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All throughout the Old and New Testaments God sent his prophets to warn his people of their sinful condition and what would happen if they did not repent. In Jeremiah God spoke to Jeremiah as a young person and said in vs. 10: “see, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.” In Jeremiah 7:25-27 God speaks again; “Since the days that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers. Therefore, thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee.”

What an assignment! He was to do this, knowing that they would not change. You see, the nation of Israel was in rebellion. They wanted their false gods, and no one was going to take that away from them.

In America, we are much like the nation of Israel in Jeremiah’s day. We have had our false gods, including sports, hobbies, work, clothing, governmental positions, and even church. Yes, church. Many worship the church they go to and not the one that gave his life for the church. Church has become full of the things of the world. Preaching repentance is rarely heard. Feel good sermons that wink at your sin are prevalent. Some churches don’t even have an altar because they want to attract the young people. Songs about the blood have been taken out of the hymnbooks. Many think the ways of their parents and grandparents are old fashioned and they need to “get with it.” Homosexuality is espoused, and preaching against it is called a hate crime. Babies are murdered in the womb and allowed to be murdered at birth. Violence is in our streets and in the classroom. We are a nation out of control.

With our nation in “lockdown”, one might wonder what is behind it. I can say with all certainty that it has not come as a surprise to God. Satan is the one that steals, kills and destroys, but sin has opened the gate and allowed the devil to have free access to America. False religions have sprung up, and people are uncertain of the true way to God. An acquaintance, that professed to have a relationship with Jesus Christ was living in “sin.” When I asked her when she was going to get married. her response was “I am not going to get married.” I said “It was wrong to live with a man without being married.” Her response was that “she and God had an understanding.” Really? God hates sin! He would never condone her lifestyle. She isn’t serving the same God that I love and serve.

Until these four things happen, our country will continue to go further and further down. The first thing is godly sorrow. There must be godly sorrow over our sin. We must be sorry that we have sinned, not sorry we got caught.

Then secondly comes repentance. Only godly sorrow brings repentance. II Corinthians 7:10 says: “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” Without godly sorrow there is no repentance.

Then thirdly comes mercy. God always shows mercy to the repentant heart. His hand is longsuffering to bring you back to Him. When he sees a true heart that has repented and is sorry for its sin then mercy comes. It will not come without the first two steps.

After mercy comes the fourth step; restoration. Many are talking about restoration, even claiming promises of restoration, but unless II Chronicles 7:14 happens there will be no restoration. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves , and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

It doesn’t say the sinner. It doesn’t say the neighbor. It doesn’t say anyone but God’s people. This is what will change our nation. Until that happens, judgement will continue. Judgement, godly sorrow, repentance, restoration, in that order.