Prayer Targets: Spiritual Drunks; VVS; Christian Men; Celebrity Idols; Women's Sports
August 14, 2019
[T]he men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly. (Gen 13:13)
[S]odom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them... are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (Jude 7)
Dear Praying Friends,
Rev. Richard Owen Roberts has spent a lifetime studying Scripture and the history of revival in America and elsewhere. Like an Old Testament prophet, his words cut through our pretenses and expose our real condition. Speaking of sin, righteousness, and judgment, Roberts expresses hope for America. This excerpt is from his, Spiritual Drunkenness, an exposition of Jeremiah 13:
Drunken persons walk with great unsteadiness of foot, are tragically affected by severely impaired judgment, given to unprovoked fighting, lose their natural inhibitions, and have an awful ability to destroy not only their own bodies, but the lives of those around them as well...
Tragically, we have forgotten some important things that our fathers knew well.
Strangely, when we use the term judgment, we usually think of something in the future, but it was not so earlier... Pastor William B. Sprague gathered a collection are hundreds of fast day and solemn assembly sermons. Over a long period of American history there was at least one officially called day of fasting and prayer every year. This early literature abounds in the understanding that when God is grieved with His people, He brings them into immediate judgment.
The way some people today think, you might suppose God is handicapped and unable to intervene momentarily in the affairs of men and must await some final day when He makes all things right in bringing His people to judgment. But the proposition makes it clear that when God is angry with His people because of their unrepentant sin, He may bring them into a forced state of spiritual drunkenness immediately. Clearly, we need to learn to distinguish between eschatological judgments still out in front of us and the righteous judgments of God that happen from day-to-day.
Divine contemporary judgments are of two types: final judgments and remedial judgments. There are many illustrations of each in Scripture-the deaths of· Ananias and Sapphira are powerful examples of a final judgment. The term final is used in connection with a judgment in which God brings sudden death upon a person or a people without giving them any further opportunity for repentance. Peter made no appeal to Ananias or Sapphira and offered them no opportunity for repentance. He leveled the charge against them, and the judgment fell suddenly as a bolt from heaven. Scriptural occurrences of this type of judgment are numerous - including such events as the earth opening up and swallowing many, and times when the Lord allowed one of His enemies destroy tens of thousands of His own people in a single day.
But in His gracious mercy, God often introduces remedial judgments or gracious, corrective judgments, judgments where there are room and opportunity and incentive for repentance. Joel 1:1-2:27 records a remedial judgment in the form of a dreadful plague of locusts that came upon Israel in four great waves accompanied by an awful drought. A solemn assembly was called, and a deep and blessed time of corporate repentance and renewal resulted. Psalm 80 describes an extensive remedial judgment in which God withheld His blessing because He was provoked with His people's prayers, giving them tears to drink in great measure, breaking down the hedge of protection which had been about them, letting them become the laughingstock of their neighbors, even turning His face from them. The remedial effect of the judgment is seen in the broken-hearted lament of the Psalmist which focuses on the words, "Restore us, O God; make Your face shine upon us, that we may be saved" (80:3).
My proposition is that forced spiritual drunkenness at the hand of God is a remedial judgment. In facing this truth, we need to clarify in our minds how God operates. God is holy, and it is beyond His ability to look with favor upon sin. The Scriptures make it plain that when we sin, we are to judge ourselves immediately and put that sin away. If we do not judge ourselves, God will judge us. We have a powerful illustration of this in the life of David, who obviously did not repent of His sin with Bathsheba and his arrangement of the murder of her husband in a timely way. The evidence shows that David lived in those sins, unrepentant, for not less than nine months. Does that mean he went scot-free for that long period of time? No! David was under divine judgment from the moment he first sinned and did not judge himself. In Psalm 32 he speaks of his body wasting away and his vitality being drained away as with the fever heat of summer. He speaks of his groanings all day long and of the heavy hand of God upon him. In Psalm 38 he says that God's arrows have sunk deep into him, that there is no soundness in his flesh and no health in his bones because of his sin. He acknowledges that he is benumbed and badly crushed and groans because of the agitation of his heart. Even the light, he acknowledges, has gone from his eyes. In Psalm 51 he pleads that God may wash him thoroughly from his iniquity which is ever before him, that God will enable him again to hear joy and gladness, that the Lord will let the bones which He has broken rejoice, and that all of his iniquities will be blotted out. He was living in a very parched, desert-like experience because he did not deal quickly with his own sins.
God always judges sin when it occurs. Our duty is to judge ourselves immediately when we sin. If we do not, God is not helpless. He Himself will judge us. According to New Testament principles, not only are we to judge ourselves when we sin, but our churches are to judge us if we fail to do so. Thus, if we do not put away our sin as it occurs and our churches do not deal with the unrepentant as they are required, God will judge both us and our churches. This is not something God may do; it is something He always does. At this very moment, the church in the English-speaking world, having sinned against God and having failed to judge itself, is under the judgment of God. What is that judgment? Consider again the proposition: When God is angry with His own people because of their unforsaken sin, He may force them into a state of spiritual drunkenness (study Jeremiah 13). (Richard Owen Roberts, Spiritual Drunkenness, International Awakening Press, reduced).
America’s Founders and the people of their era may not all have been born again, Bible-obeying Christians, but the vast majority believed the Bible to contain the moral and ethical law by which mankind would be held to account. The fear and honor of God were the norm among average Americans. That is why America has been an exceptional nation. As we depart more and more from that standard, we face more and more judgements upon our nation – in every sphere. For many, it is the natural consequences of sin. These are bad enough. For others, it is cosmic consequences. When asked if certain people who had experienced horrific tragedies were greater sinners than their fellow citizens, Jesus said, “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:1-5). Is not the moral, spiritual, and ideological confusion as well as the rage, hostility, and lack of common sense in American culture a result of the “spiritual drunkenness” about which Roberts speaks?
- Oh God, grant us repentance and a returning to you as individuals, as churches, and as a nation. Your word declares that the “fear of God” is both the beginning of knowledge and the “beginning of wisdom,” and that you, Lord Jesus, are the way, the truth, and the life. Lord, without you and the knowledge, wisdom, and salvation you give, we are undone as a nation. Help each of us to repent fully and to persist in repenting and help us to be actively obedient to your Great Commission. Help us to stand with courage and wisdom in the public square and for our friends and enemies to see the grace of God upon our lives and seek to know you. Save our nation before our sin and spiritual drunkenness brings us to the point of no return. Help us to glorify you! In Jesus name, amen. (Pr 1:7; 28-30; 9:10; 10:27; 14:26; 15:16; 33; 16:6; 19:23; 22:4; 23:17; 24:21-23; 29:25; Ps 9:17; Rom 14:11-13)
Finally, the Prayer Targets will be on Hiatus until the first week of September. Please add the items below to your prayer lists and pray over them as the Lord leads you!
- FRC’s preeminent annual event, the Values Voter Summit, will take place October 11-13, 2019. Please pray, and if you can, come to Washington and join us. If you are so led to volunteer to be part of our onsite prayer team, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Men’s Movement – With the recent horrific shootings, there is a renewed focus on the problem of fatherless males as well as a need to reaffirm biblical manhood. Tony Perkins and Gen. Boykin participated in an impactful men’s conference earlier in the spring. Their messages provide biblical solutions to the crisis of manhood in America. Click HERE to view the conference (go to the bottom of the page to 2019 SOLA Men’ Conference – view or download each of the sessions).
- Leader singer John L. Cooper of the contemporary Christian music group Skillet has received applause from Christians everywhere for posting a thoughtful appeal to young people to take their eyes off of Christian musicians and other faith sphere celebrities and to keep their eyes on Jesus and the word of God (follow the link and click “see more”).
- The Equality Act of 2019, already passed by the House of Representatives, has a year to be voted on by the Senate or signed by the President. So far, Senate Majority Leader McConnell has not allowed it to move forward and the administration has released negative guidance, but it shows where those who voted for it want to go. It should serve as a lesson to every American. It changes the definition of sex and does nothing to protect Bible-believing Christians from being punished by the results, all inspired by LGBT activists who wish to impose their beliefs and practices on Americans and our children.
- Last week, theS. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights agreed to investigate a civil rights complaint by three Connecticut high school female athletes who were bested in track competitions by bi ological males who identify as transgender. The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference [CIAC] crafted the policy that allows biological males to compete in women’s sports. This is a nationwide issue that requires people to consider just how spiritually drunk we have become.
- Read Peter Sprigg’s article “Don’t Kiss Abstinence Goodbye,” his response to the departure of Josh Harris from the Christian faith and his book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, which helped hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of young boys and girls to embrace sexual purity over premarital sex.
- Please pray for the success of FRC’s effort along with our allies and the public policy community and Congress to End Birth Day Abortion. Read about the campaign HERE and join us in the effort, starting with prayer.
While Prayer Targets are on hiatus, listen to Tony Perkins’ Washington Watch radio show; download our Google or Apple app Stand Firm; read our blogs at FRCblog.com; search past issues of the “Washington Update” and the Prayer Team Targets; and pray over the news as the Lord leads you. We are all in this together!
Please urge your friends to sign up for the Prayer Targets HERE. And thank you for praying!