Starting this study, you may expect me to go over all that has happened including statements pulled from the newspaper and the news on TV.
But I am happy to say that this study will not include any of this. If you want to know what's going on in the world according to the world's point of view, just read the paper or watch the news.
Maybe you are hoping to find out what God thinks about all of this through this study.
I do not think for God nor do I try to read His mind. I will not say that "the Lord has said", in this study. In fact you may find it strange, but the USA is not really mentioned in the bible. Not in the prophecies, in the last day or through the seven year tribulation period.
So what will this week's study be on?
We will look at the nation of Israel and how they turned their backs on God and then called upon God for help and what God's answer was.
Through this, we should get a good idea of what's going on here in the USA and possibly what God is saying to us as a nation.
The key verses for this weeks study are 2 Chron 7:14-15 & 19-22:
2 Chron 7:14-15 & 19-22 14 "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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 "Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.
19 "But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods, and worship them, 20 "then I will uproot them from My land which I have given them; and this house which I have sanctified for My name I will cast out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 21 "And as for this house, which is exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, 'Why has the LORD done thus to this land and this house?' 22 "Then they will answer, 'Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and embraced other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this calamity on them.'
Once again this is God speaking to the nation of Israel. So how do we apply it to our situation today? After all we have been attacked by terrorist with hundreds dieing in one feel swoop.
If you read these verses again and look at our current state, you may sense the Lord speaking directly to the USA.
The USA is known as being a Christian nation, but we are also known for being a very sinful nation. We can't be both and expect to continue on like this, we need to make a choice whether we will serve the Lord and be a Christian nation or not.
Through this whole ordeal we have focused on two things, what they (the terrorist) have done to us, and how will we get back at them without hurting the innocent.
I remember one month ago when it all happened. I was glued to my TV like everyone else, watching the whole thing over and over. Then we saw what appeared to be a return to God by our nation. After all, the congress broke out in God Bless America, there was a time of prayer by our leaders and God's name was used over and over on TV without being a curse word.
So reading verse 14 again:
"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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
You would think that we have returned to the Lord as a nation and that God will hear us and help us now.
But you must read verse 14 carefully and look at our nation and it's current state verses one month ago.
Notice it says, "turn from their wicked ways".
Turn on your TV; go to the movies or even look at the newsstand at the checkout of your local grocery store. What do you see? Is it the same things as you saw on September 10th?
Once again the key word is "turn".
Have we as Americans turned from our wicked ways? I don't think so, we may have set them aside for a week, but then not really.
Think of the scenario of what has happened in a different sense. We have allowed sin to reign in our nation, but when we need help we call upon God and expect Him to hear us.
In the following example we will call this fictional couples names John and Jane.
John goes to work everyday to supply for his family, but it's tough now a days, so John's wife, Jane has to work also.
In the mean time their children are being taught in our schools by people who are very underpaid and teach what they were taught or what they are told to teach. Some of these teachings include "the big bang theory" and "evolution".
Some additional teachings include safe sex including how to use a condom, and these things that are being taught to our children in elementary schools.
But that's not all; they are also taught that a homosexual lifestyle is OK.
Even worse a nurse can get fired if she gives a child aspirin without a parents consent, but if she wants to take a young girl to get an abortion, then that's OK because it should be kept from the parents if the child choose not to tell them, or at lest that's what the system says.
So John and Jane's children are learning these things in school, but since they both work so much, they don't really have time for one another, in turn John starts looking at other women at his work place, and Jane doesn't mind because she does the same also.
Meanwhile John sits at home at night now watching Bay Watch, Sex in the City, and Son of the Beach (yes these are real names for TV shows). While he watches these shows he has his Playboy and Penthouse magazines all over the place or even hidden. Afterwards he will search the Internet for more pornography because he thinks that he is doing it in secret, while his wife watches the latest scenario on late night TV.
Jane has taped her soap operas so that she can keep up on the local dirt since she works during the day. On weekends she will get a babysitter and go downtown with her friends to pick up on some guy because she feels lonely. John doesn't mind because he has his playboy magazines, the Internet and vireo's that the can watch.
Eventually they may break up with their marriage ending in divorce.
But there are two highlights to their year where it seems they are OK, that's Easter and Christmas. You see they go to church on these two days of the year, all dressed up and playing the part.
But when things start to go bad they call upon God and wonder why He doesn't hear them, after all they went to church on Easter and Christmas, in fact they even went to church once with a co-worker and it wasn't even a holiday.
"God where are you" , they cry out just like we have been doing the last month as a nation.
You see, even though John and Jane are fictional characters, there life isn't. It's a part that most Americans play everyday. No you say, you think I'm crazy. What do you or anyone in your family watch on TV? What books are magazines do you read? What music do you listen to? What movies do you go and see? When do you pray, only when you are in need? Is there dust on your bible? Do they know you at church as a family who regularly attends?
Harsh words? Remember what God said to the children of Israel.
and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven,
"But it's only a TV show, or just pictures in a magazine. The plot in the movie is so good, so what if they use the Lord's name as a curse word or people are having sex."
We all know that Jesus died for the sins of the world, by watching these things and allowing them into our homes and to infest our children, we are glorifying the sins that Jesus died for.
Thank You Jesus for dieing for those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, I think I'll go have a drink and call it a disease of alcoholism or drug abuse instead of a sin.
Thanks Jesus for dieing for sexual immorality, but I will continue to have sex before marriage and watch others do the same at the movies, because it's a great movie, in fact I will listen to songs and sing the words that speak of these things with a cross dangling around my neck.
"Thank you Jesus for dying for the thief on the cross, I will go ahead and take some things from work because they won't miss them and when the cashier at the store gave me a ten dollar bill instead of a one dollar bill, she won't get in trouble and it's not stealing because she gave it to me, even if it was a mistake."
These are just a few small examples, and I know we all sin and have our struggles that we go through, but have we really turned from our wicked ways? Look around and ask yourself that question.
This past week there have been those who have died from anthrax and many reports of anthrax in different cities.
President Bush's reply to this is, "The government is doing all it can to protect Americans."
The problem is, it's not really the terrorist we need to fear but God. "So is God doing all of this?" NO
But how can we call upon God to help us until we turn from our wicked ways as a nation and truly seek the Lord.
"OK wise guy, you're so smart, how do we do this?"
Let's see what the bible says.
Jonah 3:4-10 4 And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day's walk. Then he cried out and said, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!"
5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. 6 Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. 7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. 8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?
10 Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.
We all heard of the story of Jonah and the whale, but have you ever read the story? If not I would encourage you to in the book of Jonah; after all it's only four chapters.
But notice here in these verses what the people did, and not only the people but also the king and it's leaders. They repented and turned from their wicked ways.
"Yea, but what about separation of church and state. Our laws say that they should be separate."
Think about it, who made that decision? Did not the children of Israel say the same thing?
1 Sam 8:4-7 & 9-20 4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, 5 and said to him, "Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations."
6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." So Samuel prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD said to Samuel, "Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.
10 So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who asked him for a king. 11 And he said, "This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. 12 "He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 "He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. 14 "And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. 15 "He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. 16 "And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 "He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. 18 "And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day."
19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, "No, but we will have a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles."
God warned Israel what would happen if they allowed a man, and not God rule over them, but the children of Israel wouldn't listen and the results were exactly what God said would happen. If you read what God said would happen, you can see how right God is, because that's exactly the way things are for a nation that separates itself from God and has man rule over them.
"So how do we know if the President or any other leaders will teach us and direct us in Gods ways. Look at former president Clinton and all he did. He wasn't a God fearing man."
That's right, but like the children of Israel, we choose who we want to lead us, whether it's a man who chases after other women, like Clinton, or a man who is trying to direct this nation to God and Gods ways like our current president Bush.
How do I know this?
President Bush said in front of millions that Jesus is his Lord and Savior and that he accepted Jesus Christ through the ministry of Billy Graham.
But he can't do everything, he can only direct us in Gods ways, only we as a nation can make the choice whether we will follow Jesus or not.
"But I can't make others follow Jesus or the bible, so don't try to lay the blame on me."
There is no blame being laid upon any one person, we are all responsible for what has happened to our nation, I am just as guilty as anyone else.
But we are also responsible for what God is saying to us.
"OK, you have mentioned that God is the God of the USA. What God are you talking about and what proof do you have?"
Our founding fathers called upon the God of the bible. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The God of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The God who our president proclaimed before he was elected as president. The God who our president quotes words from the bible.
What proof do you want? Here is some proof that you have personally.
Look at our money, it says, "In God we trust"
Look at the song for our nation, "God bless America"
Recite the pledge of allegiance, "One nation under God"
We even have holidays to celebrate the birth and resurrection of Jesus called Easter and Christmas.
Look at the date on your Magazine or even your computer. The year represents how long ago Jesus rose from the dead.
Whose name is being used in vain? Not Buddha or Mohammed, or any other so-called gods of false religions. No they use the name of the creator of the heavens and earth, "GOD" and His Son's name "JESUS" as curse words.
You never hear anyone say, "Buddha damn" or "Mohammed Christ"
Just go to your local library or search the Internet and you will see that the God this nation was built upon is the God of the bible.
"OK, I am somewhat convinced that God may be speaking to the USA, but do you have more then just 2 Chron 7:14-15 & 19-22?"
Jer 4:1-2 (NLT) 1 "O Israel, come back to me," says the LORD. "If you will throw away your detestable idols and go astray no more, 2 and if you will swear by my name alone, and begin to live good, honest lives and uphold justice, then you will be a blessing to the nations of the world, and all people will come and praise my name."
Zech 1:3-4 3 "Therefore say to them, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Return to Me," says the LORD of hosts, "and I will return to you," says the LORD of hosts. 4 "Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets preached, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds." ' But they did not hear nor heed Me," says the LORD.
Mal 3:6-7a 6 "For I am the LORD, I do not change;
Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
7 Yet from the days of your fathers
You have gone away from My ordinances
And have not kept them.
Return to Me, and I will return to you,"
Says the LORD of hosts.
OK, OK, what if we choose not to return to God as a nation. What will really happen? After all we have a pretty strong military, lots of money, plenty of aircraft, tanks, destroyer ships and young men willing to fight. Do we really need God?
Judges 2:13-15 (NLT) 13 They abandoned the LORD to serve Baal and the images of Ashtoreth. 14 This made the LORD burn with anger against Israel, so he handed them over to marauders who stole their possessions. He sold them to their enemies all around, and they were no longer able to resist them. 15 Every time Israel went out to battle, the LORD fought against them, bringing them defeat, just as he promised. And the people were very distressed.
Jer 15:7 And I will winnow them with a winnowing fan in the gates of the land;
I will bereave them of children;
I will destroy My people,
Since they do not return from their ways.
Hag 2:22 I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms;
I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms.
I will overthrow the chariots
And those who ride in them;
The horses and their riders shall come down,
Every one by the sword of his brother.
And also the second half of this week's verses.
2 Chron 7:14-15 19 "But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods, and worship them, 20 "then I will uproot them from My land which I have given them; and this house which I have sanctified for My name I will cast out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 21 "And as for this house, which is exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, 'Why has the LORD done thus to this land and this house?' 22 "Then they will answer, 'Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and embraced other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this calamity on them.'
"WOW, what happened to the God of love I always hear that He is?"
We as parents love our children, but if they do something wrong then we must punish them. It's not that we like to or even want to, but it's to teach our children not to do wrong for their own safety.
God does not get enjoyment out of punishing His children, but being a loving Father He does so because He loves us and doesn't want us to continue in our sins because God wants the best for us and God knows that sin only hurts us and destroys a nation.
"OK, so we return to the Lord, what will He do then? Will he destroy our enemies? Will He pulverize Ben Laden? Will God protect us from all harm?"
Psalms 118:10-12 10 All nations surrounded me,
But in the name of the LORD
I will destroy them.
11 They surrounded me,
Yes, they surrounded me;
But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
12 They surrounded me like bees;
They were quenched like a fire of thorns;
For in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
Psalms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Job 19:25-27 25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
27 Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
Isaiah 47:4 As for our Redeemer, the LORD of hosts is His name,
The Holy One of Israel.
Psalms 130:7-8 7 O Israel, hope in the LORD;
For with the LORD there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption.
8 And He shall redeem Israel
From all his iniquities.
The good news is that the Lord has not only redeemed Israel, but us also.
Mal 1:11 For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down,
My name shall be great among the Gentiles;
In every place incense shall be offered to My name,
And a pure offering;
For My name shall be great among the nations,"
Says the LORD of hosts.
Matt 12:18-21 18 "Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen,
My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased!
I will put My Spirit upon Him,
And He will declare justice to the Gentiles.
19 He will not quarrel nor cry out,
Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench,
Till He sends forth justice to victory;
21 And in His name Gentiles will trust."
1 Tim 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.
Acts 11:18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life."
"OK, So what do I do? I can't change our nation or convince others to change?"
You are right but wrong.
We on our own can do nothing.
John 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
Only through Jesus Christ can we do anything. But it must start somewhere and why not with you and me?
To start, first you must realize that you are a sinner, and ask the Lords forgiveness.
This is done with a prayer to the Lord such as this one.
Jesus, I admit I am a sinner and I ask you to please forgive me for my sins and cleanse me of all unrighteousness. I believe that You died for me and paid for my sins on the cross. I believe You rose from the dead on the third day and even now You are at the right hand of the Father. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit and give me the wisdom and ability to share You with others. Thank You Jesus for doing this for me, and not just me but my friends, family and even those I don't know. I pray this in Your name Jesus. AMEN!
If you just prayed this prayer and believed it in your heart you are now a Christian. Welcome to the family of God. I would encourage you to start reading your bible, starting in the book of John, find a good church to go to and start telling others about Jesus. E-mail me with any questions or if you need help finding a church in your area.
Maybe you are a believer and reading this week's study your eyes are more open to what's going on around you. So what do you do?
I believe the cleansing has to start somewhere, and I believe that, that's in the church. We have allowed the ways of this world to creep in and take control of believers.
It's time for us to clean house, and this cleaning must start in our own homes.
Pray and asked the Lord to show you anything in your home, including what you watch on TV and what music you listen to that He doesn't want you to have there any longer. And then get rid of those things and start changing your lifestyle.
Next start telling others about Jesus. This does not include thumping them over the head with a bible and beating them into the kingdom of God. This also does not include anger towards people and their sins. It is so easy to point the finger at others and say, "This is all your fault because of your sins."
No, God says we must come to others in love, just as Jesus did.
1 Cor 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If we don't come in love then our words are our own and it's not from the Lord.
Here is a prayer we as Christians can pray.
Jesus, I thank you for getting our attention here in the USA. I thank You that You were and want to be the God of this nation. Forgive me for following the ways of this world and allowing them to come into my relationship with You.
Please show me the things I need to clean out of my own home and my own life. May the repentance of this nation and returning to you start with me.
Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit and give me the Love, Wisdom and Compassion that You have for others who are going to hell.
May I no longer look to my own needs but the needs of others. May I trust in You and know no matter what happens I am Your child and I will be with You in heaven. But I ask that I not go there alone but take others with me. I ask these things in Your name Jesus. AMEN!
We must understand that we are in the last seconds before Jesus returns for His church.
But until that moment, may we all share Jesus with others, so that none of our families, friends and loved ones are left behind!
One other thing that we all can do is pray. Pray for President Bush and our leaders. Pray for our nation and the people of the USA to return to the Lord. Pray for those in Afghanistan as well as Ben Laden (You never know, he could repent and become a believer in Jesus Christ also).
Pray for those in the armed forces and their families.
Pray for Israel and the peace of Jerusalem.
Pray that God will forgive us as a nation!
Two final things to close this week's study.
First remember I said that the USA was not mentioned in the bible, there are a few possible reasons, which are happening right now. It's possible that the Lord is speaking to our nation telling us to repent and return to Him. If we don't, it's possible that we will be destroyed as a nation, therefore no mention of us because this nation won't exist. Or it could be that we listen to God and repent and return to the Lord as a nation, then right after this happens Jesus could rapture the church and takes us home to heaven, that would be another reason why we are not mentioned because we are in heaven and not here during the seven year tribulation. Just two thoughts, but I could be totally wrong.
Finally, if you feel like you can't make a difference, remember it took the voice of one woman to get prayer out of our schools.