Hope & Change

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Grace Bible Church

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Pastor Scott L. Harris

Grace Bible Church, NY

November 9, 2008

Hope & Change

Selected Scriptures

Introduction

I recall that on the Sunday after the elections two years ago in which the Democrat party won enough seats in Congress so that Mrs. Pelosi would become Speaker of the House, I sought to encourage those in our congregation who were upset about it. We have several in our congregation that are very active in the Republican party and they were obviously troubled by the outcome of the election then, just as they are now after this past Tuesday’s election. After the service I had someone who was very glad about Mrs. Pelosi becoming the speaker take me to task for my comments. In our brief discussion I told the individual that while I shared their desire to see Congress function in a more civil and responsible manner, I did not share her hope that Mrs. Pelosi could accomplish that. Tragically, history has proven me right.

I know there are some Republicans present that are very disturbed about the results of Tuesday’s election. I also know that there are some present that voted for the Democrat candidates and are glad about the results. The Democrat party has increased its control in both the U.S. Senate and House. It has captured control of the New York State Senate which clears away the last Republican roadblock to their legislative agenda. And the biggest prize is that Senator Obama, who campaigned on the theme of hope and change, has become the President elect.

This morning I want to address this theme of hope and change. In the process I believe I will cause some who are very happy to become very sober, and I think I will cause some of you who are very discouraged to take heart. Why? Simply because what politicians present as hope and change is very different from what the Bible presents as the Christian’s hope for change. One is determined completely on the temporal while the other in the eternal. One is founded on the failing promises of men while the other on the unalterable promises of God. One is presented according to the intentions, thoughts and wisdom of mere men, who even if redeemed are still severely limited, and the other by the good, kind, loving, gracious and merciful omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient Creator. If your hope is in men so that the win or loss of an election makes you either elated or despondent, then you need a reality check with God’s word about what the future will bring, both temporal and eternal. The Christian’s hope is to be in God, not men.

Political Hope and Change

I am not a political junkie. I find political polls to be irritating. I think most so called political pundits are partisan wishful thinkers who are often oblivious to reality. I find much of what is presented to be political analysis to be nauseating not only because so much of it is obviously partisan, but also because it is presented by people who are so proud and arrogant. They are masters at political spin with the ability to draw conclusions that can even be the opposite of what the speaker actually said. Then there is also the aspect of those who treat it all as if it is some grand adult game of strategy. The issues that were of such concern before an election suddenly disappear as they become great buddies with each other again. It is like they are playing a game cards with just the deck being reshuffled for the next hand to be played out over the next two, four or six years. Finally there are the politicians themselves. While we praise God for the ones that are statesmen and genuine public servants, my own observation has been that the vast majority of them are self-serving individuals that will do whatever is necessary to gain and keep political power. I don’t think I am alone in this view as evidenced by the dismal approval ratings for congress and their continued placement near the bottom of surveys that rate respect levels. People generally trust used car salesmen more than politicians.

That being said, I am, however, interested in politics and keep up in general with what it going on because it is such a good window into the beliefs and ideas of our society. It is one of the main forums for the debate between world views. Politics gives me a good idea of where our society is at, what it is thinking and where it is heading.

What do politicians present as hope and change? Every political challenger presents the hope of changing places with whoever is currently in office. Every politician presents the hope that they will be able to fulfill their various campaign pledges, though the reality of being able to actually do so is a completely different question. Some campaign promises may be very particular changes in current policy to something different, but for the most part such promises are left vague because they fit better into the sound bite campaigns that dominate the political landscape in our day. Serious presentation, discussion and debate about issues is rare to non-existent. Our so called political debates, and maybe especially the Presidential ones, are really just opportunities for election sloganeering and seeing who looks and acts “presidential,” whatever that means. Why? Because relatively few people seriously examine the issues, the character and the record of the candidates. A huge number of voters choose their candidate the same way they choose a car. Some have brand loyalty, but even then decisions are made on outward appeal and perceived image.

Back in September I gave a sermon on The Christian and Politics to set a Biblical foundation for the issues that are most important before God and therefore the most important for the Christian to consider when voting for a candidate. We found that the moral issues and fulfilling the God given purposes of government in protecting its people from internal and external threats are what is most important. Let me briefly point out a couple of the moral changes I have seen in this nation in my brief 50 years of life and then consider what hope and change the politicians are offering concerning these.

The value of life has changed radically in the last 50 years. In 1958 abortions were illegal throughout the United States. Even the idea of it was considered immoral. A woman with a crisis pregnancy would have the child and if she could not or did not want to keep the baby she gave the child up for adoption. Abortion was legalized in 1973 by judicial fiat by the U.S. Supreme Court. Abortion rates peaked in the early 1980’s at 364/1,000 live births (about 1.6 million/year) and then due to increasing State restrictions and education the rates dropped to about 300/1,000 live births by 2000 (about 1.2 million/year). About one third of women will have an abortion during their life.

The dominant political party advocates abortion as a personal right and the President Elect promised NARAL that one of his first actions as President would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act which would remove State restrictions on abortions. Is that the hope and change people voted for? Perhaps in some states. South Dakota’s Initiative 11 to ban most abortions failed 45.8% to 54.2%. California’s Proposition 4 that would have required parental notification and a waiting period failed 48% to 52%.

Meanwhile, Michigan’s Proposition 2 to allow destructive embryonic stem cell research passed 62.2%. A strong majority either does not understand the moral implications of this or they think it is okay to purposely destroy one human life that is utterly defenseless to harvest its tissue for the possible personal benefit of another. At the other end of life, Washington has joined Oregon in approving euthanasia for humans. Their Initiative 100 allows under certain conditions a MD to prescribe lethal medications for the terminally ill. The Hippocratic oath has been breached again allowing the reversal of the moral compass for the medical community. How long before they have their first case, as has already occurred in Oregon, in which medical treatment is refused in favor of offering assistance for suicide? Is this hope and change?

A radically changed moral standard over the years has more than tripled the level of sexually active High School age teens from about 14% in 1950 (which would have included some teens that were married), to 48% of girls and 45% of boys by 2003. Related to this is the birth rate of unwed mothers which rose from 16/1,000 in 1958 to more than 27/1,000 by 1987. The teen pregnancy rate (including married mothers) shot up to 111 by the late 1990’s, but has since dropped to 41/1,000 by 2005, in part due to abstinence based sex education. Not surprising, but still shocking is the increase in sexually transmitted diseases which ran about 400/100,000 in 1958 to over 25% (25,000 / 100,000) at present. That rate goes up to 48% in certain ethnic communities. What hope and change are politicians offering concerning these issues? Does anyone seriously believe that defunding abstinence education and having an even greater stress on amoral sex education is going to help? Yet that happened here in New York last year.

The stress on teens is a lot more now than back then as evidence by the suicide rate for 15-24 years olds which more than doubled from 4.5/100,000 to 10/100,000 in 2005. Some of that stress is because their families have fallen apart. The divorce rate in 1958 was 2.2/1,000. It rose to 5.3/1,000 by 1979. A decreasing marriage rate and an increasing rate of unmarried couples living together ( which went from less than 1% in 1960 to 10% by 2000) caused the divorce rate to drop slightly to 4.2/1000 by 2000. The current estimate is that between 40-50% of all marriages will eventually end in divorce. The combination of increasing divorce rate and birth to unwed mothers caused an explosion the number of single parent families. By 1970 11% of children were in single parent homes. By 2005 it increased to 26% with the estimate being that about half of all children will live in a single parent home through at least part of their childhood years. What hope and change are politicians offering concerning these issues? Families are in trouble. Marriage is attacked as an antiquated concept. Feminists see it as the oppression of women. Judges keep redefining it to include what God says is an abomination. What is the hope and change politicians are offering concerning marriage and families?

In 1958 homosexuality as well as all other sexual perversions were illegal. Like adultery, it is not that people did not practice it, but society did not condone it and so the number of those involved in it was small and it was hidden. Social morality has been turned on its head with the restrictions on homosexuality and other perversions not only removed, but those practicing them are often now placed in a special protected class. Even a fatal communicable disease, AIDS, became the first federally protected disease because of its association with the homosexual lifestyle. Health officials were not allowed to ask if someone had it, much less trace it to warn those who had been exposed or restrict the person who had it from spreading it. Some school districts now require the children be taught that these sexual perversions are normal. Is it any wonder that sexual confusion and aberrations are increasing? Many politicians are standing proud to support these societal changes while those who stand against them are vilified and even assaulted. California, Arizona and Florida all passed constitutional amendments to establish marriage as only between one man and one woman. The result has been rioting. What hope and change are politicians offering in this area?

Violent crime rates nearly tripled from 1960 to 2007, from 160/100,000 to 456/100,000. Rape went from 9.5 to 30 per 100,000; Robbery from 60 to 147; Assault from 86 to 283; and murder from 4.6 to only 5.6 per 100,000. I suppose society has become accustomed to these rates because I don’t recall anyone talking about the need for law and order.

There are a lot of other things that could be mentioned, but I think you get the picture. What is the hope and change that politicians offer? And to make this picture even worse, while there have been some fluctuations in the various rates I have mentioned, overall, everything has gone up, it has become morally worse regardless of which party controls congress or who is in the White House. Why? Because the problem lies in the people, not the government, and in our system of politics, the government is only a reflection of the people. Even a good government cannot stem the tide of a people who turn away from God and are bent on immorality. David Barton did a statistical study in 1988 that demonstrated the radical changes in the moral indicators I mentioned began in 1963, the year the U.S. Supreme Court kicked prayer out of the public schools and American society as a whole became complicit in removing God from the discussion in the public square and even from being acknowledged. The best that even a good government can do are some stop-gap measures which will be overturned in the future when they are voted out for those who will tickle the ears of the people with what they want to hear.

Now you say to me, “Preacher, you sound fatalistic and depressed. You sound like you are purposely trying to trash the win by the Democrats even before their new government is formed.” My answer is, “not at all.” I am neither depressed or fatalistic. I have a lot of reasons for joy and a confidence for the future, but neither have anything to do with the American political scene. I will tell you about that in a minute. I am not trying to rain on the victory of the Democrats. However, I do feel profoundly sad and especially for all those who voted for the first time because of a promise of hope and change. They will end up being deeply disappointed when what they think they have been promised cannot be delivered, and when the hope and change they thought they voted for is not the hope and change they will actually get. That is not a political statement, but a statement of reality born out by history regardless of who wins the elections whether Democrat, Republican or any third party. It is a statement of fact that must be applied to anyone who places their hope and faith in men rather than in God. It is also a statement of fact because God has already described the future and it is not the hope and change that any politician has promised, would promise or could promise.

Biblical Hope and Change

The hope that politicians speak of is radically different from the hope presented in the Bible. Even the usage of the word shows a difference in meaning between the two. Hope means “wish and expect” or “wishful trust” because properly, hope must have an object which can bring about the expectation. The more common usage of the word ends up that the object of hope becomes hope itself. It becomes a wish that expects the wish to be fulfilled simply because it is what is wished. This is the type of hope that fuels the nonsense of positive thinking theology such as advocated by Norman Vincent Peale, Robert Schuller and others. Elements of this have shown up all over the place including in preachers who are popularly thought to be evangelical, but are actually aberrant at best, if not heretical.

The politician uses the word hope in a two-fold sense. He wants the people to place enough confidence in him to bring about the desires for which they wish so that they will vote for him and support him. That is a wishful trust. However, since a careful scrutiny of the promises being made may reveal that those promises are in fact unrealistic, perhaps impossible, and maybe contradictory to his other promises, he wants the promises and that hope to be left somewhat vague. It becomes more of a “I share your wish for a better future, for anything is better than the present, so let us hope together and it can all come true.” Is anything better than the present? Actually, no. Some things could be and many things will not be, but this type of hope does not address any of that nor does it address the hard things that might need to be endured to get you where you wish to be. Hope in man will always be trust placed on flimsy reed that will not hold up when the real test comes.

Biblical hope is not a wish trust, it is a confident assurance in the promises of God. The words translated in the New Testament as “hope” are elpiV / elpis (noun) and elpizw / elpidzo (verb) which is used to expression to have an expectation with full confidence. Our hope in God is described this way because it is sure and will not fail because He cannot fail. Hope placed in man could be well founded in the sense that the person you hope in has the proper character to do what they promise, but they may not have the means or ability to fulfill a promise. How many of you have made a promise you could not keep because something else interfered so that it was impossible. You promise to take your child to some fun activity after work, but you end up in an accident or your car breaks down. You promise you are going to do some task, but you get sick and you are at home praying that you will survive – or perhaps it is so bad you are praying you will die – instead of fulfilling your promise. Men can make promises they intend to keep but may well end up without the means or ability to keep them. That is not true of God.

We spent over a year presenting an overview of the Bible and throughout it we continually saw that God always had the means and ability to keep every one of His promises and He always did. God created the world out of nothing by speaking it all into existence. When God said He would judge the world by a flood, He did so. When God told Noah He would preserve him through the ark, He did so. When God said He would scatter men throughout the earth, He did so by confusing their languages. When God said He would bless Abraham and his descendants, He did so. When God said He would preserve the Israelites in Egypt, He did so. When God told Moses He would use him to perform miracles, break the power of Egypt and free the Israelites from slavery, He did so. When God told Moses He would provide for them in the wilderness, He did so. When God told Joshua He would conquer the promised land, He did so. When God told the various judges that He would throw off their yoke of oppression, He did so over and over again. The same thing was true with various kings. When God spoke through a prophet, He fulfilled what He said. If it was the fulfillment of a blessing, He did so. If it was the fulfillment of a judgement and curse, He did so. Daniel found that Jeremiah prophesied a return to the land, and God did so. God promised that He would send His son through a virgin of the tribe of Judah and line of Jesse to be born in the village of Bethlehem, and God did so. God promised that His son, the Messiah, would live a sinless life and redeem His people from their sins, and Jesus did so by paying the sin price on the cross of Calvary. God promised that He would raise Jesus from the dead, and He did so. God promised that He would fill the apostles with the Holy Spirit and they would be empowered to preach the gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the world, and He did so. God has promised that all that confess Jesus Christ as Lord and believe God has raised Him from the dead and will be forgiven their sins, no longer be under His condemnation, and be adopted into His family, and He does so. God has promised that He will conform the believer into the image of His son and that the good work He has started in them He will bring to completion, and He is doing so. God has told us that the Holy Spirit and Jesus intercede on our behalf, and they do so. God has promised to be with us through our troubles and trials and that He will use them to mature us, and He does so. God has promised that all things will work together for good for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose, and He makes that so. God has promised that dwelling places are being prepared for His followers in heaven, and He is doing so. God has promised that Jesus will return to take us to be with Him, and He will do so. God has promised that absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of Christ so that we are secure in Him, and He has made it so. God has promised to judge this world for their sin and deal out retribution to all those that do not know Him or obey the gospel of the Lord Jesus, and He will do so. They will be judged at the Great White Throne and condemned by their own actions and words and then cast into the lake of fire just as He foretold us. God has promised to destroy this present world by fire so that the very elements will even melt, and He will do so. God has promised to create a new heaven and earth in which righteousness dwells, and He will do so. God has promised that we will dwell with Him there for eternity and that He will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and He will do so.

That is why our hope is much more than a wishful trust. It is an absolute confident assurance. What God promises, God will do. Whether we are troubled or joyful in our circumstances depends a lot more on our knowledge, understanding and trust in God and His promises than on the circumstances themselves. The more we know and trust God the less our circumstance determine our emotional state.

That is why Paul was able to say in Philippians 4:11-13, “Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

That is why both Paul and James can tell us that we can respond to circumstances of trouble and trial with joy. James 1:2-4 says, Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have [its] perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Romans 5:3-5 adds, “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Verse 8 adds that this love of God was proven to us in its demonstration that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners.

Please note within in these verses the hope given is in God and that the change noted is in our own character as we become mature in Him. The very purpose of our salvation is that we become holy and blameless before Him (Ephesians 1:4) which is why God is conforming us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:28). While we wish for temporal changes in our society and our circumstances, our hope for change is in what God will do in changing us and will be doing in the future in preparation for eternity.

Let me expand on that briefly. The political hope and change offered is only for some adjustment in our society so that life is more comfortable in someway for those that vote for that candidate. Get enough people to believe that you can make their life better and you can win an election. While we certainly wish for such things as Christians and should even work hard to try to bring about those things so that the United States continues as a safe haven for believers, a place we can live in peace without fear of severe persecution, a nation from whose resources we can support missions efforts around the world, and a community in which we can raise our children and grandchildren in a society will support our value system, that is not our hope. Again, work hard for the things you desire, for righteousness and for the good of this nation, but America is not our hope. The Bible is clear that what is normal for the believer is the opposite. America has been the aberration in history and around the world.

Paul told Timothy that all those who desire to live in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when [men] cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. “Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12). He also said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” Tribulation is part of living in this sin fallen world and the Christian will have an extra measure of that tribulation falling on us because those who are evil hate us, yet we can have peace in the mist of it all because we have a hope that transcends the present. Jesus Christ has already overcome the world.

I had a meeting with several pastors this past Thursday. Because the New York State Senate now has a Democrat majority, we fully expect several laws that had previously been blocked by the Republicans will pass next year. Among them will include hate speech laws, removal of property tax exemption for non-profits, approval of homosexual marriage and additional special rights and privileges for homosexuals, bi-sexuals and transvestites. We know the consequences of those things could be jail time for preaching what the Bible says about certain subjects, increased ministry expenses with Church funds flowing to government treasuries, and increasing perversion of our society. We don’t like any of that and we will continue to oppose those things, but neither will we become despondent. If those things happen, then we are determined to respond as the Apostles did in Acts 5:41 and rejoice to be counted worthy to suffer shame for His name’s sake.

What is the future of the United States? While this nation has been used of God and done much good for the world over its 232 history, there is nothing about it the Bible. There is nothing that even alludes to the western hemisphere. Since the Bible has much to say about nations in many other parts of the world during the last days, it is safe to conclude that we will not play any significant role in the end time events. The event that marks the beginning of the seventieth week of Daniel, often referred to as the seven years of the Tribulation period, is a covenant made between the anti-Christ and the nation of Israel. It is a covenant of protection which he will break halfway through the period. This is spoken about in Daniel 9:27 with other events that follow described in Daniel 11 and other prophetic books.

At present, the nation of Israel has no need for such a covenant because of the support of the United States, but if they no longer had our support then such a covenant would be greatly sought. All it will take for Israel to lose our support is the lack of political will, a lack of military capability, or a combination of the two. What can change that? Any of the following or a combination of them: A change in our foreign policy; an over extension of our military forces; the destruction of our military capabilities by either internal or external means; or an economic collapse that would remove our ability to support a strong military force overseas. I make no speculation about which of these will happen or when, but simply point out that any of them are possible and some of them could occur rapidly within a very short time span.

Biblical prophecy of the future tells us that in the time leading up to and during Daniel’s seventieth week the world will be clamoring for peace and safety, but it will be a time of war (Matthew 24:6-7). Christians will be special targets for persecution. Matthew 24:9-14 says, “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. “And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another. “And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many. “And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. “But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.” It will be a time of nations conquering each other, famine, and unprecedented supernaturally caused disasters (Revelation 6-18). Both Revelation 6:9 and 7:14 speak of the believers who will be martyred during that time.

The point is simple. As citizens of this nation, fulfill your responsibilities and work hard for her, the things you desire, for righteousness and for the good of this nation. Wish strongly and work hard for America, but don’t place your hope in any man or any government. America is not our hope. As a believer you are also a citizen of Heaven, so keep your hope solidly fixed in God and God alone. No mere human government can bring the change that is needed. The change you need to seek is first personal as you are changed by the Holy Spirit into a mature believer and conformed to the image of Christ. Even more so look forward with confident assurance of that point in time when your earthly body will be transformed so that not only will the physical infirmities be done away with forever, but also your battle with sin. Second, earnestly desire the change that will come with the return of Christ when He will conquer the nations of this world and set up His millennial kingdom. Pray for and look for His return. Jesus Christ and His promises are the only source for true hope and change.

Sermon Notes – 11/9/2008

Hope & Change – Selected Scriptures

 

KIDS CORNER

Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times the words “hope” and “change” are mentioned. 2) Discuss with your parents what your hope should be based in

 

THINK ABOUT IT!

Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What is your personal response to the commands of 1 Timothy 2:1-4? What is your own reaction to results of the elections on November 4, 2008 and why? What promises of hope and change did you understand the politicians to be making? Be specific if you can. What is your evaluation of political pundits, analysts and politicians? Why? Why do politicians commonly keep their comment general instead of specific? What Biblical principles should be applied when considering what candidate to vote for? Explain. What moral changes have you seen in American society during your life time? Explain – give examples. What is the source of the problem / decline? What promises have you heard politician make concerning the moral issues of our times? What is the best even a good government can do concerning the moral issues? While will those who place their hope in government eventually be disappointed? What is the difference between the meaning in the common usage of the word “hope” and what the Bible means by it? What is the object of hope in its common usage? What is the object of hope in its Biblical usage? How do politicians use the word hope? How has God shown in the Old Testament that He will keep His promises? How has God shown in the New Testament that He will keep His promises? What promises have you seen Him keep? What promises has He made concerning the future? What is the basis of a Christian’s peace and contentment? How does that prepare him for difficult circumstances? What should be the result of tribulation in a Christian’s life? What is the normal response of the world toward Christian believers? Why is America an aberration of this? What do we know from the Bible about the end times and the future of the United States? World societies? Conflicts between nations? The treatment of Christians? What should your hope be in? What changes should you be looking for in yourself? When will government change to be what it is supposed to be?

 

Introduction

1 Timothy 2:1-4 commands us to _____for those in leadership – regardless of whether we like them or not

The hope and change presented by politicians is very different from that presented in the _________

Hope in men leaves you either elated or despondent depending on the _______ of an election

The Christian’s ______ is to be in God, not men.

Political Hope and Change

Political pundits and analysts are often very ______, proud and can spin stories to be opposite of the truth

There are few politicians that are still ____________and genuine public servants. Most are self-serving

Political awareness is a good window into the condition of our _________ and where it is heading

Every politician _______to be elected & fulfill their campaign pledges and ________things to their liking

The moral issues & government fulfilling its protective role are the critical considerations in ________

Moral changes over the last 50 years:

Abortion: From illegal to a peak of 364/1,000 (1.6 million/yr) and a current 300/1,000 (___________)

About ________ of women will have an abortion in their lifetime.

Teen sexual activity: from ~ 14% in 1950 (including married teens) to ____of girls / ____ of boys in 2003

Births to _________ mothers: 16/1,000 in 1958 to 27/1,000 in 1987.

Sexually transmitted diseases: 400/100,000 (0.4%) in 1958 to _________ /100,000 at present (25%)

__________ rates ages 15-24. 4.5/100,000 in 1958 to 10/100,000 in 2005

Divorce rate per 1,000: 1958 – 2.2 1979 – 5.3 20000 – 4.2 _______ of marriages end in divorce

Unmarried couples rose from 1% in 1960 to _______ in 2000

Children in single parent homes: 11% in 1970. ______ in 2005. About ½ of all children experience this.

Homosexuality: Illegal in 1958. Current: legal & promoted. _______became federally protected disease

Violent crime rates per 100,000: 1960 – 160. 2007 – _____ Rape per 100,000: 1960 – 9.5 2007 – __

Robbery per 100,000: 1960 – 60 2007 – ____ Assault per 100,000: 1960 – 86 2007 – ____

A good government cannot stem the tide of a people who turn away from ____& are bent on immorality

Those who place their hope in human government for change will be profoundly ___________

God’s description of the future does not match any hope a politician has, would or could __________

Biblical Hope and Change

“Hope” in common language = “_______ and expect” or “wishful trust”

Hope must have an object, but often the object is ____itself. The same basis as positive thinking theology

Political hope 1 – a wishful trust to _______ the candidate

Political hope 2 – a shared hope in a mutual _______ for a better future

________ in man is a flimsy reed that does not hold up with the real test comes

Biblical hope is a confident assurance in the promises of _______

elpiV / elpis (noun) and elpizw / elpidzo (verb) – to have an expectation with full __________

Even a man with a good character may not have the means or ability to ________ a promise

God always has the means and ability to _______ His promises, and He always has.

God has _______ His word throughout the Old Testament & the New Testament

We have an _________ confident assurance that what God promises, God will ______

Paul trusted the Lord and learned to be _________ in all circumstances – Philippians 4:11-13

We can be ________ even in difficult circumstances, trials and tribulations because God is maturing us.

Our hope is in ________ and the change being made is in our own character (James 1:2-4; Romans 5:3-8)

_________ hope is the in the change promised by the politician to make life more pleasant in some way

Work hard for your desires, for righteousness & for the good of this nation, but _________is not our hope

It is normal for Christians to be ___________ (2 Timothy 3:12; Matthew 5:10-12)

The _____does not even allude to the western hemisphere. We play ___significant role in end time events

The time leading up to and during Daniel’s seventieth week the world will be time of ______ and trouble

Believers will be severely persecuted and __________during these times (Matthew 24:9-14; Rev. 6:9; 7:14)

Keep your ________ solidly fixed in God and God alone

Earnestly desire the _________ that will come with the return of Christ

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