About Jesus    Steve Sweetman

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The Tipping Point

 

In Genesis 15, Abraham resided in Canaan.  God told him that he would leave Canaan but his descendents Israel would return, conquer the Amorites who presently lived there, and possess the land for themselves.  Israel 's conquest of these nations was God's way of judging the Amorites for their national sins. 

 

Genesis 15:16 reads.  " your descendents will come back here, (Canaan) for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure".  God would not judge the Amorites in Abraham's day because their national sins had not reached its full limit.  They had more sins to commit, or, as I put it, their sins hadn't reached the "tipping point".  When it comes to national sins, there is a tipping point, when the weight of sin is no longer tolerated by God.  Beyond that point there is no return, no escape from God's judgment.    

 

Many Christians are confused over how they should understand the Old Testament and passages like Genesis 15:16.  We often favour the New Testament over the Old Testament, giving us an unbalanced and unbiblical view of God and His ways of doing things.  For this reason, many Christians are clueless when it comes to God judging nations today. 

 

Concerning the Amorites, Amos 2:9 says, "I destroyed the Amorite  though he was tall as the cedars and strong as the oaks.  I destroyed its fruit above and its roots below".  God's comparison of the Amorites to the destruction of a tall tree shows us how devastating His judgment was on them.   

   

Amos turns his attention from the Amorites' sins to Israel's sins when he asks, "does a lion roar when he has no prey"?  (Amos 2:4)  The answer is "no".  A lion roars when he is hungry, when he is about to pounce on his prey.  Amos then says, "the lion has roared  the Sovereign Lord has spoken". (Amos 3:8 )  The lion Amos is referring to is God, and God was roaring because of the sins of Israel, which included their participation in the pagan culture that surrounded them.  Eventually, Israel 's national sins reached the tipping point and they too were judged just as severely as the Amorites. 

 

God hasn't changed since Amos' days.  There is still a tipping point when it comes to the sin of a nation.  Prior to this tipping point, the prophets of God hear God's roar and thus warn of pending judgment unless that nation repents as Amos 3:7 states.  If no repentance is found, and when the tipping point of sin occurs, that's it.  Judgment will come, and you can do nothing about it.

 

I suggest that the Sovereign Lord is beginning to roar because of our national sins today.  Eventually all the nations of the world will be judged as seen in the book of Revelation, but until then, God judges individual nations, causing them to fall from prominence.   

 

In many respects I like the United States.  I lived there for a few years in the 1970's and 1980's.  My oldest son was born in America, and I have many good American friends.  These friends often tell me that America has led the way in evangelizing the world with the gospel of Jesus.  They also tell me that America has been an example of a nation influenced by Biblical values, yet for those very reasons, America will be judged severely by God.   America has forsaken the God of the Bible and the Christian values she once proclaimed to the world.         

 

If you listen closely, you may hear a roar from heaven.  I believe the prophets have already begun to warn us of  the judgment to come.  If America's sin has reached the tipping point, as many believe it has, there's no escape. America will fall, bringing down other nations with her.  I personally believe the free fall has already begun.  That being said, even though God is judging our nations, and there's no escape, there is always hope for the individual to find God's favour in the midst of His judgment. 

 

There is a distinct difference between the tipping point of a nation's sins and the tipping point of humanity's  sins.  John the Baptist heard the roar from heaven.  He knew the tipping point for humanity's sin was near.  He was called by God to preach repentance and warn those of his day of God's judgment.  The tipping point of your sin and my sin occurred when the Roman soldiers arrested Jesus.  That was it.  From that point on, there was no escaping God's severe judgment on humanity.  Judgment would come, and it did.  Thanks to Jesus, the wrath of God's judgment was borne by Him, and not by us who deserved it.    

 

Jesus died for each and every single individual human being in human history.  He did not die for sinful nations.  Therefore, God still judges nations, and when the sins of a nation reaches the tipping point, there's no way back.  Judgment is irrevocable and inevitable.   Let this be just one more warning among many.  For those who have trusted their lives with Jesus, we will suffer when our nations fall in judgment, but we will trust Jesus through it all. 

 

To end on a more pleasant note, when all things are made new, on a recreated earth, and after God's judgment is complete, there will still be nations.  These nations will serve the Lord Jesus Christ throughout eternity.  (Revelation 21:24) 

 

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