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This is word-for-word as written in 2015. Tragically, we have continued downward on the path. ~ As I write on July 4th/Independence Day, I wonder about myself and my fellow countrymen. We seem ready to declare any kind of behavior as acceptable, even worthy of celebration. For decades, we have turned a blind eye toward adultery, unethical business practices, fornication, mistreatment of the weak, pornography, failure to discipline children, nofault divorce, homosexuality, government handouts to those capable but unwilling to provide for themselves, abortion, etc. The list could go on and on and on. There is plenty of

blame to go around for many groups. Pastors, politicians, and media members have all succumbed to pressures not to offend anyone. Calling out any behavior as wrong is sure to offend some people. Any person engaged in such behavior or any person with a friend or family member engaged in such behavior is almost sure to be offended by a declaration that the behavior in question is wrong. Pastors, politicians, media members, etc. are often rightly fearful for their ability to provide for their families if they speak up. However, there is no getting around the fact that God has declared some things to be wrong.

As the Apostle Paul neared death, he wrote an exhortation to his young protégé Timothy which could not be more pertinent to us today: I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;

but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5 NASU) We should not be surprised that people have a very strong desire to live as if there is no Creator in their past and no Judge in their future. It is becoming harder and harder to be a pastor, politician, media member, or anyone else with a public platform to speak the truth of God without experiencing reprisal. That is exactly why the Holy Spirit issued the warning. We are commanded to be constantly and consistently ready to reprove, rebuke, and exhort. We are to do so with much patient instruction. We should expect rejection and persecution.

The solution to every single one of our behavior issues is found in Christ and His cross. God spelled it out in 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being

saved it is the power of God.

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