Thursday, May 7, 2015

“Discerning the Signs of the Times” by Pastor Phil Andrukaitis

A pastor-friend from Maine recently wrote this below, what was on his heart. I agree with it. It's on my heart too.

In Hosea 5:12, the LORD promised to bring moth-like judgment upon Israel.

But I am like a moth to Ephraim, and like dry rot to the house of Judah.

Gill's Exposition explains this long-slow kind of judgment.
Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth,.... Which eats garments, penetrates into them, feeds on them privately, secretly, without any noise, and gradually and slowly consumes them; but at last utterly, that they are of no use and profit: this may signify the various things which befell the ten tribes in the reigns of Zachariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, and Pekah, which secretly and gradually weakened them
It is not hard to imagine the Lord employing the same kind of judgment on America and other nations as we deepen our apostasy and turn from Him.

Pastor Andrukaitis
The author of the piece below, Pastor Phil Andrukaitis, is senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, South Portland Maine. Please read the below and see if you agree also.

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“Discerning the Signs of the Times”

When hostile, threatened, religious leaders questioned Jesus about His identity and ministry, Jesus responded, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red;’ and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.” (Matthew 16:1-3).

I’m reminded of an earlier time during the initial reign of King David [1011 BC – 971 BC], when the men of Issachar, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, were identified as those “who had an understanding of the times...” (1st Chronicles 12:32).

Question: I wonder how many Christians understand the present times in which we live.

In my devotional reading this morning, my heart was moved by King Josiah’s response when the Book of the Law [God’s Word] had been found in the house of the LORD, while it was being restored by faithful servants.

Evidently, during his grandfather’s 55-year reign as king [Manasseh] and his father’s 2-year reign [Amon], the Book of the Law was lost because these two kings, like many kings before them, had served idols, seduced the nation to follow after other gods, and shed much innocent blood throughout the nation. However, when Hilkiah the high priest found the Book of the Law, he brought it to the attention of King Josiah.

As the Book of the Law was read to King Josiah, the Scriptures says that Josiah’s heart was tender. In addition, Josiah humbled himself before the LORD when he heard what lay ahead for the nation – judgment and desolation because the nation had turned away from God Almighty and had forsaken His Word. And Josiah wept before God and he tore his clothes (2nd Kings 22:1-20). Judgment was on the doorstep of the nation. Judgment was certain. God had set the date.

Questions: First, how do we respond when the Word of God is read? Think about it. Are our hearts tender towards the Word? Do we humble ourselves before God? Do we weep and grieve over the sins in our lives, in our families, in our churches, in our nation? Do we desire spiritual and numerical growth for the body of Christ?

Second, I wonder how oblivious God’s people are towards the events unfolding in our world today. I am not an alarmist who is crying, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” Rather, my cry is, “Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!”

Consider the sins of our nation for just a moment.

ABORTION: We have slaughtered nearly 55 million innocent infants in their mother’s wombs in the past 42 years, all for the sake of “protecting a woman’s choice.” This is a most damnable grievance before God. God is not going to turn away from the innocent cries of these infants. I praise God that these little ones who have been forsaken are in the presence of Jesus.

GBLT: We have cut loose the mooring lines that held this nation firm to the biblical, moral foundation by forsaking the Bible. The LORD God identifies these lifestyles an abomination in His eyes.

SELF: As sinners, we are prone to demote God in our lives and promote ourselves as “gods,” choosing to follow our sinful passions with a heart full of pride. Consequently, every imaginable sin flows out from our hearts and through our lives.

Listen, America is under God’s judgment. The Lord warned ancient Israel that if His people turn away from Him and forsake His Word, God would bring upon them the following curses (Deuteronomy 28): A state of confusion, diseases, natural calamities, rampant domestic violence, economic collapse, and evil rulers.

While these curses were specifically given to ancient Israel, principally speaking, our nation is experiencing the same type of judgments. Consider the evil rulers throughout our nation, the state of confusion and corruption within government, the growing unrest in our country, and the increasing disrespect for authority in our land.

I believe our nation is on the verge of a global economic collapse. I believe government is waiting for the right opportunity to impose martial law in our country. And I believe the church is on the threshold of her glorious hour, especially when God visits our nation with judgment. May the church of Jesus Christ do away with its stupid, petty fights and truly demonstrate that they are Christians, known by their love for one another and others.

I believe it is too late for America. However, it is not too late for individuals to return to the Lord. Confess your sins and your role in the moral collapse of our nation. Believe that Jesus died for you, paying your sin debt by being crucified on the cross. The Bible says, “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22). Believe that Jesus rose from His grave, as this is God the Father’s proof that Jesus’ sacrifice was acceptable and that Jesus has conquered death, sin, and the grave. Moreover, the Lord is willing to forgive the humble, repentant sinner who comes to Jesus in faith. Go on, surrender your life to Him and know the forgiveness and peace that comes with knowing God through a personal relationship with Jesus.


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By Pastor Phl Andrukaitis, Pastor First Baptist Church South Portland, ME. Phil enjoys fishing and target shooting. His passion is making disciples. As a former Marine, his motto is "Honor, courage and commitment are 'corps' values that build character. Phil has been married to Sally for over thirty years.


Further Reading

John MacArthur on America: A Nation Abandoned by God

My Utmost for His Highest: Judgment and the Love of God

"What signs indicate that the end times are approaching?"

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