HOW FAR, AMERICA? by Curtis Pugh
HOW FAR, AMERICA?
In meditating on this article, at first we thought to call it, “Which Way, America?” But the direction in which these United States is heading is obviously the wrong one. Most every thinking person untainted with liberalism is in agreement: that this country is headed in the wrong direction. But let us not be too quick to blame Washington. We, the people, elect tyrants to live high and lord it over us while passing out the bucks. The few who do seem to oppose our liberties being taken from us are like the little Dutch boy trying to stop the leak in the dyke by poking his fingers in the ever growing holes. The liberal-leftist-entitlement-minded citizenry on each of the coasts can be counted on to sway national elections in their favor: that means more fiscal irresponsibility. So let us not ask “Which Way, America?” but rather, “How Far, America?” How far will God allow our “American culture” to go before He says, “Enough?” God does have a plan, you know, and history and the Scripture both demonstrate that there are times when God puts a stop to sinful men in their mad career of sinful pleasure. And that is basically what the liberal-leftist-entitlement-minded agenda is all about: pleasure. Their philosophy is “if it feels good, do it” and they are ever ready to supply willingly unemployed citizens and illegals with tax dollars taken from hard working folk. God certainly put a stop to the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of the plain because of their sinful pleasure-seeking lifestyle. We tend to agree with one preacher who said that if God does not judge the U.S. for her approval of sodomy, He will need to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah for judging them for those same sins.
The Lord Jesus spoke of the conditions that will exist when He returns to this earth – not at the rapture, but at His second advent. In Luke 17:26-30 the Lord’s words are recorded thus: “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” This passage is often referred to as “the Noah and Lot sign.” It pictures humankind living without regard to God or His Word: given over to satisfying the flesh. These United States are following in the path of both Sodom and ancient Rome: sinful pleasures of all kinds and government provided bread and circuses to satisfy the masses of unemployed who as a result vote and protest to keep the leftist tyrants in power.
The Bible is clear: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death,” (Proverbs 14:12). While we know of no human government better than a democracy, the gangrene which eats at democracy is this: “…it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps,” (Jeremiah 10:23). A democracy, to function even tolerably well needs at least three things: (1) an educated citizenry, (2) an industrious work ethic, and most important of all (3) a moral compass: i.e., the Bible taught and followed. By this last, the Bible, man is not left to himself to determine right and wrong. Without the Bible America is like ancient Israel: “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes,” (Judges 21:25). Accordingly, most Americans, right along with most professing “Christians” live according to their wicked hearts. The total heredity depravity of mankind is seen in man’s continual departure from righteousness. God made Adam upright, but our mutual father sinned and plunged the whole of his posterity into bondage – a bondage which the flesh (sin nature) of man loves. Because men love sin and utilize their wills to choose sin, they are deceived into thinking their wills are free, but they are in truth as Peter wrote they have, “…eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin…” (2 Peter 2:14). Their wills are bent toward sinning and so they are happy in their sins and unable to cease from them. They do not want to cease sinning: not really. The present condition of the people of these States is the result of at least two things: (1) the absence of moral teachings from the Bible in homes and schools and (2) the preoccupation of the people with seeking after pleasure. Do you, as a Bible believer, wonder that teenagers and children go on killing sprees and that parents do horrendous things to their infants and children? We have educated people without the Bible. Humans are just animals. Evolution says so. Killing a human being is no worse than killing an ant or a spider. Life is no longer sacred: the prevalence of abortion in this country proves that beyond any argument to the contrary.
The right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. But a people solely given over to pursuing happiness – solely given over to fulfilling the lusts of the flesh – a people demanding instant gratification – will not stand for principles of godliness nor long submit to a legal system based upon biblical morals. They demand more and more and their addiction to the pleasure-drug continues to grow. Sin is popular and has become acceptable in American culture. And the rest of the world is not far behind us. Pastors, even many Baptists and their “lambs” here in the U.S. prove they are not concerned with biblical principles of godliness. They strip off their clothing for shorts and bathing suits as well as immodest clothing worn even in the gatherings of God’s supposed people. There is little difference between the way the average Baptist dresses and the fashion of the harlots whom they adore on TV. Baptists do not want to be different: this translates that Baptists do not want to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. But if you want a big church… “you gotta get with the times.” “Give’em God and glamor!” “Sexy and salvation” are both possible: fleshly lusts and eternal life can go together. This is the modern “evangelical” philosophy. Baptists, right along with Catholics and Protestants, have succeeded in turning liberty into license. Easy-believeism has no connection with practical holiness because it has no connection with the gospel. It is a false gospel!
At the time of this writing, the United Methodist Church is wrangling over whether or not to uphold the defrocking of one of their clergy: a man who performed the “marriage” of his son to another man. The Presbyterian Church U.S.A. has by vote of her governing body voted to divest herself of financial investments that benefit Israel. And a new poll of the people living in these United States indicates that some fifty-two-percent of us now favor same-sex “marriages.” (This writer insists on putting the word “marriage” and “marriages” in quotes when used of religious or civil ceremonies which supposedly join two persons of the same sex in some kind of ungodly perverted “union.”) And the Baptists? Where are they? Probably about five years behind the rest of the world. Already some Southern Baptist Convention Churches have women “ministers” and the popular jargon is for preachers among them (and their wives) to say, “we pastored in such-and-such a place for x number of years, etc.” The Bible has news: God does not call women to preach or to pastor! Neither does He call men and women to somehow “pastor” together. While we are on the subject of God’s calling, the Bible never indicates that God ever called any man (or woman) to a “music ministry,” or as a “worship leader,” or any number of modern Baptist innovations! Strange, is it not, that the truths in your Bible are always throwing monkey wrenches in the best laid schemes of the religious crowd! It is now the popular thing for “churches” to be “welcoming congregations” – i.e., welcoming sodomites!
Is there a connection between what the “same-sex-marriage” advocates are saying and doing and what the religious crowd in America is saying and doing? We think both are instances of just what the Bible said would come to pass. We are not so much concerned with recent Protestant escapades. The Methodists and the Presbyterians are among the daughters of the Harlot and are only behaving like what they are. The Protestants may have cried “sola Scriptura,” but they never meant it and do not follow only the Bible now. While there doubtless exist some congregations within the Southern Baptist Convention who reject the claim, the SBC continues to boast that they are the “largest Protestant denomination.” Let them be Protestants if they wish. It is nothing of which to boast! But their untaught or falsely-taught unregenerate membership has their flesh tickled: if they are big they must be right! Hear this! Absolutely nothing good, came out of the Protestant Reformation! The filthy Roman Harlot gave birth to her little-less-filthy and slightly more attractive daughters who teach the same damnable doctrines of baptismal regeneration and works for salvation. And most “Baptists” are running a parallel course with their equally damnable doctrine of decisional regeneration which is just another form of works for salvation. We think this departure from the truth by the majority of Baptists cannot be anything other than the prophesied apostasy of 2 Timothy 2:1-4:“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” Notice these things: (1) this prophecy speaks of the return of Christ to the earth, not the rapture of His saints and her bridesmaids: (2) the Greek for “falling away” is “apostasia” from whence our word apostasy: a willful departure from the truth: (3) Paul clearly states that “the day of Christ” is not “at hand,” i.e., there is a significant intervening time before Christ will return to establish His earthly kingdom. If we understand the Scriptures aright, we are in this time of apostasy even now. Later in this same epistle Paul states, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived,” (2 Timothy 3:13). This present apostasy is not being successfully opposed! It is thriving and growing and shall continue to do so. And the pressure is constantly applied to remain in fellowship with deviants from the faith.
“How Far, America?” Not how far will wicked men go, but how far will God allow wicked men to go in moral filth and doctrinal evils? Probably farther than you or I would allow! But certainly they will go no farther than God has planned for them to go! We can be absolutely confident that God is not concerned with time: rather He is concerned with His elect for we read that the restoration of national Israel will follow that time when, “the fulness of the Gentiles be come in,” (Romans 11:25). In other words, God shall turn again to little Israel when His elect from among the Gentiles are regenerated and sanctified to the point He has predetermined. Then God will be acting in a different manner toward these United States. Two things here: (1) sometimes folk will say that this last phrase quoted means that “when the last elect Gentile is saved… etc.,” Our reply is this: God did not take you to heaven immediately after your were converted so what makes you so sure that God may not leave His last saved elect Gentile here on earth for a while after they are born again? May He not leave them here awhile to witness to the world and to experience that sanctification needed by each of His sheep? (2) In turning to Israel God shall bring to pass the “time of Jacob’s trouble,”(Jeremiah 30:5) which has absolutely nothing to do with Christ’s congregations. From the Book of Revelation we see that all the evidence points to the fact that when God’s end-time judgment upon this world begins, His congregations (made up of principally Gentile peoples) will be with Him and not on the earth at all. Always keep in mind the God-given outline of the Book of Revelation found in chapter one, verse nineteen.
Matthew chapter twenty-four is a record of our Lord’s prophecy regarding the end of this age and the tribulation to follow. His counsel to the disciples was as follows: “…Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows,” (Matthew 24:4-8). The Lord’s words in this passage indicate that the danger to the saints of God at this time is twofold: (1) being deceived: the Lord said, “Take heed that no man deceive you,” and (2) “be not troubled.” These two dangers – being led astray and being alarmed or frightened – are the dangers of our time. Radio and TV preachers as well as some “big time pastors” and some not so big ones are busy at this very moment leading people astray. Some of them gain followers and make huge amounts of money off the alarm felt by most people – i.e., the notion that America is heading in the wrong direction and that things cannot continue long in this direction without catastrophic national or even worldwide consequences. Recently at least one governor, Jindal of Louisiana, has warned of the possibility of a “rebellion” and of a “hostile takeover of Washington, D.C., to preserve the American Dream for our children and grandchildren,” (quote from Gov. Bobby Jindal’s keynote address at a recent Faith and Freedom Coalition event). But, lulled to sleepiness if not outright sleep by our toys, treasures and pleasures, we Americans for the most part are only vaguely uneasy about our Social Security, Medicare, and 401Ks.
Will some of us live to see such events as Governor Jindal speaks? Possibly. Some would even say probably. In light of these things, the Words of the Holy Ghost to Timothy are appropriate:“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them,” (2 Timothy 3:14). These words follow those quoted above regarding the proliferation of evil men and deceivers in these days of apostasy. What shall we who believe in the absolute sovereignty of God in all things do? What shall we do who hold to “mother-church daughter-church succession?” “Continue thou!” Stay with the Word of God! Believe God’s Book and practice accordingly! What better advice can be given? Do not jump overboard when it seems the old ship of Zion is about to be overwhelmed and the seas of apostasy and opposition are tossing her about. Do not panic! Let us remain faithful to Christ and to the system of doctrine taught in the Bible! In that we shall not err. God has not changed, does not change, and will not change: why should we?