“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3). I have used this text as the launching point for several sermons. It goes right to the heart of what American Christians face in the present godless, anti-religious, especially anti-Christian, climate. It has motivated me to preach boldly the unimpeachable principles of the Bible that I was raised on; that have been the foundation of our nation, the most blessed and prosperous in history. But they are now being removed with increasing rapidity—What will I do? What will you do? What will we do?
Recent experiences have further compelled me to stand for the truth: It was the second Monday in June, and Benny and I had just returned from a trip to West Virginia to visit my son and his wife. I was busy that night putting things away, tired, and ready to go to bed. Around one AM, I suddenly awoke when I felt someone grab my arm. I opened my eyes and saw a dark figure standing by my bedside wearing a dark cloak with a hood. I could not see the face. I thought it was a burglar, so I pretended to be asleep, thinking he would just rob us and leave me alone. I lay very still, until I begin to feel sharp pain enter my body where he was sticking his finger into my side. I knew then it was satanic, and I began boldly and firmly rebuking it in Jesus’ name. After a time of praying and quoting Scripture, I felt it leave. I went back to sleep, and I was fine the rest of the night.
However, whenever these strong attacks occur, afterwards I am often attacked with these thoughts:
You should stop preaching so hard about the sins of America and false teaching in the church! You need to stay away from controversial issues like abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, transgenderism—hot button topics! You need to pull back on political issues like religious freedom, Supreme Court and federal judgeships, exposing the evils of Islam, and supporting Israel—You may risk offending not only sinners and unbelievers, but Saints who don't care about these issues and only want to hear sermonettes that make them happy and edified—Then the devil would not come against you so strongly, and you wouldn't have to deal with these attacks!
Where do you think these thoughts came from?
A Word of the Lord
That following Friday night I was getting ready for bed again. The TV in the bedroom was on a Christian program, but I was only getting snippets of the dialogue here and there, as I went in and out. While finishing up in the bathroom, I heard the people talking about hearing a word from God, and they were relating their personal experiences. Immediately, the thought popped into my head: I'd like to hear a word from God—right now!
Just as quickly, the thought rose up from my spirit: Psalm 94:16. It was so strong, I instantly knew it was from the Lord, but I didn’t know what the scripture says. I keep a slimline Bible on my bathroom counter, and I quickly grabbed it and turned to Psalm 94:16:
“Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?” In a split second, I said out loud: “I will, Lord!”
As I prepared for that Sunday's message, the Lord directed me to notes I had written a while ago about removing ancient landmarks. When God was leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, He gave them laws, principles, and instructions they were to implement in the new nation. One of these was a strong prohibition against removing a neighbor's landmark. God gave the borders of the territories for each of the 12 tribes, and within those borders were family/clan inheritances. He instructed Moses before they went into the land that they were never to remove those landmarks:
“You shall not remove your neighbor's landmark which they of old time have set in your inheritance…. in the land the Lord your God gives you to possess” (Deut. 19:14). “Cursed be he that removes his neighbor’s landmark…” (27:17). Thousands of years later, Solomon reiterated the commandment: “Remove not the ancient landmarks which your fathers have set” (Pro. 22:28).
A landmark is a fixed object serving as a boundary marker to a tract of land. In the holy land, stone pillars were used to divide neighbors’ properties, and some exist to this day. A landmark can be a prominent or memorable object in the landscape, such as the Washington Monument, Jefferson and Lincoln monuments in the nation’s capital, and the hundreds of crosses and Stars of David that stand in Arlington National Cemetery marking the graves of America's brave.
It can also be used metaphorically to refer to a memorable, distinguishing fact or event that marks a distinct point in time or history, such as government policies and laws. One of the most notable is the Proclamation of Emancipation abolishing slavery, signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It changed the course of American history. So did the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote in 1920. These are landmarks on the timeline of our nation’s history.
God told His people that when He took them into the Land, and they received the portion of their tribe’s territory, landmarks were to be erected to mark out each property, and they were never to be removed, because removing them would bring a curse upon them! Those were physical landmarks, but there are spiritual landmarks God gave to America, erected on the foundation of biblical principles and Christian values, that should never be removed.
America’s Landmarks Are Being Destroyed
Up until the 1960s, this foundation of righteousness undergirded our nation for 200 years. But in the past 50 years, we have seen the removal of vital pillars of this foundation. We were shocked when prayer was removed from public schools in 1962 which was quickly followed by the removal of Bible reading. I don't believe any Christian can honestly look at the condition of America's public schools, with all of its violence, crime, and murders, and not agree that a curse has come upon them.
A decade later, in 1973, we were incredulous when the Supreme Court passed the landmark case Roe v. Wade, legalizing abortion. This landmark decision changed the boundaries of the sanctity of life, absolutely turning this divine law on its head. Since then we have seen the escalation of godlessness, violence, juvenile delinquency, divorce, fatherless homes, and the wholesale disdain for the Bible. It was spawned by the removal of creationism teaching from public schools, while the theory of evolution is taught as factual. Consequently, if God did not create us, then what He said in His Word about marriage and sex doesn't matter, so do whatever feels right to you.
Personally, I didn't believe we would see the day when the biblical model of marriage between a man and woman would be struck down. But in 2015, we witnessed the shocking landmark decision of the SCOTUS legalizing same-sex marriage. This affront against the Bible opened the door to what we are experiencing today—cultural chaos—because of the removal of the most basic, indispensable landmark of all: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen. 1:27). We are witnessing a deluge of the demonic doctrine that gender does not define a person. You can change your gender. You can flow back and forth between genders, depending on your mood.
Men are having babies–he's not the husband–but the wife, and the wife is actually the father and husband. Confused? It is a case of a double transgender couple, but their biological, genetic bodies are still the sex they were born with, and in order to have a baby, they had to do it the old-fashioned way as God created them.
Consider this article in the Baltimore Sun on June 18, 2017, originally published in the Chicago Tribune. This is not Facebook lore, but noted newspapers of national prominence. The headline: “LGBTQIA…Why LGBT Initialism Keeps Growing”
Most of us are becoming familiar with L (lesbian) G (gay) B (bisexual) T (transgender). But what do these new additions mean? Q stands for queer. This used to be considered a derogatory statement, but no longer. It is now not only acceptable, but in some cases preferred, and can mean questioning what one's gender really is. It is considered to be the umbrella the rest are under. I stands for intersex (formerly hermaphrodites). A stands for asexual (sexless) which defies both Bible and biology.
The article stated that more letters may be added as labels evolve and words take on new meanings. I would like to add the letter C for confused! Or the letter D for deceived. This culture of confusion is a result of removing the ancient landmarks of creationism and biblical marriage. In my opinion, it is bringing a curse upon America, and the next generation will reap the worst consequences.
Removing ancient landmarks that are the underpinnings of civilization and society as God designed them is like tearing down a weight-bearing wall in a building. When people decide to remove a wall between the kitchen and dining area or living area, etc., it is imperative to know if it is a weight bearing wall which is holding up a second-floor and/or roof. If it is, and they remove it, there may not be any noticeable damage at first. They can paint, decorate, and enjoy their new openness for a while. But eventually, they will notice cracks in the ceiling and walls, and they may notice the floor is going downhill in some places. By the time these things are noticed, serious damage is underway which will be costly to repair. Before anything can be repaired properly, a pillar or beam must be installed to support the structure compromised by the removal of the wall. In some cases, the sagging floor must be jacked up from the basement with pillars installed to support it. Translate this scenario on a national, political, spiritual level, and you understand what is happening in America.
What Landmark Will Be Next To Go?
What religious pillar will be removed next? How long before it will be a crime to preach what the Scriptures say about creation, abortion, marriage, and immorality? How long before preachers are threatened with fines and jail for simply preaching what the Bible says about these issues? It is already a crime in our nearest neighbor, Canada. A Christian school in Alberta was told to remove passages from 1Corinthians that speak against homosexuality. Ontario has passed a law to remove young children from their homes if the parents refuse to allow them to transgender. You may be thinking, That is Canada. The state of California has already mandated that LGBT history be taught in public schools. As Christians, we must stand true to the truth of the Bible. Either it's right and we believe it, or it's not, and it doesn't matter. If the Bible is wrong on these issues, how can we know if it’s right about eternal life and heaven?
Is America’s Conscience Becoming Seared?
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20).
We may wonder why someone would call evil good, and the answer is—it begins with resisting the truth in little ways about little things. But every time one ignores his conscience and resists the truth, a layer of hardness forms on his conscience. This is how someone becomes reprobate: “These also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the truth” (1Tim.4:2).
The conscience is a beautiful thing when it is good, pure, and working. It acts as an inner alarm system to warn us when we are erring from truth (1Tim.1:5, 19, 3:9). But Paul said there are many whose “consciences are defiled” (Tit.1:15) as though they have been “seared with a hot iron” (2Tim.3:8). They have become desensitized to the promptings of a good conscience, until they can commit evil and feel no conviction. It is a subtle erosion of righteousness in a person's life that permits him to develop a tolerance for sin. If he becomes tolerant of sin in others, then he will become tolerant of sin in himself. This is the progression:
Something thought to be unthinkable and unacceptable—
Is reluctantly tolerated—which is to allow without active opposition—
Then condoned—to overlook; treat as forgiven—
Then endorsed—to approve as okay in God's eyes, and finally—
Openly promoted—to advance; to raise to greater dignity.
We have seen this in the Body of Christ with fornication, unmarried couples living together, un-biblical divorces, homosexuality, and now same-sex marriage. There are ministers who, in the name of love and grace, will not preach against these sins. Jesus said in the days right before His return, it would be as it was in the days of Noah: Violence filled the earth; all flesh had corrupted its way; men's imaginations were only wicked continually, until it repented God that He had made man (Ref. Gen.6:5-13). “But Noah found grace in the sight of the Lord,” because he did not compromise with the world, though he was surrounded by corruption. God said to him, “Come into the ark…. for you I have found righteous before me in this generation” (Gen.7:1).
One man!—Noah—“a preacher of righteousness—condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (Ref.: Heb.11:7, 1Pet.3:19-20, 2Pet.2:5). Noah proved it’s possible to live in a corrupt world and preach righteousness; to stand for God in the face of mockers and scorners—this is true biblical grace!
A City On A Hill
Jesus said: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid” (Matt.5:14). In a literal sense, Washington DC, our nation’s capital, is a city set on a hill. National news correspondents in Washington commonly stand with the Capitol building in the background, and upon the conclusion of the story, the reporter will state his/her name: “—reporting from Capitol Hill.” Sometimes they shorten it: “Up on the hill today, the Senators met in secret session.” It is common to refer to the Capitol building as “the hill,” and when someone says, “on the hill,” we immediately know he is referring to the Capitol, the seat of our federal government, where the House of Congress and Senate legislate.
Washington, in many ways, is the most recognizable landmark on the planet and the highest seat of government, the emblem of liberty and freedom, the ideal of human government. Decisions made on the hill have far reaching powers and influence. Washington is a city set on a hill, and a city set on a hill cannot be hid. When we examine the physical government buildings and monuments in Washington DC, we quickly see the Christian foundation they were built upon, and their voices can still be heard today in the City that cannot be hid.
The Capitol: Its cornerstone was laid by George Washington, our first President. Later a box containing significant documents about the nation’s founding was inserted into the cornerstone by Daniel Webster, Secretary of State. He said: “To all here assembled, whether belonging to public life or private life, with happy hearts devoutly thankful to Almighty God for the presence of the liberty and happiness of our country, unite in sincere and fervent prayer that the deposit in the walls and arches, the domes and towers, the columns and entablatures now to be erected over it, may endure forever. God save the United States of America.”
On the walls of its Rotunda hang beautiful oil paintings of our founding fathers, some signing documents and in other postures. In nearly all, there is some reference to God: A Bible or someone kneeling in prayer. Throughout the Capitol are many references to Scripture. In the House of Representatives, engraved upon the marble wall above the seat of the Speaker of the House is our national motto approved by the Senate and Congress: “In God We Trust.”
Today, this landmark motto is being challenged by those who want it removed from our money, along with those who want “one nation under God” removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. If they succeed, their removal will surely bring a curse upon this nation.
What will the righteous do? Who will rise up against the evildoers? Who will stand against the workers of iniquity?
Defining each of the nine Gifts and its function, this revelatory, solid teaching of the Charismata definitively examines each of these portions of grace and its scope of operation.All Sermons by Sharon Hardy Knotts and R. G. Hardy