“We Can Be One Nation Under God — Again”
Our nation had a great beginning.
The reason we have done so well for so long is because the nation was established on Judeo-Christian values. God’s word was our moral and spiritual compass. It has been that way for most of our years of existence — but times have changed and laws have been passed that are taking us further and further away from our foundation.
(In recent times, historians have been omitting our Biblical heritage … text books.)
Note: There is a lesson we should learn from God’s dealings with the children of Israel. As long as they honored and served Him, He blessed them. But when they forgot Him and forsook Him, He disciplined them – even allowing pagan nations to conquer them.
The United States will not escape the judgment of God.
The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. 11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. 13 From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; 14 from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth— 15 he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.
16 No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. 17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save.
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people.
The wicked go down to the realm of the dead, all the nations that forget God.
(Illustration – did you know that the first thing that George Washington did when he was sworn into office –
• He kissed the Bible that was used;
• He held a two-hour worship service in the Congressional Hall.)
For a long time, we have had politicians and clergy who have abandoned truth.
The media are complacent in this as well.
(Illustration – There is an old saying in politics that says, “Tell a lie often enough and loud enough and soon everyone will believe it.”
• One day Abraham Lincoln was talking to a farmer and he asked, “How many legs does a cow have?” The farmer replied ‘4’. Then Mr. Lincoln asked, “If you considered the tail as a leg, how many would she have and the farmer said ‘5’. Mr. Lincoln responded, “No. It doesn’t matter what you call the tail, a cow still has only 4 legs.”)
(Today, when a baby’s born, the parents can even leave the gender blank)
Note: God’s word is Truth.
“All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.”
His judgments are righteous. They endure forever.
• In John 17:17, Jesus is praying for His disciples and He says to the Father – “Sanctify them by Your Truth. Your word is truth.”
Note: God’s people are to be known as people of truth.
We can be one nation under God again — if the plan is found in 2 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 I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
(When the construction and dedication of the temple was completed, the LORD taught Solomon a very important principle.
• Whenever the people were disobedient and forgot Him, He would punish their sins.
• He also made it clear that when they repented, and sought His forgiveness, He would forgive them and restore them.
• The same is true for us today.)
1 John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Here is the Plan —
A. Christians must realize that we are God’s People.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.”
1. He has redeemed us.
2. We belong to Him.
B. We need to humble ourselves.
• The word humble means to bow down or make low.
1. God resists the proud but He gives grace to the humble.
“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us]? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
1 Peter 5:5,
“In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because “God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble.
“For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
2. We must, in total brokenness, acknowledge we have sinned and accept responsibility for it.
C. We need to Pray.
1. God wants us to pray.
‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
2. Our prayers will be heard.
“ In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
3. Prayer must be offered by faith.
“Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go,
throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
4. Prayer must be offered in agreement with the revealed will and Word of God.
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
1 John 5:14-15,
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”
5. Prayer can be very intense.
16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.”
D. We need to seek God’s Face.
1. Seek is the equivalence of a “longing for God.”
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.”
2. The picture is that of a spiritual drought.
(Are you hungry for God?
Do you thirst for God?
Do you long for God?)
1 Chronicles 22:19a,
“Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God.”
E. We need to Repent.
“Turn from our wicked ways.”
1. We cannot live for the devil and expect God’s favor.
2. The Greek word for repent is metanoia.
a. It has to do with changing one’s mind about sin and a reflection of it.
“ This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”
2“You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.”
“So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.”
3. Repentance is a turning from trusting in self and turning to Christ and trusting in Him.
Hear the word of the LORD.
God promises His people that when …
1. We humble ourselves before Him;
2. And pray to Him;
3. And seek His face;
4. And turn/repent of our wicked ways …
1. Hear from heaven
2. Forgive our sin
3. Heal our land
“Father in heaven, we have all sinned against you. We have insisted on our ways rather than yours. Father, we are in trouble. Our nation is in trouble. We have replaced you with pleasure, and power and possessions.
Today, we are experiencing spiritual leanness. Father, please forgive us. We repent of our rebellion and desiring the world more than You. You are our only Hope! We need you! We hunger for You! We thirst for You! Create within each of us a clean heart. Put a right spirit within us. Empower us to live and love for You alone. We yield our hearts to you right now, in Jesus name, Amen.”