W R Burner (Minister of the Gospel)
In the beginning notes what existed prior to man's attempt to alter that creation. The onset of creativity was for the betterment of mankind; until drastic steps were taken to change its original purpose.
It is like the Laodicea church which was greeted with the words: Because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth (Revelation 3:16). The Laodicea church had lost its "in the beginning" spiritual experience, saying it was rich, and increased with goods, and had need of nothing.
Laodicea means "People Ruling." Are once godly nations falling under such a concept; losing out on the spiritual aspect of their beginning, for allowing the ungodly precepts of man?
In the beginning; are the first words revealing in the Bible: IN THE BEGINNING God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void: and darkness was upon the face of the deep (waters). And the Spirit of God moved upon (hovered over) the face of the waters (Genesis 1:1-2).
God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them (Genesis 1:27). And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day (Genesis 1:31).
Scripture reveals: The earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh (mankind) had corrupted his way upon the earth (Genesis 6:11-12).
God said: Behold, I even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and everything that is in the earth shall die (Genesis 6:17).
Over a period of time man had corrupted that which God had created; with a vileness that necessitated destruction of every living thing, with a flood upon the earth; except those in the ark of safety, who would experience a new "in the beginning" experience after the waters abated.
Scripture reveals: He (God) made everything beautiful in his time: also he has set the world (eternity) in their heart, so (except) that no man can find out the work that God makes (does) from the beginning to the end (Ecclesiastes 3:11). It was noted that man cannot be satisfied with what is temporal (his time upon the earth) but his quest for the eternal would be frustrated by limitations.
God planted good in the heart of man until the great deceiver (Satan through the serpent) entered into the picture to upset God's heavenly provision. In the beginning God's Word was for the benefit of mankind but disobedience took away the existence of a heavenly paradise on earth. Man was driven from the Garden of Eden (an earthly paradise) with his life becoming of a temporal nature; with death entering into the equation of mankind.
Scripture reveals: And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined (purposed) to do (Genesis 11:6). The people were attempting to gain heaven through their own strength by building a tower whose top would reach into heaven.
Many once godly nations have risen to such heights seeking to obtain a heavenly gain through their own achievements. They embellish the establishment of their own standards of morality; casting aside God's Word as being outdated, not in conformity with the times, no longer treated as the Unadulterated (Pure) Word of God.
Scripture revealed that God confounded (confused) the language of all the earth and brought upon them the very thing they had sought to avoid: being scattered upon the face of the earth. The language barrier today is till a factor; even though man has come together through interpreters, but it is not the same as in the beginning when language was no barrier.
Man is attempting to build a tower of self-reliance rather than through a heavenly provision. Abraham Lincoln stated: We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient, too proud to pray to the God that made us.
Many, especially those who have lived a great number of years, realize the significant change that has taken place in the world as they once knew it! A reason for this transition is given in an article entitled "The Stranger" by an unknown author.
In the beginning the stranger was an object of fascination, a enchanting newcomer, who would weave in the most fascinating tales, adventure, mysteries, and comedies; holding the family spellbound for hours. The family had certain moral convictions but the stranger never felt an obligation to honor them. Profanity was not allowed in the home but the visitor, however, used occasional four letter words.
Alcohol was not permitted in the home, but the stranger felt a need to give exposure to such and other ways of life. He offered beer and other alcoholic beverages often, he made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. He opposed the values of the family, yet was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave; his name? We just called him TV.
Many facets of life have been ushered in that are no longer productive towards good moral Bible-based living. The Internet, along with other electronic devices, have helped bring the world together, but not always for the betterment of mankind; for it often (along with other venues) promotes what is contrary to God's Word; often an abomination in His sight.
Just as the serpent, in the Garden of Eden, attempted to water down the Unadulterated (Pure) Word of God; was successful in doing so, there is a continual onslaughter towards undermining the morals of many once godly nations, to appease certain ungodly lifestyles, allowed to exist and are even promoted as normal and acceptable. In the beginning such was not acceptable but a disgrace.
Scripture reveals: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7). The fear of the Lord is not as prevalent, as in the beginning, due to a dereliction of duty in the preaching of the Unadulterated (Pure) Word of God.
A legendary evangelist of the first Great Awakening, Charles G. Finney stated: Brethren, 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. If Satan rules in our halls of Justice, the pulpit is responsible for it.
If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact; but let us lay it to heart, and awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.
A poem entitled "Walking with the World" by an unknown author gives a reason why there is a decline, a failure of "In the Beginning" category: The World said: Your preachers are all too old and plain. They frighten my children with dreadful tales that I do not like to hear. They talk of judgments, fire, pain, and the doom of the darkest night. They warn of a place that should not be spoken to ears polite!
I will send you some of a better stamp, more brilliant and fast, who will show how men may live as they please and go to heaven at last. So she called for pleasing, deemed gifted, and great, and learned; and the plain old men who had preached the cross were out of her pulpits turned.
We are seeing a diminishing of godly instruction not being passed on as before; to a future generation of believers, which is having a devastating effect on the spirituality of the church. Scripture reveals: This people draw nigh (near) to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me (Matthew 15:8).
In the beginning much of what is being accepted today; come out of the closet of non-acceptance, and is now openly displayed as acceptable. Scripture reveals: Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among that that fall: at the time I visit (punish) them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord (Jeremiah 6:15).
God's response to the people's stubborn refusal to walk in His ways: Hear, O earth: Behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened to my words, nor to my law, but rejected it (Jeremiah 6:19). There is a price to pay for rebellion against God's Word; when rejection comes into foreplay.
In the beginning many nations were of a godly nature but have allowed the ungodly to rule. Many ungodly individuals, having gained access to positions of authority, are spreading their ungodly agenda with seemingly no restrain. Many use flowery words to deceive people into acceptance of ungodly ways; with just enough Scripture to gain creditability.
In the beginning needs to be a message of remembrance of the blessings of God, His provisions, His umbrella of protection, afforded to God-fearing nations! As we see those blessings withdrawn; for failure to keep God in the forefront, there is a need to adhere to the promise given to King Solomon; which is appropriate for today as well!
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, adn pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
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