Summary: Can America be great again?
By Chad H. Ballard
Church, some of you may have noticed that I haven’t preached a word about the events of September 11, since the Sunday following those events.
That is not because I didn’t have anything to say. I always have something to say.
But it seems in this day and age we live in, we have become reactionary people. We want to be the first to say something, the first with the scoop if you will.
Well I’m just not cut out that way. The longer I live, the more value I see in observing and analyzing a situation, before I jump in on the bandwagon.
You may have noticed that the first story you hear about an incident is not always the most accurate. And as your pastor, I am much more about the business of telling the truth, than I am about telling it first.
So today, it is time. It is time for me to address the changes and challenges that face us as a church in these perilous times. But it is also time for you to take action.
God has spoken to my heart in a very clear way this week. The results are in; and some of you aren’t going to like what I have to say. But God will. His desire is for me to tell the truth. And that’s just what I’m about to do.
America was a great nation from the start. But that was no accident. Our nation was great because it was founded on Godly principles.
John Adams once stated: “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”
He was saying that you cannot separate God from America and expect America to be great.
George Washington pointed out in his farewell address: “The two foundations for political prosperity in America are religion and morality. No one can be called an American patriot who ever attempts to separate politics from these two foundations.”
My, how America has changed. We are still wealthy. We are still strong. We are certainly a super-power. But people today, America is not great. We have turned our backs on God and our Godly heritage.
But we can be great again. Not by economic recovery or defeating Osama bin Laden; but by turning back to God.
While God didn’t cause the events of Sept. 11th, He certainly didn’t prevent them either. I believe that because of our Godly heritage, God had placed a hedge of protection around us, but when we turned our backs on Him, he removed that hedge. It may have been down for some time, but we didn’t know it until evil men executed the plans of Sept. 11th.
Look at Psalm 80:8-12. While this passage describes Israel, notice the parallels to our nation.
God has taken away His hedge of protection around us. And I want to show you why. Look at Isaiah 5:20: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”
Folks that verse describes our nation to the letter! And IT IS TIME we do something about it.
Read Romans 13:11.
I. IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP!
A. People, it’s time to break out of our spiritual laziness and get busy! The verse says our “salvation is nearer than when we first believed.”
1. Now it doesn’t take a prophet to figure that one out. We are always nearer to the return of Christ than we were moments ago. We’re nearer today than we were yesterday.
2. But we’re not promised tomorrow. So we’d better live like it’s the last day of our lives!
B. John 4:35 Jesus said, “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for the harvest!”
C. Have you ever looked at a wheat field? When they are ready to harvest, they aren’t white; they’re golden. So what did Jesus mean?
D. Well when a field of wheat has been left for too long without being harvested, a mold sets in and causes the heads of grain to turn white.
E. It’s time to wake up! Jesus is saying that the harvest isn’t coming soon, it’s come and gone and we’d better start salvaging what we can!
II. IT IS TIME TO CLEAN UP!
v. 12, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness…”