Friday, October 12, 2007

Saving Sacred Places or Saving Sinful People

Recently I read an interesting magazine article. It was called Saving Sacred Places. It details efforts of local residents to restore old church buildings that have fallen in disrepair. The articles went to great lengths in talking about the nation’s spiritual landmarks, and there importance in our culture. I would for the most part agree, this country was founded on the Gospel, and our founding fathers by and large were men who not only feared God, but had a personal relationship with God. If the truth be told our country was founded by Christian people, who were looking only for the freedom to serve God as the Bible dictated. Although the liberals amongst us would deny our country’s foundation is predominantly a Bible based one.
Like those old church buildings our country started out with a good foundation, but that will only get you so far. In the last few years our foundation has started to erode, but rather that admit our mistake and get back to fixing it, we have allowed ourselves to go on thinking that we are okay. Jesus gave the Pharisees of his day a warning that we would be wise to heed, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.” (Matthew 23:25-26) The Pharisees of Jesus’ day also had a strong spiritual foundation, one they could be proud of. However that foundation started to give way until the Pharisees cared more about their tradition and power, than about their God. They gave lip service to the things of God, while having a bad heart.
Today we worry about saving sacred places, when we should be worrying about saving sinful people. Never forget that it was not the church buildings that made this country great but the people inside those buildings that made it great. A people who served God with their whole heart and forged for us a great nation that we could be proud of, and that God could bless. Today we are no longer a Christian nation, our leaders give lip service to the things of God, and the people of God. Today we think about what is the right political move, rather than what would please God. Washington D.C. is like that cup The Lord spoke of, the outside is clean, and it looks good on the surface but inside is dirty with sin, vice, and is not fit to use.
My message? To clean the cup! We need to wash it in the water of the Word of God. The only reason that our country is this way is because we as a people are this way. The Bible makes an amazing promise, “ If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) Let us get back to basics, ask God for forgiveness, then he can save sinful people, rather than just saving sacred places.

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