Because of this, I believe that God placed His hand of providence on us. He led her and helped the nation grow. However, in the last 40 to 50 years the nation has turned away from God. We have chosen leaders who didn’t honor God and passed laws that didn’t honor God. We may be becoming instead of a new Jerusalem a new Sodom and Gomorrah.
We should pay very close attention to what Jesus said on His last trip into Jerusalem. the location of the Temple and place where the people of Israel felt they were safe because the Temple was there. Because of our history, including the fact that our money has the inscription “In God We Trust” we like the nation of Israel have believed that we are immune to God’s discipline, punishment, and wrath.
When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, to celebrate the Passover on His last trip there before His crucifixion He knew that Israel’s rejection of Him would lead them on a destructive path that will end in ruin.
Luke 19:41-44 NLT But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you. ”
It breaks his heart and angers Him. As soon as he enters Jerusalem, he marches into the temple courts and drives out the money changers, disrupting the entire sacrificial system. He stands in the center of the courtyard and protests against them saying, “this is supposed to be a place of prayer, but you have made it into a den of robbers.
Luke 19:45-46 NLT Then Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people selling animals for sacrifices. He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”
In about 625 BC the prophet Jeremiah stood in the same place and said the same thing.
Jeremiah 7:4-11 NLT But don’t be fooled by those who promise you safety simply because the Lord ’s Temple is here. They chant, “The Lord ’s Temple is here! The Lord ’s Temple is here!” But I will be merciful only if you stop your evil thoughts and deeds and start treating each other with justice; only if you stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows; only if you stop your murdering; and only if you stop harming yourselves by worshiping idols. Then I will let you stay in this land that I gave to your ancestors to keep forever. “‘Don’t be fooled into thinking that you will never suffer because the Temple is here. It’s a lie! Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and burn incense to Baal and all those other new gods of yours, and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and chant, “We are safe!”—only to go right back to all those evils again? Don’t you yourselves admit that this Temple, which bears my name, has become a den of thieves? Surely I see all the evil going on there. I, the Lord , have spoken! (emphasis mine)
Now let’s look at the US of today. We not only tolerate ideas contrary to Christianity, but openly embrace and celebrate them. Racism, sexual immorality, including pornography, homosexuality, and premarital sex, are widely accepted as normal in the U.S. Vulgarity, drunkenness, drug use, promiscuity, and other abuses of freedom are also celebrated as forms of entertainment. Abortion is tolerated as are instances of violence, greed, and corruption. In fact, the United States has come to the point where some of these sins are not merely accepted and those who do not endorse fashionable behaviors are vilified and ostracized. There is a widely held view that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, and that our laws and policies should be shaped by Christian values. But what are “Christian values?” There is significant disagreement among Christians over just what that means, so let’s go the the source. Let’s go to Jesus. What did Jesus say? Or what would Jesus do? What were the rules that guided the early Christian community that rose in the wake of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection?
We can certainly go to the writings of historians of that and later time periods but our primary source as Christians is the Bible, and in particular, the New Testament, which documents the life of Jesus and the early church.
What did Jesus say? Here’s just a few things:
Matthew 22:37-40 NIV Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 5:43-45 NIV “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Matthew 25:37-40 NIV “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Matthew 20:25-28 NIV Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles Lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew 7:9-12 NIV “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Luke 12:47-48 NIV “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
Whether or not you believe that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, this might be a good time to consider and work toward a system that reflects the Christian values. Too many people have been left behind, and we have it within our power to end preventable suffering.
There is more than enough to provide food, housing, healthcare, education, and so many other essentials for everyone to live with dignity if we are willing to share — and willing to work to create the political will to make it happen. We can do this, and in fact, maybe this is the perfect time to start.