A Miracle for America
The Psalm you have is the prayer of a patriot. Here's a man praying for his nation. And he's praying for revival. I want to tell you I make no apology whatsoever for being a red-blooded, flag-waving American patriot. I believe it is logical, I believe it is reasonable, I believe it is Biblical to be patriotic. A roving reporter came up to a man on the street and said, "Do you know what the two biggest problems in America are?" The pedestrian said, "I don't know and I don't care." The reporter said, "You have them both." Amen.
The two biggest problems in America: number one is ignorance and number two is apathy. People don't know and they don't care. And we have people today who think, "Well you're not supposed to be patriotic. Somehow everything's just supposed to be one big globe, one world. Somehow if we're patriotic that's almost un-Christian. We're told today that you can't be a Christian and love your country. Well that's ridiculous.
Now when I love my country that doesn't mean I don't love other countries. When I want God to bless America that doesn't mean that I don't want other countries to be blessed. It just means that America is my father land. This is the land of my birth and this is the land of my loyalty and the land of my responsibility. I love all people, but one day I'm going to have to stand before God and give account for myself. So I've got to look out and make certain that I'm right with God because I can't answer for you and you can't answer for me. I love your family, but the Bible says if I provide not for my own, especially of those of my own house I have denied the faith. I am worse than an infidel. And when I have a responsibility and a loyalty to my family that doesn't mean I love your family any less. That just means that I have an assignment from God. That is, my family.
I love all churches, but dear friend; I have a responsibility to Orion church, because this is my church. I'm a member of this local body. If I don't love it, pray for it, support it, and under gird it, then I have failed; I have sinned against God. I love all the countries of the world. But this is home, the land of our birth, and our God given assignment. We can pray it, mean it, say it, sing it, shout God bless America. Listen, folks, I want to tell you, I still want to stand at attention when old glory goes by. And I still get a lump in my throat when we pledge allegiance to that flag, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. I still don't mind getting a little wet in the corner of my eye when they sing the Star Spangled Banner. And I hope I never do get cold or indifferent about these things. I say it and I really believe it, folks. We live in the greatest nation on earth. That doesn't put down anybody else's nation.
Why is America great? Because we have greater natural resources? Other nations have great natural resources. Because Americans are smarter? Yankee ingenuity. No folks. Why has God blessed America? God has blessed America because America has been built on certain basic God-given principles and presuppositions. No country ever had such a Christian beginning as America. The American dream was placed in the bosom of our founding fathers by Almighty God. America is different because of its beginning.
In 1620 when those Pilgrim Fathers came to these shores, they came for a specific purpose. They came on that little ship the Mayflower and they went down into the cabin of the Mayflower and they wrote out a document called the Mayflower Compact. This document that they wrote begins in these words, "In the name of God, Amen." That's the way they began. And in the Mayflower Compact they said this, that their coming to the colonies was for, and I quote "For the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith." That is why they came to these shores. A South American president was talking with Roger Batson, a leader of yesteryear, and they were discussing the difference between South America and North America.
You know our land has been so blessed. South America, while composed of many great nations and mighty natural resources, has lagged far behind North America. And so they were discussing the difference. And Roger Batson said to this South American president, "What do you think the difference is?" That South American president wisely said, "I'll tell you the difference." He said, "Those who settled South America came to South America because they were seeking for gold. Those who came to North America came to North America because they were seeking God."
That is the difference. Dear friend, no nation ever had such a beginning as our nation. Today we're celebrating Independence Day. We call it Independence Day because it was the day of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Do you know how that Declaration of Independence goes? "We hold these truths to be self evident." That means we don't argue about it. It is obvious. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." Now notice, they believed in a Creator, they believed in God. "By their Creator." They didn't believe in evolution. "All men are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights." We have rights. But the government does not give these rights, God gives the rights. We are endowed by God with certain unalienable rights. These rights that the government cannot give and therefore the government has no right to take away, because they come from God. I want to tell you that the Declaration of Independence was a declaration of independence from England, but at the same time it was a declaration of dependence upon Almighty God. You read it and you will see that this is truth.
Now we have some revisionists. You say, "What is a revisionist? Well these are people who want to rewrite history. They want to change history as it were by rewriting history and leaving out some of the aspects of our national heritage. But I want to remind you dear friend that our nation was born in the heat of a spiritual revival. Of the 55 men who were framers of the constitution, 50 of them were professing Christians. Thirty of them were bold Christians. 20 of them were believing Christians. But 50 out of the 55 men who framed the Constitution were Christian men. Madison, James Madison, the architect of the federal constitution and the fourth president of the United States said this, I quote, “We've staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government. Far from it. We have staked the future upon the capacity of each and every one of us to govern ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the 10 commandments of God."
That's a significant statement He's saying, we have put it all down. We're laying everything on the line. We're not dependant upon government to save us. We're depending upon individuals to govern themselves upon the premises of the 10 commandments of Almighty God. Remind you, this man, a president of the United States, the fourth president, was the chief architect of the constitution. George Washington, the father of our country, said on April 30, 1789 in his first inaugural address, I quote, "My fervent supplication is that Almighty God who rules over the universe, who provides in the counsel of nations and who's providential aid can supply every human defect, that His benediction," that is, that God's benediction, "will concentrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United Sates, a government succeeded by themselves for these essential purposes." He went on to say, "We ought to be no less persuaded that the propentiate smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation with disregard to the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself has ordained." He didn't mind speaking about God. I'm sure if they had an ACLU there at that time they would have said, "Now, Mr. President, you ought not to be talking about God like this in your inaugural address." But you see he was a man who believed in God and he knew that this was a nation born in that kind of experience.
It was General George Washington who knelt in the snow there at Valley Forge and prayed God's blessing on his little rag tag continental army and God gave a victory. When a visitor visited the Continental Congress, he was sitting in the gallery. He wanted to know which one was George Washington. The man next to him said, "George Washington will be the tall man that gets on his knees when Congress goes to pray. That's the kind of a nation that we have. That's the kind of a birth that we've had.
In December of 1820 Daniel Webster said this, "Let us not forget the religious character of our origin." More than 100 years ago, a century and a half ago. "Let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers brought hither their high reverence for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, labored in its hope, they sought to incorporate and infuse its influence through all of their institutions, civil, political and literary." What Daniel Webster said is this that our founding fathers wanted to infuse every area of our life with the principles of Christianity.
John Quincy Adams, in 1821 said this about the American Revolution, "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this it connected in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity." Did you hear that? It connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of Christianity with the principles of government. Did you hear that? Now what does that mean? It means that our forefathers believed as I believe and I hope you believe in the separation of church and state, but they never for one New York minute believed in the separation of God from government. Never. And don't you let anybody tell you any different. Because if they do, they are lying. Lying. Friend, no nation ever had the kind of a beginning that our nation had. John Quincy Adams went on to say, "From the day of the declaration," and he's talking about the Declaration of Independence, "were bound by the laws of God which they all, and by the laws of the gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledged as the rules of conduct."
On June 8, 1845 President Andrew Jackson said, "The Bible is the rock upon which our republic stands." That's not some Baptist preacher saying that. That's Andrew Jackson. "The Bible is the rock upon which our republic stands."
Abraham Lincoln, in 1861 as he was bidding his farewell in Springfield, Illinois said this, "Unless the great God that assisted Washington shall be with me, and aid me I must fail. But if the same omniscient mind and mighty arm that directed and protected him, shall guide and support me I shall not fail. Let us pray that the God of our fathers may not forsake us now." Good advice Abraham Lincoln. Do you know what Mr. Lincoln had to say about the Bible, the book that I have here before me? In regards to this great book he said, “It is the best gift God has given to men. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated in this book. If not for it we would not know right from wrong.” He certainly didn't believe in values clarification. He didn't believe in the kind of willy, nilly ethics that we have today, situational ethics. He believed that we have a Bible that tells us right from wrong. How are we to say what is right apart from what is from God? He goes on to say, “All things most desirable for man's welfare, both here and hereafter are to be found portrayed in it." That is in the Bible.
In 1913 President Woodrow Wilson said, "America was born to exemplify devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived in the Holy Scriptures." This is our birthright to practice the righteousness which was born in the Holy Scriptures. Who said this? A president of the United States.
And in 1931 the United States Congress adopted the Star Spangled Banner as our national anthem. I love the fourth stanza which says, "praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation. Then conquer we must when our cause is just and this be our motto, in God is our trust." That my friend is our national anthem
In 1952, the Supreme court justice, William O Douglas said, "We are a religious people and our institutions presuppose a supreme being.” You tell that to the ACLU. You tell that to other people who will make us believe that somehow we've not come from this kind of a background.
In 1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "The purpose of a devout and united people was set forth in the pages of the Bible, to live in freedom, to work in a prosperous land and to obey the commandments of God. This Biblical story of a promised land inspired the founders of America.
It continues to inspire us. In June 1954, Congress adopted the phrase, "Under God," to be put into the Pledge of Allegiance. And now when we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United Sates of America, we pledge it this way, "One nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all."
And in 1956 not so very long ago, by a joint resolution Congress had adopted the bill making the national motto of the United States of America this, "In God We Trust." Ronald Reagan has rightly said, "The time has come to turn to God and reassert our trust in Him for the healing of America. Our country is in need and ready for a spiritual renewal."
I like the way the song "America" says, "Our Fathers' God to thee, author of liberty, to thee we sing. Long may our land be bright with freedom's holy light. Protect us by thy might, great God, our King." We didn't vote Him in and we can't vote him out. He is the king. Now I want to say again, I believe in the separation of church and state. I don't believe that the church has any business meddling in the internal affairs of the state. And I don't believe that the sate has any business meddling in the internal affairs of the church. That is one of the things that our founding fathers wrote into the constitution. I believe in the right of every American to believe in God or not to believe in God. I believe in the right of an American to be a Jew, a Buddhist, an atheist, a Mormon, a Baptist, a Catholic, whatever. But I believe this dear friend, that we have freedom of speech. Thank God for it. I'm so glad I can stand here in this place and preach today. I'm so glad that the door won't burst open and the Gestapo come in and take me out. I'm so glad I can preach a sermon like this and we can say to the government, "This is the way we worship our God. This is what we believe." And we believe in the freedom of speech. We believe that it extends to all Americans everywhere.
Therefore we believe that children in school have a right to pray because the freedom of speech allows them to do that. They don't have a right to force prayer on anybody else, but they have a right to exercise their faith. Any free born American has the right to pray anywhere and no government has the right to step in and say you can't do it. This is a great nation and I'll tell you why this nation is a great nation, because she has been built on great, great principles.
But I must confess to you with a broken heart, that America is sick because she has forgotten God. Now God had given his people Israel a great heritage and the Psalmist talks about that heritage in the first several verses of this Psalm. But then those people got away from God. You see God had blessed them. No nation up until that time had such a glorious history as Israel. God had called them out and God had blessed them. And by the help of God and the aid of God they had broken the gnawing and tormenting chains of bondage and they had come out of the land of Egypt and they had come into a bountiful land, a land flowing with milk and honey and God just starting pouring blessing after blessing upon them.
And they prospered and they were blessed. And then they forgot God. They went after other gods. They became sleek and well-fed and God judged them. And calamity came. Then we have the prayer of this prophet, "Wilt thou not revive thy people again that they may rejoice in thee." "Wilt thou not revive us again," verse 6, "That thy people may rejoice in thee." I tell you my friend, America is sick and if something doesn't happen, America, that was born in 1776, is soon to join the graveyard of the nations. The scream of the great American eagle has become the twitter of a frightened sparrow. And what used to be the greatest nation in the eyes of many has become a laughing stock in the eyes of many. And the old ship of state has lost its mooring and it's on a collision course with disaster. We have let the secular humanists come in and try to bring us away from our roots and bring us away from the principles upon which we are founded.
And we have all kinds of dehumanizing influences, because there's nothing more dehumanizing that so-called humanism. And that is seen dear friends in the taking of the lives of little pre-born babies here in the United States of America. If you want to see how low we've gone, don't look at pornography to see. Don't look at the narcotics industry to see. Don't look at the horrible racism to see. Don't go to the slum lords to see how low we've gone. Don't go to the back room politics. If you want to see how low we've gone as a nation, if you want to see why we are ripe for judgment, go back and review again what happened in 1973 when nine men, Supreme Court justices, said that little pre-born children no longer have civil rights. That they have been dehumanized. That their personhood has been taken from them. Ladies and gentlemen, that's what Hitler did to the Jews. Before the gas ovens he took away their personhood, their human rights. Their right to be recognized as persons. They were then treated as things to be destroyed.
Every day in America 4,300 precious little pre-born children are put to death. They are
murdered. There is something mighty wrong in America. The other day I read of a father who took his newborn child, he was in the delivery room, he took that newborn child that had just been delivered, took it and threw it upon the floor and crushed the life out of that little baby. Do you know what they did to that father? They arrested him and charged him with murder. And well they should have. But I want to tell you something ironic. One day earlier a medical doctor in a white coat could have taken the life of that child and they would have paid him for it. Does that make sense to you? No and it doesn't make sense to God.
You know when I talk this way somebody will say, wish you preachers would stay out of politics." Friend, I'm not talking about politics now. You know what happens when you preach on these issues they say, "Now he's getting political." But then you get the politician with the fog horns going on over here and making speeches somewhere. And you say to the politician, "Sir tell us what you feel about abortion." "Oh," he says, "That's a religious matter." When I talk about it they say that's a political matter. Then when he doesn't want to talk about it he says it's a religious matter. I want to tell you whether it is political or whether it's religious, it's wrong. It's wrong to take the lives of these little babies. Did you know that in the United Sates of America if you willfully and deliberately destroy the egg of an eagle, if you crush the egg of an eagle do you know what they will do to you? They will fine you 5,000 dollars and put you in prison for a year. For destroying the egg of an eagle. They say, "Well of course, there's a little baby eagle in there." Friend, listen, we're talking about human beings. What's more important? A bird or a baby? What is more important? Well, they say, "We're not sure when life begins." Well then if you're not sure you better be careful.
I mean suppose I'm out hunting and I shoot into the bushes because I see some movement in there? The next scene is in court. They say, "You killed an innocent human being." I say, "It's not my fault. I saw some movement. I didn't know whether it was an animal or a human. I didn't know so I just shot. I wasn't sure." Do you know what they would say to me, "Mister, you better not squeeze the trigger until you are sure." Now I'll tell you if we're not sure when human life begins then who gets the benefit of the doubt? I'd say it's that little baby in the womb. I'm sure when human life begins, it begins at conception. What other kind of life is that? Animal life, vegetable life? It's human life. There's a little baby in their and God have mercy upon us. When a nation begins to destroy its own there is something wrong and I tell you, listen friend, the judgment of God, the seething judgment of God is upon this nation. And we need to pray and say, "Oh God, wilt thou not revive us again that thy people may rejoice in thee." Now you are not going to hear a lot of the things that I preach and say today in the media.
As a matter of fact, the media will put us down for it. They are trying to make us look like backwoods, red necked, some right winged fanatics or stuff like that. They'll call us by all kinds of derogatory terms because the media is weighted against us. What you see on television, they will tell you, the media moguls are just holding up a mirror to America. It's just a mirror. They say if you don't like it we're just showing you what you are. But dear friends the statistics tell us that there is 10 times more violence on television than there is in society. It's not America. They are leading. They are projecting. They are leading us out further and further and further and further away. They say they are unbiased.
In 1982 Jane Fonda's book on exercise was listed in the New York Times as the number one best seller. But I want to tell you something. That same year, Francis Schaeffer had a book, "Christian Manifesto". One of the finest books ever written. It sold twice as many books as Jane Fonda's book. It wasn't even listed in the New York Times. Not even listed. Don't tell me that there's not a bias. Don't tell me that there's not a prejudice.
There are people who would like to rewrite our history and there are people that would like to keep us in some sort of a vacuum and there are people who want to move us more and more and more away from the Judeo Christian background upon which we have been founded. And it's time that some of us prayed the prayer of a patriot. Wilt thou not revive us again, that thy people may rejoice in thee.
Now think with me for a moment about the source of this revival. Wilt thou not revive us again. Do you know where our hope is? It's not in Washington. It's not in the Pentagon. It's not at Wall Street. Where is our hope? Our hope is not with the Democrats and our hope is not with the Republicans. We don't need to give our hopes to either one. We need to stay a little aloof so that we can say to the Democrats and to the Republicans, repent. Our hope is in God. But not only is God our hope, God is our biggest threat. I'm not as concerned about what the communists will do to us as I am about what Almighty God will do to us if we don't repent. "Wilt thou not revive us again." Now notice the subject of revival, "Wilt thou not revive us again." Who? Let me ask a question. Where is the problem in America? It is not in Hollywood. It is not in the pornography shop. It is not with the liquor dealer and the beer baron. It is not with the backroom politicians. Do you want me to tell you where the problem in America is? It is right here in this room. "Wilt thou not revive us again." God's people. God says in II 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 sins and will heal their land."
God looks to His people to repent. You know as I know that our churches are filled with moral worldings who are living double lives and sing, "God bless America" with crocodile tears in their eyes. But God says that when we are humble and when we are holy we will be heard and we will be healed. God will heal our land and we can take God at his word. "Wilt thou not revive us again that thy people may rejoice in thee." What is revival? First of all it is a time a weeping when we are broken for our sins. Secondly it becomes a time of weeping when thousands of people come to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And then it becomes a time of rejoicing.
We rejoice in Him, in God. We're not asking for a revival for America's sake, for our sakes that we might have bigger buildings and greener lawns and finer parties and healthier kids, no. That we might rejoice in God. So many of us are seeking God's hand, rather than seeking God's face.
But Revival is the smile of God, the blessings of God upon us. America needs revival. America is sick ladies and gentlemen. But there is a God in Heaven and as long as there is a God in heaven I refuse to give up hope. Now if we can't have revival in the world, then let's have revival in America. And if we can't have revival in America, then let's have revival in Arkansas. And if we can't have revival in Arkansas, let's have revival in Orion. And if we can't have revival in Orion, then let's have revival in the choir and if we can have revival in the choir then let's have revival in your family and if we can't have revival in your family, then let's have revival in you. And say oh God, begin a revival. God is a gracious God and we need to pray the prayer of a patriot, Oh, God wilt thou not revive thy people. Revive us oh God that thy people may rejoice in thee.