Charles Crismier, a Christian brother, and dear friend of mine, has an inspiring and edifying radio program called Viewpoint. Everyday, his hour-long broadcast deals with issues of the heart and the home, furthering the cause of Christ and sharing the vision of Save America Ministries. He left a successful law practice and founded the ministry at God's behest, to plead God's case to the ultimate jury of his peers: the American people, both believers and nonbelievers.
I greatly admire the work that this beloved brother accomplishes on a daily basis, and his efforts provoked a question in my heart: Can America be saved? And, if so, what must be done to save America?
I suppose that it is first necessary to determine what it means to "save America."
The Word of God is sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do" (Heb 4:12-13). That being true, we must let the word of God define the parameters of any premise. In this particular case, if America can be saved, then her salvation is defined in the pages of God's holy word.
From a Christian perspective, when we ask if America can be saved, there are various ways to understand the intent of the question. Are we asking if every individual American will accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior? Or are we looking for the collective salvation of the nation as a whole?
Paul said, "All Israel shall be saved" (Rom. 11:26). But in Romans 15:30-31, he asks for the saints in Rome to strive with him in their prayers to God for him; that he may be delivered from "them that do not believe in Judea." He was not asking them to pray that the unbelievers believe, but that he might be delivered from them. How does this correlate with his words in chapter 11? That can be answered by his statement in Rom. 9:6, "They are not all Israel, which are of Israel."
Paul clearly shows here that all Israel can be saved without every individual Israelite finding salvation in Jesus Christ.
Likewise, the salvation of America as a nation is not dependant on every individual American having a personal relationship with the Son of God.
The Bible also shows us another fundamental truth about God, and how He works. In Ecclesiastes 3:14-15, we are told that "whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past." Paul agrees, as he said in Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
God has a way He works, and He always works the same way. James elaborates further in his epistle, saying, that in God "there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (Jas. 1:17).
Can America be saved? Is there any historical precedent where God saved a nation in the Bible? If He is going to save America, He will do it just like He did it in the past.
One such event comes readily to mind: the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
God had discovered that the rumors about the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah were all true, and had determined to destroy them. But, at that time, God had a chosen man named Abraham, and God does nothing unless He reveals His secret unto His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7).
So, Genesis chapter 18, the Lord appeared to Abraham with the two angels that were going to visit Sodom. Then He said, "Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in Him?" And so He told Abraham that He was going to destroy that wicked city.
But Abraham began to lobby the Lord for His mercy on the cities of the plain. He asked if the Lord would spare the city if fifty righteous could be found living there, and the Lord said that He would. Abraham continued negotiating, getting God's promise to spare the city for forty-five, thirty, twenty, or even if only ten righteous were found there. You see, Sodom could have been saved, even though God had determined to destroy it, it could have been saved. How? Ten righteous people would have made the difference between utter destruction, and salvation.
James said, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (Jas. 5:16). Apparently ten such men could have saved the city of Sodom.
When the angels arrived at Sodom, the only redeeming quality it had was Lot, whom Peter called "just Lot … a righteous man dwelling among them" (2 Pet. 2:7-9). But one was not enough. The deal was for ten righteous, and Sodom was nine short.
How many righteous people will it take to save America? Are you righteous? Are you expecting America to be saved by the righteousness of your pastor or the other saints? Do you think that America will be saved because you have told a few people to accept a touchy-feely version of God, so they can live happily ever after? Or are you fulfilling the real "meat and potatoes" of the great commission, "teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever" Jesus has commanded us?
Jesus said of His disciples, as we love to quote, "Ye are the salt of the earth." Praise the Lord! But the Lord did not end His discourse there. In the same verse, He continued, saying, "but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."
The Lord looks at the world in general, and at America in particular, as a dish set before Him. With a mere taste, He immediately knows that something must be added to make this dish palatable. As you yourself have doubtless said many times, so says the Lord of this world, "This needs salt."
We are called upon by our Lord to be the salt that makes our nation somewhat acceptable in His sight. We not merely supposed to make a difference: we are supposed to be the difference.
But what if we cease to be the difference which God has called us to be? Apart from a profession of faith, today's Christian is often nearly identical to the unbeliever.
Approximately 50 percent of marriages in America end in divorce. What about marriages among evangelical Christians? The divorce rate among professing Christians is the same as among those who profess no faith in Jesus Christ. Could it be that the salt of the earth has lost its savor? If so, then Jesus' words declare contemporary Christianity to be good for nothing (Matt. 5:13).
While we Christians are busy excusing ourselves by saying, "Christians are not perfect, just forgiven," God is crying out to us, saying, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
Salt that has lost its saltiness will be cast out, and trodden under foot. If we continue in this lukewarm state, God will spew us out of His mouth, according to His word.
If America is to be saved, it will not be by getting more people into the churches. It will be by getting more Christians to be more committed to acting out their profession.
Many of us sigh and cry over the spiritual condition of this land. Are you troubled by the downward spiritual spiral America is experiencing? God gives us the formula for turning it around in 2 Chron. 7:14.
"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."
There is only one way to get God's attention, and turn the destiny of the nation around: your repentance. Yes, dear friend, look not upon the faults of your neighbor, or your pastor. The fate of the nation lies with you. What if God has found nine righteous, and only one is lacking? Will you be weighed in the balance and found lacking? Will the whole of America suffer the same fate as Sodom simply because you were unwilling to submit to the good and acceptable and perfect will of God?
And what if the righteous in America be too few to cause God to turn from His wrath? Well, if you seek righteousness and meekness, it may be that you will be hid in the day of the Lord's anger, as He delivered Lot (Zeph. 2:3).
The choice is yours today. Will you be the salt of the earth like Lot? Or will you be like Lot's wife: just a good-for-nothing pillar of salt?