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Our Current Virtual Church Message

Ma Barker's Lesson For You

1 Chronicles 21:1 Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, "Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so that I may know how many there are."

Job 1: 6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it." 8 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." 9 "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. 10 "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face." 12 The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

Points To Remember:

1. This life is war.
2. The war is God vs. Satan
3. Satan has power and influence.
4. Satan tries to take every person down and will eventually do so, i.e. you will die.
5. The war for your life is about God's will vs. Satan's will
6. Every person's heart is the target.
7. Job was attacked by Satan not by God.
8. Our world is Satan's domain.
9. Satan goes back and forth across the face of the earth to see if he can devour you.
10. Death comes to every person, even to Jesus.

Ma Barker

Ma Barker, was shot dead by the FBI, probably by accident.
http://www.oklahombres.org/barker1.htm

The title to this article is a bit tongue in cheek. Ma Barker couldn't directly teach you anything about being an upstanding moral citizen. Ma Barker had her chances to do morality teaching with her four sons and she failed.

"Ma Barker's troubles seem rooted in her blind devotion to her sons. She was simply unable to see any wrong in anything they did, or she tended to excuse their crimes as the result of persecution by the law."

God Made To Order

People live in a world they in part, build themselves. Some people build a world full of unlimited optimism…for them the glass is half-full. Some people build a world full of doom and darkness…for them the glass is half-empty. In building her world, Ma Barker constructed a reality where her sons could do no wrong. In the world Ma Barker created, her sons could not sin, or, if they did sin, sinning was not her boy's fault.

Some people create their world and then insert God into the world they create. In constructing their world, God is made to conform to the image the constructors want. God is made into the image the constructors find most pleasing and most convenient.

In other words, human beings see God not as He is, but as they want Him to be. Two people can look at the WTC catastrophe or the Gulf oil disaster. One person can see God's judgment being unleashed on unholy America while another person can see the catastrophes as an act of evil solely done by evil persons directed by Satan.

Earned Consequences

Into this mixture of good and evil, we must insert the idea of earned consequences. We do not like the idea of earned consequences. Sometimes the consequences we earn are not the consequences we want. The idea of earned consequences is the point of the parable of the servants and their investment for their master.

Consequences Of Unused Talent

Matthew 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (NIV)

The servant who was lazy and who did not want to take a risk buried the money and got no reward (or the worst kind of eternal reward). One of the most vital questions the citizens of this country need to ask and answer is "Is there ANYTHING we have done in the past as a nation to have brought us to our current state as a nation?" A good football coach on Monday morning will look at the game film from the game played on Saturday and will ask the question, "Is there ANYTHING we did during Saturday's game that helped us or hurt us?" If a coach does not evaluate the team's performance then he and the team will have no sense of progress. A winning season can slip away without the coach being honest about the team's performance. As a nation we must be willing to honestly look at what we have done and not done in the past. In the area of religious life, we must, as a nation, be willing to look at the consequences of our actions. Persons who are lovers of darkness, sin, and wrongdoing do not want to look at their performance because they know they did wrong. Lovers of darkness will make many excuses for not wanting to evaluate their behavior. Lovers of darkness will blame their behavior on others or on circumstances. The fact is, a wrongdoer does not want to face up to the fact they did wrong. A sinner does not want to repent because the sinner knows a wrong or wrongs have been committed. The sinner does not want to admit to wrongs committed.

Ma Barker inherently knew her boys were doing wrong. She did not want to admit their wrong-doing. The consequences of Ma Barker not wanting to admit the boys did wrong were four boys who were sent to prison, one boy committing suicide, her own death by shooting at the hands of a Federal agent, and countless crime victims whose lives were hurt or destroyed.

A Day Of Personal Judgment

Is God's "thing in life" lowering His hand of judgment upon the unrepentant or is His hand reaching down to save the lost sinner? We can look at God both ways and find in scripture examples of God doing both. What we do not want to confront is God's judgment in this life as a judgment we bring upon ourselves. Like Ma Barker and her boys, the judgments her boys received at the hands of the judicial system were a judgment they brought upon themselves. The Barker gang wrote their personal tickets in life. We, as a nation and as a family, have and will write our national and individual tickets in life. When we, as a nation, end up being like Ma Barker by overlooking wrongdoing, eventually a judgment will be made against us.

With God, since He is unseen, most people believe they can get by with anything and their judgment day can be put off till the last moment or longer. Most people want to think their judgment day is a long way off (or so they hope). Other people want to think their judgment day will not occur at all because they believe God will forgive them of their sins even without any sorrow, guilt, or repentance on their part. Many people try to get by with as much as they can for as long as they can. Unfortunately, many people think if you can't see God you don't need to really deal with Him.

Will there be a judgment day? Yes. For each person there will be a judgment day. The day you die is the day you stand before God. When you have accepted Christ and have truly repented of your sins there is no sin on your life's record. With no sin on your life's record because you repented, you will be welcomed into Heaven for eternity. If you have not repented from doing wrong things, then you rebelled against the love of God. When you rebel against the love of God, when you die there will be marks on your life's record. With marks on your life's record you will receive your reward according to the just judgment of God.

Judgment For The Nations

Will there be a judgment day for America? Does a nation, like the Ma Barker family, bring calamity upon itself? There are third world countries that have never tasted freedom. These countries have continually oppressed their people and who now are terrorist-based nations. These nations will be judged.

The nation of Afghanistan earns its money by selling heroin. The religious leaders who are supposedly religious know they are doing wrong. Instead of growing food to feed the people of the nation, the land is used to grow poppies earning money from the drug trade. With or without the bombs and war now raging, Afghanistan will be judged. Afghanistan's future as a nation will hinge upon whether the people of the nation repent and do the will of God. If the nation of Afghanistan continues to do wrong, then like Ma Barker and her family, death will come.

The nation of Germany, as a result of being gripped by satanic Hitler and his criminal followers, tasted judgment. Ungodly Russia, rejected God, and has tasted judgment. Few countries on earth, few civilizations on earth, have long endured when they have turned away from God. When a nation turns away from God, judgment is brought upon the nation. Turning away from God creates within a family and within a nation a form of internal rot. A nation rotting from within by taking chances and turning away from God always loses. The Ma Barker family rotted from within by engaging in sinful wrongdoing. Earthly imprisonment and earthly death with an eternity in hell was the result for the Ma Barker family. America has been given much. From America much is expected.

We must make no mistake in saying some persons are protected and some persons are not. All persons will die. All persons will, if they are fortunate, grow old and die. Death is the end result of our earthly body. Whether we continue on in consciousness in Heaven or in Hell is a choice we make while we are alive.

Basic Questions

Was the WTC attack and the Gulf oil disaster the result of some kind of internal rot in our nation? Is there anything we could have done in the past to prevent the attack and the disaster? Is there anything we failed to do in a moral or ethical sense that could have prevented the attack or the disaster? Did we let the blessings of God slip through our fingers and not thank God? Did we take God for granted? Did we take advantage of our freedoms without trying to preserve them? Did we assume a stance of arrogance in our freedom? Did we believe because we were free we could do anything we wanted without paying the price for doing anything we wanted?

Protection? What protection?

Ma Barker had 4 sons. All followed a life of crime although one boy went straight after serving an initial stint in prison.

Ma Barker, who knew the boys were living a life of crime, never tried to stop them or correct them. Instead, she defended their actions, blaming their numerous arrests on the law. Under this kind of parental tutelage, the boys, who started out just being rowdy, ended up being hardened criminals. All the boys served time in prison. Herman committed suicide during a gunfight with the law rather than be captured and sent back to prison.

It is ludicrous to even ask the question "Where was God's protection for Ma Barker and her boys?" "Where was God's protection for Ma Barker and her family of thieves, murderers, and robbers?" We would not expect God to protect those who hurt others. In fact, in our heart of hearts, we would expect God to pour out his wrath on hurtful people.

The message appeared in July,  2010, in the Virtual Church web site at http://www.findthepower.com

 

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Entire contents copyright © 1999 - 2010 by Rev. Patrick Kelly, All rights reserved.
All content is presented on behalf of Shepherd’s Care Ministries. Shepherd's Care Ministries reserves no right or claim upon content.

Shepherd's Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN 46018