“The Battle for the Soul of America”
Updated: Jun 8, 2020
In the Apostle Paul’s last words to Timothy, Paul charged Timothy to: “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction… knowing this, that in the last days perilous times will come” (2 Tim. 4:2 NASB & 2 Tim. 3:1 NKJV)
Over the past several months, as a pastor, I have had to face some of the most difficult days of my ministry. As if the Covid-19 pandemic has not been hard enough to deal with, the past two weeks has seen the heart and soul of our nation once again having to face the heartache and heartbreak of another unjust death of a young man of color, George Floyd. The tragic death of George Floyd and the mitigating circumstances of his death have now impacted all of our lives as must face again the "Why" of an unjust and tragic death.
As one called of God to “preach and proclaim truth in and out of season,” I believe, we as Christians, we must have the courage to address the underlying issues that the inhumane and tragic death of George Floyd has now once again brought to the forefront: "The inability of our nation to speak too and deal honestly with the racism that we all know exists and runs through the 'Heart and Soul of America.'”
While our nation has made great strides in overcoming our racism, there still remains an undercurrent of animus that pervades our society against others unlike or different from ourselves. An animus that, I believe, will only be overcome when each of us begin to examine our own hearts as to how we see, know, understand, and respect the personhood of others...as we do our own. Jesus spoke of this principle when he said, “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 7:12 NASB).
In order for us, as Christians, to be the Agents of Healing that, I believe, God desires us to be, let us:
(1) Demand of God as did David to, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way. (Psalm 139: 23-24 NASB).
(2) Begin to see through the Eyes of Faith the injustices of all people and work to make right the wrongs we see.
(3) Live out the truth of John 13:35 (NASB)that states “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” and 1 John 4:7 (NASB95) “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”
(4) As Christians, honor the truth of Micah 6:8 (NASB) "[That God] has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?" For only then do, I believe, that God will begin to use us as His People to "Heal the Heart and Soul of America."
After all, did God not the give the Moral and spiritual Responsibly for our nation to those who profess His name? "And My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 NASB)
Today Pastor Hill’s message will be: “The Battle for the Soul of America.” As he addresses “Racism in America” from a biblical perspective. For it is our belief, that the “Healing of America” will only come as each of us pray and live out the truths of Psalm 139:23-24 asking God to “Search me,” and to take a deep look at my heart, soul, mind and strength and then convict me of any wicked way; any pride or prejudice, any hurt or hate, anything that does not bring Him glory or reflect His Word, Will, and Ways.
May each of us have the courage to pray and ask God to remove sin of pride and prejudice in all its forms from our lives and to give to us a “Heart of Love” that we might be His agent of Love, Grace, and Healing in the lives of others. For only then, will the “Heart and Soul of America” find the “True Peace” that so many are crying out for today: “The Peace of God!”
It is my prayer that you will open your heart to this important message of
“Challenge and Hope.”
Pastor Ken Barnes
Woodland Heights Baptist Church