By Roy Burner (Minister of the Gospel)
A degenerate society is one that deviates from the norm of yesteryear; departing from its moral upbringing, and former status as a godly nation.
A new inroad has been laid towards ungodliness that far surpasses the Pre-flood era of Noah, Sodom and Gomorrah, and Babylon the hold of every foul spirit. It is like a prevailing wind that continues its path despite any obstacles placed before it.
King Solomon stated: Whatever my eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy (or pleasure); for my heart rejoiced in all my labor: and this was my portion (or reward) (Ecclesiastes 2:10).
Solomon seemed well-pleased with all that he accomplished; until the next verse sheds a new light on the subject: Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity (or in futility) and vexation of spirit (or a grasping for the wind), and there was no profit under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:11).
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear (or reverence) God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work under judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
We live in an electronic age that leaves little to be withheld from one's eyes; or whatever one's heart desires, simply at the touch of a button. A Bible commentary noted: God has commanded man to live responsibly and wise. The controlling factor of all of life should be the fear (or reverence) of God; submission to God and His commandments. The certainty of divine judgment demands it.
There are many who take the Word of God lightly; or attempt to water it down, as the serpent in the Garden of Eden to sway Eve into acceptance of the forbidden fruit. A degenerate society would never have come into focus; had God's Word not been tampered with, on that ill-conceived day, as it continues to be today.
Scripture reveals: I had planted you a noble vine, wholly a right seed; how then are you turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me (Jeremiah 2:21). This was speaking of the nation of Israel which God had prepared as a plant of a noble vine; which had become degenerate, a vine in which there was no fruit or profit.
A similar story is told in the Parable of the Vineyard: God planted a vineyard in a very fruitful hill. He fenced it, and gathered out the stones, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein, and he looked that it should be forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes (Isaiah 5:2).
Many once godly nations; having been carefully nurtured by the hand of God; have caved into the desires of the ungodly, thus producing wild grapes; becoming a degenerate society, not what God intended for mankind.
Scripture reveals: What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes (Isaiah 5:4)?
Many once godly nations have seen great revivals in the past; drawing many to God! That was when God was nurturing His vineyard, fencing it, taking out the stones, planting it with the choicest vine; of His Word and Spirit.
Man after testing the forbidden fruit of our modern day culture, is now void of such influence; becoming a degenerate society that has taken on the features of Solomon's declaration: Whatsoever my eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy (or pleasure)!
The parable of the vineyard became a parable of judgment; it need not have happened, neither does once godly nations have to experience God's wrath, unless they fail to restore their first love to the God of Creation! God gave a promise to Solomon regarding the people of Israel; that is applicable to all who will call on the Lord in repentance and faith:
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways (that of a degenerate society); then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Those words declare a promise of restoration towards what God originally intended for mankind; rather than wild grapes, or degenerate plant, produced by the ungodliness being allowed to flourish!
The words spoken to Israel of old; who had forsaken the Lord, gives amply warning to any once godly nations that have allowed a degenerate society to come into existence:
If you turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; then will I pluck them up by the roots of my land which I have given them: and this house, which I have sanctified (or set apart) for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all nations (1 Chronicles 7:19-20).
Again the words of Solomon: God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
The parable of the vineyard ended as a parable of judgment: I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up (or consumed); and will break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden (or trampled) down: and I will lay it waste; it shall not be pruned, or digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it (Isaiah 5:5-6).
Has the protective shield toward once godly nations been lifted? Has the hedge been lowered to allow God's judgment to be experienced rather than His continued blessings? Are many once godly nations now seeing woes instead of blessings? Is it because a degenerate society has been allowed to manifest itself; rather than being rejected?
Scripture reveals: When the unclean spirit is come out of a man (or nation), he walks (or goes) through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, I will return into my house from where I came out; and when he is come, he finds it empty, swept, and garnished (Matthew 12:43-44). A Bible commentary noted: Jesus gives a striking parable of the precarious spiritual condition of a nation. Only in inviting Christ to be the honored guest and head, can any nation know the full blessings of God.
Scripture reveals: Then he goes, and takes with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man (or nation) is worse than the first! Even so shall it be also to this wicked generation (Matthew 12:45). We are witnessing an abundance of evilness invade many once godly nations, as a degenerate society grows by leaps and bounds, rather than being repulsed.
In our present time, in many once godly nations, we are seeing a degenerate society of even greater proportions; exercising its advance, with few attempting to advert its tentacles of success. This has allowed the spiritual condition of many once godly nations to weaken, with ungodliness raising its ugly head, rather than godly deportment that once existed.
The church, in many Western nations, has allowed the seed of corruption to rule the day rather than take a stand in opposition to such. A legendary evangelist of the first Great Awakening, Charles G. Finney, stated: Our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours to a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it, if the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it.
A man of God noted: We are living in a very permissive day when the religious world is so tolerant to most any and all kinds of standards and lifestyles. This permissiveness and tolerance is the result of a self-willed and carnal minded society. Another man stated: Is it not a terrible thing to be forced by society to do things which all of us as individuals see as being abominable (Albert Einstein).
There are many voices in the past who recognized a degenerate society; and warned of a need to resist, rather than be poured into the mode of their agenda. The ripeness of such a culture is reaping the results of its indulgence and participation. Scripture reveals: Be not deceived: God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap (Galatians 6:7).
Scripture reveals a denunciation of the wicked: In heart you work wickedness; you weigh the violence of your hands in the earth (Psalm 58:2). A Bible commentary noted: The heart of man is wickedness; it is desperately wicked, and is the shop in which all wickedness is brought forth; sinful acts that are committed with both tongue and hand. They decree unrighteous decrees, and frame mischief by a law; and in this way they openly, and everywhere, manifest themselves through the whole land.
This is the result of a degenerate society that is allowed to branch out; increase its influence, through unrighteous rulings and laws made to increase its tentacles of success. There is a failure on the part of the righteous to open the eyes of those blinded to its influence; through lack of revealing the truths of God's Word.
Scripture reveals: Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly (or wicked), nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1:1). A Bible commentary noted: The evilness of man is enmity against God; who are wise to do evil, forming schemes, and contriving ways, and means to accomplish their devious goals. Blessed is the man that does not hold fast to their declared dispositions, words, principles, or actions.
The Apostle Peter warned against such in saying: Save yourselves from this untoward (or morally crooked or perverse) generation (Acts 2:40). He was bringing attention to a degenerate society; of the wrath and ruin of such to come, exhorting one to separate themselves, be not partakers of their sins, who have forsaken God, attempting to morally corrupt others!
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