God Has A Controversy With The Land
Lessons from the past illustrate the sad condition in our country and our churches.
Hosea 4:1-3
Listen to the word of the Lord, O sons of Israel,
For the Lord has a case (controversy) against the inhabitants of the land,
Because there is no faithfulness or kindness
Or knowledge of God in the land.
2 There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing, and adultery.
They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed.
3 Therefore the land mourns,
And everyone who lives in it languishes
Along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky;
And also the fish of the sea disappear.

God had a controversy with Israel because they rejected His law.
God has a controversy with any and all people that refuse to be guided by His council.
And, just as God had a controversy with Israel of old--we want to show that he has one with the people of our land--and for the same reasons.

Not many people believe the Bible--and yet the Bible is the word of God.
The Bible reveals the only true and living God to us--and without it, no man can know or believe that Jesus is Lord.
Romans 10:14 How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
In these passages we find this great truth—
If men do not hear and believe the word of God--they cannot believe in the God and Christ the word reveals.
And men who do not believe in God cannot please Him
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
There are many infidels in the land-- Atheism has eaten (as does a termite) into the schools of our land.
Atheist say in their heart--There is no God
Psalm 53:11 “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God,” They are corrupt, and have committed abominable injustice; There is no one who does good”.
Thirty years ago, only one college professor out of four believed in God.
Now it is even less.
Our universities teem with infidelity--Organic evolution is taught as a proven truth.
Many of our college and university professors scoff at the idea of believing the Bible.
But unbelief is not peculiar to just the infidel--Many religious people do not really believe the Bible.
Many of those who profess faith in Christ--deny the divine authority and inspiration of the Bible.
Some are modernists--who deny the miracles, the virgin birth of Christ, the resurrection, heaven, and hell.
This is not faith--The kind that pleases God.
Add to all this the many millions who have accepted human creeds instead of just going to the Bible--Taking it for what it says and you can see why there is not much faith in the world today
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.
Mark 16:16 “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.
Galatians 1:6-9 “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel;7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ.8 But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed”.

Many men know much about many things--But only a few have a knowledge of God.
1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness” ;
Many will object to our saying our land lacks a knowledge of God because--we have so many religious institutions.
But Paul says a man that will not consent to the teachings of God's word "knows nothing"
1 Timothy 6:3-4 “If anyone advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness,4 he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions,”
But some one says--these men are brilliant--They are intelligent--they are wonderfully educated.
There were brilliant men in Athens in Paul's day too--But the only God--The true God was---unknown to them.
They worshipped--But Paul said
Acts 17:23 “For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ What therefore you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you”.
Many are--Ever learning, and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.
2 Timothy 3:7 “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”.
Men may know all about the doctrines and commandments of men--and still be destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children”.
It is the knowledge of the truth that counts and God's word is truth.
John 17:17 “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth”.
It is God's word that frees.
John 8:32 “and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
It is the failure to obey the truth of the gospel that will bring the vengeance of God upon us.
2 Thessalonians 1:8 “dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus”.
Truly--God has a controversy with the inhabitants of our land because there is not much knowledge of God in it.

Perilous times have come---and Paul describes such in
2 Timothy 3:1-5 “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God;5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these”.
There is too much formality and hypocrisy.
too much feigned faith and love -- and not enough of the genuine.
There is too much theory and too little practice.
Too much form of godliness but too little power.
We have faith without works--Salt that has lost its savor.
We perceive that men are as religious today as they were in Athens--But their religion is vain because it is not from God.
Matthew 15:7 “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,8 ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me. 9 ‘But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’”
Truly God has a controversy with us today because there is not much godliness.

Peter told men in Acts 2:40 “And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!”
There is too little honesty among men.
Too few will tell the truth always.
The few willing to tell the truth are usually mocked or maligned and ignored.
There is much graft--lying--stealing--Many are the devices of the dishonest to get gain.
Dishonest teachers are stealing God's word from the people.
Jeremiah 23:30 “Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the Lord, “who steal My words from each other”.
There is a mad scramble for position and fame.
The chief concern today is sex appeal--Respect has vanished
The world is walking in the ways of Hollywood--Doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind.
Romans 3:18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Truly, There is not much character in the land.

Conclusion (Part One)
Today we have covered four reasons why God has a controversy against our land, and our churches in the land.
1)There is not much faith in it.
2)Because there is not much knowledge of God in it.
3) Because there is not much godliness in it.
4) Because there is not much character in it.
Lord willing, we will discuss some more subjects in our next lesson.

By Carey Scott

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