What great words of wisdom! Though they were spoken by President Lincoln in the 1860s, they are just as relevant to our nation today. One has to ask, what has happened to America? It would take volumes to describe how good God has been to America. Yet something is wrong, something is missing.
When God descended to Mt. Sinai and gave Moses the Ten Commandments written on two tablets of stone by God’s own finger, He established the government by which Israel was to be ruled. It dealt with all the necessary matters concerning how they were to relate to God and to their fellow man. The responsibility of administering these laws was placed on the shoulders of the priest of the tribe of Levi whom the Lord anointed and consecrated for this most sacred duty. In essence the priest (clergy of that day) was made responsible for shaping and forming the culture of the nation. Consequently, the priest (clergy) had the greatest responsibility of all the men of Israel.
Although the children of Israel were rebellious and stiff-necked and often failed to obey the laws, God was patient, merciful, and longsuffering with them for many generations. However, after about four hundred years, they came to Samuel and demanded that he anoint a king to rule over them like the heathen nations. After inquiring of the Lord, the Lord told Samuel that they were not rejecting him, but rather, they were rejecting the Lord. The Lord told Samuel to protest their intentions by showing them what it would be like for them to be ruled by an earthly king. When Samuel told them what it would be like, they still insisted on having a king rule over them. Samuel then reluctantly anointed Saul to be the first King of Israel. In essence they have taken the government of their nation away from God and put it on the shoulders of (a man) their king. This decision by the people would ultimately bring an end to the nation of ancient Israel. The priests were intimidated by the kings until their voices became less relevant and Israel turned away from God and became a nation of idol worshippers Jeremiah was the last of the prophets God sent to Judah. He was so grieved by what he saw happening to the kingdom of Judah that he was called the weeping prophet. He could see the likeness of the health of their nation and the health of a man and cried out, “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” (Jer 8:22).
My point is, a nation can become spiritually sick just like a man becomes sick. Hosea describes this sickness as the behavior of “a silly dove” (Hos 7:1). Isaiah describes it as “the whole head is sick and the whole heart is faint; from the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment” (Isa 1:5,6). Is there not the likes of this in America today? Are not our leaders confused? Are not we spiritually confused to the point we no longer know right from wrong? Have we lost our moral compass and become as a silly dove? The answer to these questions is absolutely and positively yes!
Before we get to the balm that is needed and the physicians that are to administer the healing balm, let’s first take a look at what makes the body healthy to begin with. God in His marvelous ways intended that the body should be healthy from birth and has given it an immune system which is inherited from its mother before birth. When our nation was conceived in the hearts and minds of a small group of believers in England in the early 1600s, they were given (as a body of believers in Jesus Christ) a strong immune system. This small body of believers grew, became healthy, and overcame many obstacles in their path until they with God’s Divine Blessings became the mightiest and most blessed nation the world has ever known. Their immune system was nothing other than their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and their determination to follow his teaching.
As long as our nation continued to adhere to their Judeo- Christian beliefs and practices we continued to experience unparalleled blessings and prosperity. However, in the late 1940s, our leaders began to rapidly turn our nation away from these beliefs just like Ancient Israel did. It has become acceptable to call good evil and evil good in order to be politically correct. According to the teaching of God’s word, our leaders no longer know right from wrong. They have become confused and disoriented like a silly dove.
Now let’s get to the physicians and their healing balm. The healing balm is nothing more than the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the physicians are the anointed pastors and servants of God. One might say, “Well, we have this today in abundance throughout the land and we still have this national confusion and sickness; what is wrong?” A very good question! What is wrong? When a physician examines a patient, he needs to ask several questions and get as much insight into the patient’s life style as possible. For the sake of furthering our inquiry, let’s focus on the physicians because not all physicians are qualified to properly administer the healing balm. Such was the case with Job’s three friends whose intention was to comfort him after he lost his ten children, his health and all of his wealth. They misunderstood (misdiagnosed) Job’s situation and offered him counsel that was not what he needed. He then told them they were physicians of no value. For a physician to benefit his patient, he must understand the patient’s exact needs as well as how the balm (medicine) works. Sometimes the physician has to be willing to make the patient a little uncomfortable in order to make him well. This is certainly the case with the servants of God. They have to preach the gospel with such power and authority until it makes sinners uncomfortable and drives them to repentance before God. This is what happened in the days of the apostles as well as in Colonial America. Remember the Black Regiment? Their gospel was not watered down (diluted) to make “feel good messages.”
The time has come when we the pastors need to examine ourselves and ask are our messages suitable for the current condition of our nation. My personal opinion is that the message of repentance needs to be shouted from every rooftop and proclaimed with power and authority from every pulpit in America. And when this is done, there is still something missing. That is, their message needs to become a part of the political dialogue throughout our nation as it was in colonial America. It was the messages of Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Charles G. Finney and numerous others that shaped and formed the culture of Colonial America. President John Adams said, “It is the duty of the clergy to accommodate their discourses to the issues of the times, to preach against such sins that are most prevalent and recommend such virtues that are most wanted (lacking)”.
The great Evangelists, Charles G. Finney made the following statement in the mid 1850’s.
“If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discernment the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.”
Our nation needs the pulpits of America to speak out as never before. In the neglect of our pastors in not causing their voices to be a major part of the political dialogue, we have abandoned our responsibility to shape our culture. A vacuum has been created and Hollywood together with our radical professors in our educational system (the intelligentsia) has filled this vacuum. The news media is also a huge factor in this as they sensationalize the negative events that occur all over the world. They repeat (broadcast) the bad and ugly until they teach the culture that it is acceptable. They feed the American people with a steady diet of unholy things. If it is ugly and negative, they will repeat it over and over.
How can the culture of a nation be morally healthy if they are constantly fed from the cesspool of human depravity? The most blessed nation in the history of the world who once wore a halo of righteousness is now beginning to wear the attire of a harlot. Read the 16th chapter of Ezekiel. Unfortunately, a few misguided pastors are willing to accept this. They are beginning to interpret God’s word as though it was intended to accommodate the depraved nature of man. Quite the contrary! Remember the Flood in the days of Noah? Remember Sodom and Gomorrah? God’s word is absolute, not relevant! Not intended to accommodate the everchanging down ward trend of our culture.
I feel confident that the vast majority of pastors are very troubled by the moral decline of our culture and want to do something to correct it. My suggestion is that we first examine ourselves and determine what our priorities are. This can be painful as well as revealing. We need to understand that the message of the gospel needs to go far beyond the walls of the local church. It has to have national implications and is intended to reach all over the nation as it did in the days of Isaiah and Jeremiah. The message has to reach people in high places of authority as did Jonah’s, Elijah’s, John the Baptist’s, as did Jesus’s and Paul’s. The voices of the pastors should be part of our national political dialog. This is the major thing that is missing in America today. This has to change! When the Lord called and anointed his servants, He gave them A Divine knowledge and understanding that exceeds in depth and breadth that of natural understanding. This is the reason the voices of the clergy in Colonial America were the prevailing voices of their generations.
Take notice news media. The word of God is coming to the political forefront. There is no higher authority and greater power known to man. As given to Jeremiah, it has the power “over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant” (Jer 1:10). This, the Word of God, when preached with power and authority, is the balm that is needed for the healing of our nation. When we the pastors lift up our voices collectively and in unison with this power and authority, then the voices of our political leaders will become less relevant and our nation will turn back to God. There is a Divine Encumbancy laid upon the hearts and shoulders of the Anointed Servants of God and we must assume the responsibility of taking back our nation from the Spirit of Darkness. Let us remember that the shaping and forming of our culture was laid upon the heart and shoulders of the Anointed Servants of God from the days of Moses and Aaron unto this present day and beyond.
The time has come for us to look a little deeper into the teachings of God’s Word. When we do we will find the following facts.
1) In the time of deep national distress, Isaiah was a chief advisor to King Hezekiah as he repaired and cleansed the Temple. Isaiah also pointed out the necessity of returning and adhering to the Mosaic Law in order to re establish the nation’s moral character.
2) Jeremiah was deeply involved all the days of his ministry in speaking out against the apostasy of Judah. His life was constantly at risk and he was put in prison several times. His counsel was secretly sought after by King Zedekiah in the final days of Judah’s existence.
3) Elijah, that great man of God, single handedly challenged King Ahab and his wicked wife Jezebel when all Israel had turned to idol worship. He summoned all Israel to the top of Mount Carmel and asked them a simple straight forward question. “How long halt ye between two opinions.” Today in America we also have two opinions so hardened against each other that we no longer have civil political dialog. Maybe the time has come for our Pastors to follow the example set by Elijah and call for a National Eclesiastical Summit in the National Cathedral in Washington D. C. Let me assure you the Lord would be well pleased. Such an event would get the attention of the news media and possibly become the beginning of the Third Great Awakening. Instead of reviving the Black Robe Regiment of Colonial America we could declare ourselves the RED WHITE AND BLUE REGIMENT whose intent and purpose is to take back our nation from the Spirit of Darkness. The American people are crying out to God! Do we not hear their cry’s and feel their pain? Are we willing to lay aside our robes of professionalism and gird ourselves with the mantle of Elijah and meet the enemy face to face?
If we are going to face our enemy, we need to first determine just who our enemy is. H e is Satan, the Devil! He has been around from the beginning of time and many volumes could never properly describe his work. He has many names but the one that seems the most appropriate is “The Spirit of Darkness.” He began his current project in the 1940’s during the early days of the Atheists, Madelyn O’hara’s working through the Supreme Court to eliminate prayer and Bible reading in our public schools. He also manifested his work in the Woodstock, N.Y. event in which many of the youth of our nation as well as Canada and Western Europe laid aside all their morals and openly in public view demonstrated their complete lack of sexual morality. He continued to weave his will into the fabric of our culture until our nation has become morally corrupt from the head to the sole of the foot. Never since the Civil War of the 1860’s has our nation been as corrupt and immoral and divided as it is today. Our problem is a national spiritual sickness and our political leaders are not qualified to heal our sickness. It is only the Anointed Servants of God that can with God’s help bring healing and salvation to our nation. As President John Adams said, “It is the duty of the clergy to accommodate their messages to the issues of the times.” Yes, indeed the time has come for the Anointed Servants of God to take the lead in our national political issues as did Isaiah, Jeremiah and Elijah in their days. Our alternative is to maintain our silence and passively watch as our nation continues its downward slide to destruction. I don’t believe there is the first person here tonight that wants this to happen.
Let us remember what Isaiah wrote in the 58th chapter.” Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet and show my people their transgressions.” Let us also by faith claim the promise God made to Solomon at the close of the dedication feast of the Temple when He said, “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 heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open and mine ears attent unto the prayers that are made in this place.”
I will close now with the words of Paul as he wrote to the church at Rome and said, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of light”
And now brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace which is able to build you up, and give you an inheritance among all them that are sanctified”
Your Brother and fellow servant in Christ,