God Save Our Country

Bible Book: 2 Chronicles  7 : 14
Subject: America; Independence Day; Prayer; Family

Tension had been building up between Great Britain and the American colonies for about ten years. The British government passed a series of strict laws, and the colonists resisted them. The disobedience of the American Colonies angered the British government. In 1775, Britain's Parliament declared Massachusetts, the site of the protest to be in rebellion. They ordered their troops in Boston, and the Revolutionary War broke out.

The American Colonies were unprepared for war. They lacked a government, an army, and a navy. The Congress directed the war effort, and appointed George Washington commander in chief of the Continental Army.

During those dark days, certain American patriots greeted each other with the words, "Friend, God Save Our Country." God heard their prayers, and this led to the birth of our nation. That prayerful greeting is as good today as it was in 1775. It should be in the hearts and on the lips of every Christian citizen today, for our country needs saving and only God can save it.

I. God Save Our Country From Complacency

A woman and her grandson were on board an ocean liner. While she was gambling her grandson shouted, "Grandma, the ship's on fire." "Go away," she said, "I'm having a good time." He returned a few minutes later, and shaking her he said, "Grandma, this ship's on fire." "Don't bother me," she yelled. "It's not our ship."

The fires of crookedness, capriciousness, crime and child-killings have broken out in our country. They have leaped over the boundaries of our countries and states, and they have become major conflagrations. Our country is on fire, and our complacency is adding fuel to the flames.

Martin Niemoller said, "In Germany they came for the Jews. I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics. I didn't speak up because I was Protestant. Then they came for me. By that time no one was left to speak up."

The blight of our land today is an insipid church and an indifferent country. We have a complacent pulpit and a careless pew. There is belief without a blaze, prayer without passion, and worship without warmth. We give, but there's no sparkle to our singing. We witness, but there's no warmth to our witness. We're lukewarm. And when there's lukewarmness in our churches there's lawlessness in our cities. When there's worldliness in our churches there's wickedness in our cities. When there's no holiness in our church there's hellishness in our cities.

During the 2nd World War, it was imperative that a general get back to his headquarters immediately. In the deep darkness and the pouring rain, his driver made his way out of one shell crater after another and got him there safely. The general complimented him. But the driver said, "General, sir, I just kept saying to myself, 'I'm in this jeep, too'." Our country needs saving. Everybody's demanding, "Why doesn't someone do something?" But we're in this jeep too. So let's help, not yelp.

The Lord says in 2 Chronicles 7:14, "If My people, who 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 sin, and will heal their land."

II. God Save Our Country From Crookedness

An efficiency expert was asked to examine the program and personnel of a large company. After a careful investigation of several weeks the expert said, "This company needs conversion immediately." "But," said the president, 'we are in the process of converting our machinery." "I'm not talking about the conversion of machinery," he said, "but of the conversion of men. From the chairman of the board of directors to the lowest man, you need a conversion of selfishness to unselfishness, from dishonesty to honesty."

Ever since Adam and Eve sinned against the Lord, mankind has been plagued with a bent toward dishonesty. It's seen in the church and the community, in our government and the globe, in our professions and our politics, in our schools and our sports. Our nation is beginning to accept a new code of ethics that allows for deceit and dishonesty. A just released 1990 survey said 91 percent admitted they lied during the year.

We need to be converted from our dishonesty with our family. It's dishonest when a parent tells a ticket seller his fourteen-year-old son is only twelve because he wants to pay less for a child's ticket. That one is teaching the children to lie and steal. It's no wonder they cheat on their parents, their professors and in their professions.

We need to be converted from our dishonesty with our friends. When you give into gossip, or repeat a rumor, or spew our slander, are you not dealing with dishonesty? We need to be converted from our dishonesty with ourselves. What about forgetting to count a stroke, or moving a ball, or fudging on the golf score? Employer, are you honest with your employees? And employees, are you doing your very best every hour that you are on the job? You may be playing a losing game. You're caught up in alcohol or drug addiction. You're cheating on your partner and you're killing your parents with your wrongdoing. You're making your children resentful with your nagging and your friends disgusted with your ego. Get down on your knees in honesty with yourself and get right with God.

We need to be converted from dishonesty with God. It's easy to fool other people. Fooling yourself is harder. Fooling God is impossible. Yet you try. You sing, "Where He leads me, I will follow." But you take your way, not His. You sing, "Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee." But what you mean is, "Take my life and let it be. . . Don't expect me to witness and work, to tithe and teach. Just take my life and let it be."

There was a man who wasn't honest with others, himself or God. He was so crooked he had to screw his socks on and off. One day he complained to God about his neighbor, praying, "O Lord, take away this wicked person." And the Lord asked, "Which?" That brought him to repentance immediately.

III. God Save Our Country From Carousing

When the siege of Troy by the Greeks had reached a stalemate, Ulysses thought of the idea of offering a magnificent wooden horse to the Trojans as a gift. Cassandra, daughter of the king of Troy, begged them to reject the gift, but all to no avail. The wooden horse was brought within the walls. That night Greek soldiers came out of the wooden horse, opened the city gates, and admitted the Greek army. The Trojans were defeated and the city was destroyed. Satan is using a wooden horse today. It's filled with enemies of our country, who will open the gates to the servants of Satan who, in turn, are set for the destruction of our country.

Think on Intoxication. Hamilton Beasley, president of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence reported, "10.5 million adults show symptoms of alcoholism and 7.2 million more are alcohol abusers. Nearly half of traffic deaths are alcohol-related. Drunken drivers are eight times as likely to have a fatal crash per miles driven, and 25 percent of those hospitalized have alcohol-related problems. Alcohol abuse and dependence will cost the country $136.3 billion this year. Fetal exposure to alcohol is a leading cause of mental retardation."

The Wall Street Journal reported that more than three-fourths of the eighth graders and almost 90 percent of the tenth graders said they had used alcohol. More than a fourth of the eighth graders and almost two-fifths of the tenth graders said they had five or more drinks at least once during the preceding two weeks.

College-age students get drunk more than non-students. Surgeon General Antonia Norvello released a survey of 1,200 students by the National Institute on Drug Abuse showing that 41 percent had five or more drinks in a row in the past two weeks vs. 34 percent of non-students. Among those now in college, 240,000 to 360,000 - as many as will earn post-graduate degrees will die from drinking, according to the U.S. Office for Substance abuse Prevention.

Why are so many teenagers turning to drink? They were introduced to it around the age of 12, often by their parents. Parents who approve of drinking and are drinkers themselves are more likely to have drinking children.

What of Addiction to Drugs? Christian Victory reported that almost one-third of students on American college campuses have tried marijuana and one-seventh use it regularly. These finds were made public in Washington, D.C., before the Congress by the National Institute of Mental Health. One out of every four youths ages 13 to 17 - 4.25 million -have been offered illegal drugs in the past 30 days, says a Gallup Poll. And one out of 5 say friends regularly take drugs. A National Institute of Drug Survey found that young people are more than twice as likely to use marijuana if their mother or father died.

The National Parents' Resource Institute for Drug Education reported that "cigarettes - not alcohol - is more apt to lead to cocaine or marijuana use. There is a chemical trigger in the brain's (pleasure center) which, is set off by nicotine, making it more sensitive to stimulation to coke and pot. Among the findings of the survey of 380,000 students: 27 percent of senior-high students who smoke cigarettes use marijuana at least weekly, compared with 6 percent who drink alcohol and use marijuana weekly. Fourteen percent of junior-high students who smoke use marijuana, compared with 2 percent who drink. Five percent of the senior highers (and 3 percent of junior highers) who smoke and use cocaine at least weekly, compared with 1 percent who drink.

Johnny Cash a former drug addict testified, "When you take drugs, you may be in ecstasy for a few minutes, but you're soon on a ridge of terror. Take it from a guy who's been there. It ain't worth it."

Think on Immorality. The Children's Defense Fund reported that every day "623 teenagers get syphilis or gonorrhea; 2,795 teens get pregnant; 1,106 teens have abortions; 1,295 teens give birth; 2,556 children are born out of wedlock; 6 teenagers commit suicide; 211 children are arrested for drug abuse; 437 are arrested for drinking or drunken driving; 1,512 teenagers drop out of school; and 3,288 children run away from home."

The CBS-TV news - magazine, 48 Hours, explored adolescent sexual practices. Among the statistics cited: Half of American adolescents are sexually active, producing about a million pregnancies each year. The U.S. government supports teenage mothers to the tune of $20 billion a year -that's $200 per taxpayer."

The FBI reports that there's one forcible rape every 6 minutes. And the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges say "sixty to 80 percent of adult sexual offenders reported they committed their first sex offense as teenagers. Adolescent sex offenders average 7 victims; adult sex offenders 380 victims. The average age of adolescent sex offenders is 13 or 14; the average age of victims is 7. More than 50 percent of young boys who are sexually abused and as many as 20 percent of the girl victims, are molested by teenagers."

Christianity Today reported that "a new case of sexually transmitted disease is caught by teens at the rate of one every 13 seconds. It's no wonder that the Centers for Disease Control researchers reported "the death toll from AIDS in the United States has topped 100,000, with nearly a third dying last year, and is escalating."

These things frighten me. They make me feel like the man who bought a clock and hung it on the wall of his spacious living room. He'd go to bed at night delighting in the striking of his clock, and he'd count as the clock would strike. One night something went wrong with the mechanism in the clock. It began to strike, and he began to count. He got up to ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen -and he shook his wife shouting, "Wake up, Ma. It's later than I ever knowed it to be." I honestly believe it's later than we realize.

IV. God Save Our Country From Child-Killings

USA TODAY reported, "One of two females have sex between 15 and 19. One out of 23 have an abortion yearly."

Dick Bohrer wrote in the Moody Monthly, "Every twenty-four hours, 3,600 American babies are aborted. That's 1.32 million a year. And it's perfectly legal. The Supreme Court has declared abortion an American freedom."

But if something is morally and Scripturally wrong, it can't be made right simply by passing a law making it legal. The criteria for right or wrong come from God, not the government, and it's wrong to take a life.

It's written in Genesis 1:27, "God created man in His own image." This refers to the trinity of our nature. A tree has a body, but no soul or spirit. An animal has a body and a soul, but no spirit. But man has a body, a soul and a spirit.

Because man was mentally, morally, and socially like God, he could make choices. He had the power to choose the right and the privilege to choose the wrong. He chose to do the wrong, and man still chooses to do wrong in taking the lives of unborn infants.

"But," you may protest, "as a woman, and since it's my body, I'll do as I please." You're wrong. That embryo has a distinct life from the very moment of conception. Though it's nourished by a mother's blood supply, it manufactures its own red and white blood cells, has its own heartbeat, and sends out its own brainwaves. Does not that unborn child have a right to life? Taking a life is murder.

Testified Bernard Nathanson, M.D., who turned against the abortion movement that he helped organize, "There are 75,000 abortions in my past medical career, those performed under my administration or that I supervised in a teaching capacity, and the 1,500 I have performed myself... I now regret the loss of life... the errors of history are not recoverable, the lives cannot be retrieved."

Cried one who had an abortion, "I didn't want my baby. I wanted to be free. Then, too I was a drug addict. I was convinced that my child would be diseased or destined to become a drug addict. So I insisted on an abortion. I can't sleep at night. I can't rest during the day. I'm a baby-killer. Where can I wash from my hands the blood of an unborn baby? She came to the Lord Jesus, confessed her sins and was cleansed. Our Lord took that little one home to heaven. She couldn't bring her child back, but because she received the Lord Jesus she'll be with her child in heaven.

In thinking about abortion you must remember that life is a gift from God, a sacred trust. Anything that violates that trust is a sin. It must not be condoned. In God's sight every individual is of unspeakable worth. He made us. He placed us in this world. And, because of our sin, He sent His Son to die for us on the cross.

A homeless man was picked up in the ghetto and taken for the dead. But he heard one say, "Throw this worthless creature into the dumpster." "Boys," he sobbed, "call not a person worthless for whom Christ died."

V. God Save Our Country From Crime

Here's how the clock ticks on crimes and other violations at our campuses: there's one larceny every 4.3 minutes; one vandalism incident every 12.5 minutes; a burglary every 27 minutes; an auto theft every one hour and 43 minutes; a violent crime every 2 hours and 12 minutes; an aggravated assault every 3 hours and 20 minutes; a robbery every 9 hours and 30 minutes; and a rape every 21 hours.

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for our nation, there's 1 burglary every 10 seconds, 1 motor vehicle theft every 22 seconds, 1 robbery every 1 minute, 1 forcible rape every 6 minutes, and 1 murder every 25 minutes.

In "Christian" America, there are 100 times more burglaries than in "pagan" Japan. The Bureau of Justice Statistics report shows: in one of 13 households (7.1 million), a member becomes a victim of a "high concern" crime, such as rape robbery or assault by a stranger or burglar. Members of 141,000 households were raped, 872,000 robbed, and 3.7 million assaulted. Yet 96 percent of our citizens say they believe in God, and over 80 million claim to be born again. More than 500 million Bibles were printed in our country last year, but 100 million Americans say that while they own a Bible they never read it. Apparently we have a religious boom but a moral bust, for cases of violent crime and murder shot up 10 percent in 1990.

We can walk safely on the moon but not safely in our markets. We have conquered outer space but we are conquered by inner sins. We have produced the best military but the worst men. One minister has stated, "No clever arrangement of bad eggs will ever give you a good omelet." No clever environmental or educational collective arrangement of bad persons is going to give you a good society. The soul of improvement is the improvement of the soul. You can't have a new community without becoming new creatures in Christ.


How does one become a new creature in Christ? First, by repentance. That means to change your attitude and actions, your mind and manners toward self, sin and the Savior. It involves a turn to the Savior from sin. It implies a change in direction and deportment. Repentance isn't conviction, but there's no repentance without conviction. It isn't contrition, but there's no repentance without contrition. It's a turning about. Think of Saul who became Paul. He was a persecutor of Christ, but he repented and he became a preacher of Christ. Think of the Samaritan adulteress. She was a dirty tool for dirtier men, but she repented and became a saintly soul winner.

Repentance is also thinking alike. It's agreeing with God. It means having God's point of view. Jack Eldred, owner of the drug stores that bear his name, is an example of this. Shortly after he committed his life to the Lord he was walking through one of his stores and he noticed racks of pornographic magazines on sale. He went home, had a talk with the lord, and decided to agree with him about this. He called his company executives and told them to remove all copies of Playboy and Penthouse from the racks. But they protested they'd lose millions of dollars of profits. But he persisted, and his 1,700 stores are free of pornography.

Second, by receiving Christ. The word "Christian" is spelled Christian. if you remove Christ from Christian you have i a -n. Without Christ I-a-n means "I am not a Christian."

"Well," you may ask, "how do I receive Christ?" To look is to receive Him with your eyes. To hear is to receive Him with your ears. To take is to receive Him with your heart. To choose is to receive Him with your will. During a wedding ceremony I asked the bridge, "Will you have this man to be your wedded husband?" "I don't know" she answered. Turning around to the audience I announced, "There'll be no wedding today."

Now let me ask you, "Are you willing to receive the Lord Jesus?" You have a choice to make. While you're choosing, you're in one of the choices. Suppose your car is stalled on the railroad tracks. You have a choice to make. To stay in your car or get out. If you get out - life. If you stay in - death.

However, while you're making your choice, you're in one of the choices. While you're wondering, "Shall I sit in the car or shall I get out?," you're still in the car. That means death.

Won't you right now make the decision to open the door of your heart and ask the Lord Jesus to come in? "Who, me?" you reply. "I'm not going to make a decision." Yes, you are. You're receiving Christ or you're rejecting Him. If you do nothing, that's a decision to reject the Lord Jesus Christ. But you will receive Him, won't you?

Third, by re-establishing the family altar. Only the family altar can alter the family. It's a country-saver, a dispute-adjuster, a happiness-promoter, an obstacle-remover, a problem-solver, a victory-giver. Many children have gone straight because their parents bend their knees as they gathered as a family to read the Bible and pray together every day. A father called his neighbors and said, "Mother and I went for a walk with our little boy this evening, and he's lost. Help us find him." A search party was gathered and they tramped the fields in vain. Then someone suggested, "Let's join hands and do it again." They did, and they found the boy. Cried the father, "Why didn't we join hands sooner!

A family that's together with Christ here will be together with Christ hereafter. Mother and father, let's join hands with the children and confess Christ together, read the Bible together, pray together, and go to church together.

A country needed saving. Just when they were about to go down in disastrous defeat, Joshua said to the people, "Choose you this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" The people said, "We will serve the Lord." And the Lord saved their country.

What will you do? Dare you turn to the Lord Jesus from all your sins and say with Joshua, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!"