See if you can spot the odd one out: earthquakes, floods, droughts, cancer, AIDS, terrorism, war, hurricanes, God's blessing, tornadoes.
Of course "God's blessing" is the oddity. Yet, there are many who would believe the entire list is harmonious. In their ignorance, they think that the devastating things that are happening to this nation are nothing more than nature doing her own thing. You may have noticed that lately there has been an increase in Mother Nature's rumblings. You may also be aware that in the last ten years, incidents of cancer in the U.S. have increased. In 2002 there were 189,000 new cases of prostate cancer in the U.S., with 203,500 cases of breast cancer.
Cancer isn't our only dilemma. Back in 1993, Americans spent an incredible $898 billion on health care. We have moved from one of the lowest infant mortality rates to one of the highest, with over 40,000 newborns dying each year. The National Alliance for Mental Illness diagnosed that ten million people have serious long-term mental disease. The United States of America is continually being plagued with killer earthquakes, new incurable diseases that are outwitting antibiotics, killer hurricanes, devastating tornadoes, calamitous floods, terrible droughts, and the return of once "conquered" diseases such as tuberculosis.
The Bible tells us that "righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." Well let's see how we are doing morally:
1. Adultery: USA Today reported that fifty to sixty percent of married couples admit to adultery.
2. Fornication: According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, approximately one in five people in the United States, 45 million individuals, are infected with the virus that causes genital herpes.
3. Rape: A Harris poll sets the figure at 380,000 rapes or sexual assaults that took place back in 1993. The Justice Department says that eight percent of all American women will be victims of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime.
4. Pornography: UPI News, November 19, 1997 said that porn video rentals soared to 665 million in 1996, accounting for 13.3 percent of video rentals in America.
5. Abortion: Centers For Disease Control and Prevention reported 1,267,415 abortions in 1998. It's been estimated that there have been more than 40 million since Roe vs. Wade.
6. Theft: It is estimated theft costs the country $500 billion each year.
7. Greed: Focus on the Family revealed that Americans now visit casinos more often than they attend professional sporting events. Collectively, they lose in excess of $50 billion each year to lotteries, horse and dog tracks, casinos, and the various other gambling venues.
8. Murder: According to FBI statistics, over 18,000 people were murdered in 1997. It averaged more than 20,000 per year, totaling 200,000 murders during the 1990s. Over 100,000 murderers were never brought to justice.
9. Drunkenness: Florida Alcohol & Drug Abuse Association estimates that the social costs of alcohol addiction amount to $100 billion per year in lost productivity and related health costs.
10. Hypocrisy: The Barna Research Group found that sixty-two percent of Americans profess to be Christians, while the book, The Day America Told the Truth said that ninety-one percent lie regularly.
We don't seem to be doing too well. We are no different than Israel, who through the ages, kept straying from God's Commandments into lawlessness. From there, they lost the promised blessing of health, which was conditional upon righteousness (Deuteronomy 28:15-46).
Meanwhile, despite our national sins, a blind and mystified world points to everything from coffee to hot dogs as the reason for the increase in cancer.
As the blessings of God have been removed from the soil, we think nothing of spraying crops with hundreds of thousands of tons of poisons each year to try and combat the onslaught of pestilence. The influence of generations of evolutionary philosophy has us thinking that we are merely assisting (a not quite fully evolved) Mother Nature.
The thought that we have somehow offended God, doesn't even enter the area of our godless reflection.
America the beautiful is no longer beautiful. Violence and sin has made her ugly. America, America, God shed His grace on thee� but now you are reaping the fruit of your sins, and it is time for you to be told:
God mend thine every flaw
Confirm thy soul in self control,
Thy liberty in Law.
What does the song-writer mean by "Thy liberty in Law?" - a city whose drivers are lawful, has the liberty of flowing, problem-free traffic. But if drivers refuse to obey traffic laws, there will be accidents, pain and chaos. Winston Churchill was right when he said, "If a nation won't be ruled by God, it will be ruled by anarchy." We are suffering the aftermath of a national loss of self-control, and consequently, lawlessness. Here again is just some of the chaotic fruit of not keeping God's Law - murder, theft, rape, drug-addiction, alcoholism, obesity, fear, hatred, sexual perversion, racial prejudice, greed, disease, spousal abuse, child abuse, child pornography, family break-down, etc. If you are the victim of the sins of America, God knows your pain. The Bible says He is full of compassion and rich in mercy to all that call upon Him. Even though the situation seems hopeless, there is a way to avert the pathetic sight of children with cancer, more terrible disasters, and other horrible diseases from further flooding this nation. There is a way we can, with the help of God, bring healing to this once great country.
The Answer is in Your Hands
Let's stop talking about "America's" sins, and see how you and I personally stand morally. Answer the following with a tender conscience: Have you ever told a lie? This includes any fibs, white lies, half-truths or exaggerations told in the past. Remember, time doesn't forgive sin. God sees the sins of your youth as though it were yesterday. If you have told even one lie, then you are a liar (be brutally honest with yourself, because God will be on the Day of Judgment). Have you ever stolen something? The value of the item is totally irrelevant. If you have stolen one thing, then you are a thief.
Have you committed murder, or have you desired to by harboring hatred in your heart? If you have hated someone the Bible says that you are a murderer.
Jesus said, "Whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery already with her in his heart." Have you ever done that? Have you had sex outside of marriage, or committed adultery, or desired to? Then you have committed sexual sin and cannot enter Heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9).
Have you kept the Sabbath holy, always honored your parents, have you put God first in your affections, loving Him with all your heart, mind, soul and strength? Have you always loved your neighbor as much as you have loved yourself? Most of us have trouble loving our "loved" ones, let alone loving our neighbors. Have you ever used God's name in vain, either employing it as a curse word, or failing to give it due honor? Have you made a god to suit yourself and therefore been guilty of "idolatry" - making a god in your own image, believing in your version of what you think God is like? Have you ever desired anything that belonged to someone else?
If you have broken even one of these Ten Commandments, then you have sinned against God. On Judgment Day every sin you have ever committed will come out as evidence of your guilt. You will be damned forever, and lose your soul. Without God's mercy, you will go to Hell. The Scriptures warn that unless you repent, you will perish. Don't add self-righteousness to your sins by saying that you are basically a "good" person. If you refuse to admit that "America's" sins are your sins, you will never seek God's mercy. Don't also think that God will overlook your sins because He is good. His "goodness" will make sure justice is done. He will punish all liars, thieves, adulterers, etc.
Don't be fooled into thinking you can clean up your life. No "good" you do can wash away your sins - only God's mercy can do that. Two thousand years ago, He came to this earth in human form to take the punishment for us. The Bible says, "God commended His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." When Jesus died on the cross, He stepped into the courtroom and paid the fine for us. His suffering was necessary to satisfy the Law you and I violated. The moment we repent and trust the Savior, God forgives our sins and grants us everlasting life.
That's how America can be healed of her plagues . . . God will forgive our sins because of what Jesus did on the cross. If you care about America, if you care about the children of America . . . if you care about your eternal salvation, tell God you are sorry for your sins, then turn from them in humble repentance. Think of it this way - you are a man who has committed adultery. You have violated the trust of a loving and faithful wife. She is more than willing to forgive you, so how can you reconcile the relationship? You humble yourself, tell her you are truly sorry . . . then vow to never (even think of) committing adultery again. You shouldn't need someone to write words of sorrow for you to read to your wife, and you shouldn't have to read a prayer of repentance to God from this tract. Just pour your heart out to Him. It's your heart, not the words that really matter. Then put your faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Trust Him in the same way you would trust a pilot with your life when you fly on a plane. He is but a fallible man, so how much more should you trust in God. Read the Bible daily, and obey what you read, and God will never fail you. Check out our web site for further help: www.livingwaters.com May God bless you, your family, and may God bless America.