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What Happens When We Confess Our Sins

What Happens When We Confess Our Sins

Mary’s Redemption

The Chosen is one of the most moving portrayals of Christ that has ever been put on film.  And I’ve watched them all.  Every time I watch an episode, I am compelled to surrender more of my life to Jesus.  And this segment is no exception.

In this clip, you will see a perfect picture of how the Lord responds to us when we try to live the Higher Christian Life in the flesh and fail.  And we will always fail.  It can be no other way.

Do you remember the first of our three truths?  Truth one simply states that you are incapable of pleasing God or producing anything good with your flesh, your sinful nature, no matter how hard you try.  It cannot be done, has never been done, will never be done, by anybody, ever.  Why?  Because it says in Romans 7:18, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.”  Case closed.  End of story.  Done.

We must stop trying to do what only the Lord can do through us.  The Higher Christian Life is found in our surrender of ourselves to Him and Him living His life through us.  There is no place for self-effort.  Only self-surrender.


And If We Fail?

You will fail.  Count on it.  In fact, it’s in the Lord’s design for you to fail, to come to the end of yourself, and cling to Him in total surrender.  So when it happens, don’t run from God in shame like they did in the Garden.  Instead, confess your failure, admit your shame, acknowledge your inability to live a life of sanctification by your own efforts, and receive the forgiveness displayed in the short clip from the Chosen.

I think these next three minutes will show you what true forgiveness is all about.

Enjoy and be blessed.

Until He comes,

Steve



The Higher Christian Life

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The Prayer of Full Surrender

The Prayer of Full Surrender

The following is a message given by Dr. Walter L. Wilson (1881-1969) at the Canadian Keswick Conference about his experience with the Higher Christian Life.  This message was reprinted in the October 1936 issue of “The Evangelical Christian” and also in the tract, “The Secret of Soul Winning.”  The name of the article is “Whose Body is Yours?” and provides a wonderful glimpse into the process the Spirit took Dr. Wilson through to discover the Higher Christian Life and his prayer of full surrender.

Enjoy and be blessed and encouraged in your own search for the Higher Christian life.


“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”
John 14:16-17

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Romans 12:1

Because there exists in these days a great desire in the heart for, and a confusion in the mind concerning the Spirit-filled life, or the path of consecration, it may help to clear this matter if I tell you of my own experience with the Lord, the Spirit.

It was my privilege to be raised among a group of believers who were quite orthodox in their teaching, and quite earnest in studying the Word.  It was among these that I first trusted the Lord Jesus in December 1896.  He saved me and changed my life.  Immediately the Word of God became my constant companion.  I loved it, studied it, preached it, and gave away tracts in large quantities.  No apparent success followed my labors, and much energy produced little fruit.  This failure disturbed me greatly, but I assured myself and was assured by others that we were not to look for results but only to be busy at seed sowing.


Who is the Holy Spirit to You?

In 1913 the Lord sent to my home a godly man who had been serving the Lord in France.  He said to me, “What is the Holy Spirit to you?”

I replied, “He is one of the Persons of the Godhead.”
“Yes,” he said, “that is who He is, but I asked you what is He to you?”
I answered this question by saying, “He is a Teacher, a Guide; He is the third Person of the Trinity.”

My friend corrected me, saying, “He is the first two, but He is not the last that you mentioned.  To call Him the third Person is to give Him a place of insignificance and inferiority, which He should not have.  He is just as great, just as precious, just as needful as the other two Persons of the Trinity.  But still, you have not answered my question, ‘What is He to you?'”

I now saw the point Mr. Levermore was trying to make with me and answered truthfully, “He is nothing to me.  I have no contact with Him, no personal relationship, and could get along quite well without Him.”

This fact and truth surprised my own heart.  I knew it was true and yet dreaded the fact that it was true.  My friend at once remarked, “It is because of this that your life is so fruitless even though your efforts are so great. If you will seek to personally know the Holy Spirit, He will transform your life. Read John 14:16and 17, and see whether you do really know Him, the Spirit, and if you find you do not, then come to Him immediately in faith and make Him the Lord of your life.”

I was afraid to do as this brother suggested because for years I had been taught by those who ministered the Word in my circles that the believer can have nothing personally to do with the Spirit. God worked by, and with, His Spirit, but we should have no contact with Him whatever.  I was told from the platform that if anyone yielded himself to the Spirit, that one was a heretic to be avoided.  Because of the years of this training, three obstacles loomed large before me to prevent me from taking the Holy Spirit for myself.  The first was my fear of becoming a religious fanatic; the second was a fear of giving Christ an inferior place and thus hurting His heart.  I did not know that there was no jealously in the Godhead; the third was that I should be giving to the Holy Spirit a position and place that should be occupied only by Christ.

These doubts and questions I made known to my Christian teacher.  He was a wise man of God, and revealed to me from the Scriptures that only by the Spirit would Christ be made know to me and the beauties of Christ be revealed to my heart.  He assured me that if the Spirit had all His own way in my soul, He would do freely what He came to do—reveal the Scriptures, exalt the Saviour, magnify the Father, give power in service and victory in the battle with Satan.  This encouraged me to study those passages which told of the privilege of the believer in receiving the Holy Spirit.

The preacher left the city before I had made a decision in my soul.  Shortly thereafter, that blessed man of God, the late Dr. James Gray, came to our city, and one evening expounded Romans 12:1.  Leaning over the pulpit, he said, “Have you noticed that this verse does not tell us to whom we should give our bodies?  It is not the Lord Jesus who asks for it. He has His own body.  It is not the Father who asks for it—He remains upon His throne.  Another has come to earth without a body.  God could have made a body for Him as He did for Jesus, but He did not do so.  God gives you the privilege and the indescribable honor of presenting your bodies to the Holy Spirit, to be His dwelling place on earth.  If you have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, then yours is a holy body, washed whiter than snow, and will be accepted by the Spirit when you give it.  Will you do so now?”

Mr. Baker was sitting beside me at this service and he was in deep meditation, as I was.  We said little as we went home together, for he was living with me.  He went at once to his room, while I went to my study.  There I lay upon the carpet, prostrate in God’s presence, heart-broken over a fruitless life, yet filled with a great hope because of the words I had heard from a teacher in whom I had all confidence.


The Prayer of Full Surrender

There in the quiet of that late hour, I said to the Holy Spirit,

“My Lord, I have mistreated You all my Christian life.  I have treated You like a servant.  When I wanted You, I called for You.  When I was about to engage in some work, I beckoned You to come and help me perform my task.  I have kept You in the place of a servant.  I have sought to use You only as a willing servant to help me in my self-appointed and chosen work.

I shall do so no more.

Just now, I give You this body of mine; from my head to my feet, I give it to You.  I give You my hands, my limbs, my eyes and lips, my brain.  All that I am within and without, I hand over to You for You to live in it the life that You please.  You may send this body to Africa, or lay it on a bed with cancer.  You may blind the eyes, or send me with Your message to Tibet.  You may take this body to the Eskimos or sent it to a hospital with pneumonia.  It is Your body from this moment on.  Help Yourself to it.

Thank You, my Lord; I believe You have accepted it for in Romans 12:1, You said ‘acceptable unto God.’  Thank You again, my Lord, for taking me.  We now belong to each other.”


The Results of a Prayer of Full Surrender

During the night, I had seen the light burning in the room of my father-in-law, so in the morning, when he came to breakfast I said, “It is too bad you were ill during the night, father.  Why did you not call me?”  He replied, “I was not sick last night, but all night long, I sought to get to the Lord and to give my body to the Holy Spirit.  I was unable to do so because business kept intruding.  Tents, camp furniture, flags, advertising, factory problems—all pressed upon my mind and demanded my attention.  It was four-thirty this morning before I could really get to the Lord.  Then I did give this body to the Holy Spirit and accepted Him as the Lord of my service.  At five o’clock, I retired.  You go down Walter, and open the mail and get the work started, for I am going to a luggage shop to buy a traveling bag.  Since I have given my body to the Spirit and He has accepted it, I know He will have work for me to do, and I want to be ready to go.”

At the luggage shop, Mr. Baker was waited on by a young lady.  As he told her of his need, she said, “Are you the Mr. Baker of the awning shop?” ” Yes,” he replied.  Immediately her face flushed, and she was choked with emotions.  She told how just a few weeks before her mother had died and on her deathbed had requested the daughter to find Mr. Baker and ask him to lead her to the Lord Jesus, as she herself had been led by this same friend some years before.  Thus, before he arrived at the office, the Holy Spirit had proved His acceptance of that servant by giving him this soul the first thing in the morning.

As I left home that morning, I said to my wife, “Lover, this is to be a wonderful day with me, for I gave my body to the Holy Spirit last evening.  I have quit asking Him to help me do things and shall today see Him as Lord of my life, doing things through me.  I will call you up and let you know what happens.”

About ten o’clock, two young ladies entered my office, selling advertising.  They had often called for that purpose before, and I had given them some large contracts.  Never had I spoken to them about the Lord Jesus.  My lips had been my own and I used them for business purposes.  Now, however, these lips had been given away, and the Holy Spirit made use of them at once.  “Are you girls bad enough to be lost?” I said.  The older one answered immediately that she was and had been sitting up the previous night until two in the morning reading her Bible and seeking the Lord.  It was only a short way to Calvary for this girl.  She soon met the Saviour and found peace in her soul.  The younger sister was not so easily led.  She said, “You must think I am a very bad girl,” upon which I handed her my Bible, open at Romans 3, and requested her to read the chapter, verses 9 to 19, and see what God said about her.  She denied that this passage referred to her at all and would not accept it.  I handed her my scissors and requested that she cut it out of the Book in order that I might not have an untrue statement in my Bible.  This she refused to do, saying that her mother had taught her that all the Bible was true.  This part, she said, referred to someone else, but not to her.  From this passage, I turned her to Mark, chapter 7, and had her read verses 20 to 23.  In this portion, she admitted that the last two items did refer to her, but certainly the other items were not true in her life.  We next turned to Matthew 13 and read the story of the wheat and the tares.  As we read the explanation, verses 37 to 43, the tears fell from her eyes as she acknowledged that she was like the tares.  She was quite like a Christian, but knew in her heart that she did not have the life of Christ.  Having thus admitted that she was a hypocrite and lost, she too, like her sister, trusted in Christ Jesus.

The gracious Spirit of God, having obtained the mastery and control of these lips and eyes and brain, began at once to use them.  These two precious souls were the first fruits of this “life more abundant.”  After the two sisters had gone, I called on the telephone to tell my companion of the great honor given me and the blessed assurance granted that the Holy Spirit had accepted my body for His own purposes.

Since that eventful time, He has proved in a multitude of ways His authority and His power, His wisdom and His knowledge in bringing about many such miracles, showing Himself to be indeed the Leader of the life, the Lord of the harvest.  I entreat each of you to go directly to the Holy Spirit Himself, give Him your body, and then look to Him constantly to do what He wants with that body for the glory and the honor of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Note:  As you begin to hunger for more of Him and find yourself not knowing how to present yourself in full surrender to the Spirit, I would suggest you use Dr. Wilson’s prayer as a model. Getting all the words right is not the point. But the condition of your heart is. Simply surrender your body to the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:1), giving Him full possession by virtue of your full surrender, and He will begin a work in you that is beyond description.

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Faith Must Be Tested

Faith Must Be Tested

As a church we’ve been studying about faith, especially trying to answer the question, How do we learn to live by faith?  And if you remember, last Sunday we talked about learning how to trust God in all His promises.  But there are other ways whereby our faith can grow.  One of them is by having our faith tested.

As Augustine once said, “Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.”  Couldn’t agree more.

I realized that our church now is under some trials and tribulations.  It seems Covid-19 has infected almost every family in our church and it appears it may be another week or so before things can get back to normal.  So what I wanted to do is send you just a bit of daily encouragement by following up with what we talked about the last Sunday we were together.

And our text is going to be found in 1 Peter 1:3-9.  So let’s jump right in.


Our Faith Must Be Tested

Peter is speaking about joy and rejoicing in the midst of trials and tribulations.  His words tell us much about faith and the reason for the bad things that God allows to happen to His children.

1 Peter 1:3-9 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, (why) that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

Untested faith is just a pipe dream.  It’s something that we do, something we accept, something that we say.  But once faith is tested it becomes alive to us as something we can rely on and grow as the Lord brings even more circumstances into our life in order to test our faith.  Our faith must be tested to grow.

So join us as we look into what it means to have our faith tested in order for it to become strong and invincible in Him.

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Our Uncertain Times

Our Uncertain Times

The following article is from Jan Markell with Olive Tree Ministries.  She speaks with such wisdom regarding the uncertain times in which we live and the failure of the church to be the church.  I pray you will read this and vow to be different.  After all, from a Biblical perspective, we are not living in uncertain times, but in exciting, prophetic times.

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So many write to me expressing shock, and even horror, at the tide of our times here in 2020.  They see America crumbling under the weight of sin, debt, violence, immorality, and strong delusion.  Right is wrong, black is white, evil is good, and good is evil.


We Are In the Center of the Storm

People of faith are in the bulls-eye so to speak!  Churches are inconvenient.  The remnant of true believers is growing smaller while the Laodicea churches are mushrooming!  Many churches have not even re-opened yet, and some are saying they won’t until 2021!

Many don’t even know how to think about the future much less plan for it.  People write about “uncertainty”.  Will things get worse?  Probably.  How can we plan ahead if the turmoil is going to continue?


A Word Fitly Spoken

Then a pastor sent me this e-mail:

“We don’t live in uncertain times.  Not at all! These times are as certain as any time in all of human history, and the God of the universe laid out this time in great detail, point by point, and in fact, with all the detail needed by His people, to live in times of absolute certainty!  So no, there’s nothing uncertain about the times we live in to the believer who is seeking to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”


It’s All Aligning

He is right!  The Bible outlined all the “things to come” in great detail and they are shaping up:

•  The global government has to form and it is in the process.  All governments will become more authoritarian along the way! With the new CDC report that just 6% of Covid deaths are directly attributed to the virus, the “pandemic” was but the crisis the globalists couldn’t let go to waste.
•  God is sending a final warning to a sinful world.
•  For the Church, God is shaking us up, trying to wake us up so that we will look up!  There is Tribulation stage-setting going on such as today’s lawlessness— a precursor of what is to come when the Church is gone.
•  We are in the predicted last days’ perilous times (2 Timothy 3).
•  America is going to lose international power so that the European power player can arise.
•  Politics are important but they won’t save America.  Government will be quite dysfunctional until Jesus rules from Jerusalem.  Only a nation “under God” can be blessed and we have one political party that is at war with God.  They want government to be god.
•  There are terrible consequences when a nation goes astray and succumbs to a Romans 1 mentality.  The Church is still here to put a lid on total chaos and some delusion as well.  Just wait until we are gone.


Are the Pulpits Still Silent?

I have referenced an April LifeWay poll before but it takes on even more meaning now.  It revealed that a “vast majority of pastors see end times in our current events.”  Are they talking about this from their pulpits and re-assuring their people?  I do not think so.

Are they sharing about our glorious future, giving assurance to people?  How about talking about the “blessed hope” now that hope in the world is fading?

I am not optimistic that they are! Rather, are they telling people that they can have their best life now?  Hasn’t that all been proven to be a lie?  Are they giving some end-time warnings?

A whopping 97% of those polled by LifeWay Research believe Jesus Christ will literally and personally return to earth again and 55% expect Jesus to return in their lifetime.  This makes for tremendous sermon material! It also calms the mind and soul in troubled times.

Pastors, please don’t be silent!  Some people are losing things precious to them: businesses, jobs, even lives, or the lives of loved ones.  Depression and suicides are at all-time highs.


The Most Certain Times in All of Human History!

Are they, then, re-assuring their people as my pastor friend did?  Let me quote him again.  He said, “We don’t live in uncertain times. Not at all!  These times are as certain as any time in all of human history, and the God of the universe has laid out this time in great detail, point by point, and in fact, with all the detail needed by His people to live in times of absolute certainty.”

A secular talk show host said that “A blanket of darkness has been thrown over us.”  But the believer cannot and must not think that way!  An opportunity has been handed to us!  Desperate people are more inclined to listen.

Things really aren’t falling apart. In fact, they are orchestrated. To suggest something is falling apart is to say they are out of God’s control. Nothing could be further from the truth as it concerns the last days.  It’s just that your average Christian does not know the road map through the final days even though the Bible spends almost one-third of its pages talking about them!

In fact, everything is falling into place. Stay cool. Look up. The King is coming. It may be today! And you can’t throw a blanket of darkness over anyone with an eternal perspective.

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Global Upheaval

Global Upheaval

For years I have followed Hal Lindsey and have listened to his take on world events.  Now, at 90, he still has his finger on the pulse of what is happening all around us and how it fits into Biblical prophecy.  This short post is no exception.  I received the following yesterday and wanted to share it with you.  It is titled, Global Upheaval, and speaks of the sinister, satanic foundation behind much of what is happening globally today.  Read and be blessed— and forewarned.


Global Upheaval

The world changes.  Sometimes it changes quickly.  The two world wars of the 20th century created massive upheavals, as did the Black Death pestilence of the 14th century.  Some upheavals are caused by new technologies, such as the printing press, the internal combustion engine, the telephone, or gunpowder.  Sometimes political revolutions cause fast and massive change, and sometimes big changes come from simple ideas, including bad ones.

Today, several of those things are happening at once.  With Covid-19 as a trigger, we see revolutions all around us.  Technical revolutions that should have been for our good have been subverted.  Ideas that history has repeatedly proven wrong and dangerous, are rising with a new sense of inevitability.

One of the unique things about this year is that these massive societal upheavals are global.  Most of history’s revolutions have been localized, but the changes going on now are going on everywhere.  And they are all moving in a specific direction— the direction laid out in the Bible thousands of years ago.

For decades now, government and corporate surveillance of citizens has been growing, but mostly hidden.  The pandemic has made the invasion of privacy suddenly seem laudable.  To keep the virus in check, the world is rapidly building the infrastructure of the Antichrist.  That means building a surveillance infrastructure that will allow governments to watch every move their citizens make and be able to use Artificial Intelligence to interpret those moves.

Covid’s economic destruction is wreaking havoc on capitalism everywhere, making citizens of all nations increasingly dependent on government.  That’s what antichrist will need— a population full of people depending on government rather than their own hard work and creativity.

To bring new benefits and more relief to the public, governments are printing money hand over fist.  This can only go on so long before it brings its own disaster.  The mark of the beast as described in Revelation 13:16-18 means that, in the future, world leaders will give control of the entire global economy to the Antichrist and his cohort, the False Prophet.  They will do that either because of a global economic collapse or their fear of one.  (But it won’t work for long because the Bible describes at least two more economic disasters after Antichrist comes to power.)

Bible prophecies also say that near the time of Christ’s return, there will be increased levels of anti-Semitism and of the persecution of Christians.  Back in the 1960s and 70s, ideas like free speech and inclusiveness were primary tenets of campus liberalism.  Not anymore.  Today we have something popularly known as “cancel culture.”

And if you want to be canceled fast, just quote one of the Bible’s less popular passages— Old Testament or New.  Another way to do it is to identify with Israel, or tell the real story of Israel’s formation.  People are losing their jobs because of Sunday School lessons taught 20 years ago.

How should we respond to these things?  Like Christians.  In Matthew 5:44, Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  But you will not respond in love if you are hysterical with fear.  So, follow an instruction given in the Bible hundreds of times—  “Fear not.”  In John 14:27, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

Live in His peace.  Love your neighbor.  Pray with expectation.  He’s coming soon!

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To read the article, Global Upheaval, on Hal Lindsey’s website, click – HERE

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America’s Civil Wars – Then and Now

America’s Civil Wars – Then and Now

The following is a sobering, all-important message from Dr. James Dobson regarding the future of our nation and the quality of life for our children and grandchildren.  I have decided to post it here in its entirety.  You need to read the entire article.

And be warned, the future of our children and grandchildren are at stake.  What will we do?


America’s Civil Wars – Then and Now

From Dr. James Dobson, August 2020 – www.drjamesdobson.org

Dear Friends,

As I write this newsletter, voters across this nation are only a few short months away from the next general election.  What an ominous time this is for our 244-year-old republic.  Its future hangs in the balance. The choices we make on November 3rd will send this nation down one of two dramatically different paths. The wrong decision will be catastrophic.  I agree with former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, who said recently that the next election will be “the most important since 1860.”   He also warned that if we appease or ignore the violence and anarchy occurring in the streets, it might be the end of civilization as we have known it.  Those are sobering words coming from a man who has stood at the pinnacle of national power.

Mr. Gingrich referred to the significance of 1860 because that was the year Abraham Lincoln was elected president.  I’m sure the Speaker would agree that the following election of 1864 was also critical to the future of the nation.  Lincoln and his opponent, Maj. Gen. George McClellan, were in a hotly contested campaign for the White House that could have gone either way.  The “war between the states,” as it was called, had been raging for three ghastly years, and the entire nation was staggered by reports from the bloody battlefield.

Lincoln was running for a second term, and he campaigned on the promise of finishing the war and preserving the Union.  These were momentous times for the young nation.  During the first week of January 1863, the President signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves.

Democrats and their presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. McClellan, initially campaigned on a “peace platform,” pledging to end the war and send soldiers home.  As the election approached, he talked more about negotiating to let the South establish a separate government whose cornerstone would be slavery.  If McClellan had been elected, there would have been no foreseeable end to the inherent evil of buying and selling human beings and treating them like cattle.  Thus, the Civil War was a struggle for the soul of America.

The summer before the election, the war was going badly for the Union.  Lincoln, in fact, was convinced he was going to lose the election.  He wrote the following memorandum on August 23, 1864, asking his Cabinet to accept the grim prospects for his re-election. These are his words:

This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this Administration will not be re-elected. Then it will be my duty to so cooperate with the President-elect as to save the Union between the election and the inauguration; as he will have secured his election on such grounds that I cannot possibly save it afterwards.

No wonder Lincoln dealt at times with depression.  Clearly, the Union was a hair’s breadth away from losing the war. But then, the tide began to turn.  One historian wrote, “The political landscape shifted dramatically when Gen. William T. Sherman took Atlanta in early September.  This major military shift, coupled with the severe internal strife within the Democratic Party, solidified Lincoln’s chance at victory.”

As you know, Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans won the election of 1864 in a landslide.  McClellan was defeated by more than 500,000 popular votes and 191 electoral votes.  An estimated 78 percent of Union soldiers cast their ballots in favor of Lincoln.  McClellan took just three states: Kentucky, Delaware, and his home state of New Jersey.  Less than two months after Lincoln’s inauguration, he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.  He is said to have been the “last casualty” of the Civil War.

Why have I recounted our Civil War history and the election of 1864 at this time in our history?  It is for two reasons.  The first is to consider some striking similarities between then and now.  Our nation is divided like no time since the Civil War.  Lawlessness and anarchy stalk the cities as angry mobs riot, burn, loot, rob, and kill innocent bystanders.  Cultural monuments are being destroyed.  Scores of people have been shot.  Our courageous police officers are being brutally attacked by the same people they have vowed to protect.  A man and his son stopped to ask for directions, and he was gunned down on the spot.  A one-year-old baby was shot in the stomach while he sat in his stroller.  The child died at the hospital.

What began as a justified and lawful protest in response to George Floyd’s senseless murder by a rogue police officer has morphed into violence for the sake of violence.  Hatred flows in the streets, including vitriol directed at the President of the United States or anyone who dares to support him or his policies.  Constitutional rights to freedom of speech and religious liberty are being trampled.  There is also widespread belief that violence and anarchy are being organized and funded by powerful forces that are maneuvering America toward a socialist dictatorship.  There is always a kingmaker behind such lawlessness.  Most disturbing is open talk of another civil war. It is troubling to even utter those words.  The last time Americans faced off against each other, 600,000 soldiers died.  May God forbid it from happening again.

During the revolution of the 1960s, I recall a ubiquitous bumper sticker that read, “What if they gave a war and nobody came?”  It was a catchy phrase that made sense to those who opposed the Vietnam War.  But my reaction to it then and now is “What if they gave a war and only one side came?”  That question keeps me awake at night.  There are multiple millions of passive Americans out there today, many of them Christians, who are clueless about what is happening to their homeland.  They are losing something precious and irreplaceable.  Do they not understand that their children and those who are yet to be born will live in tyranny if we fail them on our watch?  Countless young men and women have laid down their lives on battlefields around the world to protect liberty and our way of life.  Now, what they purchased for us with their blood is slipping away.  Disengaged people won’t lift a finger to preserve this great land.  They won’t take even a few minutes to go to their polling places to vote.  There are also thousands of pastors who won’t allow voting registration tables in the lobbies of their churches.  Don’t they know or care that America is on the ropes?  Hordes of angry anarchists are salivating over the next election, hoping to push America over a cliff.  If they succeed, as Newt Gingrich said, Western civilization will never recover.  Is there anyone left who believes some things are worth dying for?  Aren’t there patriots out there such as Patrick Henry who said in defiance of British tyranny, “Give me liberty or give me death!”?  That was the spirit during his day.  The Declaration of Independence closed with these words endorsed by the signers, “We pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”  They knew they would be hanged if they lost the war.  Why did they do it?  Because they loved their country enough to die for it.

How I pray for the emergence of silent, intimidated Americans who will come out of their hiding places to let their voices be heard on Election Day 2020.  There must be tens of thousands of ministers in our midst who, like the Black Robed Regiment of the Revolutionary War, will strip off their clerical garb and fight valiantly for religious liberty.  If these men and women of faith and conviction don’t come to the rescue of their country, it is doomed.

During the Civil War, untold soldiers gave their lives to preserve the integrity of the United States of America and to end the tragedy of slavery.  Here is the question of the hour: Are you and our brothers and sisters willing to carry the bloodstained banner around which our predecessors rallied?  We will know the answer on November 3rd.

That brings us to the second reason I have addressed the Civil War and the election of 1864.  It is to remind us that voting matters.  Each presidential campaign has been important, but some have had jaw-dropping and nation-shaping consequences.  I believe we are at such a pivotal moment now.  You can be certain that America will be forever changed by the political party that gets its supporters to the polls. They will win the day— and the future.

Unfortunately, the majority of Christians have a record of not showing up on Election Day.  It is unbelievably sad.  As many as 75 percent of them sit on their hands, apparently assuming that their votes don’t matter.  They are wrong.  Voting ALWAYS matters.  George W. Bush won the presidency in 2000 by 537 votes in a nation of 130 million registered voters.  Many down-ballot contests have been won or lost by a single vote.

I plead with you to register and vote in this presidential election.  I won’t try to tell you who to vote for because you can figure it out for yourselves.  But I will suggest how you might evaluate the situation we face. I’ll close with seven critical issues that have stunning significance for the nation.  Please think hard about them, and then go to the polls.

1.  The Next Generation

There is a fierce battle being waged now in the nation’s classrooms for the hearts and souls of our children and grandchildren.  Those of us who are passionately committed to the Judeo-Christian system of beliefs are losing our kids right before our eyes.  They are being force-fed a radical curriculum that is godless, anti-American, and sexually perverse.  Make no mistake, the left and secular culture are manipulating the minds of your sons and daughters every day of the year.  I urge you to be extremely careful about those whom you set in power over your children.  Protect them with your very lives.

2.  The Sanctity of Human Life

All life is sacred and is a gift from Almighty God.  But as you know, America has the blood of innocents on its hands.  Since 1973, more than 60 million babies have been murdered through abortion and countless lives have ended by euthanasia.  This is the most tragic holocaust in the history of the world!  Some states have even passed laws allowing wounded and suffering infants to lie alone on porcelain trays after somehow surviving unsuccessful abortions.  They will die without the comfort of their mothers’ breasts.  If that doesn’t touch your heart, you are without compassion.  I hope you will not cast a single vote for any politician who supports such wickedness.

3.  Marriage and Family

The family is God’s original building block for society.  Marriage continues to serve as the foundation for every dimension of human life.  Everything of value rests on it, including procreation and the care and training of children.  If that ground floor is weakened or undermined, the entire superstructure of civil society will come crashing down.  But listen carefully: powerful and highly funded forces, including LGBTQ and other leftist entities, are determined to destroy the family as an institution.  It is already on its knees, and its future is grim.  Before you vote, find out what position the candidates have taken on this issue.  Then vote accordingly.

4.  Religious Liberty

The first item listed in the Bill of Rights addresses the issue of religious liberty.  All the other enumerated rights flow from that fundamental freedom.  That is why it is alarming to recognize that this right to worship and honor God as we choose is under vicious attack today.  The courts have done the greatest damage, but now an entire sub-culture is trying to bring down the Christian faith.  Whether it has invaded your private world or not, it is at your front door.  It was this primary concern that led to the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War in 1776.  We can’t compromise one jot or tittle within that fundamental right.  Fight for it with every ounce of your strength and determination.  Don’t let the government close the doors of your church or tell you when you can sing praises to the Lord Almighty.  They have a devious agenda, and it is dangerous.  Be ready to go to the mat in defense of what you believe.  And let this passion influence how you cast your ballot in November.  Here I stand.  Will you join me?

5.  Capitalism v. Socialism

It is difficult to believe that for the first time in American history, our nation appears to be thinking about trading our democratic way of life for the tyranny of socialism.  I can hardly catch my breath.  Could we really consider abandoning the beloved system of government that was designed to be of the people, by the people, and for the people?  Is it true that up to 40 percent of millennials and others are prepared to surrender their liberties in exchange for the absolute authority of the state?  Democracy and capitalism have made ours the most powerful and successful nation in the history of the world.  Are we really considering scuttling the system that has served us for 244 years in exchange for what some people call “free stuff?”  I pray not!  But that option awaits you in the polling booth.

6.  The Judicial System

Given recent rulings, we know that judicial overreach has almost ruined this great nation.  Justices and judges are constitutionally charged to interpret the law, not make law.  But again, and again, they have overstepped their authority and brought us atrocities such as abortion on demand, same-sex marriage, and the so-called “separation of church and state,” which doesn’t appear in the Constitution.  Most recently, the Supreme Court handed down one of its most egregious rulings since Roe v. Wade.  It is the case of Bostock v. Clayton County.  This decision was not based on constitutional law but on the whims of six justices.  It created a new legal definition of sex out of thin air.  Lawyers tell us that this ruling will affect every dimension of culture and haunt the nation as long as it endures.  Please don’t vote for politicians who will expand, rather than limit, the power of the judiciary.

7.  The Nation of Israel

Scripture tells that those who bless Israel will be blessed (Genesis 12:3).  Our prayer is that the next Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. will continue to promote and cultivate a vibrant bond of friendship with the nation of Israel, which is our only ally in the Middle East.  Anti-Semitism and all forms of racial discrimination are inherently evil, and we condemn them categorically.  We are a nation that is dedicated to “freedom and justice for all” (The U.S. Pledge of Allegiance).

I could list dozens of other issues that should be considered as we vote on November 3rd.  I will end with this final statement from Abraham Lincoln.  He said:

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have.”

Let us come boldly before the throne of grace and ask God for His mercy on America.

Sincerely,

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