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Jack Graham - America's Hope

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    Jack Graham - America's Hope
TOPICS: America, Hope, Independence Day

Here in the United States we love our country. I know we have many people watching on PowerPoint from other nations, and we're so grateful for people all over the world who join us. And we know you love your country as well. And we would simply ask you at this time of celebrating the Fourth of July, our Independence Day in America, that you would pray for our country. Pray for America, pray for the people of America. Pray especially that people would come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior of their lives.

I always enjoy being at the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. It's one of my favorite places because it's an incredible testimony and tribute to the power and the impact of the Bible, God's Word. And when you talk about hope for America, you can't even think about hope for this nation for the future without looking back and the hope that brought people here to this land so long ago. People who came with a vision for a better life. People came with hope in their heart so that they could worship freely and experience God in this place. The founding fathers, the pilgrims, all of these people came with a heart for God and a heart to do God's will. As a matter of fact, in a day in which people want to rewrite history and the beginnings of America, someone would say it was skeptics and atheist and agnostics, deists that started this nation. No, these were Bible-believing Christians.

In fact, let's start way back to the pilgrims and the Mayflower Compact and why the pilgrims came to America. And they codified it, they spoke of this and wrote it down in this Compact and here's what they said: "Having undertaken for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith in the presence of God and one another". So for the advancement of the Christian faith, for the glory of God and the commitment of Christian faith together, these pilgrims came and established these original colonies. And then you can fast-forward to the Revolutionary period, the period of founding fathers, and you would certainly say that this nation is a miracle nation, because there was no reason for this nation to come into being apart from the plan and the purposes and the will of God. And the early founders and fathers and patriarchs of this nation like George Washington and John Adams and Ben Franklin, these were people who had a vision, a greater vision for America.

You can't have hope for America until you go back and look at the early documents including the Constitution, including the Declaration of Independence, You can't really have hope for America's future unless you understand its past. And as we celebrate the past of America here at the Museum of the Bible, the history of this nation, it is just full of people and patriarchs and fathers of this nation and mothers of this nation who establish it upon the truth of God's Word. People like John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States, who said this: "The highest glory in the American Revolution was this: that it tied together into one indissolvable bond the principles of civil government and the principles of Christianity". Note: this isn't some generic god they're talking about, but Christ and the principles of the Christian faith.

And then there's John Jay, the first Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He said this: "Providence", which is another term for the plans and purposes of Almighty God, "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is their duty as well as their privilege in the interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers". Now imagine if you said that today! "We prefer Christians for our rulers". But that was the first Supreme Court Justice John Jay. Our seventh president Andrew Jackson, he was a rough kind of guy but listen to what he said concerning God's Word, the Bible. "The Book, sir, is the rock upon which our republic rests, the rock upon which our republic rests". And then fast-forward a few years and the great Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States. Martyred and assassinated because of his commitment to racial justice and freedom. What did Lincoln say regarding the Bible? "I have this to say: It is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through the Book".

And that is the message of the Christian faith. That all the good, that all of God, who He is, is revealed in the Person of Jesus Christ, that Christ is the hope of the world and the hope of our nation. And when you turn back the pages of time and you realize that our nation was built upon this foundation, you realize that today if we're going to have hope again for America, it will be a return to the Bible, would get back to the Bible and the message of Jesus Christ. That's our prayer for this nation. That's the purpose of every Christian is to share the love of Jesus Christ. We understand that not everybody is going to become a Christian; we understand that everyone is welcome in this nation, but we also know and believe that the biblical principles that established this nation then are good and great and essential for our nation today. We need another miracle in America! It is the miracle of hope; it is the miracle of life in the Lord Jesus Christ.

"Direct my thoughts, words, and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the lamb, and purge my heart by thy Holy Spirit. Daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ" - George Washington

When the founders and the framers of our Constitution, Declaration of Independence and so many of the documents of early America, founding documents of this country. When these were written, these reflected faith in God in the foundations of this nation. At the start of the Declaration of Independence, the first line, it tells us that "We are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights: among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". You see, we understand that liberty doesn't come from government or any man, any person. That liberty and the pursuit of freedom comes from God. God puts freedom in the hearts of people, the desire for freedom. The Bible says it this way to Christians. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty". And every red-blooded, God-fearing American has this desire to be free and to practice this freedom under the responsible Lordship of Christ.

We are free. And we are to proclaim this freedom in Jesus Christ, to the nation. That's what the Liberty Bell tells us, that we are to proclaim liberty to the inhabitants of the land, and to ring that bell of freedom. Let freedom ring; let freedom reign in the hearts of His people. Many of the founders were also influenced by the great preachers of the Revolutionary period. Preachers like Jonathan Edwards and George Whitfield and Charles Finney, and revivals that swept across the plains of the colonies. And these great messages and messengers proclaimed liberty and called people to repentance and revival. And out of this came America. The miracle of America was born by the proclamation of liberty and freedom in Jesus Christ.

James Madison, a great man, the third president of the United States, said this: "We have staked the future of government not upon the power of government, far from it; we have staked the future of all our political institutions on the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments". And so when we say the nation was built upon the Judeo-Christian ethics and morality that's taught in the Bible, this nation was built upon the bedrock of the Ten Commandments.

John Adams who was the second president of the United States and one of the framers of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, said this: "That our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people and is wholly inadequate for government of any other". Why? Because liberty comes from God. Without God liberty can become license and even anarchy, but under God liberty sets the captive free. And then John Quincy Adams, the son of the second president, John Adams, the sixth president of the United States, said this in 1821: "From the time of the Declaration of Independence, the American people were bound by the laws of God and the laws of the Gospel", that's the Gospel of Jesus Christ, "the laws of the Gospel which they all acknowledge as their rules of conduct".

The psalmist said, "If the foundation be destroyed what will the righteous do"? And we are seeing not cracks in the Liberty Bell, but actually cracks in the prospect and the promise of liberty in this nation. And we are praying that our nation will return to the freedoms that our founders visualized. But even beyond that, that we will return to the Bible and the freedom the Bible peaches in Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free".

"The Bible is the cornerstone of liberty. Perusal of the sacred volume will make us better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands. The practice of morality being necessary for the well-being of society. He has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain". - Thomas Jefferson.

One of my favorite sections in here at the Museum of the Bible is a tribute to the historical accuracy of the Bible, The fact is that throughout all of history God's Word has remained. The Scripture says of itself: "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever". The historical accuracy of the Bible is one of the great evidences of the truth of the Bible. People want to know, "Can I trust the Bible? Can I believe in the Bible? How do I know it's not just the works of man"?

Well, the enduring, eternal power of the Scripture. And as the Word of God speaks to us, whether it is delivered, whether it is read, when Jesus comes off the pages of Scripture and into our lives. You see God is in a Book, the Bible. But then God is in a body, the Lord Jesus Christ. And the history, this story of the Bible is the story of Jesus. From beginning to end, from Genesis to Revelation it's all about the story of God's love and hope that he has provided through salvation in Jesus Christ.

Whether you're talking about Old Testament prophecies or psalms or commandments or rituals in the Old Testament, it's all pointing to the One who has come, who is the hope of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ. We're so very grateful that God has given us the Bible. Many generations only saw the Bible or heard the Bible read to them, but we have the Bible in our hands today. We have it on our cell phones, we have it all around us because the Bible is the message that God has preserved for you. It's the message of the Good News; it's the message of the Gospel. I want to encourage you to believe the Bible, knowing that you can trust the Word of God.

"If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering, but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity". - Daniel Webster.

I'm standing here at the world famous and beautiful, magnificent Lincoln Memorial. Obviously, a tribute to the sixteenth president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. And it was Lincoln who said at the height of the Civil War, "A nation divided against itself cannot stand". Unfortunately, we find ourself here in twenty-first century America deeply divided. Oh, it's not a civil war with bullets and bayonets, guns and cannons. But it is a war of ideas, two separate ideas and ideals about the future of America. It is a war of world view; how we see the world. Whether or not we're going to see the world through the lens of Scripture or see Scripture through the lens of the world. How you view the world, how we see our lives, our families depends upon our commitment to God and how we review the Bible and how we reflect upon God's Word.

As Christian people, understand that our message is to the world of hope. Our message is a message of love. Our message is the message of salvation in Jesus Christ. And that involves the way we live our lives. Whether we're believing in the sanctity of life and sacredness of marriage, the religious freedom that God has given us that is instituted in our government, in our Constitution. All of these things come from the Bible. All of these things come from our faith. So we have a question to answer: Are we going to live our lives in a secular way? Or are we going to live our lives God's way? The question is: Is there a future for America? We know we have a great past. God has blessed America. But the Bible says, "If the foundations be destroyed, what will the righteous do"?

This great nation, America, is built upon foundations of faith, foundations of dignity and grace and hope, and yes, love. These are the foundations. And we're seeing the foundations shaken today. And so it's time for Christians not to sit down and shut up, but to rise up and stand up and boldly proclaim the truth of God's Word, and the mission of Jesus Christ in the world! In our U.S. Pledge of Allegiance, we affirm our belief in "one nation under God". And unfortunately, today we are no longer one nation because we are no longer under God. It is when we are under the authority of God that we are brought together. And yet so many people want no God. No God in the government; no God in our school; no God even in our families, in our homes.

So many live without God. And that's the pathway not to peace and prosperity in a nation, a home, a family, but it is the pathway to misery and despair and hopelessness. I'm praying, and I know you're praying with me that we will see our nation come back together again under God. We realize that not everyone is going to be a Christian, though it is our goal and our prayer that every person would know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This is our mission. But in terms of our national interest, in terms of our patriotism, in terms for our love for America, we are praying that one day once again and once again soon, we can come together in the name of God, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and find once again the greatness that makes America.

"Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet anchor of your liberties; write its precepts in your hearts, practice them in your lives". - Ulysses S. Grant.

You know, throughout the generations people have sought to abandon God and the principles of God's Word. And one way they've done that is just to burn the Bible or to burn books about the Bible, and to cancel Christianity. We're seeing that in our own generation, of course, as more and more people are turning away from the truth and the authority of God's Word. Doesn't that sound like America today in so many ways in this "cancel culture"? People want to abandon truth of the Word of God and substitute it for ideas and philosophies and liberalism and all the rest that denies the authority of Scripture, that denies the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is our message that Jesus is Lord, and only when America comes to faith in Jesus Christ will we truly experience the freedom and the fulfillment that is promised in the Bible. America needs revival! America needs God like never before!

In the midst of all this confusion and chaos and division that we're experiencing today, it is because we've turned our backs upon God. We've turned our backs upon the truth of God's Word. And the call that I'm hearing today and what I want to proclaim to this nation and to the world is that our God still reigns! Our God still rules and He will bring judgment upon unrighteous nations and that includes this nation if we continue to reject Him. We need to cry out to God! We need to pray and we need to turn once again to the Word of God. Not burning the Bible, but allowing the Bible to burn in us. Allowing the truth of Scripture and the power of God's Spirit to ignite us and unite us around the Scripture, around the promises of God and the principles of God's Word. In Proverbs 14:24 the Bible says: "Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people".

When we look at our nation today, we don't see righteousness exalted or elevated. To the contrary, we see sin celebrated; we see darkness encroaching the very depths of hell are moving across America today. I don't believe I'm an alarmist when I tell you that if we keep going the direction we're going, then there's no future, there's no real hope for America. We cannot continue to live the way we are living. We cannot continue to affirm the things that the Bible tells us is wrong, wrong, wrong, and expect God to bless us because "righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach". And the reproach of sin, the shame of sin is upon us. What used to hide down back alleys now struts down main streets in America as sin is celebrated as something that is right, as something that is good. And the sixties are back. "Do your own thing".

And that's what people are doing and how people are living today. And in the face of a holy and righteous God, judgment will come. Judgment must come because God will judge all sinful nations. I'm praying that God would stay his judgment upon this nation, that our nation would repent; that you and I will repent of our sin and return to the truth of God's Word. I pray that the morality and the free-fall in morality in our nation could be stopped, that we can return to the God of the Bible, that we could commit our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ and find in Him the freedom not to sin, but the freedom from sin and the power of sin which is death and hell and judgment. The Bible says, "The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus our Lord". It's not too late for America to come back to God. It's not hopeless but our hope is only in Christ and now is the time to come to Him.

"The teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally - I do not mean figuratively, I mean literally - impossible for us to figure out ourselves what life would be if these teachings were removed. No educated man can afford to be ignorant of the Bible. A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education. I believe that the next half century will determine if we will advance the cause of Christian civilization or revert to the horrors of brutal paganism". - Theodore Roosevelt.

As we come to the close of today's program, I want to ask the question: What is the future of America? And how can we as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ make a difference in our world? How can we change things for the good, for God in the days ahead? Well, there's several ways. Clearly, we need to be praying. Pray. The Scripture says, "If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray, turn from their wicked ways, and seek My face; then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land".

Our nation is sick and we need the healing, we need the hope that only comes from God. So we pray, and specifically. We need to be praying for our leaders from our president to our legislators, from local to national figures, those who lead us. Pray that God would give them wisdom to make right decisions on behalf of America. Help them to call out on the name of the Lord themselves. Experience Him so that they can lead wisely in our nation. We also should be praying for revival in our churches. I want to encourage you to be a part of the local church and make a difference. Don't be a spectator. Don't just be someone attending your church but get involved in your church. Pray for pastor, pray for your church leaders. Be involved in its ministries and its programs. And then get involved in your community.

You know, the Bible says, these are the words of Jesus, that we're to be "salt and light". Salt, penetrating and light penetrating the darkness. Salt penetrating those things and preserving those things which need to remain. And light in the darkness! Overcoming evil with good. And you can do this! In the power of God's Spirit with the Word of God in your heart and in your hands, you can go to that PTA meeting or you can go to that city council meeting or that school board meeting. You can run for office and be a representative of Christ in our government, whether it's local or even national. But be involved. We can't sit on the sidelines. We can't just stay to ourselves because God has called us to go out and share the Gospel. We're to be bold in our witness for Christ. We're to be present in the culture.

And so I challenge you to be a witness for Christ. And then one more thing, gather your family around you right now. Get your children and your grandchildren around you and pray together as a family. Ask God to heal the hurts that are in your own life and in your own family, and bless your children. Bless your children and your grandchildren going forward. Because the future of America is in the hands of God, but it's also in the hands of the people who know our God. And if you don't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, now is the time to respond in your heart with personal faith in Christ. The one who died on the cross for your sin, the one who came out of the grave, who is alive and who is King and Lord of all.

Ask Christ to come into your life. I want to encourage you to call the number on the screen. Let us help you and follow-up in your decision to know and trust in Jesus. He is the only hope. He is the only Savior. Trust in Him. Thank you for being a part of this program today and thank you for being a part of PowerPoint. So many of you pray for us. You support us financially. And our goal is to take the Gospel to this nation, America, and to the nations of the world. To our neighbors, to our nation and to the nations. Thank you for helping us do that with your financial support, with your spiritual encouragement. We are very, very grateful.
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