Independence Day: America, an ecotonic moment in time

Jeremiah 8:5-22

We are the “prefix generation.” We describe many things in our contemporary culture with the use of the prefix. For example, the prefix, “mega.” We have megabytes, mega churches, even mega-ditto’s. A prominent prefix today is “eco” as in ecotones and ecosystems. America is presently in the midst of an ecotonic moment in time. An “ecotone” is a technological word from the world of biology that describes a particular place where two ecosystems merge and blend together. I first heard of the word while living in the city of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. There is a particular place where the intercoastal waterway and the New River come together and form an ecotone. The salt water from the Atlantic Ocean flows into Port Everglades and into the intercoastal waterway. From the Everglades, just west of Fort Lauderdale, the fresh water flows through the New River making its way toward the ocean. At the particular place where this salt water and fresh water blend and merge together, an ecotone develops. Ecotones are places of tremendous possibility. Often fish lay their eggs there. Ecotones can also be very problematic to those who are engaged in the battles of ecology.

At this point in time we are experiencing an ecotonic stage in American life. Two worlds are blending and merging together at the same time. One is a modern world and the other a post-modern world. The world in which many of us in the baby boomer generation were educated is history. All the cumulative knowledge of world history will double within the next few years. Our world is transforming at breakneck   speed into a post-modern era. This presents a time of tremendous possibility for those of us who can translate the message of our Christian heritage to a world that is in desperate need without changing the heart of its message. It is also a time of tremendous problems for those who are seeking to translate the gospel to our world in the same way we did ten, twenty or thirty years ago. The western world is not so much in debate over whether the Bible is true as it is in whether it is relevant. That is, does this Book written in an ancient Middle Eastern culture have any relevancy in a world where we are transplanting organs, going to the moon and experimenting with genetic engineering? They will never know unless we deal with some of the major questions of our day.

We are living and ministering in a day when the church’s influence is waning in a secular society. We are seeing the product of an entire generation that has been reared with virtually no moral absolutes in the home, in many of their schools, and tragically in many of their churches. This past Sunday Great Britain saw less than five percent of its population in any kind of house of worship. History records that civilizations which see the collapse of the home and accompanying moral values do not last past one or two generations unless a spiritual awakening occurs. In America we are watching the disintegration of a culture in our own lifetime. We have lost the concept of personal responsibility for our own transgressions, and all of our maladies have become someone else’s fault.

Recently I walked through the Viet Nam Memorial in our nation’s capitol. I saw name after name etched in the granite wall of young people who left their homes and never came back. Some of those names were more than just letters etched in granite; they were personal friends from my high school days. As I looked at that wall, I realized that they would be in their middle age today. If by some miracle they could step out of that wall and go back to their hometowns, they would see a world that is totally different from the one they knew. They would wonder why we have become a nation where over half of our marriages end in divorce. As they walked the streets of their small towns and cities, they would wonder why the Judeo-Christian ethic was but a memory. As they revisited their schoolhouses, they would be shocked to learn that it is now illegal for children to pray in the same classrooms where they were educated. They would be floored to realize that the Gideons could no longer hand them a New Testament on the campuses of their schools, but organizations like Planned Parenthood are often free to dispense condoms at no charge. They would be surprised to discover that in many of their small towns the traditional manger scene was no longer on the courthouse lawn. They would be shocked to see that homosexual lifestyles were legitimized and promoted by much of the rhetoric, appointments, and actions of those who live in high places. As they visited their schools, they would be shocked to pass through metal detectors and see that teenage pregnancy was rampant. Those who lost their lives at such a young age would be appalled to hear that we legally kill 1.5 million babies a year in America today through abortion. As they strolled past the vacant lots and playgrounds of their neighborhoods, they would be shocked at the way they are terrorized by gangs and drive-by shootings. As they looked around, they would wonder what happened to the male leadership which has disappeared from so many of the homes of America.

We should make no mistake about it. The United States is morally bankrupt in large part because we have been led by a liberal philosophy that has made false assumptions about two particular things; the nature of the universe, and the nature of mankind. Liberal philosophy seldom asks “why.” It only asks “what.” One can take almost any issue. Take the issue of drugs. Few in the liberal establishment are asking “why.” Most of them only ask “what.” What can we do about this problem? So we dispense free needles to try to clean up the process. This particular point is seen daily with the issue of the HIV virus and the accompanying AIDS epidemic. Not enough people in Washington are asking “why.” It does not seem to be politically correct. So we only ask “what.” What can we do about the AIDS epidemic? And the answers we are given are more education, how to have safe sex and the like. We are asking “what” when we ought to be asking “why” about these major moral issues of life. Have you ever thought about why we are called “conservatives?” We are trying to conserve something. We are trying to conserve some traditional moral values that have made America what it has been in the past. These values were conserved by people asking “why” and not “what.”

The prophet of old, Jeremiah, lived and ministered in a day much like ours. The nation of Judah had been blessed. They had prospered, but they forgot their roots. They forgot their God. They began to think they were indestructible, and the final result came in 586 B.C. when they were defeated by Nebuchadnezzar and taken away into Babylonian captivity. Jeremiah was a man who lived with a burden for the way in which his country had turned its back on God. He had seen the blessing. Now he observed the collapse and corruption from within. With a weeping heart he asks, “Where is the Lord, Who brought us up out of the land of Egypt?” (Jer. 2:6). Then he came straight to the bottom line by quoting the Lord Himself, They have turned their back to Me, and not their face” (Jer. 2:27). As I read these words in this Book of all books, I cannot help but see our own America. I believe God is asking today, “Where is the Lord, Who brought you out of Egypt?”…I believe He is asking us, “Why have you turned your back to me and not your face?” Jeremiah asks four hard questions in Chapter 8 of the book that bears his name. Interestingly enough, unlike the liberalism of our day, he did not ask “what.” Jeremiah asked “why.” These are the four “why’s” America needs to be asking herself today. There is a question for the American public, “Why has this people slidden back?” (Jer. 8:5). There is a question for the American pew, “Why do we sit still?” (Jer. 8:14). There is a question for the American politician, “Why have we provoked God to anger?” (Jer. 8:19). There is a question for the American pulpit, “Why is there no recovery?” (Jer. 8:22). Is there a recovery for the Western world?

What would happen if the people, the President, and the pastors of the United States would stand up before the American people and stop asking “what” and begin to seriously probe and ask “why.” If the public would seriously ask, “Why have we slidden back?” If the people in the pew would seriously ask, “Why do we sit still?” If the politicians would seriously ask, “Why have we provoked a holy God to anger?” If the pulpits of the land would seriously ask, “Why does there seem to be no recovery?” Let’s ask ourselves these questions of Jeremiah’s day today:

A question for the American public: Why has this people slidden back?

Why has this people slidden back, Jerusalem, in a perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit, they refuse to return (Jer. 8:5).

Jeremiah says that the people of his nation have “held fast to deceit and refused to return.” That is, they and we continue to believe a lie. America seems to be without a knowledge of spiritual things today. We hold fast to deceit and refuse to return. On February 4, 1995, The Dallas Morning News carried a guest column by then Mayor Steve Bartlett. He said, “Up until 30 years ago, strong moral values were a part of our daily lives and experiences. They were a part of everything that we did. But in the course of those 30 years we’ve walked away from those values and put them in a closet. I don’t know WHY (emphasis mine) that happened. I only know that it happened.” Thirty years ago? Mr. Mayor, you are right. Let us remember what happened 30 years ago. For one thing the Supreme Court struck down school prayer by prohibiting this simple invocation, “Almighty God we acknowledge our dependency upon you and beg your blessings on us, our parents, our teachers, and our country.” That was it! No mention of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was just a simple petition asking God to bless four things — the students, the parents, the teachers, and the country. It is shocking to examine what has happened to those four entities over the last 30 years. The invocation struck down by the Supreme Court called for God’s blessings upon “us” (that is, the students). What has happened to the American student in the past 30 years? We have the highest rate of teen motherhood in the western world. Each year one million teenage girls become pregnant. In my own city of Dallas some schools are equipped with as many as 15 nursery beds to take care of the babies that are born from teen mothers who are still in school. Should we be surprised when we have asked “what” instead of “why” throughout these years? We ask “what” can we do about the dilemmas, and so we decided to hand out condoms and forbid groups like Gideons to pass out New Testaments. The petition asked the blessing of God upon our “parents.” What has happened to parenthood in America in the last 30 years? We lead the world in divorce. One and one-half million children run away from home every year. Sex abuse seems to be rampant, and the home is disintegrating. But the liberal establishment is only asking “what.” The third part of the petition was the invocation of a blessing upon our “teachers.” What has happened to the American education system in the last 30 years? In Stone vs. Gramm in 1980 the court decided, “If posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it would be to induce children to meditate upon them and perhaps obey, and this is not permissible. The First Amendment protects it.” God forbid that a child obey one of the Ten Commandments. And the result for teachers? School violence, metal detectors, and plummeting SAT scores. The final request was a blessing of God upon our “country.” What has happened to the United States of America in the last 30 years? Violent crime is up 500 times over what it was in those days. It is no longer safe to walk on many of the streets of the cities and towns of America. And, here we are asking “what.” The real question is “why?” Why has this occurred? Because so many good people have done nothing.

Jeremiah goes on to say that, “My people do not know the judgment of the Lord” (Jer. 8:7). It seems as though he’s speaking of America and not Judah. The judgment of God is seldom heard in any of the pulpits of America any longer. Speak of the judgment of God in the city of Washington, D.C., and you’ll be scoffed and laughed out of town by the social elite. But God has not abdicated His throne. He is still in control. As Daniel says, “He still rules over the affairs of men.” Ask Israel if this is true. Ask Judah if this is true. Ask Rome or the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Jeremiah says that “even migratory birds know when it is time to return home” (Jer. 8:7). But Judah did not nor does America. We have less wisdom than a bird.

Jeremiah continues as though he were speaking to the issues of our own day. Hear him ask, “How can you say, ‘We are wise and the law of the Lord is with us?’ …they have rejected the word of the Lord; so what wisdom do they have?” (Jer. 8:8-9). Is anything more applicable to the United States of America than these words? We have rejected the Word of God for the wisdom of man’s own agenda, and we wonder why as the question comes in Verse 5, “Why has this people slidden back?” He goes on quoting the Lord Himself, “I will give your wives to others” (Jer. 8:10). Does this sound like America where over half of the marriages end in divorce? Is the judgment of God upon this nation? Jeremiah speaks of those who say, “‘Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace” (Jer. 8:11). Those in Washington put their spin doctors on every issue saying, “‘Peace, peace! ‘When there is no peace.”

Jeremiah speaks to his people and so poignantly to us about the greatest tragedy of all when he says, “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed, nor did they know how to blush” (Jer. 8:12). This is our greatest tragedy. There seems to be no shame. There is a blatant disregard in much of America for anything that is moral or pure. But we should not blame the politicians for the moral collapse of America. We need to put it where it belongs, at the feet of the church. Biblical moral standards are forgotten in an attempt to appease an immoral culture, and in some ways to “market” the church to a secular world.

It would do us all well to remember that the context of Jeremiah 8 is found in II Chronicles 34. In that particular chapter good King Josiah had begun to ask some “why’s” instead of “what’s.” His trusted friend, Hilkiah, had discovered the Word of God which had been lost in the house of God. He brought it to the king, and a tremendous turning to God ensued. This is our greatest need, that the church would find this Book and take it to the king. The king led that nation to take a stand on the Word of God, and the country began to prosper once again.

Why is this people slidden back? That’s a good question. Jeremiah goes on to quote the Lord Himself. “The things I have given them shall pass away from them” (Jer. 8:13). If God said this of Judah, the apple of His eye, why do you think He wouldn’t say the same of any other nation? If America does not start dealing with the “why’s” instead of the “what’s,” judgment is coming. America no longer believes that God controls the created order. We may give Him the occasional tip of a hat at a prayer breakfast or the like, but He by and large has no place in the affairs of men, particularly, in the places of power. The question is not “what.” The question is “why.” Jeremiah continues with another “why.”

A question for the American pew: Why do we sit still?

Why do we sit still? Assemble yourselves, and let us enter the fortified cities, and let us be silent there. For the Lord our God has put us to silence and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against the Lord (Jer. 8:14).

Many Americans have bought into the liberal lies, media manipulation, and public propaganda. The tragedy is the church sits by with a false confidence based on lying words saying, “Peace, peace, when there is no peace. “We need to ask ourselves the question, “Why do we sit still?” It has not always been the case.

Recently while in the nation’s capitol, my wife, Susie, and I walked from our hotel to the Capitol building. After passing through the rotunda, we headed down the corridor toward the House chamber. We entered a rather large room lined with statues of great Americans around the wall, and soon we discovered it was the original House chamber. In that particular room the House of Representatives met for scores of years before the larger chamber was built adjacent to it. While observing some of the statues in that great hall, we noticed a group over to the side with a guide in a red sport jacket lecturing. We moved over near the group to listen. This Capitol guide was in conversation regarding the issue of separation of church and state. He was explaining how that for the first 75 years the House of Representatives met in this room, and they opened it on Sunday mornings to an evangelical, gospel-preaching Protestant church which held services there for 75 years. He went on to explain how the First Presbyterian Church (now the National Presbyterian Church) held its Sunday services during those years in the chamber of the Supreme Court Building across the street. As I listened to those incredible truths that have somehow been buried in our nation’s history, I asked myself the question — “Why do we sit still?”

Don’t listen to those who say that religious principles played little part in the founding of the United States of America. Don’t listen to those who say that we were basically not built on a Judeo-Christian philosophy but on more of a pluralistic, deistic philosophy. Forever etched in the charters of the original 13 colonies is the gospel truth. Rhode Island was established in 1683, and in their charter they said, “We submit ourselves, our lives, our estates unto the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords, and to all those perfect and most absolute laws given in His Holy Word.” Maryland’s charter says it was “formed by a pious zeal to extend the Christian gospel.” Delaware was “formed for the further propagation of the holy gospel.” When the founders of Connecticut wrote their charter, they said that Connecticut was there to “preserve the purity of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.” It certainly doesn’t sound like Connecticut was too pluralistic in its beginnings. There’s talk of Washington, D.C., becoming the fifty-first state. Can you imagine how their charter might read?

We wonder why in the words of Jeremiah we as a people are “slidden back” and we in the pew “sit still.” The answer is in the fact that the salt has lost its savor. Some time ago I received a form letter from the head of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State in which he was bemoaning the fact that some Christian ministers in America were trying to, in his words, “Christianize America.” I am unapologetically trying to Christianize America and the entire world for that matter! This is the commission our Lord gave us before He left. One of my pastoral predecessors at the First Baptist Church in Dallas, the late and great Dr. George W. Truett, stood on the Capitol steps of our nation on May 16, 1920, and gave one of the greatest messages on religious liberty ever heard. In the course of his message, he said, “The one transcending and inspiring influence in victory is the Christian faith. Civilization without Christianity is doomed. Let there be no hesitation nor apology for the insistence that the one hope for the individual, the one hope for society, for civilization, is the Christian religion.” That doesn’t sound like tolerance to me.

Jeremiah’s question comes thundering down through the corridors of the centuries to us today — “Why do we sit still?” America’s biggest problem is an apathetic church who has lost her first love. And in losing that first love, we have also lost our influence. We have simply sat still for a generation. When I see certain political leaders with their own agendas contrary to the Word of God coming out of church on Sunday being photographed with Bibles in their hands and waving to the television cameras, the words of Jeremiah 7:9-10 echo in my mind—“Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know, and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered to do all these abominations’?” In the midst of a changing ecotonic world that can go either way, we must stop asking “what” and begin to ask “why.” Why are we slidden back? Why do we sit still? Jeremiah continues with another question.

A question for the American politician: Why have they provoked me to anger?

Listen! The voice, the cry of the daughter of my people from a far country: “Is not the Lord in Zion? Is not her King in her?” “Why have they provoked Me to anger with their carved images — with foreign idols?” (Jer. 8:19).

God asks us another question through Jeremiah’s prayer — “Why have they provoked me to anger with their carved images, with foreign idols?” America did not abandon God. We just made Him one of many others. New Age humanistic thought which exalts man over Christ has taken center stage. It is no wonder   those with liberal agendas do not want the Ten Commandments in the classroom. The very first one says, “You shall have no other gods before me.” He is a jealous God. We have supported a pluralism which tolerates a form of Christianity that does not make any demands on a culture. It is a form of Christianity that only asks “what” and never asks “why.” Christianity is not just another person’s opinion. It is objective truth. We have provoked a holy God to anger in that we have allowed other gods to share His glory.

How did the early Christians engage their culture? What was it about them that caused the Roman Empire to put them to death in the Coliseum and other places of public exploitation and execution? Why the Christians when other conquered peoples of the world did not meet the same fate? The answer is found in one of the ruins of Rome. It is called the Pantheon, the temple of all gods. Some time ago while returning from a trip to Africa, I visited this impressive edifice. As you walk into the temple, you find around all of the walls niches carved in the stone. When the Romans would conquer a certain people who, for example, might worship the god Jupiter, they would bring them to the Pantheon and say here is a niche for Jupiter. You can worship him any time you desire. They appeased their conquered peoples in such a fashion. Perhaps they conquered a people who worshiped the goddess Juno. They would bring them there to the Pantheon and give them a niche for Juno. When they brought the Christians back to Rome in triumph of their military conquest, they took them also to the Pantheon. In effect, they said we are going to give you a niche for Jesus here between Jupiter and Juno. The Christians said no! There is only one Lord, and they gave their lives for that.

Agnostic, apathetic America has no sense that we have provoked a holy God to anger. In fact, we scoff at the idea. He says, “Do not commit murder.” And we kill 1.5 million babies a year. He says, “Do not commit adultery.” And we live in a sex-crazed society. When Paul wrote the Roman letter, he foresaw Rome’s coming collapse, and in Chapter 1 spoke of a culture that had been given over to depraved minds.

Is there a recovery? Yes, the most important thing we can do is call upon the name of the Lord in prayer, and then begin to ask some “why’s” and elect some leaders with character and genuine moral backbone. It was not the Babylonians who brought Judah low. God only used them. It was God Himself who did it. Why? The answer is in II Chronicles 28:19, “For the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had encouraged moral decline in Judah and had been continually unfaithful to the Lord.”

What did God do? God Himself brought the nation of Judah low. We can blame it on economics, budget deficits, the welfare system, the collapse of moral values, but God still rules in the affairs of men. There is someone in Washington not being factored into the equation. Our leadership is blind to the fact that “the Most High rules in the Kingdom of men” (Dan. 4:32). Could it be that behind all the politics is God Himself allowing all of this to happen in America?

What did God do to the nation of Judah? He brought them low. Why? Because their leader, their king, had encouraged a moral decline in the land. Ahaz was personally immoral and unfaithful, and his policies reflected his own character. It is one thing to be immoral, but another to “encourage a moral decline in the land.” We have had presidents of the United States in the past who have been known for immoral acts. But it is quite another thing to encourage immorality through people and policies. A leader encourages a moral decline in the land when he takes a pen in hand and signs an executive order permitting the bodies of aborted babies to be used in research. A leader encourages a moral decline in the land when he only asks “what” and seldom ever asks “why.”

Leaders of nations bear moral responsibilities, and we do ourselves a tremendous injustice if we do not elect godly men and women to leadership.

America is agnostic toward spiritual things. We seem to have an “in your face attitude” toward a holy God. There appears to be no real sense in the executive, legislative, or judicial branches of government that we are provoking a holy God to anger. So we continue on our way asking “what” when we ought to be asking “why.” Why have we slidden back? Why do we sit still? Why have we provoked God to anger? Jeremiah asks the final “why.”

A question for the American pulpit: Why is there no recovery?

Is there no balm in Gilead, is there no physician there? Why then is there no recovery for the health of the daughter of my people? (Jer. 8:22).

Is there any answer? Is it too late? People in Jeremiah’s day did not repent, and there was no recovery. They were taken into Babylonian captivity and hung their harps on the willow trees of Babylon because they could not sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land. Jeremiah asks, “Is there no balm in Gilead, is there no physician there? Why then is there no recovery for the health of the daughter of my people?” (Jer. 8:22). Yes, there is indeed a health care crisis in America today, but it is not primarily physical nor mental. It is a spiritual health care crisis.

Is it too late for us as it was for Judah? Where is the answer? Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician here? Yes, there is a Great Physician. If you go to your personal physician with a physical need, he examines you and gives you a prescription. God gives us a prescription in Jeremiah 3:22, “Return, you backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.” Yes, thank God, there is still a Physician. The return begins with you and me. Not the politicians. Not the school systems. But with the church of Jesus Christ.

We are living in what has become more and more of a pagan culture not unlike the one with which the early church was confronted. In fact, they were under a tremendous amount of persecution we have really not seen in America as of yet. For example, in Acts 12 the leader of the church in Jerusalem, Simon Peter, was incarcerated by the authorities for his moral stands and for the gospel’s sake. Acts 12:5 says, “Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.” The Church of Jesus Christ has forgotten our primary battlefield. It is very difficult to win a war if we do not know where the battle is being fought. Some of us have forgotten this. That is, while Peter was kept in prison, the church was praying earnestly for him. If Acts 12:5 had been written about the 21st century church, it might read, “Peter was kept in prison, but the church picketed City Hall in behalf of him.” It might read, “Peter was kept in prison, but the church protested with a mass campaign in his behalf.” It might read, “Peter was kept in prison, but the church took over the local precincts in order to make some changes in the elected officials.” It might say, “Peter was kept in prison, but the church signed petitions in his behalf.” This early church engaged their culture. How? They had the power of God upon them. They knew where the battle was being fought. Go to Ephesus today and walk through the ancient ruins of that first century metropolis. It amazed me as I did so. As I walked through the amphitheater, down the streets, into the bathhouses and the libraries and the temples of that ancient world, I wondered, how was that city captured for Christ? Paul went there with just a couple of friends and engaged the culture and saw the transformation of a whole city. How? There was no explanation for it but the power of God. The power of God in response to a praying church. If some of us who are called by the name of the Lord would spend as much time listening to God as we do certain talk show hosts on the radio or television, we would be on our way to revival. Some of us do not think we need God because we have a conservative political agenda to follow.

There is a remedy for us. It is the only remedy, and it is not found in the ballot box or on television ads or in curriculum. The remedy is found at the foot of a Roman cross outside the city walls of Jerusalem where the conquering Christ was “made sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. “We are living in the most important days of American history. It is indeed an ecotonic moment in our nation’s history. Two worlds are blending and merging together. It is a time of tremendous possibility. It is not too late if — we stop asking “what?” and begin to ask “why?” There is a question for the American public. “Why are we slidden back? “We have forgotten our roots. There is a question for the American pew. “Why do we sit still?” Has an apathetic church forgotten where the battle is being fought? There is a question for the American politician. “Why have we provoked a holy God to anger?” Have we have shared His glory with other gods around us? And, there is a question for the American pulpit. “Why is there no remedy? Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? “Yes, the Great Physician is still ready and willing to bless our nation as He did in the beginning. Jeremiah said it best when he said, “ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls” (Jer. 6:16).

What is America’s greatest need? Don’t blame politicians for the moral collapse. Don’t point the finger at the education system. All these are simply fruits of a root problem. We have a generation in America that does not know Christ primarily because the church has not made Him known. What is our greatest need? It is found in II Chronicles 34. The Church of Jesus Christ needs to find the Book of God in the house of God and take it to the king!

I have tremendous hope in the future of America. I believe we could very well be on the threshold of another genuine spiritual awakening in our land. Could it be that as in the days of Josiah, God is about to give us a reprieve, a revival if you please, before He returns? Do you remember the parable of the unjust judge that is recorded for all posterity in Luke 18? A widow came to him for justice and got none. This was a judge who “did not fear God, nor regard man,” and did not fear this woman. But she didn’t sit still. She kept coming to his door. Knock, knock, knock, but he didn’t open the door. He did not fear God. He did not fear man, and he did not fear this woman. She came again. Knock, knock, knock. But he did not open because he did not fear God, nor man, nor this woman. She continued to knock, but he did not open because he did not fear God, nor man, nor this woman. She kept on knocking, and finally he opened the door. At this point the Lord Jesus said, “How much more will your heavenly Father open the door to you if you keep petitioning Him?” Then He said, “Men ought always to pray and not lose heart.” Don’t give up on America. Keep on praying, and keep on knocking!

ON A PERSONAL NOTE:

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