Robert Jeffress - America At The Crossroads
Hi, I'm Robert Jeffress, and welcome again to Pathway to Victory. In just a few weeks, we'll celebrate our independence in America as one nation under God, but at the same time, we're mindful of the precarious risk facing our country today. Our religious liberties are threatened by those who ignore God as we stray farther and farther from our Christian heritage. While America's eventual collapse is inevitable, I believe this message will inspire all Christians to become salt and light for the Gospel. My message is called "America at the Crossroads," on today's edition of Pathway to Victory.
You remember a few years ago, when God led us to completely recreate this campus here in downtown Dallas. We were faced with the task, okay, what do you do with all the old buildings? How do you remove hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of square feet of space in all these old buildings? So we met with the demolition people and they said, "Well, pastor, the best way to do this is through an implosion". I said, "An m-what"? They said, "An implosion". They said, "This is what we're going to do. We're going to take hundreds of pounds of dynamite, we will attach the dynamite to key structural supports within these buildings, we'll explode the dynamite, there'll be a pause, and then the law of physics will take over and the buildings will collapse under their own weight". I said, "Well, that sounds good to me, let's go for it".
Who will ever forget, on that Saturday morning in October a few years ago when we watched the implosion of the First Baptist Church of Dallas. I mean, it was exciting stuff. We had the news media from all over the world here, and we stood on a building overlooking our campus, and they had that big red button. I tell you, I've never been more excited. They did the countdown, five, four, three, two, one, and I pressed the red button, and after the pressing of the red button, that was followed by the exploding dynamite, and the exploding dynamite was followed by nothing. Absolutely nothing happened. I cannot tell you the unholy thoughts that were going through my mind at the moment. But what I forgot was, they told me there was going to be a pause between the explosion and the collapse. It seemed like an eternity, but it was only a few seconds until we started feeling the ground start vibrating underneath us, those buildings started swaying back and forth, well, you remember what happened, look at it for a moment.
I learned something that morning about implosions. They are sudden, they are dramatic, they begin with a series of seemingly unrelated explosions, followed by a pause, and then a sudden collapse. Ladies and gentlemen, over the last 50 years, there have been three explosive decisions by our United States Supreme Court that have so weakened the moral and spiritual infrastructure of this nation that our country's collapse is inevitable. We've already had the explosions. The implosion is coming. We're just living in that moment of delay. You say, well, what are those explosive decisions, pastor?
The first one occurred in 1962. It was the supreme court case of Engle versus Vitale. This is the case that removed prayer from the public schools, and of course this was just the first in a series of court decisions against Christianity and faith in the public square. In 1963, Bible reading was removed from the school, and on and on and on it went until 1980 in the case of Stone versus Graham, the United States Supreme Court said: you can no longer even post copies of the 10 commandments in a Kentucky School.
And why did the court say you can't do that? I want you to hear verbatim why the supreme court of the United States now says you can no longer post the 10 commandments in the school, quote, "If the posted copies of the 10 commandments are to have any affect all, it will induce the school children to read, meditate upon, perhaps venerate and obey the commandments, this is not a permissible state objective under the establishment clause of the first amendment". Can you believe that? The supreme court says we can't post those 10 commandments in our school, because if we post them, the children might actually read them, and if they read the 10 commandments, they may begin to respect them, to venerate them, and if they begin to respect the 10 commandments, God forbid, they might actually obey the 10 commandments, and that's unconstitutional.
How in the world do you explain that, the supreme court suddenly says, "You can't even post, much less talk about, the 10 commandments in the public school". Did the constitution change and nobody told us about it? Do the judges today have greater insight into what our founders meant that those who lived closer to the founders? No, they'd never have an answer for that, but I've got an answer for what changed. What changed is this: we have allowed the atheists, the infidels, the humanists to seize control of this country and to pervert our constitution into something the founders never intended. That is what's happened, and we've got to say enough to that, we've got to say enough to it.
Now look, our founders were clear. In the first amendment they said, "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion". Our forefathers came from a country where there was a state church and people were coerced to worship in churches they didn't want to be in. That was wrong. Our forefathers said, "We want no part of that". And you and I don't want any part of that. But the first amendment absolutely has nothing to say about nativity scenes or prayers at graduations or 10 commandment displays. It has absolutely nothing to say about that. Our country was founded as a Christian nation, and although we allow and welcome people of all faiths or no faiths, this country was founded as a Christian nation.
Now, let me tell you what happened. About 50 years ago, starting in 1962, the secularists, the infidels in our country said, "Let's try an experiment. We're going to see if America can be good without God". "That is, inside of abiding by the moral absolutes found in God's word, we'll just let everybody form their own morality, and furthermore, we won't judge anybody else's morality. Everybody is free to decide what's right or wrong for himself". The Russian writer Dostoevsky said, "Without God, everything is permissible". And that's what we're seeing in our country.
The first explosion was the removal of any acknowledgement of God from the public square and public discussion. The second explosion occurred in 1973, and it was a case that actually started right here in Dallas, a few blocks from this church. 1973, the case of Roe versus Wade. The court case that legalized abortion in our country. And since the Roe decision, more than 16 million children have been murdered in the womb, and an additional 1.3 million children are murdered every year through abortion. What is God's attitude toward a nation that not only allows but celebrates the freedom to choose to murder your own child? What does God say about a nation like that?
All you have to do is look at how God dealt with his own nation of Israel. I mean, really, when you think about it, Israel was the only nation that could be truly called God's chosen people. God created Israel, he has a special blessing for Israel, but remember what happened? When they went into the Promised Land, they started following after the pagan god Moloch, and started adopting the worship of Moloch, and part of the worship of that Canaanite god involved the sacrifice of children. The Israelites would take their own young children, even their babies, and burn them alive on the altar of Moloch.
When God looked down and he saw what his own people were doing in Jeremiah 32:35, he said, "It would not have even entered my mind that you you would have done such a detestable thing, but because you have, this is what I'm going to do. I will raise up the Babylonians", the terrorists of your day if you will, "And they will invade your land, and they will take you captive". And that's exactly what God did. If God is going to deal with his own nation of Israel that way, is there any real doubt of what God is going to do to America?
The third explosion occurred just two year ago, January the 26th, 2015. It was the case of Obergefell versus Hodges. This was the supreme court case that legalized same-sex marriage. Now I know, look, I know what some of you are thinking. You must be homophobic to talk about this. No, we don't hate gay people, we don't hate anybody. But the reason we stand against gay marriage is because we know how that story ends. We know what the end result is. Sociologists have done a longterm study, the Hoover Institute has done a longterm study of Scandinavian countries that legalized same-sex marriage years ago. You know what they discovered? It was very interesting. They discovered, after 10 years, not that many gays ended up getting married. What they found was, instead, the rate of heterosexual marriage declined precipitously.
You say, "Well, wait a minute, that doesn't make any sense. Why would gays being allowed to marry have anything to do with the heterosexual marriage rate declining"? But that's an easy one. Whenever you counterfeit something, you cheapen the value of the real thing. I mean, if marriage is whatever you want it to be, a man and a woman, two men, two women, three men and a woman, if it's whatever you want it to be, why even bother of going through the hassle of getting married?
That's what's happening in our country already. In the last two years, the marriage rate has decline among heterosexuals to the lowest in 92 years, and we know the implications on society for that. We know what happens when children are reared in an atmosphere without a father or a mother. I mean, sociology studies have shown that sat scores plummet, depression and suicide rates, drug use increase. You see, children are designed in such a way that they need both a father and a mother. Now, I know that's not always possible to have a father and mother, death, divorce, others things, but government ought to be encouraging that ideal relationship instead of counterfeiting it.
Now here's my point in all of this. What I'm simply saying is this. No nation that outlaws the mention of God in the public square, that celebrates the murder of its own children, that destroys the most basic unit of society, the family, no nation is going to survive that. The explosions have already happened. The implosion is coming. We are just living in that in-between time. What are we supposed to do about that? Some of you are saying, "This is the most depressing message I've ever listened to". No, this is not depressing, as long as you understand our purpose as Christians. If you understand our purpose as Christians, there's never been a better time to be alive and living in America than right now, as long as we understand the mission.
What are we supposed to be doing right now? Jesus told us in Matthew chapter five. Turn there to Matthew 5:13. You probably never thought we'd get into the Bible, here we are right now, Matthew five. Jesus said, first of all, "You are the salt of the earth," verse 13, "But if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men". Jesus said we are to be salt in this decaying world. Now remember, before the days of refrigeration, salt was used as a preservative. Now get this. Salt could not prevent the decay of meat, but it could delay the decay of meat. Salt gave the meat a longer shelf life.
Now, Jesus said, in the same way, the reason he has left us in this world instead of taking us to heaven immediately is to be a preservative in this world, to not prevent the decay but to delay the decay of the world. Now, before salt can impact meat, guess what, it has to penetrate the meat, and it's the same way with our culture. We're to try to delay the premature collapse of our country and our world so that we have longer to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How do we do that? How do we push back against evil in the world? One way we do it in our country, a major way we do it, is through the government officials that we elect.
If you don't hear another word I say this morning, hear this. What we're facing in this country is not a battle between Republicans and Democrats, it is a battle between good and evil, between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. That's exactly what is at stake in this country. You know, how often in church do we pray this prayer? We pray it all the time, the Lord's prayer. "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is being done in heaven". What in the heck are we praying for when we pray that? Have you ever thought about it? We're saying, "God, we are praying for, we are working for your will to be done, not just in the by and by, but right now, on earth".
Let me ask you, is it God's will for 1.3 million children to be murdered in the womb every year? Is it God's will for his name to be outlawed from the public square, and for crosses to be taken off war memorials? Is it God's will for Christians around this world like we have here today to be persecuted, tortured, and beheaded by ISIS and other radical Islamic terrorists? Of course it's not God's will, and we have the power to stop it. It's time for us to rise up and say, "Enough, we are pushing back against the evil in this world. That is what God has called us to do".
Now, God has said, "You're to be salt, you're to be the preservative," but that's not all he said. He said, "The reason you're to push back against evil is so that you have the opportunity to do what you've been called to do, and that's to share the light of Jesus Christ". That's what he said in Matthew 5:14-16, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden". You know the best way to deal with darkness in our culture? It's not to isolate yourself from the darkness, it's not to curse the darkness, it is to confront the darkness with the light of God's truth. "Let there be light". Light overpowers darkness, and we've been called to share the message of Jesus Christ with as many people as possible before his return.
You know, the only way, listen to this, the only way we will ever change the direction of America is by changing the hearts of Americans, and the only way to change a person's heart is by their personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Jesus who can forgive their sins and give them a whole new way of living. You know, Dr. Criswell, who was pastor here for 50 years, said 35 years ago from the pulpit of this church, talking about America, he said, "The nation cannot turn to God if I do not turn to God. The nation cannot repent if I do not repent. God doesn't win nations or companies or crowds or throngs. He wins souls one by one. And the only way we can lift our nation God-ward is if I am moved God-ward". That's why the mission statement of our church, First Baptist Church, Dallas, is very simple, "Transforming the world with God's word one life at a time".
Many of you are familiar with the French diplomat Alexis de Tocqueville, who came and visited our country in the 19th century. He then wrote a book about his discoveries in America. Do you remember his famous words? He said, "I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her harbors and her ample rivers, in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, in her rich minds and her vast world commerce, in her public school systems and in her institutions of learning, and in her democratic congress and her matchless constitution, but it wasn't there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great".