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America and Christianity: Part 2 

America and Christianity: Part 2 

Christianity’s part in the founding and revival of America

This series is based on the book The Rebirth of America 

Nehemiah 8.1–3 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • April 7, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019 

Scripture Reader and Reading: Dominic Meyer – Nehemiah 8.1–3 

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Phil Joseph – No Suggestions 


  1. To Whom Do Nations Owe Their Existence?
    1. In Matthew 10, Jesus explains that an insignificant sparrow 
      1. is noticed by God. 
      2. Listen to verse 29.

        29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.”

        – Matthew 10.29
        1. Do you notice when a sparrow falls to the ground? 
        2. When was the last time a dead sparrow made the evening news? 
    2. Jesus went on to teach that God knows the hairs of your head.

      30 “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

      – Matthew 10.30
      1. God knows all the insignificant birds of the earth and 
      2. He knows the number of hair on our heads. 
        1. How well He knows everything and 
        2. they all form part of His plan. 
    3. If God knows those things, 
      1. does He have anything to do with nations? 
      2. Is the United States of America an accident? 
        1. Those attempting to secularize our country 
        2. have no idea what they are doing. 
    4. If God pays attention to a sparrow falling and 
      1. if He knows how much hair you have on your head, 
      2. He surely knows about America. 
        1. He created sparrows and 
        2. He created men. 
      3. Therefore, He created nations.
    5. Benjamin Franklin knew of God’s hand in our nation. 
      1. In the summer of 1787, 
      2. representatives wrote the Constitution of the United States of America. 
        1. However, if you know the history of that time, 
          1. there was much bickering and disagreement. 
          2. Little was being accomplished. 
        2. The 81-year-old Benjamin Franklin arose and spoke words of wisdom:

          “In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a super-intending Providence in our favor…Have we now forgotten this powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?

          “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this…

          “I therefore beg leave to move that, henceforth, prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessing on our deliberation be held in this assembly every morning.”
        3. Congress still has prayers. 
          1. May they continue. 
          2. May it spread abroad throughout the land, for 
            1. many in positions of influence 
            2. have forgotten how God helped us during the Revolution. 
  2. God Must Continue to Be Acknowledged in Our Nation 
    1. This is the background of Thanksgiving. 
      1. Thanksgiving recognizes that God blesses America. 
      2. It seeks to reciprocate by blessing God. 
        1. We saw the former everywhere after September 11th. 
        2. Let the full chiasmus be said: 
          1. God bless America 
          2. America bless God 
    2. Alex DeTocqueville, 
      1. a French political philosopher of the 19th century, 
        1. came to America to discover its greatness. 
        2. He concluded that our strength was not 
          1. government, 
          2. schools, or 
          3. business. 
      2. When he visited the churches of America and 
        1. heard the preaching from the pulpit, he wrote:

          “America is great because America is good; and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
        2. His words remind us of Proverbs 14.34. 
          1. Be sure that this pulpit 
          2. always preaches righteousness:

            34 Righteousness exalts a nation,
            But sin is a reproach to any people.

            – Proverbs 14.34
    3. Abraham Lincoln said,

      “It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”
      1. Lincoln referenced Psalm 33.12:

        12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
        The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.

        – Psalm 33.12
        1. Lincoln was one of our best, if not the best, of our presidents. 
        2. No one quoted the Bible more than he did. 
      2. Lincoln knew Old Testament history well enough to know 
        1. that the nations who challenged the Lord, or denied Him 
        2. faced defeat. 
    4. Our national anthem, 
      1. The Star-Spangled Banner, 
        1. is like “America the Beautiful,” 
        2. we only know the first verse. 
      2. Listen to the closing words of the national anthem:

        “Blessed with victory and peace, may this Heav’n rescued land
        Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
        Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just;
        And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust!’
        And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
        O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.”
  3. America Has Cried for Bibles
    1. First, listen to what some of our presidents have said. 
      1. John Quincy Adams:

        “The first and almost the only Book deserving of universal attention is the Bible.”
      2. Abraham Lincoln:

        “All the good from the Saviour of the world is communicated through this Book; but for the Book we could not know right from wrong. All the things desirable to man are contained in it.”
      3. Woodrow Wilson:

        “…the Bible…is the one supreme source of revelation of the meaning of life, the nature of God and spiritual nature and need of men. It is the only guide of life which really leads the spirit in the way of peace and salvation.”
      4. Andrew Jackson:

        “Go to the Scriptures…the joyful promises it contains will be a balsam to all your troubles.”
      5. Calvin Coolidge:

        “The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.”
      6. Ronald Reagan proclaimed 1983 the Year of the Bible. 
      7. With all our imperfections, 
        1. God sheds His grace on America 
        2. when its leaders make such statements. 
    2. Before the Revolutionary War our Bibles came from England. 
      1. The war cut off that supply. 
      2. In 1777 the Chaplain of Congress, 
        1. Patrick Allison, 
        2. asked Congress to import 20,000 copies of the Bible 
          1. from Holland, 
          2. Scotland, and 
          3. other places. 
      3. Robert Aitken, a publisher in Philadelphia,

        “In early 1781 he petitioned Congress and received from them a green light to print the Bibles needed. The Book came off the press late next year, and Congress approved it.”
        1. These were the first Bibles printed in America. 
        2. Who was responsible for the printing of these Bibles? 
    3. Daniel 6 shows what King Darius did after Daniel survived the lion’s den. 
      1. Daniel’s enemies try to get him executed for praying to God. 
      2. They ended up being executed and Daniel was exalted. 
        1. Then the king made an interesting proclamation 
        2. that would drive the secularists mad.

          “To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:

          Peace be multiplied to you.
          I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel.

          For He is the living God,
          And steadfast forever;
          His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed,
          And His dominion shall endure to the end.
          He delivers and rescues,
          And He works signs and wonders
          In heaven and on earth,
          Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”

          – Daniel 6.25–27
        3. What would Darius think of our the secularists today 
        4. who are trying to remove all forms of religion? 
    4. Jonah 3 has the king of Nineveh encouraging his citizens to seek God. 
      1. The King heard Jonah’s preaching:

        6 Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. 7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, “Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. 8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?”

        – Jonah 3.6–9
      2. Leaders over nations have immense responsibilities. 
        1. They have no man who is higher upon whom they can call. 
        2. Some of them seek the One who is higher. 
          1. Often the lowest of the low among men and 
            1. the highest of the high among men 
            2. see their need for God. 
      3. Remember that after 9/11 our president called upon us to pray, saying in part:

        “Scripture says: ‘Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.’ I call on every American family and the family of America to observe a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, honoring the memory of the thousands of victims of these brutal attacks and comforting those who lost loved ones. We will persevere through this national tragedy and personal loss. In time, we will find healing and recovery; and, in the face of all this evil, we remain strong and united, ‘one Nation under God.’

        “NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Friday, September 14, 2001, as a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims of the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001. I ask that the people of the United States and places of worship mark this National Day of Prayer and Remembrance with noontime memorial services, the ringing of bells at that hour, and evening candlelight remembrance vigils. I encourage employers to permit their workers time off during the lunch hour to attend the noontime services to pray for our land. I invite the people of the world who share our grief to join us in these solemn observances.”
        1. My youngest daughter and I attended one such huge service that day. 
        2. It was great seeing America turn to God. 
    5. The cry for Bibles reminds me of Nehemiah 8. 
      1. It was not only the leaders, but 
      2. the people plead for the word. 
        1. May Americans cry out to all their leaders in the same way.

          1 Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded Israel. 2 So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. 3 Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.

          – Nehemiah 8.1–3
  4. Yet Many Fear the Bible 
    1. If anything has a religious tone to it, 
      1. they fight it with every fiber of their being. 
      2. Why they are not content to let others do as they please, but 
        1. demand that the whole system change for them 
        2. I do not understand. 
    2. These people are ignorant of what Bible-believers have done for this country. 
      1. The very freedom that the churches have brought those people 
      2. they use to deny the church. 
    3. Does America have anything to fear from the Bible? 
  5. America Was Formed in Religious Revival
    1. In fact, President Calvin Coolidge said,

      “America was born in a revival of religion.”
      1. When I went to Murmansk, Russia, 
      2. a city of 600,000 I do not remember seeing one church building. 
        1. Even in the spiritually weak Great Pacific Northwest 
        2. churches are without number. 
    2. However, it was not always that way in America. 
      1. Before the Revolution, 
        1. Jonathan Edwards, one of America’s most famous preachers, 
        2. described young people of his day:

          “Licentiousness for some years greatly prevailed among the youth of the town: there were many of them very much addicted to night walking and frequenting the tavern, and lewd practices wherein some by their example exceedingly corrupted others.”
    3. Perhaps you have heard of the Great Awakenings. 
      1. One was before the Revolution. 
      2. The second one was after. 
    4. Thousands came into the various churches. 
      1. One preacher, George Whitefield, 
        1. preached to 20,000 at one time in New England and 
        2. to 8,000 in Boston. 
      2. From 1740 to 1742 in New England 
        1. there were 300,000  people. 
        2. Yet the churches added 25,000 to 50,000 
        3. to their rolls during that time. 
      3. At the Cane Ridge revival in 1801, 
        1. more well-known among the Churches of Christ, 
        2. 15,000 people attended over several days. 
  6. Closing Thought from Abraham Lincoln in August 17, 1858 on the Founding Fathers:

    “Wise statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity to breed tyrants, and so they established these great self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence…so that truth, and justice, and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished from the land.”