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7 Reasons America is messed up!

A father took his young daughter to see the Statue of Liberty. He taught her the meanings of the torch and book. She was impressed as she noted the inscription at the base of the statue:

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden shore.

When they returned home she seemed restless. Her Dad asked if anything was the matter. Said the little lady, “Daddy, that lady must be awful tired after holding up her arm all these years. Isn’t there any way we can help her hold up that torch?” Indeed, we must help the lady with her torch.

Christian responsibility means more than “flag waving” and speeches. There is a wisdom and work involved in being a Christian citizen. As we move towards celebrating our nation’s 241st birthday, let us be inspired by the example of another patriot.

The time was long ago. The city had been captured and destroyed, its best young citizens carried away to prison camps. Even the religious symbols and treasures were gone, the meeting house leveled. It was a time to wail.

The city was Jerusalem…the patriot, Ezekiel. What did he do? How did he serve God and his beloved Israel in the midst of such tragedy and downfall?

1 The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.

2 He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry.

3 He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.”

4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.

5 Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: I will cause breath£ to enter you, and you shall live.

6 I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath£ in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.”

7 So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone.

8 I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them.

9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.”

10 I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

11 Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’

12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel.

13 And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people.

14 I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken and will act, says the LORD.” Ezekiel 37:1 – 14 (NRSVA)

Observe the Conditions Ezek 37.1,2

Ezekiel was given this vision of a valley of dry bones. The bones represented his nation, his beloved Israel. Notice that each word conveys how sad the situation had become. There was a valley, a place of depression. The valley was full of bones. There were many bones. They were on the floor of the valley, and they were very dry.

Ezekiel’s whole nation had been sacked. The people appeared to him as nothing more than a valley of dry, parched bones. There was little hope that Israel would ever be a viable nation again.

To many of the Christian family today, our nation appears in much the same condition as in Ezekiel’s day. We are indeed a “parched people.” Let me give you 7 reasons (and there are more) that America is messed up! Seven reason that America is like the valley of dry, parched bones!

  1. • Broken marriages;
  2. • Economy in shambles;
  3. • Morality parched beyond recognition.
  4. • There is no move of God sweeping through the land.
  5. • We live in confusion where the eggs of bald eagles are preserved like gold, and the unborn humans are discarded as garbage.
  6. • Those who choose to discipline their children are as apt to be disciplined by the courts for “abuse.”
  7. • The truly violent have their rights protected, while praying in school makes you a target for being arrested as a fundamentalist fanatic.

We have truly arrived at a time of major moral bankruptcy!

What shall we do? To whom shall we turn? One certain answer is:

Don’t wait for the government to fix it!

In Indiana Gideon Bibles are in each of the state parks’ 500 hotel rooms. A group called “Freedom From Religion Foundation” won the right to place their own pamphlet in the name of “equal time.” The pamphlet describes the Bible as “a violent, racist, sexist fable.” According to law, Governor Bayh had no choice but to allow the pamphlets. [1]

On March 21, 2017, a national state/church watchdog and three individuals filed a federal lawsuit to stop a Texas justice of the peace from praying at the start of each court session.

The report reads like this; “The Freedom From Religion Foundation, along with three plaintiffs directly affected by Judge Wayne Mack’s religious rituals, filed suit today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston. They are asking the court to rule the Montgomery County courtroom prayer practice a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment”.

 

How in the world did we ever get this way?

The answer is relative to the “law of harvest.” We have sown wild seed, we are reaping an incredibly violent whirlwind. Today’s generation was handed a country with a history of unparalleled freedom and choices. The problem is, we didn’t earn it. It was handed to us. In 1776 Thomas Paine said, “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.” Colton’s philosophical statement should convict us all — “Liberty is not handed down to a people; a people must raise themselves up to liberty. Liberty is a blessing that must be earned before it can be enjoyed.”

Christians must be keen observers of the conditions. We must be students of theology, but we must not forget our history. We must learn well the lessons of the past.

And then, obey the Call Ezek 37.3-10

Ezekiel was instructed to preach the Word of God to the bones (people/nation Israel). Our call is to preach the word of God, and use the word of God to change our moral bankruptcy into manifold blessing. Note the way this unfolds:

1.- Decide to obey

To many the idea of being involved at all goes against their grain. “Preach to those dysfunctional bones? Nah, let them rot.” God asked Ezekiel the question that had to be in the prophet’s mind. “Do these bones stand a chance?” For many of us it is easier to wash our hands of any involvement, and just do what suits “me and mine.” But that is never God’s way. He helped Joshua call God’s children to follow and obedience. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Jos 24.15)

2.- Obey the correct authority v.4-7

If you are going to obey, you must make certain you are obeying the correct authority. Note that Ezekiel did the preaching, but it was God who did the reassembly work on the nation’s skeleton (vv.4-7) God’s word is the authority for believers.

As we read in the Scriptures, all authority is of God; all power is of God. Whatever power man exercises, he exercises merely as a delegated power and authority from God.” [2]

There are times when the government does things that are clearly against scripture. In that case a Christian’s responsibility is to change the government, or disobey. As Peter said “We must obey God rather than men! Acts 5:29(NIV)

3.- The Result will be filling of the Spirit v.8-10

Without the Spirit of God there is no life. It is no different for a nation, a church or an individual. Without the Spirit it is just a carcass, a skeleton with skin. You may be moving around, but you’re dead. This nation cannot survive without God’s Spirit.

4.- Overcome the Challenges Ezek 37.11-14

Ezekiel saw dried-up bones, and the people themselves said they were all finished (v.11b). There is a challenge of hopelessness that must be overcome in our land today.

Open the graves

God told the prophet He would open the graves, bring the people back to their land and purpose. That is what we must do. We must get back to our purpose — freedom and justice and mercy.

In order to do that we must all participate. Christians that don’t vote are being disobedient. Christians that don’t stand with their life as a holy example are discouragers. We need to stand in faith and make plans for the future. Jeremiah did that. When his nation was carried into captivity, and he was in prison, he arranged to buy a plot of land so when God brought an end to the captivity he would have a homestead. That’s faith! In each of our minds we must allow God to open the grave, push us into the battle, overcome the challenges.

A man took his son to the tiny rural community where he grew up. He was disappointed to discover that the little church where he attended as a boy had disbanded. The windows were broken, the doors were hanging on the hinges, the pews were dusty and dirty, and the pulpit was knocked over. Debris was everywhere. His son said, “Daddy, do you reckon the bell is still there?” The father pulled the bell rope and it clanged. “Ring the bell again, Daddy.” The man and his son continued to ring the bell, and a crowd began to gather. The boy said, “Why don’t you ask them to come in. We can stand up the pulpit, and you can read to them from the Bible?” A congregation gathered inside, and that day a church was revived. It started when a boy said, “Ring the bell.”

For the sake of those who come after us we must ring freedom’s bell. For the sake of Christ’s kingdom we must ring Calvary’s bell again. For the sake of decency, morality, and responsibility we must never stop ringing the bell!

Tomorrow is America’s birthday. Tomorrow is the 4th of July. For most Americans, this holiday is important. It’s a good excuse to be off from work and enjoy the family. It’s the perfect summer day to cook out and pop some firecrackers. Homes and businesses will be decorated with American flags, and the sense of patriotism will surely be high. To the millions of Christian Americans in our great land, I want to encourage you to obey God and speak to the dry bones! In doing so, you will witness the revival of our country in a way you had never imagined. Yes, America is messed up, but it is still the greatest country on Earth! I cannot fathom living anywhere else. Imagine how much greater it can be if Christians would just follow Ezekiel’s example. So, what are you waiting for?

The Lord says to you, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.


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