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Before I begin, I would like to file this requisite caveat from A. W. Tozer's preface to Born After Midnight.

“To sit even for a moment in the chair of the teacher and write that which may affect the life and character of numerous persons is not only a lofty privilege but a grave responsibility as well. The only qualifications I bring to the writing of these pages are love for the Triune Godhead and a sorrowful concern for the spiritual welfare of the Church, which our Lord purchased with His own blood. If there is anything here good or helpful to the children of God it must be attributed to the operation of the Holy Spirit who often condescends to work through unworthy instruments. Whatever else may be found here is due to human weakness and is better forgotten.”
  A. W. Tozer, Chicago, Illinois July 22, 1959

I am not Aiden Wilson Tozer. I am not a star in the great spiritual galaxy of our day. Nevertheless, I can reflect starlight. And this is my heartfelt reflection and gravest concern as to the clear and present danger others in our society have placed us in. Apart from the intervention of God, I see no hope for America.


One other thing that must be said to set the record straight as to my personal position (my standing, as it were) to even begin to write this—He saved me!


For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  Titus 3:3-7


Standing in God's grace and mercy alone, because of Christ alone,

DP Mosteller




Sunset of a Great Civilization

D.P. Mosteller

We're living in the sunset of a great civilization, that didn't just forget about God, but rather grabbed Him by the scruff of the neck and threw him out the front door onto the street. The moral wreckage of postmodernism is strewn all about us. Deviancy has replaced decency as the dominate cultural standard in America.

Our society is now rushing to accept, promote and aggressively defend any and all variants of what was once considered normal cultural behavior—as long as it supports the citizens of Gomorrah over those of Gethsemane.
 


We have not only witnessed the killing of over 55,000,000 of our own children, but the selling of their body parts to the highest bidder.


We have witnessed the death of purity, innocence, virtue, beauty, chasteness, good manners, etiquette, dignity, courtesy, respect, wholesomeness, tenderness, gentleness, modesty, propriety, politeness, decorum, decency, shame and guilt, righteousness, honor, nobility, civility, kindness, graciousness, reverence, reason, sound moral principles and judgment; along with the loss of masculine leadership from good men of loyalty, chivalry, gallantry, valor and unconditional love.


We have witnessed God write Ichabod, Ichabod, The glory is departed across our churches leaving us with little more than empty sepulchers—repositories of religious artifacts and activities populated by well-meaning "Christians" many of whom who do not possess the life in Jesus Christ they profess. 

We have witnessed Heisenberg's uncertainty principle  morph into the uncertainty of everything in the university and ambiguity in our seminaries. We have witnessed not only the denial of God's rightful position as Creator and Lord, but His very existence as well. 


We have witnessed nothing short of the ignominious collapse of the traditional moral and ethical values of our culture. 
We have witnessed the coarsening of American life to the point where only the prurient and sensate are effectual in advertising and Facebook is now offering 56 different gender choices to help you re-create yourself into something other than God's image. Same-sex marriage is now the law of the land and "trans" are now overnight media sensations.


Today the entire field of human sexual behavior is marked by fierce moral relativism and rampant perversion with the most flagrant purveyors of LGBT acclaimed as cultural icons by the media. Children are subjected to shameless brazen advertising as pharmaceutical giants assure men of enhanced sexual performance.


We have witnessed the rise of vaunted technologies being used to deliver predators and pornography into our homes and hands unannounced, unsolicited.
Smartphones now provide unlimited availability and access to every form of cyber sin for over 1.5 billion making our job as disciplemakers harder than ever.


The savages (new atheists) are escalating the tempo of inversion from the original intent of our Constitution and the societal peace and order that naturally flows from a firm social consensus with fixed moral and ethical absolutes, to the obvious reality of God's existence as clearly seen in His creation. And all of this is being accomplished through a democratic process of civil government and judicial activism by hedonistic nihilists; by humanistic deconstructionists in our universities; and well entrenched evolutionary dogmatists preaching a purely fictionalized form of neo-darwinian synthesis under the mantle of science.


If the radical depravity of mankind was ever in doubt, this godless secular culture has disabused our minds of that thought.


Law enforcement is absolutely reeling from the breakdown of authority, while politicians are marketing themselves like breakfast cereal; flavoring their platforms with whatever brand of tolerance best suits the taste of a deteriorating democracy on the move to anarchy. Strong moral convictions are now anathema, causing voters to absolutely bristle and head for the nearest exit.


Any traditional moral convictions or ethical standards is sufficient cause for today's university students to riot and take matters into their own hands to dictate administrative policy to the university. Truly, the patients are now running the asylum. Remember the bumper sticker Resist Authority!  Seems to have caught on in a big way for there is now no place left in America for true wisdom, good judgment and common sense to stand. Certainly no place in our ever-so-secular pseudo-scientific society of Coexisters for our Creator and the time honored wisdom of his scriptures to stand, except in a closet with the door closed.


If rebellious depravity was blue, America in the year 2016 would be blue all over.


                                    
  
As Christians are experiencing increasing hostility from our virtually godless culture, the United States continues to move forward weeding out permanently any idea of God from the minds and hearts of our children. While the concept of transcendent justice finds no place in today's neo-pagan mind; moral absolutes are being handled like toxic waste by our courts and legislatures. The love of the right and hatred of the wrong, finds no place today in the average American home, and is certainly not at home in our universities, work places or political system. If that foundation be destroyed, what shall we do? How shall we live?


"Without religion morality falters. When morality falters the Pandora's Box of corruption, crime, and decay set in to be followed by the demise of the nation."   Alexander Hamilton


At the velocity our society is now hurtling toward oblivion, I would say it's high time for all of us who call ourselves "Christians" to make a decision as to whose side we're really on. We will either turn around in brokenness and genuine repentance and turn back to the Living God as individuals and as  a nation—or march off the map as all the other great civilizations before us have done. Unfortunately, the "many" are at work, while the "few" watch.  Matt 7:13-14


The judgment of America as she stands naked and undone with all of her whoredom and cosmic rebellion on display before the supremely Just, Righteous, Holy God is too terrible to contemplate. We will all suffer. Our children will suffer, our grandchildren will suffer. Though relatively few there be whose hands actually dared touch The Prince of Peace—we all participated in his expulsion. If in no other way, but through our silence.


America has fallen from One Nation Under God, to One Nation Under God's Judgement. We are now so tolerant, so foolish, so blind and self-confident there is no place left in our country for truth and wisdom to stand.


Prudence, righteousness, justice based on the love of the right, are gone. America will be the classic case study in self-destruction through out all eternity.


Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD  (Psalm 33:12) is no longer a blessing, but a verdict of inevitable judgment for the United States of America.


We have turned from God to ourselves. From His thoughts and ways, to our own. From honoring and worshiping God, to honoring and worshiping ourselves. 


Persecution for our faith in the LORD Jesus Christ is now in God's hands. The criminalization of Christianity is now a reality. Without God's intervention, escalating persecution of Christians, ministries, and churches is inevitable. Read ECFA "In The News," and you'll find it well underway. If the IRS 501(c)(3) property tax exemption alone is lost under the guise of everyone paying their fair share, many of our schools and colleges will be forced to close.


Our young will suffer the most. Our children and grandchildren.


We'll either be good and faithful soldiers of the Cross on the front lines of Evangelism and Apologetics calling America to repentance and faith, or we won't. As for me and my house, that decision's been made. We will serve the Lord with all of our heart, soul, strength and mind. Sound trite? You're already wounded. Many of us are wounded, some worse than others. We're all feeling the effects of the sunset of our nation. But don't despair, there's good reason for hope.

For Great Hope!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not
send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  John 3:16-17



Three things to consider

T
hree things to consider as we look to the future:   Jesus' BirthJesus' CrossJesus' Resurrection

There has never been, in the history of mankind, as much verifiable evidence supporting the existence of God and the reliability of scripture, than at this moment.

Apologetics has never had the level of evidential support from scientific and archaeological discoveries available today, or the sheer volume of books, articles, websites, apologetic training classes, video documentaries, online study programs, degree programs, and graduate programs
than it presently enjoys. In short, it has never been easier to credibly, articulately and eloquently defend your faith in Jesus Christ in such a simple, compelling, persuasive manner. 

There has never been a time when the entire Library of Congress would fit into the palm of your hand and could be viewed with superb screen resolution and concert hall sound. Technology has made it possible to present a dazzling presentation of the latest archaeological discoveries in the Middle East to the person standing next to you in the supermarket checkout line.

Logos Bible Software can provide study tools and resources beyond your wildest imagination. The Institute for Creation Research, Creation Ministries International, and Answers In Genesis are repositories of more facts than anyone could ever possibly use.
Illustra Media video documentaries are extremely powerful, yet highly entertaining apologetics of God's handiwork. One comment on Unlocking The Mystery Of Life by Illustra Media, “The science is solid and the computer animations are superb. This is a great film.” Philip S. Skell, Ph.D. Member, National Academy of Sciences

I told you, it's never been easier.

Skeptics have often pointed out that no archaeological evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ has been discovered. And they are correct, at least perhaps up until the present. A recent incredible discovery may put to rest that criticism... The new artifact is an ossuary, a medium-sized box in which human bones were placed for permanent burial after the flesh had all decayed away. This practice was employed for only a brief period of time from about B.C. 20 to A.D. 70. The box is made of a soft, chalky, limestone, common to the area. The contents have long since vanished.


Most remarkably, an inscription has been etched into the side which reads, "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" in the Aramaic script of the time. Careful studies, including scrutiny under a scanning electron microscope show the inscription to be genuine. The patina, or oxidized surface equally covers both box and the interior of the etched letters. The recognized expert on such matters, Dr. Andre Lemaire, concludes: "I am pleased to report that in my judgment it is genuinely ancient and not a fake."  John D. Morris, Ph.D.  Institute for Creation Research


As I said, it has never been easier to defend your faith in Jesus Christ (and James) than at this very moment. And the signature work of God's redemptive plan focuses on Jesus' Birth,  Jesus' Cross, Jesus' Resurrection, and a book unlike any other on this planet.


That it might be painfully obvious to all mankind that the record of God's redemptive plan was not of human invention, God superintended the writing of the Bible over a 1500 year period, by over 40 different authors from very different backgrounds, in 3 different languages, on 3 different continents. He then compiled those letters into a seamless record and protected it down through the ages that we might have confidence in
his son's birth, death, and resurrection on our behalf.
  

After his resurrection Jesus appeared to hundreds of people at different times and places that there would be hundreds of eyewitnesses to his resurrection to support a credible historical record. As with any historical document, one need only apply the same research principles to verify the reliability and veracity of the Bible.

"Almost all Biblical scholars agree that the New Testament documents were all written before the close of the First Century. If Jesus was crucified in A.D.
30., then that means the entire New Testament was completed within 70 years. This is important because it means there were plenty of people around when the New Testament documents were penned--people who could have contested the writings. In other words, those who wrote the documents knew that if they were inaccurate, plenty of people would have pointed it out. But, we have absolutely no ancient documents contemporary with the First Century that contest the New Testament texts.

Furthermore, another important aspect of this discussion is the fact that we have a fragment of the Gospel of John that dates back to around 29 years from the original writing (John Rylands Papyri A.D. 125). This is extremely close to the original writing date. This is simply unheard of in any other ancient writing, and it demonstrates that the Gospel of John is a First Century document."
 
  CARM

There are 5686 Greek New Testament manuscripts with an internal consistency of approx. 99.5% There are also over 19,000 copies in the Syriac, Latin, Coptic, and Aramaic languages. The total supporting New Testament manuscript base is over 24,000. That's fact not fiction. Compare it to any other ancient document.


  • Caesar’s Gallic Wars written first century B.C. only 10 manuscripts in existence. Earliest textual evidence was copied 1,000 years after the original.
  • Aristotle’s Poetics written fourth century B.C. only 5 manuscripts in existence. Earliest textual evidence was copied 1,400 years after the original.
  • Plato's dialogues written 427-347 B.C. only 7 manuscripts in existence. Earliest textual evidence was copied 1,200 years after the original.
  • The John Rylands Papyri (A.D. 125) fragment of the Gospel of John is dated approximately 29 years after the original.
  • The book of Revelation was written in the last decade of the first century (A.D. 94-96) closing the biblical canon.
  • The entire New Testament was completed within approximately 70 years after Christ's resurrection.
  • Writing of the New Testament

        James--A.D. 44-49
        Galatians--A.D. 49-50
        Matthew--A.D. 50-60
        Mark--A.D. 50-60
        1 Thessalonians--A.D. 51
        2 Thessalonians--A.D. 51-52
        1 Corinthians--A.D. 55
        2 Corinthians--A.D. 55-56
        Romans-- A.D. 56
        Luke--A.D. 60-61
        Ephesians--A.D. 60-62
        Philippians--A.D. 60-62
        Philemon--A.D. 60-62
        Colossians--A.D. 60-62
        Acts--A.D. 62
        1 Timothy--A.D. 62-64
        Titus--A.D. 62-64
        1 Peter--A.D. 64-65
        2 Timothy--A.D. 66-67
        2 Peter--A.D. 67-68
        Hebrews--A.D. 67-69
        Jude--A.D. 68-70
        John--A.D. 80-90
        1 John--A.D. 90-95
        2 John--A.D. 90-95
        3 John--A.D. 90-95
        Revelation--A.D. 94-96


Far beyond all other considerations


Far beyond all other considerations in this life, acceptance or rejection of the reliability and historicity of the New Testament has the gravest eternal consequences for every man, woman, and child on this planet. Some in hope, most without.


Solemnity is a word you don't hear much anymore. Fools traffic in foolishness, frivolity and superficiality. Don't join them when it comes to the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus. To say that these are far too important would be the classic understatement of the ages. Be separate! Be different! Be grave! And be solemn when interceding on behalf of eternal souls. You'll never be more like Jesus than at that moment when interceding before God for the eternal soul of another.

All too o
ften, my failure in sharing Christ with others is not handling the issue of their eternal destiny with all of the gravity and the solemnity that it rightly deserves. It's much more than a matter of life and death.  See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.  Deut 30:15 

Eternal destiny is the issue.

As you read the book of James it becomes obvious that he believes actions speak louder than words. Therefore, the manger, the cross, and the empty tomb should be more than enough to give us all great hope and encouragement.

One last thing to consider

There's one last thing to consider, the imminent return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But, what will he find when he returns?

“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” 
Alexis de Tocqueville


Tocqueville was more right than we may want to admit or accept, especially if we're a university professor, or politician. Nevertheless, May God Bless America. Because America is essentially good, and will hopefully, turn around in genuine brokenness, repentance, and faith in Jesus Christ before that last day.


When you consider all of the changes that have recently taken place in our country and the direction we're headed; the most reasonable, rational, the most logical course of action for those who love Christ and seek to obey Christ is to boldly live out before this Christ rejecting world, the reality of the manger, cross, and empty tomb every day of our lives—that others may believe to their eternal joy and welfare, and the glory of God our Savior.

My earnest prayer is that America would acknowledge Jesus Christ as the hope of the world before it's too late, and genuinely become One Nation Under God.
That revival would come to America before it's too late. That America might be, as John MacArthur once put it, "One of God's greatest redemption stories."


If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.   2 Chronicles 7:14


Thus says the Lord: “Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for there is a reward for your work, declares the Lord; and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.   Jeremiah 31:16


Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav'nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
Louis Bourgeois and Thomas Ken, 1674

And that's about all I have to say tonight, except for one thing. The past few days when I've been at that window upstairs, I've thought a bit of the 'shining city upon a hill.' The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we'd call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free. I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.


And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was eight years ago. But more than that: After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she's still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.


We've done our part. And as I walk off into the city streets, a final word to the men and women of the Reagan revolution, the men and women across America who for eight years did the work that brought America back. My friends: We did it. We weren't just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger, we made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all.


And so, goodbye, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America. 


Ronald Reagan

January 11,1989