By Roy Burner - Minister of the Gospel
Has restraint departed as we fall under the clutches of a Sodom and Gomorrah mentality? Have we evolved into a Babylon setting which become the hold of every foul spirit? Have we not embraced the ungodliness that existed in those places?
Has restraint departed with the influx of ungodliness far surpassing those mentioned periods of time? The answer is YES for we are seeing gross immorality prevailing, in many nations of the world, with little resolve to stop its rapid gain.
There is little discipline in personal and social activities through such a medium as the World Wide Web; little control as to what is allowed to flourish. Restraint is to bridle, censor, or control. We are seeing little evidence of these terms being applied or even considered. (Comment)
Scripture tells of a time that the people were as one, and they had one language; and that nothing would be restrained from them which they purposed to do (Genesis 11:6). Has restraint departed in that period of time; YES, for the people were unanimous in purpose and design, being of one mind and language, to perform that which they had devised and were carrying out, without the benefit of God.
They said: Let us build a city, and a tower, whose top may reach into heaven (Genesis 11:4). The people had no desire towards desisting from their work; they were obstinate and self-willed, not to be persuaded to leave off the intended goal of reaching into Heaven, without the benefit of God.
No power on earth seemed superior enough to stop them. They would not be restrained from their enterprise, or hindered from performing it, except by the very power they ignored, which would come from on High! Has restraint departed in our day as well?
Has restraint departed because of the immorality of our day forcing its controlling influence on others, YES. Even the children of the land, through teaching and coaching, are being introduced to ungodly ways by those who persist in their determination of painting such as being acceptable in today's culture?
Has Pandora's box of ills been opened? In Greek mythology a story is told of a box sent by the gods to Pandora, which she was forbidden to open. She opened the box out of curiosity that loosened a swarm of evils upon mankind; a prolific source of troubles.
We are witnessing a swarm of evils becoming acceptable; departure from godly ways, to indulge in previously unacceptable ways, with no remorse or shame.
Scripture speaks of those who being ignorant of the righteousness of God are going about to establish their own righteousness, having not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God (Romans 10:3).
In many once godly nations where gross immorality is prevailing, it is because there has been a withdrawal from the teaching and preaching of God's Word rather than strict adherence. There is a new generation of believers who are allowing secularization to be more of an influence than the Word of God.
Has restraint departed is a question that each person has to answer as they look in the mirror of self. Those who have had their minds seared as a hot iron (1 Timothy 4:2) certainly would be blinded to such a question; having already indulged in the ways of the world.
There are those who may be in mid-stream, attempting to have the best of both ways, secular and spiritual, but cannot. God's Word reveals: No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and despise the other (Matthew 6:24).
The last category are those who are sold out to God; unwillingly to compromise, whose restraint is due to the Word of God being implanted in their hearts and mind; being steadfast and unmovable (1 Corinthians 5:58).
The apostle Paul, while in Athens, had his spirit provoked within as he saw the city given over to idol worship (Acts 17:16). After having expounded the Word of God, some mocked, others said, we will hear again of this matter, but others joined to him, and believed (Acts 17:32-34).
Three classes of people; three different responses, with all having heard (Matthew 13:3-8). Thank God for those of today; who have received the truth as in Paul's day, having their hearts and lives open to the Gospel of truth, acknowledging the Lord Jesus Christ, joining in belief and acceptance of the salvation message!
Let us pray that the first two categories, those who mocked, those who had yet to receive, but were interested; will come to the fullness of the Gospel, as that of the third category of a life in Christ.
The Psalmist David revealed: I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined to me, and heard my cry. He brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay (that which was attempting to hold him there), and set my feet upon a rock (the pathway of deliverance), and established my steps (Psalm 40:1-2).
What a blessed day that was! A blessed day in my own life; when deliverance from sin was manifested, all restraints to hold me in captivity lifted, and a newness of life flooding into my soul, through Jesus Christ becoming my Lord and Savior (John 3:16).
Scripture reveals a time, in the prophet Ezekiel's day, when it was revealed to him the abominations being committed in the land, with the Lord asking him: Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? For they say, the Lord sees us not (Ezekiel 8:12).
Ezekiel was then taken to the door of the gate of the Lord's house, and there sat women weeping for a fertility God (Ezekiel 8:14). He was then brought to the inner court of the Lord's house, where 25 men had their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east (Ezekiel 8:16).
The Lord said to Ezekiel: Son of man is it a trivial thing that they commit the abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence, and have provoked me to anger. Therefore will I deal in fury; my eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity (Ezekiel 8:17-18).
In saying "God sees us not" they were grossly mistaken for scripture reveals: The Lord looks down from heaven; from the place of his habitation he looks upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He considers all their ways (Psalm 33:13-15). God is well aware of the immorality; the ungodliness being consumed in any land!
Where is your zeal and your strength, the yearning of your heart and your mercies toward me? Are they restrained (Isaiah 63:15)? Those words could certainly be asked today as devastation, turmoil, violence, have come increasingly into focus; because of lack of focus on God.
Have once godly nations allowed the devourer to come in? Have they allowed the protective hedge to be lowered (Isaiah 5:5)? Are they reaping what they have sown in allowing ungodliness to reign instead of the righteousness of God?
The prophet Hosea declared: Hear the word of the Lord: for the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break all restraints (Hosea 4:1-2). Has restraint departed in many once godly lands bringing similar results?
Has restraint departed was a resounding YES in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah. Scripture reveals that God turned those cities into ashes; condemning them with an overthrow, making them an example to those that afterward should live ungodly (2 Peter 2:6).
In the case of Babylon, the hold of every foul spirit, her plagues would come in one day; death, mourning, and famine, to be utterly destroy with fire (Revelation 18:8). As to the future of the ungodly; scripture reveals that the heavens and the earth which are now, are kept in store reserved unto fire until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men (2 Peter 3:7).
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise but is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements therein shall be burned up (2 Peter 3:9-10).
Seeing that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness. We (the believers in Christ), according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness (2 Peter 3:11-13).
Wherefore, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless (2 Peter 3:14). Has restraint departed to those looking for such a promise: is a resounding NO!
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