Prayer Targets: The Resurrection and America; D. James Kennedy; Bauer; Pilgrim Pastor John Robinson
March 28, 2018
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Philippians 3:10-11)
Dear Praying Friends,
All our best hopes as a people, a nation, and world, are embedded in Christ and the power of his resurrection. May we consider this as we celebrate his resurrection this Sunday!
The late Dr. D. James Kennedy (1930-2007) founded Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and was Senior Pastor for 47 years. He produced several world-wide ministries that have profoundly impacted God's church and America. His radio and TV programs live on via D. James Kennedy Ministries. These excerpts are from his 2003 book, What if America were a Christian Nation Again?
It is interesting that some people like to hurl epithets at Christians who get involved. Unbelievers who scorn God's commandments... are not happy with us. So they call us "radicals." ...
Gary Bauer, one-time presidential candidate and former president of the Family Research Council, serves as the president of American Values in Washington, DC. One time, he was being interviewed by CBS's Dan Rather who got a little flustered with Bauer and said to him, "What do you want for America?" Gary paused for a moment of reflection and answered in this way:
I want to see an America . . . where I don't have to worry about date rape when my daughter goes out for the first time at college. I want an America where, when a young man pledges to love and cherish and honor her for the rest of their lives, there's a good chance he means it. I want a country where children come first again and where virtue is honored; a place where values matter and the American dream is still real. I want a country where families no longer have to hide behind barred windows, where criminals do real time and aren't released on a whim or a technicality. I want a place where children can play in public parks again without fear, and where adults can walk across those parks at night.
What Gary Bauer is asking for is quite reasonable. Do you realize that there are capital cities in this world with huge populations -- in the Orient, in Europe, in Africa -- where you can go out at ten o'clock at night, ladies, and walk around the public park with no fear for your life or person? It was once that way in America. Bauer continued:
Families would spend more time being real families, not watching artificial ones on television. I hope for a land where love of country is seen as a virtue again. Where the young are taught the unique blessing they have received just to have been born in such a place. In my America, the schools would work once more. Political correctness would be thrown out, and the goal of education would once again be to teach our children to have knowing heads and loving hearts.
In this land, racism would be rejected, and all our children would be taught to judge their fellow citizens by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. I see a country that respects life again, where drive-by shootings and one and a half million aborted babies each year are seen as disasters. Here responsibilities would be as important as rights, and a handshake would be something to rely on. In my country, working men and women would be praised, not penalized by ever-growing government. The truly poor would get a hand up, not a handout.
This is the kind of country we in the Christian movement want. Is that radical? If it is, count me in.
Christ's last commandment to His disciples was "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mt 28:16-20). If every Christian in America simply led one person to Christ this year, this nation would once again be overwhelmingly Christian, and most all of the problems of society would vanish like snow before the rising sun. If Christians would become involved in our culture and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, this nation and this world would be transformed almost overnight. It would be glorious. Will you do it? Dear friend, Christ commanded, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men" (Mt 4:19-20). Are you living in silent rebellion to that, day after day, year after year? The problems of this country are due to that rebellion. Judgment must begin at the house of God.
- Please join in this prayer originally offered by Dr. Kennedy for America: "Dear Father, make us salt as well as light. Help us to render to Caesar and to You, God, those things which are respectively yours. Use us in our generation to help transform this nation and reclaim it, Christ, for You, and in that glorious reclamation, the people will rejoice. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Soli Deo Gloria." (Dr. D. James Kennedy & Jerry Newcombe, What If America Were a Christian Nation Again?)
The Resurrection and Present-Day America -- There is nothing less than an open hostility against God and his people in America. Well-funded atheist groups work overtime to eliminate every reference to God in government and every demonstration of God in the public square. Some jurisdictions seem to have gone wild in their determination to burden people of faith at the point of their most tender manifestations of ministry and force acceptance of their ungodly agendas (e.g., mandating same-sex adoptions conducted by faith-based groups, outlawing counseling for unwanted same-sex attractions and gender confusion; forcing churches to carry heath care coverage that includes abortion). God-given rights, especially the religious freedoms of Christians, are being violated on every side with believers being harassed, fined, fired, court-martialed, and even jailed for adhering to their deeply held biblical beliefs.
While such efforts seek to diminish the voice of the church, radical groups like Planned Parenthood, who just received fresh taxpayer funding in the new federal Omnibus budget, are full-throated in presenting their vision for America. Just yesterday, Planned Parenthood Keystone, based in Trexlertown, Pa., tweeted:
"We need a disney princess who's had an abortion
We need a disney princess who's pro-choice
We need a disney princess who's trans"
While the tweet was deleted and tepidly disavowed (see the LifeSiteNews story here), Planned Parenthood's vision for young girls is terrifyingly clear. That is the spirit of the age in present day America. Consequently, Kennedy's and Bauer's vision of America must look like wishful thinking at this moment in history.
Yet we must remember the passion of Christ, his pleas to the Father in the garden, the horror of his betrayal by Judas, the shameful flight of disciples, the shocking reversal of the cries of adoration to cries of condemnation, the religious hypocrites who handed him over to the authorities for execution while calling for the release of a criminal, and finally his crucifixion and death. The devil reveled with glee as Christ was put to public shame, murdered for all to see, then sealed in his tomb.
God allowed an orgy of evil seemingly to prevail, but only to punctuate the dramatic reversal by the most glorious event in human history -- the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! He arose victoriously from the tomb! He appeared alive to his disciples and more than 500 others. He delivered the "Great Commission" to his followers, commanding them to proclaim the Gospel to every creature, and he promised always to be with us as we go. Then he ascended in triumph to heaven where he now sits at the right hand of the Father ever making intercession for us. But more, he poured out his Spirit upon all who receive him, distributing spiritual gifts and power to fight the good fight of faith, destroy the works of the devil, and advance his Kingdom through the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a blessing to the nations.
Indeed, oppressive darkness preceded the glorious resurrection of the Son of God and the launch of the worldwide proclamation of the Good News that continues to change hearts and nations and epochs. Evil may prevail for a season but righteousness will ultimately prevail. So let us look at the present darkness in America in the light of the ultimate triumph of Christ over death and the devil in the resurrection. And let us repent of our own sin, unbelief, apathy, and the like, and anything else that would prevent us from being salt and light in the earth and from carrying the Gospel to every person and to the ends of the earth, as we have been commissioned by Christ, himself. And let us celebrate his triumph this weekend!
Up from the grave He arose, With a mighty triumph o'er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose! (Listen)
- Father, help us recognize that we are not simply "doing politics" when we register and vote, when we speak out on issues and support God-fearing men and women for office, when we speak biblical truth to those in power who will determine the direction of our communities, states, and nation. Help us labor and sacrifice to make sure the Constitution with which we have been entrusted is respected, upheld, and preserved, as far as consistent with your word. May we hold to the declarations of allegiance that the ancient Jews proclaimed: "The LORD is our Judge, the LORD is our Lawgiver, the LORD is our King; He will save us" (Is 33:22)and to which our American Fathers rallied, "No King but King Jesus!" May we exult in our Resurrected Lord, and praise him always in word and deed. Be exalted O God! (Gen 17:1; 35:11; Ps 2: all; Pr 22:28; Mt 28:18-20; Eph 4:1-10; Jude 1:2-3; Rev 15:3)
In case you missed it, I urge you to watch Dr. Paul Jehle's FRC Speaker Series event, "John Robinson, Shepherd of America." In it he tells how this little-known pastor to the Pilgrims discipled his flock in the principles of Scripture and sent 75 of his 250 Plymouth England Church members to form a new church and body politic in the New World. That little band of men and women, half of whom died the first winter, forged the Mayflower Compact, established the Plymouth Colony and laid principles of godly government that were embraced by all, and have impacted America for nearly 400 years -- arguably attributable in large measure to the biblical teaching of visionary Pastor John Robinson. Jehle will lead the Christian celebration of the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims in Plymouth in 2020.
Finally, I pray that you and your family will have a blessed Passion Week and Resurrection Sunday and that each member will come to know Christ better and experience more keenly the power of his resurrection (Php 3:10). Click the link to Dr. Kenyn Cureton's Sermon Starter: The Risen Christ: Convincing, Commanding and Conquering! Thank you for praying!