Christians and Politics Part 1 | TBN

Christians and Politics Part 1

Watch Christians and Politics Part 1
October 29, 2016
27:31

The Connection with Skip Heitzig

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Christians and Politics Part 1

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  • female: Hello, and welcome to this message from
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  • Pastor Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albuquerque.
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  • As these teachings are shared worldwide,
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  • our prayer is that God uses them to bring more people
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  • into his family.
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  • If this message encourages you, we'd like to know.
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  • Email us at mystory@calvaryabq.org.
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  • And if you'd like to support this ministry financially,
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  • you can give only securely at calvaryabq.org/give.
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  • Christians have a wide variety of political notions,
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  • but we need to be informed of the policies,
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  • engaged in the process, and active in the promotion
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  • of Godly discourse.
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  • In the message "Christians and Politics,"
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  • Skip shares four guidelines believers should adhere
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  • to when looking at politics.
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  • Now, we invite you to turn in your Bibles to
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  • Jeremiah chapter 29 as he begins.
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  • Skip Heitzig: Would you turn in your Bibles,
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  • please, to Jeremiah chapter 29.
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  • I'm going to bring a message on Christians and politics.
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  • You know, when I grew up, it was common wisdom,
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  • it's a common phrase to say, "Don't discuss two things in
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  • public, religion and politics."
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  • You've heard that before?
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  • Don't discuss those, so I'm going to do both this morning.
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  • I'm going to deal with both of those issues.
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  • And the reason we were told not to is because it's divisive.
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  • And for some reason, in that day and age in our culture,
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  • they just thought it was better to be very shallow and say,
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  • "Oh, your hair looks nice. Don't go any deeper than that."
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  • Or, "Oh, nice outfit.
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  • Don't go any deeper than it, don't bring up politics,
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  • don't bring up religion because it divides people."
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  • And I understand that, I don't want to divide people.
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  • But the way I see it, our nation's already divided
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  • on a lot of issues.
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  • In fact, I would say this is the,
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  • perhaps, angriest, most acrimonious,
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  • most divisive election cycle that I personally have seen
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  • in my lifetime.
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  • And it reminds me of a story of
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  • a guy who was running for office.
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  • He was campaigning door to door, running for city council,
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  • and so he'd knock on doors and ask people for their votes.
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  • And it was going pretty well until he got to a house where a
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  • grumpy old man answered the door.
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  • The candidate went through his little speech of why the man
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  • should vote for him, and the response was that the old man
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  • growled back and he said, "Vote for you?
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  • I'd rather vote for the devil."
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  • So, the candidate knew he's not going to get anywhere with this
  • 00:02:45.060 --> 00:02:47.090
  • guy, and he said back to him, "Well,
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  • in the event that your friend doesn't run for office,
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  • could I anticipate your vote?"
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  • And I think a lot of people sort of feel that way.
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  • They're caught between the devil and the deep blue sea
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  • in this election.
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  • I've heard people say, "Well, there's not a candidate out
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  • there that inspires me," and I understand the sentiment.
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  • But that is usually said before the next statement,
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  • which is, "Therefore, I'm going to sit this one out,
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  • I'm just not going to vote."
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  • Well, my aim from Jeremiah 29 is to bring some clarity,
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  • to bring some hope.
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  • And more than anything else, my aim,
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  • my purpose is to call our church to prayer during this cycle.
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  • A week of prayer and even fasting for this election cycle.
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  • I think that's where we need to go.
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  • And this was an idea that came to me from one of our
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  • congregants at first service.
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  • They've come here for years, and she came up to me and she said,
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  • "You know, I don't know what you think,
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  • but I feel the Lord's just saying that we need to be in
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  • prayer for our nation."
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  • And I thought, "I think that's from the Lord.
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  • I'm going to do that."
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  • So, I saw that as a real good direction for us to go in.
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  • I want you to understand that I am not preaching politics.
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  • I am not going to endorse a candidate,
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  • I'm not going to endorse a political party this morning.
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  • But the Bible does tell us that God ordained human government,
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  • Romans 13.
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  • The Bible also in that chapter tells us that we are subject to
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  • the governments that we are in.
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  • And it just seems unthinkable that God would ordain human
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  • government, and then want humans to stay out of it.
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  • Doesn't make sense, especially in a democracy.
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  • We don't live in Babylon, we don't live in Roman times,
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  • we don't have a totalitarian regime.
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  • We have a democracy, which is a society that is set up on the
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  • involvement of all of its citizens.
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  • Anyone who knows me well knows
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  • that I am not political by nature.
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  • I do not think the ultimate hope is any party,
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  • or any person, or any platform.
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  • I look forward to the day, my hope rests in the day that Jesus
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  • said we should pray for, "Thy kingdom come,
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  • thy will be done on earth as is in--" That's where my hopes are.
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  • I'm hoping for the day mentioned in Revelation 11,
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  • when the announcement was made, "The kingdoms of this world have
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  • become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ."
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  • And I know one day, Jesus will return,
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  • and he'll move all the politicians to one side,
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  • go, "Let me show you how it's done, guys, gals.
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  • We're going to do this right. But until then, I'm here.
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  • Until then--" Do you realize that Christians
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  • have dual citizenship?
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  • Have you ever thought of that?
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  • We're a part of two kingdoms, the kingdom of heaven
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  • permanently, but kingdoms of this earth temporarily.
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  • So, when Paul wrote to the Philippians,
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  • he touched on this when he said, "To all who are in Christ Jesus
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  • who are in Philippi."
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  • Did you get that dual citizenship?
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  • You're citizens of the kingdom of heaven,
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  • you're in Christ, but you also happen to live in Philippi.
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  • And so, you are citizens who are responsible to that city.
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  • And honestly, politics, to some degree,
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  • interface with every single person.
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  • Now, I want you to understand what the term means.
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  • The term "politics" comes from the Greek
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  • word for city, polis.
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  • Polis was a city, a city-state technically.
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  • And a citizen was called a politis.
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  • We get the word "politics" from politis.
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  • It meant a citizen who has responsibilities
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  • to a polis, to a city.
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  • So, it's a word that came to mean the art of living together
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  • in a community.
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  • So, all of us, by the technical definition,
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  • are involved in the art of living
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  • in a community in politics.
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  • Plato said to his students, "The penalty that good men pay
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  • for not being interested in politics is to be governed
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  • by those worse than themselves."
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  • So, I ask you, what is the response of the Christian
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  • community to the political environment
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  • and the political season?
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  • What about our responsibilities to our nation that we live in?
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  • How are we to act during this political season?
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  • Are we to be uninformed, informed,
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  • sit it out, not do anything, do something?
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  • And at what level do we do something at?
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  • So, I want to give you from Jeremiah 29,
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  • 4 guidelines for this political season.
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  • And they're simple really.
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  • We should be responsible, we should be prayerful,
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  • we should be careful, and we should be hopeful.
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  • We should be in responsible, we should be prayerful,
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  • we should be careful, we should be hopeful.
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  • I want you to see them as we go through this text.
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  • First of all, we should be, as believers in the Lord,
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  • responsible in our culture.
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  • Go to verse 1 of Jeremiah 29.
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  • "Now, these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet
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  • sent from Jerusalem to the remainder of the elders who were
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  • carried away captive to the priest,
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  • the prophets, and all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried
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  • away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon.
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  • This happened after Jeconiah, the queen--king,
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  • the queen mother, the eunuchs, princes of Judah and Jerusalem,
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  • the craftsmen, the smiths had departed from Jerusalem.
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  • This letter was sent by the hand of Elasah,
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  • the son of Saphan and Gamariah, the son of Helkiah,
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  • whom Zedekiah, the king of Judas sent to Babylon
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  • to Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon,
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  • saying, 'Thus says the Lord of Hosts,
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  • the God of Israel, to all who are carried away captive whom I
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  • have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon.'"
  • 00:09:10.090 --> 00:09:14.270
  • So, it's a letter Jeremiah writes to captives,
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  • but it's the Lord who is speaking.
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  • What does he say?
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  • Verse 5, "Build houses and dwell in them.
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  • Plant gardens and eat their fruit.
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  • Take wives, and beget sons and daughters,
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  • and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to
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  • husbands so that they may bear sons and daughters,
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  • that you may be increased there and not diminished."
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  • Okay, now let me give you a little background.
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  • Can I do that? Can I set the stage?
  • 00:09:45.270 --> 00:09:47.280
  • Because there's a couple things you need to know.
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  • The year that this letter goes out is 597 BC.
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  • Now, why is that important?
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  • Because Babylon, under Nebuchadnezzar,
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  • assaulted, attacked Jerusalem 3 times,
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  • 603 BC, that's the first time.
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  • At that time, he took Daniel and his buddies away to Babylon.
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  • So, Daniel's already there at this time,
  • 00:10:10.120 --> 00:10:12.240
  • involved in the political structure of Babylon.
  • 00:10:12.250 --> 00:10:15.260
  • Then 597 BC, which is right here,
  • 00:10:15.270 --> 00:10:19.150
  • where he takes the religious as well as the political leaders
  • 00:10:19.160 --> 00:10:23.030
  • hostage, and thousands of people with him.
  • 00:10:23.040 --> 00:10:26.220
  • Finally, 586 BC, when it happens again,
  • 00:10:26.230 --> 00:10:30.190
  • but this time, Jerusalem is destroyed by the fires
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  • of Babylon.
  • 00:10:34.080 --> 00:10:36.050
  • So, in the in between time, Jeremiah is still in Jerusalem,
  • 00:10:36.060 --> 00:10:41.010
  • and he writes a letter to those who are captive in Babylon.
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  • Why does he write the letter?
  • 00:10:44.060 --> 00:10:45.150
  • To encourage them, to instruct them.
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  • "You're in Babylon; here's what you need to do.
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  • Here's a thus sayeth the Lord for you guys as captives
  • 00:10:51.160 --> 00:10:56.030
  • in Babylon."
  • 00:10:56.040 --> 00:10:57.170
  • And what does he tell them?
  • 00:10:57.180 --> 00:10:59.110
  • Well, basically he says, "You're going to be there awhile,
  • 00:10:59.120 --> 00:11:02.150
  • you're going to be there 70 years,
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  • so make the best of it."
  • 00:11:04.260 --> 00:11:06.050
  • Verse 5, provide for your families.
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  • Get a home, get a garden, get a job.
  • 00:11:09.080 --> 00:11:13.220
  • Summing it up.
  • 00:11:13.230 --> 00:11:15.020
  • Verse 6, get married, have kids, raise a family.
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  • In other words, be involved.
  • 00:11:18.040 --> 00:11:21.060
  • Be responsible where you are in the new culture
  • 00:11:21.070 --> 00:11:25.130
  • where you find yourself.
  • 00:11:25.140 --> 00:11:27.290
  • Now, their situation in captivity,
  • 00:11:28.000 --> 00:11:31.000
  • as I see it, is parallel in many respects to our situation
  • 00:11:31.010 --> 00:11:37.130
  • right now in our country.
  • 00:11:37.140 --> 00:11:39.220
  • You see, back then, they were surrounded by a hostile
  • 00:11:39.230 --> 00:11:42.270
  • environment, people who didn't believe in those values,
  • 00:11:42.280 --> 00:11:45.260
  • they didn't believe in the God of Israel.
  • 00:11:45.270 --> 00:11:48.010
  • We too are surrounded by the world,
  • 00:11:48.020 --> 00:11:50.180
  • the Bible calls it, a system that does not agree with,
  • 00:11:50.190 --> 00:11:53.230
  • and the very least does not sympathize with Christian
  • 00:11:53.240 --> 00:11:56.120
  • values, and at the very most is hostile toward Christian values.
  • 00:11:56.130 --> 00:12:02.180
  • Not only that, but they were there 70 years.
  • 00:12:02.190 --> 00:12:05.030
  • That's about the average lifespan.
  • 00:12:05.040 --> 00:12:07.200
  • We're going to be on this earth roughly 70 years.
  • 00:12:07.210 --> 00:12:10.050
  • Some will far outdo that, some won't make it.
  • 00:12:10.060 --> 00:12:12.240
  • The average lifespan in America is 78.2 years.
  • 00:12:12.250 --> 00:12:17.250
  • So, do you know the Bible actually says 70 years
  • 00:12:17.260 --> 00:12:20.120
  • is a typical lifespan?
  • 00:12:20.130 --> 00:12:21.220
  • Psalm 90, "The days of our lives are 70 years.
  • 00:12:21.230 --> 00:12:25.240
  • And if by reason of strength, they are 80 years,
  • 00:12:25.250 --> 00:12:28.200
  • yet their boast is only labor and sorrow,
  • 00:12:28.210 --> 00:12:32.070
  • for it is soon cut off and we fly away."
  • 00:12:32.080 --> 00:12:37.080
  • Now, as dual citizens, citizens of the kingdom of God,
  • 00:12:37.090 --> 00:12:41.090
  • citizens of the kingdom of men, we have a dual responsibility.
  • 00:12:41.100 --> 00:12:46.210
  • We don't have a responsibility to be cloistered,
  • 00:12:46.220 --> 00:12:49.000
  • to be away from here, and, "No, I'm not going to get involved.
  • 00:12:49.010 --> 00:12:51.080
  • No, I don't want to know, don't tell me,
  • 00:12:51.090 --> 00:12:52.180
  • I'm going to sit this one out."
  • 00:12:52.190 --> 00:12:55.000
  • You know, Jesus prayed for his disciples in John 17.
  • 00:12:55.010 --> 00:12:58.120
  • And he didn't pray a prayer of escapism.
  • 00:12:58.130 --> 00:13:01.040
  • He said, "Father, I pray not that you should take them out of
  • 00:13:01.050 --> 00:13:06.250
  • the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one
  • 00:13:06.260 --> 00:13:11.060
  • while they're in the world."
  • 00:13:11.070 --> 00:13:12.160
  • That was his prayer.
  • 00:13:12.170 --> 00:13:14.210
  • I like that.
  • 00:13:14.220 --> 00:13:16.010
  • It helps me understand my position in the world.
  • 00:13:16.020 --> 00:13:19.250
  • Jesus didn't say, "Father, help them to find caves where they
  • 00:13:19.260 --> 00:13:23.000
  • can store ammunition and food, and listen to wacky prophesy
  • 00:13:23.010 --> 00:13:26.190
  • teachers," and all that kind of stuff.
  • 00:13:26.200 --> 00:13:29.010
  • He said, "No, no, no, I want them to live out their faith
  • 00:13:29.020 --> 00:13:33.070
  • in the world.
  • 00:13:33.080 --> 00:13:34.170
  • Don't take them out.
  • 00:13:34.180 --> 00:13:36.200
  • Keep them from the evil one while they're in."
  • 00:13:36.210 --> 00:13:40.170
  • Not only that, but Jesus even said something,
  • 00:13:40.180 --> 00:13:44.110
  • were I a disciple, I would take a little bit of umbrage at.
  • 00:13:44.120 --> 00:13:49.020
  • He said to his disciples one day,
  • 00:13:49.030 --> 00:13:50.270
  • "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves."
  • 00:13:50.280 --> 00:13:57.290
  • I think I'd have said, "What?
  • 00:13:58.000 --> 00:14:00.020
  • Thank you very little.
  • 00:14:00.030 --> 00:14:03.070
  • You're my good shepherd, I'm your little sheep,
  • 00:14:03.080 --> 00:14:05.280
  • and you want to send me out as sheep in the midst of wolves?"
  • 00:14:05.290 --> 00:14:09.130
  • Why on earth would he do that? Here's why.
  • 00:14:09.140 --> 00:14:12.190
  • He wants some of those wolves to turn into sheep,
  • 00:14:12.200 --> 00:14:14.170
  • and the only way to get that done is to get some of the sheep
  • 00:14:14.180 --> 00:14:17.040
  • going out to the wolves.
  • 00:14:17.050 --> 00:14:18.180
  • Sheep can't just say, "Well, I'm going to stay in the sheep pen
  • 00:14:18.190 --> 00:14:20.210
  • all day long because that's kind of cool in here,
  • 00:14:20.220 --> 00:14:22.080
  • I like it in here."
  • 00:14:22.090 --> 00:14:23.190
  • We've got to go out where the wolves are.
  • 00:14:23.200 --> 00:14:25.090
  • And Jesus said, "I'm going to send you there."
  • 00:14:25.100 --> 00:14:28.250
  • So, he insisted that we live out our lives in the midst
  • 00:14:28.260 --> 00:14:32.240
  • of this world.
  • 00:14:32.250 --> 00:14:35.060
  • I came to Christ during an era that historians
  • 00:14:35.070 --> 00:14:38.180
  • call the Jesus movement.
  • 00:14:38.190 --> 00:14:41.060
  • I love that. I love--Jesus was moving.
  • 00:14:41.070 --> 00:14:44.250
  • By the way, he still is, but during the Jesus movement,
  • 00:14:44.260 --> 00:14:48.230
  • one of the most important aspects of it was the belief
  • 00:14:48.240 --> 00:14:54.200
  • that Jesus Christ is coming soon,
  • 00:14:54.210 --> 00:14:57.150
  • that he could come at any moment.
  • 00:14:57.160 --> 00:14:58.250
  • By the way, I still believe that.
  • 00:14:58.260 --> 00:15:00.070
  • I believe he is coming soon, and that it could happen
  • 00:15:00.080 --> 00:15:03.280
  • at any moment, I believe that.
  • 00:15:03.290 --> 00:15:06.070
  • Now, the backlash, however, of the Jesus movement was that
  • 00:15:06.080 --> 00:15:11.060
  • it created a group of irresponsible Christians.
  • 00:15:11.070 --> 00:15:16.160
  • What do I mean by that?
  • 00:15:16.170 --> 00:15:17.270
  • Well, I was counseled by my friends along these lines.
  • 00:15:17.280 --> 00:15:21.150
  • "Skip, don't go to college, the Rapture's going to happen.
  • 00:15:21.160 --> 00:15:27.230
  • Don't get a career, the Rapture's going to happen.
  • 00:15:27.240 --> 00:15:31.000
  • Don't get married, the Rapture's going to happen."
  • 00:15:31.010 --> 00:15:33.000
  • Now, that's what my friends said.
  • 00:15:33.010 --> 00:15:34.100
  • That's not what Jesus said.
  • 00:15:34.110 --> 00:15:37.180
  • Jesus said this, "Occupy until I come.
  • 00:15:37.190 --> 00:15:41.080
  • Keep your hand to the plow, get busy,
  • 00:15:41.090 --> 00:15:42.240
  • stay busy, stay working until I come."
  • 00:15:42.250 --> 00:15:45.200
  • Jesus never promoted isolation.
  • 00:15:45.210 --> 00:15:48.280
  • He never promoted insulation.
  • 00:15:48.290 --> 00:15:51.100
  • He certainly didn't promote vegetation,
  • 00:15:51.110 --> 00:15:53.140
  • where you just sort of do nothing but hang out
  • 00:15:53.150 --> 00:15:55.000
  • and veg in the Spirit until Jesus comes.
  • 00:15:55.010 --> 00:15:58.010
  • What he promoted was permeation.
  • 00:15:58.020 --> 00:16:01.260
  • He said, "You are the salt of the earth,
  • 00:16:01.270 --> 00:16:04.110
  • you are the light of the world."
  • 00:16:04.120 --> 00:16:07.250
  • Most of you know that salt wasn't used just to spice your
  • 00:16:07.260 --> 00:16:11.220
  • food up, it was used to preserve the food itself.
  • 00:16:11.230 --> 00:16:14.000
  • You'd rub it in the meat. You know why?
  • 00:16:14.010 --> 00:16:16.010
  • To prevent decay. You're the salt of the earth.
  • 00:16:16.020 --> 00:16:20.050
  • I want you peppered and salted throughout society to keep the
  • 00:16:20.060 --> 00:16:24.020
  • society from going completely off the rails.
  • 00:16:24.030 --> 00:16:29.220
  • You're the salt of the--you're the light of the world,
  • 00:16:29.230 --> 00:16:32.110
  • shining your light in the darkness of this age by your
  • 00:16:32.120 --> 00:16:36.040
  • words and by your lifestyle.
  • 00:16:36.050 --> 00:16:39.260
  • Back in the fifth century, there was a guy by the name of Simeon,
  • 00:16:39.270 --> 00:16:43.070
  • fifth century AD, Simeon.
  • 00:16:43.080 --> 00:16:45.280
  • He fuller name was Simeon Stylites.
  • 00:16:45.290 --> 00:16:48.150
  • Stylites is a word that means pillar dwellers.
  • 00:16:48.160 --> 00:16:55.010
  • Get this, Simeon Stylites spent 37 years of his life living on
  • 00:16:55.020 --> 00:17:03.040
  • the top of a pillar 60 feet off the ground.
  • 00:17:03.050 --> 00:17:08.270
  • Okay, that's weird. I hope you know that's weird.
  • 00:17:08.280 --> 00:17:11.200
  • Do you know anybody living on a pillar 60 feet off the ground?
  • 00:17:11.210 --> 00:17:13.280
  • Have you ever met anybody who does that?
  • 00:17:13.290 --> 00:17:15.160
  • Who does that? Simeon did it.
  • 00:17:15.170 --> 00:17:17.060
  • Why did he do it?
  • 00:17:17.070 --> 00:17:18.160
  • He built a platform up there, 37 years he lived up there.
  • 00:17:18.170 --> 00:17:22.070
  • He did it because he thought the mortification of the flesh,
  • 00:17:22.080 --> 00:17:25.160
  • being isolated, doing hard things that hurt your body makes
  • 00:17:25.170 --> 00:17:29.250
  • you holy.
  • 00:17:29.260 --> 00:17:32.130
  • So, he was a holy man who lived on a pillar for 37 years.
  • 00:17:32.140 --> 00:17:35.100
  • Come to find out he inspired a whole group of pillar saints
  • 00:17:35.110 --> 00:17:38.190
  • they called themselves.
  • 00:17:38.200 --> 00:17:40.010
  • They're out looking for pillars, they're out looking for ruins
  • 00:17:40.020 --> 00:17:43.030
  • of places to build a little place on,
  • 00:17:43.040 --> 00:17:44.240
  • and live on top of the pillar isolated from society.
  • 00:17:44.250 --> 00:17:48.210
  • There was one guy he inspired by the name of Anatol of France.
  • 00:17:48.220 --> 00:17:53.150
  • Anatol's problem is that he didn't have a pillar,
  • 00:17:53.160 --> 00:17:56.170
  • and he did have a family.
  • 00:17:56.180 --> 00:17:59.140
  • So, what Anatol did is to improvise not having a pillar.
  • 00:17:59.150 --> 00:18:02.190
  • He took his kitchen table, he put a little stool on top of the
  • 00:18:02.200 --> 00:18:06.040
  • kitchen table, climbed upon it, put a little white garment,
  • 00:18:06.050 --> 00:18:08.200
  • simple garment, sat on the little pillar
  • 00:18:08.210 --> 00:18:11.110
  • he had made in his kitchen.
  • 00:18:11.120 --> 00:18:13.290
  • And he thought, "Oh man, I'm going to get holy."
  • 00:18:14.000 --> 00:18:18.030
  • And it was all cool until his family came home.
  • 00:18:18.040 --> 00:18:23.070
  • And you know what they said?
  • 00:18:23.080 --> 00:18:24.170
  • They said, "You're nuts. Who does that?
  • 00:18:24.180 --> 00:18:27.010
  • This is stupid."
  • 00:18:27.020 --> 00:18:28.120
  • So, he gave it up, and he wrote this.
  • 00:18:28.130 --> 00:18:30.280
  • "I soon perceived it is a very difficult thing to be a saint
  • 00:18:30.290 --> 00:18:33.290
  • while living with your own family."
  • 00:18:34.000 --> 00:18:39.160
  • Now I see who Simeon Stylites and Jerome
  • 00:18:39.170 --> 00:18:42.230
  • went out to the desert.
  • 00:18:42.240 --> 00:18:44.190
  • It's a fun little story, true story from church history,
  • 00:18:44.200 --> 00:18:47.230
  • but listen, we don't need holy men on pillars.
  • 00:18:47.240 --> 00:18:52.080
  • We need holy men in pizza shops, in pastry shops,
  • 00:18:52.090 --> 00:18:56.180
  • in politics.
  • 00:18:56.190 --> 00:18:59.040
  • Listen, we don't need people on stools on tables.
  • 00:18:59.050 --> 00:19:03.050
  • We need people sitting behind desks in offices who are sharing
  • 00:19:03.060 --> 00:19:06.240
  • the gospel, who are in real life,
  • 00:19:06.250 --> 00:19:10.240
  • and who are responsible in their culture.
  • 00:19:10.250 --> 00:19:18.190
  • Now, you need to understand that we are very different in this
  • 00:19:18.200 --> 00:19:22.190
  • respect from them back then.
  • 00:19:22.200 --> 00:19:26.040
  • They lived in an autocratic, totalitarian regime,
  • 00:19:26.050 --> 00:19:30.240
  • a monarchy, King Nebuchadnezzar was the law.
  • 00:19:30.250 --> 00:19:34.100
  • If he wanted to kill you, you're dead.
  • 00:19:34.110 --> 00:19:36.220
  • You don't vote him in or out of office.
  • 00:19:36.230 --> 00:19:39.120
  • We have the luxury of living in a democratic society where we
  • 00:19:39.130 --> 00:19:43.180
  • can say what we believe in a ballot box,
  • 00:19:43.190 --> 00:19:47.130
  • very different than what our forbearers had
  • 00:19:47.140 --> 00:19:49.240
  • in Rome or in Babylon.
  • 00:19:49.250 --> 00:19:52.140
  • So, we should, we should vote, we should voice our concern in
  • 00:19:52.150 --> 00:19:56.270
  • the public discourse.
  • 00:19:56.280 --> 00:19:58.210
  • That's first, be responsible in your culture.
  • 00:19:58.220 --> 00:20:00.170
  • Second is to be prayerful. Be prayerful for your country.
  • 00:20:00.180 --> 00:20:07.010
  • Verse 7, we take our cues from that.
  • 00:20:07.020 --> 00:20:10.070
  • The letter continues, Jeremiah writes,
  • 00:20:10.080 --> 00:20:11.280
  • "And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be
  • 00:20:11.290 --> 00:20:17.200
  • carried away captive.
  • 00:20:17.210 --> 00:20:20.060
  • And pray to the Lord for it, for in its peace
  • 00:20:20.070 --> 00:20:26.020
  • you will have peace."
  • 00:20:26.030 --> 00:20:28.010
  • What is he saying?
  • 00:20:28.020 --> 00:20:29.110
  • Simply this: their welfare was bound up in the welfare
  • 00:20:29.120 --> 00:20:33.000
  • of Babylon.
  • 00:20:33.010 --> 00:20:34.270
  • Jeremiah says, "Don't revolt, don't start an instigation,
  • 00:20:34.280 --> 00:20:38.150
  • don't start a revolution.
  • 00:20:38.160 --> 00:20:39.250
  • Pray.
  • 00:20:39.260 --> 00:20:41.130
  • Pray for the peace of your city."
  • 00:20:41.140 --> 00:20:43.290
  • And so, that's what I'm doing.
  • 00:20:44.000 --> 00:20:45.090
  • I'm calling the church to pray this week as a week of prayer,
  • 00:20:45.100 --> 00:20:49.070
  • and perhaps even fasting for some of you.
  • 00:20:49.080 --> 00:20:51.140
  • We have put in your bulletin a simple little card.
  • 00:20:51.150 --> 00:20:54.120
  • You can carry it as a reminder in your Bible,
  • 00:20:54.130 --> 00:20:56.050
  • you can start each day, there's some directions on the back of
  • 00:20:56.060 --> 00:20:58.250
  • how to do that, who to pray for, what to pray for.
  • 00:20:58.260 --> 00:21:01.160
  • And open up your day in prayer with this.
  • 00:21:01.170 --> 00:21:06.090
  • Grab a friend during the day, say,
  • 00:21:06.100 --> 00:21:07.290
  • "Let's pray for what's going on in our country.
  • 00:21:08.000 --> 00:21:10.070
  • Let's pray for the upcoming elections."
  • 00:21:10.080 --> 00:21:12.140
  • At your meal times, pray with your family over these things.
  • 00:21:12.150 --> 00:21:16.160
  • Your small groups, your connect groups, pray together.
  • 00:21:16.170 --> 00:21:19.030
  • If you have time and you're in the area,
  • 00:21:19.040 --> 00:21:20.190
  • come by the church this week, grab one of us.
  • 00:21:20.200 --> 00:21:22.280
  • Let's pray together for this nation.
  • 00:21:22.290 --> 00:21:26.160
  • I think most of us believe our country is in trouble.
  • 00:21:26.170 --> 00:21:31.010
  • I don't think I need to sell that.
  • 00:21:31.020 --> 00:21:33.140
  • I think most of us would say our country
  • 00:21:33.150 --> 00:21:36.010
  • needs God's help, right?
  • 00:21:36.020 --> 00:21:37.110
  • I think we all agree on that.
  • 00:21:37.120 --> 00:21:39.070
  • So, we understand we need God to forgive us our sin,
  • 00:21:39.080 --> 00:21:43.290
  • to heal our land.
  • 00:21:44.000 --> 00:21:45.260
  • And prayer is our declaration not of independence,
  • 00:21:45.270 --> 00:21:49.080
  • but of dependence upon God.
  • 00:21:49.090 --> 00:21:52.120
  • And so you say, "Well, what are you praying for, Skip?"
  • 00:21:52.130 --> 00:21:54.140
  • I'll tell you what I'm praying for.
  • 00:21:54.150 --> 00:21:55.240
  • I'm asking God for another chance.
  • 00:21:55.250 --> 00:21:58.240
  • I'm asking God for a revival in this country.
  • 00:21:58.250 --> 00:22:02.130
  • Another chance, a revival. It's happened before.
  • 00:22:02.140 --> 00:22:07.190
  • Christians came at times in our national history,
  • 00:22:07.200 --> 00:22:12.090
  • when it looked like things were falling apart to them,
  • 00:22:12.100 --> 00:22:14.120
  • and they got on their knees, and they prayed for a revival.
  • 00:22:14.130 --> 00:22:17.040
  • And there were great awakenings in this country.
  • 00:22:17.050 --> 00:22:20.070
  • I'm praying that God would do that again.
  • 00:22:20.080 --> 00:22:22.010
  • I want God to bless America, but first America
  • 00:22:22.020 --> 00:22:24.260
  • needs to bless God.
  • 00:22:24.270 --> 00:22:26.070
  • We need to praise him, and be one nation under God
  • 00:22:26.080 --> 00:22:29.280
  • like it says so on our money.
  • 00:22:29.290 --> 00:22:33.140
  • Paul wrote to Timothy and he said,
  • 00:22:33.150 --> 00:22:34.290
  • "I urge then, first of all, that requests,
  • 00:22:35.000 --> 00:22:37.240
  • prayers, intercession, thanksgiving be made for
  • 00:22:37.250 --> 00:22:40.220
  • everyone, for kings and all those in authority,
  • 00:22:40.230 --> 00:22:44.050
  • that we may live peaceful and quiet lives
  • 00:22:44.060 --> 00:22:47.120
  • in all godliness and holiness.
  • 00:22:47.130 --> 00:22:50.110
  • This is good, and pleases God our Savior."
  • 00:22:50.120 --> 00:22:54.130
  • Did you hear that?
  • 00:22:54.140 --> 00:22:55.230
  • If you want to please God this week,
  • 00:22:55.240 --> 00:22:57.130
  • pray for your leaders, pray for the nation.
  • 00:22:57.140 --> 00:23:02.210
  • That's not to say that you stop with prayer.
  • 00:23:02.220 --> 00:23:06.150
  • You can always do more than pray after you've prayed,
  • 00:23:06.160 --> 00:23:10.110
  • but you can't do more than pray until you've prayed.
  • 00:23:10.120 --> 00:23:13.170
  • That's where we start.
  • 00:23:13.180 --> 00:23:15.150
  • That is the foundation of all of our other activities.
  • 00:23:15.160 --> 00:23:18.190
  • Abraham Lincoln said, "It is the duty of nations,
  • 00:23:18.200 --> 00:23:22.160
  • as well of as men, to recognize the sublime truth announced in
  • 00:23:22.170 --> 00:23:26.180
  • the Holy Scriptures and proved by all of history that those
  • 00:23:26.190 --> 00:23:30.190
  • nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord."
  • 00:23:30.200 --> 00:23:36.060
  • Another president in '84, 1984, Ronald Reagan said,
  • 00:23:36.070 --> 00:23:39.280
  • "Without God, there's a coarsening of the society.
  • 00:23:39.290 --> 00:23:43.290
  • Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure.
  • 00:23:44.000 --> 00:23:49.060
  • If we ever forget that we are one nation under God,
  • 00:23:49.070 --> 00:23:52.230
  • we will be one nation gone under."
  • 00:23:52.240 --> 00:23:57.150
  • Powerful words.
  • 00:23:57.160 --> 00:23:59.160
  • All of that to say the vote that you make in your prayer closet
  • 00:23:59.170 --> 00:24:02.100
  • must precede the vote that you make in the ballot box.
  • 00:24:02.110 --> 00:24:05.060
  • They go together.
  • 00:24:05.070 --> 00:24:06.160
  • You want to pray, and you want to act,
  • 00:24:06.170 --> 00:24:08.070
  • but you want to pray first.
  • 00:24:08.080 --> 00:24:09.170
  • Now, why do we pray?
  • 00:24:09.180 --> 00:24:10.270
  • Well, I'll tell you why I pray, because I think it'll work.
  • 00:24:10.280 --> 00:24:15.010
  • I mean, isn't that why we pray?
  • 00:24:15.020 --> 00:24:17.170
  • I hope you--well, I pray because it makes me feel really good.
  • 00:24:17.180 --> 00:24:23.010
  • But if it doesn't work, why do it?
  • 00:24:23.020 --> 00:24:25.210
  • In fact, if you don't believe it'll work,
  • 00:24:25.220 --> 00:24:27.100
  • you know what'll happen?
  • 00:24:27.110 --> 00:24:28.200
  • You'll never pray.
  • 00:24:28.210 --> 00:24:30.000
  • If you actually believe prayer works,
  • 00:24:30.010 --> 00:24:31.140
  • you'll do it.
  • 00:24:31.150 --> 00:24:33.180
  • I think we got to come to a place where we're going to pray
  • 00:24:33.190 --> 00:24:36.040
  • because we believe God's going to do something in response.
  • 00:24:36.050 --> 00:24:38.110
  • Do I really believe that?
  • 00:24:38.120 --> 00:24:39.260
  • Well, Proverbs 21, listen to this.
  • 00:24:39.270 --> 00:24:43.140
  • You know it, but listen to it.
  • 00:24:43.150 --> 00:24:46.010
  • The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord.
  • 00:24:46.020 --> 00:24:51.160
  • The king's heart, here's God holding
  • 00:24:51.170 --> 00:24:53.080
  • the king's heart in his hand.
  • 00:24:53.090 --> 00:24:54.210
  • He's got control of the king's heart.
  • 00:24:54.220 --> 00:24:57.100
  • The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord.
  • 00:24:57.110 --> 00:24:59.050
  • You could change the words around.
  • 00:24:59.060 --> 00:25:01.100
  • The mayor's heart is in the hand of the Lord.
  • 00:25:01.110 --> 00:25:03.180
  • The governor's heart is in the hand of the Lord.
  • 00:25:03.190 --> 00:25:05.180
  • The president's heart is in the hand of the Lord.
  • 00:25:05.190 --> 00:25:08.110
  • The candidate's heart is in the hand of the Lord.
  • 00:25:08.120 --> 00:25:11.010
  • It says, "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord,
  • 00:25:11.020 --> 00:25:14.030
  • and he directs it like a water course wherever he pleases.
  • 00:25:14.040 --> 00:25:20.050
  • In other words, God has the power to direct the decisions of
  • 00:25:20.060 --> 00:25:25.050
  • leaders on earth, even bad ones.
  • 00:25:25.060 --> 00:25:29.010
  • Nebuchadnezzar was a bad one.
  • 00:25:29.020 --> 00:25:31.230
  • God could direct his heart to where he wanted it to go.
  • 00:25:31.240 --> 00:25:36.140
  • So, I'm asking you to pray.
  • 00:25:36.150 --> 00:25:38.190
  • I'm asking if you don't have medical issues,
  • 00:25:38.200 --> 00:25:40.210
  • if you're not a diabetic, et cetera, that you fast.
  • 00:25:40.220 --> 00:25:43.200
  • Well, you say, "Well, what is fasting?
  • 00:25:43.210 --> 00:25:45.250
  • What does that mean? Like I have to give something up?"
  • 00:25:45.260 --> 00:25:49.130
  • "You're asking me to give something up?"
  • 00:25:49.140 --> 00:25:51.020
  • Yeah, like food.
  • 00:25:51.030 --> 00:25:54.120
  • "Well, I'll die."
  • 00:25:54.130 --> 00:25:55.280
  • No, it won't kill you if you skip a meal or a day,
  • 00:25:55.290 --> 00:25:59.170
  • or certain items from it.
  • 00:25:59.180 --> 00:26:01.040
  • I'm going to leave that between you and the Lord,
  • 00:26:01.050 --> 00:26:02.210
  • but I will tell you in the Book of Acts,
  • 00:26:02.220 --> 00:26:04.220
  • whenever they made important decisions or when they were
  • 00:26:04.230 --> 00:26:07.070
  • going to bring in new leadership,
  • 00:26:07.080 --> 00:26:09.010
  • they prayed and they fasted.
  • 00:26:09.020 --> 00:26:11.080
  • Now, I want you to know that fasting
  • 00:26:11.090 --> 00:26:14.140
  • is not a sanctified diet.
  • 00:26:14.150 --> 00:26:15.260
  • It's not a way to lose weight in Jesus' name.
  • 00:26:15.270 --> 00:26:18.180
  • Ooh, how do you like my new fast, slim?
  • 00:26:18.190 --> 00:26:21.160
  • Do I look good, especially in black?
  • 00:26:21.170 --> 00:26:23.170
  • female announcer: That's all the time we have for today,
  • 00:26:24.230 --> 00:26:26.090
  • but we do hope you enjoyed our study.
  • 00:26:26.100 --> 00:26:28.170
  • If you'd like to order today's message on CD,
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  • contact us, and we'll ship it to you for just $6.
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  • Call us at 1-800-922-1888, or go online at connectiononline.org.
  • 00:26:33.150 --> 00:26:41.040
  • announcer: Learn how Jesus can change the way we give and
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  • receive hospitality with this month's resource
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  • from "The Connection."
  • 00:26:47.010 --> 00:26:48.100
  • For a suggested donation of $35 or more,
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  • you'll receive Lenya's book Live Tastefully:
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  • Savoring Encounters."
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  • With each lesson includes a recipe to encourage to live
  • 00:26:54.110 --> 00:26:57.040
  • tastefully, just the way God intended.
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  • You'll also receive four booklets by Lenya that address
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  • important issues like temptation,
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  • trials, and forgiveness.
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  • connectiononline.org/offers, or by calling 800-922-1888.
  • 00:27:06.220 --> 00:27:12.090
  • announcer: Thank you for joining us for this teaching
  • 00:27:13.070 --> 00:27:15.030
  • from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albuquerque.
  • 00:27:15.040 --> 00:27:18.130
  • "The Connection" is a presentation of Connection
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  • Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in
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  • ever changing times.
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