Monday, January 1, 2024



     Last time Chapter 4, entitled "Crumbling Foundations", reminded us that amid crumbling foundations around us—“God remains in complete control over His creation.”
     So now, in Chapter 5, "Praying For A Nation"Duncan and Jones wrote that we are right in praying, “God bless America”. But, perhaps “God is saying to His church, ‘I have placed YOU there to bless America’ ” They wrote, “The most pressing prayer need in the church is to pray for revival in its ranks, because the way God blesses a nation is through His people.”
     They indicated liberalism, socialism, and communism are not “the main problem with America.” Even “radical professors” in our colleges are also not the main problem. “It is rather a Christian movement that has lost its Biblical integrity.”
     They cited researcher George Barna, who in a poll reported “41% of Evangelicals and 77% of Catholics do not believe someone has to have a personal relationship with Jesus to go to heaven.” They said that many Evangelical leaders now see Jesus as “an optional way to God but not the only way. By this, we know “a shaking is near.” They wrote, “America needs a bible-believing church and bible-practicing church to show it the way.”
     The authors likened today's churches to what Isaiah said to the Israelites in Isaiah 1:13-14. “The lifeless rituals, vain ceremonies, and empty worship experiences are a stench in His nostrils.” They said church rituals become “hollow expressions of piety” without “(1) A deep devotion to the Creator and (2) a sincere pursuit of true holiness.”
     Duncan and Jones described many churches today as being “institutional”, “consumer-driven”, and “narcissistic”. They said to depend on these churches, “It is like a drowning person throwing a life rope to another drowning person. Ultimately, both will be lost.”
     They said our hope doesn’t rest in “Republicans, Democrats, independents, socialists, capitalists”, or even “religious leaders, however spiritual they might be”, and that “sustained favorability in society is not what leads to a genuine spiritual awakening.”
     As English Baptist minister Edward Mote wrote in 1834, “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.” The authors wrote that our hope rests only in Jesus Christ.
     What might disappoint many Christians in America is that “the church is aroused when persecution comes”. Many Christians, however, dispute that fact. Bobby Duncan told the story of some ministers slipping into a Middle Eastern country to support former Taliban and al-Qaeda members in their switch to the Christian faith. These men remained steadfast in their faith in Jesus, even though most now face death sentences in a Muslim country.
     Bobby Duncan wrote, “Increased persecution, along with spiritual drought and coldness, are elements that often prompt people to turn to God in fervent prayer and mourning over personal and national sins.”
     The bottom line is that the natural desire of the church is for our nation to be blessed. But, may we understand that more important is the statement, “God, revive Your church!” 
     Only then can, “God Bless America”!

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