Summary: America has one choice and one hope, and that is turning from our sins and back to God.
America's Only Choice
Text: 2 Chron. 7:14-15
1. "It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.
We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.
But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us" (Abraham Lincoln, 1863).
2. Just like we were in 1863, I believe that today our nation is at a crossroads.
a. Our politicians are at one another's throats and pointing fingers at each other as the root of the problem.
b. Our economy is crumbling, and we are in more debt than our nation will ever be able to repay.
c. Our society has an ever increasing appetite for sin, and the same things that we used to be ashamed to talk about are not celebrated.
d. Even the church has lost its way, as more and more of our mainline churches are abandoning the teachings of sacred Scripture.
e. As we get ready to celebrate our nations independence, we have to ask ourselves is there really anything to celebrate.
3. Yes we are at a crossroads, and unless something changes, and changes radically, we are destined for destruction.
Proposition: America has one choice and one hope, and that is turning from our sins and back to God.
4. Please stand as we read together 2 Chron. 7:14-15
Transition: The first things that we must realize is that...
I. America Needs The Church.
A. My People
1. This is a very familiar and often quoted passage of Scripture, particularly from the OT, and one that I believe is crucial for our nation today.
2. It begins with, "Then if my people who are called by my name..."
a. The sentence, as it continues, forms what is probably the best known and most loved verse in all Chronicles.
b. It expresses, as does no other passage in the Bible, the stipulations that God lays down for a nation to experience his blessing, whether that nation be Solomon's, Ezra's, or our own.
c. Those who have been chosen to be his people must cease from their sins, turn from living lives of proud self-centeredness, pray to the Lord, and yield their desires to his Word and his will.
d. Then, and only then, will he grant heaven-sent revival (v.15).
3. However, I think that there is a certainty here that is often overlooked. Notice that it says, "If my people..."
a. Most certainly in this context he is talking about the nation of Israel.
b. But in a larger sense, and especially in our modern context, he is talking about the Church.
c. He is not talking about unbelievers; he is talking to us...the Church!
d. In the things that follow he is calling us to take the lead.in leading our nation to repentance, restoration, and revival.
e. He is calling us to stand up and be the Church!
B. Rise Up O Man Of God
1. Illustration: Rise up O men of God,
The Church for you doth wait.
Send forth to serve the needs of men
In Christ our strength is great,
In Christ our strength is great.
2. If there is going to be revival in the land the Church must turn back to God.
a. Acts 2:42-43 (NLT)
42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.
b. If there is going to be revival in the land the Church must be the Church again.