|Repent America! Repent!|
(by Chris Long)
Before I get started, I'd like to share a poem with you:
When The Tears That We Shed...
If there was ever a time in the history of America
"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." - 2 Chronicles 7:14
Many right now are nervous and fearful regarding the economic situation which is affecting the entire world. But it's more than that: our entire country seems to have gone absolutely loony-birds and is starting to be only a vague resemblance of the country we used to be. There's a simple reason for it too: Because of our actions, God is shaking things up and we had better pay attention!
The economy, like many things that people are focussing on these days, is merely a symptom of a much larger and more serious problem. If we solve the root cause, the economy and a host of other things will be taken care of. If we ignore the root cause and continue to focus merely on the symptoms (such as the economy), we may or may not bring some short-term relief, but the problem will remain and eventually bring us down.
God has been very gracious with America and we have enjoyed much prosperity.
However, how long can we possibly continue to expect blessing from the Lord when:
- we've murdered over 40 million (yes, MILLION) innocent babies by CONSERVATIVE estimates!
- we're in the process, against God's word, of trying to make homosexuality = heterosexuality and of destroying the marriage covenant that God has ordained and upon which all civilizations are based upon!
- we've removed God out of every possible public forum
- we've taught our children, not about God, but that they are here by random chance through evolution, and that they should worship the earth and not the Creator of the earth
- we've reveled in our prosperity and in getting more and more stuff, while neglecting the things that really matter
- we're more interested in the latest "reality" t.v. show, entertainment star, the latest gadgets, then we are in following and obeying Jesus Christ, or even making an attempt at it!
- we've eroded parental rights and the family unit to the point that a parent in some states such as California can't even KNOW (be told) if their underage daughter (say 13 year old) that is under their custody and care (and not the government's) is taken by a school nurse to have an abortion!
- we've allowed ourselves to become consumed with lust and sex. Pornography viewing has become rampant with the ease of access on the Internet. As it says in Ephesians, "it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret." The worst part is that many these days aren't even content to be disobedient in secret; they actually become proud of their sin and flaunt it openly.
- churches are filled with people, but for many it is all about them and what the church can do for them....there's a common, wierd "Christian spirituality" in America where "yes I believe Jesus died for me, but don't ask me to repent of my sin and work with Jesus to stop sinning" is the order of the day. Many churches are not really teaching the full counsel of God's word. Many churches are like the large one down the street from me that USED to be full of the Spirit of God, but has been reduced in recent years to merely holding series on "how to have a better relationship", "how to have a better friendship" over and over and over again, rather than actually teaching the full Gospel and teaching the whole counsel from God's book.
- we continue to revel in all forms of perversion - trying to make evil, good - and good, evil.
The Bible says in Proverbs 14:34 that:
"Righteousness exalts a nation,
For a nation that was birthed out of people wanting to practice their Christian religion openly, without fear of persecution, you can be sure that God has had His hand on America. But it is also because of this, that if we as a nation continue to turn our back on Him, you can be sure that America will lose our prominent standing in the world. God will not be mocked. Ultimately He will have the final say on such things. He is gracious and slow to anger, but there is a point at which He will do what He needs to do.
Listen, let's just be real here for a minute and follow the simple logic flow:
If (as we say) there is a God, and if (as we say) He has given us what He thinks about things (His Book), and if we as a nation were birthed out of our desire to follow Him, and if we as a nation have subseqently in recent years been trying to turn our back on Him (even trying to "erase" our original founding documents - at least in "intent"!), and if we have been turning to do the evil He has forbidden and to embrace all forms of wickedness, THEN: we can be sure that there will be a point at which God will not allow us to continue be a beacon of light, pointing to Him, whereby other nations see us as a prosperous, "Christian" nation. We will no longer be the city shining on the hill.
It is very simple. America has been great because America has been good (as the start of the famous quote says). We have been good, because at our core, we have desired the things of the Lord. But that has been changing. And with that, eventually the "greatness" will go too.
You must understand, whether you or I agree or not, the rest of the world SEES America as a Christian country. The primary "Christian country" in the world. I have dealt with several people over the years in other countries who have written me asking me why America would do "such and such" when America is a Christian country. Believers in other countries want to know why we are so mis-representing Christianity. Many non-believers use our conflicting actions/morals with our "Christian" status to justify their dislike (or hatred) of America.
One can be sure that though God is compassionate and slow-to-anger, there is a point at which He will remove His hand of blessing from America if we continue the path we are on.
The shots across the bow are getting louder and more intense because we've ignored the many previous warnings.
I truly believe we are currently in the most pivotal time in the history of America. I wrote numerous times back in 2008 leading up to the election stating that while I couldn't exactly explain it, that election was different and very very serious. While trying not to be political, I did continually urge people to get involved and vote according to the Bible. I believed that we as a nation were being completely weighed in the balances based on our VOTES! (not our "rhetoric") Why? Because our votes show what we as a nation really believe. For whatever reason, I believed God was making it quite clear that He was drawing a line in the sand so to speak.
Since that time, we have witnessed our entire nation embarking on major, major changes, and quite honestly, many people don't even realize the extent of what is happening. Things have been progressing rapidly. I again am not going to get political. But any knucklehead (like me) can look at the situation in our country right now and know that things are building to something, as people have been taking their clear stands on one side or the other. It seems like pressure in a pot that is building more and more, until eventually something's got to give. Many people are fearful that this entire country - at least as we have known it - is on the brink of collapse. There aren't many people floating in the middle these days: people are lining up with strong opinions on one side or another. And if you haven't figured out yet, there's only 2 sides, because this isn't a political issue, but a spiritual one.
I watch a fair amount of news related shows and I watch a lot of the commentators. I can tell you without any reservation at all that although there are some that are CLOSE to seeing it, even the best of them just don't really get it - many are looking through a pinhole and missing the bulk of the picture. Most don't assign any possibility that there could be a spiritual component at all.
If the problem in our country is spiritual (and it is), political solutions mean nothing! Parties and politicians and political strategies and people focussing on the symptoms (i.e. the economy and how to fix it), means absolutely nothing unless the root spiritual problem is dealt with. If our problem is with God, our solution must necessarily include getting right with Him. Anything else that falls short of that is doomed to fail, regardless of party (or movement), or how great a politician sounds in their rhetoric on how THEY will be the one to come along and fix everything, etc. If their solution doesn't involve calling on people to fall on their faces in repentance to God Almighty, they will fail just like the politicians before them.
Things are clearly shaking in a variety of areas right now, and I believe this shaking, is a part of the process of forcing people to choose their sides (and not try to straddle the fence in the middle). Our churches have been full of wishy-washy, double-minded people with 1 foot in the Kingdom, but the rest of their body in the world. I do believe that things are shaking so that those who haven't been serious will either get serious with God in repentance, or they will ignore God and harden their hearts and will go the other way.
We are being tested. We are being weighed. How we respond will determine what happens.
Rather then trying to get things right with God, America instead has continued to defiantly disobey God. In fact, while you would think that Obama would have his hands full just trying to focus on "fixing the economy", do you realize that in his first many weeks of his presidency, he also found the time to re-establish taxpayer funded abortions overseas, promote embryonic stem cell research where babies are created specifically to be "scientific guinea pigs", and work on trying to make charity donations (including church donations) non-tax-deductible (in other words, indirectly attacking the church)? Also, at the same time, the "gay marriage" debate is continuing to rage nationwide. Recently, Obama has directed the military to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and openly allow homosexuals in the military, and efforts are underway to move towards repealing the Defense of Marriage Act. You would think that marriage would be a good thing to defend, but in this crazy land where people have hardened their hearts against the Lord and believed a lie (Romans 1), people WANT to get rid of a "defense of marriage"! As if all that wasn't enough, you add to it our distancing of support for the nation of Israel, and an appeasment policy towards Islam - even the President himself saying that we are not a Christian nation, and you start to get even a tiny glimpse of how we have thumbed our noses at God.
Many, even those within our churches, are too busy worshipping the earth - the created - rather than the Creator. And this gets reflected even in such things as movie choices (one word: Avatar). Romans 1 is a very pertinent and applicable text for what we see in our society right now.
I hate to say it, but honestly we're just not getting the message.
God has been very gracious to us. But God will ultimately honor our nation's choice not to have Him if that's what we want. He is patient with us, but He only will allow so much. God will not be mocked and He will ultimately have the final say. Never mistake God's patience for His approval. Many have made that mistake throughout history...
The ironic part of all of this is that I believe much of the responsibility for all that is going on rests with the Church. The world does what the world does. There's only 2 camps: light and darkness, believers and unbelievers. Unbelievers do what unbelievers do. They sin and obey (whether they realize it or not) their father the devil. They can't help but do anything else. But believers are to be set apart (holy) - we are to be a stark contrast to the world. The truth is that the church in America has, by and large, NOT done this. Instead we have watered down Christianity to the point where most in our churches live just like those in the world.
Notice again the 2 Chronicles 7:14 passage that was mentioned above: "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." - 2 Chronicles 7:14
Who is the "My people?" It's God's people. See, it is God's people who need to humble themselves and pray and turn from our wicked ways. The world does what the world does. But as believers, we need to genuinely repent before Him in humility and pray and turn from OUR wicked ways! And if we won't do it on our own, God will use events such as massive economic turmoil to get our perspectives right and bring us to the place where we WILL do so. God does discipline His people (the Scriptures - both Old and New Testament - are full of examples). And because we know from other Scriptures that God is love, we know that when He disciplines, even when angry, He does so out of His love.
I believe that God is extremely grieved over the moral apathy and relativism that has occurred WITHIN the body of those who claim to be followers of Him. It is we who have not really believed God's word and what He says about a whole load of things (INCLUDING, but certainly not limited to, homosexuality) and instead have watered down our churches to the point where they are just a bunch of love-fests each week where we all go to feel better about ourselves..."me, me, me"...and be confirmed IN our sin, instead of being lovingly, but firmly encouraged and exhorted to flee from sin. Exhortation is a word you'll find regarding the newly established church in the New Testament where it was practiced a LOT, but exhortation RARELY occurs today within our churches. And when one does do so, they get chided for not being loving enough, being judgemental, spewing hate, etc.
The church is the one institution that God has established for His work to be done and for cultures to really be changed for the better in what really matters. But when the church becomes powerless because we have rejected His truths, well then where will the light come from? It won't come from the government, you can be sure of that!
There is a rattling going on and it needs to wake the church up from our serious slumber. We must repent both for ourselves personally and for all of us corporately, and we must turn to Him. If we will do that, I believe that He will use us to change this culture and His blessings will remain on us. But if we continue to refuse to repent, well.....we'd better just pray that doesn't happen...
This is serious boys and girls. This is not a joke. This is not a drill. We are talking about the future of our country and the world. Because if America goes down in a sea of Godless moral relativism, there will not be much light left for the rest of the world, and actually it will be seen to confirm (wrongly) for many in other countries that "Christianity is a joke" because "Christian America" fell...
To whom much is given, much is required!
The time to repent and fall on our faces before the Lord is now. We know instinctively that certain things are wrong and certain things are right. We know instinctively that marriage is not to be between a man and a man, a woman and a woman, etc. We know this. This is not rocket science. We know that a woman is not physically made to reproduce with another woman and nor a man with a man. Let's just get blatantly honest here: We know instinctively that the place where a man poops is not made to have another man's sexual organ put up inside of it. We know that all cultures throughout history have been based on marriage between a man and a woman. We know that God himself ordained marriage between a man and a woman. And we know that God Himself has spoken out regarding the sinfulness of homosexuality. We know it is not His plan. We know He did not make us that way. We've just chosen to reject this knowledge so we can claim we are "loving" and "non-judgemental" because, after all, wasn't Jesus loving and non-judgemental? (yes, that's the ridiculous argument used to try to silence the church). Who wants to deny two people who love each other the RIGHT to be married to each other? You see how easy it is for people who name the name of Jesus to be taken in by such incorrect thinking? But we can't do that any more.
We must stand firmly for what is right and declare what is wrong in love. We must repent.
But if we don't, I can assure you, in the name of Jesus Christ, that what is happening will sooner or later (more likely to be sooner) get worse and worse and worse.
The Laugh & Lift ministry goes out to thousands of Christians around the world, many of whom are in America. A similar article as this one that I shared before the 2008 election asked everyone to join me in spending time praying and fasting for ourselves and our country. I even specified that it didn't necessarily have to be a "food fast", but maybe a fast from t.v. for a few days where people would spend some time just praying before the Lord. Do you know how many people took me up on my suggestion and joined me? Only one that I know of. To be fair, maybe more did but just didn't tell me.
I don't say this to criticize anyone or to make myself seem so holy (I'm a wretched, flawed human like you). But it is indicative of the chief underlying problem that this article is about. As a whole, the Church just plain doesn't care enough about what God says in His Word to repent and get beyond "paper thin Christianity". In fact, most so-called "Christians" haven't even read their Bibles - not even the New Testament. Therefore since many churches don't teach the full Word, most so-called "Christians" don't even know what their Bibles actually say about holy (set apart) living, sin, hell, judgement, etc. We can quote Romans 8:28 and Jeremiah 29:11 about how God is for us and going to help us, but we ignore Scriptures we don't want to hear.
Many people only like to hear flowery messages about how God loves them and wants them to be successful, fulfill their dreams, take them to Heaven, and so forth. And many of those same people don't want to hear the truth of God's Word in regards to sin, hell, and judgement - and even the Gospel truth that Jesus is the only way to Heaven! There are entire denominations and churches (including many large ones - and many you will find on the religious t.v. channel) that love to cater to these people. They won't ever tell you that you are doing anything wrong or that sin is serious and has serious consequences. They'll "uplift" you every week by just telling you how God is for you (sometimes they don't ever - or rarely - even mention Jesus!). Your ears can be tickled by any number of "pastors" that do this if you want. But you'll do so to your own detriment!
Pastors and church leaders will be held to an even higher standard because they are the ones that are supposed to be looking out for the flock. But too many pastors aren't really preaching the whole Word and thus far too many sheep are malnourished. As the "Good Shepherd" and "Chief Shepherd", Jesus Christ Himself will do whatever needs to be done for His sheep. Sometimes that means discipline and chastening both to correct His sheep and draw a distinction from those that aren't really His sheep at all!
The heat keeps getting turned up...higher and higher...can you feel it yet?
What will it take for us to open our eyes?
Will it take our entire economy and way-of-life crumbling?
Will it take massive persecution?
Do we really want to wait until that scenario plays out before we will humble ourselves before God?
We can't control what others do, but we can control ourselves. Ephesians 5 has some practical exhortation among these lines:
"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person — such a man is an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
"Wake up, O sleeper,
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." - Ephesians 5:1-21
Again, these exhortations directly relate. If God's people will humble themselves, repent, and desire to live wise, holy lives, we'll see ripple changes across society. Again, "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." - 2 Chronicles 7:14
Finally, I must end with a word of encouragement:
As things are melting down around us, we must remember that if we truly have trusted in Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, that we "did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." (Romans 8:15b-16). 1 Peter 3:13-17 says "Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. 'Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.' But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil."
We as believers in Jesus Christ, after ensuring that we are indeed right with Him, need to rest securely in this, without any fear of circumstances or of men/women. We have hope in Jesus and we can be sure that He Himself will provide and watch over us. It may not be the level that we have been accustomed to because of what we THINK we need, but He will provide for us according to what we REALLY need.
I'm reminded of this well-known passage from Matthew 6:25-34 which we would do well to re-read (actually all of Matthew 6 would be a good re-read):
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
We are not to fear man and circumstances. We are to seek God and His righteousness FIRST and He'll take care of the rest.
May we all seek Him and His righteousness today!
With love from your Brother in Christ,
This article is Copyright by Chris Long 2008-2012. You may use this article for free for any purpose, whether commercial or non-commercial, as long as you use the entire text and that all text, including this notice, is not modified or removed in any fashion. For any other usage, you must obtain written permission from the author. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.