By Wayne Reynolds, Pastor
The United States of America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth. It is the nation I was born in, the nation I grew up in, the nation I was educated in, the nation I live in. It is the nation I love, the nation that protects me from invasion from foreigners, the nation that provides me with a government that allows me to have a say. I love the United States of America. The United States of America is truly the greatest nation on the face of the earth.
The United States is not great because of our armies, or wealth, or our people. It is because God gave his understanding and heart to our forefathers when they formed this great nation. The United States of America will remain strong only as long as its people seek God, and remain true to him.
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, America as a nation stood united for the cause of freedom. We, as Americans, asked God to bless us. Flags waved once again, and people were very united and patriotic. This is as it should be, but there is something the American people did not do, and have not done. There is something the leaders of this nation have not done, nor have they asked the American people to do.
We have not asked God to forgive us. Our leaders have not asked God to forgive us.
I have seen many bumper stickers, many billboards, many placards stating in bold letters, "GOD BLESS AMERICA"
I have not seen one - Not ONE - that states, "GOD FORGIVE AMERICA."
It seems the attitude in America is that, "We donít need forgiveness, we need blessings. We want to continue in our sins - just give us blessings. God, please bless our sins! Bless our turning away from you! Bless our rebellion against you and your word! Bless our lack of reading your word! Bless our neglecting to pray to you, and bless our half-heartedness toward you!"
Do I sound unpatriotic because I have said America needs to ask forgiveness from God? I have not intended to sound unpatriotic. It is my patriotism that causes me to pray that God forgive this great United States of America. It is my patriotism that causes me to pray that believers all over this great nation will see their personal sinfulness and ask God to forgive them. It is my patriotism that causes me to pray that unbelievers will see their sinfulness and ask God to forgive them, to save their souls, and then to dedicate themselves to the service of Almighty God.
It is important that God bless this great nation. However, God must forgive us first, and in order for God to forgive us, we must first ask his forgiveness. America will never ask forgiveness until its people see their guilt before a most holy God.
In an October 17, 2001 speech before the U. S. House of Representatives, Representative Roscoe Barlett (R-Maryland) explains how America has changed in the last 50 years. (The entire speech of Representative Barlett is on our churchís web site. Click here.) The change has not been good. America has departed from its Christian foundations. Our nation will not prevail if we continue to forsake the Christian principles she was founded upon. There are many sins America has allowed, even encouraged by passing laws that make sin legal. But God hasnít changed his mind about sin. Sin is still sin in the eyes of Almighty God, and he is still the God of judgment.
Jerry Falwell recently apologized to the American people for stating the terrorist attacks on September 11 was the judgment of God upon America. Pat Robinson has been called a "crackpot" for saying the same thing. I do not believe all these two men believe, but I personally believe both of these men are right when they assert that God judges sin. God judges sin in individuals, and he judges sin in nations.
It is evident in the lifestyles of people today, they have forgotten that God is the final judge. Our nation has forgotten the fact that there is also a judgment of the nations.
Matthew 25:31-46 gives the record of the coming judgment of the nations. Christ will separate all nations into two groups before he pronounces sentence upon them. Their position on the right hand or on the left hand is the result of their treatment of a third group of people called "my brethren". There will be no lawyers or anyone to plead either case. Christ himself will be judge. There will be no verdict appeals to a higher court. The righteous judgments of Christ will not be reversed, changed, or altered.
I firmly believe our president, George Bush, has sought, and is seeking, the leadership of the LORD in the war against terrorism. He should seek heavenly guidance, as no war can be won without God. Of course, our president is not perfect. We donít expect him to be. He is a man like all men. But he is our leader, our president, and because he is our president, we should pray for him as he seeks heavenly guidance in the war against terrorism.
We must remember that for this nation to be truly blessed by God, the strongholds of sin must be removed. Some people are going to be offended when these strongholds are crushed, but these strongholds of wickedness and rebellion against Godís clear commands must be eliminated.
The following examples clearly show the slow progression away from Godliness and toward wickedness. It is important to understand that these laws were made starting in 1947. These laws were made by the courts (not by the legislative bodies of congress) in order to change that which was already there. From the founding of the United States of America, it was legal to do what these court created laws prohibited.
ōIn 1947, the Supreme Court in Everson vs. Board of Education deviated from every precedent for the first time and in a limited way affirmed a wall of separation between church and State in the public classroom.
ōIn 1962, 40 years ago, in Engle vs. Vitale, the Supreme Court removed prayer from public schools. We know that before 1962 it was legal to pray in public schools.
ōOn June 17, 1963, the Supreme Court ruled in Abington vs. Schemp that Bible reading was outlawed as unconstitutional in the public school system. Bible reading in public schools was legal before June 17, 1963.
ōIn 1965, the Courts removed the right of a student in the public school cafeteria to bow his head and pray audibly over his food. Before 1965 any student could pray audibly in any public school cafeteria.
ōOn January 22, 1973, in Roe vs. Wade, the courts decided that a womanís right to an abortion fell under the right of privacy, protected under the 14th amendment. It is plain to see that the founding fathers had no intention of making abortion legal when they wrote the constitution.
ōIn 1980, in Stone vs. Graham the Ten Commandments were outlawed in our public school system. Before 1980, the Ten Commandments were displayed in many public schools. It is odd that the Ten Commandments are prohibited from public schools, yet to this day, above the seat of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; the Ten Commandments are listed with the American eagle standing symbolically protecting them. Yet those justices said, "Not for our children."
What Can I Do?
II Chronicles 7:14 states, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
God expects his people to recognize their terrible wickedness and repent. God expects his people to read their Bibles, see their sins as he sees them, and repent before him.
God gave Jonah the task of preaching against the exceeding great wickedness of Nineveh. Jonah 3:4 clearly states the preaching of Jonah, "...Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown." Nineveh heard, repented in dust and ashes before God Almighty, and he forgave their sins and repented himself of the wickedness he would have done to them.
God is the same God he has always been. He will forgive America. He will heal our land and he will bless us once again.
We must repent before an Almighty God, and ask his forgiveness.
Then, and only then, can we truly pray, God bless America.
Then, and only then, will God truly bless America once again.
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