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Crossing the Rubicon

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Crossing the Rubicon

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Crossing the Rubicon

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It’s a metaphor for an irreversible act. A decision from which there is no retreat, an unalterable action. Have we crossed the Rubicon? This sermon discusses the state of our culture and how we as God's people should respond.

Transcript

[Steve Myers] The man stood and reined in his horses. He stood there in his chariot and gazed across a muddy river at an ancient bridge. Thought for a moment, muttered a few words as he was near this obscure village in northern Italy. Seemed insignificant, but the entire history of the world hinged at that very moment. The year, 49 BC. The man, Julius Caesar. And the river, the Rubicon. The Rubicon. Crossing the Rubicon was a significant event because, by law, no Roman general could lead armed troops into Rome. But for just a moment, Julius paused and then led his 13th Legion across the Rubicon River into Italy. The die was cast. This was an act of treason, an insurrection. This meant that both he and his men became outlaws. They could be hunted down and executed. And the impact of Caesar's decision is irreversible. It could not be undone. And so as a result, war broke out, civil war for years and years until Julius finally became the absolute dictator of the Roman Empire. Of course, since that day, crossing the Rubicon means making a huge decision that affects all of life, a decision from which there is no retreat, there's no going back. It's a metaphor. It's a metaphor for something that is irreversible, an irreversible act, an unalterable action.

And considering that, there's a question for today. Have we crossed the Rubicon? Has our country crossed the Rubicon? Has our world crossed the Rubicon? And what is our perspective when it comes to what is happening in our world around us? But is there any doubt? There is a monumental struggle going on for control, control over our country, control over its values. It's not just a political fight. It is a culture war, a culture war. There is an absolute relentless battle that is going on for your mind, for our lives, for our values. And we have to face it. Everything we see, everything we watch, everything we look at, and our notifications, point us in those directions that shape the way we look at the world. And don't kid yourself. Corporations, our education system, science, politicians, all of them are tools in this war. I mean, have you noticed it? Have you noticed how suddenly there's just been a dramatic realignment in our world, in our country that we've got a term for it? Polarization. I'm on this side. You are on that side. And there's no ground in between. And it has transformed politics in our country. It has transformed our society and our culture, and values. Our values have become so far removed from God that they're no longer in sight. We are just thinking in wrong ways and have wrong policies.

And has it come to mind at all that it's possible? It is possible to ignore the warning signs of that wrong way of life for so long that suddenly it's too late. It's too late. Is that possible? Well, the Bible certainly speaks to this. There's a section in the book of Lamentations if you'd like to turn there with me. Lamentations 2:14. Interesting book, Lamentations, because it pictures a man, most likely Jeremiah. And he is recognizing the results of evil. He's recognizing the suffering that wrong ways of life have impacted his world. And he expresses the humiliation. He expresses the suffering and the despair of Jerusalem because Jerusalem ignored God and what followed was the destruction of the city by the Babylonians. And so Lamentations paints this awful imagery of a devastated city. And here we find what happened. What happened? Well, Judah had crossed the Rubicon. The die was cast. The nation could no longer repent. That was no longer an option. They were no longer able to avoid being taken captive by the Babylonians.

So, in Lamentations 2:14, we see the results of that. Notice what happened. It says, "Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not uncovered your iniquity, to bring back your captives, but have envisioned for you false prophecies and delusions." I mean, in this very short passage, we see a number of issues that they refused to recognize. And in fact, when we read these words, I think we get the idea. This doesn't only apply to Judah. This isn't just some ancient prophecy that applied to them alone. This applies to us. This is a warning for us and our world. Our world has crossed the Rubicon. We have false and deceptive visions. Where are leaders taking us? Do they have the proper vision for this world, for our country? Do they understand the truth of God? Do they promote truth? I mean, it used to be truth, justice, and the American way. Does that apply any longer? I think Superman would be disappointed, wouldn't he? When you recognize this, we have that deception today. There's so much inequality, inequity meaning, this isn't the lawlessness inequity, this is the perverse iniquity, depravity. It's talking about the guilt from sin. That's what this is talking about. False prophecy. Well, if we only do these things, our country will be so much better. We'll be in so much better condition. If we just do these. That's a false vision. That is a delusion. That is a sham.

We have to recognize that's not where the answers lie, because what is our country promoted? Well, same-sex marriage is a great thing. We have proper justice. Do we? Is justice a word that we fulfill in our country today? And what about the discrimination? What about economic opportunity? Oh, we've got all these great ideas, but do they ever follow through? And what happened to the rule of law? Is there any rule of law in our country today? We recognize inequality. We recognize the challenges of poverty. And we get into our arguments over masks or no masks or vaccines or no vaccines. We fall into the same problems that ancient Judah faced. And we have to say to ourselves, "Are we recognizing the warning signs, the warning signs that that way of life, that way of thinking is leading us?" You see, when we really face the facts, I think we have to come to the conclusion. Our world, our society has worked its way into a predicament that they cannot get out of. They can't get out of it. You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. You can't unring a bell and the bell has rung. And all you have to do is look at the world around us. Look at the news around us. Look at the statistics of what people believe these days.

I ran across an interesting study that was done. I mean, it used to be in the United States of America you could say we were unique. Might even be able to say we were devout. And we had a religious country. And statistics show from 1937 to 1998, polls show that church membership was almost constant during that whole time, decade after decade after decade. Seventy percent of Americans would say they belong to a church, 70%. All those decades, '37 to '98. But today, how many? How many? Not even that say they're a church member. How many people in America even just identify with a church? It's an all-time low, less than half even identify with any church, with any religious belief in that sense. And in fact, the nones, not the N-U-N-S, not the Catholic nuns, but the nones, the atheist, the agnostics, those that have absolutely no religion. Guess what's happened to that group in the last few years. It has skyrocketed. More than a quarter of Americans, nothing. Nothing. No connection whatsoever.

And so what's amazing about that, not only has religion been at a low, because after all, it wasn't the truth. They didn't understand God's truth of the Bible. They didn't understand God's plan. They didn't understand what he was… Yeah. But there was a sense of morality. There was a sense of right and wrong. So, not only has religion plummeted through the floor, so did its values, the values of religion. And so all of that points to the fact that we've crossed the Rubicon. And when we read about what happened to Judah in Lamentations, it's not an isolated event, when we recognize this is talking also about what would happen in the future? What would happen before Christ's return? And here it is, right before our eyes, it's been happening. And God speaks to this over and over because he doesn't want us to cross. He wants us on his side, and yet, what was the history of his people? There's another account of this scenario and how it played out in the life of another nation. And you can find that in the book of Amos.

If you turn with me over to Amos 4, notice verse 6. Here in the book of Amos, God is speaking to people who have already crossed the Rubicon. Now they are in this perilous position. This situation is an ominous one. Why? Because they chose it. It didn't just happen to them. It just didn't fall upon them. This situation came about because of their own choices. And God was warning this kingdom of Israel, the northern kingdom of Israel, and you would think they would have recognized the signs. By this time, you might think it would have been a horrible place to be. But actually, during Amos's time, times were good. The economy was great. You could say that economic engine was just purring along. People were profiting. And it seemed life was good. Now, to say that morality was in decline would probably be a gross understatement because when we read about that time, this is a time of depravity. This is a time of degeneracy. This is a time of arrogance and idolatry and self-righteousness. And they were into things. They were into materialism. And they had reached the point they were no longer hearing God. God was crying out to them through His prophets. They couldn't hear it. They ignored it. And they came to this point that there was no coming back.

And so here in the book of Amos, we find God holding the people accountable because the die was cast, the damage was already done.

And so when we read verse 6, at Amos 4, God said, "Here's a couple of the warnings that I gave you. Yeah. Even though times were good, once in a while, I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities.” Of course if your teeth are clean, you haven't been eating. Right? "I took your food away. There was a lack of bread.” Now you think that might cause people to cry out to God? Come back to God." God's telling them, "Hey, I'm the Ultimate Supplier. It's not your hand that earns all these things." But what happened? He says, "Yet you have not returned to Me." He goes on, another time, "I withheld rain when there was three months to the harvest." Well, that's not a good time to go without rain just before the crops are just maturing. Would that cause the people to turn back to God? I mean, they had shut down. They had shut down, and so we see end of verse 8, "Yet you have not returned to Me." They wouldn't listen. In fact, by this time, it seems they couldn't hear it. And so what's left? What's left after we've shut our eyes and we refuse to hear?

Now verse 12. “'Therefore, thus will I do to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel!’ For behold, He who forms mountains, and creates the wind, who declares to man what his thought is, and makes the morning darkness, who treads upon the high places of the earth— the Lord of hosts is His name." All that was left was coming judgment. That's what remained because Israel had forgotten how to do the right thing. That sound vaguely familiar to what's going on today. I mean, Israel had tolerated sin for so long, so long, they no longer knew what was right. They couldn't identify the difference between right and wrong. And I believe most, if not most of our world, maybe even all the world, have they forgotten? Have they forgotten how to do what's right? Do they even know the difference, what's right and what's wrong? I mean, when we look and we really see what we find here in Amos, what we find in Lamentations, what we'll see throughout the Bible. God can be provoked once too often. Once too much, he can. And sometimes he does say, "That's the last straw. That is it.”

And what we read here in Amos is a record of that very fact, and a prophecy for our time. Here, God's patience ran out. And it certainly is a reminder, this is a situation our world is in. And what a reminder? What a great reminder because the lesson throughout the Old Testament, throughout ancient Israel, Judah, when you obey God, there will be blessings that follow. And when you disobey, disobedience brings judgment and curses. And that hasn't changed. That hasn't changed. And when we look around our culture today, even though religion and, I think, we can say morality is an all-time low, there is something in America that is as fervent as ever. Have you noticed it? I mean, what once seemed to be connected to religion and religious belief, now it's kind of transferred to political belief, political opinions, political ideologies. And so as religious faith has declined and declined, ideological intensity has gotten that much greater that people are locked into their position, what they believe, and what they think. And fragmentation of you believe this and they believe that and I hate them because what they believe. Hasn’t that become evident in our world? I think more and more so. We can't be a part of that. As God's people, He has called us out of that.

And today, it seems like in America, we have religion without religion. It's not religion. In fact, I was reading an article in The Atlantic from a writer called Shadi Hamid. And he wrote that America itself is “almost a religion.” Maybe step back and think for a minute. That's really interesting. I mean, after all, we have our own profits, don't we? Our founding fathers. We have our scripture, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution. Is that possible that that now has become a religion in America? I think in a way we've found expression in an entirely different way. Now it's a secular commitment. Now it's conservatism, or it's liberalism, or it's nationalism. I mean, isn't it true? I mean, you've watched the news. You've noticed the notifications on your phone. If I'm a conservative, conservatives believe they are faithful to the American ideals. And those liberals, they're betraying it. Yeah. They cry about it, don't they? And what do the liberals say? "We are the ones that are faithful to America. We support the American ideals. And those conservatives, they are the ones. They are the ones that are betraying America." Isn’t that obvious? I mean, whatever happened to free speech in America? Do we have free… You can't say things in America. I'm sure what I'm saying today would be classified as hate speech, the canceled culture.

You see, this ideological battle is something we can't afford to dip our toe into. We are citizens of another country. We are citizens that are loyal to the King of Kings. And we recognize this world, this government, this way of thinking is only temporary, and we cannot even think about falling into those values. And we don't want to be held captive the way this world is to the ways of thinking that are directly opposed to God, because they have crossed the Rubicon. It's also interesting. That's not the only phrase that reflects that way of thinking, not only as our world crossed the Rubicon, there was another phrase, similar phrase that came to being used in World War II. And it came into use in the air force. They made this, most kind of frightening phrase, a popular one phrase. "The point of no return. The point of no return." If you were in the Air Force and on an aircraft carrier and they sent you out on a mission, if you use more than half of your fuel before you were on your way back to the carrier, you had basically one option. You're going to crash. You're not going to make it. You crossed that halfway point and you hadn't done your mission yet, the only other option was to crash in enemy territory. Can't afford to do that. You can't do that. And so when we recognize that, we have to turn back. We can't allow ourselves to pass the point of no return. If we pass the point of no return, there is no hope. And in fact, I believe our world has passed that point, passed the point of no return. Evidence?

Hold your place here in Amos. We'll come back in just a moment. But turn to the New Testament. Turn over to Romans 1. Romans 1:18 spells out very clearly. Now, this is almost 2,000 years ago. We're reading what the apostle Paul was inspired to write about the culture of his day. But how does that reflect today? How does this apply to us and the world that we live in? Paul writes some phenomenal things under the inspiration of God. Romans 1:18. Is he describing our world? He writes this, "The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness." So, question. Do people suppress the truth in our world today? I mean, suppress it. They're holding it back. They're hindering it. They're keeping it. They're restraining the truth so that it cannot go out? I believe, absolutely. I mean, have you considered, why can't we be more successful as we preach the gospel? I mean, this is the good news of God's plan, His truth, His love, His mercy, His way. And where does it go? Nowhere. So little progress in this world. But I think God is telling us why. Well it’s because of sin. It's because of wickedness. People are directly resisting the truth. They don't want to hear it. They're not going to believe it. And of course, why not?

Well, if I believe that, that means I've got to give up sin. I've got to give up that way that I like. I have to resolve to change. And so the result is they resist the gospel. And so it's pride and its vanity. And they indulge their passions, no doubt. And they're not going to yield. They're not going to yield to God, not to His word, nor to His truth. And so the wicked, the proud, the vain, the worldly. We're being told the same. It's what we read in Lamentations. The same of what we read in Amos. Here, Paul, in Romans is saying the same thing. They're responsible for their own sins. But not only that, they're also suppressing the truth. They're holding it back. And in fact, we read in verse 20, “Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen,” kind of like, "Didn't I give you cleanness of teeth? Didn't I show you some things? Didn't I warn you? Wasn't I trying to make it obvious to you?” That's kind of what he's saying here. He says these attributes were clearly seen being understood by the things that are made, even as eternal power and Godhead. So, they are without excuse.

Of course, the Creator God is minimized in our creation. Are you kidding me? Evolution is the way. Of course, science has proved it, hasn't it? I don't think so. Not at all. You hardly ever hear the theory attached to that concept any longer. This is what is fact. But what we see here is, it should be obvious. It should be obvious. Now, this verse 20 doesn't mean that every single human being has had their opportunity for eternal life. That is not what he's talking about. When he says that attributes are clearly seen, it says there without excuse. It doesn't mean that they've had their opportunities for salvation as yet. But it is telling us there is clear evidence of God's existence. If people are truly honest with themselves, there's no excuse for idolatry. There's no excuse for hindering the truth by your sin, God is saying. I mean, a good example. What book is found in almost every home in America? It's the Bible. The Word of God is within reach. How many are reaching for God's Word?

So, there is the opportunity there. Boy, we like to use excuses, don't we? We like to use excuses. And of course, we've been hearing about this amazing landing on Mars and how there's drones and now can fly over the landscape of… Wow. Awesome. Amazing. Isn't science wonderful? Well, who created science after all? Well, we deny the Creator. Oh, no, this just happened. Just happenstance. Just an amazing accident. And we deny and we suppress the truth. That's not showing any indication of God, but he's telling us here, "Yes, there is. There's no excuse not to recognize there is a supreme being. There is a Creator God. So, as a result, because there's no excuse, what did God do in Lamentations? What did God do in Amos' time? What does God say he'll do? Verse 24. "Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie,” the lie. Well, man knows the best way. Our government knows the best way. Science knows the best way. We can figure it out ourselves. We know what's right. We know what's best. And what does God say? "All right. That's what you want? You're going to ignore me?" God says, "Fine." God abandons them. He stops restraining them. And so we see, He says, "If that's what you want if you're not going to listen to Me, if you're going to ignore Me and turn your back, have at it. Have at it.”

And so verse 26, it says, "For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions, disgraceful desires." And He goes into specific detail of those sins. The most offensive, the most vile, the most degrading things that mankind can imagine, He lists for us. But what does our world call that kind of behavior? "This is wonderful. This is great. This is freedom. This is SOGI. This is my sexual orientation. I should be able to choose my orientation. I should be able to, you know, have my own gender identity. I have a free will to choose that. SOGI is a great thing that is becoming part of American law. You cannot discriminate. And the LGBTQ agenda that's out here. It's all about love. It's all about love. And isn't love good?" Well, God would be accused of hate speech because He reminds us, Isaiah 5:20, "Woe to those who call evil good." That's exactly what our world is doing. And the amazing part is it's taken the morality out of the argument. Have you noticed that? Well, now we pass laws. Same-sex marriage is legal. So, you discriminate against them. It's not a moral thing anymore. What is it? Now it's a legal issue. Now it's illegal to have the opinion that God has. It's illegal.

And so we've come that far. And it is amazing how quickly things have changed. Same-sex marriage, not all that long ago, passed by the Supreme Court. Yep, it's a good thing. How many people in America, what percentage of Americans actually supported same-sex marriages 1988? Only 11%, 11%. Fast forward, 2009, 20 years later, what percentages of Americans believe that's a good thing, would support the idea of same-sex marriage? We jumped from 11% in 20 years to 49%, 49% according to an ABC poll, 49%. Now, it's not very long ago, 2009. Okay. Come up to today. What percentage of Americans now support same-sex marriage? Seventy percent. Seventy percent. In just those few years. Have we crossed the Rubicon? Now, of course, we don't hate people. We don't hate individuals. That's unacceptable. But the behavior, the morality is unacceptable. And so God inspired Paul to tell it like it is. And so, as we read here, it says, "Even their women exchanged the natural use for what's against nature." Verse 27, "Also the men leaving the natural use of the woman burned in their lust for one another." God says that is wicked and sinful, unacceptable behavior. And that's it. There's no, "Well, what about love? Well, what about my preference?" No. God says, "This is the way it is.”

And in Corinthians, He says, "Anyone that practices these things will not be in the Kingdom of God." And He lays it out strong and clear. This is not hate speech. In fact, this is just the opposite. Think about that for a moment. As He maps this behavior out so clearly, he says, "Because of their wickedness and because of their choice to restrain God," verse 28, He says, "God gave them over to a debased mind." That means a shameful mind, a disgraceful mind. And he lists… It's not just sexual things. It's not just that. I mean, look at the list here in verse 29. He talks about wickedness, covetousness, so greediness, maliciousness. Boy, do we have that in our world that people want to get even and they take things over the top full of envy, strife, deceit, lies? Our government would never lie to us, would they? People would never… Violence. Boy, this is a listing of the latest news headlines, isn't it? And yes, they'd call this hate speech, but, ultimately, God's saying, "This is life speech. Get away from these things. Have nothing to do with these things and you will have life." And so it's just the opposite. And our world has turned those things around. And because of this, notice how God says we've crossed the Rubicon.

Verse 32. It says, "Knowing the righteous judgment of God," is what? "those who practice such things are deserving of death,” he says, "not only do they do the same…" So, we got to be careful here because we say, "Oh, what terrible behavior? What awful thing?" Yeah, I think we've got a lot of Americans that don't do those things. But how many of us say, "Well, if they want to do that, that's okay. That's good for them"? Well, what does God say about that attitude? Well, look what he says. "they don't only do the same but approve of those who practice them." We can't fall into that ditch and say, "Well, whatever they want to do. That's good. Good for them." No, it's not. It's evil. It's wrong. It's sinful. And so what we find happening here is God has put America and the world on notice. You have reached the point of no return. You've crossed the Rubicon. God says, "Go ahead. That's what you want? Have your way. Do your thing. Do what you want. Turn your back on Me and see what happens next. You won't listen to my warnings. You're just like Israel. You are so preoccupied with material things, with your own religious ideas, your own political venue, your own wants, your own desires, and you are so morally perverse that all that's left is to destroy the nation." That's what God is telling us.

And so I think it becomes obvious we've crossed the point of no return. And of course, as we consider that, we have to recognize it may be too late for the nation. It may be too late for the world, but it's not too late for us. It's not too late because God still calls out to us. He moves us by the power of His Spirit. In fact, He tells us… If you've still got a finger in the book of Amos, if you'll turn back to Amos for a moment, even after it was all a done deal for Israel, God still gives a call to repentance. He still gives a call to change. And in Amos 5:24, He tells us what it should be. He tells us, "This is the way that I envision a life for My people. This is how it should look. This is how it should manifest itself in the life of my people, My called out ones." And so He says, Amos 5:24, "Let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream." Of course, as we read those words, we know that connection between water and God's Holy Spirit. Let God's Spirit run and it will produce a righteousness that is like a mighty river. And that's what God is wanting. That's what God seeks. That's what we should reflect in our lives. And in a way, it should be like Niagara Falls that is so amazing, so powerful.

Have you been to Niagara Falls? Anybody been to Niagara Falls? All right. Ever been in that cave behind the fall? Some of you have been. How would you describe that I mean, the sense of that water just roaring over those falls? I mean, it's hard to describe because it is such a raging waterfall and just the sound, the sound of it is almost overwhelming as you get close to the falls. And you would think looking at the falls that it's impossible that any force of any kind could be strong enough to stop that gigantic rush of water right over that rim. But it happened. It happened.

You know that for 30 long hours Niagara stopped. The river quit flowing.

Now if it happened a year or two ago, you would have heard about. It would have been on Facebook all over the place and they've been flying helicopters over the… Now, this is all the way back in 1848, 1848 before anybody could tweet about it for 30 hours. You can imagine this. The river stopped. It stopped. The falls dried up. And there were a few brave people that tried to walk across this river bed that was all rocky. A couple of people, it's recorded, tried to ride their horses over the rock floor of the channel. But history records how eerie the silence was that just feel the air, just a strangeness about it. In fact, it was such an oddity that droves of people ran to churches to pray because they thought, "Oh, boy, it must be over." And they panicked. Many people panicked because the river stopped. Now, it's interesting that it wasn't that long. Thirty hours later, suddenly there was this gigantic roar. And different accounts say that it was such a monumental sound that they felt it shook the foundations of the world. It's a way some people record it. And they record that a solid wall of water suddenly came rushing down the channel. And it was at such an amazing height. They couldn't imagine how tall this water wave that came at them was blasting down the riverbed. And they say that it just curved and wound its way and then just crashed over the falls itself. Must have been a remarkable experience because then Niagara was back.

What was the explanation? Why did that happen? How could that be possible? Well, they couldn't find out instantly. It took days to sort out what had actually happened. But they sorted it out and they found out that high winds at Lake Erie had caused millions and millions of tons of ice to block the source of the river. So, this ice became impacted right there where the lake flowed into the river and it blocked the channel completely. But it didn't last forever. Finally, that energy that just could not relent, it shifted, that ice moved, and all of that pent up energy and weight of this water, boom, it breaks through and couldn't help but flow down that river. I think there's an interesting lesson in that story because our world is in a situation like this right now that God's justice, His righteousness might be held back for a moment or two, maybe for a little bit of time. But undoubtedly, eventually, just like that mighty Niagara, it's going to break. This is going to shift. And the force behind that pent-up weight, not of water, but of justice will run down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream. It is going to happen because God is telling us through this passage and Amos, through maybe the lesson of Niagara, that purity is what God calls for just like that rushing water. And He calls for that in us. He wants to see that in us because judgment and righteousness will flow. It cannot be stopped. But what a great reminder for us.

It may very well be we've crossed the Rubicon, but individually, that idea of reaching the point of no return should be something we keep in mind. We keep in mind in… It should be a real, real event, real thought that comes to our mind because the Bible is clear. It's very clear. One day every one of us, every one of us will answer to God, every one of us. So, when we see the depravity of this world, we can't just point the finger. We better recognize we're accountable. We're accountable for the way that we choose to live our life. And the story of Romans, the story of Amos, the story of Lamentations should all be a reminder to be that much more diligent to stay close to God. We have to always keep in mind. We've got to avoid the point of no return. And if we're going to avoid that point, we've got to turn to the solution. In fact, there's only one solution. That solution is a spiritual one. Our world turns to all these physical ways to try to solve their problems and come up with bigger, better ideas, new ways of sinning. But there's only one solution, and it's a spiritual solution. And we're going to find more and more. The more we strive to live by God's way, it will automatically put us in opposition to the lifestyles of this world. Can't help but do that. It will put us against the prevailing philosophies and the ways of this world just by striving to live God's way. And so as we try to honor and glorify and exalt God, no matter what, I think it's a call, a call to us, a reminder to us.

We quit worrying about being politically correct. God is telling us that. He's saying, "Be biblically correct. That's what it's about. Be biblically correct. Follow My word, My standard, what works for a spiritual approach to life. Come out of this culture. Come out of this society." Because if we're to avoid the point of no return, we can't just sit back and relax and just think we can watch the world around us decay. And it's not what God wants us to do. We can't be content with where we're at. I mean, can you imagine that? Are we going to say, "Well, I guess I'm good enough. I'm spiritual enough. I'm fine." I mean, if we're content with where we're at, that means I'm never going to be more spiritual than I am right now. Is that what God wants us to think? I think if we fall into that frame of mind, we're going to fall backwards because we're reminded over to hunger and thirst for righteousness. And if you're going to live tomorrow, you've got to eat today. You've got to… It's got to be an ongoing thing. And so if we're to avoid the point of no return, that means I can't wait. I can't wait till tomorrow. I've got to stop thinking, "I got some time. We're not at the tribulation yet." God says, "No. Now's the time to light a fire. Now's the time." If we're going to avoid the point of no return, we cannot afford to take sin lightly.

And when we see selfishness in this world, we got to turn that around and recognize, "Is there selfishness in my life, in my thinking?" We see pride out there. "Well, am I prideful? How does pride demonstrate itself in my thinking, in my attitude? Am I envious? Am I complacent?" You see, I have to realize, "Is this in me too?" because there's no doubt sin has the capacity to overwhelm us. And we don't want to be taken in. We have to remember this is dangerous stuff. Our eternal life is at stake. And so we find ourselves at the edge of the Rubicon. What do we do? Well, you don't want to stick your toe in the river. If we're flying along and we recognize, "I'm going the wrong direction. I'm running out of fuel." Immediately recognize, right the first realization, now is the time to turn, now is the time to change, now is the time to repent. Don't let it go on. Choose. Choose to change. And it can help us to turn things around. I mean, we've just coming out of this pandemic, so it's been called. Well, think about sin. Think about sin as the ultimate infection and every instant of unbelief is like a virus. And we don't do something about that sin, we don't do something about that infection, we don't do something about that virus, it can spread throughout our entire being until we are infected beyond cure. That's the lesson from Lamentations and Amos and Romans.

But the good news, God's given us the cure. We have the cure. We've been given the power of God's Holy Spirit. We have mighty waters. We've been given those mighty waters. We've got everything it takes by the grace of God to overcome. We can face sin and take it on by the power of God. And we can do it when we see it first coming. We want to make sure that when we first see it, we're not going to flirt with it. We're not going to allow that… when that temptation comes up, we are going to beat it down when it first begins to rise in our mind because we will not accept it. We want nothing to do with the ways of this world, not even entertain that idea, because if we are going to avoid the point of no return, that means individually, I have to do whatever it takes to stay close to God. But it also means collectively, we, as the Body of Christ, as the collective Body of Christ, we have to determine to be together. We have to determine to fellowship together. And don't forget our fellowship, most importantly, begins with fellowship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. That's where it begins. And that means if I'm fellowshipping with the Father, with Jesus Christ, I have to fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I have to come together.

We are the Body of Christ and we share and we participate. That's what we're doing, fellowshipping. And we are partners. And we are participants together. We are a community of the believers of God. We are the Body of Christ. We are the called ones that are out of this world. And we are not only called out, we're brought together and that's the meaning of the word for church in the New Testament. We are called out and brought together. It's time to come together. It is time to be together. Now is the time to stop neglecting the assembling of ourselves together. We have to be together. We must be together. That is a biblical, godly command. If we're going to avoid crossing the Rubicon and avoid the point of no return, now's the time. Now is the time. And what a blessing. What a blessing because it's not too late for us. It's maybe too late for this world, but it's not too late for us. So, let's make a conscious decision to never fall in line with the values that are just plummeting all around us. Let's make a deliberate choice. Never, never to allow this way of the world to distract us and get us off track. And let's have an intentional resolve, an intentional resolve to guard our hearts and to guard our minds because as we determine to stay close to God, He's promised to give us the power. He's promised it. He will give us the power to avoid crossing the Rubicon.