Let’s study an example of the early Jerusalem church.
The early Jerusalem church reacted to His prophecy by preaching and living the gospel of the kingdom of God. And as often as possible, they reminded Jerusalem of its errors.
Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ – this Jesus whom you crucified. (Acts 2: 36)
You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. (Acts 7:51)
After Stephen’s death in 35 A.D., many Christians fled Jerusalem, but the apostles remained and continued preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.
Even Herod’s cruel harassment of the church in 45 A.D. did not diminish its presence in the city. It continued to prosper in the midst of on-again and off-again persecutions for the next twenty years.
Luke’s account of the gospel was written in 60 A.D. His info came from eyewitnesses, probably the apostles. Thus, we know that Jesus’ Death Warrant prophecy was still resonating in the church at that time – almost thirty years later.
Then in 67 A.D., a Christian gave a prophetic word to the Jerusalem church. It reminded everyone of Jesus’ Death Warrant prophecy and warned of Jerusalem’s upcoming devastation. The prophecy advised all believers to flee the city.
By 69 A.D., Christians heeded the prophecy and left Jerusalem. So, when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D., none of the Jerusalem church’s members perished in the siege.
We Christians need to follow the example of the early church. Like them, we are, first of all, citizens of the kingdom of God. Our American citizenship is secondary and temporary in comparison to our kingdom of God citizenship.
Our orders do not come from a president, a governor, or a mayor, but instead from a King. Whether we stay or leave a city should depend on Him, and not our personal fears or whims. And if we are staying, we need to heed the words Jesus spoke in His parable about a nobleman going to distant country:
“…Do business till I come.” (Luke 19:13 NKJ)
If we choose to stay, then we need to help reduce the pain and impact of the Lord’s upcoming tougher judgments on America so all can run with endurance the race set before us.
What do I believe the Lord wants us Christians to do now?
First, the Vietnam War was a divisive conflict for America. On the one side were the doves, or anti-war groups, and opposing them were the hawks, or pro-war groups. The divisiveness from this war has continued forward into today’s America, and even into the Body of Christ.
So, we believers must check our hearts to see if we harbor any bitterness against America as a whole or against various anti-war or pro-war groups. If we discover bitterness in our hearts, these sins must be dealt with at the cross of Jesus Christ and forgiveness received.
Second, we Christians need to repent of our selfishness regarding the Vietnam War. Sadly, we have only cared about the pain inflicted upon us Americans. We have ignored the anguish suffered by the people of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.
Third, we Christians need to ask the Lord to raise up men, women, and groups that will go to the Southeast Asian immigrants in our communities and ask forgiveness for America’s lies, deceits, and broken promises to their native countries. Some Christians may even be asked by the Lord to travel as His ambassadors to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos to ask forgiveness of the people there.
Fourth, Christians need to stand in the gap and make financial intercession for our nation’s failure to keep its promises of aid to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos during the 1970’s. This can be accomplished by giving gifts of money to the poor and needy in these countries, many of who are still suffering from America’s broken promises.
Fifth, we need to seek the Lord to discover what other national sins, besides our treacherous handling of the Vietnam War, have caused abortion, illegal aliens, debt, unemployment, urban woes, drought, lackluster leaders, and Islamic terrorism to fall as God’s judgments on America. And we need to do it now!
Will this be tough to do? Yes, of course, but when has repentance ever been easy for a nation to swallow? (An excerpt from New Wind Blowing by Larry Nevenhoven, Amazon eBook, published 2008)
If we do the above, will we avoid harsher judgments by God in the future?
(Continued in Part 6)