The United States of America has gone from being one nation under God, to one nation over God. How did we get here, so far from being a country that reflects His kingdom in our culture and policies? In this message, Dr. Stanley dissects what it means for a nation to honor God and the consequences that follow failure. No matter what country you call home, as a Christian our primary citizenship is in heaven, and as such we must learn to act according to our convictions. Standing firm isn't always easy, especially in such challenging times, but the people of God are to be salt and light in every nation on earth. Learn to be a faithful witness amidst the pressure to conform to the patterns of a fallen world.
As you look at the state of our nation today, what do you see? The Bible says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Ps. 33:12), but this is not a popular belief in our society. However, it’s the only way our nation can flourish. Further support for this truth is found in Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” Abandoning the Lord leads to disgrace and the loss of His blessings.
Contrary to popular belief, what actually protects a nation is not military strength but the righteousness of its people and government. When the Lord is honored in a nation, He is exalted, and the people are protected. Therefore, we should look at our nation today and ask ourselves whether we as a country are honoring God. Our future depends on the answer.
Today there’s an inner struggle to divide and bring down our nation and the Christian faith. Freedom doesn’t come cheaply, and it’s always under attack by our enemy, the devil. His ungodly and unbiblical influences fight against our beliefs, and we must be willing to stand for our convictions.
Our nation has faced dangerous aggression in the past. Shortly after being attacked by the Japanese Imperial Navy and Air Force, people all over the country signed up to serve in the military. They were willing to give their lives to protect their country and its freedoms.
In the same way, we as Christians must hold to our biblical convictions as we face a different kind of enemy—one of ideas. As believers, we are under the divine guidance of our Commander, the Lord Jesus Christ, and we do not fight with weapons but with the Word of God—the only message that can transform lives and influence the world for good.
When our convictions are strong, we are so thoroughly convinced something is true that we’re willing to take a stand for it regardless of the consequences. Convictions are unaffected by the times, the values of the culture, or the popularity of current ideas. Christian beliefs are presently so unpopular that they are under attack, and we are the only ones who can uphold them. The Lord is our defense as long as we exalt and obey Him as Lord and honor His Word as our compass for life.
As followers of Jesus, we are His representatives, and there is no room for compromise with an immoral, disrespectful, self-indulgent culture. In contrast, we are called to live according to God’s Word and in obedience to Him. Although the forces of evil are coming against us from every direction, we must be careful not to get caught up in wrongful attitudes and behaviors.
Many today would like to remove the cross from churches and reinterpret the Bible. The cross of Christ is an obstacle to those who want to live as they please because it points out their sin and need for a Savior. They find the Bible offensive because it speaks of holiness, righteousness, obedience, and reverence for God.
How are we to respond to this world in which we live? Instead of the exaltation of the Lord, there’s an attempt to remove Him. As a result, our nation is being torn down and undermined by forces who don’t believe in Jesus Christ. Religions and ideologies criticize and stand against Christianity, but we who love the Lord must stay true to Him. We can’t afford to let ourselves be lulled into thinking that because we live in a free and prosperous nation, nothing bad is going on or could happen to us in the future.