Sunday, July 8, 2012

What America Needs

Temple Baptist Church - 7-8-2012
Zephaniah 3:1-7


A. America has been and still is the greatest nation on the face of the earth. America has truly been blessed:

1. A Land Of Freedom – From shore to shore; from border to border. 

a) We have Personal Freedom – you can do anything you want; you have the right to believe what you want; say what you want; vote how you want; we are blessed of God. 

b) We have Religious Freedom – the world and our nation may not agree with what we teach and believe but they give us the right to worship after the way of our fathers. We are here this morning because we are a free nation.

c) We have Physical Freedom – freedom to come and go as we wish with no roadblocks or questions asked. Go to California; go to Florida; go to Maine; go to Alaska; go where you wish and stay as long as you like. Move there if you choose because you are free.

2. A Land Of Plenty – The ability of self-reliance. (I say that in a good way).
a) National Resources – America has the ability to be self-sufficient! We have become dependent upon other nations because of greed. We have the natural resources to feed our people; clothe our people; be fuel independent; God has blessed America but “enough seems not to be enough.”

b) Personal Resources – in the eyes of the world, Americans are rich beyond comprehension. America has become the Utopia of the world with immigrants standing in line to become one of us. We are truly the “dream” of the world. We have food, clothing, homes that are comfortable, automobiles that run more often than not, money to pay our bills and eat out occasionally. We are blessed of God.

3. A Land Of Opportunity – You can be anything you want to be. You are limited by your ambitions and willingness to work. You and I have the blessed right to choose your vocation or lifestyle.

B. Someone once said South America was founded by men looking for Gold, North America by men looking for God. When the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock they got on their knees before an open Bible and prayed to God in Thanksgiving. Our nation was founded upon faith in the Bibles and religious freedom. Our founding fathers were men of both faith and integrity.

C. America has undergone great change in the past 236 years. They have gone from God to gold and greed. They have gone from obedience to rebellion, holiness to sinfulness, and faith to fatness. In our text, we find the example of Jerusalem and the people of Israel. We can learn great lessons from history as it repeats itself. 

1. Vs. 1 – Israel Became Sinful – “filthy and polluted”
2. Vs. 2 – Israel Became Disobedient To God’s Word – “obeyed not the voice”
3. Vs. 2 – Israel Became Stiff Necked – “she would not receive correction”
4. Vs. 2 – Israel Became Self Reliant – “trusted not in the Lord”
5. Vs. 2 – Israel Became Willful - “drew not near to her God”
6. Vs. 3 – Israel Became Politically Corrupt – “Her princes”
7. Vs. 4 – Israel Became Religiously Apostate – “Her prophets…priests”
8. Vs. 5 – Israel Became Shameless – “knowth no shame”
9. Vs. 8 – Israel Became Doomed To Destruction – “Therefore”

D.  America will also fall according to Scripture if things do not turn around. It is my prayer to God for American that she turns back to her great beginnings. America began with “In God We Trust!” 

Psalms 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. 

"We find freedom when we find God; we lose it when we lose Him." — Paul E. Scherer

E. What can we do to help America to get right with God?

1. Be Light And Salt
2. Be A Fervent Witness
3. Be A Particular People

F. We will do what we can but America’s hope will be found in these four things.
1. America’s Hope Will Be Found In America’s Pulpits

a. The Black Regiment of the Revolutionary War: the British placed this name on the courageous and patriotic American clergy. Its reference was to the black robes they wore. The British blamed the Black Regiment for American Independence and rightfully so. It is true that there is not a right asserted in the Declaration of Independence which had not been discussed by the New England preachers before 1763. The rights listed in the Declaration of Independence were nothing more than a listing of sermon topics preached from the pulpit in the two decades leading up to the American Revolution. It was not just the British who saw the American pulpit as largely responsible for American independence and government. Our own leader agreed! John Adams rejoiced that “the pulpits have thundered” and specifically identified several ministers as being among the “characters the most conspicuous, the most ardent, and influential” in the “awakening and a revival of American principles and feelings” that led to American independence. The American Quarterly Magazine of 1833 said, “As a body of men the clergy were pre-eminent in their attachment to liberty. The pulpits of the land rang with the notes of freedom.” Bibliotheca Sacra [British Periodical, 1856], “If Christian ministers had not preached and prayed, there might have been no revolution as yet – or had it broken out, it might have been crushed.” B. F. Morris, HISTORIAN, 1864, said, “The ministers of the Revolution were, like their predecessors, bold and fearless in the cause of their country. No class of men contributed more to carry forward the Revolution and to achieve our independence than did the ministers….By their prayers, patriotic sermons, and services they rendered the highest assistance to the civil government, the army, and the country.Alice Baldwin, HISTORIAN, 1918, said, “The constitutional Convention and the written Constitution were the children of the pulpit.” The ministers during the Revolutionary period were simply continuing what ministers had been doing to shape American government and culture in the century and a half preceding the Revolution. The first movement toward democracy in America was inaugurated in the house of God with blessing of the minster of God. In 1636, the Baptist preacher, Roger Williams, established the Rhode Island Colony and its representative form of government, explaining that “the sovereign, original, and foundation of civil power lies in the people.” Daniel Webster (the great “Defender of the Constitution”) agreed: “To the free and universal reading of the bible in that age men were much indebted for right views of civil liberty.” Christian ministers were also at the forefront of resisting encroachments on the civil and religious liberties that they had helped secure.

b. We are not here to preach politics per se, but we are here to preach the blessed Word of God upon which our nation was founded and our predecessors were grounded! America’s pulpits have left the Word of God and now make their appeal to the pocketbooks of men! Sin is tolerated; worldliness in accepted; unfaithfulness is rampant; and sinners are dying without Christ on the pews of the churches! God help our pulpits. Pulpits of America, PREACH!

2. America’s Hope Will Be Found In Remembrance 

a. America was founded on “In God We Trust!” (Not Islam, not Buddism, not far eastern cults, but Christianity!) 

b. George Washington’s Farewell Address to Nation -- "Do not let anyone claim tribute of American patriotism if they even attempt to remove religion from politics." 

c. George Washington also said, "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

d. President Thomas Jefferson in an address to Danbury Baptists -- "The 1st amendment has created a wall of separation between church and state, but that wall is a one directional wall, it keeps the government from running the church, but it makes sure that Christian principles will always stay in government."

e. American must remember both her beginning and blessings were in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of Israel! Go to an Islamic Nation and you will find that Allah is their God; Mohammad is their prophet; and they are unapologetic about it! Come to America and you will find that Jehovah God is no longer our God! The Muslims here are unapologetic; the cults here are unapologetic; the athiests here are unapologetic; only the true church serving the One and only true God cowers in the background while His wonderful name is blasphemed. Burn the Koran and the Islamic people revolt; ban the Bible and “Christianity” says nothing. America, REMEMBER GOD!

3. America’s Hope Will Be Found In True Repentance
a. Another 9/11 revival will not get the job done.
b. Another Katrina revival will not get the job done.
c. Only true repentance will get the job done. Jonah 3:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: 8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. 9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? (Only true repentance is acceptable to God and will turn His judgment. America, REPENT!

4. America’s Blessing Will Be Found In A Return To Godly Principles

a. Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do (return) the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

b. Our government will have to get right with God. (They need to obey the constitution, not interpret it! It was clearly written to keep our nation right with God and His principles.)

c. Churches will have to get right with God. (We have God’s Word, the King James Bible. We need to obey it, not interpret it! It was clearly written to keep our churches right with God and His principles.)

d. God’s people will have to get right with God. (We have both the Bible and the Holy Spirit. We need to obey them, not grieve them. [Jesus is the Word of God]. They were given to help us walk uprightly in this present evil world!)

          E. America, RETURN!

Conclusion: Pray for America! Pray for those in authority! Pray for the church!

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