Summary: The greatest institution in and for this nation is not the white house but the church house and the strength of a nation is found in strong families and strong churches.
If My People . . .
Griffith Baptist Church – 7/6/08
Text: 2nd Chronicles 7:12-16
Key verse: 2 Chronicles 7:14 - If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
1. It is true that verse 14 is specifically talking about the nation of Israel
2. It is equally true that Christians are God’s people as well
a. (to the strangers in Asia [1:1] - 1 Peter 2:9 - But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:
b. The church is spoken of here - 2 Corinthians 6:16 – And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
3. There can be no lasting national reform that returns a nation to God without the church getting serious about the work it is called to do.
a. Without spiritual strength there will never be any national strength.
b. We can say all we want that we are concerned for our country, but if we don’t get serious about the work of the church first, our country will never be what we know it needs to be – Proverbs 14:34 - Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
4. Our nation is in trouble:
i. Nearly half of pregnancies among American women are unintended, and four in 10 of these are terminated by abortion. Twenty-two percent of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion.
ii. In 2005, 1.21 million abortions were performed, down from 1.31 million in 2000. From 1973 through 2005, more than 45 million legal abortions occurred.
iii. At least half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by age 45, and, at current rates, about one-third will have had an abortion. (The Guttmacher Institute - http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html)
i. As of 2003, there were 1.3 million pornographic websites; 260 million pages (N2H2, 2003).
ii. The total porn industry revenue for 2006: $13.3 billion in the United States; $97 billion worldwide (Internet Filter Review).
iii. Adults admitting to Internet sexual addiction: 10%; 28% of those are women (internet-filter-review.com).
iv. More than 20,000 images of child pornography posted online every week (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 10/8/03).
v. "At a 2003 meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, two thirds of the 350 divorce lawyers who attended said the Internet played a significant role in the divorces in the past year, with excessive interest in online porn contributing to more than half such cases. Pornography had an almost non-existent role in divorce just seven or eight years ago." (Divorcewizards.com)
vi. 47% percent of families said pornography is a problem in their home (Focus on the Family Poll, October 1, 2003).
vii. 9 out of 10 children aged between the ages of 8 and 16 have viewed pornography on the Internet, in most cases unintentionally (London School of Economics January 2002).
viii. Average age of first Internet exposure to pornography: 11 years old (internet-filter-review.com).
ix. Largest consumer of Internet pornography: 12 - 17 year-old age group (various sources, as of 2007).
x. Adult industry says traffic is 20-30% children (NRC Report 2002, 3.3).
xi. Youth with significant exposure to sexuality in the media were shown to be significantly more likely to have had intercourse at ages 14 to 16 (Report in Pediatrics, April, 2006).
xii. "Never before in the history of telecommunications media in the United States has so much indecent (and obscene) material been so easily accessible by so many minors in so many American homes with so few restrictions."
- U.S. Department of Justice, Post Hearing Memorandum of Points and Authorities, at l, ACLU v. Reno, 929 F. Supp. 824 (1996).
c. Illegal Drugs
i. Percentage of teenagers who used any illegal drug – 8th gr. 14:8%; 10th gr. 28.7%; 12th gr. 36.5%.
ii. Percentage of teenagers who reported using marijuana – 8th- 11.7%; 10th- 25.2%; 12th-31.5% .
iii. Percentage of teenagers who say using marijuana occasionally poses a "great risk," – 8th- 48.9%: 10th- 35.6%; 12th- 25.9%.
d. The list goes on and on:
ii. Dysfunctional families
iii. Teen suicide on the rise
iv. Greed and vice
5. Is it any wonder:
a. There is a rise in natural disasters
b. There is a frequency in economic crises