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Lessons from Israel (Part 4)

From Israel we can learn so many valuable lessons for our nation and for our churches.  Israel was given guidelines by God to keep their nation in a special position of protection and blessing if they obeyed His laws but curses and troubles if they disobeyed and rebelled.  

God also gave them instructions for worship.  He gave them a place for worship and details on how to worship in public and in private. The first worship place was in a tent called the Tabernacle. Later, under King Solomon, a magnificent temple was built which became the place of worship. From the scriptures we learn that when they kept their worship pure and as God had directed them, in both the Tabernacle and later in the Temple, the nation did well.  When they got careless, sloppy and negligent of their worship the nation descended into all types of evils. When King Solomon was dedicating the temple, God gave him the formula to get the worship and the nation back on track when they were in trouble. This formula is written in 2 Chronicles 7:14-15: 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. Now my eyes shall be open, and my ears attentive unto the prayer that is made in this place.  

God has always given his people a place to worship Him.  In the Old Testament it was the Tabernacle, then the Temple, but in the New Testament it changed to the Church, a place of worship, teaching and growing spiritually. Our country of Canada has been very blessed because at its foundation were churches.  You can drive to any part of Canada and you will see the remains of what once were thriving church congregations. Most people came to Canada for opportunity and to be able to worship God in freedom.  Our own city was blessed by having a man and his wife—who gave up everything—to come and preach the gospel to the native people and start a  church called Prince Albert Presbyterian Mission. This later became St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church. Our city was also blessed with several other Christian denominations that had growing congregations through the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.  When you drive across the countryside, you will see smaller country churches of every denomination here and there that one time had healthy places of worship.  Sadly, most of them are closed today and used for everything but places of worship.   

I believe Covid-19 is the beginning of judgments on the world and to usher in the time known as the “great day of God’s wrath” (Revelation 6:17) onto the world scene.  I would like to think the Covid vaccines are going to be the cure for our nation’s ills but we need to go much deeper than the needle to fix our problems today.  We need to heed the words of Solomon when the Temple was dedicated approximately 3000 years ago. Again, to repeat the verse quoted above:  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.  Our land –Canada—needs a supernatural healing and fixing.  I am a pilot and fly often over our great Canada.  It is absolutely amazing what we have in this country. I marvel every time I see the hundreds of thousands of acres that spread out below me in every direction.  We have resources that are the envy of the world.  Multitudes of people from less fortunate countries want to come here. However, when they come, we need to make it very clear what it means to be a Canadian, otherwise, it will be one more factor in our undoing.  

I fear that what we have enjoyed and hope to pass on to our children and grandchildren is about to disappear.  Churches are disappearing, family farms are disappearing, family businesses are disappearing and even the family itself is disappearing as our youth are being indoctrinated into perverted lifestyles that destroy the traditional Christian family model.  I see only one way to get our country back on track again: It is for you and me to follow the clear and simple mandate to follow God on His terms and in His way.  It will mean humbling ourselves, start reading the Bible, telling our wife and family that “we are going to start going to church.”  Don’t let anything stop you. Perhaps you used to attend a church but people hurt or disappointed you. You cannot let that stop you.  If it did, then it’s time to apply another principle called forgiveness.  It is amazing what forgiveness will do for you.   But that means you must humble yourself, which is not easy, but so necessary.  

In this New Testament era, God has chosen the Church, through which His people learn, worship and grow spiritually.  Again, you will start going to church when you get rid of pride and humble yourself.  This truth is emphasized in James 4:6b: “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.” You will not learn anything from the Bible until you humble yourself and actually start reading it seriously with a seeking attitude.  Humility is a difficult part of the process for all of us but it’s the only way to find truth and God.  God’s church will be the place where you find your real eternal, spiritual purpose in life. But again, to stress the point, you will never discover this purpose until you humble yourself and say with determination to your wife or your parents, “I am going to start attending because I know it is right.” You will make amazing discoveries about truth through the church.  That is what I discovered when I started attending a church in 1979.  I had visited several churches before I started attending the Baptist church I now pastor.  I was looking for a church that taught the Bible.  I did not want to join a religion. I wanted truth about Christianity and did not care about the name that was over the door.  I wanted to learn about God so I could be a true Christian and a better person.  I had become very aware of a sinful world and knew there had to be something better somewhere.    

The best thing that could happen to you and your family during this Covid crisis is that, through it, you discovered the truth of eternal salvation and also in finding a church where your family can worship.  If we all would do that, we would have a different and a blessed community and country. It’s not easy to make changes but it’s worth it. Let’s learn from Israel’s mistakes.  As we learn, we will not blunder and make the same tragic mistakes, like so many are doing today.

Let’s listen to instructions from the Bible and put Christ as first priority in our lives.  You cannot do that without learning, seeking and believing, to be prepared for his return or death, whichever comes first.  We would like to help you learn how to do that by tuning into our Live Stream services:

You can also get used to attending church by attending our Live Stream services each Sunday at 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on our web site at www.pabaptist.ca or call 306-961-9866.  We have a Christian Growth Class on Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m.  You can join by Zoom. Please call or email for the code.   God bless you all until next week. Remember, God can change everything but it starts with you deciding and believing!  Nothing will change until you do that but great things will happen for you when you do!

The content of this article is solely the personal opinions of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Prince Albert Shopper.

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Wednesday August 4, 2021