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The Hope for America
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to observe that our country is in trouble. This year, by September 30th, the end of the fiscal year, the national debt is expected to jump by nearly 2 trillion dollars. That is the biggest one year jump in the history of this country. That will make the total debt 15,476 trillion dollars. Also, in this country, it is a fact that 40 percent of teens from ages 15 to 19 have had sex. Abortions since the 1973 Roe Vs. Wade decision number 40 million, most of which had nothing to do with the health of the mother or with rape and incest. They were merely "unwanted" pregnancies. On a typical day in America 5,962 couples will marry and 2,986 will divorce. On that same day drunk drivers will do 18 million dollars worth of damage. I could go on, but you get the picture.
The fall of the Roman empire has been studied by many people throughout the centuries and various reasons have been given, but none more well known than the opinion given by English historian Edward Gibbon. In his book The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire , completed in 1787, Gibbon lists the following reasons for that fall:
1. The rapid increase of divorce; the undermining of dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis of human society.
2. Higher and higher taxes and the spending of public money for free bread and circuses for the populace.
3. The mad craze for pleasure; sports becoming every year more exciting and more brutal.
4. The building of gigantic armaments when the real enemy was within: the decadence of the people.
5. The decay of religion with faith fading into mere form, thus losing touch with life and becoming impotent to guide the people.
These things sound strangely like America in the 21st century. And I fear that our country is destined to end up like Rome, on the trash heap of history, if we don't change soon. But there is hope for America. That hope is not going to be found in new government programs. It isn't to be found in the election of the "perfect" candidate for public office, whether Republican or Democratic, or for that matter, the Libertarian party. The one hope for America will come from changed hearts, hearts that have been changed by the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
As I write this piece, it is almost Easter. It is the day that Jesus Christ demonstrated that all of His claims were true. He indeed is the Son of God who came to take away the sins of the world. He who is raised from the dead can in fact give life to the dead. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and will one day come to take His rightful place as the sovereign of the universe.
However, this same Jesus, who is Emmanuel, or God with us, has the power to change your life right now. He has taken hopeless drunks and made them into trophies of His grace. He has taken shattered family situations and pieced them back together. He has taken murderers and made them model citizens. And He can take any situation that you might be in today, no matter how hopeless that it may seem, and make it into something beautiful.
What is the only hope for America? The question is not what but Who? The empty cross showed that the price of sin was paid. The empty tomb shows that God the Father accepted that sacrifice. There is only one missing ingredient for your life, and that is faith. It is the faith that Jesus died for you when He was up there on that cross. It is the faith that He and He alone has provided the way of salvation and a new life.
Jesus is indeed the hope of America. But it will take a revival in the hearts of men, women and children to bring revival to this land. There have been great revivals in the past. If you search history, there have been three, and some say four "Great Awakenings" in our nation's history since the 18th century. They came with much prayer and the preaching of the Word of God. It can happen again and I hope it will before it is too late. Let us not be the generation to look back and tell our children and grandchildren what it was like to live in a nation of freedom and opportunity. Let us look back and say we were the generation who allowed God to preserve this wonderful union by turning to Him and letting Him change us from within.