Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The kind of people God uses to bring a nation back to Him are those who stand strong in Him, stand alone, and stand true.

Happy Birthday America! Isn’t this is a great country in which we live? After all, only in America do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries and a DIET coke. Only in America do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our junk in the garage. Only in America do we use answering machines to screen calls and have call waiting so we won’t miss a call from someone we didn’t want to talk to in the first place. & Only in America do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight. (Steve Shepherd, Mattoon Christian Church; www.SermonCentral.com)

We enjoy tremendous freedom in this country; but if we’re not careful, we can lose that freedom very quickly.

In the early 1800’s, an unknown sage from Europe visited our young country to learn the secret of her greatness. Later, he wrote: “I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers – and it was not there… in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there… in her rich mines and her vast world commerce – and it was not there… in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution – and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.” (Attributed to Alexis deTocqueville by Dwight D. Eisenhower in his final campaign address in Boston, Massachusetts, November 3, 1952, but not found in deTocqueville’s works)

Now, nearly 200 years later, one wonders, “Has America ceased to be good?”

Just 14 years ago, Joe Wright, pastor of the Central Christian Church in Wichita, Kansas, was asked to pray before the Kansas State House in Topeka, and this is what he prayed:

“Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness and to seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’ but that’s exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values.

“We confess that: We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it pluralism. We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism. We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it a choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem. We have abused power and called it political savvy. We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the airwaves with profanity and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

“Search us, O God, and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of Kansas, and who have been ordained by You, to govern this great state. Grant them Your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your will. Amen.” (Troy Borst; www.SermonCentral.com)

We were living in Kansas at the time, and I remember the tremendous amount of controversy that prayer stirred up. One member of the Kansas State House actually walked out in the middle of the prayer.

Later, Paul Harvey got a hold of Joe Wright’s prayer and read it on the radio. As a result, He got more requests for copies of it than any other thing he had ever done. Evidently, there are a lot of people in this country who agree with the sentiment of that prayer.

Many people feel that America has ceased to be good. Does that mean she will also cease to be great in the very near future?

We do well to heed God’s warning to another young nation just getting its start nearly 1,500 years before Christ. Then, God told the nation of Israel, “When you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God… You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth… If you ever forget the LORD your God… I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed” (Deuteronomy 8:12-19).

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