God and Jesus my first 25 years of life. Then from reading the Bible and from other Christians sharing about the Lord with me, I came to God the Father very personally through embracing Jesus Christ sincerely as my Lord and Savior. The 54 years since then have been the best of my long life.

I began to see things in life differently. What was happening? I had continued to read the Bible avidly, also to attend a Bible-preaching, Jesus-honoring local church. With such godly input coming into my mind and spirit, I was experiencing the Bible’s promise of being transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2). Man’s carnal “wisdom” out … God’s eternal truths in!

And that very same transformation can happen to each one of you. Most reading this have probably already accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior and are working daily to grow in the Lord. Some may not have reached that point, but I encourage you, please read on as I wrap this up.

Jesus Is Calling the World to Him for Our Good

Matthew 23:36-37  “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate.”

Do nations ever learn?! More than 2,700 years ago the prophet Hosea (plus many other prophets that God sent) cried out to God’s people Israel to repent and to return to God and to the knowledge of God. They refused and were judged as a nation and were exiled into the Assyrian Captivity. More than a century later the same pattern occurred with the 2-tribe southern kingdom of Judah, including Jerusalem. They too forsook God for idols of their own hearts and went in defeat and shame into Babylonian Captivity.

Jesus came from heaven to earth 2,000 years ago and reached out once more to His people. But for the most part they too refused His message of salvation and rejected Him. Looking at the city, Jesus lamented over Christ-rejecting Jerusalem and pronounced her doom — “Your house is left to you desolate.” About 40 years later, in 70 A.D., the future Roman emperor Titus and his armies besieged and destroyed Jerusalem, including the glorious temple there. Jerusalem was desolated and the Jewish people were scattered throughout the known world. They did not reoccupy the Holy Land in significant numbers until the mid-1900s, nearly 19 centuries later!

Can such a thing happen to America? Of course. It has happened to nations in the past, as we have seen, even to God’s people, who refused to embrace the knowledge of God and chose their own ways. The ancient prophet Amos prophesied judgment to Israel, which did come to pass. To a nation rejecting Him, God gave famine, drought, locust plagues, wars, and more (Amos 4:6-11). Yet they failed to repent and return to God. Five times(!) in vss. 6-11 the prophet cried out the Lord’s message: “Yet you have not returned to me.” That led to the famous prophetic cry (vs. 12): “Prepare to meet your God” in further judgment.

Matthew 11:28-29, KJV  “[Jesus said] Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest… [29] ye shall find rest for your souls.”

For all who are troubled by the bad news all around us, remember, Jesus remains the one and only hope. Will there always be trouble around us? Jesus said so (John 16:33). But in Him, even in the midst of terrible events, there is hope and comfort. Come to Him, and He will give you rest for your souls.

In Christ, Unlike in This World, Are Found Blessings for Time and Eternity

There’s trouble in the world, yes, but take courage! Jesus has overcome! Remember that when Jesus was on earth 20 centuries ago, Israel was under cruel Roman oppression. Those were hard times for the Jews. Yet to them Jesus said (and to us), “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).

That is still His message to you today, no matter how grim you find the culture in which you live. Yes, there’s trouble in this world, as the Savior said. But He also said to take heart, because He has overcome the world. There is coming a day, perhaps not far off, when the often-prophesied Second Coming of Christ will occur.

He will come in glory to earth with the hosts of heaven. Those who have rejected Him will be destroyed and sent to the fires of hell. Those who have personally received Him as Savior — including those living then and all the faithful of past ages — will be resurrected and caught up in immortalized bodies to meet the coming Lord. And from that point on, we shall be with the Lord forever!” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).

So right now, today, give your life over to Jesus. If you’ve already done that, reaffirm that commitment to Him. Become to the corrupt culture around you what Jesus enables us to be: “the light of the world” and the “salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13-14). Be men and women, boys and girls, of the Word of God. Read His Word, study it, hear it preached in a good, Bible-believing church. And live your life according to God’s Bible truths. Shine His light to others who are still trapped in darkness. In Jesus and in His Word the Bible you can provide them the answers to all these issues that are troubling our nation and our culture today.

Remember, Jesus is now and will continue to be King of kings and Lord of lords. God the Father has entrusted to Him “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). And He is delighted to use you as His ambassadors to present His love and His salvation to a lost world around you that is looking in all the wrong places. You can show them the solutions and the right way — Jesus Christ — to all that they are searching for.

Postscript: One Final Thought | Keep Growing in Your Knowledge of God

Be careful not to fall for the Laodicean church error (Revelation 3:15-17). They had become complacent, content with whatever level they had arrived at in their Christian faith. Bad mistake, and Jesus rebuked that church soundly. I'll turn 80 next month. Yet my wife and I still study the Bible together daily, with a determination to continue to grow in our walk with the Lord.

A disciple named Philip asked Jesus, "Lord, show us the Father" (John 14:8). That was a good desire, to know God the Father better. Revealingly, Jesus answered Philip by saying the way to knowing the Father was to know Jesus His Son — "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (vs. 9). How could Jesus say that? Simply because the Bible tells us that Jesus the Son of God is "the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being" (Hebrews 1:3). All the perfection, all the magnificent characteristics of God Almighty are revealed in His beloved Son Jesus Christ.

And that helps us understand why the apostle Peter would close his second epistle with these words: "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). Draw close to Jesus in His Word, in worship, and in prayer, and you will through Him come to greater and greater knowledge of God the Father. The apostle John wrote: "The only begotten Son, who is Himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made Him known" (John 1:18). Grow in your faith-and-love relationship with Jesus Christ and you will find yourself drawing ever closer to the knowledge of God the Father in heaven.


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Pentecostal Sermons
and Bible Studies by
Pastor Jim Feeney, PhD