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White Oak Baptist Church

God Save America Independence Day

                      God Save America!

Proverbs 14:34

 

Introduction

*          “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns (reproach, disgrace) any people” (Prov. 14:34).

*          When God delivered the nation of Israel from Egyptian bondage and brought them to the Promised Land             and gave them a set of spiritual and societal laws to govern the people.  He knew that man could not       govern themselves so He gave them a higher set of spiritual and moral commands to be governed by.  If             they obeyed they would be a righteous nation, if they disobeyed, they would become a sinful, disgraced    nation.

*          What was true for Israel is true for America!  God founded this great country on July 4th, 1776 on the   same principles as He founded Israel-the spiritual and moral commandments of righteousness. 

*          God laid on the hearts of 55 men to shake off the chains of tyranny and birth a new nation under God        and now for 237 years we have celebrated that declaration of independence.  If America continues to        obey we will be a righteous nation with God’s blessings but if America disobeys, we will become a           sinful and disgraced nation incurring God’s judgment.

*          The word “righteousness” (Heb. 6666), means “blameless conduct and integrity.”  This word describes   the attitudes and actions God had and expects His people to maintain in relationship with Him, with the     family and with our fellowman.

*          The word “sin” means “transgression” (Heb. 2403), in other words sin is when we are failing to meet      God’s standard in our relationship with Him, with the family and with our fellowman.

*          Along with (Prov. 14:34) Solomon also said in (Prov. 11:14), For lack of guidance a nation falls. . .”       The further we abandon God and His Word the further we fall as a nation-and how far have we fallen     lately? 

*          While I love our great nation, I fear for her in the near future.  When we as a nation throw God’s    commandments from the Whitehouse, the courthouse and the schoolhouse, we are headed for uncertain   times!

*          I know we want to turn a blind-eye to this truth but it’s hard when we just look at the moral and spiritual     condition of our nation.  Take the national debt for example:  it is nearing $17 trillion as a preach this message!

*          Ever think what does one TRILLION dollars look like?  (7 slides)

*          Our National Debt (what we spend) is $17 trillion and Our Gross Domestic Product (what we bring in)      is $15.7 trillion which puts the Gross National Debt to Gross Domestic Product ratio at 106%.  (Illus.       $1500 a month and your debt is $1700-it’s unsustainable).

*          What is happening?  I’ll tell you what is happening.  We as a nation have forgotten where we came from and we are suffering as a result of our own choices because we have moved away from God’s        righteousness as a nation and have embraced godlessness, wickedness and sinfulness.

*          It’s been said a picture is worth a thousand words Jack E. Dawson’s painting, “If My People” there                   are nine things we need to remember as a nation.

            *          NEGLECT- The tattered and worn flag symbolizes the apathy and neglect for the principles on                           which this country was founded-the Ten Commandments. 

            *          WARFARE- The bullet holes represent the spiritual and physical warfare that has and is taking                          place for our freedom.

            *          SACRIFICE- This bullet hole, tinged with blood, symbolizes the sacrifice of the flag bearer. He                              willingly becomes vulnerable, laying down his own arms, in order that he may raise the flag and                                    rally the troops.

            *          TRAGEDY- The tragedy of September 11, 2001 is remembered as you see the twin towers of                               the New York Trade Center. The face formed by the rising smoke reminds us that we live in a                             world filled with violence and tragedy. 

            *          EVIL- The presence of evil represented by the two demonic faces is a reminder of the ever-                         present spiritual battle being fought daily.

            *          HOPE- The hope of healing is depicted by the mending of the flag. "I know the plans I have for                            you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a                future" (Jer. 29:11).

            *          LIFE- Life is precious at any age. This unborn child reminds us to hold high the value of human                             life. 

            *          PRAYER- It is through the humble prayers of God’s people, repenting and seeking Him that the                          promise of His hearing and forgiving and healing our land will come.

            *          JESUS- Jesus is the One who is mending the flag (notice the nail print.) He is truly the Hope for                           our nation. Healing is available through trusting in His sacrificial death, burial and resurrection.                              The Crimson Thread of Christ Jesus the Savior is woven all through the Bible, from Genesis to                            Revelation.

*          What does it take to be a righteous nation?

I.          To be a righteous nation we must rediscover our love for God:    (Ex. 20:1-11, Mk. 12:30)

           

            *          When God led the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt and into the Promised Land He knew He                               needed to give the people laws, rules and regulations, morally and spiritually, if they were to last                          for generations as a nation and not kill themselves in the first few years.

 

            *          So Moses walked up to the top of Mt. Sinai and there God wrote with His finger the Ten                                                 Commandments; a set of Laws to govern their lives and guide their faith for generations to come.

 

            *          The Commandments 1-4, have to do with our relationship to God, to love Him with all our heart,                       soul, mind and strength, and the Commandments 6-10, have to do with our relationship to our                                  neighbor, to respect them and treat them as we would treat ourselves.

            *          Founding Father James Madison said, "We've staked our future on our ability to follow the Ten                                 Commandments with all our heart"

            *          Our problem is that we should learn from history but we don’t and those who forget the past are                               condemned to             repeat it. Winston Churchill said, "The one thing we have learned from history                           is that we don't learn from history."

            *          Our problem in America is not political, financial, or social factors. The decline of this nation                          (just as the decline of every nation) is due to spiritual factors. The political, financial, and social                           problems we encounter are just the symptoms of the spiritual cancer that is killing us as a nation.

            *          History has shown that the average age of the great civilizations is around two hundred years.                             Countries like Great Britain exceed the average while other countries like the United States are                              just now reaching the average age-237 years.

            *          Each of the great civilizations in the world passed through a series of stages from their birth to                              their decline to their death. Historians have listed these in ten stages:

            *          The first stage moves from bondage to spiritual faith, second from spiritual faith to great                                       courage, third stage moves from great courage to liberty, fourth stage moves from liberty to                           abundance, fifth stage moves from abundance to selfishness, sixth stage moves from selfishness                                    to complacency, seventh stage moves from complacency to apathy, eighth stage moves from                                     apathy to moral decay, ninth stage moves from moral decay to dependence and the tenth and last                             stage moves from dependence back to bondage where it started.

            *          As Christians we must recognize that nations will rise and fall.  We should not put our trust in                              the things of this world for they are destined for destruction. Instead, we should put our faith in                                God and His word and learn to love Him as a nation with all our heart, soul mind and strength or                                    we will face our own demise.

*          What does it take to be a righteous nation?

II.        To be a righteous nation we must rediscover our honor for the family: (Ex. 20:12)

            *          I want you to notice that sandwiched between our love for God (Commandments 1-4) and (our                                  love for our neighbor (Commandments 6-10) is the 5th Commandment pertaining to the family.

            *          God designed that nations were to be built on love for God, then love for family, and then love                         for our neighbors.  When any of these three are neglected the structure falls apart.  When we fail                             to obey commandments 1-4 and obey 5-10 we become a secular and unspiritual nation that leads                           to being an immoral nation.  

            *          Nations most often fall from within, and this fall is usually due to a decline in the moral and                                 spiritual values in the             family. The most accurate picture of the state of America is represented                                with the nature of the average family in America- as the family goes so goes the nation.

            *          Want to know what the average American family is like just watch primetime television.  TV                              always portrays the culture and today you will be hard-pressed to find any sitcom that embraces                            traditional family values.

            *          In his book Our Dance Has Turned to Death, Carl Wilson identifies the common pattern of                             family decline in ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. I want us to notice how these seven                                     stages parallel             what is happening in our nation today:

            *          In the first stage, men ceased to lead their families in worship. Spiritual and moral development                            became secondary. Their view of God became naturalistic, mathematical, and mechanical.

            *          In the second stage, men selfishly neglected care of their wives and children to pursue material                              wealth, political and military power, and cultural development. Material values began to                                             dominate thought, and the man began to exalt his own role as an individual.

            *          The third stage involved a change in men's sexual values. Men who were preoccupied with                                business or war either neglected their wives sexually or became involved with lower-class                                    women or with homosexuality. Ultimately, a double standard of morality developed.

            *          The fourth stage affected women. The role of women at home and with children lost value and                                   status. Women were neglected and their roles devalued. Soon they revolted to gain access to                                 material wealth and also freedom for sex outside marriage. Women also began to minimize                                    having sex relations to conceive children, and the emphasis became sex for pleasure. Marriage                             laws were changed to make divorce easy.

            *          In the fifth stage, husbands and wives competed against each other for money, home leadership,                               and the affection of their children. This resulted in hostility and frustration and possible                                          homosexuality in the children. Many marriages ended in separation and divorce. Many children                              were unwanted, aborted, abandoned, molested, and undisciplined. The more undisciplined                          children became, the more social pressure there was not to have children. The breakdown of the                                     home produced anarchy.

            *          In the sixth stage, selfish individualism grew and carried over into society, fragmenting it into                             smaller and smaller group loyalties. The nation was thus weakened by internal conflict. The                                decrease in the birthrate produced an older population that had less ability to defend itself and                               less will to do so, making the nation more vulnerable to its enemies.

            *          Finally, the seventh stage, unbelief in God became more complete, parental authority diminished,                         and ethical and moral principles disappeared, affecting the economy and government. Thus, by                                internal weakness and fragmentation the societies came apart. There was no way to save them                            except by a dictator who arose from within or by barbarians who invaded from without.

            *          Social commentator Michael Novak, writing on the importance of the family, said: “One                                          unforgettable law has been learned through all the disasters and injustices of the last                                               thousand years: If things go well with the family, life is worth living; when the family falters, life                            falls apart.”

            *          Families are the foundation of a nation. When the family crumbles, the nation falls because                            nations are built upon             family units. They are the true driving social force. A nation will not be                            strong unless the family is strong. That was true in the ancient world and it is true today.

*          What does it take to be a righteous nation?

III.       To be a righteous nation we must rediscover respect for our neighbor: (Ex. 20:13-17, Mk. 12:31)

            *          In the last five commandments God saw fit to build the nation upon our respect and concern for                                  our neighbors-our fellow man. A strong nation would love God, honor family and respect his                                  neighbor and to love them as Jesus said as we should love ourselves (John 13:34).        

            *          In the opening chapter of the Paul's letter to the church in Rome, he shows the decline of a                                   civilization and if you read close enough we’ll discover that commandments 6-10 are broken, not              to mention 1-5 (Romans 1:18-32).

            *          Looking at the first century world, Paul reflects on the progression of sin in a nation: The first                                  step is when people suppress the truth of God’s Word.  They suppress the truth because of their                               own godlessness and wickedness. 

            *          The second step is when people turn from God they will turn to idolatry. Although God has                               revealed Himself in nature to all men so that they are without excuse, they nevertheless worship                           the creation instead of the Creator.

            *          The third step is when men and women exchange their natural use of sex for unnatural uses. In a                             society where lust-driven sensuality and sexual perversion dominate, God gives them over to                                   their degrading passions and unnatural desires. Once a society has rejected God's revelation, it is                           on its own-moral and social anarchy is the natural result.

            *          The fourth step is judgment. Paul says three times those four sobering words, "God gave them                                  over." God's judgment rightly falls upon those who practice idolatry and immorality. Certainly                                    an eternal judgment awaits those who are guilty, but a social judgment occurs when God gives a                                 nation over to its sinful practices.

Conclusion

*          Dr. Michael Youssef, “We are facing forces that are unabashedly declaring their intention to destroy    this nation by disregarding the moral and biblical framework of the founders’ convictions.  Unless we     become involved and are vigilant in prayer, we risk the loss of our freedoms.”

*          Unless we return to God's principles of loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, honoring           the family and respecting our neighbors, decline and destruction are inevitable.

*          As righteousness exalts a nation so it is true for the individual.  If we are ever to turn this nation back   it will be when each one of us will love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and love family   and love our neighbor as the Lord has loved us.

*          Righteousness exalts a nation, not government, not politics, they only destroy.  As we have celebrated     another year of independence and freedom let us continue to pray together for our nation- God Save     America! 

 

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