Thursday, October 22, 2009


As a country, America has been unrivaled in its greatness.

  • Established by God fearing men with a constitution written to form "a more perfect union."
  • Founded in the shed blood of men who valiantly defended their right to govern themselves according to the dictates of their consciences.
  • Populated by men and women and families who sacrificed much to enjoy the harvest of blessings this great land affords.
  • Through our colorful history great wars have been fought to better define the principles on which this country was founded. Other wars have been fought to set captives free. The soil of foreign countries are stained with the blood of American heroes who sacrificed their lives to rescue others from tyranny and oppression.
  • America has led the world in expedition and invention, enterprise and prosperity, education and science, medical science and health care. We have been the envy of the world. Sadly, America’s influence for good in the world is on the decline.

We are privileged to be citizens of this great country, but even when America was at its best, it was never the best country. It is good to be a citizen of America, but infinitely better to be a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20). The author Hebrews wrote of men and women who desired a "better country, that is a heavenly one" (Hebrews 11:16). These men and women of faith walked by faith in God. They saw themselves as "strangers and exiles on the earth" (Hebrews 11:13). They lived their lives according to the dictates of God’s Word. They believed in God with a confident faith that stood firm on His promises. They fixed their hopes entirely on God’s reward and were not deterred by evil men or worldly temptations. They were willing to suffer persecution and even death in the pursuit of that "better country" (Hebrews 11:32-40).

As it is our country is burdened by great conflicts and unprecedented challenges. We are fighting wars with no end in sight. We have amassed an irreconcilable national debt. Corruption, terrorist threats, and health care debates burden our country. Our treasured freedoms are under attack. Any "right-thinking" American citizen should be concerned about where things are headed. But we citizens of heaven need to "fix our hope" on something better (1 Peter 1:13). Even when America was at its best, the "better country" to which we, as believers, are destined was infinitely better--it is infinitely better now. It has a perfect and loving ruler, the Lord Jesus Christ, "Righteous and true are (His) ways" (Revelation 15:3). America’s greatness will wane, this "better country" is "eternal in the heavens" (2 Corinthians 5:1). In heaven we will experience the glory of His presence, the absence of sin, and the absence of sin’s curse--"there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain" (Revelation 21:4).

All this begs the question--"Where does your hope lie?" "But as it is, they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them" (Hebrews 11:16). A country and a city prepared by God Himself--now that’s a desirable place! That’s why we, as citizens of heaven, "eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself" (Philippians 3:20-21).

Pastor Jerry

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