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Moral Responsibility

In a recent church service our pastor made the following statement: we can blame all sorts of things for America's problems -- the government, our society, schools, on and on.  But the real problem is because the church has not sold out to Jesus Christ and been obedient to Him.  The real reason for the problems we see, not only in our nation but in the entire world, is the sin with which God's people have become entirely too familiar.

"If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sins and will heal their land."

We quote this Scripture in II Chronicles 7:14 so much in our churches that we are almost tired of hearing it and yet, we seem to have ears but do not hear what God is saying in this passage.  It reminds us that the people of God are the ones who are prideful; they are the ones who are not praying or seeking the face of God; and they have not turned from their wicked ways.  We also forget the verses that come before this verse -- God says in the preceding verse that He is the one who shuts up heaven so there is no rain; He is the one who sends pestilence among the people and allows insects to devour the land.  God was trying to get the attention of His own people by allowing all types of disasters to come to remind them they need Him. 

God is doing the same thing in our land today.  He has allowed hurricanes, floods, fires, diseases, and pestilence to come upon the people of America for some years now, because He wants the attention of those He calls His people, those who call themselves by His name.  Why are we refusing to hear?  Why have we closed our ears?  Why do we refuse to humble ourselves and pray and seek His face?  Why do we refuse to turn from our wicked ways?

There is one answer to every one of these questions.  Those who call themselves Christians love sin and have become too familiar with it.  We have let it into our homes, work, schools, and even our churches.  We love entertainment more than spending time with God.  We "fit in" with those who care nothing about God and what He wants for us.  We reject the callings He has put on our lives because we do not want to be "different" from the rest of the world.  Our churches have become so tolerant in the name of "loving the sinner" that now many have accepted homosexual deacons and pastors.  God called sodomy an abomination to Him, but we tolerate it because we want to be politically correct.  Jesus was not tolerant or politically correct when He said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No man comes to the Father except through Me." John14:6

Christians have allowed themselves to believe that Muslims worship the same God we worship, so we must be tolerant.  Jesus made it very clear that when any religion rejects Him, they are not worshipping the same God that Christians worship.  Christians have allowed themselves to believe that as long as we sincerely worship our various gods, whether Buddha, ancestors, nature, even Satan, God will accept our ignorance of Him and allow us to be with Him when we die.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Jesus also said in John 14 that if we know Jesus, then we know His Father also.  We as Christians cannot be tolerant of sin, even the sin of others.  It is like a disease that will kill anything it touches or anyone who touches it.  We are not immune from its influence, just because we call ourselves by His name.

John 16:1-3 tells us something that is very frightening to Christians who truly want to sell out to Jesus Christ.  He warns that the world will hate us and there will be those who will believe they are doing God's service by killing those who love the Lord Jesus Christ.  True Christians will be kicked out of the churches and be made outcasts.  Those who do this will not be people who never darken the doors of a church, but will be those inside the churches who cannot tolerate completely committed Christians.   Those who take it upon themselves to remove Christ's followers from their churches will do this because they do not know God the Father or Jesus.   We can look at nations like Nazi Germany or Stalin's Russia or any Muslim country and see that true followers of Christ are not tolerated.  In fact, family members who convert to Christianity may be killed by members of their own family.

What are Christians to do about this?  We have two choices -- we either sell out completely to Christ and accept the fact that the world will hate us, or we can "fit in" and let the world dictate to us what we should be.  Moral responsibility to our nation will never depend on non-Christians to lift up a nation.  Those who do not know God will never humble themselves and pray and seek God's face on behalf of our nation.  They will never see the need to ask God to save our country.  Only those who see their own sin and repent and call upon God will be able to bring God's help to our country.