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A Miracle for America
Turn please to Psalm 85, if you would. In just a moment we're going to look at verses four through six. I preached to you in the last message when we were together about the critical situation in our land today. We may be on the brink of a world holocaust. Many of us feel that we are very close to the Rapture of the church and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The heartthrob of my heart tonight and my passion as your pastor and as your preacher tonight is that there will be in America a God blessed, heaven sent, Christ exalting, devil defying, sin killing, soul saving, old fashioned revival. I believe with all of my heart that revival is possible. I am not a pessimist. I am not an optimist. I am a biblical realist. And I believe dear friend, that we need to face the facts as they are. Listen to God's Word. Psalm eighty-five and verse four, "Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease. Wilt thou be angry with us forever? Wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?"
I want to talk to you tonight, in light of the crisis that we're in, on this subject, A Miracle for America, a miracle for America. And may I say on the outset of this message, that I believe with all of my heart. I say without stutter or stammer or apology that America is still the greatest nation on the face of this globe. I believe that. I make no apology whatever for being a patriarch and for being a loyal flag waving American. And I'm not ashamed to stand at attention when ole Glory passes by. And I still feel a lump in my throat as I stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag. And I am not embarrassed by tears when we stand and sing the Star Spangled Banner. America is a great nation, but she is not great because of her natural resources. We do have natural resources from sea to shining sea, but we're not the only nation that has great natural resources. Recently we visited South America. What a great land that is, how abundant in natural resources. We are not a great nation because of our native sons. Americans are no stronger, no wiser, no other than other people. Why is America a great nation? Plainly simply put, it is this. America is a great nation because she has been blessed of God. The Bible says, blessed is that nation whose God is the Lord.
May I tell you again, without stutter, stammer or equivocation, that no nation in the history of the world ever had such a Christian beginning as our God-blessed America. The American dream was placed in the bosom of our founding fathers by the Almighty Himself. And the original colonies were founded, and I can show you beyond contradiction, the original colonies were founded because of the Christian faith. The pilgrims, when they landed in 1620, came to our shores seeking religious liberty. The Mayflower Compact that they wrote as they huddled beneath the decks of that little ship, begins with these words, "In the name of the God Amen." And then they stated their purpose for coming, and it says this, "For the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith."
I want to tell you that, because today we have some historians, some revisionists and others who have tried to rewrite our history. Many of our children today who read the secular school books are not reading the truth about the beginning and the founding of America. And we have people today who would try to stampede us away from our Christian heritage and our Christian foundation. But my dear friend, America is great because she has been blessed of God.
Roger Batson, an early economist in America, was talking to a South American President, and they were discussing the difference between North America and South America, and why North America seemed to have prospered and grown and blossomed as she has. And Roger Batson asked this South American President why, what is the difference? He said this, he says "the difference lies in the fact that those who came to our shores, came to our shores," that is South America, "seeking gold. But those who came to your shores came seeking God." And that my dear friend, is the difference.
Our forbearers wrote a Declaration of Independence. And in that Declaration of Independence, they wrote, "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." The government does not give those rights. Our forbearers said God gives the rights. The government is merely here to protect those rights. And our forbearers did not believe in evolution, they believed in a God. "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are endowed by their Creator." They said, we're not even going to argue about that. That is what? Self-evident. Self-evident. We just simply believe that. We accept it.
Now my dear friend, when they wrote the Declaration of Independence, it was at the one hand, a declaration of independence from England, but at the very same time, it was a declaration of dependence upon Almighty God.
Did you know that fifty of the fifty-five men who framed the Constitution of the United States were professing Christians? Thirty were said to be bold Christians and twenty were said to be believing Christians. In 1788, James Madison, who was the architect of the Federal Constitution and the forth President of the United States said this; and I'm going to quote him, and I want you to listen. "We have staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of government, far from it, we have staked the future upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to sustain ourselves," listen, "according to the Ten Commandments of God."
Now, do you know what we've done in this day and this age? We have taken the Ten Commandments off the walls of our public schools. And when the Co the Commandments went out, the policemen have come in. No longer do we have the Ten Commandments on the walls, we have the policemen in the halls. We are very smart aren't we?
George Washington, the first President, the father of our country, on April the thirtieth 1789 at his first inaugural address said this, "My fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the counsel of nations, and whose providential aides can supply every human defect that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and the happiness of the people of the United States a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes. We ought to be no less persuaded that the perpetuous smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which heaven itself has ordained." Now, does that sound like a secularist? I wonder what the ACLU would think of that? My dear friend, let me tell you, that ours is a nation that was born in the fires of revival. In December 1820, Daniel Webster said, and I want you to listen to what this great American said, quote "Let us not forget the religious character of our origin." Did you hear that? "Let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers brought hither their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate and infuse its influence through all their institutions civil, political, and literary. That's what Daniel Webster had to say.
My dear friend, on July the forth, 1821, that great American John Quincy Adams said this, and I quote "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this, it connected into one indissoluble bond," listen "the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."
Now my friend, our fore fathers believed in the separation of church and state, but they did not believe in the separation of God and government. Now put it down big and plain and straight. John Quincy Adams went on to say "from the day of the declaration they," that is the American people, "were bound by the laws of God, which they all and by the laws of the Gospel, which they nearly all acknowledged as the rules of their conduct." Not just a belief in God, but a belief in the Gospel. No wonder on June the eighth, 1845, President Andrew Jackson said, "The Bible is the rock upon which our republic rests." Abraham Lincoln said on one occasion concerning the Bible, "In regards to this great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior came to the world was communicated through this book. But for it, we would not know right from wrong." Now friend, that is a tremendous statement. Do you know what Abraham Lincoln said? If you don't have a Bible, you won't know right from wrong.
We have the modern educators today who talk about putting into the classroom values. Then the next question comes, whose values? Who is to say what is right or wrong? Well did that great, tall, gaunt, bearded American say, "if it is not for the Bible, we will not know right from wrong." And then Abraham Lincoln went on to say, "All things most desirable for man's welfare here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in the Bible." That's not a Baptist preacher saying that, that was Abraham Lincoln who said that.
So you can understand why the American congress in 1931 adopted the Star Spangled Banner as our National Anthem. Have you ever thought about the fourth stanza of the Star Spangled Banner? Listen to how it it goes. It's a prayer. People who don't want us to pray in school, would not let us, if they were consistent, sing the Star Spangled Banner. Listen to how the fourth stanza goes. "Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation, then conquer we must when our cause it is just and this be our motto, in God is our trust." It's a prayer of praise to Almighty God.
To take God out of the classroom, you'd have to take the National Anthem out of the classroom. In 1951, the Supreme Court Justice, William O. Douglas said this, "We are a religious people and our institutions presuppose a Supreme Being." I mean dear friend, it is written into warp and woof of our Constitution. So no wonder in June 1954, Congress adopted as our official motto, the phrase "under God," to be added to the Pledge of Allegiance. And now, we stand and pledge the allegiance this way, "One nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and Justice for all." And in July 1956, by joint resolution, Congress adopted a bill providing that the national motto is, "In God we trust."
Don't you let some secularist, don't you let some humanist, don't you let some revisionist tell you that America does not presuppose in her founding a spiritual beginning. Now, it comes back to my question, Why has God blessed America? Does God bless America because Americans are bigger, taller, smarter, because we have more gold and steel and uh ore in the ground? Or because the trees grow better here, or it rains more here? No, my dear friend, God has blessed America because of her national heritage. The Star Spangled Banner puts it this way, and I agree. "Blessed with victory in peace, may the heaven rescued land praise the power that has made and preserved us a nation." My dear friend, God's power has made and preserved us. And so our national anthem goes on to say, "Our fathers, God to thee, author of liberty, to Thee we sing. Long may our land be bright with freedom's holy light. Protect us by Thy might." What is that next line? "Great God our King." Don't let anybody tell you Americans don't have a king. Friend you didn't vote him in and you can't vote Him out. "Protect us by Thy might, Great God our King."
Now, having said that, I want to say with a broken heart that America is sick, sick, sick, sick almost to death. Like Israel of old, America has a glorious heritage. Like Israel of old, America has become the wonder of the world. Israel of old broke the gnawing and tormenting chains of bondage and came out of Egypt, and God made them a great nation. But like Israel of old, America has forgotten God.
Charles Colson, whom I love and respect and know personally, the man who was a part of the Watergate Scandal, spent some time in prison, and now leads a great fellowship as a born-again Christian telling prisoners across the world about Jesus Christ, said this, I want you to listen to these incisive words by Charles Colson. Charles Colson said, "The hard truth is that despite the much ballyhooed religious resurgence of the last decade, Christian values are in retreat. We western Christians are losing the struggle for the hearts and the minds of our neighbors."
Now, what is he saying? It is this. You ask people, are you a Christian? Oh, yes, I'm a Christian. Are you born again? Oh, yes, I I'm born again. Do you believe the Bible to be the Word of God? Oh yes, I believe the Bible to be the Word of God. And yet America is sinking slowly, but surely into a cesspool of iniquity. We put more people per capita in jail than any other nation on the face of the earth except South Africa and Soviet Russia. We talk about the Japanese as not knowing the Gospel. And some of us may think of Japan as a pagan land, therefore, but there are one hundred times more burglaries in the United States than in so called pagan Japan.
One preacher friend of mine wrote these words, I copied them down to share with you. He said, "America is rolling in luxuries, reveling in excesses, reeling in drunkenness, revolting in morals, and rotting in sin." He went on to say that "our nation perfumed with an aroma of religion and culture, but it is only spiritual formaldehyde disguising the deadly decay of a society on its last legs."
Do you want some proof of that? May I tell you dear friend, of the holocaust of abortion? That alone proves that we have become a secular state. With arbitrary morality, and the concomitant evaluation of human life, in that infamous court ruling, 1973 Roe vs. Wade, a decision was made that is tragic. Do you know what that court did? It did the same thing that Adolph Hitler did so long ago. Adolph Hitler, in order to deal with the Jews that he did not want, he reclassified them. Adolph Hitler reclassified the Jews as nonpersons. And since they were declassified as persons, then my dear friend, they could do be done with as they wished. They were out from under the protection of the law.
Now, we have a society that has by law said that pre-born babies are nonpersons. Why did we do that? Well the politicians did it to get the votes, to please certain women. Why did the women want that? And well they wanted that dear friend, for convenience, many of them, not all of them. But these secularists make so much of word games. And if a preacher, like myself stands in the pulpit and preaches against abortion, there are always those who say, why don't you stay out of politics? But on the other hand, if you talk to one of these fence-straddling, pussy-footing pusillanimous uh uh politicians and ask him, how do you feel about abortion? Well, he says, that's a a religious matter. I feel like saying make up your mind. When we preach against it in the pulpit, the say stay out of politics, but when we face them about fishing or cutting bait, the duck their head and they say it's a religious matter. But my dear friend, whether you call it political or religious, the babies are dying and it's wrong to kill babies. It is wrong. It is just simply wrong.
Not so long ago, a father went into the delivery room, and took his newborn child in his hands and dashed that baby against the walls of that hospital delivery room, and snuffed out the life of that baby. Do you know what they did to that father? They arrested him and charged him with murder, and well they should have. But irony of ironies, only a few hours prior to that, a doctor could have been paid for killing the same baby. Now, tell me my dear friend, where is the logic in that? In America, four thousand three hundred pre-born babies will legally be put to death under the protection of the Supreme Court in an average day. And ninety-seven percent of those abortions will be abortions for convenience. Abortion has become one of our nations major means of birth control.
I don't believe there's anything that demonstrates the schizophrenia, and that's all I can call it, of America more than this. In America, if you were caught destroying the egg of an American bald eagle, my dear friend, the law says that you can be fined five thousand dollars for destroying the egg of an American eagle, and be put into jail up to one year. Now, why? Well, they say there's a bird in that egg, and we value that bird. My dear friend, do we value something with feathers more than a baby, a child, made in the image of Almighty God. What has happened to us? What is wrong with the land born in the fires of revival? We want to know why America is having so much trouble. Have we removed the audacity to stand God bless America? It's a wonder He doesn't blot us off the face of the earth.
You say, well, I don't believe in that. No, the Bible says that we have allowed it. "Blessed is the man that condemneth not himself" the Bible says, "in the thing which he allows." The late great Francis Schaffer has said that humanism has now replaced Christianity as the consensus of the west. And he said, our freedom is in danger.
Now, may I tell you dear friend, that what I'm preaching tonight, is not preached in many pulpits. And I don't think I'm alone a prophet of God. But many of us have been muzzled and silenced, and may I tell you that you don't expect to read in the media to get a fair shake from the media. The media by in large is anti-God and anti-Christ, not all together, but by in large. And the devil has pipelined things into our living rooms. If you watch television, you'll have an average of thirty-eight acts of violence every hour. When you remonstrate with these who produce these films, they say that they are only a mirror of the American society. But that's a lie. The violence is ten times more statistically, than there is on the streets. They're not a mirror, they are leading the way. And if you get tired of violence, then you can turn to the afternoon soap opera and see the eroticism on the afternoon and evening soaps. And there in the living rooms of America, now you will see affairs including homosexual, bisexual, and even incestual affairs as entertainment. I am talking about on soap operas, these things are there.
There is a bias my dear friend, in the media. May I tell you that Jane Fonda wrote an exercise book in May 1982, it was on the New York Times best seller list. And it only sold half as many copies as Dr. Francis Schaffer's Christian Manifesto, which wasn't even listed. Friend, we're not getting a fair shake, and we don't need a fair shake. Because dear friend, we have something better but we're failing to use it.
America needs a miracle. America needs a revival. And what we have here in this text that I'm going to get to now, is the prayer of a patriot. It's a prayer given long ago, but it is a prayer that is as rich and pertinent as ever in history. Listen to it again, "Turn us O God of our salvation, and cause Thine anger toward us to cease. Wilt Thou be angry with us forever? Wilt thou draw our thine anger to all generations? Wilt Thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? My dear friend, let me talk to you just a few moments about a miracle for America. Let me talk to you about true revival. And first of all let me talk to you about the possibility and the power of that revival. Notice to whom this prayer is addressed in verse six, "Wilt thou not revive us again?" You say, Adrian Rogers do you have hope? Of course I have hope. Why? Because there's a God in heaven, that's why. My dear friend, we cannot say we cannot have revival. God has sent revival before in dark times and God can send revival in these dark and desperate days in which we live. And as long as there's a God in heaven, there's a possibility of revival. Some how, some way, we've gotten the idea that there was a time when God had power to shake cities, rescue multitudes. There was a time when God had power to change institutions, but somehow we think that God today doesn't have the power that He used to. Perhaps we think that God is getting old. Or perhaps God is getting sick. Or God is getting tired. But the Bible says that "the Lord's hand is not short that He cannot save, neither is His arms slack or that He cannot reach, but our sins have separated between us and our God. It's not that His ears heavy that He cannot hear. Nor that His hand short that He cannot save, but our sins have separated between us and our God.
Now God longs to bless America. God wants to bless America. And dear friend, I don't care how black it is, how dark it is, there is a God in the glory. You say, but Adrian it's different now. We have pornography now. We have cocaine now. We have secularism now. We have the new age now. We have this now and we have that now, but my dear friend, we still have God and God is greater than all of those things.
And the Bible tells us that where sin abounds, grace does much more abound. Don't talk to me about demons and demonism. May I tell you dear friend, that a third of the angels fell, that means that two thirds didn't fall and we've got two angels for every demon. Don't talk to me about the power of the devil, for Jesus says "greater is He that's in you than he that's in the world." Don't talk to me about living in the last days, for Jesus said, "Lo, I'm with you always, even to the end of the age." His power has not diminished.
My dear friend, God is our hope, but God is our only hope. Not only is God our only hope, God is our biggest threat. Notice what He says in verse four, "Turn us O God of our salvation and cause thine anger towards us to cease." I'm not afraid of what the Russians, I'm not afraid of what the Iraqis, I'm not afraid of what the Red Chinese will do to us, I'm afraid of what God is going to do to us. God is our only hope, and God is my dear friend, our biggest threat.
Some people, when I preach a sermon on America, think that sometimes I'm being political. But let me tell you this, and if you don't hear anything else, I say I want you to listen plain and straight so you can quote it to other people. We, as Christians, may find a political party, and work in that political party, but we must not identify the church of the Lord Jesus Christ with any political party. We need to speak the Word of God to both parties. We cannot sale our souls to the Democrats or the Republicans, because we must be able to say to both of them, repent and get right with God. Sure you need to find a candidate and work for him. Sure you need to find a party and get in it. But dear friend, don't you identify the God of this Bible with some particular party as such. We need to find what is the truth of God and measure every party, every politician and every platform by the Word of God. That my dear friend, is the possibility of revival. There is a God in the heavens.
Now, let me talk to you secondly about the people of revival. Look again, if you will, in verse six. "Wilt thou," that's the possibility and power, not revive us, that's the people. Now, my dear friend, may I tell you that it's not the secular humanist who needs a revival, he needs life. To revive is to bring something almost dead back to health. They don't need a revival, they need a vival.
We're not talking about Hollywood. We're not talking about the pornographers when we're talking about revival. We are talking about the people of God. My dear friend, the problem in America and the cure for America is sitting in congregations like this across America. "Wilt thou not revive us again?" I know that Second Chronicles Chapter seven and verse fourteen was given to Israel, and sometimes people say, well you can't claim Second Chronicles Chapter fourteen (wrong chapter meant seven). Well my dear friend, there are eternal principles in that passage that will apply to any generation. Listen to it. God says, "If my people, "If my people, which are called by my name," He's not talking about Hollywood now, He's not talking about he liquor dealers now, He's not talking about the secular humanists now, He's not talking about the new agers now, He says, "If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
Now, listen to that text. First of all the people that God has. He's talking about us. Ladies and gentlemen, the hope of America is not in the Pentagon or in the White House, it is in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. My people, the people that God has.
And then secondly dear friend, I want you to notice the pride that God hates. God says "if my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves." Don't pray and ask God to make you humble. Humble yourself. Real revival begins with God's people on their face. I've begun in these last weeks and exercise more and more, and God knows I'm not boasting about because I've got a long way to go, but I've begun now to humiliate myself before God. In my prayers I'm bowing my head more in humiliation before God and saying "Oh, God I prostrate myself before you. I humble myself before you." The Bible says "God resists the proud, He gives grace to the humble." The people God has, "if my people." The pride God hates, "will humble themselves," the prayer God hears, "If the if my people which are called by my name shall seek my face." Listen to it dear friend, "and humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways."
The need in America today is not eloquence, it's not energy, it's not enthusiasm, it's not influence, it is not intellect. It is intercession. Satan mocks at our schemes. He fears our prayers, but notice the prayer there in Second Chronicles seven verse fourteen. It's a prayer that turns from sin and seeks the face of God. Most of us are not seeking the face of God. We're seeking the hand of God. It's not fellowship with God that we want, it's the power of God to deliver us. But God says, don't seek my hand, seek my face. If you find my face, then you will have my hand. Because you see, not only the prayer that God hears, but the promise that God honors. God says "then will I hear from heaven, and forgive their sin, and will heal their land." What He's saying is that when we're humble, and when we're holy, we will be heard. That's what He is saying. I have one last thing I want to talk to you about tonight. I want to talk to you about not only the possibility and power of revival, I want to talk to you not only about the people of revival, "wilt thou not revive us again?" But I want to talk to you about the product of revival.
What is revival? You say, "Pastor, what is it that you are aiming at?" Well look at the text again, verse six. "Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in" what? Bigger churches? A better economy? Oil for our great big automobiles? No, my dear friend, when we seek God's face, what do God's people rejoice in? "That thy people may rejoice in thee." The product of real revival is a rejoicing in God himself, because we've been seeking the face of God. Actually there are three steps in revival. First of all there's a time of weeping. A time of brokenness, and God knows we have enough to weep about. God knows the sin in our churches, the coldness in our churches, the sinfulness of our people, the lostness of our neighbors. Oh, we ought to be on our face before God. It's a time of weeping.
And then real revival is a time of reaping. When God's people get right, the lost get saved. It culminates in a harvest of souls. And in real revival, we will bring bushels of golden grain, the harvest to lay at Jesus' feet. And after that weeping and reaping, there comes that time of rejoicing. And oh, we don't need to be afraid of emotion. My dear friend, I love football, like you love football, some of you. And I enjoy a game, I enjoy basketball, I enjoy these things, and I get excited over these things. But my dear friend, what the church of the Lord Jesus Christ needs is a burning, blazing, passionate, emotional love for the Lord Jesus Christ. I mean to get excited about the things that really happen. Revival is a blazing, shouting, emotional, passion for God. We're God's people. Rejoice in Him, not in His blessings but in Him alone. I believe it can happen. I believe that God can give us many more years. I believe that this particular church is set so that we might touch our city, and God help us to some degree, touch our nation and our world for Jesus Christ.
Now, listen to me, I'm finished with my message, but I want to plea to your heart. Are you listening? Everybody here, I'm listening, I'm talking to. If the world will not have revival, then lets have revival in America. And if America will not have revival then let's have revival in Tennessee. And if Tennessee will not have revival, let's have revival in Memphis. And if Memphis won't have a revival, let's have revival at Bellevue. And if Bellevue won't have revival, then let's have a revival in our family. And if your family won't have a revival, then how about you? Just how about you? Why don't you say, Oh, God revive me. If my pastor is wrong, if my minister of music is wrong, if my Sunday school teacher is wrong, if my husband, my wife, my father, my mother, my brother, my sister, Oh, God let me get right with you. I'm only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. And what I can do, I ought to do. And what I can do and ought to do, that by the grace of God I will do. Revival in your heart, in his heart, in her heart, in her heart, and before long dear friend, the revival fire is burning in America.
Are you listening to me? We don't have much more time. Oh, God wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in Thee? I'm not talking about wild eyed fanaticism, I'm just talking about obeying Jesus and letting Him bless. Bow your heads in prayer. Heads are bowed, eyes are closed. Would you pray and ask yourself, is the fire of revival burning in your heart. Ask yourself, beloved member of this church. Is my heart right with God? Am I rejoicing in Him? Is there burning passionate love for the dear Lord Jesus in my heart? Do I love what He loves? Do I love His Word? Do I love His church? Do I love a lost world? Do I love as He loves? Pray it say it sing it mean it. Lord start a revival and let it begin in me. Father God, do it we pray for Jesus sake, Amen.