Summary: America's core problems have not changed. Ultimately the solution will not be political, but depends upon choices the church makes.
2 Chron. 7:14
Richard Tow 9/18/16
I take as my subject this morning “The Solution for America.” America is in trouble. Almost everyone recognizes that. Our national debt is over $ 19 trillion. We have another housing bubble taking shape. The threat of war rattles throughout the world: in the south seas of China, Korea, Iran, Syria, Ukraine, and Russian border in Europe.i The threat of terrorism is still very real. We have problems that need to be solved.
Our politicians are proposing solutions. We are fully engaged in the process of electing our next president. The first debate between Clinton and Trump will come Monday after next. Two more will follow in October.ii Tremendous resources are being spent on this process. Obama spent $ 745 million becoming president in 2008.iii I do not know what the cost will be for Clinton and for Trump. But millions upon millions of dollars are being spent. Millions and millions of people are hoping for solutions from the political arena.
I do not believe any sustainable solution will come from that direction. I faithfully vote. I appreciate Christians who actively stand for godly values in the political sphere. We should support them. We should do what we can to establish godly laws in the land. But the solution for America will come in a different way.
Have we diagnosed the problem effectively in the first place; or, are we just swinging at symptoms. A competent doctor knows the importance of an accurate diagnosis. If the diagnosis is wrong, the treatment will probably be wrong, as well, maybe even harmful and detrimental. The problem in America is that we have more bad people than good people. We have more selfish people than unselfish people. The condition of the nation is a direct reflection on the condition of the Church. The only hope for America is a godly Church.
The solution for a nation in trouble is laid out in our text. 2 Chron. 7:14. I will begin reading in verse 13. “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”iv When you leave God out of the equation, you will probably misdiagnose the problem. God sets the stage in verse 13. “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people.” There are various problems mentioned in that verse. The absence of rain would indicate the absence of prosperity. The devouring of the land with locusts and pestilence additionally undermines the peace and wellbeing of the people. But notice who is ultimately in charge of all this. “When I shut up heaven….” The problems are not just random coincidences of things that just go wrong. God is withdrawing His blessing. He is shutting up heaven (which has both a natural and spiritual application). He is withholding the rain and even sending locusts and other pestilence. I don’t know why Christian leaders are afraid to say that God does this type of thing, since God makes many statements like this in Scripture. If God can shut up heaven, he can also open it up and pour out the rain. He controls it all. So when we start looking for a solution for America, if we come up with one that leaves God out, we probably don’t have a real solution. God gives the solution in 2 Chron. 7:14 “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face,and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” In the end, if God doesn’t heal the land, the land will not be healed.
I just want to make three comments about this solution.
I. The Solution rests with God’s people, not the world.
The solution begins with these three words, “if My people.” The unsaved people out there in the world will simply behave according to their nature. Sinners will be sinners, and continue to be sinners. They will grasp for money. They will grasp for power. They will lie. They will cheat, steal, manipulate, and do whatever they think necessary to get what they want. This should not surprise us. The Apostle John tells us “… the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). But the solution does not begin with them.
I find it very comfortable to set up a “them and us” dichotomy in my mind. The “them” is all those ungodly people in America who have a political agenda contrary to biblical truth. The “us” is Christians who want a wholesome, God-fearing society. So with that dichotomy, what needs to happen? All those ungodly people in the “them” category need to recognize that we are right and they are wrong. They need to do a 180 degree change in agenda. That is a nice, comfortable, tempting position for me to take. It protects my pride and puts me in the winners’ circle.