Be Strong and Courageous

About 3 years ago I gave a sermon entitled “Be Strong and Courageous”. Given the current political and moral turmoil our nation is now facing I want to share this sermon again.
After God had miraculously brought Israel out of Egypt where they had been slaves for 400 years He brought them to the edge of Canaan, the land He had promised to give them as their home. But because of fear and unbelief kept them out of their new home. They could not overcome their enemies.

Forty years later after that generation of Israelites had died, God brought them back to the border of Canaan to face their enemies again. Joshua was now their commander. As God prepared him and the Israelites for battle He said…

“After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, ‘Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go” (Joshua 1:1-7 ESV).

Canaan was occupied by idolaters. It was full of vile and wicked and evil people, people who practiced sexual immorality of all kinds and human sacrifice to the demons they worshipped. Also, the land was full of giants and walled, fortified cities. On a natural level there was every reason to be fearful, but the war that was to shortly begin would be won, not by military strength alone, but by the hand of God. Fear had no place in this war.

Today, America has become “Canaan”. It is a land full of idolaters. It is full of vile and wicked and evil people who practice sexual immorality and human sacrifice to the demons they worship. Also, it is full of giants and walled, fortified cities – government officials who possess (or have unlawfully taken) power and authority unto themselves pass immoral laws and judges who will fine and/or imprison anyone, Christians particularly, that dares take a stand for righteousness.

The result in America: Fear.

Almost every day someone I meet expresses dismay, and not just dismay, but dread and fear, at America’ political and moral landscape.

Rampant and deadly corruption are part and parcel of Obama and his administration. Judges rule and legislate from the bench, effectively turning America in a judicial oligarchy, bypassing or overruling gutless Senators and Congressmen who are more concerned about getting re-elected and living off the government – our tax dollars, than standing in the gap between the citizens of this country and a government seeking to enslave us.

People now live in fear that Hillary Clinton will be elected President; people now live in fear Donald Trump will be elected President. People now live in fear the government will confiscate their guns. People now live in fear of a national debt that will bankrupt this country and precipitate a financial crisis on a scale greater than the Great Depression in the 1930’s. People now live in fear that radical Islamic savages that kill in the name of a blood-thirsty idol they call Allah will continue to strike America as an impotent government stands helplessly by, unable or unwilling to destroy this enemy. And all of these possibilities are real. But we have no one to blame to ourselves.

Why is all this happening? Why are our leaders and judges masters of deception rather than paragons of virtue? Why is America facing financial ruin? Why is America facing possible military defeat at the hands of zealots that are the epitome of evil, evil on a scale greater that Hitler and the Nazis? Why do millions of babies continue to be slaughtered in abortion mills and their body parts traded and bartered for as so much merchandize? Why is sexual perversion of the vilest sorts becoming the new normal?

Because as a nation America no longer fear’s God.

As a result our nation has enacted vile, immoral laws that appeal to the lust of the flesh and laws that celebrate sexual perversion. America funds organizations that are depraved, organizations such as Planned Parenthood and StemExpress that reduce human beings, tiny babies, to a commodity valuable only in so far as their body parts can be harvested for use in experiments, the remainder of the baby to be discarded as medical waste.

Even worse so-called Christians are willfully biblically illiterate and happily are fed lies from the pulpits of denominations that have entered deep apostasy, denominations such as the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of North America (to name just two of the worst apostate churches).

The fear that we are experiencing as a nation and as individuals is because we have turned from God. As a individuals we have formed a more imperfect union by voting into political office vile, immoral persons giving them the legal authority (or illegal authority as Obama and Hilary are perfect examples of) to strip us of us our unalienable, God-given rights. Make no mistake, we will be held accountable by God for who we vote for, for freely electing leaders that advance and promote sin.

And what is to be the response from Christians? Are we to fear these godless leaders and judges and pastors? No! We are to be strong and courageous.

As Christians we are to face these evils with the knowledge that God is in control. God is not in Heaven pacing back and forth, wringing His hands in fear that Hillary (or Donald) will be the next President of the United States. God is not in Heaven worried about who will be put on the Supreme Court. Nor are we to live in fear of such things. Rather, we are called to fight. But the fight isn’t to begin in the political arena. That’s where Satan wants us to focus our attention, not God.

I don’t mean to imply we shouldn’t vote or stand up against ungodly leaders and laws. Indeed, we have an obligation to vote for those individuals whose values reflect biblical values and clearly speak out against those who don’t. What I do mean to imply is that our fight is to begin in the churches, in the Body of Christ, in the household of God. Peter clearly warns us…
“It is time for judgment to begin at the household of God” (1 Peter 4:17 ESV).

Folks, unless we as Christians return to the Bible, return to the Truth as revealed to us in it, call out false religious teachers and preacher, denounce denominations such as the Episcopal Church or the Evangelical Lutheran Church of North America that have become congregations of Satan we will not win this war. Paul clearly tells us, speaking to Christians…

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:10-13 ESV).

Brothers and sisters in Christ, cleanse your hearts, put on the armor of God. When we do this it will be Satan and his minions that will live with fear. And rightly so for when God’s people take a stand for righteousness in the strength and power of Jesus Christ no politician, no government will be able to overcome us.
Remember the words of Paul…

“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.” (Philippians 1:27-28 ESV).

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