12 December 2007

"Blessed Be"--the nation whose God is the LORD (part 3)

Part 1.
Part 2.


Many today, who claim to be Christians, who claim to love God—don’t want to be bothered with all that holiness stuff. They don’t want to hear someone preach about Hell and repentance and the cross. They don’t want to hear that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and that NOBODY! goes to the Father but through Him. They want a message that makes them feel good; a message that will help them get all the blessings of wealth and health and prosperity that the guy on TV told them they deserve. Instead of being an example of Christ to the world, many churches want to look more like the world, and they don’t want to confront sin. So the world doesn’t know it’s headed for Hell, and it falls into sin and corruption, and the nation pays for the silence of the church.

On September 11, 2001, we may have been attacked by Muslim terrorists. But it was not totally their decision to pull off those attacks. It had a lot to do with the judgment of God on a nation that has turned its back on Him. What happened to churches in the weeks following those attacks? You couldn’t stuff another person in the door. Many were standing room only. Then, by the time 2002 came around, we as a nation had rolled over and hit the snooze button. And when the next judgment comes, in that time of trouble, all those who claim to be His, who claim to be Christians, who claim to be saved, yet have turned their backs on Him, they will all of a sudden cry out, “O LORD, arise and save us!” And God will say, “What about all your wealth? What about your SUV, and your big screen television, and your UT football tickets? Those things you have been worshiping more than Me? Let them save you.” And He will not have a single ounce of pity.

We need to stand up for the truth now more than ever before. Because the atheists are not content to just sit back and let Christianity even exist in this country. The atheists want nothing less than for us to simply go away. They don’t want to coexist with us—they want us completely gone. Here’s a quote I found recently. And Dinesh D'souza nails it right on the head:

The atheists no longer want to be tolerated. They want to monopolize the public square and to expel Christians from it…They want to control school curricula so they can promote a [worldly philosophy] and undermine Christianity. They want to discredit the factual claims of religion, and they want to convince the rest of society that Christianity is not only mistaken but also evil…In short, they want to make religion – and especially the Christian religion – disappear from the face of the earth.

This nation is the country so many people look to for freedom, especially religious freedom. And we should not go down without a fight. We should stand on the truth of the Bible, and we should we should be an example to our neighbors, and the people we work with, and the atheist, that following Christ is not about shoving a religious system down their throat—it’s about salvation, and eternal life.

So what should we do when the courts tell us when we can and can't pray? We need to obey those laws the best we can without being disobedient to God. If we are going to claim the title of Christian, we should be ready to suffer. And sometimes, even the laws may be against us.

1st Peter 2:13—…submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors…
Romans 13:1-2—Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves
. Oh, and pay your taxes, Romans 13:6.

In fact, we should keep our leaders in our prayers. 1st Timothy 2:1-3—I exhort therefore, that…supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour…

No matter what you may think of the president—and no, we ain't goin’ there today—that position was appointed by God, and you must respect the office. Consider how Jesus stood before Pilate. John 19:10, when Pilate said, “knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?” Did Jesus say, “Ahh, crucify schmucify Let’s see ya try it!” No. John 19:11—“Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above…

God appoints those to power whom He will. Now, you may be thinking, “Well, what about in countries where they persecute and kill Christians?” Yeah, even them. Think about this: When they came to arrest Jesus, did He resist? When He stood before Herod, and before Pilate, and before Annas and Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin, did Jesus try to break out of there? He could have. He could have called down 12 legions of angels. But He didn’t. He stood silent like a lamb before slaughter. And he caused His persecutors to condemn themselves.

We should always respect the laws of the land—unless they would cause us to go against what we are commanded in Scripture. Think about Shadrach, Mishach and Abed-Nego. In Daniel 3, they broke the law—but only because obeying the command of Nebuchadnezzar would have caused them to disobey God. Acts 5:29, after Peter and the other apostles are arrested for preaching Christ, Peter says, “We ought to obey God rather than men!”

There are some in government I wish with all my heart were not in the position they're in. But they are there, and we should pray for them. That God would grant them the wisdom to do justice, to seek His wisdom in executing their duties. So that this nation would once again turn its face to God, to seek His provision, His will, His protection, and His favor. May this nation once again look to Almighty God as the Sovereign King and Provider and Protector that He is. May YHWH—the LORD—be given the praise due His name. For “Blessed is the nation whose God is YHWH.”

Finally, this last quote from George Washington:

No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of [Divine intervention].

In other words, of all the countries on all the world, it seems as though these United States have more to be thankful to Almighty God for than any other country on the planet. Because His hand has been guiding us for lo these many years. And, as Ben Franklin said, "Do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?"

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