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Jul 03, 2016

America the Beautiful

America the Beautiful

Speaker: Dennis Gallaher

Category: Sunday Morning

This week Pastor Dennis took the 4th of July weekend as an opportunity to talk about America’s Christian heritage, how we drifted as a nation, and the role that the church of Jesus Christ must play in seeing our nation return to serving God. Because God operates in covenant, not contract, He will not back away from America, even if we back away from Him. Instead, He will lovingly discipline us until the original relationship between Him and us is restored.

“America the Beautiful” by Pastor Dennis J. Gallaher - July 3, 2016

The people who first came to America were very clear that they were establishing a nation dedicated to the Lord. Read the following from Christopher Columbus:

“It was the Lord who put into my mind the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me. There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because He comforted me with rays of marvelous inspiration from the Holy Scriptures…

“I am a most unworthy sinner, but I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely. I have found the sweetest consolation since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy His marvelous presence. For the execution of the journey to the indies, I did not make use of intelligence, mathematics or maps. It is simply the fulfillment of what Isaiah had prophesied…

“Oh, what a gracious Lord, who desires that people should perform for Him those things for which He holds Himself responsible! Day and night, moment by moment, everyone should express their most devoted gratitude to Him.”

According to Columbus, he took his inspiration and calling from the book of Isaiah.
Going Deeper

What is the conventional wisdom over the past decades concerning Christopher Columbus? How do his actual journal writings contradict those thoughts?

   Isaiah 11:11-12“Then it will happen on that day that the Lord will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people, who will remain, from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And He will lift up a standard for the nations and assemble the banished ones of Israel, and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” 

There has never been a nation as strong, free, and educated as the United States. Put simply, there has never been a place like America.

Unfortunately, since the 50’s we have seen a drift away from our Christian foundation and into idolatry, immorality and a false doctrine in the church of health and wealth instead of an interest in souls.
  -  1950’s - America was the gold standard in morality, money, education, etc. We gladly shared with others and believed that we were making the world a better place.
  -  1960’s - Things began to get wobbly. Our young president was assassinated, we had no foreign policy, and the President lied to us in the Watergate scandal.
  -  1970’s - Sexual promiscuity, pornography, and parents abandoning kids marked the culture.
  -  1980’s - Abortion and no-fault divorce continued to contribute to our moral decline and the church started to buy into the false doctrine of health and wealth instead of focusing on souls.
  -  Over the past 2 decades we have seen our society accept the unacceptable and a church unwilling to stand up for what God says is right.

There is no denying that a remnant has always remained of those who stand firm, but it is one that has had weak leadership and little to no unity.


Ezekiel 13:10-14  “It is definitely because they have misled my people by saying ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace. And when anyone builds a wall, behold, they plaster over it with whitewash; so tell those who plaster it over with whitewash, that it will fall. A flooding rain will come, and you, O hailstones, will fall; and a violent wind will break out. Behold, when the wall has fallen, will you not be asked, ‘where is the plaster with which you plastered it?’ Therefore, thus says the Lord God, “I will make a violent wind break out in My wrath. There will also be in My anger a flooding rain and hailstones to consume it in wrath. So will I tear down the wall which you plastered over with whitewash and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation is laid pare; and when it falls, you will be consumed in its midst. Any you will know that I am the Lord.” 

The problem was that no one saw the drift and few saw the discipline of God. The same is true today in America. If we look around us the drift of the people and the discipline of God is evident now more so than ever.

In spite of the constant discipline from God, as a country we have continued to stand our ground in pride and self-sufficiency and have not bowed down to the Lord.

God, however, is a covenant making God, not a contract making God. When a contract is broken the parties walk away. In a covenant, even when God’s people break their side, God never walks away.

Instead He uses discipline to bring hearts back to the covenant relationship.

When asked what we can expect when it comes to the tragedies that so often dominate the news cycle, the political pundits always warn that there is more the come; and it’s tragically true!

Why more?
  -  We have forsaken the covenant.
  -  We have worshipped idols.
  -  We have given into deep immorality.

Today we are living in the discipline of God by turning away from the covenant of God.

Going Deeper

In what ways does God discipline? How has the church broken covenant, and what is a biblical response to discipline? (to study discipline further, read Hebrews 12:4-17)
Is there any hope?

A change in laws is not the solution. We need a change in hearts.

Zecheriah 1:3  “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of Hosts, “Return to Me.” declares the Lord of hosts, “that I may return to you,” says the Lord of hosts.” 

We must decide to return to God and His ways.

Ezekiel 22:29-31  “The people of the land have practiced oppression and committed robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner without justice. ‘I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one. Thus I have poured out by indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; their way I have brought upon their heads,’ declares the Lord God.” 

The church is called to “stand in the gap.” This coming Saturday is a day for us to stand in the gap. We will be dedicating the day to prayer and fasting, with an all-church prayer meeting at 5:00 in the sanctuary.

Join us on Saturday as we do the only thing we can do; stand in the gap for this great nation.
Going Deeper

Read the notes on fasting and prayer here.