Has America Forgotten God?

By: Woody Godbey

The Lord gave me this verse this morning and it's a warning to America. "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." (Psalms 9:17) This may be a little lengthy today because I have copied and will paste some things from a former President. But please take the time to read and let the Lord speak to your heart.

As I've said so many times, America is the greatest miracles to take place since the Resurrection of Jesus. We won our independence with a rag tag army defeating the greatest military power in the world at that time. My personal belief is that God raised up this nation to be a Godly nation, a launching pad for missions, a protector of the weak, a provider for the poor while worshiping and bringing honor and glory to Him. We haven't always done everything right but the Lord has always had a way to bring us back. I have a righteous indignation and it's not so much because of what lost America is doing, but what Christian America is doing and not doing!

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Today we face a problem like never before. We have forgotten God and most of our history that has kept us afloat and America’s tone has gone from spiritual to secular. In the early days of our history, practically every anthem, hymn, and song written within a 150-year period referenced Jesus Christ, God’s blessings, glory, gratitude, America’s beauty or religious freedom. I'll give you a great example of that with one of my favorite patriotic songs. In 1861 Julia Ward Howe visited a Union Army Camp and then went back home to write the poem that came to be called “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” When I googled this I found out that it was published in February 1862 in The Atlantic Monthly. The poem has become perhaps the best-known Civil War song of the Union Army, and is a well-loved American patriotic anthem. As I said, it is one of my favorite Patriotic songs. I've copied and pasted the first and last verse:

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword. His truth is marching on…

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea. With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me: As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free. While God is marching on.

Last night while I was researching this song, I came across some of President Lincoln's greets words of spiritual wisdom and insight. President Lincoln may have been the most well versed President of the Scriptures. I will spend the rest of this mini sermon on what I read.

It was around the same time the ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’ was published that President Lincoln gave his now famous Thanksgiving proclamation in which he mentioned America’s need for a soft heart and our lack of appreciation of God’s providence. Can't you just see our President today doing that? President Lincoln encouraged all people of the United States to be grateful for the “year filled with blessings of fruitful fields” and for the many things so easily taken for granted, and to acknowledge the Lord, saying “No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.”

Earlier that same year, President Lincoln, with FULL agreement and support of the U.S. Senate, declared a lesser known national day of fasting and prayer to God. Did you notice I said that the whole senate was in FULL agreement? It was only 87 years after celebrating America’s independence and freedom as a nation that the President saw how the country was showing signs of comfort and complacency which went hand in hand with spiritual lukewarmness. As some Christians believe that the terrorist attacks on 9-11-2001 were part of God’s judgment on America, President Lincoln believed that the civil war in America was God’s judgment on the nation for its sinfulness. I have read President Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation many times but last night I was really touched by it. Here is a partial text from that Thanksgiving proclamation:

“And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.

We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”

I conclude this sermon with two questions. First, are Christians or is America much different today? Our nation is suffering because the Church has grown lukewarm. Secondly, what can be done about the state of America’s heart? As I said, we need to repent of sin or apathy and recommit our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. Every Christian in America, Red, Brown, Yellow, Black and white, must seek the things of God and decide how we will live our lives, whether we will seek the approval of God or man.

 God Bless!