In a day where false alarms, exaggerated warnings and intentional scare tactics are used by a deceptive culture, it's sometimes difficult to separate true warnings from deceptive false alarms.
So, asks the American Pastors Network (APN), how can Christians differentiate between the two?
Sam Rohrer, president of APN, the largest national network dedicated to equipping pastors to be a voice for truth in the public square, and host of APN's "Stand in the Gap" radio and television programming, says Old Testament woes and warnings directed toward Israel have timely significance for America today.
"In the Bible," Rohrer says, "the word 'woe' or 'warning' is used nearly 100 times—98 to be exact. The Old Testament prophets used it. Christ used it many times Himself. The word occurs in the book of Revelation in final judgment. In nearly every case where a woe is given, the warning of judgment is certain, and God's punishment imminent."
As an example, Rohrer said, Noah warned the people for 100 years of a coming flood. The people heard, considered, rejected—then died, illustrating that God gives His people warnings that they might live. Then in Isaiah 5, God's prophet pronounced six specific warnings of imminent judgment against identified national sins.
"These woes were sobering, the sins specific and God's judgment certain," Rohrer said. "The message was to Israel, but the application is for America. When God warns, it's real, and we'd better sit up and take notice."
Woe No. 1: The sin of materialism. After God blessed the nation with security, wealth, houses and productive land, the people turned their back on Him. The result? God withheld His blessings, removed His protection, allowed rebellion within and threats of attack from without. Rohrer asks: Does this sound anything like America today?
Woe No. 2: The sin of hedonism. Consumed with an intoxicating addiction to alcohol, drugs, entertainment and partying, the nation willfully rejected God and the consequences of evil choices, as depicted in Isaiah 5:11.
Woe No. 3: The horrible practice of literally promoting sin and evil. As told in Isaiah 5:18, without regard for God or moral truth, the nation dreamed of evil, sinned without remorse and even belittled God by profaning His name and His truth.
Woe No. 4: The sin of moral relativism. Even more dangerous is when a nation redefines moral truth as moral evil, as outlined in Isaiah 5:20. This is accomplished by discarding the Ten Commandments as dangerous, killing the unborn through abortion, redefining marriage between two men or two women and much more. "Have these redefinitions been made in America?" Rohrer asks. "Yes—all have!"
Woe No. 5: The sin of arrogance and corruption. God hates pride because it embodies the sin of satanic defiance against God, Rohrer said, pointing to Isaiah 5:21. Through pride, mankind pronounces himself to be God, which results in the rejection of God and eternal life.
Woe No. 6: The sin of corrupted leadership. The prophet warned: Woe unto the political and military leaders who through addiction become bribed and incapable of sound judgment.
"What is the result of continually ignoring God's true warnings?" Rohrer said. "Isaiah 5:24 says that God's love will be turned to anger, His blessings will turn to judgment, murder and death of the people will increase, enemy nations will threaten to attack—suddenly and overwhelmingly—and all trusted defenses will fail. It happened to Israel. It will happen to America if we don't soon change our ways. It's past time to look to God, repent and beg His mercy.
"The similarities of the six woes in Isaiah 5 and how they relate to America today are astounding. What will we do to heed God's warnings? Will we claim ignorance and say we were never warned? While God is full of mercy, His justice will prevail. When God warns, we'd better listen because time eventually runs out. God has been warning America, but America doesn't seem to care."
Besides leading APN, Rohrer also hosts the popular daily live radio program, "Stand in the Gap Today," which reaches millions of listeners on hundreds of stations; the daily radio feature, "Stand in the Gap Minute"; and the weekly television program, Stand in the Gap, reaching millions of potential views on several networks.
View the media page for APN here, which also details information about "Stand in the Gap." For more information on APN, visit AmericanPastorsNetwork.net, its Facebook page or follow APN's Twitter feed, @AmericanPastors. To form a state chapter of APN, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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