“I have set before you life and death… choose life.”
When a nation turns from God, and instead of repenting, rebels; when a nation chooses death instead of life, and yet still demands the reward of freedom that comes with choosing life; when a nation cries in its anthem for God to keep its land “glorious and free”, and yet opposes God by supporting laws that kill the unborn, the sick, and the aged: then God has no choice but to give that nation its reward not according to its cries and demands, but its due.
God is giving that rebellious nation not what it wants, but what it has earned.
All formerly Christian nations are now reaping the rewards of choosing death, even while the people of those nations take to the streets and demand the rewards of choosing life.
Instead of repentance, there’s rebellion. Instead of understanding, there’s confusion. Instead of turning back to God and choosing to live in accordance with the Gospel, there’s a doubling down of sin and pride and the tabling of further demands.
But these rebellions now taking place across former Christendom are nothing new. They’ve been seen before, in heavenly places, when a third of God’s angels refused to accept God’s rule and rebelled. I don’t think I need to remind you that their reward for rebellion was a fall from grace followed by eternal damnation.
We who call ourselves Christians are supposed to be children of God. We who call ourselves Christians are supposed to be followers of Jesus. Children of God and followers of Jesus need to set the good example and show guidance to others, not fall in lockstep with the rebellious, many of whom don’t even believe that God exists.
As Christians, we need to lead the call for repentance in former Christian nations, not in an effort to bring those nations back to what they were previously (that will never happen), but to call forth any among them who still love God and still choose life. We need to remind those few, through the call to repentance, that rebellion against the way things are in the world – including restrictions on freedoms – is rebellion against God’s justice as it plays out in the world. We need to remind those few that God’s justice is perfect, and that to rebel against it is to rebel against God. We also need to remind those few what the rewards are for rebelling against God.
And we need to remind them what the rewards are for doing God’s will.
I hope I am preaching to the choir here, but I know there are some hearing this sermon who will reject its message and will continue to embrace rebellion. Those same people will also continue to call themselves Christians, even as they trail behind Satan, waving banners cursing their neighbour and doing the will of the Father of Lies. Some will do these things conscious that they’re rebelling against God, while others will do it blindly, lost in confusion.
But for those very few of you who understand that the way forward is through repentance, not rebellion – your job is to lead the way. Even if you’re the only one – lead the way. Stand separate from those who rebel. Repent and pray for those who have been blinded and have gone astray. It is the job of the church to pray for those who are in the church as well as for those who have gone astray. I see in the protests in former Christian nations only rebellion against God’s justice and curses against those who are administering it. These things should not be done by Christians.
This is a call to repentance to all those who choose life. The fall from grace of former Christian nations is nothing new, and neither is their rebellion against the rewards for choosing death. Scripture tells us that such falls from grace have happened before, but scripture also teaches us that the way forward is always to stand separate from the rebellious and to repent.
Stand separate, repent, and preach repentance, and you will receive the reward of repentance, which is freedom.
Run with the mob, rebel, and preach rebellion, and you will receive the reward of rebellion, which is slavery.
The choice, as always, is yours, but the right choice – the one that leads to life – is to stand separate, repent, and preach repentance.
May you always choose life.