The people of the Nation must repent
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 7:00 pm
By: Michael Gilbert, Editorial
I’ve struggled with how to approach this letter. I always pray that I can say something worthwhile and relevant. When touching upon the country that we all love, it’s especially difficult to reach folks without offending some, because those who are concerned have a strong view of what’s right or wrong with our beloved America.
Others put their heads in the sand and ignore the problems. Some see the problems, but believe it somehow harms our country to speak of the problems.
There are those who see the problems as insurmountable and simply do nothing because “we can’t change the world” (if only I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that phrase!).
Further, some seek to alleviate America’s ills by being all positive, supposing that an “all positive, nothing negative” approach will overcome the evil they recognize in our nation.
As you’ll see, I take none of these approaches. I can do no less than write passionately about the state of my beloved nation, and for this I’ve been accused of tearing down our country, being too young to understand that I can’t change people, being too negative, and turning people off to the point that they’ll never listen to me again.
Interestingly, all these accusations came from folks who claim to love our nation. On the other hand, for every criticism I’ve received, I’ve received just as much support, if not more, from the community with calls and letters thanking me for speaking out.
Well … I’m not writing in order to sway my critics or be praised by those who appreciate my words. I’m writing to please my God, first, and also to help my family have a better America – one person at a time. I’ve labored to base my words on the Bible, which is truth that was once for all delivered to mankind (Jude 3).
Friends, our nation needs to come back to God. Nation after nation have slipped down the same destructive path on which America now travels. And we have been warned from many different sources that we must change directions. One such source is Gibbon’s studies, as revealed in “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” In this book, he speaks of five basic reasons why Rome fell, and America is very familiar with all five: (1) rapid increase of divorce, with the undermining of the sanctity of the home; (2) higher and higher taxes, the spending of public funds for bread and circuses; (3) the mad craze for pleasure, sports becoming more and more exciting and brutal every year; (4) the building of gigantic armaments, while the real enemy was within, the decadence of the people; and (5) the decay of religion; faith fading into mere form.
Friends, Rome’s path of destruction should serve as a wake-up call to us, but its decline and fall aren’t the only voices of the past to which we should listen.
God’s prophets of old preached against an Israelite nation in much the same condition as our beloved America. Jeremiah wrote, “Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number” (2:32). We must realize that America has offended a Holy God by falling prey to sin and iniquity, and we must return to a higher standard of morality and devotion to God. Moses, in the long ago, wrote, “… be sure your sin will find you out” (Num. 32:23).
America’s National Sins
Have Found Her Out
Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”
Friends, I also tremble for my country when I see certain things.
I tremble when I see a love for things replacing a love for God. America is fascinated by material things. “Things” are our god. Yet, Jesus warned against such when He said, “Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Lk. 12:15).
I tremble for my country when I see people depending on government for “salvation” from every financial crisis rather than God, and His divine precept of hard work (2 Thess. 3:10).
I tremble for my country when I see America’s homes in shambles. Divorce is rampant in our land even though the Lord clearly taught, “… whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery” (Matt. 5:32).
I tremble for my country when I see children who cannot fulfill God’s command to “obey your parents” and “honor thy father and thy mother,” because one or both have abandoned their family and their parental responsibility (Eph. 6:1-2).
I tremble for America because abortion is accepted by many in our nation. According to public records, there were about 9,000 abortions in Shelby County, Tennessee in 1999. How many of you personally know of a family touched by abortion? Even some “Christian” religions are now condoning this heinous crime against nature and nature’s God.
I tremble for my country when I see homosexuality accepted as a normal, viable sexual option.
Disdain for homosexuality is frowned upon in the eyes of many, even though Jesus taught, “… He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh.” Dear reader, did you know that the lifespan of practicing homosexuals is around 40 years? I tremble when I see Americans dancing in the streets each time another state legalizes same-sex marriage.
Surely the words of Hosea 4:1-3 speak to our generation, “Hear the word of the Lord … for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood. Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish … .”
Illegitimate children, fornication, adultery, violent crime, murder, rape, theft, pornography, divorce, etc., are common occurrences and no longer shocking to us.
We can rest assured that we will reap, no, are reaping, what we have sown. God is not mocked (Gal. 6:7). America is no longer known by the world as a beacon of hope. We are known as a haven for hedonism, and because of this I tremble for my country. Surely America’s sins have found us out, and we will surely pay with the loss of our great nation if we don’t change course. Still further …
America’s Religious Sins
Have Found Her Out
Christianity, which was correctly perceived as the only true religion in the eyes of America’s founding fathers, is systematically being torn down and replaced with Islam (a very violent religion), Buddhism, Atheism, Humanism, etc., in the public sphere, and this in spite of Jesus’ assertion that “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me” (Jn. 14:6).
The sin of false doctrine plagues America, even though the Bible says, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God.”
We are no longer concerned with the boundaries of Bible doctrine. At one time, though denominational disagreements existed, Americans were concerned that the Bible be preached to them. We desired freedom to worship God according to our varying interpretations of the Bible. Now, this desire has faded. We, as a nation, now believe that all religions are valid. The Muslims are right. The Buddhists are right. The Hindu religion is right. But, Bible believers are wrong for preaching the Bible as the book above all books and Christianity as the religion above all religions.
I tremble for my country because the old paths are ridiculed and few demand Bible preaching today.
Our nation responds to God’s Word today just like Judah of old, “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein” (Jeremiah 6:16).
In a land with so many Bibles, “a generation has arisen that knows not God” (Judg. 2:10).
Jeremiah could just as well have been describing America when he wrote, “A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (Jer. 5:30-31). And finally …
America’s Christians’ Sins
Have Found Her Out
For too long, Christians have not lived as Christians ought to live. We have a penchant for rationalizing our lack of Bible knowledge, and immoral actions. Christians are trading the “great Salvation” of Hebrews 2:3 for lives of entertainment and pleasure, or for a preacher who will tickle their ears.
Brethren, I tremble for our nation when I see old Bibles that look brand new (Ps. 119:11, 105), knees that are not calloused by prayer (1 Thess. 5:17), Sunday evening and Wednesday night pews that are empty (Matt. 6:33), and Bible preaching being replaced with emotional stories, drama, poems and skits, when Paul plainly said, “preach the word …” (2 Tim. 4:2).
Both the church and the nation must repent. National repentance and obedience to the Gospel is the only remedy for our current situation. We must rend our hearts and not our garments (Joel 2:13). God pleads with us, “… I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked … turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die…” (Ezek. 33:11).
Thanks for your time.