His listeners at the time were fearful. Moses had been their leader their entire lives. Now, Joshua was about to assume that role. The people were camped on the plains of Moab, about to enter the Promised Land. They were doubtful, afraid, facing impending war with the inhabitants of the land, and tempted to run away, yet there was nowhere to run. No direction to go but forward -- led by a new leader they were not quite sure of yet. Additionally, they were about to start a whole new way of life. Rather than being wanderers, they were now to become settlers, pioneers. Finally, they would have a place to put down roots and call “home,” in the land the Lord had promised their parents and grandparents. An entirely new concept to them.
So in his old age, as Moses wrote these words, you can imagine he was careful to make sure he emphasized those things that were most vitally important. Thus, his writings in Deuteronomy were his last chance to give final instructions as to how to live a Godly, righteous and pleasing life before the Lord, and thereby receive the blessings of God, raise healthy families in Godly homes, create a nation and a culture that would flourish and be pleasing before the Lord. And it was his hope that these precious words would be heeded and followed for all future generations. He didn’t just make a speech or give a sermon -- he WROTE THESE WORDS DOWN -- for his people then, and for all of mankind, for all time. Ancient wisdom of antiquity, yet we can still read these very words for ourselves today. Despite the fact that evil men have done their best to stamp out God’s Word from existence, from the minute it was originally written and in every generation since, it simply cannot be done... praise the Lord for His loving instruction, not willing that any should be lost, or left without His divine guidance.
In Chapter 5 of Deuteronomy, Moses repeated the Law given to him by God Himself, as recorded in the book of Exodus. Then, in Chapter six, he emphasized this: “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
As you read the Bible and understand the history of God’s people -- and perhaps more importantly, the history of the WORLD -- you realize that when these words of Moses were followed, the family unit -- and the culture at large -- was always blessed by God.
But when the wisdom and instruction of God were abandoned, families collapsed, children ran wild and anarchy and cursing of nations resulted, every time. Today it has been more than 3400 years since Moses penned the words of Deuteronomy. Few today read them anymore at all; and when they are proclaimed in our churches, they seem to go in one ear and directly out the other. They’ve become nothing more than “nice platitudes” -- but almost no one really takes them seriously anymore.
As a result, we see our entire WORLD in turmoil, and here at home in the United States, the word “family” has been completely redefined to be the exact OPPOSITE of God’s design. Men sodomizing other men and calling THAT a “family.” Women abandoning their natural affections, turning instead to other women and calling THAT a “family.” And now we’ve strayed so far from God that we can’t even say for sure which gender we are.... how twisted we become when we abandon the laws of God and nature!
The basic building blocks of a Godly, righteous society have been undermined by the enemy of our souls, working through evil men and women who despise God’s authority. The definition of “family” has now been replaced by moral relativism, re-written to mean whatever WE want it to mean. As we go about being “wise in our own eyes,” the foundation of our families has crumbled and we no longer look to God for wisdom and rescue. Now we look to secular thinkers and government to be our saviors. How’s that been working for us? Surely abandoning the antiquated precepts of a “superstitious, Patriarchal religion’” would free us and bring about utopia on earth, right? Take a look around. I report, YOU decide.
Next, I would like to remind you of a verse we hear often, written by the wisest man on earth, Solomon. Proverbs 2: 6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Paul reiterates the concept of properly raising children in Ephesians chapter 6: “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
Yet what has happened to our kids today? I certainly do not mean to criticize ALL young people, because I know MANY who are stellar examples of integrity, honor, courage and Godliness. In fact, I know SOME who are more Godly, courageous, bold and honorable than most adults. But as I follow the news from our college campuses around America, I am NOT encouraged. Their worldviews and ideology are twisted and demented, their minds depraved. As I see the herds of young people after public High School and Middle School lets out for the day, walking in packs down the street, all looking down, all staring blankly, mezmerized by their smart phones, I can guarantee you, they’re not reading Scripture. Statistics bear out the fact that our public schools here in America are failing our kids. Despite the fact that there are many good, well-meaning teachers in these schools, the dumbing down of America, I truly believe, is intentional and orchestrated. This is by design.
Here are some statistics: According to the website RankingAmerica, the US ranks 24th in LITERACY, while at the same time, 2nd in IGNORANCE of moral, social and historical knowledge. We also rank 1st in all the nations of world when it comes to ANXIETY DISORDERS, 4th in the world in PORNOGRAPHY USE and 21st in overall HAPPINESS. Meanwhile, more and more Americans are leaving church, abandoning their faith and embracing either no faith at all, or choosing Secular Humanism and Moral Relativism; not to mention the concept of “Democratic Socialism,” which could be better described as “Mobocracy.” According to studies, a full 85% of young people leave their faith in Christ the minute they leave home and begin college. I dare say that many never had much faith to begin with, due to inadequate Christian education from their churches and a lack of consistent, Godly leadership in the home.
In the book “Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers,” authors Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton report: “The majority of teenagers are incredibly inarticulate about their faith, religious beliefs and practices, and its place in their lives. The de facto dominant religion among contemporary U.S. teenagers is what they call ‘Moralistic Therapeutic Deism’: A God exists who created and orders the world and watches over human life on earth; God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions; the central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself; God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem; and good people go to heaven when they die.”
These are the predominant beliefs of modern American teenagers; and while most attended a Christian church during their childhood, their faith and theology is absurdly shallow. So what WAS their church experience growing up? Bible STORIES in Sunday School and “Childrens’ Church” where they heard a story, presented like a fairy tale, then colored a picture page and were given a snack and had play time. Then they returned to the secular public schools where God was never allowed, but foul cursing of His name was readily accepted in the hallways; the truth of His Word was replaced by the lies of secular science, and the radical leftist opinions of God-hating socialist instructors formed the worldviews of our precious children. Parents did NOT keep the commands of God on their hearts, nor teach them to their children diligently in their homes, when they walked by the way, when they laid down or when they rose up. They left all that to the “Church.”
Then the kids went off to college where the instructors seem to have two main goals for incoming freshmen: 1) get them to abandon any shred of Christian faith they may have left and 2) get them to question their sexuality and experiment freely with alternative lifestyles. When those children returned to their parents, their parents no longer recognized them, and wondered where they went wrong... after all, they took them to church every Sunday!
Now, it’s confession time for me. And I hope you will grant me some grace. I was raised in a Christian home. I was the first kid in my town to ever sign up to be an “AWANA clubber.” We attended a rock-solid Bible church and I learned and memorized God’s Word from my earliest childhood. But as I became a teenager, I began to drift. AWANA, for me, had ended. I was too old. Our youth group at church was not the best. I still read the Bible on my own, but the enticements of the world drew me in. I made many poor choices as a youth and many mistakes I still regret today.
I never finished college, but while I was there, I wrote for the college newspaper. Believe it or not, I wrote an article advocating Jesse Jackson for president. Yes, within just a few months of attending a state-run public college, I had already sipped the liberal Kool-aide. I attended only one year, and decided it was not for me. I can’t imagine what would have happened to me had I stayed for four years or longer. Instead, I went out and learned a trade and opened my own business -- a photography studio. That was the best education I could have ever obtained, because I not only taught myself a trade, but the experience also trained me up for life in the real world, and the Holy Spirit continued to work within me, and guided me back to clear thinking.
It took a while to shake off the indoctrination of liberalism I had received during my time in college. I remember hearing Rush Limbaugh speak on the radio for the first time, and thought he was a real “jerk” because of his conservative stance. And it’s incredibly embarassing for me to admit today, but I also stood in line for four hours in 1990 to hear Jerry Brown, now the governor of California, speak as he campaigned for president. Then I stood for another hour afterwards to shake his hand. (Incidentally, he had the softest, most delicate hands I’ve ever encountered on a human being ever before, or ever since -- clearly, he has never done a single day’s hard work in his life).
But I DID grow up. As the Scripture says, “when they are old, they will not depart from it.” The thing with this, though, is, it takes some people a LOT longer to grow up, and “old” is not a specified age. Yet the promise remains. But the promise includes a command: “Train up a child in the way he should go.”
Our country’s culture and our world is in complete disarray today because we have multiple generations that have never done that. They have let their kids “decide for themselves” regarding any sort of faith. They have NOT trained them up. They have NOT taught them in the home and parents have NOT modeled the Christian life in front of their children.
When my wife and I got married, we determined to do life right, and to raise our children knowing Jesus. We prayed for each one from the moment they were conceived, and together as a family every day. Our kids are not perfect, but neither have they departed from what they know is true, or ever strayed, for very long, from the narrow road.
God’s Word lays out, clearly, to all who will hear, instructions for building the Foundation of the Family, which truly IS the Foundation of a Godly society, culture and nation. Doing life any other way will only bring calamity, which we see now, regularly, in our daily news.
On March 10th and 11th, we are hosting our annual Wisconsin Christian News Ministry Expo and Conference titled “REVIVING THE REMNANT BY REVEALING THE TRUTH.” Julaine Appling of the Wisconsin Family Council will speak on the topic of The Foundation of the Family. During the Conference, we will also be addressing all the other most vital and urgent things that we, as Christians, need to learn about and act upon in these troubled times. Usama Dakdok will Reveal the Truth about Islam. Peter Labarbera will Reveal the Truth about the Homosexual Agenda, Coach Dave Daubenmire will Reveal the Truth about Making the Church Great Again, Pastor Matt Trewhella will Reveal the Truth about Why Abortion Should Matter to the Church, and Pastor Terry Fischer will speak on the Revelation of Jesus Christ. This is the most powerful lineup of speakers we have ever assembled, and we will be addressing the most vital and important things that we, as God’s remnant Church MUST deal with in such a time as this. Please plan now to join us. It will be the most powerful event you’ve been to in a very long time. Call me for me details.