Does anyone else sense that we are witnessing the collapse and disintegration of a nation? The Bible clearly states in Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” And when I look around in our land, I see that we are sin-soaked and saturated in shame. We have replaced the confession of sin with the celebration of sin. As a result, God has given us over to judgment.
How did we get here? Well, Proverbs 29:18 tells us, “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint, but happy is he who keeps the law.” In other words, when the Word of God (revelation) is not the divine order that determines human order, the result is disorder. And when “the people cast off restraint,” they are rebelling against God’s restraining orders, which are put in place for the flourishing of humanity and society.
There are four restraining orders that God has put in place as beautiful boundaries. The first is the conscience (moral order); the second is community made up of families (social order); the third is civil society which constitutes law and order as well as political order; the fourth and final restraint is the most important, it is the Church (spiritual order). It is the one God has put in place to shine His light and truth through the previous three. Without the standard of God governing conscience, community, and civil duty, the result is immorality, the degradation of society, and of course tyranny.
You see, when the restraining orders of God are blatantly broken down, it is because the Church and Christian are bowing down. Silent in places where truth must be spoken. Sitting down in spaces where standing up is crucial. We have forgotten that as believers in Jesus Christ, we are to be heaven's witnesses on earth. And even if hell is closing in on all sides, heaven still arrives when the people of God choose courage over compromise. Jesus Christ said, "I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” This statement wasn’t a flimsy wish, it was His firm will.
We must understand that the further a society drifts from the truth, the more they will hate those who speak it. Jesus also warned us of such hate when He said, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18-19).
So how do we go forward when it feels like we have fallen so far? We start with ourselves. Because although the restraining orders of God are being cast off, the Bible says, “happy is the person who keeps the law.” If the Christian wants to know God’s will, he turns to the Bible. If the Christian wants to discern right from wrong, he turns to the Bible. And that is why it is OK to allow your conscience to be your guide, if it's God's Word that guides your conscience. "Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path" (Psalm 119:105).
And with our conscience held captive to the Scriptures, we can begin to sew righteousness into the fabric of our families. The biblical boundaries of the family includes marriage between one man and one woman (Genesis 1:27; 2:24-25; Matthew 19:4-6), who become mother (female) and father (male) when children are added to the household. And if the family breaks down, whether from divorce or fatherlessness (or other detrimental reasons), the consequences often contribute to the ills of society. You see, it’s not the ills of society that has led to the death of the family; it is the death of the family that has led to the ills of society. Which is why there is such a spirit of defiance against “law and order” and even a skewed view of political order. If “we the people” are responsible for the government of the people, then we shouldn’t be surprised at the character of our government.
James A. Garfield, an ordained minister and twentieth President of the United States, said, “Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption.” I concur.
This is where we are at. Good called evil and evil called good. And all because the people have cast off the restraining orders of God. Now more than ever, the Church and Christian need to be willing to delay the decay of our day by being in the Way. We need to be in Christ to be able to slow down the corruption, push back the darkness, and ultimately be a dam to the enemy coming in like a flood.
Heaven will arrive when the Church is willing to choose courage over compromise.