“If My people, who are called by My name, shall 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” (II Chronicles 7:14).
Yesterday morning I had breakfast with a man who was a very close friend of Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship who passed away on April 21 of this year. It was through this man that I first met Chuck Colson at Squaw Creek one Saturday morning several years ago. Over our breakfast we talked of the legacy of Chuck Colson, his 35 years of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to “the least of these” (Matthew 25:40). Chuck loved his Lord Jesus Christ, the people for whom He died, he loved this nation and grieved greatly over the decay he saw that was the result of a nation turning its back on God.
As we continued to talk, this brother said to me that the tact of his prayers for this nation had changed that the focus of his prayers now days is for God to revive His Church. His belief is that as the church goes so goes the nation. I returned to my office, still pondering our conversation. My thoughts turned to the words above from II Chronicles. Here, God says that the healing of a nation is in the hands of praying people, His people. In 1976 during the celebration of America’s bicentennial, Jimmy and Carol Owens wrote and produced a musical titled If My People. It was a powerful presentation of the truths found in II Chronicles 7:14. Today, I wonder how many Christians even know that verse let alone believe it and act on its truths. The truth of the verse is that as the church goes, so goes the nation.
In 1960 when Billy Graham would say, The Bible says…”that statement resonated with over 70% percent of the population of the United State, these believed that the Bible was the Word of God. Today, that number is less than 25%. When it comes to the message of the Church, has the salt lost its flavor? (Matthew 5:13). It seems to me that the church’s primary commission, that of boldly proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, calling sinners to repentance and making disciples (that which truly has the power to change a nation) has gotten mired down in a myriad of peripheral issues.
We are living in the season of another Presidential Election in our land. What we are seeing played out, for the most part is not pretty. Half-truths, un-truths and ugly accusations from both sides of the political arena are presently polluting our airwaves. What’s a body to think? What’s a body to do?
My dear friends, when it comes to the political area, it’s not about the donkey or the elephant, it’s about the Lamb! It’s about men and women and boys and girls whose lives have been radically changed by the Gospel. From my 35 year vantage point as a pastor, I have witnessed that when a life is truly changed by Christ, those individuals become better fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, church members, workers and citizens. Abortion became the right of a woman in our land because the Church did not speak for and fight for the sanctity of life. The homosexual agenda in our land is gaining steam day by day because the church has not consistently proclaimed a biblical sexual ethic. Our government is awash in a sea of red ink because Christian men and women who understand and live the truth of “owe no man” have not occupied the seats of power. And when it comes to electing our leaders, Christians too have been guilty of selecting the lesser of two evils rather than following the biblical mandate. “Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders…” (Exodus 18:21).
Our nation teeters on the brink politically, economically and morally. The answers to her many dilemmas will not come from the White House, the Congress, or the Courts. This nation’s future is hinged upon revival in the church. Of all the institutions on the face of the earth, it is the church that has the greatest potential for meeting the true needs of all people. We are the custodians of the most important information on the planet. It is through the church that God desires to proclaim His truth to a world that is caught up in Satan’s lies. It is through the church that God desires to manifest His power and wisdom and glory and grace. It is through the church that God desires to lead those who are captives in darkness into the freedom of His light.