Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

Facing the Elements

Part 15


By Rayola Kelley

          It is clear we are living in precarious times. It is easy to get caught up with the many facets of the battle that is raging in this country for the soul of this nation, the minds of our children, and the hearts of the people. We are being bullied by self-serving, anti-God, anti-American, anti-family government and political figures, arrogant abominable entertainment of both arts and music, dulled down by a media that promotes nothing but propaganda that advances wicked agendas, a godless education that undermines all that is sacred, and a medical system that majors in death and not life.

          As many are learning, we are under siege in every arena of this nation, and some are clearly discovering that all that has been wielded at this nation has been in the planning for years. In fact, we were aware of these plans as evil world-planners mocked us, while a few brave souls were trying to warn the American people about their destructive strategies.

          The truth is we are caught up in a war, but it is nothing like wars of the past. The attack against our nation came to the forefront with the cultural war. Changing the culture was a big part in this war for the soul of our nation, causing each generation to become more lost as to who they were and what would define them. The generation I grew up in had lost their way because the image of family was unrealistic and mocked, the presentation of religion was often harsh, unrealistic, and lifeless, making it hypocritical, and government had us involved in senseless wars that ended going nowhere except into some vacuum that left many in an identity crisis of worth and purpose.

          Another arena that changed the culture were those we began to idolize. The late Vance Havner made this observation, “Thousands seek to escape life’s boredom through modern fads and isms of many a shade and hue. Someone has said, ‘The religion of China is Confucian: the religion of America is confusion.’ Men wander in a wilderness of cults seeking lasting satisfaction.” The decade before me had the white hats coming out on top of the villains. They had Zorro who fought against oppression and cowboys that not only could sing their way through a show, but victoriously battled evil. In my generation the good guy was sometimes as immoral as the bad guys, and often violently came out on top, competing with the bloody images left in imaginations by stories and scenes surrounding the gladiators of the old Roman Empire. Like some in America, these people were conditioned to thirst for sensationalism and to witness horrific violence. There were the idols of Hollywood that were hiding behind images that promoted a false concept of love, beauty and success, ever advocating temporary happiness and satisfaction. These images were followed by the exaltation of sports stars that ended up making too much money and falling into a cesspool of immorality, drugs, and in some cases violence.

          Today truth is coming out about many of these heroes and idols, stripping away images, revealing in many instances fallen man at his worst, operating within a culture of death. They have used trends to do away with former traditions while keeping man in a state of constant flux to keep up with the latest, often for financial gain. They generalize matters in order to put their own rules and details in place to control people’s tastes, attitudes, and practices. They use modernism to make morality appear stupid and obsolete, evolution to devalue human life, humanism to exalt the strong bullies of the world to rule over the insignificant, New Age to deify a few through “demonic” enlightenment, lies to indoctrinate, and flattery to seduce.

          The great confusion caused a spiritual vacuum that encouraged many prodigals to become entangled with Gnostism; some to come under the growing popular cults or labels of agnostics and Universalism; and some to go into the occult. In such an environment there are no absolutes, and promoting endless diversity that causes one to fall into a vortex of ridiculousness while resulting in a divorce from the reality that we are human after all. Truth is the enemy and morality a joke, allowing for the court jesters and fools to feed the anti-God, country, and family narratives, creating moral anarchy. 

          I have worn different labels in the past. My family were democrats, but due to political issues, we began to recognize that we were in agreement with Republicans. We switched sides to only find out that both parties are nothing more than a two-headed snake that was squeezing the life, blessings, and any virtue out of this country, while speaking flatteries with “forked tongues”. We then became conservatives, but discovered that there were treacherous RINO’S and that conservatives varied according to platforms and emphasis. We then concluded that it must come down to the candidate and hopefully he had integrity.      

          Jeannette and I knew about different parts of these wicked people’s plans for years. We did not know how they were going to bring it about, but we sat in seminars, watched DVD’s, and read books about their plan to create a perfect utopia for themselves, which required them to create division and chaos by playing on prejudices that have been dormant or simmering in ignorance and fear. Their goal was to get rid of the weak (humanism), do away with free-loaders who will fail to be “useful idiots” to their cause (dispensable), and silence any religion outside of the occult, especially Jews and Christians in order to create a serf society where all remaining peons exist for one purpose—to serve the sick, demonic pleasures of the elites whose reward for selling their soul and serving Satan will be to heap upon their lusts every sick, unimaginable abomination. We have listened to their arrogant mockery for years as they gleefully, methodically devised means in which each generation was being dulled down towards truth and morality, conditioned by perverted Hollywood, indoctrinated by the godless education system, and turned off to, or lulled to sleep by, secular, heretical religion.

          I realize that dealing with this subject in our newsletter is like preaching to the choir. Most of you know the score, but like John the Baptist we must continue to cry from the spiritual wilderness because some need to be awakened, others need to be stirred up to see what is happening, and the rest need to be challenged to step up to the plate. In a sense, we need a spiritual awakening when it comes to the time that we are living in. This awakening is not about understanding the depths of the wickedness that is being exposed, but to come to terms with the dangerous spiritual environment that now exists and gave it roots and life.

          We can point our finger at various reasons for our nation being in such a mess, but it is not a time to point fingers; rather, it is a time to roll up our “spiritual sleaves” in preparation to do what is necessary to stand, withstand, and continue to stand in this time. After all, is this not what Jesus instructed His disciples in His discourse on the end times in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21? Clearly, we as a nation have been cleverly put into a straitjacket and I sense a time of great sorrow for the whole world is barreling at us like a freight train with no brakes. As believers, we must not only be prepared to stand as lights of hope, but now we must also struggle against cruel restraints to maintain our sanity and lives. We can question the “whys,” but it is easy for the believer to answer the question and it comes back to the reality of God.

          God is everywhere, but when it comes to this the present situation, we must ask where is He as to what is going on in our personal lives, our homes, our churches, our societies, and our nation. Where is His glorious reality upheld, where is His truth absolute, where are His teachings lived out, and where is His presence to prepare hearts for salvation? And finally, where is the unadulterated Gospel with the power to save being preached that changes and transforms a sinner into a saint? God is everywhere, but man has used godless laws to silence any witness of Him, unholy combinations to strip His people of power, and a lukewarm environment to put them to sleep.  

          Vance Havner pointed out that, “A dedicated Christian is always out of step with the age. He will not be squeezed into its mold; he is not conformed but transformed. He is not a trendist but a transformist!” As I look back, there was never a time I fit into the different trends of the world, even before I knew Christ. It is clear God spared me of trends, brought all of my idols down from yesteryear, stripped the world’s narratives of their fading glory before my eyes, and trained me to seek and recognize the true Jesus in the midst of endless counterfeits. He gave me His Spirit of discernment to identify the true shepherds, His Word to wade through the swamp of lies and insanity of the age, and the mind of Christ which keeps me steady as long as I keep looking up to the One who redeemed me from all the oppression of this present world.

          However, there is a very important key that must often be used to ensure I maintain this strait narrow way. The key is choice. I must make the right choice when it comes to the matters of God. We can wear all the labels we want, but there is no substance behind any of them to enable us to stand before God. We can choose what we think is the best side, but it ultimately will come down to who you follow that will determine what side you end up on. We can stand for great causes, but causes can by hijacked by the wicked powers of the age, defiling and perverting them. We can come up as close to the swamp as we can to get what we can out of it and even dance around it a bit to avoid falling in, but eventually if we do not come out and be separate, we will fall into it.

          The real issue is not what worldly, secular side I stand with, what cause I stand for, or what school of religion I stand on, the question is what side of eternity am I standing in light of. There are no gray areas in morality, no fudged lines in truth, no debate as to what is right, and no fuzzy Jesus that can be adjusted according to preference and times.

Jesus is truth and truth has never changed. It will always come back to who Jesus is to us. Vance Havner points this simple truth out, “It is possible to be worked up over the coming of the Lord without being stirred up about the Lord Who is coming. One is an event, the other is a Person, and it is the Person Who makes the event.” Jesus is the Rock of the foundation and nothing can be moved off of it. He is the essence of righteousness, the source of all wisdom, and it is by my life being hid in Him that I have life. It is by being identified with Him in His death, I have victory over it, and it is because of His life in me that I will be raised up in resurrection power. The key is, if my life is truly hidden in Christ, I can be assured that wherever He is I will be standing on the right side of heaven in light of His glory. 

What about you? Where are you standing? The choice comes down to what side of eternity you are standing in light of when it comes to your faith towards God, your life in Christ, and your eternal destination.

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The Goal of Gentle Shepherd Ministries is to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to make disciples in compliance with the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19).

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