Excerpted from “Tears Over America” by Walter A. Maier 1945:
If Jesus were with us today, He would undoubtedly weep over America’s spiritual life. We have congregations that count their real estate and resources in millions, some of them in tens of millions. Yet that alone means nothing to Christ. The United States, likewise, is crowded with churches which forget the divine command, “Thou shall love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy strength and with all thy mind.” Instead of this inner heart-centered, soul-deep worship of God, these churches permit head and lip worship to creep in, formalism and ceremonies to receive far too much attention. The plain preaching of the gospel, without which no man can be redeemed, is pushed into the background.
Ask the average American, “How do you expect to be saved? What is your hope of heaven?” You will find first that many of our countrymen do not want to be saved, since they think they do not need to be. You will also learn that of those who believe in the hereafter, the majority actually like to think themselves so good, so much better than others, that God will welcome them with open arms when they ought to understand that without the Lord Jesus they are lost forever; that their hearts are filled with greed, lust, hatred, their lives marked with secret and disguised sin.
Because millions in this nation founded by Christian pioneers blessed above all other people on earth through religious freedom, have forgotten their God, neglected their privileges, spurned their blessings, rejected their Savior, we can find Him on Olivet, grief-gripped not only for Jerusalem’s Temple, but for churches in the United States that are more concerned about money raising than soul-winning, more intent on gaining popular applause than divine approval.
As we hear Christ repeat His warning, “This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth and honoreth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me,” may God give us the spiritual insight required to understand that if America is to come closer to the Almighty, this rededication must start in the churches; that the groups called Christian must receive a transfusion of firm, unquestioning, self-denying trust. To stop the tears of Christ, we must go back to the Bible, back to the blessed Savior, back to the blood of His atonement, back to justification by faith, and faith alone.
Excerpted from the Message “Unpopular Preachers” by Oliver B. Greene 1915-1976:
Thank God for my preacher friends! I dare not touch God’s anointed, but I do not hesitate to say that the dirtiest gang of thieves this side of hell are the gospel-denying, compromising liberals and modernists who deny the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures, and preach to please people instead of preaching the Word as it is laid down in the Bible. Hell will be hotter for these preachers than for ordinary sinners who sat in the pews and listened to their social gospel. Oh yes, there will be preachers in Hell (2 Corinthians 11:13–15). Just as surely as God has God-called preachers, the devil has devil-called preachers.
There is no need to blame Hollywood and the liquor crowd for the mess in which we find the world today. The blame lies at the doorsteps of sissy, compromising, back-scratching, ear-tickling, “denomination-pecked” preachers who know the truth, yet refuse to preach it for fear that they might hurt someone’s feelings.
It is not inviting to be unpopular. No one likes to be shunned. It is not a good feeling to know that you are not appreciated. But our Lord went through all that—and more. He set the example. He said, “He that takes not his cross, and follows after me, IS NOT WORTHY OF ME.” Also, “Beware of the man of whom all men speak well.” Too many preachers stand in too well with the world in this modern era.
Words of Grace for Strength
Let us hear what the Bible says about these days in which we live:
2 Timothy 3:1-7 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Preachers and People alike have turned from biblical truth to ungodly living, there are so very few who are living for Christ, so very few who are willing to make a stand for Christ, most are living for self, living for the “lusts of the flesh and the pride of life.” Only change through repentance, will result in restoration and/or revival. Read these quotes by Del Fehsenfeld, Jr. 1947-1989:
When a nation becomes as morally depraved, as spiritually blinded, and as steeped in humanism, hedonism, and materialism as America is, there is only one power in the entire universe that can meet and overcome such evil, and that is the power of the living God Himself, an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, a visitation of the manifest presence of God.
Revival, no matter how great or small in its ultimate scope, always begins with individual believers whose hearts are desperate for God, and who are willing to pay the price to meet Him.
God wants to avert judgment, and He’s simply looking for one person who will pay the price in prayer and in faith and in commitment, whatever it takes, to get a hold of God and not let loose.
Do not look for honor from the world, expect hatred instead. And receive it with the humility of Christ. You should be humbled when you realize you have been treated no better than He was. Do not expect blessings on your church or your country if neither has the boldness to stand by Christ’s teachings or proclaim them aloud to the surrounding world. If the reality of the Bible has become a rarity in your daily life, do not expect miracles from the Lord. His silence will shout judgment into your ears (although you hear it not over the clamor of the world’s parade passing by).
If and when Man turns from his personal wickedness and/or apostasy to a right relationship with and in Christ, he will then begin to find security in Christ. But it will take repentance, and true repentance brings change, and when this change occurs, we can stand on His promises:
Luke 6:22-23 “Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.”
John 15:18-21 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.”
Philippians 1:27-29 “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.”
Philippians 3:7-11 “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
1 Peter 4:12-16 “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.”
Revelation 2:10 “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
Revelation 3:8-12 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.”
In these promises we find real hope, an eternity with our Savior! This is change which delivers hope. It is time for repentance. It is time to stand. It is time to become a overcomer. Will You?
Even So Come.
Dr. Tuck Whitaker and Andy Coticchio
Rafter Cross Ministries