Daily Devotional for Wednesday February 19, 2014
An Age of Innocence is Over
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, I'm not sure if a loved one has ask our Lord to be his Lord and Savior. Would it be ok if I prayed to our Lord to be his Lord and Savior? Does the Lord need to hear it from each individual?
ANSWER: Unfortunately there is no such thing as "salvation by proxy." Just because your parents, a spouse, a friend are saved, can't make someone else saved. That is a choice each person has to make for themselves. All you can do is share the Gospel with this person, explain why they need a personal relationship with Jesus by faith, and encourage them to make that decision. In the end however, it is up to each individual to make the profession of faith for themselves.
"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." John 3:19
An age of innocence is over! Last week, Shirley Temple Black passed into eternity at the age of 85. I will never forget as a young boy growing up in the 60's, wathcing Shirley Temple movies. Even at such a young age, I could not help to marvel at the incredible God-given talent this child was blessed with. Shirley Temple began her screen career at the age of 3 in 1932, appeared in over 40 movies and on television until 1965 when she "retired" from acting.
At that point in her life, Shirley Temple could have named any number to continue her show business career, however, she chose public service instead. Over the next 23 years she would become our Ambassador to Czechoslovakia, Ghana, as well as the Chief of Protocol for the United States. Despite a short 5-year marriage in the mid 40's during her show business career, she later married Charles Black and they were married for 55 years until his death in 2005.
*I have done research and spoken to good friends in the entertainment industry about Shirley Temple's faith. It was a private part of her life. She grew up Lutheran, later became part of the Presbyterian Church in a day when it was still a church that did not embrace sin, as well as the Episcopalian Church, also in a day when it had not yet turned against God to embrace gross sin. Only God ultimately knows her heart when she died, but at least there is nothing in the public record she had embrace some cult or false relgion along the way.
Please don't misunderstand this message today. Did adultery, gambling, perverted sex acts with people of the same sex, gambling, drugs, cults and false religions, and any other rebellion to God you can name exist during the time of Shirley Temple? ABSOLUTELY! However, it has only been in the past 30 years that our nation and culture has proliferated, embraced, glorified, and promoted these sinful acts and rebellion to God as acceptable.
Years ago, sin and rebellion to God existed, but was shunned by our culture. The vast percentage of our nation rejected these choices as the sin the Bible said they were, and destructive to those who chose to engage in them. We still were a nation that overwhelmingly held to Biblcial values. Probably nobody could embody the values and innocence of that era as Shirley Temple. She was the poster child for the innocence of that time which has been shattered and no longer exists!
The Bible tells us that in the last days, the lie will become the truth and the truth become the lie. We are living that fulfillment of Scripture today! Sadly, as the church has sat back in silence, the lies of satan have become the truth the last two generations have grown up with. To exacerbate that problem, the better percentage of the last two generations have never even been to church. So a void of Biblical Truth, coupled with the flooding of our culture with the lies of satan that have virtually gone unopposed, we now have several generations who have never heard the real TRUTH from the Bible, and have been force-fed and embraced the lies of satan!
I love and care about you so much. There is nothing more in the past few years I could have shared to make my point than to contrast the life and times of Shirley Temple and our culture today. Our President takes time to communicate and encourage in various ways with every person who publicly declares that they have embraced the lie of homosexuality, yet a once in a lifetime national treasure like Shirley Temple who also gave 23 years of her life to the service or this nation, doesn't merit even an acknowledgment!!!
(BTW, the national media outlets that promote, glorify, and support the gross sins of our day, also couldn't be bothered to even acknowledge the passing of a true national treasure. However, these SAME media outlets gave incredible accolades to the death of Pete Seeger, a 60's radical activist, a few weeks earlier!!!)
WHAT MORE DO I NEED TO SAY? WHAT BETTER CONTRAST TO THE UTTER REBELLION TO GOD AND HIS WORD IS THERE THAN THE SIN OUR WORLD TODAY EMBRACES, PROMOTES, AND GLORIFIES, VERSUS THE INNOCENCE OF THE TIME SHIRLEY TEMPLE NOT JUST ENTERTAINED PEOPLE WORLDWIDE WITH HER WHOLESOME GOODNESS IN THE MOVIES, BUT SACRIFICED OVER 2 DECADES OF HER LIFE FOR OUR NATION!!!
If you ever needed a word to reinforce all I have told you about God's pending wrath on our nation and how critical every day we live is to stave off that wrath, here you go. Simply look at the days and times of Shirley Temple and the days and times we live in now. It is a spiritual bloodbath and anyone who doubts that the judgment of God is falling, and his ultimate wrath and judgment is imminent, is simply blind.
That is why I ask you to stand with me, help me. Together we can bring this nation back to God and His Truth. We will never duplicate the innocent of the time Shirley Temple was entertaining our nation and the world with her wholesome movies, nor can we ever go back to that time when there was an overall innocence that existed in our land. However, we can have a real revival, where people come to faith in Christ by the millions, and help turn our land back to our God and Biblical Truth for a season. Will you help me make this happen???
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,