KEEPING AMERICA GREAT


Keeping America Great
Hickory, NC - Huntington Hills CoG Pastor Chris Music

 

VIDEO A brief look at our religious freedoms

 

1 Timothy 2:1-4 (ESV)

Pray for All People

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

This week we get the opportunity to celebrate our FREEDOM and LIBERTY. Wednesday is a very important day for the United States; it is the 4th of July, Independence Day!

 

But America is also a crazy place. One writer said it like this,

 

Only In America”:

 

• Can pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.

 

• Are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink.

 

• Do drug stores make the sick walk all the way in the back to get their prescriptions … while healthy people can buy suntan lotion up front.

 

• Do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a DIET coke.

 

• Do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway, and fill our garages with junk.

 

• Do we buy hotdogs in packages of 10, and buns in packages of 8.

 

• Do we have Braille on drive up ATM machines.

 

But as we look around at our country we see that she has a lot of problems, many of which were portrayed in the video we saw earlier. People are turning their backs on the foundations that have made this country what it is. People have turned their backs on God and the worship of Him to appease the lusts of the flesh and the pride of life. It seems that this once great country is crumbling around us. 

 

So what can you and I do to keep America great?  

 

In our text today the Apostle Paul gives us several things we can do to KEEP America great.

 

1.     PRAY

 

1 Timothy 2:1-2a (ESV)

Pray for All People

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2a for kings and all who are in high positions,

 

The groundwork for the Freedom and Liberty that we enjoy as Americans has been laid over the past 236 years, since our Declaration of Independence was signed.

 

Our freedom didn’t come cheap. Those who fought and died to insure our “freedom of religion” did so because they believed that these liberties were worth it. There are those today who are trying to tell us that the intention of our founding fathers was to give us “freedom FROM religion”.

 

The first settlers of America came here to express their religious faith for freedom of worship. The Pilgrims who came to Plymouth Rock on the Mayflower, wrote the Mayflower Compact in 1620. Listen to what they said: “In the name of God. Amen. Having undertaken for the glory of God and for the advancement of the Christian faith, do solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, covenant and combine ourselves together.

 

23 years later, the New England Confederation was written. Listen to what our founding fathers wrote: “Whereas we all came into these parts with one and the same end and aim, namely to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to enjoy the liberties of the gospel in purity and peace.

 

When the first Continental Congress met, and were debating about how the Declaration of Independence should be written, Ben Franklin got up and said – “Gentlemen, if it is true that not one single petal from any flower falls to the ground without escaping God’s attention, will the distress of this nation go unheeded? Let us therefore determine to seek His face.” After having said that, 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence went to their knees and began to pray and seek God’s wisdom. Can you imagine what would happen if our nation’s leaders were to say today: “Almighty God, what do You want for this nation?”.

 

56 brave men signed our Declaration of Independence. Do you realize the PRICE that they paid for our Freedom and Liberty?

 

• 5 were captured and tortured by the British before they died.

• 12 had their homes ransacked and burned to the ground.

• 2 lost their sons in the American Revolution.

• 1 had 2 sons captured in the war for our independence.

• 9 fought and died from wounds of the Revolutionary War.

• Carter Braxton, a wealthy Virginia trader, saw his ship destroyed, and had to sell his home to pay his debts … he died in poverty.

• Thomas McKean had to constantly move his family because of British harassment … he served in Congress without pay, and died in poverty.

• Thomas Nelson urged General Washington to destroy his home, when it was taken over by the British and used as a command post … he died bankrupt.

 

Our Freedom and Liberty as Americans came at a cost.

 

Our founding fathers were COMMITTED to, not only obtaining freedom for future generations they were COMMITTED to Christian principles. LISTEN to what some of them had to say:

 

• John Quincy Adams – the 2nd President, speaking of the Declaration of Independence – “From the time of the Declaration of Independence, the American people were bound by the laws of God, and the laws of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which they all acknowledge as the root of their conduct. We all came together to obey the Word of God.”

 

• George Washington, in his farewell address – “Do not let anyone claim tribute of American patriotism if they even attempt to remove religion from politics.”

 

• Patrick Henry – “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

 

These men, and hundreds more, paid a price to give us a nation built upon the principles of God, and the foundation of Jesus Christ. The foundation has been laid. Can we do anything less than to PRAY for America?

 

Our Freedom and Liberty as Christians also came at a cost.  The precious blood of our Savior Jesus Christ was shed so that each and every one of us, who had a death sentence, could find Freedom and Liberty and LIFE through Him.

 

Romans 6:23 (NKJV)

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

If we, who have been given LIFE in Christ, are ever going to see good come from America, then we need to PRAY for America and our leaders like never before.

 

How effective are our prayers?

 

James 5:16b (NKJV)

16b …The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

 

2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV)

14 if my people who are called by my name 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.

 

How can we KEEP America great? We can PRAY

 

2.     LIVE RIGHTEOUS

 

1 Timothy 2:2b (ESV)

2b …that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

 

If we want to change the way America is headed, it is not going to happen by changing which party sits in the White House. If we want to change the way America is headed we need to live our lives “godly and dignified in every way”. We do this by living according to the standards set forth in God’s Word and by living a life empowered by the Holy Spirit. 

 

Our founding fathers looked to the Word of God to organize the government of our nation. The infallible Word of God is the foundation that we are to build our lives upon.

 

There’s not a lot we can do to change the hearts and the minds of those that would desire to completely remove God from our country. But there is something we can do and that is to keep sin from dishonoring His name and our nation. We can be a people that will live a life that is pleasing to Him.  We can be a people whose actions and words exalt and lift up His name instead of our own. We can be the Body of Christ that lives a Holy and Righteous life.

 

Proverbs 14:34 (ESV)

34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

 

Sin has disgraced our nation, but we don’t have to throw our hands up in the air and give up. We don’t have to hide behind the stained glass windows of our churches. We are God’s chosen people, blood bought, Holy Ghost empowered and we can do something about it.

 

1 Timothy 2:2b (ESV)

2b …that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

 

We need to live every day a godly and dignified life.  The Lord is coming back for a people that living this kind of sanctified life.

 

How can we KEEP America great? We can PRAY and LIVE RIGHTEOUS

 

3.     SHARE CHRIST

 

1 Timothy 2:3-4 (ESV)

This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

The unbelieving anti Christian world is shouting out its message and our leaders are listening.

 

All while we, the Body of Christ, are doing very little to speak out as a witness for the Lord. We are content to sit in our homes and shake our heads at the direction our country is headed. We are content to sit inside our churches and say “Amen” to the sermon and clap our hands to the nice music.

 

God expects us to use the FREEDOM and LIBERTY that our founding fathers made possible to be witnesses for Christ in this sinful world we live.

 

STORY – One Sunday, as they drove home from church, little Susie turned to her mother and said, “Mommy, there’s something the preacher said this morning that I don’t understand.” “What’s that, honey?” “Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. He said that God’s so big that He could hold the whole world in his hand. Is that true?”

 

The mother replied, “Yes, honey, that’s true.” “But mommy, he also said that God comes to live inside us when we trust Jesus to be our Lord and Savior. Is that true, too?” The mother assured little Susie that what the pastor had said was true.

 

With a puzzled look on her face, Susie then asked, “If God is bigger than us, and He lives in us, wouldn’t He show through?”

 

If God lives in us, then He ought to show through so that the lost and dying world around us will see Him. The only hope for America is Jesus. Jesus said

 

Matthew 5:16 (ESV)

16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Psalm 33:12 (ESV)

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!

 

When our nation, including those who call themselves Christians, cease to look to God we cease to be blessed by God.

 

Our forefathers claimed this nation for God. We need to reclaim it for Him. How can we do this?

 

1 Timothy 2:1-4 (ESV)

Pray for All People

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

1.     Pray for America and our leaders.

 

2.     As a Christian, live righteous lives, standing on the principles and values of God’s Word.

 

3.     share the Christ, Who lives in you and let Him show through. Let others see that Jesus is the only hope for America the only hope for an eternity in Heaven.

 

 

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