OceanSide church of Christ

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The Symptoms of the Problem

Victor M. Eskew




A.     Every day I write a post on Facebook to begin the morning. 

1.       One of my posts noted how things have really changed in our society since I was a child.

2.       I remember the post because one man took strong issue with my post.


B.      I still believe that society has changed. 

I still believe things are worse now than when I was a child.

I still believe that the road upon which we find ourselves in not a good one.


C.     In this lesson, I want to ask the question, “What’s Going Wrong?”


I.                    DISRESPECT


A.     Our nation is filled with disrespect.

1.       Defined:  lack of courtesy, rudeness, contempt, disregard, irreverence

2.       Disrespect for

a.       Life:  abortion

b.      Parents:  “The Rise of Violent ‘Little Emperors’”

c.       Teachers:  “Climate of Disrespect for Teachers Gets Worse”

d.      The elderly:  “A Booming Problem: Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Elder Abuse”

e.       Law officers:  “After NYC Police Officer Killed in the Line of Duty, Lack of Respect Blamed for Increase in Violence against Law Enforcement, Experts Say”

f.        Leaders (secular and spiritual):  “A Spiritual Epidemic:  Disrespect toward Authority and People in General”

g.      Fellowman:  “Respect for Others Is Nearing Extinction”

h.      God:  “As non-theists, we begin with humans not God, nature not deity ... we can discover no divine purpose or providence for the human species ... No deity will save us; we must save ourselves” (Humanist Manifesto).


B.      All of this disrespect flies in the face of God and His divine revelation to man.

1.       Leviticus 19:32


Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God:  I am the Lord.


2.       Deuteronomy 5:16


Honor thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee…


3.       Romans 12:10


Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.


4.       I Timothy 5:3


Honour widows that are widows indeed.


5.       I Timothy 5:17


Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour…


6.       I Peter 2:17


Honour all men.  Love the brotherhood.  Fear God.  Honour the king.


C.     Disrespect is at the heart of our crumbling nation.

1.       Disrespect begins with feelings and words.

2.       It ends with disobedience and rebellion. 


II.                 DESENSITIZATION


A.     Definition:  the mitigation of a person’s emotional response to distressing stimuli, or, lessening the force of something that is unpleasant


B.      There has been a constant lessening of emotional response to sin in our society.

1.       We have been desensitized to the murder of unborn children.

2.       We have been desensitized to the murder of innocent people on the streets.

3.       We have been desensitized to vulgar language.

4.       We have been desensitized to adultery.

5.       We have been desensitized to homosexuality and lesbianism.

6.       We have been desensitized to pornography.

7.       We have been desensitized to gossip and evil speaking.

8.       We have been desensitized to lying and corruption.

9.       We have been desensitized to man-made religions.

10.   We have been desensitized to anger and hate.


C.     Jeremiah 6:15


Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?  Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush:  therefore they shall fall among them that fall:  at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.


D.     One of the consequences of desensitization is that sin is allowed to spread.

1.       It is not seen as being very evil and destructive to mankind.

2.       In fact, some will even begin to believe that it is good.


III.              DIVISION


A.     Definition:  dividing into parts, disunion, estrangement, alienation


B.      There have always been differences among members of society.

1.       Gender:  male and female

2.       Age:  younger and older

3.       Socio-economic:  rich and poor

4.       Race:  black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American

5.       Party affiliation:  Democrat, Republican, Libertarian

6.       Education:  little versus much

7.       Government:  rulers versus the masses

8.       Jobs:  management versus employees

9.       Ideology:  environmentalism, capitalism, globalization, immigration

10.   Religion:  no religion, denominations, world religions


C.     Causes of division:

1.       Selfishness:  my rights over yours

2.       Fear

3.       Anger

4.       Jealousy/Envy

5.       Hatred

6.       Evil speaking

7.       Intolerance

8.       Power struggles and turmoil among people

9.       Oppression

10.   Threats

11.   Violence

12.   Lying

13.   Manipulation

14.   Partiality

15.   Injustice


D.     Consequences of division

1.       Unity will never come to pass.

2.       Peace will never ensue.

3.       Productivity will be hindered

4.       The devil is usually winning


E.      Two verses:

1.       Psalm 133:1


Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.


2.       Mark 3:24-25


And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.




A.     Sometimes we stop and wonder:  “What’s going on in our world today?”


B.      But, when we really stop and think, we know what’s going on.

1.       Disrespect

2.       Desensitization

3.       Division

4.       Disbelief

5.       Disobedience

6.       Dishonesty

7.       Dereliction


C.     We could look at things from a different perspective, “The Causes of the Problems.”

1.       Hearts without God or far from Him

2.       No standard of living (rejection of the Bible)

3.       Lack of spirituality

4.       Breakdown of the family

5.       Lack of teaching

6.       Selfishness

7.       Lack of discipline