10-4-14 “If My People” – Part 1 – Pastor Shane Idleman

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See Complete “If My People” Sermon Series HERE

“If My People” pt. 1

Pulpit Freedom Weekend, Oct. 4th/5th

“That I may open my mouth boldly…as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:19-20

While we are concerned with terrorism, edola, and rightly so, …

  • “While truth and law were founded on the God of all creation, man now, through law, denies the truth and calls it ‘separation’. No longer does man see a need for God when he’s in full control, for the only truth self-evident is in the latest poll. But with man as his own master we fail to count the cost, our precious freedoms vanish and our liberty is lost. Children are told they can’t pray in school and they teach them evolution, when will they see the fear of God is the only true solution?” (RoyMoore, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama).

God has always had voices – Watchmen. And the enemy has always sought to silence that voice.

  1. 2 Chronicles 36:15, “And the LORD God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending…”

  2. Attributed to a Frenchman who authored Democracy in America in the early 1800s.

In 1954, thru the Johnson Amendment, pastors lost their freedom of speech on so-called “political” and “social issues.” Pastors could no longer apply God’s truth to national life and policy, and the fallout has been undeniable.         Silence the pulpits –  silence the truth.

This is a Loving Rebuke to Democrats and Republicans – stop assuming that GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE …

This is a Loving Rebuke to Coward Churches and to Pastors who keep “Avoiding Controversial Topics.”              Wake-up . . .

The church is not called to make the truth acceptable BUT to make it clear.

  • Stop getting your sermons from pop-psychology and start . . .

Martin Luther King, Jr., in a Letter from Birmingham Jail in 1963, wrote, “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.”

Dismantle a few misconceptions: The media likes to portray Christians as racists, not caring about women


s rights, disdaining the poor, and hateful protesters.

a] Slavery

  • Slavery had been introduced to America nearly two centuries before the Founders. As President of Congress Henry Laurens explained: “I abhor slavery. I was born in a country where slavery had been established by British Kings and Parliaments as well as by the laws of the country ages before my existence . . . .”

  • The Revolution was the turning point in the national attitude [about slavery]. Benjamin Franklin, in a 1773 letter to Dean Woodward, confirmed that whenever the Americans had attempted to end slavery, the British government had indeed thwarted those attempts.

  • Further confirmation that even the Virginia Founders were not responsible for slavery, but actually tried to dismantle the institution, was provided by John Quincy Adams (known as the “hell-hound of abolition” for his extensive efforts against that evil). Adams explained: “The inconsistency of the institution of domestic slavery with the principles of the Declaration of Independence was seen and lamented by all the southern patriots of the Revolution…”

b] Women’s rights – murdering a child

“The first and primary duty of government is to protect innocent human life” (Thomas Jefferson). “Nobody has the freedom to choose to do what’s morally wrong” (Abraham Lincoln).

The tried and true “pro-choice” label has gone out of vogue. The days when abortion was supposed to be “safe, legal and rare” are gone too. Now abortion rights activists are turning this so-called “procedure” intoart, film and even spoken word poetry.

Leyla Josephine joined the party with her new video, entitled “I Think She Was a She.” Josephine, who had an abortion as a teenager, feels no shame over her decision. In fact, she says she thinks her aborted child would have agreed!

“I would’ve supported [my daughter’s] right to choose, to choose a life for herself, a path for herself. I would’ve died for that right like she died for mine. I’m sorry, but you came at the wrong time.”

As my friend Scott Klusendorf would ask, “Would anyone think these the comments of a sane woman if the baby were outside the womb when killed rather than inside? Would a mom’s right to choose trump a toddler’s right to live?”

Celebrating death like this exposes the pro-abortion movement for what it really is. And I hope people are paying attention.

  • “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Ps/139:13

If the names of all the babies who have been aborted since the early 1970s were placed on a monument (much like that of the Vietnam Memorial Wall), it’s been estimated that the monument could span over 35 miles. The womb is no longer the safest place, but one of the most dangerous.

Why mention this? Because leaders play a role in our national sins – they either lead us to repentance or judgment: When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. Proverbs 29:2

  • Scripture commands us to select people: “such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness” (Ex 18:21). From Moses, to Kings, and Judges.

We can no longer hide behind the excuse, “I don’t want to get involved.” As citizens, we are given the privilege, for now, to place people in positions of leadership. Whether we like it or not, we are involved. Millions are not registered to vote; and millions of registered voters stay at home. We’ll stand in line to see a movie, but we won’t stand in line to vote and elect leaders who will affect the direction of our country.

  • One in Seven Americans Think They’re Registered to Vote—But Aren’t

c] Poverty: We should all strive to defend the weak and the fatherless, maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed, and deliver them from the hand of the wicked (Psalm 82:3-4).

  1. Is poverty created by laziness? Or a genuine need?This is why there is a divide. Help people work hard, build esteem and worth. But many who receive assistance don’t need the assistance…we are creating a lazy & dependant culture.

Christians are the ones who help the poor: We spend time each week visiting hospital homes and praying for those who are dying and sick, and we give money, gas cards, and food cards and all types of things to those in need.

d] Gay marriage – we tremble because we compare our laws with God’s TRUTH.

   *Lie detector test

A lie from the pit of hell destroying our children and families:

To judge by media coverage, the legalization of same-sex marriage is…good. Pictures of happy couples kissing and otherwise celebrating leave the impression that the only people who are unhappy about all of this are bigots and grumps.

Well, Janna Darnelle would beg to differ. Seven years ago, Darnelle’s husband of ten years told her that he was gay and that he wanted a divorce. As she wrote in The Public Discourse, “In an instant, the world that I had known and loved—the life we had built together—was shattered.”

She tried to persuade him to stay, and work through their problems and fight for their marriage. But, as she writes, “my voice, my desires, my needs—and those of our two young children—no longer mattered to him. We had become disposable, because he had embraced one tiny word that had become his entire identity. Being gay trumped commitment, vows, responsibility, faith, fatherhood, marriage, friendships, and community.”

And adding insult to injury, her soon-to-be ex-husband sought primary custody of the children. While he had to “settle” for shared custody, this still meant that their children, regardless of their desires, had to become props in the campaign for same-sex marriage.

For instance, USA Today, in its cheerleading for same-sex marriage, ran a photo section on her ex-husband, his partner, and her children without her consent or even notice to her. Darnelle wrote, “Commenters exclaimed at how beautiful this gay family was and congratulated my ex-husband and his new partner on the family that they ‘created’ . . .,” even though, she continued, “there is a significant person missing from those pictures: the mother and abandoned wife. That ‘gay family’ could not exist without me.”

As Dan Weiss of the Brushfires Foundation said, Darnelle’s story is “heart-crushing.” It’s a much-needed reminder that behind all the celebrations we see in the media, there’s often real suffering and heartache that goes unreported and even unnoticed. [MORE HERE: http://m.christianpost.com/news/the-unseen-pain-behind-gay-marriage-127403/]

*Same sex attraction SERMON here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYz9jpkqjTs

THE FOUNDATION is what everything is built on. The foundation and the pillars of truth are being removed. “If the foundations be destroyed what can the righteous do?” Psalm 11:13

“Your Word is Truth.” Jh. 17:17

  • “The law…dictated by God Himself is, of course, superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times. No human laws are of any validity if contrary to this.” ALEXANDER HAMILTON (1755–1804); SIGNER OF THE CONSTITUTION

  • “Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise. In this sense and to this extent, our civilizations and our institutions are emphatically Christian.” RICHMOND v. MOORE; ILLINOIS SUPREME COURT, 1883

  • “The origination and descent of all human power [is] from God first, to terrify evil doers; secondly, to cherish those who do well. Government seems to me to be a part of religion itself.” WILLIAM PENN (1644-1718); FOUNDER OF PENNSYLVANIA

  • “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” JOHN ADAMS (1735-1826); 2ND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

  • “I do not believe that the Constitution was the offspring of inspiration, but I am as perfectly satisfied that the Union of the States, in its form and adoption, is as much the work of a Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament…” BENJAMIN RUSH (1745-1813); SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

THE PROBLEM:  We have lost the fear of the Lord – We use to tremble; now we mock Him.

“But with man as his own master we fail to count the cost, our precious freedoms vanish and our liberty is lost. Children are told they can’t pray in school and they teach them evolution, when will they see the fear of God is the only true solution?” (RoyMoore, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama).

  • Text to Robin Williams, “Genie, you’re now free.”

  • Text to Joan Rivers, “Now you’re relaxing in a recliner with a cabana boy bringing you champagne.”

The problem is spiritual – we cannot deny our primary responsibility: To encourage people to turn to Christ as their Lord and Savior. This is how America will “truly” change from the inside out. The No. 1 problem in America is not a political problem; it’s a spiritual problem called sin. The primary goal of the church is not to become a political movement, but a spiritual influence.

The question often arises then, “Can we legislate morality?”

THE SOLUTION:Context Chapter 6.

Contextually – 2nd Chronicles is addressing the nation of Israel, but …How often in Scripture are we told to humble ourselves and pray and seek Him and turn from their wicked ways?

A State of Emergency, Our Nations Only Hope

While we are concerned with terrorism, and rightly so, there is a greater threat from within. We are witnessing the rapid deterioration of a nation before our eyes. We have become one nation “above” God, rather under God. “While truth and law were founded on the God of all creation, man now, through law, denies the truth and calls it ‘separation’. No longer does man see a need for God when he’s in full control, for the only truth self-evident is in the latest poll. But with man as his own master we fail to count the cost, our precious freedoms vanish and our liberty is lost. Children are told they can’t pray in school and they teach them evolution, when will they see the fear of God is the only true solution?” (Roy Moore, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama).

Don’t lose hope. An exciting resurgence is happening in our nation. I recently had the privilege of speaking to some Congressional staffers in Washington D.C. The message was from 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

God’s call is not to Hollywood, Washington, or the media, but to us. If “My people” turn back to Me I will heal and restore. Four things are required:

1. IF MY PEOPLE HUMBLE THEMSELVES: The process of restoration must begin with humility. “Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you” (Andrew Murray). The amount of pride in the church is astonishing. An American Idol mentality exists within our walls as millions crave center stage attention. The church often reflects the character of Hollywood rather than the character of Christ.

If we are to see a genuine move of God (which is our only hope) then we must humble ourselves and confess our pride…confess our sins. Pride is the soil in which all other sins grow. Please don’t misunderstand, I have not mastered this area. I’m a prideful person working on humility on a daily basis. All of us must repent of pride and return to God with a broken, teachable heart if we are to experience healing in our land.

2. IF MY PEOPLE PRAY: Jesus said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer” (Matthew 21:13). When was the last time a church dedicated as much time to prayer as to preaching? When was the last time we spent more time in prayer then with social media?

Prayer is the life source for faith; the building block of the soul. “When faith ceases to pray, it ceases to live” (E.M. Bounds). When God brings healing and revival, prayer has been the catalyst. Martin Luther prayed and the church was reformed. When John Knox prayed Scotland was revived. When John Wesley prayed America was restored. When George Whitefield prayed nations were changed. When D.L. Moody prayed America fell to her knees. When Amy Carmichael prayed India received the gospel. And so it goes…beginning with the disciples who prayed in an upper room 2000 years ago. When you pray, you move the hand of God. The dry, dead lethargic condition of the church simply reflects an impotent prayer life.

God is not too busy; He’s not on vacation; He’s not sleeping…He is an ever present help in time of need. You can call out to Him in the deep of the night, or in the midst of the storm. He hears the prayers of His children, but we must once again cultivate a life of prayer.

While 5-minute devotionals and prayers are good, they aren’t going to cut it in these dire times. We need powerful times of prayer, devotion, and worship. “Without the heartbeat of prayer, the body of Christ will resemble a corpse. The church is dying on her feet because she is not living on her knees” (Al Whittinghill).

Prayerlessness in the pulpit leads to apostasy and dead sermons. Prayerlessness in the pew leads to shattered lives and depression. Prayerlessness in men leads to the breakdown of the family. Prayerlessness in Washington leads to the breakdown of society.

3. IF MY PEOPLE SEEK: We have a form of microwave Christianity. Service times are cut to just over an hour, prayer is glanced over, and worship is designed to entertain the masses. “People are bored,” they say, “so our services need to be more appealing.”

Church is boring because the power of God has vanished from many congregations…there is a lack of desire to pursue Him in the pulpit as well as in the pew. Like Samson, they “know not that the Spirit of the Lord has departed” (cf. Judge 16:20). But there is hope. We can once again position ourselves to seek God – “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

To seek in this context means to “find what is missing.” The Hebrew word for seek, baqash, has a very strong meaning. Imagine losing your child in a crowded mall. Your entire heart would be engaged. How would you spend your time? Where would your energy be concentrated? Now parallel this with seeking God.  

In hindsight, remember when…

  • …the church sought God in an upper room for days until fire fell.

  • …we were not in a hurry and extended worship services drove us to our knees, now they’re “too radical…too emotional.” We’ve got church services down to a few songs, announcements, and a tantalizing message designed not to convict.

  • …seeking God through prayer drove the church. Now methods, marketing programs, and potlucks lead the way.

  • …prayer and seeking God were assets and excessive media was a liability. That’s been reversed.

  • …when people were excited about seeking God rather than making excuses as to why they can’t attend church.

4. IF MY PEOPLE TURN FROM WICKEDNESS: We can humble ourselves, pray, and seek His face, but all this will fall on deaf ears unless we turn from our wicked ways. “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2).

We must turn from our rebellion, including idols that have diverted our passion for Christ. He came that we might be free from the bondage of sin, not continue in it. Surely we understand that we cannot flaunt sin in the face of God without consequence.

Facebook is filled with jealousy and envy; a competitive spirit permeates our lives. Self indulgence is rampant in the church. Sexual sin has reached an epidemic. Some churches allow unrepentant porn stars to speak from the platform in attempt to reach the culture. The pulpit is to be sacred not secular. And we wonder why the American church has drifted off course…why we’re not experiencing powerful moves of God? Most churches resemble a social gathering rather than a powerful worship service.

The truth is that we have “perverted the words of the living God” (Jeremiah 23:36) by not warning and challenging people to turn from their sin. Pastors, as the church falls deeper into self-reliance and further from reliance on God, our need for bold leadership has never been greater.

Life changing sermons must come from a man whose life has been changed by God. Change will only occur in America when there is a strong conviction of sin and sincere repentance—may God grant us the wisdom and strength to proclaim these truths.

We must stop confusing God’s patience with His approval and preach with conviction from the pulpits again. God help us, and our children, if we do not take seriously His call to return. Repentance is our only hope. ​