How much longer do we have?


This morning I woke up with a probing question, “How much longer does America have before we totally collapse as a nation?”


I have asked this question of the Lord before, but I figured I give it another attempt hoping this time I might hear an answer from the Lord.


After the Lord visited Abraham to reveal to him the wonderful news that he and Sarah would bear a son the following year, the Lord's messengers decided also to share with Abraham His plans of judgment for Sodom and Gomorrah.


Upon hearing the fate of the wicked cities of the plain, the area where his nephew Lot dwelt, Abraham wrestled with the Lord to save the future of Sodom and Gomorrah. 


The Lord did not change His mind about the outcome of Sodom and Gomorrah but He did heed Abraham's intercessions and saved Lot and his two daughters.


Here is where we find ourselves here today in America 2011. We realize the fate of the land does not look good. That inevitable and unavoidable judgments are prepared for our people and our land. But we hope for better. We use political action instead of ardent prayer. 


Let's read together the account of how carefully Abraham presented his heart before the Judge of the earth.


Gen. 18:16-32


Then the men rose from there and looked toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to send them on the way. And the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” And the LORD said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”


Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD. And Abraham came near and said,


“Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?”


Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You!


Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”


So the LORD said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.”


Then Abraham answered and said, “Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous; would You destroy all of the city for lack of five?”


So He said, “If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it.”


And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there should be forty found there?”


So He said, “I will not do it for the sake of forty.”

Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?”


So He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

And he said, “Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose twenty should be found there?”


So He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.”

Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?”


And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.” So the LORD went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.”



From this account we learn that the Lord wants to include his faithful servants in His plan to destroy cities, regions, and nations, and to gather the nations before His righteous Throne in the days to come.


Abraham prayer ultimately saved the life of Lot and his 2 daughters so Abraham acts in similar fashion to Jesus in His work to be Our Mediator before the Perfect Throne of God. If Abraham didn't intercede, I can't see how their lives would have been spared. 


Notice also how gingerly and carefully Abraham moved from the number of 50 righteous all the way down to 10 with each change in number He waits to hear the Lord's response. 


The Lord desired to converse with Abraham about His plan to destroy the city but the inevitable outcome of the horrible sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were clearly set in motion long before He spoke with Abraham.


What is so interesting about this historical event is that the Dead Sea is an unique by-product of the fires of heaven that were poured out of heaven on those cities. The Dead Sea contains 37% salt which is used today to promote healing for thousands and thousands of people who use these waters for skin ailments.


So where judgment occurs... grace also is revealed. 


Our father Abraham left the Presence of the Lord with a clear understanding that if 10 righteous were dwelling in Sodom and Gomorrah the Lord would not destroy the city.


But our father Abraham leaves the Lord's presence in sadness because he knew that 10 righteous people did not abide in Sodom and Gomorrah. Here we can draw a parallel Abraham's struggle and the struggle we feel today to ascertain the fate of our nation in 2011.


We can't believe that God would destroy a nation that has been so blessed like our America. We can't believe that our sins are worse than the sins of the many other nations in our modern godless world.


--- 


This morning I woke up with the question, “How long do we have before America is destroyed?”


As I meditated on this question this morning I started with a number, Could it be “20 years?” maybe “10 years?”


With no sense of confirmation within the deep recesses of my heart, I asked the Lord, “is it 5 years?”


Time will reveal if the number of years that remain for us is inline with the Lord's plan, but 5 years represents ample time to get ready for these severe judgments to fall... is it not?


So then what is the 5 year plan?


Every life coach will tell you that no one succeeds without a plan. We have short range plans and long range plans. Each have their origin in the deep recesses of our mind and heart. Each has their purpose to get us closer to our purpose and the fulfillment of our dreams.


But what if God makes it clear that a 5 year plan as we have come interpret what a five year plan means. Can we, and should we, make these kinds of long range plans today?


I believe that we are at a point in human history where 5 year plans are not even possible for those who live in our nation?


What does that reality do for the financial planner? How does that reality impact a young person planning for college?


What about the aspiring entrepreneur looking to launch a business with private or public funding?


How does a young married couple discern the rightness and timing of when, and if, or where to have and raise their children?


Here again I harken to the scriptures.


Look soberly with me at Jeremiah 16:1-4:


“The word of the LORD also came to me, saying, “You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place.”


For thus says the LORD concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place, and concerning their mothers who bore them and their fathers who begot them in this land:


They shall die gruesome deaths; they shall not be lamented nor shall they be buried, but they shall be like refuse on the face of the earth. They shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, and their corpses shall be meat for the birds of heaven and for the beasts of the earth.”


If this doesn't strike a note on the heart strings of your emotions I don't what will. This is our God speaking to His chosen People!


In reality, and in time space history, the Lord of heaven and earth spoke to individuals and informed them of His plans to judge people and nations. 


The prophet Jeremiah was uniquely born in the days of the great decline in the nation of Israel. He was called and then instructed by the Lord with clear words of what to do and not to do with his life. Whether he should marry, who were to be his companions in ministry, and the state of the nation of Israel and her future judgments.


Why are there are so few prophets today?


Because it is a hard and demanding life to live.


We have lost the reality of the Lord's right to dictate time and space events for ourselves and our family. Instead of letting Our Lord reveal His plans for us we close our ears to His call and open our ears to the smooth sounds of those who speak peace. Prosperity is easier to receive.


Sadly, we have incorporated an American idealism into the True Gospel that was once for all delivered to the saints; because we have mixed vain philosophies of men into the true metal of the Lord's word of reconciliation to a lost and dying world. 


Today we are left with a very weak and tepid message that does not deal with the very basics of the history of our faith.


To determine how much time we have left in our America requires an honest assessment of where we each are at personally in our walk with Our Lord. For we all have to be blamed for the state of our nation.


For example, who of us could receive a strong word of judgment from the Lord and obediently take that word to the authority that needs to hear it.


Listen again to what Jeremiah was told by the Lord about those who dwelt in Jerusalem – God's very precious and holy city:


O My mountain in the field,I will give as plunder your wealth, all your treasures, And your high places of sin within all your borders. And you, even yourself,Shall let go of your heritage which I gave you; And I will cause you to serve your enemies in the land which you do not know; For you have kindled a fire in My anger which shall burn forever.”


Thus says the LORD:


“Cursed is the man who trusts in man

And makes flesh his strength,

Whose heart departs from the LORD.”


Cursed is every man who trusts in man. “Trusting man” is exactly what we are doing today in the church. We chase after words from so-called prophets all over the cable networks and youtube channels hoping to get something that will make sense. But in the end we are still trusting in man and not in the Lord's word over our personal lives and the lives of men, women, and children within the corpose of our America.


If we can read this passage from Jeremiah's prophesy without feeling the weight of the words he spoke, then we haven't come to the place where we are ready to discover the very depths of where the Lord Our God will go to humble and correct His people. Especially those who publicly represent His Name. 


Amen? 


---


Dear people of God, sojourners in the Way, keepers of God's law, we don't have much more time to finally wake up and prepare our house for His judgments.


Five years is but a vapor. I pray the Lord will use this word to begin the process of awakening you to the seriousness of this very hour in human history.


We are on the verge of losing all our so called liberties as believers in Yahshua.


Technically our liberties are all but lost, we just haven't come to the place where we realize the profundity of the hour we find ourselves in human history. We find as well that our leaders are not really interested in the idea of repentance until they and their people get rid of their idols.


The folks that endured the horrors of those tornados in Tuscalusa, AL and Joplin, MO must have a brand new attitude about the brevity of life... don't they? 


If we were able to hear the accounts of the details of their personal experience of surviving the whiplash of 200 plus mph winds supplied by those deadly tornados. Because of the severity of these tornados I believe that those who survived are open to what I am sharing today. They must sense that a day is coming when greater judgments will be brought on our nation. For these are but firstfruits of the great day of judgment that awaits us all.


Each survivor that endured the affliction of the lashes of those terrible tornados, I believe would say, that the darkness and destruction they experience left with a sense of the power of ominous weather. Yet in comparison to what is coming to the earth from heaven these tornados pale in comparison to certain appearance of Our Lord from heaven.  


I believe some of those who endured and survived those tornados have felt the urge to repent and turn their hearts toward God, but many will stay hardened in their sins.


Many, as in Jeremiah's day, will continue the foolish exercise of rolling the dice on their future in this America by renewing their efforts to put on a stiff upper lip and to press forward in their quest for the nebulous and murky goal of life, liberty, peace, and the happiness thought to be our right as Americans. Yes, if all of us would just keep believing in the virtue of man and his innate power to save himself things will turn around.


While our contemporaries hold tightly to the hopes within the confines of our American idolatry, against the will of heaven, the all-american optimists miss the point of the warnings sent to awaken us. They believe that our liberties were granted permanently. They willfully forget that all things come from the One who dwells enthroned over all creation, and they come at a great cost. 


The cross of Our Savior secured the rise and fall of nations, and these blessings are granted to us day by day as we walk before the face of Our God under the pressure of the life and death covenant conditions provided for us in His Son.


Condition #1 


Clearly based on the reality that we must seek and serve Him with our whole heart. If we would turn from our wicked ways and serve Him, He has promised to bless. If we take up our cross and follow Him, we will find our peace and sustain a life of true happiness. If we lose our life He promises to give us eternal life with Him.


Condition #2 


Established on realities that are based upon breaking God's law. Outside of Christ there is no salvation. In turn we bring on ourselves and our nation the curses associated with New Covenant. For He is Lord both of the Living and the Dead.  


---


The prophet Ezekiel shared the Lord's heart for His people. The Lord wanted His People to turn from their idols and to seek Him with their whole heart. 


Witness this truth in the account written for us in Chapter 33:


Ezekiel 33: 12-20


“Therefore you, O son of man, say to the children of your people: ‘The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins.’


“When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die. Again, when I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right, if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he shall surely live.”


“Yet the children of your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ But it is their way which is not fair! When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it. But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is lawful and right, he shall live because of it. Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, I will judge every one of you according to his own ways.”


God will not be mocked when His judgments fall. His desire that you and I repent and turn ourselves completely over to His governance and find life in His Son. By cleaving unto His Son finished work we discover life evermore. 


As we look into the beautiful face of our Lord Jesus we see the ultimate expression of mercy and incredible patience straight from the heart of Our God. But even in the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth, we discover, that His words of life came couched in conflict and in a climate of adversity created by the disagreeing religious community of His Day. 


As we continue to wrestle with work of pressing forward the message that must be presented at this time in human history, we do so knowing it will not to please men, but rather the will and desire of the heart of Our Lord in heaven. 


Our Lord Jesus pleaded with the throngs of Jews and Gentiles that stood and listened to His final sermon before He was executed in His Holy City. He stood on the temple steps a week before Passover and boldly declared the hypocrisy of the keepers of the Temple. 


The year before, during the Feast of Tabernacles, He foreshadowed the final gathering of all His People when He returns to earth. Read with me His earnest cry in John 7:37:


“On the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.”


What was going on in the background at the time of this feast? 


The religious leaders were seeking to kill Jesus of Nazareth, the only source of true life.... their one and only Messiah. 


So why were they so angry with Jesus? Because He claimed His words came directly from heaven?  


His declarations revealed that He was the Lord of the temple and of the city of Jerusalem. They wanted to be in charge of the city and the temple BUT He must be Lord of all, nothing less will do.


We have to understand that the Lord's heart has always been for mankind to repent. From the days of Eden He has laid out the eternal plan to save man from death. He will never take delight in the death of the wicked. He has and will continually send to each generation His prophets and His messengers.  


He most ardently sends His prophets to the visible church and those who call themselves Jews, all those who publicly declare they are His chosen people.


Even in this dark hour in human history, the Lord is preparing His Land and His holy city for His bold entrance.


When John the Baptist prophesied about the coming work of Messiah he prophesied that His ministry would be marked with an incredible work of threshing of all the wheat gathered into His barns. His fiery work would be to separate the wheat from the chaff. He came to thoroughly thresh His floor. To make an end of the sin and uncleanness among His People. And to gather together all nations around His Holy Throne for judgment.


By making atonement for us, He guaranteed that we would be one day be a people marked by repentance, a way marked by a sincere turn and alliegence to His Holy Law. Included are all the redeemed Jews and ingrafted Gentiles who become Jews by their faith. Members of the commonwealth of Israel.


Before we proceed on to the implications of the Lord's words for us today, let's look back at another part of Jeremiah's prophesy to the backsliden people of Israel.


When you read carefully the implications for Jeremiah in his call as a prophet it should sober us. We say we are prophets, we should stop and consider very carefully the call of a true prophet of the Lord.


---


Then the LORD said to me, “Do not pray for this people, for their good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.”


Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, the prophets say to them, ‘You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.’ 


And the LORD said to me, “The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart.


Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who prophesy in My name, whom I did not send, and who say, ‘Sword and famine shall not be in this land’—‘By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed! And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; they will have no one to bury them—them nor their wives, their sons nor their daughters—for I will pour their wickedness on them.’

 

Therefore you shall say this word to them:


‘ Let my eyes flow with tears night and day,

And let them not cease;

For the virgin daughter of my people

Has been broken with a mighty stroke, with a very severe blow.

If I go out to the field,

Then behold, those slain with the sword!

And if I enter the city,

Then behold, those sick from famine!

Yes, both prophet and priest go about in a land they do not know.’ 


We balance this strong word with another word from chapter 15 of Jeremiah's prophecy. Here Jeremiah is caught between a rock and a hard place. He has been commanded to not pray for the wayward people of Israel, yet He questions the Lord for His Judgments, you see, Jeremiah is in deep misery for the plight of His people, he simply doesn't know what to do.


The Lord promises that if Jeremiah faithfully prophesies the Lord's revelation to His people, that he would one day see the eventual revival of the work of the Lord in the Land of Israel. Read with care verses 19-21 of Jeremiah 15:


Therefore thus says the LORD:


“If you return,

Then I will bring you back;

You shall stand before Me;

If you take out the precious from the vile,

You shall be as My mouth.

Let them return to you,

But you must not return to them.

And I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall;

And they will fight against you,

But they shall not prevail against you;

For I am with you to save you

And deliver you,” says the LORD.

“I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked,

And I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible.”


We must read these prophesies with great care. America has been known as a christian nation and as such bears a greater judgment than other nations with a lesser history.


To much is given much is required. We have experienced great success in war and economy. We also have experienced times of spiritual renewal in our land.


Tremendous preaching and teaching of the Word of God has smothered our soil for the last 400 years. We have no excuse, we can not claim ignorance. And the Lord will not allow us to use the excuse of ignorance to save our sorry souls.


Again, I ask the question:


If you knew for certain that the nation of America had 5 years left before horrible judgments fall, what will you do in response to this warning? Will you take these words before the Lord in prayer?


Will you push the word away and pretend all is well?


In your dismissal of the words of the Lord, will you in effect stone the prophet delivering the word?


Or far more encouraging experience would be for all of us to heed the word and pray to the Lord for wisdom and ask Him for a right understanding of what to do next.  


When we see things as they really are in these crazy times, we finally come to grips that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit we find our safety. He is our safe haven in these very uncertain times.


I will lift up my eyes to the hills—

From whence comes my help?

My help comes from the LORD,

Who made heaven and earth.


He will not allow your foot to be moved;

He who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, He who keeps Israel

Shall neither slumber nor sleep.


The LORD is your keeper;

The LORD is your shade at your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day,

Nor the moon by night.


The LORD shall preserve you from all evil;

He shall preserve your soul.

The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in

From this time forth, and even forevermore.



Blessings,



Jonathan David Keener