America: You Must Be Born Again

By the end of tonight we will know how deep a political stirring is taking place in America. The 2010 mid-term election results will indicate whether a spark of freedom has once again been ignited to light the way forward, or whether we will continue down the road of national decline or suicide.

There is one deep desire within my heart for my nation.

America: You must be born again.

Jesus used that phrase when talking to a religious leader named Nicodemus. Here’s the encounter as recorded in John 3:1-8:

“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

 “In reply Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.'”

 “‘How can a man be born when he is old?'” Nicodemus asked. “‘Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!'”

 “Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.'”

Born again. What a wonderful concept. The context here is, of course, an individual being “born again”–making a fresh start in life. Jesus says that there is physical birth (he uses the metaphor of “water” signifying life’s essential ingredient) and there is spiritual birth. Spiritual birth means a change of heart and mind in the life of an individual. You’re been thinking and living in one direction, and you decide to start over and go another route.

Personally, I was physically born in 1953. I was spiritually born again in 1968 when I realized I’d been living for myself and needed to submit my entire life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. His love drew me, he forgave my sins, and changed my inner being to live for his kingdom.

America was born as a nation in 1776 following a great spiritual awakening and a war against tyranny.

In this early part of the 21st century, America needs to be spiritually born again.

Four things are essential to our nation’s turn-around. They are crucial activities that must take place in order to “start over” with God. We must:

Repent – of our personal and national sins. Conservative tend to overlook this vital step and liberals don’t understand it. But it’s always been a part of our American Christian DNA–when we’re wrong, we need to admit it to God, ourselves,and others and turn away from it.  In the First Great Awakening that led to America’s initial birth as a nation, it is estimated that 50,000 people out of a total population of 250,000 confessed their sins to God and changed the way they were living. That’s 20% of the population changing their hearts and lives.

With a population of 310 million people living in the United States today, that translates to over 62 million people needing to repent of their sins. 124 million regularly attend church services. Of course, only God knows what is required to see his hand of blessing restored to this nation. What we do know is that scores of millions of Americans need to “humble themselves and pray and seek his face and turn from their wicked ways ” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Then there is the national repentance aspect. We have killed fifty million fellow Americans since legalizing abortion in 1972; We have poisoned our homes and air waves with sexual lewdness; We have destroyed the institution of marriage through divorce and now are experimenting with its re-definition; We have not cared for the poor and disadvantaged among us; We have lived for “things” and not for God and others; We have piled up massive debts and lived beyond our means; We have not protected our borders;  And we have not reached out with compassion to the foreigners among us.

There need to be “solemn assemblies” in churches and city halls all across this land where we corporately ask God’s forgiveness for our many national sins. Without confession there is no grace. Without changed hearts and lives, there is no redemptive future.

Believe – re-establish our faith in God. This was the primary focus of the Restoring Honor rally held at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28. Glenn Beck and many others encouraged the 500,000 people in attendance to return to a basic faith and trust in God.

This is one of the unique tenets of the America experience: faith in God. “In God We Trust” is on our bills, and for generations it was in the hearts of most Americans. There have always been atheists among us. But they were the minority, and our religious tolerance allowed them to enjoy the blessings of a faith-based nation.

But non-believers were never the secret to America’s greatness. That was found in the hearts of fathers, mothers, youth and children, who put their trust in God and lived out his principles in their homes, factories, schools, neighborhoods and statehouses. America is a faith-based nation that can aspire toward limited government and vast human liberty through the self-control that comes from reverence for God. Americans are not superior to other nationalities. What makes this nation exceptional is our faith in God and the fruits of liberty it produces.

America–without faith–is not America. We need a re-birth of personal and corporate faith.

Reject tyranny –Humble hearts and renewed trust in God must lead to a rejection of socialist-statist policies which amount to tyranny. The 2010 mid-term elections are a wake-up call to reject the creeping forms of tyrannical rule.

William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, famously said that “Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants.” That is the choice that America faces in this century. If we are not “reborn” to our faith in God, then the noose of government tyranny will grow tighter and tighter.

Rejecting tyranny has practical ramifications. We must repeal the national healthcare takeover, get the goverment out of the realm of business and commerce, keep the tax cuts in place (even drop rates further to create jobs), abolish the IRS (how about a just and fair flat tax?), reform our out-of-control entitlement programs (do we really want French-style rioting in the streets?), and keep electing leaders who will listen to the people and protect their Constitutional rights.

And finally, we must:

Love liberty– and fight for its renewal in our individual hearts, families, cities, and nation. Thank God for those in our military who are fighting for us all over the world. We need to join them on our own soil with the same commitment and discipline. Patrick Henry’s cry needs to become the vision of every American: “Give me liberty or give me death!”

If a significant portion of Americans repent of their sins, restore their faith in God, reject the tyranny around them, and live to advance liberty, then a new dawn will rise in our national history.

America: You can, and you must be born again.

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