Monday, July 09, 2007

Righteousness Exalts a Nation

How many unborn toddlers were murdered today because of the humanistic, paganish decisions of the United States Supreme Court?

Stop the
Murder of

“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” James 4: 17 (NIV)

On my post entitled “Immigration reform, Oklahoma Style” I was asked the following: “What if someone is starving and destitute? As Christians, I thought we live by a higher law and that we see other people through the eyes of God, not through the eyes of any sort of nationalism. 10:47 AM” I am now ready to attempt to answer this question. First, I am posting a program from “In Search of the Lord’s Way.” The website for the program is The program originated on July 1, 2007. Tonight I am posting it without comment. Next, I will comment on the portions I think apply to the question. Additional posts will deal directly with the question. Thank you for being so patient.

“Righteousness Exalts a Nation

Proverbs 14: 34

When I consider the odds against my having been born in America, I'm overwhelmed. How about you? Were you born here? Or did you choose to be an American? What comes easy is often perceived to be of little worth. So it seems with some people and their American citizenship. On this July 4th let's take time to thank God for America and ask His blessings on her.
Thank you, my friend, for inviting us into your home for Bible study ‘In Search of the Lord's Way’ to become and to be a Christian. I know you have many choices of programs, but you've chosen to be with us—and we're glad. And we pray we'll both be blessed by our study. We have many people who write us or call us to tell us they're with us. Have you done so? Ah, it’d be encouraging to hear from you. It’s the only real way we have of knowing you’re there.

O no, I'm not asking you to send money. We're here every week through the cooperative efforts of locally autonomous churches of Christ in the area, who'd like so much to have you worship and study with them. We've been on some stations almost a quarter of a century, and we've never asked for money on the air. If you'd like to write, our address is In Search of the Lord's Way, P.O. Box 371, Edmond, Ok. 73083. Our e-mail address is If you'd like to call, our toll-free telephone number for your use is 1-800-321-8633.

This week we're celebrating our nation's birthday. Let's see—this must be—the 228th one! I believe that's right. Well, if you're a regular viewer, you know this is a program that's dedicated to Bible study—teaching the word of God. Therefore you're not expecting a patriotic speech. And we're not going to disappoint you today. The basis of our study today is found in the Bible book of Proverbs 14:34. Right now Ken Helterbrand's going to lead us in a hymn, then I'll be back to read that verse and some others.

You'll hear it many times this week—perhaps you'll even join in singing it: ‘I'm Proud to be an American.’ Most of us are. I'm thankful to have been born here and lived most of my life right here in the USA. I did live abroad as a ‘missionary’ a few years and have traveled extensively to other nations of the world to preach the gospel there—so many in fact, I'd have to have some time to try to recall them all. And I'm proud to be an American. There are other good places to live this life, but ‘I'm proud to be an American.’ That isn't said in denial of some very serious problems we have. It's simply a statement of my belief that America is the best place to live on this earth. I'm anticipating a far better place in the world to come, and I'd like—oh so very much to take you with me there. That's what I'm doing here today—trying to persuade you to become a Christian—just like people did in the New Testament, so we may enjoy eternity together.

The verse we read awhile ago for our text says, ‘Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.’ In case you missed it, that's some of the wisdom of Solomon found in Proverbs 14: 34. Furthermore, those are the words of God—not a god, but God. That one verse contains the outline of all that I'm going to say today: (1) Righteousness exalts a nation, (2) Sin is a reproach to any people, and 3) A call to national repentance.

I think I never read that verse, that I don't think also of the words of Alexis de Tocqueville, the 19th century French statesman and author, who after a somewhat extensive visit to our country, returned home and wrote about us. Among other things, he said,

‘I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers; it was not there. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her fertile fields and her boundless forests; it was not there. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her rich mines and her vast world commerce; it was not there. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her free public schools and her institutions of learning; it was not there. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her matchless Constitution and her democratic congress; it was not there.’

‘Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the greatness and genius of America. America is great because America is good,’ he said, and ‘If America ever ceases to be good America will cease to be great.’ Yes, ‘Righteousness exalts a nation.’

Oh, no one I've ever known has said America was or is perfect; no one I've known ever believed all our founding founders were Christians. But, only those who're so blind they will not see have ever denied that our nation was established on the teachings of God in the Old and New Testaments. Evidences of it are inscribed in our official and revered documents—etched in our marble monuments—and indelibly chiseled in the walls of our nation's capitol and other government buildings. A patriot and founding father of our country, Patrick Henry, said, ‘It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ..’ Yes, it’s true, ‘Righteousness exalts a nation.’

Under God, for more than two centuries, this nation of ours has prospered and grown from thirteen small, struggling colonies to become the single most powerful country in all the modern world. Men and women have (and continue to this day) to sacrifice all their worldly possessions and even endanger their very lives, to come to America to live. American citizenship is the envy of the whole world. Yes, ‘Righteousness exalts a nation.’ And, ‘I'm proud to be an American.’

Our Scripture text not only says, ‘Righteousness exalts a nation,’ it also says, ‘Sin is a reproach to any people.’ Both of those statements require the existence of what's called ‘public truth.’ There must be a public definition of ‘righteousness’ and of ‘sin’ or that verse is meaningless. A nation's laws are enacted on the thesis that, for the national security, not just a few, but all the people are obligated to live by the same moral code. If that were not so, passing laws for human behavior makes no sense. Without a definition of ‘public truth’ chaos reigns.

Tocqueville said, ‘America is great because America is good. If America ever ceases to be good America will cease to be great.’ America was termed ‘great’ because originally, America's public truth was largely defined or filtered through the light of Biblical truth. George Washington, our nation's first president declared, ‘Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports...There is no way to maintain a high moral standard apart from religious convictions.’ It’s still true, friend.

Having departed from—even denied those religious roots in the lifetime of some of us here today, America now finds itself in the situation of the latter part of that verse: ‘Sin is a reproach to any people.’ I won't go into a recital of a long list of evils which impale themselves upon us, but I’m constrained by conscience to say some things about that.

First, in order of importance because it's the very root of other evils, is the attack now being conducted in our once glorious nation against God. The successful and absolute and total dismissal of God from the education of American children is a reproach upon us as a people. The removal of the words ‘under God’ from the pledge of allegiance to our flag and our country is a reproach on us as Americans. It renounces our heritage as a nation founded on faith in God. The determined and largely successful removal of God from public discourse, all of these and more are designed to make our nation a Godless one—a reproach to the American people.

Next, if it isn't reversed, the Roe v Wade law (a court-made law) will ultimately be the undoing of our proud and powerful country. President of the United States, Ronald Reagan wrote in his book titled, Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation, that, ‘We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life—the unborn—without diminishing the value of all human life’ (page 18). My friend, abortion is a question of the value of human life. In the absence of God, the life of a human—your life—or mine is of no more value than that of a cockroach or a mouse. Killing nearly a million little innocent, helpless, unborn babies every year (some 40 million since Roe v Wade) is a reproach upon the American people. It's a reality, my friend, that it's impossible to license the killing of one segment of human life and protect all others.

God established marriage between a man and a woman for the purpose of the birth and rearing of children (Gen. 1:28; 2:24). Current attempts to give public approval to gay and lesbian marriages are a reproach to the people of America.

Well, we could go on and on—we could talk about the evil of gambling that has now replaced baseball as the national pastime, of sexual promiscuity, of the drug culture, and more, but you get the idea: ‘Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people.’ Let us pray.

‘Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people.’ We've talked about the greatness of America. We've discussed our pride in being Americans. We've also addressed, in a quick and limited way, some of the terrible evils that abound in our nation that are a reproach to us. The third item in my outline in Proverbs 14:34, mentioned in the beginning of our message today is our need for national repentance. It should begin in the churches. Maybe we need a modern Jonathan Edwards, who's credited with having begun the first great revival period in American history with his sermon about ‘Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God.’ Modern American religion has failed us. Most preaching nowadays says ‘I'm Alright; You're Alright,’ meanwhile evil abounds. God will judge such preachers and such preaching. Oh how we do need some teaching and preaching right fresh out of the New Testament—some sound doctrine, because it's been rightly said, ‘In the absence of sound doctrine, God is silenced.’ Twenty-first century American religion is simply ‘show business.’ I've been asked via internet to give what the Bible says about salvation by repeating the sinners prayer, which is a popular way of salvation today's kind of Christianity. My friend, it isn't in the Bible. It's a convenient way of seeking numbers—not to salvation, but to join ‘our church family.’ America needs the kind of Christianity you read about in your New Testament.

I'm not saying that America is ‘God's chosen people’ today; I don't believe that. However, I will say that we can take a lesson from God's dealing with His chosen people (Israel) in Old Testament times. When Solomon had built that magnificent temple in Jerusalem, and celebrated the completion of it with the blood of all those animals, he then prayed to God to bless Israel. God responded, ‘If My people who are called by My name will (1) humble themselves, and (2) pray and (3) seek My face, and (4) turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land’ (2 Chronicles 7:14). That's America's hope on today on her birthday. Let it begin with us—with you and me. If you're not a Christian, I hope you will repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins just as you read in your New Testament (Acts 2:38). If you're a Christian, I pray you will join me in a renewed commitment to turning this nation around, at once. I'm proud to be an American, but we have some work to do.

If you'd like a free printed copy or audio cassette tape of today's message, you may have it free simply by sending your request to In Search of the Lord's Way, P.O. Box 371, Edmond, OK 73083. Or if you prefer, our e-mail address is You may choose to pick up the telephone and dial 1-800-321-8633, and we'll also pay for the call. Oh say! Do attend a church of Christ this week, will you. They're the people who make this program possible on this station. Tell them we thank them, too. If you need our help locating the meeting place or the time of their assemblies, use that address or telephone number. We'd like to assist you. Join us again next week, will you? Tell someone else about us. God bless you. We love you.”


Post a Comment

<< Home