We are coming to the end of another year. As we come to the end of one year and begin another it is customary to take stock of the things in the world, take a sober look at the state of the union, examine how our national leaders are doing, evaluate the condition our Church is in, assess our family’s well-being, and examine our own lives. It has been a tumultuous year, but not nearly as turbulent as it is about to become. Will 2016 be a watershed year?
Will 2016 mark major negative changes in America, or will things continue on as always? A watershed is an event or period marking a turning point in a course of action or state of affairs. It could be a defining moment, a milestone or a time when important change happens. What detrimental changes could possibly be in store for the USA this year? What will 2016 hold for us?
It would be nice to think that unlimited prosperity, growth and development lie ahead for us. On the other hand it would be sad to think that we have come to the end of the line as a great nation. We in God’s Church are given a heads-up when it comes to what the future holds. We know, for instance, that prophecy is dual. It has sometimes had a past fulfillment, and it awaits a future realization.
Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 are the blessings and cursings chapters in the Bible. The blessings of the Lord follow obedience to Him, while disobedience results in the removal of the blessings—curses.
“All these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shall hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God…But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee.” (Deuteronomy 28:2, 15)
Here in the United States of America we have been greatly blessed as a result of God’s promise and covenant with Abraham. It is easy for us to get to thinking that we have come by our affluence naturally, and that it is an inherent part of who we are. We begin to think, “No one, or nothing is going to change our exceptional status.” God’s word shows us that we should not be so quick to assume that we are so secure.
Ancient Israel went into national captivity for Sabbath breaking and idolatry. The same fate was met by Judah. Are we so self assured to think that it could not happen to us? What if a worse fate were to befall us? Is that even possible? There was a time when God was ready to wipe Israel off the face of the map – and He does not change.
I remember back, some forty or fifty years ago, reading for the first time about the children of Israel coming out of Egypt. Moses had been led up into Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments from the Almighty Creator God, and at the same time, the Israelites down in the camp below with Aaron were building the molten golden calf. I read that story and I thought to myself, “How could they have been so foolish?” “What were they possibly thinking?” Now I see the United States of America doing exactly the same thing!!! We are turning our back on the True God.
“The Lord said unto [Moses], Arise, get thee down quickly from hence; for thy people which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt have corrupted themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten image. Furthermore the Lord spoke unto me, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is an obstinate people: Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven.” (Deuteronomy 9:12-14)
How close are we to that point? I believe that we are much closer than we think. We are impressed with our computers, iphones, ipads and twitter accounts – but I suspect that God is not so impressed as we are. This coming year of 2016 is going to be a most crucial presidential election year. I want to avoid being political because we must be focused on being godly, and not a part of this world's political systems that will never solve man's problems.
God tells us to watch and pray. We are to be alert, and not simply bury our head in the sand. There is so much in Scripture that tells us what to be on the look-out for. Jesus Christ gave us so many signs so that we might know. We do not have to remain in the dark about these things. Jesus tells us the end from the beginning. The world is willingly blinded so that they cannot understand.
“Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.” (Isaiah 6:10, Matthew 13:10)
This tells us that the world cannot put it all together, but we, brethren, who know the Plan of God, are able to understand the end-time sequence much better. We need to put it together correctly because this world in not at ease. Russia is agitated, China is building an unprecedented war machine, including star wars technology in space, and Iran is angrily seeking strategic nuclear capability while foreign nations including Mexico are usurping millions of American Jobs. What is about to happen? We need to know. In today’s sermon we will ask the question “Is 2016 going to be a watershed year?”