Faith Baptist Church
4258 Botetourt Road
Fincastle, Virginia 24090
(540) 473-2325

The State of the Union

There was a revival of patriotism when we were attacked by the terrorists ten years ago.

This was inspiring to see. The flags were waving; the national anthem and the patriotic songs were being sung. The pledge of allegiance was recited by old and young alike. I liked it, and I still do. There was a greater sense of pride in our nation and our purpose as a people; a purpose to survive as a nation unto God.

More people gathered in churches. This could have been the beginning of another “great awakening” in America.

Yet, Satan has been at work inspiring many to become more religious and more focused on national pride, rather than godly repentance. God has since either allowed, or He has directly sent several natural disasters in the form of floods, hurricanes, lightening induced wild fires, and devastating tornadoes. Our financial institutions have been put at the brink of collapsing.

We can blame the lost for much of the corruption, lewdness and greed, but what is being said in the Church about the believer’s behavior and spiritual growth, and faithfulness to Christ? After all, our Lord said in Matt.5:13 “Ye are the salt of the earth, but if the salt have lost its savor, [its preserving spiritual impact] with what shall it [the earth] be salted? It is thereafter good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”

Expository preaching [in-depth teaching from God’s Word] and systematic theological study; [rightly setting forth in a straightway the Word of God], are key ingredients missing in the Church in America. Positive volition to Bible Doctrine is still apparently lacking. And this is the core problem in American local churches. An abundance of social programs and excessive music have taken captive the minds of saints who need to be instructed in the Word of God. If many saints cannot get a “good feeling” while in church, they don’t come back. The Word has become anticlimactic in the church today.

I Pet.4:17 tells us; “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

As believers we are the ones called to be the salt of our homes, our communities, and our nation. Our personal and public dedication to Christ has been stained. We need to repent.

Our values as Christians are based on our personal obedience to the teachings found in the Bible, and it is the responsibility and privilege of the Pastor-teacher to teach it, and the congregation to come and get it like believers used to do. Too many believers have stopped going to church. Many have become discouraged because they don’t get the Word.

I see a great out-pouring of appreciation for the gift of America, but where is the appreciation for the Giver? It must start first with those of us who call ourselves Christians. We live in the midst of wonderful blessings every day, but we complain just as the unbelievers do, and this must change.

Satan wants us to put the gift above the Giver [God], but when we forget the Giver the gifts of freedom and prosperity go with it. Without capacity for life, the gift is a curse. We become enslaved to that which has been given to us to serve us. The gifts of God to our nation are rotting. Our freedom; our families, and our fortunes are spoiling because we have not maintained the salt of their value. We have degraded the Giver and the gifts.

Without us having true spiritual capacity the Giver has no reason to give. For God to cast pearls before the swine is wasteful and God will not be wasteful with His gifts.

To cast blessings before an unappreciative people is a waste of grace, and God does not send his grace where it is not wanted. I am not sure where all this is heading, but I am sure the justice of God is not sleeping.

A whim of emotional gestures, as bonafide as it may be, will not create the will to obey God. All of the patriotism and flag waving will not satisfy God’s justice if there is not true repentance on the part of God’s people. If an apathetic attitude toward His Word continues we will fall as a nation, and as God’s people we will be first in line to answer for how our lack of godliness has brought this destruction upon us.

II Chronicles 7:14 “If...

1. my people, who are called by my name - it starts with those who believe in God

1. shall humble themselves - a right attitude is mandatory when approaching God

2. and pray - God is the Source of our blessings

3. and seek my face - God sets the righteous standard for a people

4. and turn from there wicked ways - we take ownership of our sinful ways and repent...

...then God will hear from heaven, and will forgive our sin, and He will heal our land.

We must take our nation back for God. He is the one who gave it to us. With great blessing comes great responsibility. Let us all take ownership for our part in the ruin of this nation, and then turn once again to the Lord for His blessings.

The Pastor
July 2011