It’s pretty obvious that America is in trouble what with the 13 Trillion dollar debt and climbing every day. I read that it took only 6 months to go from 12 trillion to 13. And the moral situation of America is not good and getting worse when 40 percent of all teens from ages 15 to 19 have had sex.
In The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, completed in 1787, Edward Gibbon [English historian and Member of British Parliament] lists the following reasons for that fall:
1. The rapid increase of divorce; the undermining of dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis of human society.
2. Higher and higher taxes and the spending of public money for free bread and circuses for the populace.
3. The mad craze for pleasure; sports becoming every year more exciting and more brutal.
4. The building of gigantic armaments when the real enemy was within: the decadence of the people.
5. The decay of religion—faith fading into mere form—losing touch with life and becoming impotent to guide the people.
Do these five reasons for the fall of Rome tell us anything about our present national situation? Do we dare elaborate on these?
Do you ever wonder what all happens on an average day in the U.S.? According to the American Way, two statisticians who have spent much time studying the matter have concluded that on a typical day in this country:
– 5,962 couples marry and 2,986 divorce
– drunk drivers do $18 million worth of damage
– 90 million cans of beer are consumed
– 2,740 teenagers get pregnant
– 63,288 cars crash killing 129 people
– 3,231 women have abortions
Things don’t sound very good in America and I seriously doubt, they will get better without divine intervention. The government can’t seem to fix anything.
Listen to what Will Rogers said about the government of his day. He died on August 15, 1935.
– A fool and his money are soon elected.
– About all I can say for the United States Senate is that it opens with a prayer and closes with an investigation.
– Anything important is never left to the vote of the people. We only get to vote on some man; we never get to vote on what he is to do.
– Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.
– I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
– If I studied all my life, I couldn’t think up half the number of funny things passed in one session of congress.
– It’s easy being a humorist when you’ve got the whole government working for you.
– Last year we said, ’Things can’t go on like this’, and they didn’t, they got worse.
– On account of being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does.
– Our constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators and none of what made this country great, its citizens
– The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.
What’s our hope? Not in government. Not in the military. And not even in the genius of Americans, if they are any left! Here is our only hope:
Psalm 121:1-2 “I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
What do we need to do help turn America around?
There is no magic solution to save America. To save America we must save ourselves and others.
1- We must repent
2- We must pray
3- We must trust
4- We must evangelize
I. WE MUST REPENT
II Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, will 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.”
Will Rogers said: “What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds.” In other words, WE MUST REPENT OF OUR UNCLEANNESS AND GO TO WORK!
If my people. Many Americans thinks America is a Christian nation. I think Christianity is the dominant religion in America and I want to believe that America was founded on Christian principles, and all Christian people are the key to turning America around.
And if we don’t turn us around then the rest of America won’t turn around! If the people who claim Christ as their Savior don’t do what is right then no one else in America will do what is right.
It’s like the roll of moms and dads. If mom and dad don’t do right then how you can expect the children to do right. If mom and dad do drugs then they can’t expect their children to do any better.
Likewise, if Christians don’t do right then we can’t expect non-Christians to do right. We have to set the right example for others to follow. Imitate me in the ways that I imitate Christ. [I Cor. 11:1] Or follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
If my people….will turn from their wicked ways. I wouldn’t say we are extremely wicked but we are not what we should be. I think probably are worst sin in America is idolatry. We are idol worshipers. We all have our own idols that we worship and some even worship self. Some are so stuck on themselves that they are almost totally blind to their sin.
What’s your idol? What do you put before God and Christ?
We don’t like to admit that we could ever be wrong, but we could be wrong about some things or in some areas of our lives.
Even the best of us sometimes have the “worst” in us. There are times when “self” rules instead of allowing the Lord to rule in our lives. Here is proof.
Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me, ’Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
We love to call Jesus the Lord but we don’t always do what He says. No one is perfect in their obedience to Jesus but we should try harder. We should be constantly working at this. To do this, we may say “no” to self and “yes” to Jesus.
II. WE MUST PRAY
I Timothy 2:1-2 1I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
Paul urged Timothy to pray for all those in authority, kings, etc. We believe in the value and power of prayer. Jesus believed in the power of prayer while on earth.
Mark 1:35 “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
Luke 5:16 “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
Luke 11:1 “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
Most young Bible college boys are interested in preaching, but these disciples wanted to know how to pray!
When I was a student at seminary in the pastor Scott Webber was considered as one of the best preachers. He moved people with his powerful preaching.
I still remember hearing him preach a sermon during a revival meeting at Avalon Missionary Baptist Church in Muscle Shoals, Al. What was the secret of his powerful preaching? I tend to believe it was because of his time spent in prayer. Scott was known as man of prayer. He was quick to pray and I believe that he got his power in living the Christian life from talking to God all the time. Scott wanted very much to live in the presence of God continually and he did that through prayer and praise.
Surely, we need to do the same thing. If we want more power in living the Christian life maybe we should pray more! In fact, I’m convinced this is true.
The secret of power is the power of secret prayer!
Matthew 6:5-6 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
When we pray and ask of the Lord. He will do things that we cannot do! And we need to ask Him to do something in America!We need to pray for our leaders, if nothing else we must pray for them to come to their senses and seek the Lord!
III. WE MUST TRUST
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Our trust must be in Him, not ourselves. We are not self-sufficient. Our sufficiency always runs out after a period of time. Man is not smart enough to take care of himself or save himself. And he is certainly not good enough to do this!
Our ultimate trust must be in the Lord! He alone can save us, protect us, and provide for us!
It was said of Martin Luther that before he learned the secret of living by faith, there were periods of great depression and discouragement in his life. On one occasion, his wife came down to greet him at breakfast, dressed in black. He exclaimed, “Why in the world are you dressed in black?” She replied, “Have you not heard? God is dead.” Luther got the point.
NO, GOD IS FAR FROM DEAD! And we need to let God be God in our lives. Instead of trying to fix things, we need to let Him be the fix-it person! HE CAN DO MORE THAN WE CAN! He’s management, we’re in sales!
Oliver Cromwell’s secretary was dispatched to the continent on some important business. He stayed one night at a seaport town, and tossed on his bed, unable to sleep. According to an old custom, a servant slept in his room, and on this occasion slept soundly enough. The secretary at length awakened the man who asked how it was that his master could not rest.
“I am so afraid something will go wrong with the embassy,” was the reply.
“Master,” said the valet, “may I ask a question or two?”
“To be sure.”
“Did God rule the world before we were born?”
“Most assuredly He did.”
“And will He rule it after we are dead?”
“Certainly He will.”
“Then, master hy not let Him rule the present, too?”
Psalm 37:3 “ Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.”
IV. WE MUST EVANGELIZE
I Timothy 2:3-7 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time. 7And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.
The city of Glasgow in Scotland[MY PEOPLE] was settled by Christian people who adopted a motto: “Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the Gospel.” As one generation succeeded another, the city grew into an important commercial and industrial center. Business loomed larger than religion in the minds of its civic leaders. Finally, its Chamber of Commerce shortened the motto to make it read: “Let Glasgow Flourish.”
This sounds so much like America, however, America will only truly flourish by God when we spread His gospel! What was once the Great Commission has now become the Great Omission, because we have failed to fulfill God’s commission of making disciples.
I know that many people have the attitude of “live and let live.” But Jesus commanded us to make disciples. Why? Because he wants all men to be saved! This doesn’t mean we need to be overbearing in trying to lead people to Christ but we’ve not been aggressive at all, in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ!
We’re quick to let it be known if we’re a Ole Miss, Mississippi State and New Oleans Saint fans, but what about Jesus?
The Institute for American Church Growth asked over 10,000 people this question: “What was responsible for your coming to Christ and this church?” This is how they replied:
(1) I had a special need 2%
(2) I just walked in 3%
(3) I like the Minister 6%
(4) I visited there 1%
(5) I like the Sunday school 5%
(6) I attended a Revival service 1/2 of 1%
(7) I liked the programs 3%
(8) A friend or relative invited me 79%
We may not realize this, but we’re in sales! We are supposed to be sales people for Jesus!
Acts 8:4 says of the early Christians: “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.”
Can we do less than they did? Did they believe more than we do? Was their faith stronger? What’s the difference in those and us today?
I don’t believe there is any hopeless situation and certainly not, when the Lord is involved.
I believe that there is only one person who can make things right when things go wrong. Things do go wrong in life. We’ve seen things go terribly wrong in America and the Lord is only hope of changing things and making life better.