Processing Turmoil in a Godly Way Part 1By Pastor Boffey on Sunday, July 26, 2020.
I. Society is going through a period of great challenge: pandemic fears, civil unrest, violent protests, iconoclasm, erasure of history, abrogation of law and order, popularizing of anti-liberty politics, etc. A. This is to be expected when society abandons the fear of God. PSA 9:17. 1. The effects of godlessness are very tangible. ISA 59:9-15; 2CH 15:3-6. 2. True religion’s operations are very essential. B. The church is a kingdom/nation not of this world which dare not follow suit. JOH 18:36; ROM 14:17; 2CO 12:20. II. Definitions. A. turmoil: A state of agitation or commotion; disturbance, tumult; trouble, disquiet. B. commotion: Physical disturbance, more or less violent... C. tumult: Commotion of a multitude, usually with confused speech or uproar; public disturbance; disorderly or riotous proceeding. D. rumour: A statement or report circulating in a community, of the truth of which there is no clear evidence. III. Believers need to steer between the extremes of fretting consumption with current events and the “ostrich with its head in the sand” model of denial and avoidance. A. Christ advised the disciples of current and upcoming civil trends and dangers, instructing them to particularly watch for one event. LUK 21:20-21. 1. Christ was knowledgeable about recent tyranny and calamity. LUK 13:1-5. 2. Wisdom teaches us to: a. discern the times. LUK 12:56; 1CH 12:32. b. be circumspect, prudent and take appropriate measures. EPH 5:15-16; PRO 22:3. 3. Such things show us that being reasonably aware of what is going on in the world around us is part of our Christian experience. B. But nowhere do Christ or the apostles imply that believers should “lose it” when society is in a tumult. 1. Believers are to be stedfast in faith, hope and duty regardless of troubles. JOH 16:33 c/w 1PE 1:3-4 c/w HEB 6:18-20; 1CO 15:58. 2. Charity/love is the supreme virtue that never fails. 1CO 13:8, 13. a. It is the supreme bond of perfectness among us. COL 3:14. b. Christ warned of troubling times which would cause love to wax cold (MAT 24:12). God forbid that cultural depravity or political madness should cause our love for God, His word and one another to wax cold. 3. Is there skullduggery and conspiracy afoot? Are there “do-gooders” in political power (seen or unseen) whose tyrannies are perceived by themselves or their flatterers as benefactory? Probably, because that is the way of this world, as it always has been. LUK 22:25 c/w ACT 4:26-28. a. Be careful of not falling into a bottomless rabbit hole trying to get to the bottom of treachery. b. One of the problems of conspiracy-oriented thinkers is the tendency to think of themselves as hapless victims of dark, manipulative forces, and a victim mentality is a trap which neutralizes personal empowerment to walk in courageous faith that overcomes this world. C. Of the things of civil life which concern God-fearing and decent people are the treading upon of their personal liberties and rights, the erosion of righteous and godly principles, the civil inheritance that will be passed on to the next generation, the eruption of “children” in positions of political power (ISA 3:12 c/w ECC 10:5-7) who reflect the values of the people who elected them, and the antichrist attitude that is percolating throughout the land. IV. Considerations. A. This is not the first time of civil and social tumult in America. The country had scarcely achieved independence when the Shay’s Rebellion and Whiskey Rebellion (and others) threatened its stability and later, the Civil War. There were a series of violent riots throughout American history, the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam era and the social unrest because of it, etc. B. Our Lord Jesus Christ was born in a once-free nation now under Roman rule and subject to Roman taxation. LUK 2:1. 1. He ministered to a sinful, adulterous generation ruled by elitists whose significance was threatened by His teachings. JOH 11:47-48. 2. That generation would be turned over to Satan (MAT 12:45) and rise up in bloody internal conflict and rebellion against Rome. 3. In the Olivet Discourse, Jesus gave detailed, graphic descriptions of the civil horrors that His disciples would live through: wars, rumours of wars, family and civil betrayals, bloodshed, death, destruction and the end of the nation. MAT 24:6; LUK 21:9-24; MAT 23:36. 4. The apostles lived through those tumultuous times and, under great pressure, advanced the kingdom of God and provided believers with the most important writings in history: the Gospels and Epistles that declared ultimate victory. a. Their message was liberating, delivering men from bondage to the fear of death. HEB 2:14-15. b. Their message was empowering, for men delivered from fear of death unto a lively hope beyond this world have something to live by, live for, and die for without concern about the afterlife. HEB 13:5-6; PHIL 1:20-21. c. Their message was sanctifying, for men who are dead to sin need no longer be controlled by it nor fear final judgment. 1PE 4:1-5. d. Their message was unifying, excluding none from sin’s condemnation (ROM 3:9) and eliminating all artificial distinctions relative to the cure. ROM 1:16; GAL 3:28; 5:6. e. Their message was stabilizing, for it taught that not even increasing depravity and persecution were more powerful than grace. 2TI 3:12-14. f. Their message was durable, guaranteed by the power of God (MAT 24:35) and always relevant since human nature and the human condition remain the same.