A little boy asked, “Mommy, do you remember that priceless vase that’s been in our family for generations? Well, this generation just broke it.”
The current generation of Americans has broken what previous generations have held sacred, and a state of emergency exists in this nation. America is indeed a leader in the world. America is #1 in violent crime, in divorce, in teenage pregnancy, in voluntary abortion, in illegal drug use, and in illiteracy in the Western World. We know the words of Proverbs are so very true: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (14:34). Tonight, we will examine the state of emergency in the United States as well as what we as the people of God can do.
We have, as we have mentioned previously, an emergency as it relates to abortion.
God despises the killing of the innocent! “There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood” (Prov 6:16-17). If you could ever find anything more innocent—save God himself—than a child in the womb, I would really like to know what it is! In recounting the sins that led to the Babylonian Captivity, God says, “You took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your whorings so small a matter that you slaughtered my children and delivered them up as an offering by fire to them?” (Ezek 16:20-21). Every day more than 4,400 babies are killed; nearly 30 million have been killed since Roe v Wade was handed down by the Supreme Court.
We also have an emergency as it relates to homosexuality.
The recent decision by the California Supreme Court demonstrates that we have a crisis in this nation regarding homosexual behavior. Furthermore, the fact that neither of the two major Presidential candidates is really to denounce gay marriage unequivocally demonstrates that we are in a state of emergency. It is time, my brethren, that we have a frank discussion about homosexuality—everyone else already has had that discussion! We are living in an age of “tolerance” where Christians are accused of being “homophobic” and “religious bigots” if we speak out against homosexuality.
Yet, we must speak out against homosexuality, for Scripture condemns such behavior. “God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Rom 1:26-27). Homosexuality is listed as a sin which will keep one out of the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:9). In fact, Paul uses two different terms here—the terms refer to active and passive partners in homosexual acts.
In 1989, two heterosexual women in Madison, Wisconsin, advertised for a roommate. They turned down a woman because she was a homosexual. The two ladies were summoned before Madison’s Equal Opportunity Commission, interrogated for hours, order to pay $1,500 in fines, forced to attend “sensitivity training” at a local homosexual organization, and had their living arrangements monitored by the Madison Equal Opportunity Commission for two years.
A homosexual group went to Kowling Elementary School in West Springfield, Mass, this past year. They passed out cards that read, “Girls who love girls, and women who love women are OK. Happy Valentine’s Day.” The cards also included an 800 number that was an advertisement for a gay phone sex company. They were asked to leave the school after about 15 minutes, and they were only charged with trespassing.
There is also a state of emergency concerning sexual promiscuity.
Our nation lacks the moral courage to teach abstinence—the philosophy is: “Young people are going to have sex, so we need to teach them to be safe.” Why does it have to be a given that we are automatically going to engage in immorality of any sort? Joycelyn Elders, when she was Surgeon General, advocated the distribution of contraceptives in schools. Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg wrote a paper at Columbia Law School where she advocates lowering the age of consent for statutory rape to the age of 12. In the past 20 years, 2 billion have been spent on the ideology of safe sex; yet teen pregnancy, disease, and abortion have risen astronomically. 52% of Americans think premarital sex is a morally gray issue.
God has spoken on the issue of sexual promiscuity. “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Heb 13:4). “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body” (1 Cor 6:13).
There is also a state of emergency regarding the teaching of evolution.
Evolution has been taught to our children from the time they were infants, and many come to accept it as fact. For example, in The Berenstain Bears’ Nature Walk, the Bear family encourages their readers to go for a walk. As readers go for the walk, one encounters these words: Nature is “all that IS, or WAS, or EVER WILL BE!”
Scripture tells a different story. “God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:26-27). Romans 1:22-25.
We often sing and pray for God to bless America. But, why should he? This nation has become so corrupt and so vile, what is there about this nation to commend it to God. Why should God not judge this nation just as he did Sodom and Gomorrah so many ages ago? Thomas Jefferson supposedly said, “Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”
WHAT CAN WE DO?
We live in a rural area, and we are a small number—what can we do to turn the tide in this nation? “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps 11:3)—David’s question rings especially true in light of the current American culture. William Shirer wrote a book entitled The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. In that work, Shirer writes about the executed at Auschwitz. Germany was an educated, industrialized, and civilized Western European nation. How could such atrocities occur in such a nation? Shirer concludes: “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to remain silent.”
Brethren, I submit that we have been silent about the moral decline in this nation for far too long, and it is past time for us to stand up for what is right. Yet, how shall we stand up?
We need to pray.
We must never—under any circumstances—forget the great power available to us through prayer. “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (Js 5:16). “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever” (Eph 3:20-21). Jesus told the disciples “a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart” (Lk 18:1).
A man once had a dream that he was in heaven and walking with the angel Gabriel. He said to his angel-guide, “What is that big building over there?” “You’ll be disappointed,” he answered. “I don’t think you’ll want to see it!” But, the man insisted, and the angel showed him floor after floor of beautiful gifts, all wrapped and ready to be sent. “Gabriel, what are all these?” the man asked. The angel said, rather sadly, “We wrapped these things, but people never asked for them.” “You do not have, because you do not ask” (Js 4:2). Let us not be those who forget to ask!
For what things should we pray?
It is imperative that we pray for the leaders of this nation.
“I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Tim 2:1-2). We need to lift up the names of our President, leaders of Congress, justices of the Supreme Court, governor, members of the legislature before the throne of God!
We need to pray for God’s will to prevail on earth.
In the model prayer, Jesus prays, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:9-10). The kingdom of God is the reign of God in the hearts of men. What Jesus prays for here, it seems to me, is for people to come to God and to live as God desires—Jesus prays, in essence, “Let your kingdom be sovereign in the hearts of men and may men do as you would have them do.” Surely, that is a prayer that needs prayed now as much as it did before.
We need to pray that we are not influenced by the evil around us.
As Jesus prays for the disciples, he prays, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one” (Jn 17:15). We know that it is possible to live among wickedness and not be overcome: Lot was “greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard)” (2 Pet 2:7-8). Yet, Lot, of course, suffered much heartache because of the sinfulness with which he surrounded himself—he lost his wife and as he was hiding after the destruction of Sodom, his daughters got him drunk and Lot fathered his own grandchildren. Let us pray to be kept from the evil one and that his influence may be kept from our families!
We can also acknowledge that truth is absolute.
In 1966, Joseph Fletcher published a book entitled Situation Ethics: The New Morality. In his work, Fletcher argued that the only rule that should ever govern human behavior is love. He writes: “There is only one thing that is always good and right, intrinsically good regardless of context … and that one thing is love” (p. 60); and again “When we say that love is always good, what we mean is that whatever is loving in any particular situation is good” (p 61).
While that may be what governs many in this world, that attitude dare not govern us. “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judg 21:25). “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (Jn 17:17). There are standards of right and wrong that do not change under any circumstances. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Ps 119:105)—Scripture has been given to guide us as we seek to do the Lord’s will.
We also need to establish proper values.
In Berlin, Wisconsin stands a tombstone erected by a man who is still living. Inscribed is his name, date of birth, a blank for the date of his death, and the line “Bowled 300 in 1962.” Another man made a living with the circus by being able to put 17 golf balls in his mouth.
We must make certain that we keep what is truly important at the forefront of our lives. “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl 12:13). “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?” (Matt 16:26). The patriarchs “all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth” (Heb 11:13). Let us be certain that the values by which we live are appropriate values!
We also need to take responsibility for our actions.
In this society, there are few who are willing to own up to their actions. On November 27, 1978, Dan White, a former San Francisco Supervisor assassinated Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. Do you know why White killed Moscone and Milk? Psychiatrist Martin Blinder testified that White had been a fitness fanatic and health food advocate, but he had been consuming Twinkies and Coca-Cola. Furthermore, Blinder testified that junk food could worsen existing mood swings. White was therefore judged incapable of committing premeditated murder and was convicted of voluntary manslaughter. Therefore, instead of saying that the devil made us do it, we can exclaim that the Twinkies made me do it!
There can be no such thinking among the people of God: “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (Js 1:13-15).
We also need to evangelize.
The very best thing we can do for this nation is to share the Gospel of Jesus with our friends and neighbors. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17). “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12:1-2). Notice that it is through the power of God that people are transformed and changed.
Is there any hope for this nation? Absolutely!
“You are the salt of the earth” (Matt 5:13). We can change this nation one person at a time. But, first it is up to us to return to God and his Word. Do you need to return to God and his Word this night?