TEXT: Isaiah 1:1-20
1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.
7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.
9 Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
10 Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.
11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?
13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
Adrian Rogers said, “Often I wonder, will oceans of tears and rivers of blood be the price this nation pays for flaunting its rebellion in the eyes of a righteous, holy God? How well I remember the attendance in churches after 9/11. But in just a few months, life was back to ‘normal.’ Did people see a need to confess and repent of their sinful ways? No. And this nation has sunk deeper and deeper into filth and debauchery—more than any other time in history. Our only hope is in repentance.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “There is no other way for America to be saved unless we have a Holy Ghost revivaI that makes men hate sin, loathe sin, turn from sin, and repent of sin!”
Allow me to share with you what Dr. Charles Stanley wrote a few years ago:
In 1918, Irving Berlin wrote “God Bless America,” a song that has touched millions of lives for nearly a century. Then, in 1938, Berlin slightly rewrote the lyrics to reflect the tone of the country as war threatened Europe. He created an instant sensation. “God Bless America” was soon heard from shore to shore in churches, town squares, and social gatherings. The song received tremendous airtime on the radio. The American people feared the coming war and embraced this song as a unified prayer for peace and protection.
The lyrics pierced the heart of the culture. Millions of Americans prayerfully sang:
God bless America, land that I love.
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies
To the oceans white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home.
God has certainly blessed the United States. He’s extended His hand of provision across this great nation. Yet how often do we fail to thank Him? It’s a tragedy that we’ve lost touch with this song of faith. Over the past few decades, we’ve shifted away from a national faith in God toward a sometimes self-centered and self-empowered lack of faith.
As most Americans prepare to celebrate our independence, it’s fitting to take a moment and offer thanks to God. He’s provided so abundantly for us. Think about how God has blessed us in the following areas:
We have been blessed with a godly heritage. History shows that many of the men who signed our Constitution were Christians. This country was founded on biblical principles and a Christ-centered interpretation of justice, fairness, and equal opportunity.
We have been blessed with natural resources. Just think about the blessings God’s placed at our feet: ore, minerals, oil, forests, lakes, pastures, farmlands, and more. He’s provided what we need for ourselves and enough to care for other countries around the world.
We have been blessed with a great economy. The free enterprise we enjoy in America is a remarkable blessing. We excel in innovations because we’re at liberty to follow our passions.
We have been blessed with a free country. You should thank God for the election process and the freedom to personally impact the direction of this nation. It’s an amazing blessing that’s completely foreign in many parts of the world.
In addition to what Dr. Stanley mentioned, We have also been blessed with the Constitutional freedom to practice our religion without interference from the government.
We are have been blessed with great national security, victory in war, and peace at our borders.
We have been blessed with the ministries of such prophets and evangelists as Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield, John Wesley, Charles Finney, D.L. Moody, Martin Luther King Jr., E.V. Hill, Jerry Falwell Sr., Billy Graham, and others.
We have been blessed to be the springboard of unparalleled technological innovation and advancement in science and engineering that has benefited the whole world.
However, here are some ways America has not blessed God:
We, the church in America, have not fulfilled our responsibility to spread the Gospel in this land based upon the command of our Commander in Chief Jesus Christ who said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
We have removed prayer, the Bible, and the mention of God from schools, government institutions, and other public spaces.
We have legalized the murder of unborn children.
We, generally speaking, have become selfish, self-obsessed, and idolatrous, neglecting to care for the poor, needy, and disadvantaged.
We have tolerated, excused, and even applauded, all kinds of sexual immorality in our churches, among our citizens, and in the lives of our political leaders.
We have had a president and Supreme Court to cause the government to sanction homosexuality and homosexual marriage — and now we have a candidate running for president who is married to a man and an entire political party that supports that.
We have not used our technological advancements to address the problems of poverty, hunger, and disease around the world.
We are at a crossroads in this nation, and we must decide whether we will continue along this path or repent and fully return to God and His Holy Word.
As He nears the conclusion of His opening argument with Israel, the Lord presents before His people two ways. He gives them two paths that they can take and the end result of each. This is reminiscent of the God’s words to His people in Deuteronomy just before they entered the land of Israel. There, the Lord said, “See, I have set before thee this day life and prosperity [on the one hand], and death and destruction [on the other hand].” The options for ancient Israel had not changed in hundreds of years. And our options in America have not changed either. We have a choice of two paths; there is no middle ground; there is no third way.
On the one hand, we can be “willing and obedient” to God. The Hebrew word translated as “willing” means two things. First, it means to consent or to yield. In other words, we agree with God about our sins and our need for repentance. The word also means to desire. Not only must we agree with God, but we must desire what God wants for ourselves. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” In other words, the Lord will give us the right desires so that we might desire what is good for us, which is what He wants for us. So, if we consent to the Lord’s word, desire what He wants for us, and choose to be obedient, we will “eat the good of the land.” For the ancient Israelites, this meant deliverance from her enemies and general prosperity in the country.
On the other hand, they — and we — could choose to “refuse and rebel.” We can reject the Lord’s assessment of our behavior and continue on the path of rebellion. If the Israelites did so, they would be “devoured with the sword.” Their enemies would gain the upperhand and ravage their land causing many of them to die. We know what choice the Israelites made, and we know that this is exactly what happened to them. Matthew Henry said, “The [Israelites] could not in reason expect any other than that, if they continued obstinate in their disobedience, they should be abandoned to ruin, and the sentence of the law should be executed upon them. What can be more just?”
If we choose to be willing and obedient, our blessings will look different from that of ancient Israel. (We don’t live in a theocracy, nor are we part of the national covenant that God made with the Jews.) Likewise, if we choose to refuse and rebel, our punishment and destruction will also look different from that of ancient Israel. However, the principle remains. There are only two paths — the path of obedience and the path of rebellion. The straight and narrow way or the wide, crooked road. One results in life and blessing, the other in death and destruction.
Johann Franck wrote:
Lord, to Thee I make confession;
I have sinned and gone astray,
I have multiplied transgression,
Chosen for myself my way.
Led by Thee to see my errors,
Now, I tremble at Thy terrors.
Now, Your Spirit’s voice upbraids me,
Father, I will seek Thy face;
Tho’ Thy child I dare not call me,
Yet receive me to Thy grace.
Do not for my sins forsake me;
Do not let Thy wrath overtake me.
Thus, on Christ I cast my burden,
Sink it in the depths below.
Let me know Thy gracious pardon,
Wash me, make me white as snow.
Let Thy Spirit leave me never;
Make me only Thine forever.
If you are a Christian listening today, here are three things you need to do:
1. Confess and repent of your own sins. You already know what they are.
2. Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ to repent of their sins and get back to their first love
3. Pray for souls to be saved, and do your part by witnessing to the lost.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.