Summary: Road rage, street fights, vicious personal attacks online, violent crime rates spiking, politicians bitterly reviling their opponents, protesters literally screeching in the faces of the police — I could go on and on. In America, where I’ve lived my long lifetime, I’ve seen a discouraging transition over the past 8 decades. The prevailing civility of the late 1940s and the 1950s that I grew up in has steadily degenerated into the anger, even fury, that dominates our culture today and, sad to say, many of our streets and neighborhoods. Which leads us to an all-important question: WHY? I believe the answer lies in people lacking the right foundations for living a happy, peaceable, productive life. Come and consider this life-changing truth from a Scriptural perspective.
David was in a time of great trouble. The situation is thought by many to be when he was being hunted down by King Saul. Whatever the dangerous situation was, David’s counselors were advising him to flee, because all around them foundations for peaceable living were being destroyed. David’s answer was: “In the Lord I take refuge (vs. 1) … “The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord is on His heavenly throne” (vs. 4). David personally had strong foundations in his trust in God and in God’s heavenly kingship in David’s life.
David’s advisors were likely right in their observation that the foundations of their society — what some today call the “social fabric” — were in disrepair. But their solution (to flee) was wrong. Today we who believe in the Lord as central in our lives see our American culture being gradually, steadily destroyed when viewed from a Bible-centered perspective. Like David of old, our response must be: “In the Lord I take refuge; the Lord is on His heavenly throne.” God has not lost one ounce of control over His creation — “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1).
But you might be saying, hey, look at this world around us. Innocent babies in the womb are being slaughtered, with some women even publicly boasting about their abortions. Human beings, created by God specifically as either male or female, mock His creative choice and pick their own imagined gender. Marriage of one man and one woman, as established by God in the Garden of Eden and in many Scriptures, is routinely ignored in unnatural, same-sex unions. Tens of millions of American children are being raised without a father present, which is a fast track to poverty and to greatly increased crime statistics. Pastor Jim, what about all that? Well, these things are consistent with much that was foretold in the Bible for the end times. For example, the Scripture just below, prophesied by the apostle Paul, speaks of the horrible anti-God direction of much of mankind in the last days. Take a look.
Is there hope? Absolutely! God’s people on earth, who follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, have answers. There are foundations that must be built back into our nation(s) and our individual lives. These are God-given, God-inspired, foundational necessities, not options. It is the honor and privilege of God’s people both to have these in their own lives and to preach and teach them to others for their benefit. If they are embraced by individuals and nations, God will bring peace, godliness, and spiritual prosperity into individual lives and even entire countries. Let’s take a look at these all-important factors. They are timeless, God-given truths, and they work!
The Lord, God Almighty, “will be the sure foundation” for all who believe in Him and choose to serve Him. From His “rich store” in heaven, He dispenses to His followers an abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge — things necessary for victorious living in a culture that is increasingly abandoning biblical truths and standards. This Scripture verse, and many others like it, makes it clear that God will equip His people with the foundations we need for a fulfilled life, no matter what is occurring all around us.
The very first of God’s Ten Commandments says (Exodus 20:2f): “I am the Lord your God…You shall have no other gods before me.” At the time that God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, the nations around them worshipped a multitude of deities invented by them. And their refusal to worship God alone, not the false “gods” of the nations, is one of the main reasons God sent Israel and Judah, respectively, into the Assyrian and Babylonian Captivities.
The apostle Paul in Hebrews 11:6 tells us three important truths:
America as a nation is increasingly moving away from God Almighty as a central foundation for fulfillment in this life and eternal joy and blessedness with God after this life. On the one hand, the Scripture says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’ ” (Psalm 14:1). By contrast, the wise person, the one who by faith pleases God and is blessed by Him (Hebrews 11:6), is the one who makes God his or her “sure foundation” (Isaiah 33:6).
The apostle Paul, previously known as Saul of Tarsus, had grown up in Mosaic Judaism and believed steadfastly in God. So far so good. But…Saul of Tarsus then made a catastrophic error. He rejected God’s offer of salvation in the person of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, Whom God sent from heaven to earth to save the world from the damnation due to our sins. Jesus accomplished this by bearing the world’s sins in His excruciating death on the cross for our sins, His burial, and His rising to life again on the third day (which is "the Gospel": 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
This same Saul, though, one day experienced a dramatic conversion to Christ (recorded in Acts 9:1-22). From that day on Saul, renamed Paul, boldly preached salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ until the end of his days, when he was martyred for his faith. One of the many truths about Jesus that Paul preached was (1 Cor. 3:10f above) that Jesus is the foundation, the Chief Cornerstone of our faith (Ephesians 2:20).
Make Jesus Christ the foundation of your life. Come to Him, as the apostle Paul preached everywhere, by “repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21, KJV). Do that and you will experience the new birth, you’ll be “born again”, and God Almighty will become your heavenly Father for all eternity.
Paul wrote that we should not look to any source as the foundation for our salvation other than Jesus. And the Christ Himself said essentially the same in these words (John 14:6): “I [Jesus] am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Make Jesus the foundation stone of your salvation, and He will be “the way” for you into the family of God and the eternal love and presence of God the Father, “the sure foundation” of Isaiah 33:6.
Jesus told us clearly that God’s Word (the Scriptures of the Bible), is truth. It is an unshakable, unchanging, eternally solid foundation.
Jesus said as much in His parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders. Notice that both the wise and the foolish heard His words. So what was the difference? Well, the wise hearers of His words “put them into practice.” By sharp contrast, the foolish hearers had, yes, “heard” the Word, but they did not put it into practice. So when the parable's symbolic storms of life came, the house of the wise stood strong; the house of the foolish was completely destroyed.
And that describes America today. The vast majority of Americans have heard at least the basics of the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many millions have embraced it and put it into practice in their lives. Many millions, though, have simply heard the Word but have not incorporated it into their lives, leading to eventual destruction of the “house” they are trying to build for their lives.
In 1969, prompted by a Christian friend who had been talking to me about Jesus, I bought a New Testament of the Bible and began to read it. It gripped me! I could hardly put it down. The words, as Jesus had said, came into my mind and heart as “spirit and life” (John 6:63). As the Psalmist said in Psalm 119:105, 130 (KJV), the entrance of God’s Word into my heart and mind gave me light and understanding of the things of God (vs. 130). And it became a much-needed “lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (vs. 105).
Just imagine if all our fellow Americans embraced God’s Word in the Bible, studied it, and built it into the very fabric of their lives. The timeless truths of God would become an unshakable foundation to each of us for our thoughts, our belief structures, and the godly conducting of our lives in agreement with His Word.
I’ll just touch on this point quickly. But it is important! The source of eternity-affecting truth is not TV or the media or secular publications or irreligious people, no matter how famous they are. Rather, we have seen that the genuine foundations of truth and victorious life are in God Almighty … in His Son, the Savior Jesus Christ … and in the Word of God, the Bible, which gives us a revelation of the Father and His Son Jesus and the life-changing truths they desire us to know.
That said, through Jesus’ earthly ministry and His life, death, and resurrection God has established the church to function in many thousands of local congregations around the world as “the pillar and foundation of the truth.” In the local churches, as the apostle Paul wrote by the Holy Spirit, the ministers are to preach and teach the Word of God. A church functions well as a foundation for people when it preaches and teaches faith in God, faith in the only Savior Jesus Christ, and a broad understanding of the 66 divinely-inspired books of Scripture known as the Holy Bible.
The Christian churches’ people, faithful to the Lord and His Word, become foundational, living “boots on the ground” to bless the world with the saving knowledge of God the Father and Jesus His Son (John 17:3) and the Word of God in its fullness. To everyone I say with sincere encouragement: Find a good, Bible-preaching, Jesus-centered, Holy Spirit-filled local church near you and become a faithful part of it. You’ll be blessed that you did.
I would fail you if I closed without emphasizing one more urgently needed foundation, and that is strong, intact families serving the Lord and one another. I realize that there are some unavoidable exceptions, such as the death of a parent, a deliberately absent father, etc. But the biblical pattern is clear (see the verses above). From the Garden of Eden (Genesis chapters 1-2) God has established a “family” as a male/husband, a female/wife, and the children that issue from that.
Homes with the father and the mother both actively involved in raising godly children are God’s pattern. And this is to be reproduced from one generation to another to another. My late wife and I believed God’s Word and put this into practice with good results. All four of our children came to the Lord at a young age and served Him from then to now. And these days they and their Christian spouses are raising their own children (3 in each of their 4 families) to serve the Lord likewise. And it is working! Following the Bible’s foundational principles that we’ve looked at above, we’ve been blessed to have adult children and their spouses raising their own children to serve our amazing Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
A Rasmussen poll of 1,200 registered voters in America on January 20-21, 2022, found that 84 percent of those polled believe that a strong family is foundational to a strong America. The inspired writers of the Bible would wholeheartedly agree and would add that this is God’s position, too.
Perhaps you’ve read this far and have been touched in your heart to realize that you’ve neglected one or more of these important foundations. It’s never too late. Let this be a new day. Dedicate yourself to God the Father, to the Lord Jesus Christ the Savior, to the holy Word of God, and to a good local church near you. And commit yourself to family life that honors the Lord and His Word. You’ll be blessed beyond measure.
It may be that some of you realize that you’ve never in the first place received Jesus personally as your Lord and Savior. That's the single most important decision you’ll make in your life on this earth. It’s the decision with eternal consequences — awesome ones if you come to Jesus, eternally catastrophic ones if you don’t.
If that’s you, hear Jesus’ words to you right now: “Come to me and I will give you rest for your souls.” If God has touched your heart, and you want to come to Him through Jesus and enter into the eternal family of God, here’s my suggestion: At his website, the late, respected evangelist Billy Graham has some excellent help for you to pray a prayer of salvation and become a son or daughter forever of God Almighty. You’ll find it at Peace with God: the Secret of Happiness
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©2022, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons &
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