The USA, a Great Nation | Let's Not Lose American Exceptionalism
- Summary: I was raised in a family that loved the United States of America. To this day I get teary-eyed at patriotic events such as the singing of our national anthem or a flyover by military jets. But the USA today doesn't resemble the country I grew up in more than 60 years ago. Moral decline has established itself in virtually every segment of society. Is there hope for this nation? Yes! We can keep America a great nation, but only if we do it God's way, not man's.
My father’s father immigrated to America from one of the poorest counties of Ireland. He did hard, honest work and became a patriotic American in this great land of ours, retiring as a respected police detective. My Mom’s ancestors came over much earlier, some of them on the Mayflower. They came and established this country, as the 1620 Mayflower Compact says, “for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.” I'm proud of my ancestors who helped to found this nation.
My friend Zenik came from Poland. He became a patriotic American and loves the USA. His wife Gina came from Guatemala and became a solid citizen and she, too, loves her new homeland.
Tom, a fellow pastor, traces his ancestry to a former king of Denmark. Tom served in the U.S. Army, loves the United States of America, and is a productive citizen. My friend Joe had ancestors below our southern border. Joe is a fine citizen, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and loves being an American.
I too love the United States of America. As a confirmed patriot, I believe in American exceptionalism. To me, the USA is the greatest nation in the history of the world. Our focus today is: “Let’s keep America Great.” How can we do that?
Proverbs 14:34, NASB Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
- •• The destiny of a nation hangs on the balance of righteousness and sin.
- • When righteousness prevails, a nation is exalted.
- • When sin prevails, a nation is disgraced.
- •• Let’s look at America today. How are we doing? —
- • We have widespread and culturally accepted abortion on demand, something which in our laws was criminal 40 years ago.
- • A major Christian denomination is in utter chaos because of pedophile priests!
- • Movies and TV shows routinely portray unmarried men and women living together as a normal, acceptable thing.
- • Our culture increasingly glorifies perverted, deviant lifestyles as normal and, in many cases, encouraged.
- • A relative who was an IRS auditor once told me that only 5% of Americans are scrupulously honest on their tax returns.
- • Divorce rates are higher among Christians than among non-Christian Americans.
- •• Can this country survive these things? Yes, if...
- • 2 Chronicles 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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
- •• Let’s keep America great by doing our part in a nationwide commitment to humility, to prayer, to seeking God, and to sincere repentance from sin.
Proverbs 28:28, 29:2 When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding; but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive.... [29:2] When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.
29:2, KJV When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.
- •• A second thing that will dramatically set the course for this great nation is whether we voters allow the “wicked [to] rise to power” or we work — and vote! — to ensure that “the righteous are in authority”.
•• Not Democrat or Republican ... not liberal or conservative ... but righteous versus wicked!
- • The Bible says, “He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God” (2 Samuel 23:3, KJV).
- •• When I was pastoring in southern Oregon years ago, a highly qualified and honorable Christian man ran for the U.S. Congress. He would have made an excellent Congressman — intelligent, God-fearing, godly, biblical. But southern Oregon’s Christians failed to vote for him in sufficient numbers.
- • Fellow believers in the Lord and His Word, it is our job to put the righteous into authority, and in that way to help keep America great.
Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.
- •• Terrorism! Americans abroad, and even in the USA, increasingly live under the threat of terrorist activity.
- •• 9/11/01 was a tragic date in our national history. Islamic militants hijacked aircraft and crashed them into both World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. Some Christian leaders were ridiculed for suggesting that perhaps God was judging America.
- • Was God judging America? I don’t know; I can’t make that assessment (and please do not misunderstand or misquote me as if I were saying that; I’m not.).
- • However, let me ask another question — Was God protecting New York and Washington, DC, that day? Obviously not!
- • Is God protecting the USA today? I don’t know. The Scripture above says that when our ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes our enemies live at peace with us. I ask: Is the Lord “pleased” with America’s rampant sexual immorality, widespread acceptance of homosexual lifestyles, free-and-easy divorces, and the abortion of over a million American babies every year? I leave that to your judgment. (I know my answer!)
- •• But I do know something we can do about that —
- • We hundred million or more born-again Americans can live in such a manner that our ways please the Lord.
- • The result of that? — God will make “even [our] enemies live at peace with [us]”.
- •• Does that sound too far-fetched a solution? Consider Israel in Bible days.
- • When Israel served God, He prospered them, enlarged their borders, and protected them.
- • When Israel backslid from serving God, they were attacked and subdued by the Philistines, the Midianites, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Medes, the Persians, the Romans, and others.
- • When Israel repented, God once again delivered them.
- •• How can we keep America great? — Lamentations 3:40 “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.”
Matthew 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hades [KJV: gates of hell] will not overcome it.
- •• One of the best ways to keep America great is to have a nation full of great churches.
- • Not mosques or temples or kingdom halls, but a nation full of great churches full of godly people that know, love, and serve Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
- •• Jesus said that it is the Christian Church that will not be overcome by the very forces of hell itself.
- •• What’s the fastest way to stop the national plague of abortions? Get all the abortionists saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, and serving God in churches teaching the Bible as the Word of God Almighty.
- •• It is to the Church and its people that Jesus gave heaven-sent power, not to politicians or Hollywood actors or sports heroes.
- •• Think of the power and bondage-breaking anointing that could flow out of every church full of people submitted to God, full of the Spirit, loving Jesus, and obeying His Word.
- • Power to save sinners and totally change their lives.
- • Power to reach cities, towns, and villages with a life-changing message of repentance and forgiveness.
- • Power that will heal sick bodies and deliver desperate, hopeless souls from bondages and oppressions.
- • Power to spread biblical teachings of righteousness throughout every community.
- •• Then multiply that influence by the more than 300,000 church congregations estimated to be in the USA today.
- •• How can we keep America great? — Fill her full of Bible-preaching, Spirit-filled, holy-living churches.
Summary: Some things that will help keep America great:
- • Righteousness exalts a nation. Upright, godly living.
- • Individual and national repentance from our wicked ways.
- • Working to put righteous, godly men and women in positions of authority.
- • Live lives such that our conduct pleases the Lord, and He in turn, as promised, causes our enemies to be at peace with us.
- • Fill our land with Bible-believing, Holy Spirit-filled, out-reaching churches that honor Jesus Christ and His Word.
I can think of no better encouragement to conclude this topic than Psalm 33:12, which declares:
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord"
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©2013, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.