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Grace Notes Sermon Ministry:
One Nation, “Under God!”
There are a growing number of Christians who think that believers should not be involved in government and politics. There are several reasons for this attitude:
1. Afraid of promoting a social gospel (churches which are only trying to make the world a better place…to go to hell from)…substituting culture for Calvary…never talk about getting saved, or the blood of Jesus. This is a viable concern, we don’t want that.
But we shouldn’t throw the baby out w/ the bathwater! Yes, we need to keep our focus on getting people saved…a heart change
(ill.—educate criminals…no heart change?…smarter criminal…now, instead of petty theft—just imbezzle!)
It will be my privilege today to show you from the Bible that involvement in government IS part of the work of the church.
2. Given up hope. They say, “it’s too late for America”, we’re past the point of no return…all that remains is judgment.
Well, I see their point, we are moving swiftly to judgment if we don’t repent and come back to God…but I look at my children, and I say, I will not give up on America! I look at Rom. 13 and say, I will not give up on America! There IS hope, if (and that’s a big if), if we will do what the Bible says:
II Chron. 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 sin, and will heal their land.
Read the book of Judges…clearly, our God would rather forgive and restore, than judge! Over and over, Israel would turn their back on their Godly heritage. But, they would repent, and God would forgive them and restore them…but it was always conditional! (If)
3. “I see politics as dirty…it’s beneath us as Christians…all politicians are crooks…my citizenship is in heaven…all we’re voting for is the lesser of 2 evils”
These people are so tired of scandals, and so tired of the political news section of the paper looking like a tabloid, they’ve lost their heart to be involved at all.
4. Some Christians have been intimidated…and they’ve heard the ACLU talk soooo much about the separation of church and state—that they’ve actually started to believe in it.
In case you don’t know, that phrase never appears in the Constitution!
(however it is found in Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto!) It was coined in the U.S. from a letter the principle framer of the Constitution and Third President Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association assuring them that he would keep the Government out of the Church (NOT the Church out of the Government). He was saying, never again will there be a government sponsored church like you had back in England, where everyone is forced to attend and support!
Check it out for yourself, the first amendment actually says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…
If there IS such a thing as separation of church and state, it is intended as a one-way street!
Some say, no, they wanted to keep both separate!
Well, let’s think about that.
Our first president, George Washington, took the oath of office and put his hand on what? (the Bible)
What was his first official act as President? (kissed the Bible, then held a 2 hr. praise/worship session in Congress)
How did they determine to open sessions of Congress? (prayer)
Who would lead in those prayers? (chaplains)
How would they be paid? (tax dollars)
Does all of that sound like they wanted to keep God out of government?
By the way, opening in prayer is a mystery to investigate…why is it that the little boys and girls cannot, but the big Congressmen can?
Who decided to put “In God We Trust” on our coins? (because they pulled a fast one on a government that wanted to keep God out of government!) It was adopted by Congress in 1956!
*In 1776, 11 of the 13 colonies required that one had to be a Christian to be eligible to run for political office.
*In 1777, the Continental Congress voted to spend $300,000 to purchase Bibles for distribution in the nation.
*The GETTYSBURG ADDRESS states "...this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom..."
*94% OF THE WRITINGS OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS OF THE U.S. CONTAINED QUOTATIONS FROM THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.
*THE STATE CONSTITUTIONS OF ALL 50 STATES MENTION GOD.
*On that First "Thanksgiving", who do you think the people were giving thanks to? To God!
*The famous "Liberty Bell" has part of Leviticus 25:10 inscribed on it: "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."
*Part of the Scripture Proverbs 14:34 is inscribed above the L.A. city hall door: "RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTETH A NATION: BUT SIN IS A REPROACH TO ANY PEOPLE."
*An image of Moses carrying the tablets of God's Law faces the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
*The entering President takes his courtroom OATH OF OFFICE with his right hand on the Holy Bible, and concludes his vow "So help me God."
* The Supreme Court itself begins each of its sessions with the phrase 'God save the United States and this honorable court,'
*First Vice President and Second President, John Adams wrote in 1798:
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
* President Thomas Jefferson:
"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever." - 1781
*Our sixth President, John Quincy Adams said:
"No book in the world deserves to be so unceasingly studied, and so profoundly meditated upon as the Bible." -
*At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin said,
"God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?"
*The Christian writings and pronouncements of our 16th President Abraham Lincoln would fill an entire book. He said this when he assumed leadership over a nation on the brink of civil war:
"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven… But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness." - 1863
*Theodore Roosevelt, America's 26th President, wrote:
"In this actual world, a churchless community, a community where men have abandoned and scoffed at, or ignored their religious needs, is a community on the rapid down-grade." - 1917
*Woodrow Wilson, our 28th President and Governor of New Jersey, said this:
"America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of the Holy Scripture." - 1911
*Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President, said this about our founding fathers:
"They were intent upon establishing a Christian commonwealth in accordance with the principle of self- government. They were an inspired body of men. It has been said that God sifted the nations that He might send choice grain into the wilderness... Who can fail to see it in the hand of destiny? Who can doubt that it has been guided by a Divine Providence." - 1923
*Franklin Roosevelt prayed this prayer on a national radio hookup on D-Day, June 6, 1944, as our troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France:
"Almighty God... with Thy blessing we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogance. Lead us to the saving of our country. Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen."
*Harry Truman, our 33rd President, not known to be a committed believer, understood the spiritual heritage of this nation:
"If men and nations would but live by the precepts of the ancient prophets and the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount, problems which now seem so difficult would soon disappear”
*Gerald Ford, our 38th President, quoted a 1955 speech by Dwight D. Eisenhower on December 5, 1974:
"Without God there could be no American form of government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first - the most basic - expression of Americanism. Thus the founding fathers of America saw it, and thus with God's help, it will continue to be."
*President Ronald Reagan:
"If we ever forget that we are 'One nation, under God', then we will be one nation gone under."
And so, as we look today at our civic responsibility, the question is not, should a Christian be involved in gov’t…the question is: Can you be the Christian you are commanded to be and not be involved?
5 things every Christian must do for their gov’t if they’re going to obey the Word of God (most painful first):
1. We must participate in paying for government
v. 6-7 tribute = income tax
custom = sales tax
Some Christians, even preachers, say, our gov’t is a pagan gov’t, therefore, we do not owe them taxes, they are not of God!
Well, what gov’t was in charge when this was written? The Roman Empire…not exactly a Godly gov’t!
When Jesus was here on earth, He paid His taxes, and so should we!
“But, they’re unfair” I agree!
“And, it’s wasted and used unwisely” I agree!
Certainly we need tax reform…
…but do YOU agree w/ Romans 13? Then pay your taxes!
(pay for gov’t)
2. We need to pray for gov’t
I Tim. 2
1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
Pray for revival/leaders/war on terror/God to use our leaders and defeat our enemies!
There’s plenty to pray for! We need a revival of doing good:
v. 4 Some say, capitol punishment is OT, it’s not in the NT! Yes it is! “He beareth not the electric chair in vain/hangman’s noose/lethal injection”
Sometimes, for gov’t to restrain evil, it must take life.
Some say, “it’s not a deterrent”
We don’t know if it is or not…we never carry it out swiftly and consistently! One thing for sure: it’s a deterrent to that one!
We need to pray for a revival of the sanctity of life!
Supreme Court justices are getting up in years…in the near future, a president may have the chance to reshape it. We need to vote our consciences, not the economy, and we need to pray like there’s no tomorrow that that president does what is right.
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water, He turns it wherever He wants”
We need to pay for gov’t/pray/…
3. Praise our gov’t
v. 7 “honour”
Despite all our problems, the USA is still the greatest nation on earth. We need a revival of good old-fashioned patriotism!
And we should honour our leaders, and all that are in authority…like police officers, like our boss (good or bad…v. 1), we should honour our parents, for God placed them in authority over us, we should honor our spiritual leaders…like a missionary, who gives away his life, even his freedom, for the souls of others.
(pay for gov’t/pray/praise/…)
4. Participate in government
It is inconceivable that God would ordain gov’t such as He has, and then tell His people to stay out of it!
It is our Christian duty to get informed, and vote!
Shame on the Christian who pledges their allegiance to that flag, and then doesn’t take action.
And, shame on the Christian who pledges their allegiance to a political party, instead of to principles…the Biblical principles upon which this nation was founded!
5. Persuade our government
How can I really make a difference?
We are a republic…that means that, for the most part, public policy is shaped by public opinion. And there’s only 1 way to affect public opinion: and it’s not billboards, radio, or TV…it’s to get the Word of God into the hearts of people.
People in this very room changed their mind about abortion after they got saved…because they found out what God says! They made a new decision based on new information!
Sex outside of marriage/alcohol/slander/lying/language/way they dress/way they think!
The most patriotic thing we can do is not to set off fireworks, or sing a song, but to witness…to win ‘em, wet ‘em, and wean ‘em for the glory of God! Let’s join our hearts together, and build a church that will stand as a great light to a dark and dying world!
Spiritual freedom comes when you get saved!
All Sermons and Slideshow Presentations Copyright Jerry Shirley and Grace Notes Ministries unless otherwise credited.