I heard a preacher on TV say something that bothers me, and I’m not sure why. He said, “Why would God bless America as He has? I believe the reason is that He intends for us to influence the nations of the world. Not only are we an example of liberty and democracy, but we also have the resources and manpower to take the gospel around the world—and in many respects, the Church has done just that. But there is too much sin, too much immorality in America!” Then he listed the abominations and added: “Why has the Lord withheld His judgment for so long? I believe it is because there are enough godly believers who cry out to Him on behalf of our country.”
I agree with your gut. His premise is correct, but the moment he starts talking about withholding judgment, his message becomes bleak, dark and scolding, meant to alarm people and shame people. This is not the way Jesus preached. The key words that signal that something is amiss is “there are enough godly believers who cry out to Him on behalf of our country.” Cry out??? Is that all we are supposed to do?? Praying for our country is good, as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough! We are to take action, not just pray. We are to DO what we pray for.
And the good news is: There are still a lot of people who are doing good — there are still a lot of people who do not have abortions nor promote abortions, there are still a lot of people who do the opposite of what this preacher listed as the abominations that exist. And — my key point — many, many of them are not even church-going Christians!
In other words (and here’s my KEY key point): The Holy Spirit is still alive and well and active in America. It’s not just because people pray that God has “withheld His judgment” — we don’t have control over God like that. It’s because the Holy Spirit is here on earth!!! And this is not just true for the U.S. It’s true throughout the world, even in places where the abominations are worse than in the U.S. People don’t hold back God’s judgment. Jesus does.
People don’t hold back judgment, not even when they pray. God chooses when it’s time for judgment. And it’s not time yet, not by a long shot. Remember what He told Abraham when He was planning to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? If he could find just 10 good men, he would not destroy the city.
The good news is: The Holy Spirit works through even those who don’t know they are instruments of God. “The Spirit blows where it will,” Jesus said. Let us not forgot how much bigger God is than we are! Let us also not forget that it is better to take action to make the world a better place than to spend time trying to scare and shame people into thinking “Ohmygosh! We are such a bad nation!” Because the implication is: “I am so much better than most of the people in this nation. Bad things will happen because of those evil-doers, it’s all their fault!” … while we sit in our prayer chairs praying for God to have mercy on us despite those people, without going out into our world to help young mothers experience a better option to abortion, or to help those who are addicted to porn by showing them that the inner hole they’re trying to fill can only be filled by the healing love of Jesus, or to help people in poverty or in prison or wherever people are trapped in cycles of anger and hopelessness that leads to violence, or to …. etc.
© 2010 by Terry A. Modica
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