Summary: Many Christians in America have inadvertently or intentionally placed the good of our nation above the good of the Kingdom of God. They are NOT the same thing. What is the proper Biblical attitude we should have regarding our relationship with the Lord and with our nation?
God And The Nations - Part 3 - Can The Nation Be Saved
Please stand as we read our newest memory Scripture together
“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”
And our memory refresher verse(s) for today is(are) …
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.
“Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
Today we will be reading from Matthew 16:13-28
Two weeks ago we started taking a look at God and His interaction with the nations of the earth.
The first thing we did was to take a look at Acts 17:26 where it says:
From one man, Adam, God made all the nations.
Not only did He make all of the nations but He also ordained or determined when they would take place in history and where on the earth they would be located.
That is what we saw regarding the relationship between the nations and the Lord in general.
But what about the relationship between the Lord and the nation of the USA specifically. What did we find?
Here are two of the questions we asked:
Is America a dominant nation on the world stage because we have made it so or is America a dominant nation on the world stage because the Lord God has raised us up according to His plans and His purposes?
And, did the Lord God raise us up because many of our founding fathers were devout Christians or did He raise us up by selecting devout Christians to be our founding fathers? Or did He raise us up for some other reason altogether, a reason known only to Him?
To help us with the last question we went back and looked at some quotes of our founding fathers and saw that many of them were indeed devout followers of Jesus Christ.
But, does God take that into account? Apparently He does because in Psalm 33:12a it says;
“Blessed is the nation whose God is (Yahweh) the LORD.”
Finally, we looked at another factor in trying to find an answer and we found that the blessing and curse that is repeated three times in the Bible is that, “The nation that blesses (Israel) will be blessed and the nation that curses (Israel) will be cursed.” Numbers 24:5-9
Now, these last two things will certainly help a nation to be a blessed nation but what ultimately happens when the Lord decides to raise up of destroy a nation?
And then last week we took a look at the State of The Nation - the USA.
And we found that the nation is sinful in many ways. In fact the nation has so normalized sin that it revels in sinfulness. We parade our sinfulness right out in the open for the Lord and the entire world to see.
We also found that the blame for much of this falls squarely at the feet of the church in America.
So, the question we are asking today is, “Can the nation be saved?”
With that in mind let’s read Matthew 16:13-28 (prayer for help)
So, how on earth does this Scripture inform us as to whether the United States can be saved or not?
Here we will be trying to see similarities between the relationship of Israel in bondage to Rome and the relationship of America in bondage to sin.
In this passage, in Matthew 16:23 we see the only time in the entire New Testament where Jesus specifically refers to one of His chosen disciples as satan! Not because Peter WAS satan but because his ideas were contrary to the purposes of God.
In Matthew 16:23 Jesus says to Peter, “Get behind Me, satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
In the four Gospels Jesus speaks about the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God over 90 times. But He never speaks of restoring the Kingdom to Israel until He returns.
The great desire of the Israelites was that Jesus, the Messiah, would assume the throne of Israel as David’s son. He is referred to as King David’s son because His family line traces back to David.