Sermon Notes for Pastor Thomas Atchison
I want to talk to you about our God, our country, and the war that is going on in our midst today.
For more than two decades, I have seen Islamic terrorism heading, like a whirlwind, toward our shores, and finally on September 11, 2001, the first terror attack on American soil blindsided this nation.
Friends have said, “Don’t be negative; people want good news. Tell them good stuff. They will not listen to doom and gloom.” Well, my friends, I think they were wrong; and they could be dead wrong! The hour is too late to tiptoe through the tulips. It is time to shout this message from the housetops. If America is to be saved God-fearing Americans have to wake up, and wake up now!
(2 Chronicles 7:14) "If my people, which 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."
There’s a battle going on, spiritually, and we cannot just sit in the busyness of our schedules and the comfort of our wealth as the enemy subdues our nation and God’s judgment takes us by surprise.
The prophet Jeremiah said,
“I appointed watchmen over you and said, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!” But they said, “We will not listen.’” (Jeremiah 6:17)
There is no question in my mind that America is receiving its final call to repentance. God is going to judge this nation in the same way He has judged every nation that has rejected His Word, and has challenged His prophetic plan.
Today is our day to open our eyes to what is really going on in our country! God’s word is replete with calls to repentance. If we do not turn, we may see our country’s destruction before our very eyes. So, flip with me in your Bibles as we open our ears and our hearts to God’s Word.
Let’s start in Luke 17:26-28. Jesus, himself, prophesied:
“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building.”
In Noah’s day, the Bible says, “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time” Genesis 6:5.
So, God sent a flood on the earth and wiped out the world, sparing only Noah and his family.
In Lot’s day, God rained down fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, destroying every living thing there because of their deeply saddening commitment to sin and perversion.
God is giving us a wake up call today, and it’s this:
Wake Up Call #1: Turn from your sin and go tell this dark land!
As individuals, we are called to take active steps to turn from the sin in our lives. As Americans, we are called to take active steps to go tell the news about God’s coming judgment and the forgiveness He offers through Jesus Christ to our dark and lost nation.
Turning from our sin is impossible without Christ! We’re so busy struggling to live the Christian life we have little energy for outrage. “Lord, help,” we cry. “Help us, Jesus!” But, if Christ is helping, why are so many Christians going through such hellish circumstances? If Christ is helping, why are so many backsliding and being removed from church rolls? If Christ is helping, why do over 3,000 churches close each year?
“Why stand ye gazing up into heaven?” the angels asked those who had gathered to watch Jesus’ ascension.
It’s time that “heaven-gazers” are converted into action figures—and I don’t mean Superman, Batman, Spiderman or Aquaman! I do mean Bible-man, Prayer-man, all those who have been empowered to put on the whole armor of God and stand against the Enemy and shout, “Satan, you can’t have my country!”
The White House is not the key to revival—the church house is! Jesus resides not in the White House or any other building, but within the Believer. Revival in America has to start within the hearts of believers. Our repentance must be at the heart of our country’s turning back to God. Rather than engaging in sin, Christians are to be radically, immediately obedient to the call of God.
Wake Up Call #2: The battle that we’re fighting is spiritual!
God’s armies fought on behalf of the Israelites, and they are actively at war against Satan and his armies in America today. At every turn, it feels like Satan’s armies are gaining ground–abortions are commonplace, gun violence claims the lives of so many individuals, abuse, violence, and corruption cover our daily news headlines! But, a day is coming when Jesus will come back, and we’ll see our true enemy, Satan, be vanquished!
Where are those who weep for America, who grieve for her sins of arrogance? Millions of professing Christians have closed their eyes to what is happening. Many preachers are even telling jokes in the pulpit, and mocking those who are weeping over impending judgment. They fail to speak against moral decadence in America. There was a time when bars in the United States were gathering places for party-goers; now it is often church groups filling that role. It’s as if they’ve forgotten that we’re in the middle of a battle!
The stakes are high! If our enemy, Satan, is actively working to distort and destroy our country’s faith, then churches need to be battlegrounds not entertainment centers! And, we should be clear with people about the amazing all-consuming commitment it is to decide to follow Jesus.
Wake Up Call #3: We have been warned. Idolatry brings about judgment!
What happens when a nation is cursed? God’s hand of protection is lifted, and the powers of Hell take free reign. God, forgive anyone who does not see the warning signs! This is the reason I have repeatedly mentioned II Chronicles 7:14. Solomon was issued a warning by Almighty God:
Now that you have built your home and your temple, don’t fall into pride and think you no longer need Me. If you begin to fall away, the remedy is simple: Humbly repent, seek My face, and turn from the wickedness you are doing. I will hear your prayers and respond—forgiving your sins, and healing your land. But if you continue to defy Me, regardless of establishing your throne in wisdom on My Name, I will turn from you as you have turned from Me, and instead of being a symbol of My goodness, you will become a symbol of what happens to those who forsake Me.
This is valuable advice. America has more idols than Solomon could have possibly erected, including relativism and greed. With them, we have made God’s laws and His compassion void and meaningless. We have turned our backs on Him by adopting abominations such as abortion and homosexuality and made them accepted practices. God said if we did that we would be given over to the reprobate minds that perform such acts. Terrorist attacks on the United States and her citizens are simply warning shots across the bow of our Ship of State. God wants His children to wake up before it is too late. The United States is staring down the barrel of a loaded gun and the sound of a ticking bomb brought by terrorists who desire only the destruction of this country. Its citizens will then be expected to pay homage to Allah or face death.
All of our idolatry has caught up with us, and God is perfectly justified in bringing judgment or even curses on our country! But, the battle’s not over yet.
Wake Up Call #4: We need God’s Word!
What is the key to escaping judgment and making God Lord of our lives?
We read in Joshua 1:6-9, NKJV:
“Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Three times in this portion of scripture God reiterates, “Be strong and of good courage.” How were His people to do that? Was it with calisthenics at sunrise or with courage pills for breakfast? Not at all!
The key to God’s admonition is found in verse 8: The Book of the Law, the Word of God. The people were to meditate on it, ruminate on it, deliberate on it, and contemplate it, until it became an integral part of their lives. They were to study the Words of God, memorize them, and as Deuteronomy 6:8, reminds us:
“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
There are times in the Bible where God used a committed individual to make a decided transformation. Daniel, Joseph, David, Elijah—all were destined to make a difference through intercession and obedience. We need only to look back at Joshua and the Israelites as they entered the Promised Land.
When they were faced with Jericho, God asked only for obedience to His precise instructions: March and be quiet, then blow the trumpet and shout! How that must have vexed some who thought they had a better idea. As a result of doing exactly what God had instructed, the walls fell and the people prevailed.
Apart from God, the victory could never have been won.
Can we apply that to America, as did those patriots who desired freedom from King George III? The British were better trained, had more troops and certainly were better armed. As the British regulars faced off against the colonial militia, it must have looked for all the world like David slinging stones at Goliath—yet the revolutionary war was won by ill-equipped men with a mission.
In 1775 at the Virginia Convention, Patrick Henry, attorney, planter and politician delivered this resounding speech as a clarion call to stand up to the tyranny of the king: There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave….Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
After the dust had settled and the dead were buried; after the war had been won, George Washington stood humbly before those assembled, placed his hand upon the Holy Bible and took the oath of office to become the first president of the United States of America. As his voice died away, he leaned down and kissed the Bible, and then led the group in a two-hour gathering for worship. The men who were instrumental in founding this land of ours were unafraid to state unequivocally that the nation had been founded on biblical principles under the hand of the God of the Bible.
After Joshua led the Children of Israel into the land that God had promised to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the people experienced the hand of God at work on their behalf. And yet, by the end of the book of Judges, the scribe records one of the saddest verses in the Bible in chapter 21, verse 25, “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.”
Tragic! We need God’s Word to direct our lives and our country!
Can you see the correlation between the Children of Israel then and the United States today, a nation awash in situational ethics and moral relativism; a nation with no absolutes—an “anything goes” society? Where are the sacred foundations upon which this country was built? Rather than embrace them, politicos are intent on rewriting history to delete as much of our godly heritage as possible.
We need an awakening! God has sent us so many warnings in His Word, and we can no longer go on living unaware of how our country has grieved God!
He has given us four wake up calls this morning:
• Turn from your sin and go tell this dark land!
• The battle that we’re fighting is spiritual!
• We have been warned. Idolatry brings about judgment!
• We need God’s Word!
Today as we go forward, what should our response be? Pray! Whether it’s to repent of personal sin or to intercede for our nation, pray that God’s light would invade our land and that Satan would be bound from distorting and destroying any more of our country. Pray that America would lay down its idols and take up God’s Word, which would transform them from the inside out.
Evangelist Dr. Phil Hoskins stated, “America is at a crossroads and I feel that as a nation we face two possibilities, retribution or revival.” Which would you rather see?