2 Chronicles 7:14
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
No doubt, the United States is in serious trouble. As he prophesied to the nation of Judah, Isaiah warned, “What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.” But that’s exactly what’s happening in our country today. These days, those who deliberately choose to live apart from God by indulging in sin and wickedness are all too often commended and congratulated for their wrong choices, while those who preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and the righteousness of God are ridiculed and portrayed as religious kooks, nut cases, and fanatics. Isaiah’s warnings were preached against Judah. He told them what would happen if they did not heed God’s warnings, but he could have just as well been talking to modern day America. America would do well to heed the warnings that Judah ignored. As far as God is concerned, sin is sin is sin. The recent Supreme Court decision that legalized same sex marriage will likely be the straw that breaks the camel’s back that invites God’s judgment.
Unfortunately, it’s been an ongoing problem for quite some time. Abortion and pornography were given the green light by our nation’s highest court decades ago and we’ve been on a slippery slope ever since. So America’s sin problem extends far beyond the sin of homosexuality and all the headline grabbing issues surrounding it. Sex and sexual situations are so casually portrayed on prime time television that it’s become almost too embarrassing to watch. I take that back. It IS embarrassing. And that’s just network television. As for the cable channels, I won’t even go there. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6: Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Sin is sin but sexual sin is especially displeasing to God. Whether it’s lust, adultery, incest, premarital sex, pedophilia, or homosexuality, it’s all detestable in God’s eyes.
Our casual attitudes toward lewd sexual conduct are not our only problem. Consider this country’s problems with drug and alcohol use. Getting drunk has become our favorite pastime. In spite of increasingly tougher laws, DWI/DUI arrests continue to escalate at an almost alarming rate as more people choose to disregard the law, their safety, and the safety of others. Again, Isaiah warned Judah of the dangers of drinking to excess: What sorrow for those who are heroes at drinking wine and boast about all the alcohol they can hold. (NLT). And again, Isaiah could have easily been talking to America. Some states have legalized marijuana which more often than not leads to harder and stronger drugs. I don’t need some study to tell me that. It’s obvious by the sheer number of ruined lives. And as drug and alcohol addiction rises, there is always a corresponding increase in domestic violence and child abuse cases. God’s word has a lot to say about drunkenness, but Ephesians 5:18 expresses it very simply: Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Drunkenness is one of those ‘obvious acts of the flesh’ that Paul spoke of the fifth chapter of Galatians, in which he said anyone who is guilty of such acts will not inherit the kingdom of Heaven.
Thank goodness we don’t practice idolatry anymore. Or do we? Even though you won’t find very many Americans worshipping statues with Old Testament names like Baal and Molech, idol worship is still alive and well. When the topic of idolatry is brought up today, I think of the entertainment industry and professional sports. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with going to the movies (depending on the rating of course), listening to music, or going to a ballgame, we have to take care not elevate professional athletes and entertainers to god-like status. And yes, people do exalt and worship entertainers and ball players. There are other false gods that most people don’t think of as false gods; money, possessions, careers, just to name a few. Anything we value over and above the God of the Bible becomes a false god, whether intentional or unintentional.
There’s also this matter of abortion. 55 million babies murdered since the Roe v Wade decision. Enough said.
And as if this wasn’t serious enough, the various atheist organizations in this country have been on a decades long campaign to remove all mention of God from every aspect of our society. Again, with help from our Supreme Court, they’ve succeeded in removing prayer and God’s name from public places like government buildings, court houses, and our schools. But it doesn’t stop there. They want to ban us from being able to express our faith publicly, period. They want no public display or discussion of religion at all, and they want that to be the law of the land! That means it would be illegal to pray over our meal in a restaurant or to put a cross on our front door. Our worship would be restricted to the confines of the walls of our churches, if they have their way. Even though that has not become law (yet), Christians are already facing other forms of intimidation. Many believers have been threatened with the loss of their jobs and some have been terminated because they refused to be ashamed of their faith in Christ. Others have been denied employment or promotion opportunities because they happened to mention their faith on Facebook. And we don’t even need to discuss what has happened inside the walls of our colleges and universities where Christian students are routinely mocked, attacked, bullied, and tormented by “enlightened” educators and other students.
Like I said at the outset, the United States is in serious trouble. This is a nation that was founded on Christian principles. But this nation is rapidly abandoning those principles, and God is not going to put up with it much longer. I think He’s getting pretty tired of this mess about now.
It sounds I’m painting a bleak picture doesn’t it? But it’s really not as hopeless as it sounds. Remember, we are followers of Jesus Christ. We’ve put our faith and trust in Him, not some political or judicial leader. No president, supreme court justice, or elected official can cure the disease of sin that is infecting our nation. No one political party has the answers. As God told Solomon in that passage in 2 Chronicles, only God has the power to heal a nation. But for that healing to take place, there’s going to have to be a major revival in America.
My pastor recently announced a new prayer initiative for our church. My church will be asking for volunteers to devote themselves to one hour of prayer, at a time of his or her choosing. The eventual goal is for there to be someone praying around the clock – 24/7 – either at the church or at home. I think that prayer time must absolutely include prayers for this nation, along with the prayer needs of the church. With the upcoming presidential election in 2016, we must start praying NOW for the person who will become our next president, even though at this time that person is known only to God. Like I said, no politician or political party can save this nation, but God does use Godly leaders and we must pray that Godly leaders will be elected, leaders with the courage to stand up to the ungodly who are leading this country away from God and ultimately, to God’s wrath and judgement. We must also pray for forgiveness since many of us, myself included, stood by silently and let it happen. We need to pray that there will be conviction, repentance, and revival in this land. We need to pray that this nation will turn back to God.
And we need to share this with other Christians. Many of you know Christians who are members of other churches. Urge them to start praying now. As awesome as it will be when round the clock prayer becomes a reality at my church, I’d like to see that in every church in America. If there’s any hope for a revival or great re-awakening, it must start with prayer.