Summary: This message is a "Part 2" continuation of my sermon - "Blessed Is The Nation Whose God Is The Lord." (*Powerpoint Available - #205)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(PowerPoint slides used in this sermon are available at no charge. Just e-mail me at email@example.com with your request - #205.)
(Much of this sermon came from books by David Barton, and excerpts from other sermons. Unfortunately, when I prepared this in July, 2000, I was much more concerned about the message I was trying to impart than in taking the time to footnote the sources.)
TEXT: Psalm 33:12; 144:15
Last week my message was entitled, “Blessed is the Nation…”, based on Psalm 33:12 which says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He chose for His inheritance.” And in my introduction I said,
“We’ve gone a long ways away from our roots as Americans. So, one of my goals this morning is to do a little bit of education. In fact, this message is more of a history lesson than a Bible lesson, & that bothers me because I’d rather preach Bible-based sermons where I take a passage of Scripture & explain what it says, & do my best to apply its message to the needs of our lives today.”
In fact, it bothers me so much that a few years ago I talked it over with some of our men who met on Friday mornings for Bible Study & prayer. We came to the conclusion that there is so much about our nation’s early history that most Americans just don’t know. And what finally convinced me to go ahead with this type of sermon was this statement: “People need to know this, & if they don’t hear it at church, where will they hear it?”
Our school systems & colleges & universities have become so secularized - so distanced from religion - that huge chunks of information about the spiritual roots of our nation are neglected, & unless you hear it from Christians, where will you hear it?
So, in my sermon last week I mentioned some things that are worth knowing about the roots of our nation, about what’s right with America. And I pointed out:
“The first thing right with America is that our earliest settlers were people who came here primarily looking for religious freedom. Other nations, for the most part, came into existence by conquest for selfish & ambitious motives. But it was primarily in the atmosphere of God, not gold, that America was born.”
After giving some illustrations to back that up, I said: "But before I go any further, please remember that around 150 years passed by from the time of the earliest settlers to the beginning of our nation. And we’re not very proud of some of the things that happened during those years.” And I told you about some of those things.
But then something amazing happened! Beginning in 1734, a series of great crusades & revivals began to spread throughout the 13 Colonies. So many people came to Christ that that era is known by historians as “The Great Awakening.” Tens of thousands dedicated their lives to Jesus Christ & were baptized.
ILL. Benjamin Franklin wrote, “It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious, so that one could not walk through the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street.”
Then I asked the question: “Why am I telling you all this?” It was because this “Great Awakening” was a precursor to the American Revolution.
Our Founding Fathers, the signers of the Declaration of Independence, those who wrote our Constitution & the Bill of Rights, those who put their lives on the line, who fought & died that we might be free – all these grew up & came into leadership while this “Great Awakening” was engulfing the land. The generation that experienced the “Great Awakening,” those who had a strong desire to be pleasing to God & to do His will, became the leaders of the American Revolution!
Finally, I suggested that “America was founded by men & women who acknowledged God’s supreme rule over men & nations.” They weren’t perfect. They weren’t all devout Christians, but they all acknowledged that God was the supreme ruler over men & nations.
PROP. With that, I ran out of time, & brought my sermon to a close, mentioning that there was more that could be said. Well, so many of you urged me to follow up on what I was saying, that I agreed to do so this morning.
I. AMERICA WAS PROTECTED & DIRECTED BY GOD IN ITS FOUNDING
Continuing with that message, then, I also believe that America was protected & directed by God in its founding. The British Empire at the time of the Revolutionary War possessed the most powerful fighting forces on the face of the earth. The rag-tag assembly of volunteers, farmers & tradesmen who composed the ranks of the Continental Army were out-manned, out-gunned, & out-financed.