In reading the news I, among many others, wonder if America can ever become the “come back kid.”
Where is America’s future? Where is America’s greatness? Where is our America?
Is it too late for America? I don’t think so. America’s only hope, as I’ve repeatedly written, is in her humble repentance.
[If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. (Jeremiah 18:7, 8)]
In the book of Jonah, the people repented and God did not destroy Ninevah. However…
God did destroy Jerusalem because they refused to repent. (Jeremiah 25:2-11)
We cannot dispute that our God is loving, righteous and slow to anger but He does get angry. For years people have been saying that America needs to repent, but just like Israel she continues to turn her back on God. No doubt some will think, "But that was in the Old Testament and it's not relevant for us today," but they are wrong. It is important to note that our God is the same God of yesterday, today and tomorrow and what happened to Israel is the same way God will deal with us under the New Testament:
For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry." We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test the Lord, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. (1 Corinithians 10:1-11)
America’s Call To Repentance: What It Means?
From that time Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matthew 4:17)
When we think of repentance, we usually think of forsaking sin. If there is serious sin in our life, we hear the call to repent as a call to commit that sin no longer. While repentance certainly involves a change of behavior, it involves something much more fundamental as well.
Repentance is a translation of a Greek word used in Scripture, metanoia, which means a change of mind and of heart. Thus, it means something deeper than changes within external actions; it means a change within ourselves, a change in the underlying source of our behavior (ei.: our way of thinking, our values and priorities.) Basically, it means adopting a new goal for our lives – a goal that determines how we act.
Jesus is very clear about the radical call to repentance: “He called the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?” (Matthew 8:34-36)
Jesus demands a reversal of our normal way of thinking and our instinctive values. Humanly speaking, we are all inclined to want the best for ourselves, to place our good before that of others, to weigh every decision in terms of the benefits for us. The repentance Jesus calls for is a reorientation of this instinctive urge to put ourselves first. Jesus calls for a conversion from relying on our own talents and resources to relying on His care for us. Repentance means making Him the Lord of our lives instead of ourselves.
If we truly understand Jesus’ call to repentance in this way, some of His other teachings take on added significance. The drive to accumulate wealth can be seen as an expression of self-sufficiency, a desire to make one’s future secure against all dangers. But this is as impossible as trying to march a camel through the eye of a needle. Think of the parable of the rich fool, who decided to build larger barns to store his goods for his own future security, only to have his life taken from him that very night. (Luke 12:16-21) True security lies not in what we possess but in what we give up; true security lies not in reliance on our own resources but in reliance on Jesus Christ.
Repentance is a reorientation of our personal lives. Repentance is grasping hold of the paradoxical truth that the one who would save her or his life must embrace the loss of it.
If America is to become “the come back kid,” she must reverse her instinctive set of priorities and living according to the values that Jesus Christ taught.
In my opinion, this is America’s only hope and it can happen right now if we would only allow Him to lead. How sad that so many don’t understand this…
The following video, Forgive Us Lord, courtesy of You Tube.