God blessed America...
When I was in High School, History was my least favorite subject. I guess it was because I was never taught the reason for studying it. At that point in my life, I saw no practical application. What difference did all those dates and events mean? What did they have to do with me? Maybe it was the way it was taught, or who was teaching it, but bottom line, I just all seemed so pointless.
The older I get, the more I understand why remembering history is so important. It educates us to as why things were done the way they were. It helps us to stay on track, it keeps us from making the same mistakes that our forfathers did.
Today, as we sit here on the 4th of July weekend, I want to take a quick journey through the history of our great country.
- Focusing on the foundation America was built on
- The intent our founding fathers had for America
- Take a quick look at how our country has strayed from its original intent
- Followed by ..Is it too late, are we too far gone….
- Lastly we’ll talk about what we should be doing to save our great nation.
What was the foundation that our country was built on? Why did those people sacrifice, risk their lives to sail across the Atlantic Ocean……remembering that they were not on a comfortable cruise ship with entertainment, gambling, dancing girls, etc…. They were in a small wooden boat, with limited provisions, being bounced around in 20 foot seas. Anybody ever watch the TV show “The Deadliest Catch”….about the guys who fish for crabs up in Alaska and the Bering sea. I get scared just watching the show…being on the boat would be a million times worse…no imagine doing it without a radio, without telemetry, without GPS,without an engine !!! Our founding fathers wanted to get to America for one reason only….a new life with Jesus Christ…..
PILGRIMS and the MAYFLOWER COMPACT
Our nation was first settled by people who came to these shores looking to express their religious faith. They were looking for the freedom to worship. In Europe, tax dollars are sent to the church, the church is run by the government, there were all kinds of religious laws and requirements placed on the church. Our founding fathers wanted to get back to the Bible….they wanted a personal relation ship with Jesus Christ.
Our founding fathers abandoned their religious laws of their day, risking their lives to sail across the Atlantic so they could get back to worshipping Jesus the way it was intended.
You all are familiar, of course, with the Pilgrims who came there to Plymouth Rock on the Mayflower. Just as they landed, they joined together in what is called the Mayflower Compact in 1620. (388 years ago) These are the words of the Mayflower Compact:
“In the name of God, amen. Having undertaken for the glory of God and for the advancement of the Christian faith, do solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, covenant and combine ourselves together.” Those settlers wrote: "We came here for the glory of God, and for the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ”.
In 1643, just about 23 years later, as more and more people came to the shores and up in New England, they formed a confederation called The New England Confederation; this was the first written constitution, of groups meeting together in 1643. The New England Confederation Constitution began:
“Whereas we all came into these parts with one and the same end and aim, namely to advance the kingdom of our lord Jesus Christ, and to enjoy the liberties of the gospel in purity and peace.”
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
Moving forward a 130 years on to the Declaration of Independence.
The guys were hanging around, debating about how the Declaration of Independence would be written.
Close your eyes and imagine it…...ar was 1776, there was Patrick Henry, John Adams, and 54 others hanging out in some log cabin style shack…deciding on the fate of our nation … they were all stressing out on what to say, what to do…..and finally,
Ben Franklin - “Gentlemen, if it is true that not one single petal from any flower falls to the ground without escaping God’s attention, will the distress of this nation go unheeded? Let us therefore determine to seek His face.”
At that suggestion 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence all went to their knees as one man and began to pray and seek the wisdom of God.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful today if our congress would go to their knees in prayer, wouldn’t it be wonderful today if the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and every other court including our Supreme Court, would just get on their knees like our forefathers did and say, “Almighty God, what do you want for this nation?”
From that one event, the Holy Spirit moved on those guys and the Declaration of Independence was written.
I have to digress for a moment…last weekend I was working with the IRL ministry up in Richmond VA…..the cars were gridded on pit road…the crews were lined up by the cars….we went from car to car, offering a moment of prayer with every team……not one team said no, in fact, every team willingly went to the Lord in prayer with us as we prayed for safety and for them to perform to the best of their abilities…….but the coolest thing was when we got to Helio Castraneves car…..they had a bad qualifying session and were starting mid pack…..when we asked the team manger if they would like to pray, right there he said yes, the team needed all the help they could get and he dropped to his knees…..right there on pit road with thousands of people in the stands, thousands of people in the paddock area…..about 15 of us all dropped to our knees and prayed to our Lord and Saviour…….right there on pit road…..it was awe inspiring, …….to make a long story short…..26 cars started, 150 laps into the race there were only 14 cars left….all the others had crashed out….somehow Helio made it through all of those crashes and ended up taking a second place finish……God honors sacrifice….
Back to the Declaration of Independence……..
Most of you are familiar with the prologue that says,
“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights that among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
…endowed by their creator…..
…. as they come to the final closing, they make two more references to God.
“We therefore, the representatives of the United States of America in general congress assembled appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the rectitude of our intentions.”
They said, “We’re appealing to you, England, declaring our independence, but we’re also appealing mainly to the Supreme Judge of the World, God himself.”
And then, the very last line of the Declaration of Independence is this,
“And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.” Divine means God. God’s protection and Providence, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.
Our founding fathers were COMMITTED to, not only obtaining freedom for future generations … they were COMMITTED to Christian principles.
Here are a few quotes and things that happened with our founding fathers:
• John Quincy Adams – the 2nd President, speaking of the Declaration of Independence – “From the time of the Declaration of Independence, the American people were bound by the laws of God, and the laws of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which they all acknowledge as the root of their conduct. We all came together to obey the Word of God.”
• Patrick Henry – “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people... it is wholly inadequate to the government of any other..."
-- John Adams
"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."
-- President Thomas Jefferson in an address to Danbury Baptists.
• George Washington, in his farewell address – “Do not let anyone claim tribute of American patriotism if they even attempt to remove religion from politics.”
What was his first official act as President? (kissed the Bible, then held a 2 hr. praise/worship session in Congress)
How did they determine to open sessions of Congress? (prayer)
Who would lead in those prayers? (chaplains)
How would they be paid? (tax dollars)
Does all of that sound like they wanted to keep God out of government?
By the way, opening in prayer is a mystery to investigate…why is it that the little boys and girls cannot, but the big Congressmen can?
*In 1776, 11 of the 13 colonies required that one had to be a Christian to be eligible to run for political office.
*In 1777, the Continental Congress voted to spend $300,000 to purchase Bibles for distribution in the nation….how much would that be in today’s dollars….300 million or more
Some other interesting statistics:
*94% OF THE WRITINGS OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS OF THE U.S. CONTAINED QUOTATIONS FROM THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.
*ALL 50 STATE CONSTITUTIONS MENTION GOD.
*On that First "Thanksgiving", who do you think the people were giving thanks to? To God!
*The "Liberty Bell" has part of Leviticus 25:10 inscribed on it: "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."
*An image of Moses carrying the tablets of God’s Law faces the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
*Our sixth President, John Quincy Adams said:
"No book in the world deserves to be so unceasingly studied, and so profoundly meditated upon as the Bible." -
And so, as we look today at our civic responsibility, the question is not, should a Christian be involved in gov’t…the question is:
Can you be the Christian you are commanded to be and not be involved?
I could go on for hours bringing up examples like this…..but suffice it to say that I think it is pretty obvious how the country was founded.
20th CENTURY POSITIVE JUDGEMENTS
Here are a few notable quotes from the recent history of the United States….
*Theodore Roosevelt, America’s 26th President, wrote:
"In this actual world, a churchless community, a community where men have abandoned and scoffed at, or ignored their religious needs, is a community on the rapid down-grade." – 1917
*Woodrow Wilson, our 28th President and Governor of New Jersey, said this:
"America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of the Holy Scripture." – 1911
*Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President, said this about our founding fathers:
"They were intent upon establishing a Christian commonwealth in accordance with the principle of self- government. They were an inspired body of men. It has been said that God sifted the nations that He might send choice grain into the wilderness... Who can fail to see it in the hand of destiny? Who can doubt that it has been guided by a Divine Providence." – 1923
*Franklin Roosevelt prayed this prayer on a national radio hookup on D-Day, June 6, 1944, as our troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France:
"Almighty God... with Thy blessing we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogance. Lead us to the saving of our country. Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen."
*Harry Truman, our 33rd President, not known to be a committed believer, understood the spiritual heritage of this nation:
"If men and nations would but live by the precepts of the ancient prophets and the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount, problems which now seem so difficult would soon disappear”
*Gerald Ford, our 38th President, quoted a 1955 speech by Dwight D. Eisenhower on December 5, 1974:
"Without God there could be no American form of government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first - the most basic - expression of Americanism. Thus the founding fathers of America saw it, and thus with God’s help, it will continue to be."
*President Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s said…
"If we ever forget that we are ’One nation, under God’, then we will be one nation gone under."
I think that shows us pretty convincingly that the United States of America was founded on Christian principles and our countries greatest leaders have made an effort to keep on course with why our nation was originally founded.
FALLING FROM GRACE
I don’t want to spend much time on this section, we are bombarded enough by the liberal media, overly dramatizing everything to sell papers, but there are a few facts worth mentioning. We have enough negatives in our life, so I don’t want to focus on this one too much.
….however, here are just a couple of the significant decisions that show how we have strayed…..
• In 1963 the Supreme Court first took out prayer in schools
• The next ruling removed the Bible readings from our classrooms
• They then took the 10 Commandments off the walls of all schools and public buildings Later it was ruled that students can not pray at graduation.
• The Court ruled that there is a certain segment of our society that does not have equal rights, the unborn. Today a million abortions a year are preformed.
• A young woman that wrote a term paper on the life of Jesus in an assignment, “The man I admire the most” was given an “F” because her teacher said, “It was unacceptable in public school.” Tragically, the ruling was upheld in the courts.
· A photographer was taken to court on discrimination because he refused to take photos of a same sex marriage.
· An adoption agency lost its tax exempt status because they refused to place children with same sex couples…..
· Our pledge of allegiance is under attack
· Our currency is under attack
· Our right to worship God is under attack….
Remembering that disgrace means to bring out into the open, to bring down…the Bilble tells is that sin is a disgrace to any people…….
So how has the United States of America been brought down….
• 1 of 2 marriages end in divorce with medium age for divorce 34 for men 30 for women
• Single parent families have doubled
• Gallup reports that there are enough students between the ages of 12-18 to fill the Rose Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl and Fiesta Bowl that are involved in some type of prostitution to support an addiction to illegal drugs
• One million girls under the age of 17 will get pregnant outside of wedlock with half of those pregnancies ending in abortion.
• 40% of America’s 14 year-old girls will be pregnant before their 19th birthday
• 66% of America’s students have reported to use illegal drugs or alcohol.
• Child abuse is up 240% in America since 1976.
• Corruption and Conviction of public officials is up 450% since 1973
• Sexual abuse of children is up 1,375% since 1962
• America has the highest illiteracy rate of all the industrialized nations in the world.
We have strayed and as the title of today’s message says….God Blessed America….notice that is past tense…..(sorry it is printed wrong in your bulletins).
God did bless America….his hand was on us and allowed us to become the greatest nation the world has ever seen……but we have strayed….
Probably said the best…….
Rachel Joy Scott was on of the victims of the Columbine massacre in which two teenage boys went on a killing spree in their High School looking first for followers of Lord by asking the question, “Do you believe in God?”
Rachel’s father, Donald Scott spoke before the United States Senate and said the following poem….note that is was written BEFORE he knew he would speak before the Senate:
Your laws ignore our deepest needs
Your words are empty air.
You’ve stripped away our heritage
You’ve outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms
And our precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere
And you ask the question why.
You regulate restrictive laws
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand
That God is what we need!
I believe everyone in this room today can see that America has strayed from our founding fathers original intent and that the hands of God may not be as protective as they once were..not clenching as tight as they once were.
So what do we do now….isn’t it too late to do anything?
I do not believe it is too late for 2 reasons……
1) Because the Bible tells me different…..
II Chron. 7
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall 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.
Read the book of Judges…clearly, our God would rather forgive and restore, than judge! Over and over, Israel would turn their back on their Godly heritage. But, they would repent, and God would forgive them and restore them…but it was always conditional! (If)
God is a just God, a merciful God, one full of grace, so much so that He gave his only begotten son so that we might be saved.
Psalm 33:12 – “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord:”
“Righteousness exalts a nation…” (Prov. 14:34a)
2) Because I look at my children, and I want more for them…..I will not go down without a fight….if I quit now, if we choose to not fulfill my responsibility as a believer….if I choose to not spread the gospel of Jesus Christ…..then I am failing…I am failing my God …..I am failing my country, and I am failing my family….
OK, it’s not too late…..so what are we supposed to do…..
Some of you may recall my sermon, P-Soup the recipe for success……you mix in prayer, patience, and perseverance, and God will reveal his plan or purpose for your life…once you are living in accordance with God’s will you can’t help but be successful.
Sticking with the P-theme….Here is what we should be doing….here is what we HAVE to do in order to get our nation back on track….
We need to pay our taxes to keep our government moving forward
We need to pay our tithes to keep our churches moving forward
James 5:16 - “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Satan’s chief concern is to keep Christians, like you & me, from praying. Someone once said, “The Devil trembles, when he sees the weakest Christian on his knees.”
We need to do what the founding fathers did before writing the declaration of independence, we need to do like Helio Castraneve’s team did, and get on our knees, humble ourselves before God and ask for his forgiveness and his protection.
Pray for revival/leaders/war on terror/God to use our leaders and defeat our enemies!
There’s plenty to pray for! We need a revival of doing good:
Our liberal media wants to make money...they do that by publishing negativity, by dramatizing events….they bring us down.
Despite all of that, America is still the greatest country in the world. We are being brought down, we may be losing ground…but we are still the greatest country in the world.
I don’t know how many of you in here have been fortunate enough to travel outside of this country, but I have….Mexico for 10 months, Germany for 3 months, the UK for 2 months, and soon I will be going to Romania and China…..We ARE LIVING IN THE GREATEST COUNTRY in the World.
Don’t forget that….don’t let the negative news media bring you down….Praise this mighty nation….let people see the positives. After all if this country was so bad, why are so many people trying to get in here….why are there so many illegal aliens?
Spread the news….America is Great….
It is inconceivable that God would ordain gov’t such as He has, and then tell His people to stay out of it!
It is our Christian duty to get informed, and vote!
Shame on the Christian who pledges their allegiance to that flag, and then doesn’t take action And, shame on the Christian who pledges their allegiance to a political party, instead of to principles…the Biblical principles upon which this nation was founded!
In todays’ society we have so many ways of getting in touch…e-mail, internet, satellite telephones….
Let your local government, your state government officials know your feelings. IT is easy…a quick letter, a quick e-mail…..
• The gays & lesbians are speaking out … gay marriages are being performed … AND … our leaders are listening to them.
• The abortionists are speaking out … abortion is still legal and on the increase … AND … our leaders are listening to them.
• The liberals are speaking out … family values has become a laughing stock … AND … our leaders are listening to them.
The sad truth is … the Christians in America are the majority … BUT … we are doing very little to speak out as a witness for the Lord. We are content to sit in our homes and shake our heads at the direction our country is headed. We are content to sit IN church and say “Amen” to the sermon … BUT … do very little OUTSIDE the church to be a witness for the Lord.
People in this very room changed their mind about abortion, marriage, language, the way they dress or think….they changed after receiving Christ into their hearts…….
We are on this earth to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and to reach out to others as those who did that reached out unto us……
We need to plant those seeds, God will water them and grow them…..
That is why I am here today, that is why I pay my own way, that is why you see me at these vents for the past 3 years…here, SCCA, PCA, Rolex, IRL…I don’t get paid, all of this comes out of my own pocket….the Lord told me to be here…I am here in obedience and with a sincere interest in reaching out to others..…..we all have talents, we all have abilitlies, God wants to use those to reach as many people as he can.
The unbelieving world is shouting out it’s message: God expects us to use the freedom that our founding fathers made possible … to be a witness for Christ in this sinful world we live.
So in closing…..
It’s not too late….
For the sake of our kids, our grandkids, our nation, and all of those that live in it….We must
Bow your head with me and lets go to the Lord in prayer…..
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you Lord for allowing us to be Americans….and for all of the freedoms, liberties, and blessings that come with being an American. Thank you for the sacrifices of our founding fathers. We thank you for being able to gather here today to hear your word….we pray that as we leave here today that we will make the right choice, we will exercise our gift of free will to glorify your kingdom….that we will pay, pray, praise, participate, and persuade those around us…Lord we want to let our light so shine before men, that we will glorify you…the father in heaven. Lord give us the strength, the courage, the commitment, the wisdom, to profess your name, to help reshape the United States of America….Lord we humble ourselves before you today so that you may hear us, fogive our nations sins, and heal our land.
We give you the honor and the glory for all things…..In Jesus name….Amen.