Michael Youssef - The Sin of Removing Landmarks
Proverbs 22:28 said, "Remove not the boundaries which your forefathers have set". "Remove not the boundaries which your forefathers have set". Another translation puts it this way: "Do not remove the ancient boundaries, the landmarks, set by your forefathers". In Israel, the landmarks and the boundaries were ordered by divine command. The Promised Land, that's what was promised to Abraham and his descendants. That's why it's called the Promised Land. It was divided by the divine surveyor himself of the different tribes, but more than that, that land could never, never be sold. It could never be permanently sold, why? Because they believed with all their heart that God is the one who actually owns the land, and that is why they couldn't permanently sell it.
The longest lease went for about 50 years from Jubilee to Jubilee, and that is why it was considered a high crime and misdemeanor. It's a high crime against the God of heaven himself to remove these ancient boundary stones. They considered a criminal act to tamper with the permanent boundaries that God, through the founding fathers of Israel, have set. It was a sin against the holy God to destroy what God has placed as boundaries, to change or to modify those whole landmarks that were set by the founding fathers, is a sin against God himself.
Now, while this text specifically speaks of the crime of removing the physical boundaries founded by the founding fathers in the Promised Land, I would not do the text injustice if I speak about the moral and spiritual landmarks that the Founding Father of this great countries have placed in place. The removal of the moral and spiritual boundaries that have defined this great nation, this blessed land, which we call America, is indeed a spiritual crime. To remove these moral and spiritual landmarks that were placed there by men and women who gave their lives for these boundaries and these landmarks will bring about the judgment of God, not the blessing of God, unless we return to the boundaries of our Founding Fathers. Some of you might be asking, "What are these moral and spiritual landmarks"? And I'm glad you asked 'cause I'm gonna give you at least eight of them.
So fasten your seatbelt. The first landmark that was set, it was set by the Mayflower Compact. The very first landmark set by the Founding Fathers reads as follows, "In the name of God, we have undertaken for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith". There was no pluralism there. "Solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic". Now, the crime of moving this ancient landmark has been committed in America today by outlawing the name of Jesus out of public life, by removing prayer from school, by firing educators from their jobs if they publicly pray or testify. In fact, the British historian note this. British historian Paul Johnson said the following, he said, "The Mayflower Compact was the single most important formative event in early American history". Then he continue, "The Mayflower Compact was the first step toward America's Constitution". Somebody will pay for the removal of that ancient landmark.
Another ancient landmark was the declaration of dependence upon God. It may be called the Declaration of Independence from England, but it was a declaration of dependence on the Almighty God. Listen to me, please. The boundaries were crystal clear, and here they are, that all men, all men, are created equal, and they're endowed by their who? Creator with certain unalienable rights appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, with firm reliance on the protection of divine providence. That's a Presbyterian way of saying, "God". These are vitally important landmarks, boundaries that were set by the Founding Fathers.
These ancient landmarks guided America during even the dark blots of our history. These ancient landmarks, boundaries assured us again and again that our rights as citizens are given to us not by the government but by God himself. Today, immoral and spiritual crime has been committed by removing this boundary. The government has created a society with 50% of the population is dependent on the government and not on God. Listen to me. The evil desire of governments, all governments, to replace God is as old as the Bible. It hasn't just started here. It's always been a temptation. It's always been the evil desire of governments to replace God to any society. And that is why the Founders of this great United States have sought to guard against that evil enticements. Someone will pay heavy price for the removal of that landmark.
Another landmark is summarized in the words of George Washington, and it reads as follows: "It is impossible to govern without God and the Bible". Today, that ancient landmark has been removed as fast as we are able to blink. We now have presidents who mock the Bible and quote what they call the Holy Koran. Someone will pay for the removal of that ancient landmark.
Another ancient landmark summarized in the words of the Founding Fathers: "When the importance of religion is diminished", referring to the Christian religion, "so is the effectiveness of government". That ancient landmark has long been tampered with. In modern times, we see presidents who celebrate Ramadan, and then they shrug the National Day of Prayer. Someone will pay for the removal of that landmark.
Another ancient landmark is summarized in the words of Abraham Lincoln when he said, "The only assurance of our nation's safety", listen carefully, "the only assurance of our nation's safety is to lay our foundation in morality and Christianity". That ancient landmark, too, has been obliterated by an unholy alliance between the government and the corrupt media elite in this country. Today, the corrupt media executives are more anxious to appease our enemies, sell their souls for a buck, offend our friends, and destroy the foundation. Someone will pay for the removal of that landmark.
Another landmark is summarized in the 1844 Supreme Court ruling, when it says, "The Bible, especially the New Testament, should be read and taught as divine revelation in schools". It goes on to say, or ask the question, "Where else can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly and so perfectly as from the New Testament"?
Another ancient landmark placed by the 1892 Supreme Court, which said, "Morality of the country is deeply grafted upon Christianity and not upon doctrinal worship of other religions". So much for pluralism today. And yet these ancient landmarks have been eliminated by the 1980 Supreme Court, when they removed the Ten Commandments from a school in Kentucky, citing their fear, listen to what they said, "Lest the students read them and obey them". Are we surprised of the anarchy and the shooting and the mass shooting? Are we surprised of all the stuff that is going on? Once God is removed, Satan takes over. Someone will pay for the removal of that landmark.
Another ancient landmark was placed by our forefathers by the New York Supreme Court. Remember, this is the city and a state among six others, only six others, who are experiencing the worst kind of anarchy and worst conditions, in every way, and murder in the broad daylight. In 1811, the Supreme Court of New York said, "Whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to dissolution of civil government because it tends to corrupt morals of the people and destroy good order". There was a moral and spiritual crime committed when removing of that ancient landmark. Somebody will pay a price for that removal.
Another ancient landmark was placed by our forefathers in the words of Webster. Listen carefully, and I quote, "The principles of all genuine liberty and wise laws and administrations are to be drawn from the Bible and sustained by its authority". He continues, "The man therefore", think about how prophetic that is, "the man therefore who weakens or destroy the divine authority of that book may be an accessory to all public disorder which society is doomed to suffer". Is that a prophetic or not? He knew that it was a crime of the highest order to tamper with that ancient landmarks.
Today, we have some judges, not all judges, thank God I know some who are absolutely wonderful and they're doing their best, but some judges are now not referring to the Bible but to Islamic Sharia. Today, we see some judges act like politicians, not impartial judges, and when those judges, honest, truthful judges who act impartially, their lives are threatened, and the government is not protecting them. Someone will pay for the removal of that ancient boundary.
In the last 50 years, we have had political leader after political leader, court after court, busily removing these ancient landmark. Educational department after educational department busily rewriting, rewriting, rewriting the history of this great nation. The history of America has been distorted by removing this ancient landmark. Schools no longer teach the truth about the Founding Fathers. Some said that when I went to school, I was taught right from wrong.
Now they teach the right is wrong and the wrong is right. Please, listen to me. They never tell the students, in most public schools, they never tell the students that 95% of the 250 Founding Fathers were committed believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. They never tell the students that during the Jefferson administrator, the least committed believer, the Jefferson administration, four hours of communion service was held in a treasury building. They never teach the children that Connecticut was founded by a Puritan pastor by the name of the reverend Thomas Hooker and that Connecticut was founded based upon a sermon that he preached, that the reverend Hooker preached, in 1638 on the Christian principles of government. They never teach the students that Providence, Rhode Island, was named thus by the reverend Roger Williams because he believed that God's providence had protected him there.
Oh, they never teach the students that 24 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence had equivalent of a seminary degree. They won't tell them that. They'll never teach them that. They'll never tell the students that Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, whose face graces our $20 bill, declared that the Bible is the rock upon which the Republic rests. They won't teach them that. They won't teach them that the peace treaty that ended the Revolutionary War began by this: "In the Name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity". They won't teach them that. They won't teach the students that John Adams declare that our constitution was made only for moral and religious people and is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. No wonder they want to dispense with the Constitution.
So now let me take a few moments to talk to you about the only hope that is worthy of the Word. I'm talking about the hope in Christ and the change that leads to repentance from our sins. First, we need to repent from the sin of departing from the truth, from the sin of removing these ancient landmarks that were placed by the Founding Fathers. The only change that is worthy of the name is when our hearts and the hearts of our leaders turn from selfish ambition to serving the living God. The only change that's worthy of the name is when leaders' heart turn from being self-serving to people-serving. The only change that is worthy of the name is when leaders stop turning us against each other.
That's exactly what they're doing. All of their policies, with their allies in the media, they are working deliberately, and listen, this has been going on for 50 years, to divide us as a nation, to make us hate each other, whether it will be based on race, or gender, or social status. They are, and desperately need to bow to the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and stop dividing us as a nation. The only change worthy of the name is when leaders who claim that they belong to a Christian church somewhere, that they stop being ashamed of the gospel, repent of going to church as a show on Ash Wednesday, and get the dirt on their forehead and look at the camera. "Look how religious I am". They need to repent of that empty religion. They need to turn the one true God, the God of the Founding Fathers. The only changes worthy of the name is when our church leaders stop compromising and wanting to be liked by evil society, and now obey the Word of God literally instead.
The only changes worthy of the name is when the true God, the Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, is invited back to the center and not just expedience. The only change that's worthy of the name, a change that will lead us all the way back to Christ so that we may crown him Lord of all. If God is saying anything to America on this Fourth of July, my Word of God is my only authority. That's the only book that I obey fully and I trust with all my heart, and I will obey it until the Lord takes me home. I believe the Lord with all my heart is saying to us, "You are wearying me with your civic religion. Repent before it's too late".
Just as he said in the days of Isaiah, "You are wearying me with your synchronism. You worship Baal and me at the same time. Repent before it's too late". "You are wearying me with your empty worship on Sunday and living like the devils for the rest of the week. Repent before it's too late. You are wearying me with empty words, yet your actions and your policies are legislating abomination. Repent before it's too late". I only have authority over one person, and that's me. I can only speak for one person. I have no authority. The Word of God has authority over me, but I can respond to that Word of God by repenting myself, and I begin the repentance. You and you and you and you can begin by your repentance. I'm convinced that, indeed, like Daniel, I believe that repentance starts by us, the believers. Then and only then, we're able to repent of the sin of our nation, and then can we truly see true change.