As I was flying into Charlotte this past Thursday evening, I was looking out of the airplane window and as we were approaching the airport, we flew over what looked like a series of warehouses with dozen of Tractor Trailor storage units lined up side by side. From my view, the entire scene looked like a neatly arranged Lego set. Immediately, I was overwhelmed with grief as I saw how small everything looked on that approach and my mind suddenly shifted to the condition of our nation. I felt an intense sense of shame as to what this nation has become and in my heart I cried out to God…”God forgive us for what we have made this nation to be. What an opportunity You gave to us and we have ruined it with our sin, greed, perversion and pride.” I was no longer angry about our nation; I was in remorse and shame sitting in that seat. Suddenly it seemed as if the years were peeled back, decade by decade, generation after generation, and I saw how the sins of the nation got worse and worse.
Then, I began to think about Isaiah 5 and “the Song About the Lord’s Vineyard”
Isaiah 5: 1-7
1 Now I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a rich and fertile hill.
2 He plowed the land, cleared its stones, and planted it with the best vines. In the middle he built a watchtower and carved a winepress in the nearby rocks. Then he waited for a harvest of sweet grapes, but the grapes that grew were bitter.
3 Now, you people of Jerusalem and Judah, you judge between me and my vineyard.
4 What more could I have done for my vineyard that I have not already done? When I expected sweet grapes,
why did my vineyard give me bitter grapes?
5 Now let me tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will tear down its hedges and let it be destroyed. I will break down its walls and let the animals trample it.
6 I will make it a wild place where the vines are not pruned and the ground is not hoed, a place overgrown with briers and thorns.
I will command the clouds to drop no rain on it.
7 The nation of Israel (USA) is the vineyard of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. The people of Judah (Church of Jesus Christ) are his pleasant garden. He expected a crop of justice, but instead he found oppression. He expected to find righteousness, but instead he heard cries of violence.
One might say “I’ve not participated in these sins”. Oh, no? Each time we sat unresponsive to evil, we perpetrated the shame. Each time we voted a person into an office in our city or nation who supported the slaughter of innocent lives, we were equally as guilty as the one dismembering the innocent child. Each time we paid a dollar bill to watch a movie that only had “a little bit” of lust, evil or filth we were equally as guilty as the ones on the screen selling their souls for fame and fortune. Each time the opinion of a sports or movie “idol” was more important than the Word of God, we were snubbing our noses at the only real Truth. We’ve embraced homosexuality as the norm and even tried to convince others that “God made them that way”, removing from those caught in the lie the only truth that will set them free. Males hideously parade as women, competing in sports against a real female and we look on as if there is nothing wrong with this picture. Have we lost our minds? Through the generations, we allowed the flow of sin into our nation and the flow has gotten larger and larger until it is like a river overflowing its banks and out of control. It is carrying away everything and everyone that is in its path because there is no one to build the “dams of truth” to hold back the overflow.
“What more could He have done than what He has already done?” This nation had, and I believe still has, an opportunity to become that vineyard that can continue to produce the sweet grapes the Lord desires. It is the true and believing church of Jesus Christ that holds the key to this nation’s recovery and healing. The church is the only force with authority and power to withstand the evil that seems to be overrunning this nation. It is the church that Jesus declared the “gates of hell would not prevail over or conquer”. (Mt. 16:18)
I believe that we as the true church of Jesus must grieve over the condition of our nation and repent. What does this look like? We can no longer participate in the world and expect to live in God’s Kingdom. It is one or the other. A “little bit of sin” destroys the entire church. Galatians 5:7–9 (NLT) — 7 You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? 8 It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. 9 This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough!
There can be no room in the life of a believer for the sins that have crippled our nation. Too many believers are comfortable sitting in theaters and in front of tv and computer screens that oppose the character of Jesus and His church. Too many believers are comfortable compromising the Word of truth in order to make their lives comfy and convenient. Jesus is looking for a church that is pure, powerful and persistent in His Truth. We must become that church. What more could He have done!