Tuesday, July 5, 2011

God Have Mercy on America

Yesterday America celebrated its birthday.  It is a celebration we celebrate with patriotic events, backyard barbecues, and fireworks.  We talk about how great our nation is and how so many have fought and died to give us the freedoms we enjoy today.  We get drunk, fill our bellies, and amaze ourselves at just how great we are as a nation.  Eventually, we remember God, but only to ask for His blessings on our nation.  How prideful and arrogant we are.  Seriously, what even makes us believe that we deserve God's blessing?   What makes us believe that we deserve anything more than His judgement. 

I know that is not a popular thing to say.  Anytime anyone speaks of how this nation deserves more judgement than blessing, people tend to shut up their ears, call us names, and drown us out.  Sadly, they only do so to their own peril and they reveal their own utter spiritual foolishness. 

A wise [man] fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident. Proverbs 14:16 NKJV

It is the fool who takes the words of repentance and reacts with anger. They react with a false sense of self righteousness and drown out the choruses of any who proclaim the judgement of God.  People think that if they stand before God as an American they somehow have some pass into Heaven.  Even people who claim to be Christian in some sense often take this same stand.  We hear then on radios speaking of such things as "American Exceptionalism."  Maybe at one time that was true, but can we say that now?  Does God see America as exceptional?  I would say not.

How exceptional is the nation that legalizes the slaughter of unborn children?  Is it exceptional when one of our largest industries if pornography?  It is exceptional that our children are sexualized in our entertainment, dress, and even in our schools?  Is it exceptional when we get drunk to celebrate anything and everything?  Is it exceptional that sex is used to promote everything?  Is it exceptional that homosexuality is accepted as a good thing and that more and more of us are accepting of the abomination known as homosexual marriage? It is exceptional when the ones we elect to represent us are, at best, liars and thieves?   We have evicted God from our schools, our local governments, our courts, our state governments, and our federal government.  In fact, the mere mention of the true and living God in anything that can somehow be perceived as related to government in some way, shape, or form has become unspeakable. What's worse, we export all of this to the rest of the world.  We are exceptional for sure, but only in our sin.  We are exceptional sinners with exceptional arrogance thinking we somehow deserve God's blessing.  I wonder if we would even allow God's blessing on our nation as that can be construed as a violation of the separation of church and state. 

Sadly, the church is not all that much better.  I am not saying that all churches are bad, but the number of good churches is dwindling while the number of apostate churches is growing.  People do not want to hear about how God hates sin, they just want to hear how God loves them and all the goodies God has for them.  They want to hear how God will bless them, make them rich, make them healthy, and make them successful.  They do not want to hear about denying themselves, taking up their crosses, and following after Him.  They want all the blessings of God while holding onto all their pleasures of the flesh and do not even want to hear otherwise.  That is why apostate teachers are rich and successful.  It is not God's blessing, but their own manipulation of people who want to be manipulated.  We have Christians who cower in fear before the ACLU and fear a judge more than THE Judge.  They fear the one who can affect their lives while ignoring the one who holds their eternity in His hands.  One is forced to wonder if they even have faith at all.  We have churches that promote those who would fight for the "right" to slaughter our unborn children.   We have other churches who would sanction leaders who promote warfare against nations who have never attacked us killing thousands of innocent women and children in the process.  We have just about all churches teaching that the "lesser" of two evils is a viable choice for leaders and even if their were to be a leader who truly did follow God they would call it a wasted vote if that person is not part of their chosen party.  How sad when we actually believe that one servant of Satan is better than another and that it is better to vote for a servant of Satan who can win rather than standing for God because we believe that all things are possible for God, except electing a third party candidate.  We have churches that now bless homosexual marriages and allow their leaders to be living in the open sin of homosexuality.   We have churches where their pastors have giant gated homes and fly around in private jets while their brothers die of starvation. 

The church also exists in its arrogance of being the "American" church. We believe that God has forsaken Israel and made America the Promised Land.  We may not say it, but we talk like it and live like it.  The truth is that if God does judge America, it will be our fault.  You see, it is us who has the responsibility to preach righteousness to sinful America.  It is us who are called to be peacemakers making peace between our nation and God by sharing the peace offered through Jesus Christ.  It is us who who are called to fall on our faces and plead to God for our nation.  It is us who care called to stand in the gap entreating God to give us more time to share the love of Jesus in this fallen land.  Sinners will sin, plain and simple.  We can not expect the nation to repent of its sin when we relish in it with them.  We can not expect a nation to turn to Jesus if we are too caught up in gossip, sports, shopping, etc to share Jesus with others who do not know Him.  The Bible says that judgement begins at the house of God. We are the house of God and judgement will begin with us. 

I don't know why we thing that the judgement of America is so unthinkable.  Look at what happened to Israel, God's chosen people in God's Promised Land.  God chastised them time and time again for turning against Him until it came to a point where God had to remove them from the land. Israel and Jerusalem were sacked and destroyed and even today the temple remains in ruins with a shrine to a false god in its place.  God is bringing Israel back to the land and God is protecting that land, but it took two thousand years to do so.  If God would not hold back such a judgement from His own chosen people, why do we think that even one American city's destruction as a judgement of God to be so unthinkable?  Apparently we forget what happened so Sodom and Gomorrah.  Apparently we forget what happened to the Assyrians.  Apparently we forget what happened to Babylon.  Apparently we forget what will happen as told us through God's Word regarding the judgement of the nations.  Apparently we believe that those words are for everyone except us. 

So why has God not judged America yet?  I believe there are several reasons.  First and foremost, God is merciful not wanting that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.  God has just judged us because He is still giving us time to repent of our ways.  This national repentance must start in our churches because it is us who are charged with presenting God's terms for peace to the nation.  Not only that, it is us who are called and the only ones capable of being an example of righteousness to a fallen nation.  The Bible tells us that we are the light and salt of the world and we must begin to act like it. The other reason why I believe God has not judged us yet is Israel.  God tells us in His word that He will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel.  Right now we are blessing Israel, but that tide is changing.  More and more of our countrymen and leaders are turning against one of the only things holding judgement back from our nation.  Even our president has turned against God's chosen people.  If we continue on our present course, God's patience will run out and our support of the one thing that holds back his wrath will have eroded to nothing.  When we get to that point, watch out.  When nothing is holding back God's stored up wrath for this nation, nothing will save us.  Perhaps that is the reason there is no mention of America in the final days of earth.  Perhaps by that time there is not enough of this once great nation to be worth mentioning.  I pray that is not so.  I pray that this nation can turn itself around.  I pray that the church gets serious about being the body of Christ and stands in the gap between a fallen nation and an angry God.  Many proudly proclaim "God bless America."  As for me, I cry out to God in all humility "God, have mercy on America." 

Son of man, say to her: 'You [are] a land that is not cleansed or rained on in the day of indignation.' The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured people; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst. Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known [the difference] between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. Her princes in her midst [are] like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain. Her prophets plastered them with untempered [mortar], seeing false visions, and divining lies for them, saying, 'Thus says the Lord GOD,' when the LORD had not spoken. The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger. So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads," says the Lord GOD.  Ezekiel 22:24-31 NKJV

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