“AMERICA! AMERICA! GOD SHED HIS GRACE ON THEE!”

—thoughts by Pastor Charles P. Schmitt

America is in trouble. The cause of much of this lies with those who are committed to overturning the biblical foundations of America as a nation. They want to make America a purely secular nation; perhaps so that they can more easily further their unbiblical social agenda.

The elections of 2016 are therefore critical. As the dust settles and the candidates become more clearly defined, every true Christian will be given their greatest God-given responsibility—to vote into office those candidates—whether Democrat or Republican—who are most committed to restoring America to its original biblical foundations that we again may be a God-fearing nation. And obviously, our greatest need is to see yet another national heaven-sent Great Awakening that will turn the hearts of the people of America back to God!

America’s clear biblical roots and godly foundations are borne witness to in these amazing random historical statements—

  1. “Preserve me, O God, for in Thee do I put my trust.” —Psalm 16:1, etched on the stained glass window featuring George Washington in earnest prayer; in the Capitol Building
  2. “Search the Scriptures…Holiness to the LORD…May Heaven to this Union continue its beneficence” —Inscriptions on the carved tribute blocks of the Washington Monument
  3. Laus Deo (Praise be to God) —Engraving on the aluminum capstone of the Washington Monument
  4. “…the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men…We have been assured in the sacred Writings that “except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this, and I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel…I therefore beg to move that, henceforth, prayers imploring the assistance of heaven and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service…As the Scriptures are given for our reproof, instruction and warning may we make a due use of this example before it is too late…” —Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
  5. “…The God who gave us life, gave us liberty…Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.”…”The light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.” —Inscription from John 1:5 in the Great Hall of the Jefferson Building, the Library of Congress
  6. “Thou hast put all things under His feet…The Truth shall make you free” —Scriptures engraved on the front facade of Union Station in New York City
  7. “Not until I went to the churches in America, and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness, did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great” —Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
  8. “I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize man than any other nation…your Jehovah is our Jehovah and your God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is our God” —John Adams (1735-1826), 2nd President of the United States (1797-1801)
  9. “…The Bible is a book of faith, and a book of doctrine, and a book of morals, and a book of religion, of especial revelation from God; but it is also a book which teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellow-man” —Daniel Webster (1782-1852), leading American statesman, Senator from Massachusetts, and hailed as the leading constitutional scholar of his generation.
  10. “The Bible is the Rock upon which our Republic rests” —President Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States (1829-37)
  11. “The great vital element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and Divine truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” —Resolution, House of Representatives (1854)
  12. “Our society is illuminated by the spiritual insights of the Hebrew prophets.” —Lyndon B Johnson, 36th President of the United States

—Quotes courtesy of tzurshua@lantic.net

“AMERICA! AMERICA! GOD SHED HIS GRACE ON THEE!”

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The Southern Baptist Convention, the Largest Protestant Denomination in the US, calls for prayer for a Great Awakening

southern-baptist-conventionThousands at the 2015 Southern Baptist Convention knelt in prayer and raised their hands to heaven July 16 as they prayed for revival in the church and a great awakening across the United States. Spiritual leaders from Southern Baptist churches across America—including Hispanic, Korean, Native American, and African American pastors—prayed for an end to racism and prejudice as they pledged to work together “as one family.”

“The only thing that can ultimately reshape America is a spiritual awakening and the next move of God,” Ronnie Floyd, president of the SBC, stated “When you look at it historically, there is no great movement of God that is not first preceded by the extraordinary prayer of God’s people.  Floyd, said he had participated in prayer a few days ago with a group of spiritual leaders in Ohio’s capitol building. Underneath the seal of the state of Ohio that appears in front of the building are the words, “With God, all things are possible,” he noted. “It is providential we’re here, because with God . . . all things are possible,” he said. “We pray that this will become a generational moment. Lord, open up the heavens and come down.” Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, called Southern Baptists to personal repentance.

“God is calling us to brokenness and humility,” he said. The greatest sin is the sin of pride.” Citing Nehemiah, who prayed for his own city when the walls were in ruins and the city was left unprotected, Graham said that is the spiritual condition of the United States: “God’s people, without protection.” Nehemiah’s response was to pray for his nation, but to start with himself and his own family. He prayed and fasted to get right with God. Graham challenged Southern Baptists to pray in brokenness, humility, and repentance.

Recalling the Haystack Prayer Meeting in the nineteenth century that launched a great awakening, Pastor Paul Ron of Cambridge, Mass asked “Why can we not experience another spiritual awakening today?” Reading Psalm 126:4, Pastor J.D. Greear from Raleigh, Durham urged Southern Baptists to reach the world through the hard work of evangelism, prayer, and patience, yearning for the heavens to open up to send a spiritual awakening. Don’t always look back at what God has done, Greear said. He not only “moved yesterday”; He “will move today and tomorrow.” Borrowing from A. W. Tozer, James Merritt, pastor of Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, Georgia, said too many American churches are so busy doing church that if the Holy Spirit left their fellowship they would not realize it.

Christians today, he admonished, are not too different than the Pharisees and Sadducees that Jesus condemns in Scripture. He described Jesus’s words against them as one of the most “damning rebukes” because they misinterpreted Scripture and failed to believe in the power of God. He said Christians need God’s power to work in them, witness through them, and walk before them. Pastor Vance Pitman from Las Vegas said he was not content just to read about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit but wants the nation to experience it like never before. And the reason for God’s lack of activity in the church is not due to the lostness of the nation, but “the lack of desperation of the people of God.”

Steve Gaines, senior pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tennessee, called on the church to seek revival as a body. He spoke from Acts 4, when the early church prayed, sought after the Holy Spirit, and then proclaimed the Gospel. “In three centuries, these Christians conquered the world’s greatest empire, the Roman Empire,” he said. “How in the world could a group of ragtag fisherman, tax collectors, zealots, commoners turn their world upside down in such a short time? They had a holy fire” burning in their souls “and they could not be extinguished.”

SBC President Ronnie Floyd reminded participants that “The heart of God is for His people to walk in light. That’s why the church needs revival. It’s time for revival in the church,” he said.

—Adapted from SBC Life, Summer 2015

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