by Dr. Tom Malone
“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” —Proverb 14:34
Thinking about Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” should cause one to do some real heart searching. “Reproach” here means shame and misery. In other words, God is saying, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin brings shame and misery to any nation.”. Since the Bible is true, our country is headed for shame and misery. If the Lord tarries a few more years, it could be in the lifetime of most of us sitting here.
I have a question: Can America survive her awful diseases? Can America live as America lives today and last until the turn of the century?
I have often tried to imagine what it would be like. Suppose the Lord tarries another few years: What will America be like? If one can discern the symptoms and trends of today, God pity the people if 2000 ever comes on God’s calendar. Can America survive? “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” – Proverb 14:34. I would like for you to notice four facts dealt with in my introduction.
1. GOD REQUIRES RIGHTEOUSNESS IN A NATION
Here is something few people think of. Righteousness is required of God in nations. You say, “I thought it was of individuals”. It is true God deals with individuals. If you are saved, you are not going to be saved as a company, or as a family, or as a nation but as an individual. You alone must deal with Christ in the matter of His righteousness, which you need in order to go to Heaven. But the Bible plainly teaches that God requires righteousness of nations. When God gave the Ten Commandments in Exodus, six of them dealt with man’s relationship to God. But when God gave the Ten Commandments, He did not give them to individuals but to the nation Israel. God’s decalogue, God’s great system of laws, His Word by which man is to live, was not given to individuals. I know that God passed it on through Moses, but God gave it to a nation. To that nation, He said, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”. So keep in mind that God does not just require righteousness of individuals; God requires righteousness in nations. We do not have that righteousness in America today.
2. THERE ARE SUCH THINGS AS NATIONAL SINS
We speak much about the sins of individuals, but the Bible speaks much also about the sins of nations. There is such a thing as a national sin.
For instance, just imagine the various besetting sins of certain sections of the world, and go around this encircled globe – you find great besetting sins in different parts of the world. In fact, the most prominent sin of the English-speaking world is probably that of drunkenness. England, with her pubs; America, with her bars. The English-speaking people are the drunken nations of the world. God pronounces woe upon those who look upon the wine when it is red. The English-speaking world has the sin of drunkenness and, of course, as a result of that, a multiplicity of sins follow.
In the Eastern world, there is the awful sin of idolatry. In the Western nations of the world, men have made with their hands gods of wood and stone and silver, to replace the one true God.
A great part of the world is characterized by another great besetting sin, that of infidelity, which is in the communistic world today. The nations in communism say that the Bible is not true, that Jesus is not divine, that there is no efficacy in the cross, that there is nothing to Christianity. So, the Bible plainly teaches that there is such a thing as national sin.
3. THERE IS SUCH A THING AS NATIONAL DECAY
We do not interpret the Bible in the light of history; we interpret history in the light of the Bible. If one studies the Word of God and meditates in it, he sees history written before it ever happens. And the Bible plainly teaches the reality of national decay.
There was a time when Babylon ruled the world. From the city of Babylon, there was a world power. There was powerful Nebuchadnezzar. There was wicked but powerful Belshazzar. It is said that no foe could ever storm and take this city. Babylon, it was said, would stand forever. But one day God pronounced judgment on her.
Those walls were so thick that they were called the impregnable walls. So thick were they that three chariots of horses could race around them side by side at one time. Outside the walls were great watchtowers, one every 250 feet. Around that vast city were the Hanging Gardens and the banquet rooms of infamy. Babylon said, “We will never perish. We will rule the world. We will live forever. We don’t need God.”. But one day God from Heaven spoke. “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah” (Isaiah 13:19). God said, “You are a mighty nation, but I will bring you into the dust as I brought Sodom and Gomorrah into the dust.”.
Walk among those ruins of Babylon today: every mute stone cries out “Amen” to the Word of God. It says, “…neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there”. No man shall dwell in that city. There are only remains today. The judgment of God has come upon the nation of Babylon and it exists no more, as the Bible predicted.
I wish I had time to deal with many other such nations. As you travel throughout many parts of the world, you see what are called the Roman columns. These columns were erected all over the known world, because Rome ruled the world. They called Rome the Imperial City, built on seven hills and surrounding the Tiber River. Rome had a vast empire. A great stone in one of the buildings of Rome – it is there today – is called, “the marking stone” or “the milestone”, and every road had distances on it, meaning it is so many miles to the heart of the Imperial City.
Today these columns are broken and the buildings have come to ruin. Fifty-five million people live in Italy today as a common power and as a small nation that has no great significance in the world. Listen! God brings nations to ruin and decay. If this Bible be true, it says that “righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”
God has brought that proud nation into the dust. Let us think of our forefathers. I do not mean on this continent, but rather our forefathers who came mostly from Great Britain. Great Britain was a world power, the greatest colonial power the world had ever known. Out from England went missionaries to all the world. God blessed England. She brought civilization to many countries.
But England today is a common power. Her great colonial system is nothing now but a dream. It has all been washed away under the judgment of God. Oh, yes, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”. We have reached an hour that no Christian one hundred years ago would have believed. We have reached an hour when we are sending missionaries to Great Britain.
The land of the Wesleys, Whitefield and Spurgeon is a land of infidelity. They say that only two percent of the people there ever darken the doors of the house of God.
Much that is destroying America came from England. In your time and mine, from England have come the hippies, the long hair, the loose morals in high politics. God has brought that nation to its knees. “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” God has done it in the past. If this is a divine principle of the Word of God, can America survive? What will America be like if Jesus tarries until the year 2000? I am talking to you today about the absolute destruction of a democracy and I will be able, with the Word of God, to prove that today.
4. THERE IS SUCH A THING AS NATIONAL JUDGMENT
Individuals are going to meet God in judgment. Revelation 20:12 and 15 describes that judgment that is spoken of throughout the Bible.
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works…And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” But the Bible teaches that God will bring nations to judgment. In Matthew 25:32 we read: “And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats…” Now keep these four things in mind:
1. God requires righteousness.
2. There is such a thing as national sin.
3. There is the reality of national decay and ruin.
4. There is such a thing as national judgment that God will bring upon nations themselves.
The psalmist one time asked: “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3). We are seeing right before our very eyes the foundations, the things that make nations great, being destroyed. I will deal with several of them. I think of them as monstrous termites that are eating the very heart out of America and bringing more rapidly than any of us can possibly imagine, the sudden demise and destruction of the greatest democracy the world has ever known. There are several of these awful and powerful and destructive sins.
I. LIBERALISM IN PROFESSED CHRISTIANITY
The first one that I would like to deal with needs not one part of a sermon but many sermons to fully deal with it – liberalism in professed Christianity. Departure from the revealed truth of the Word of God always has and always will bring about the destruction and ruin of any nation. Liberalism in professed Christianity.
Something has happened in Christianity that the Lord Jesus said would happen. The Lord told seven parables about the kingdom of Heaven. The church is not the kingdom of Heaven. There is a distinct difference. We will not be technical about that. But the Lord established some principles so we could know what it is always going to be like in professed Christianity.
For one thing, Jesus told this parable saying, “But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.” (Matthew 13:25). America is a religious nation, but America is a lost nation. Most of the profession is tares. Little of it is wheat. That is the condition we find even in the professed churches today. Blind Leaders of the Blind
We find in America today blind leaders of the blind, that is, men who profess to be called of God, men who profess to be prophets, teachers, leaders in the truth. But Jesus spoke of them in Matthew 15:14: “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”. We have these two things: many millions of unsaved amidst professed Christianity, and many leaders who are blind. My guess would be that there are more unsaved religious leaders than there are saved. If you doubt that, go to some of the pastors of your city and ask them point blank, ”Have you been born again? Are you sure today that you are on your way to Heaven?” I am talking about liberalism in Christianity. A Compromise of Truth
A poll was taken. According to a magazine called Christianity Today for October 13, 1967, we read:
“Western Reserve sociologist, Jeffrey Hadden, contacted 10,000 Protestant clergymen in the United States, asking them what they believed. Of the tabulated results of this poll of 10,000, there were 7,441 replies. This Protestant minister’s survey is the most alarming I have read in many years. Read on:
“These ministers were asked the question: “Do you believe in Jesus’ physical resurrection from the grave in the same sense that you believe that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated? In other words, do you believe that Jesus’ resurrection is a historical fact?” “Fifty-one percent of the Methodist ministers in the United States said they could not accept Jesus’ resurrection from the grave as historical fact. Thirty percent of the Episcopal priests of America could not accept it, nor could 35 percent of the United Presbyterian preachers, 33 percent of the American Baptist preachers and 13 percent of the American Lutheran preachers…” I would remind you that the Bible says that if Jesus be not risen from the grave, then we are of all men most miserable. So we have a compromise of truth.
Perhaps many of you saw this article in The Detroit News, dated Monday, August 9, 1971. The headline read,
“A LEGEND SAYS – JESUS DIED IN JAPAN AT 112.” The only redeeming thing about it, though still inexcusable, was the word “legend”. That is all it is – and it is not even a good legend. Nevertheless, hundred of thousands of people saw blazoned across a leading newspaper of America a great question about the historical fact of Jesus Christ, a legend which says that Jesus died in Japan at 112. This legend says He made two visits to Japan, learned much of His so-called trickery there, and it intimates that that is what His miracles were. When He found out He was to die, He had a brother who said, “I will die in Your place.”. Supposedly, after two days in the grave, He and another stole the body.
Thus, here was an attack on the redeeming death of Jesus and His bodily resurrection from the grave. Here it was blazoned across the front of a leading newspaper of our country. The church sits idly by and takes the things of God very lightly, while America is literally having its heart eaten out. Oh, may God bring us once again a mighty sweeping revival which is the only hope of our country!
There is a principle by which you can know whether people are saved and by which you can know whether a denomination or church or religious organization is real or not. In the second epistle of John we read,
“Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he had both the Father and the Son.” Now this doctrine is that Jesus was God’s Son. This doctrine is that Jesus was totally divine, as much as the Father and the Holy Spirit were. Read on: “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2nd John 9-11). Not many people in America today will take that stand.
The Capitulation of Christian Schools and Colleges
We have seen in our lifetime the capitulation of Christian schools and colleges. I know of a preacher, now in Heaven, whole son came home from a religious school and said, “Now Dad, if Jesus was the Son of God, why so-and-so?”. The preacher took his son, got into his automobile and drove out a ways. It was in the days of the old-fashioned running boards. They got down on their knees out in the woods and placed the old Bible on the running board of the car and made out of it a mourner’s bench. It is said that that preacher lifted his hands toward God and, with tears streaming down his face, cried, “O God, I would rather be dead than to have an ‘if’ in the belief of my boy! O God, take all the doubts out of the mind of my son as to who Jesus is.” And God did it that day.
We need to make every chair, every couch, every seat, every square foot of our environment an old-fashioned mourner’s bench and come back to God before it is too late. I am talking to you today about liberalism in professed Christianity, which is definitely a ruination of any country. How can you have righteousness without the truth? How can you have righteousness without a firm belief in the inspiration of the Bible?
“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”
II. THE COLDNESS AND WORLDLINESS EVEN IN THE TRUE CHURCH
We have been talking about liberalism in Christianity. I want now to talk about a fundamental, local, New Testament church like this one and others, scattered across America. There is coldness and worldliness even in these churches.
Jesus predicted that it would happen, in Matthew 24:12: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”. This is the day of “situation ethics”. This is the day when people say, “everyone’s doing it; so why not me?”. The Bible says, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”. Now folks, we have reached that coldness in the true, fundamental churches of America. I know organizations of fundamental, Bible-believing churches that are sound in the faith but dead. Coldness leads to liberalism. You can’t stay cold and stay true. If you are cold, you will soon depart from the truth. “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Saved people are cold to each other. I see in the true church of Jesus Christ men struggling for their own personal benefit. There is a coldness toward each other, a no-care attitude about other Christians, and a disregard for the true body of Christ. God knows there is a coldness toward lost souls. How few Christians really care that multitudes are without God.
There is a coldness and an indifference to old-fashioned Bible preaching. God said, speaking to Isaiah, “Lift up thy voice, cry aloud, spare not, make my people know they have sinned.” You think of God’s admonition in 2nd Corinthians 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers…”. You think of Christians being joined in lodges and associations with unbelievers. You think of Christians in business with unbelievers. You may not be able to find a grocery store run by Christians. The mechanic who works on your car may not be a Christian. The man who cuts your hair may not be a Christian. I am not talking about a Utopia but about a communion. God said there is never to be a communion between a saved and an unsaved person. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers…” Here is what God says we are to do about it: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate…” (vs. 17). You say, “What is the answer to it?” That is the answer. I am preaching to people who belong to modernistic churches. I have people tell me, ”I don’t hear the truth where I go.”. But you keep going! You send in your money. You help support it. You pay a man of the cloth to speak who denies the Bible. So you are as guilty as he is. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate…” is the answer.
Folks, worldliness and coldness have come even into the true churches. You see it in the imitation of the world. First, I mention immodest dress. God knows the women of America are helping to send this country to Hell. Women, God bless you! We love you and we want to respect you, but for God’s sake, dress like a Christian. Paul wrote in 1st Timothy 2:9 and 10: “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” Why wouldn’t a Christian woman want to dress modestly? Some of you don’t like it, and you will whisper back and forth at the dinner table. But some of you want to be like the world. The people around you are going to Hell because you are no different from the world There are coldness and worldliness even in the church.
Let me tell you something else and I say it in love. You may say, “You don’t love men with long hair.”. Oh yes I do! But the Bible says in 1st Corinthians 11:14, “Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?”. And the word “nature” there is “instinct”. What the verse is saying is, “Does not even instinct itself teach us it is a shame for a man to have long hair?”. That chapter is dealing with the fact that a lady ought to have long hair and that her covering before God is her hair. The same chapter says that instinct teaches us that it is a shame for a man to have hair like a woman. This long hair on men and short skirts on women are not pleasing to God.
We need to clean up. Don’t give me this old line, “Jesus had long hair”. All you have seen are pictures not more than two or three hundred years old, some artist’s conception of what Jesus looked like. Don’t give me that line. We don’t know whether Jesus had long hair, or sideburns, or what! but the Bible says it is a shame for a man to have long hair. While talking to someone the other day about the discipline and dress code in our school, this one said, “You mean people will put up with that?”. I said, “Put up with what?” “Put up with what you put them through.” I said, “We are not going to put them through anything but a happiness mill. They are happy that way.”. The most miserable people in the world are these folks who go around crabbing about the establishment because they want to be different. If you want to be different, get saved, get an old-fashioned revival in your heart, get a Bible under your arm and some tracts in your pocket and start soul winning and going to church. Folks will say, “Well boy, that fellow sure is different, isn’t he? In fact, I believe he is a little nutty!” Then you will really be enjoying it, right up to the hilt!
Another thing is the fear of emotionalism. I am still talking about coldness and worldliness even in true churches. Some folks are so scared that someone is going to get stirred up, while I am so scared that they are not. I pray all the time, “O God, stir people up.”. Listen, if a man says “Amen,” then he ought to live an “Amen”. But there is coldness and deadness in the church. Some folks are scared they are going to weep. You know, preachers see some things that you folks never see. I have seen someone about to get blessed; then all of a sudden he realizes what is happening and he doesn’t want it to happen. I have seen them nearly choke to death to get those tears out of the way. “Oh, no! This happen to me? Get blessed and shed some tears? Oh, no!” The Bible says, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”. It says, “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:5, 6). Someone has said, “If the church were on fire, the world would come to see it burn.” O God, help us to get it on fire! Help us to see the fire of God come upon the church of the Lord Jesus. God, stir our hearts. As I look at my daughter and my sweet grandchildren, I can hardly keep from weeping. After I am gone, they are still going to be here. What will it be like?
If any thinking person will study the trends that are in America today and think a few years beyond this present moment, he is bound to admit that we are headed for chaos and trouble. God’s Word is true: “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” There is absolutely no national righteousness in America today – from the White House to the poorhouse. We as a nation are void of national righteousness. This country does not deserve to be called a Christian nation in any sense of the word. It does not have any of the characteristics of a Christian nation. “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”
III. INFIDELITY OR ATHEISM IN HIGH PLACES
A few decades ago a few people called themselves atheists, saying, “There is no such person as God.” They were a distinct class of people. They would stand on the street corners. They were the soapbox speakers. They would gather crowds in the parks and talk about atheism. These were led by such men as Bob Ingersoll and others. You don’t find that so much today. A more sophisticated type of atheism is abroad in the world. It finds its hotbed and its seeds of propagation in the schools and colleges of America. The psalmist has said, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1). I used to hear a great man of God say, “Only a fool would be capable of making such a statement.”
Now there are many fools (using God’s definition and terminology). Instead of a few people on soapboxes and street corners, literally thousands of educated, intellectual people in the colleges of America would tell you flat out, “There is no God”. Atheism runs rampant is America. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” Now I am not an authority on Hebrew nor Greek, but in the verse where it says, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” two words are in italics – “There is.” The literal rendering is, “The fool hath said in his heart, No God.” Notice what he said: “No God for me.” The fool said in his heart, “I don’t need any God. I don’t want any God. I don’t believe there is any God.” Notice where he says it: In his depraved heart. He does not come to an intellectual conclusion that there is no God. No one ever has. No one ever could. It is not an intellectual conclusion. It is a condition of a wicked, sinful, dirty heart that says, “I do not want any God. As far as my mind is concerned, there is no God.” Why does he say it? Because he knows if there is a God, he is headed for Hell and for trouble.
Today we have a sophisticated type of atheism across this land. Some sixty years ago atheism began to reach its prominence in a most subtle way in America. It started out with a great battle over whether evolution is a fact or a theory. Evolution has been taught in the schools of this country for the last sixty years – from the wee grades of elementary school right on through college.
You cannot be an evolutionist and a believer of the Word of God at the same time. Evolution is not just a theory; it is a wicked attack against the Bible. More than that, it is a wicked, personal attack against the very person of God Himself.
For example, the Bible says, “Let us make man in our own image.”. The Bible says that God made him out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living soul. Now evolution says that man came from a lower form of animal. God says, “I made him, and I made him like I am, a trinity – soul, body, spirit.” The spirit never dies, the soul is God-consciousness, and the body is physical. God made him that way. When a person teaches evolution and claims that evolution is a fact, he is making a personal attack on God Himself and against the Bible. That in the past brought ruination to nations.
IV. THE PERIL OF HUMAN DEPRAVITY
You rarely hear from the pulpit some of the things that I am going to mention next – the peril in this country of human depravity. The bible speaks of the depraved nature of all of us. Each is a child of Adam. Five verses of Scripture show that all human nature is depraved.
Romans 3:10 says, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” Then verse 19 says, “…that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God”. God said, “Do like the leper did. Put your hand over your mouth and offer no excuse. Just admit that you are a sinner. Admit that you are lost.”. That is what this verse means. Verse 22 says, “…for there is no difference…”- not a bit of difference in the world. I am talking about human depravity. When you see the drunk man stagger down yonder into the gutter, you say, “How pitiful.”. But the fashionable lady with her silks and satins and perfume and her riches and luxury who has never been born again is as lost as the drunkard in the gutter or the harlot in the red-light district. “There is no difference,” God said. We are all depraved.
Then in verse 23 God culminates this teaching by saying: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…” So the Bible teaches that all humanity is depraved.
There is a deep and mysterious depravity today which defies description. In the history of nations which now lie in the dust of the forgotten past, the same type of depravity that destroyed them is rampant now in America. The same type of mysterious, deep depravity that has brought other nations to the dust, is now in this country.
First, there is an abnormal sexuality in America. Call it what you will. You would not believe how many homosexuals there are in America. Some are in high places. Some are in politics. Some are millionaires. The whole human structure of society is shot through with an abnormal, godless, wicked sexuality that God abominates. Recently I was in California to bring a commencement address for a theological institution at the close of the school year. A preacher, rather laughingly, yet seriously, said to me, ”Now this is a nice little hotel, and it is conveniently located. But you are in San Francisco, and surrounded by people who are abnormal.”. I have never seen such a seething mass of depravity in my life!
The next morning when I was getting ready to come back to catch a plane to Detroit, there was a fine-looking man in the lobby of the hotel. A taxi had come up. Across the street was a bus station and one of the busses went to the airport, but a taxi had been called.
I said to this man, “Sir, are you going to the airport? I would like to share the taxi with you.” He immediately turned and walked away without answering. As he went out the door to get in his taxi, I went out the door to go across the street to catch a bus to the airport. He watched me all the way across the street.
Some Christian friends of mine were out at the airport and I was telling them of this experience. I said, “That was an unfriendly sort of fellow. He wouldn’t even answer me.” My friend said, ”Dr. Malone, it was the neighborhood you were in. He didn’t know you. This whole section of the city is known for men who approach men.” That is true all over this country. This whole society is rotten and godless. The wrath of God is upon America. Mark my word: if God’s Word be true, this nation is headed for the dust. Listen to Romans, chapter 1. Three times in that chapter it says, “God gave them up.”. Think of it! God said, “There is no hope for them, I am through with them. I can’t reach them.” Three times we read that “God gave them up”. Listen to it: “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.” – Vss. 26,27.
This verse mentions the abnormal sexuality of women with women and men with men. Go ask any law officer, go ask someone who works in a jail or prison what goes on there.
Some years ago I kept reading of prisoners committing suicide. There is no telling how many in our Wayne County jail in twelve months’ time are found hanging by a belt or rope or with their throats slashed or wrists cut. Why? Even though they are criminals in the jails and prisons of America they cannot stand to live in the awful depravity. Murders are committed in the prisons.
When I preached a week at the prison in Jackson, Michigan, I talked to people by the scores. Some 135 men in five nights publicly confessed Christ as their personal Saviour. Some told me, “Dr. Malone, there are people murdered in this prison because they will not submit to godless sexual acts with other men.” That is the kind of society we have. You are saying, “Preacher, that is the abnormal thing. That is the rare occasion.” No, that is the kind of society we have in America. It is widespread. It is everywhere. It is going on in high society, with well-to-do people, people with college degrees.
Even some churches sanction this. Some are known as churches for the homosexuals of that area – on the West Coast and elsewhere. How do you think God feels about that? We don’t have just an ordinary depravity; we have a deep and mysterious depravity that is bound to bring us to ruination, just as sure as God is on His throne. Amorality
A few years ago people began to talk about the “new morality”. There is nothing new about it. The “new morality” is the old immorality! In fact, I think a better description of it is amorality – that is, no morals at all. One morning this week I pointed out to Mrs. Malone that there had just been a beauty contest for the nudist people, and a married woman from the state of Michigan had won second place. You say, “Well, preacher, that is a bunch of queer people. I have never known one of them and I have never seen one of them.” But this is not rare. It is going on all the time.
This past week my phone rang and a lady I didn’t know said, “Preacher, I want to ask you a question. My husband tells me that he does not object to nudity and he tells me that I am old-fashioned. He even tries to quote the Bible to me. He says Adam and Eve were unclothed. I want to talk to someone who believes the Bible. Do you think he is right?” I said, “There is not only something wrong with nudity; there is something wrong with your husband! He has a depraved mind. Anyone who can endorse that sort of thing is as godless as the people who participate in it.” Here is an item from the Pontiac Press, August 9, 1971. Mr. Harold Fitzgerald has several editorials. Here is one. Now this is plain. I quote Mr. Fitzgerald:
“It seems to me pornography and dirty pictures are setting an all-time record. The writer just received a pamphlet urging the purchase of an illustrated book and the blatant excerpts were shown. Use your own imagination and the very lowest things you can think of between men and women were there in startling and disgusting frankness. You can’t conjure anything lower or more despicable than these pictures. Once the individuals marketing these would have been slapped in prison. Now it isn’t true.”
This newspaper man says we’ve gone the limit. From time immemorial, certain characters have peddled pictures of girls scantily dressed. But that day is gone. Now they wear nothing at all. And they engage in the lowest connections that man and woman can have. Then there are other things here that I would not read to a mixed audience. It is in our paper and it is all true. It all needs to be pointed out. Just as sure as you sit in this room, there is a deep and mysterious rottenness, the like of which has never been in this country.
Think of the drug traffic in America. Who would have thought fifteen years ago that we would have come to the place in the use of drugs – from elementary school children on up – that we have come to.
I have a number of things to say about this. I wish I had time to deal with all of them. Here is an editorial I clipped out this week: “Unless concerned citizens act soon, this nation is going to reach the end of the road!” It goes on to say, “America has an immense social problem of immeasurable magnitude, although relatively unknown a few years back, which is rapidly pushing her to the brink of disaster.” Listen to this:
“Laconia is a typically staid New England community of about 15,000 inhabitants in the southeastern central section of New Hampshire, a few miles north of the state capital, Concord. Probably it would not normally be thought of as a den of iniquity! Yet in a front-page article in the New Hampshire Sunday News just prior to graduation, Earl O. Anderson, a highly respected newspaper veteran, reported the results of a poll which showed that of the city’s 204 high school seniors, almost half were on illicit drugs! Although 4 percent more girls used marijuana than boys, 19 percent of the latter were already on the so-called hard drugs, compared with 10 percent of the girls (REMEMBER – THESE ARE 1971 FIGURES! THE INCREASE IN THE YEARS SINCE IS STAGGERING).
There are many comments about it that follow. It goes on to say, “Can you imagine what this nation will be like in just a few years if nearly half of today’s high school seniors (tomorrow’s leaders) are on illicit drugs? And if the situation is such in a conservative country town like Laconia, what must it be like in cities such as Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Denver, St. Louis, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami and Houston – to mention a few?” Every day’s newspaper is filled with it. Here is an article taken from the Detroit Free Press, August 11, 1971.
“Rich Beauty Dies an Addict.” This is one of the saddest stories I have ever read. A young woman, multi-millionaire, mother of a beautiful little boy, died as a result of drugs in her life. The papers are filled with it.
I say the truth – God knows it’s true: I have mothers and dads call me from other churches and say, “Dr. Malone, I am embarrassed to talk to my pastor. I have a young person on drugs in my family. In God’s name what can I do?”. A young man came to me, glassy-eyed and said, “Could I talk to you, Mr. Malone?”. I went up into my office with him and he told me his name. His people are one of the finest families in Pontiac.
He said, “Preacher, don’t betray my confidence.”. (I never would.) “I am twenty-years of age and on drugs.” There he was, his arms and hands bony. He turned them over and said, “Look here.”. There were marks all over both arms. Then he looked at me with those eyes that seemed to look far away and said, “Preacher what does God think about a young man like me? Preacher is there any hope for a young man like me?”. I could not help but weep. Someone’s son!
I said, “Yes, there is hope for you.”. And we got down on our knees and I put my hand on him and I prayed, “O God, deliver this young man.”. I begged him to let me come to his home and help him further. But I have never laid eyes on him since. Oh, let me tell you, just as sure as there is a God on His throne, this country is headed for trouble.
Do you know that twenty-thousand American soldier boys every year are being mustered out of the service because they are drug addicts! Then you say to me, “What is going to happen to this country?”. The judgment of God is going to come upon it. I don’t care how many airplanes we have, nor how many missiles we can put in the air – “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”
Live-in Marriages Our country is filled today with what is called common law or live-in marriages, when a boy and girl start living together without a marriage ceremony. I know some people who have raised a family and have grandchildren who have never been married. Such people have called me who have heard me on the radio and said, “Preacher, can you marry us? We want to get our lives straightened out. We have never been married.”. When people have no respect for the institution of marriage, it is only a matter of time until that nation disintegrates.
V. WHAT IS THE ANSWER?
You say to me, “Preacher, is there an answer?” Yes, thank God, there is.
A Biblical Home Life
First of all, we need a Biblical home life. God knows that perhaps all of us parents have failed in some measure.
There are four things about the American home today that are ruining it.
1. The lack of male leadership. God ordained that the man be the head of the home. A man who is a man ought to be the head of his home.
2. Women working outside the home. Now some of you, God bless you, are as good women as ever walked in a pair of shoes. But the Bible says, “Let the women be keepers at home.”
3. Discipline. Our children today run wild. They have no rules, no discipline.
4. We need in the homes of America some influence. We need influence toward Christ! We need godliness on the part of mother and father. We need family altars.
I read a little poem the other day.
“PLEASE, DADDY LET’S GO”
A little girl with shining eyes,
Her little face aglow,
Said: Daddy, it is almost time
For Sunday school. Let’s go!
They teach us there of Jesus’ love, Of how he died for all
Those who on Him call.” “
Oh, no!” said Daddy, “not today. I’ve worked hard all week; I’m going to the creek, For there I can relax and rest,
And fishing’s fine they say.
So run along; don’t bother me. We’ll go to church someday.” Months and years have passed away
But Daddy hears that plea no more –
“Let’s go to Sunday school.” Those childish days are o’re.
And now that Daddy’s growing old, When life is almost through,
He finds some time to go to church –
But what does Daughter do?
She says: O Daddy, not today –
I stayed up almost all night;
I’ve just got to get some sleep. Besides, I look a fright.” T
hen Daddy lifts a trembling hand
To brush away the tears,
As again he hears the pleading voice
Distinctly through the years.
He sees a small girl’s shining face Upturned, with eyes aglow,
As she says, “It’s time for Sunday school – Please, Daddy, won’t you go?”
A lot of members of this church seldom darken its doors. So don’t be surprised when your children become drug addicts and criminals. That is what it leads to. So, first, the answer to the problem is a Biblical home.
A Revival in Our Churches
Secondly, the answer is an old-fashioned revival from Heaven. II Chronicles 7:14 says:
“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 I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
God knows we need a revival. I am not talking about a meeting with some high-powered personality who operates in the energy of the flesh. I am talking about a revival that comes from God, causing people to quake in His presence and search their hearts and confess their sins and set out to evangelize the world. We need THAT kind of revival.
A Personal Devotion
We need a personal devotion on the part of all who honor His name, that makes us good Christians.
I was so thrilled to go into a hospital room this week to see one of the members of our church. He and another man were in that room. I spoke to the man I did not know and asked him if he were a Christian. He said, “Yes, I am.” I said, “Have you gotten acquainted with Mr. So-and-so?”. And I called this man’s name who is a faithful member of our church. He said, “I sure have. He is God’s man. He is really some Christian. Preacher, you ought to be proud of him.”
I said, “I can’t tell you how proud I am of that kind of testimony.” We need Christians with a personal devotion for Jesus Christ. We need to win the man, woman, boy or girl who is in this awful, deep, mysterious depravity.
I would like, in closing, to tell you a true story about a sixteen-year-old boy. Everybody called him “Jimmy the Rat”. When he was only a sixteen-year-old farm boy in Indiana, someone introduced him to opium. Before he was out of his teens, he had sunk to the depths of addiction’s depravity, earning the title “the Rat” because of the long cupboard shelf he used for a bedchamber. Eventually he ended up in a Clark Street dope den in Chicago. To a passerby, the establishment was merely a Chinese laundry operated by a John Lee. But down in the cellar, housed in wooden bunk beds which lined both sides of the room in double tiers, the addicts were confined.
Jimmy the Rat, along with other human derelicts, lived only for the oblivion produced by the shots of morphine, heroin, opium and cocaine. He was a white-faced, shrunken skeleton wrapped in skin, unloved and unwanted by society.
One Sunday afternoon he heard from the Pacific Garden Mission singing outside:
Though I forgot Him and wander away,
Still He doth love me wherever I stray;
Back to His dear loving arms would I flee,
When I remember that Jesus loves me.
I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me,
I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me
Quietly, trying to slip out without being detected, Jimmy unlocked the door and made his way to the open air. Standing on the Mission’s Gospel Wagon was a burly giant who was testifying: “This here Pacific Garden Mission crowd prayed me back to a decent life and…” At that moment a hand reached out from inside the establishment and dragged the hungry-hearted Jimmy back in.
Fearing Jimmy might get religion and inform on their illicit traffic in dope, a huge man started beating on him to a pulp before he croaked and the police started investigating.
Thinking the task had been accomplished, they carried him from the opium den and dumped him behind a stack of lumber on a side street. Somehow Jimmy got to his feet and staggered to the mission. Arriving just as the congregation was concluding a song, he started up the aisle crying, “I want somebody to pray for me!”
Christ saved him! Later he returned to Indiana, married and became a successful farmer and father, while he continued giving a glorious testimony regarding the saving grace of God in Christ. He eventually dropped his nickname because of his children. They grew to maturity praising God in prayer, “Thank You for the Pacific Garden Mission where Daddy learned to know Jesus.”
My robes were once all stained with sin,
I knew not how to make them clean
Until a voice said, sweet and low,
“Go wash, I will make them white as snow.”
That promise, “whosoever will”, Included me, includes me still.
I came, and ever since I know
His blood has made me white as snow.
I have washed my robes in Jesus’ blood and He has made them white as snow.
Jimmy, the Rat, became Jimmy, the saint of God. That is what can happen to any lost sinner who believes in Him as Saviour!
Sermon preached by Dr. Tom Malone