“Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people” – Proverbs 14:34 NASB
America’s Founding Fathers were concerned not just about their own generation but also about posterity—about future generations. In fact, when they wrote the U.S. Constitution they candidly acknowledged that they had done so in order to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Reflecting this concern in an Election Sermon preached to the Connecticut legislature, the Rev. Mathias Burnet admonished citizens and leaders:
“To God and posterity you are accountable (for your rights and rulers)… Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving up those rights and prostrating those institutions which your father delivered to you.”
– Matthew Burnet, An Election Sermon, Preached at Hartford on the Day of the Anniversary Election, May 12, 1803.
He reminded citizens that while they would give an account to God for whether or not they had preserved the rights He had entrusted them, they would also answer to posterity (the next generation).
Now let me just ask:
When was the last time you heard from your pastor that you and I – as the present congregation – will be held accountable to God for the legacy we are leaving our children… not only as individual families but also as churches and how we are making an impact on society?
There was a godly understanding among our Founding Fathers that they were responsible for leaving a legacy that would not only provide a better society, but one in which future generations could look back and thank their parents for protecting our schools, government, churches and civic institutions.
“Patrick Henry held identical sentiments. When he passed away in 1799, his personal legal documents and his will were opened and publicly read by his executors. He also included an original document of the 1765 Stamp Act Resolutions (early precursors to the American Revolution) passed by the Virginia legislature, of which Henry had been a member. On the back of those resolutions Henry penned a handwritten message, knowing it would be read at his death.” (This paragrah taken from The Founder’s Bible, page 957.)
“Whether this [the American Revolution] will prove a blessing or a curse will depend upon the use our people make of the blessings which a gracious God hath bestowed on us. If they are wise they will be great and happy. If they are of contrary character, they will be miserable.
Righteousness alone can exalt them as a nation (Proverbs 14:34].
Reader!—whoever thou art, remember this!—and in thy sphere practice virtue thyself and encourage it in others. P.Henry.” – Patrick Henry, Patrick Henry life, Correspondence and Speeches, ed. William Wirt Henry (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1891), Vol. I. pp. 81-82.
Whether or not America will prosper into the future depends on its righteousness today. But how is national righteousness measured? Dozens of Bible passages (Deuteronomy 28; 1 Kings 18; 1 Chronicles 21) affirm that the righteousness of any nation is defined by its public policies and how well they conform to God’s standards.
As Samuel Adams affirmed, only God-honoring policies can exalt a nation:
“[Divine] revelation assures us that “Righteousness exalteth a nation.” Communities are dealt with in this world by the wise and just Ruler of the Universe. He rewards or punishes them according to their general character.” – Samuel Adams, The Writings of Samuel Adams, ed. Harry Alonzo Cushing (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1907, Vol.III, p. 286, to John Scollay on April 30th 1776.
So, I guess public policies do matter! I think the only solution in the future for our country is more than a spiritual revival, it is an awakening of Christians to elect men and women to office that have the moral fortitude and devout courage to place righteousness above economics into the policies of our day. I don’t doubt that God will help us, it is whether we will be obedient to exercise our freedom for righteousness.
Ask your pastor if he’d be willing to give two or three election sermons about two months prior to the 2016 Election.
We must start changing our churches. Also, start your own website and write teaching articles about various subjects. Suppose three hundred new website appeared with healthy Biblical information on them week after week? Let’s get the information out there!
For Righteousness Sake,