43-What-could-be-done (TO READ IN BOOK FORMAT, OR TO PRINT THIS ARTICLE)
Prepare yourself spiritually! Repent of your sins!
“The Lord comes… to convict all who are ungodly” (Jude 14, 15). “You are convicted by the law as transgressors” (James 2:9). “Repent!” (Mark 1:15.) “I will declare mine iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin” (Psalm 38:18).
Have saving faith in the gospel!
“I am poor and sorrowful; let your salvation, O God, set me up on high!” (Psalm 69:29.) “Do not be furious, O Lord!” (Isaiah 64:9.) “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Psalm 34:18). “All sins will be forgiven the sons of men” (Mark 3:28). “God in Christ also forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
Humble yourself! Do not have pride!
“Lord, you have heard the desire of the humble” (Psalm 10:17). “Thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble’” (Isaiah 57:15). “Be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God” (1st Peter 5:5-6). “If my people who are called by my name would 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 heal their land” (2nd Chronicles 7:14).
Possess a fear of God, not flippancy!
“As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear him. As the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward those who fear him” (Psalm 103:13, 11). “Fear God!” (Revelation 14:7.)
Bring forth fruits of repentance!
“To him who orders his conduct aright, I will show the salvation of God” (Psalm 50:23).
Confess to God the sins of our country! Make a list of them!
Plead with Heaven for their forgiveness!
In doing this you will obey God’s command that he wants you to do this (Psalm 10:17; 1st Timothy 2:1; “that they may receive forgiveness of sins,” Acts 26:18). You will act as a wall between his anger and our country (Ezekiel 22:30). As a result, our country will be spared from the punishment of war, and will have a longer period of grace.
Pray for the peace of the land (Jeremiah 29:7)!
Walk in the Lord’s ways!
“If we would sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer will remain a sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26). “He who does the will of God abides forever” (1st John 2:17). “Understand what the will of the Lord is!” (Ephesians 5:17.)
Befriend, encourage, and support others:
Do this to neighbors and to those who would be running for political office, being the “salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). “To him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God” (Psalm 50:23). “If you would abide in my word, you will be my disciples indeed” (John 8:31).
Help our citizens to repent of their sins, and to believe the true gospel:
“To open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins”! (Acts 26:18.)
Pray that God would raise up future heroes for the Christian faith, who would be good helpers to their fellow Americans, and who would do their duty in the future, terrible conflict, and have their self-sacrificing efforts blessed by God!
Set a good example for them now when they are children, so that they could be encouraged to do the same when they become adults!
Draw up a list of passages in which Scripture teaches about countries: How God will bless them when they believe, and how he will punish when they would not, and of how we are to obey as citizens so that you would be able to answer those who might refer to this subject, and so that you may teach those who do not know!
Draw up a list of law and gospel passages – the law to make you repent – and the gospel to keep your faith alive! Read it! Assemble passages of God’s protection promises in which he pledges to feed, to clothe, and to protect you from danger!
Accumulate a library of sound, Lutheran doctrinal books and devotional books so that these may be your teachers! The best books will be the older ones published in America by Concordia Publishing House from 1889 – 1940, or even recently published ones that have been translated from older German or Latin Lutheran books. If some of the doctrinal books would prove to be hard to understand, get a teacher to explain them!
Then “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might!” (Ephesians 6:10.)
“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so it will be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17:26-30).
Prepare, and be vigilant! You are living at a dangerous time in America. One of the great dangers that is seldom thought of, much less acted upon, at this time, is the lazy notion that the way you are living religiously would be fine as it is; that there would be no reason to improve it. Indeed, it would make no sense or difference to make a radical change for the purpose of preparation since there would be nothing for which you would need to prepare. Every tomorrow turns out to be the same as the day before. Humanly speaking, there is nothing in sight that could and should motivate you to stop the way in which you are living morally, and to begin to prepare for disaster as if it were to strike tomorrow. Yet, in spite of this mistaken reasoning, or better: on account of this mistaken reasoning, the text urges preparedness.
What preparedness? Physical preparedness – food, water, and batteries?
Actually, the preparedness which is needed is a moral one, in which Christians must get more serious about repentance and faith, and do it urgently with great earnest. The temptation of the hour is to think that the current effort at repentance and faith is sufficient, no more is needed, especially in comparison to other church members who seem to be lax and worldly. Yet listen to the text! Properly speaking, it is a warning to get yourself prepared for Judgment Day through repentance and faith, and not to let your guard down by the eternal sameness of everyday living.
Just the same, on top of this marked effort to be vigilant against a faith-wrecking preoccupation with worldly matters before Judgment Day is the preparedness for a calamity brought upon this country by God similar to the ones in the text. In those two instances the monotony of daily life went on normally and regularly, though morally things had actually declined little by little, barely perceptible day by day, until the awful stench of the end product which ascended to the nose of God became unbearable. Then, one day, unexpectedly and unannounced, though it had been warned about in advance, punishment came so fast and furious that no one could prepare for it, delay it, or out run it. Only those faithful souls who took God’s warning to heart; who took the effort to be vigilant; who shook themselves out of the lethargy of sin, though there appeared to be nothing on the horizon to be vigilant about; though vigilance seemed to be a waste of time, were prepared spiritually, ignoring the cries of “Fanatic!” from their families and friends, having put off every sin that would drain faith’s strength, and having reinforced their faith by regular reading of the gospel promises. Then, come what may, whatever calamity God would send in his wisdom, they were ready, and having done all, they could stand (Ephesians 6:13), strengthened by the might which God had supplied them through their law and gospel efforts at vigilance and preparedness.
Therefore, be prepared for the coming firestorm on America which will precede Judgment Day! Do not let your morals slide, or let your faith decline because of worldliness, reasoning that the level where you are at morally is a lot better than most! Heaven does not gauge by the standard set by sinful men. By God’s gauge the righteous scarcely will be saved (1st Peter 4:18).
Be vigilant! Remember Noah and Lot!
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