Summary: The Church must issue to our nation a call to repentance. A Memorial Day sermon
A Nation Blessed Ps. 33:12
INTRO.: America, all through its history, has been richly blessed. Sadly, there are those who don’t recognize a debt to God. Memorial Day is a day we set aside to remember those who have served in our nation’s armed forces and recommit ourselves to the values for which they fought and died. We need to remember what has made our nation great.
ILLUS.: DeTouqueville quote. Attached at end.
The Church must call America to repentance.
I. There are signs of decline in our national life:
A. Some say we are becoming a godless nation:
1. Someone said the 10 commandments should be called 10 suggestions. I wonder if we give them that much respect.
2. Morally, we consider personal purity outdated.
3. Human life seems to have little value. We kill for cars, coats, sneakers. Even youth take murder to school.
4. ILLUS.: Abe Lincoln said If America is destroyed, it will be by suicide.
B. Perhaps it is not that we are godless.
1. We worship success, money, pleasure, sex, fame, power. Do not have time for True God.
2. We compartmentalize our lives, giving God only a few hours each week at best.
3. He cannot be treated like this. We can’t escape His Presence. Ps. 139:7-10
4. When we place other things before God, we reject God. He will reject us.
II. Consider Jesus’ parable of the vineyard: Matt. 21:33-43
A. Israel was His nation. Priests, Pharisees His leaders.
1. He made a promise thru Moses. Ex. 19:5, 6 " "Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites."
2. He renewed His promise later: II Chron. 7:14
3. But, when Jesus came, they showed their contempt by rejecting and killing Him.
B. God rejected them. Now where are God’s people?
1. I Pet. 2:9f: The Church is God’s people. "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."
2. God is no longer concerned with geography, genealogy. Acts 10:34, 35
3. He sent His Gospel message to the entire world.
C. Warning: we serve an all-seeing God.
1. His description: Ps. 33:13-15 "From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth-- he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.
2. "Forms the hearts of all men and considers what they do." A sobering thought.
3. Just as He took the Kingdom away from Israel for unfaithfulness, He may also judge us.
III. How can we apply all this to our modern age?
A. Our God no longer promises to bless only one nation exclusively. He draws His people from all nations together into His Church:
1. He knows political corruption. intrigue in our nation.
2. Recognizes our decline in moral values.
3. Is aware of how lightly we regard human life
4. Sees indifference in Church, knows when we are afraid to take a stand for truth.
B. ILLUS.: Joe Wright’s prayer. Attached at end.
1. We need to pray for America and her leaders.
2. Pray we will not just remember those who fought & died, but what they fought & died for.
3. The Church is God’s people. He made a promise to Israel when they were His people.
4. He will honor that promise for His people now.
C. We need to live godly lives, promote godliness:
1. No nation is greater than her people.
2. No one is saved by the size of his army or the power of his weapons. Ps. 33:16, 17 "No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save."
3. The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him. 18.
4. National reform must begin on a personal level, spread to family, community, etc.
CONC.: This Memorial Day let us each rededicate ourselves to living the ideals and values on which our great nation was founded. Let generations to come remember ours as the generation when reform and revival began in our land. God will bless our efforts.
Joe Wright’s Prayer
When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, this is what they heard
: "Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness and to seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, "Woe to those who call evil good" but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We confess that. We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it Pluralism; We have worshiped other gods and called it multiculturalism; We have endorsed perversion and called it alternative lifestyle; We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery; We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare; We have killed our unborn and called it choice; We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable; We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem; We have abused power and called it politics; We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition; We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression; We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to the center of Your will, we ask it in the name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen" The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In 6 short weeks, there were logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa, and Korea. Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on "The Rest of the Story" on the radio and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired. With the Lord’s help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called one nation under God. If possible, please pass this prayer on to your friends. "If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for everything."