By Dr. Charles Stanley
Scripture: Galatians 6:7-9
I. Introduction: Is it possible to predict a nation's future? Can we anticipate trends, such as blessing and liberty or poverty and oppression? I believe that a simple yet powerful biblical principle indicates where our nation is headed: You will reap what you sow, more than you sow, and later than you sow. This principle has tremendous implications for America's future. Given the seeds of wickedness that many in our nation are sowing, we are heading toward disaster. It's not too late to change course, but Christians must act now to preserve our precious liberties.
II. The Principle Explained
A. Whatever you and I sow today, we will reap more of later. Galatians 6:7-8 says, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life."
B. "Sowing to the flesh" refers to indulging the "self"—surrendering to our tendency to sin
(Gal. 5:19-21). Those who practice a life of sin will eventually experience corruption, suffering, and death.
C. "Sowing to the Spirit" means we surrender to the Holy Spirit and allow Christ to live His life through us (Gal. 5:22-23). If we sow to the Spirit, you and I will have supernatural peace in the midst of difficulty and earn eternal rewards.
D. A person who sows wickedness will not escape the harvest of his or her actions. Galatians 6:7 cautions us to avoid lying to ourselves that we will be the exception to the rule. If America really believed what the Bible says about consequences, our nation would not be heading in its current direction.
III. The Principle Applied
A. The United States was founded on the principles of Scripture. For generations, no one questioned praying or teaching the Bible in school. Court cases and sessions of Congress opened with prayer. During that time period, we sowed faith in God and reaped the blessings.
B. About 50 years ago, things started changing in our nation. 1. Prayer and Bible reading were banned from public education.
2. Anything that mentioned God was removed from government buildings. Example: the Ten Commandments
3. Crosses and other symbols of our faith came under attack, mostly through the court system.
4. We legalized killing unborn babies and have murdered 50 million so far.
5. Same-sex unions are recognized as marriages in some states, although God's Word forbids homosexual acts(Lev. 20:13).
6. More and more, the name of Jesus is a forbidden word. Scripture says the Father gave Him "the name that is above every name" (Phil. 2:9). Can God continue to bless this nation if we refuse to honor the One who gave His life so we might truly live?
C. Essentially, as a nation we have said, "We don't need You, God." In the fifth chapter of Isaiah, verses 20 and 24 warn, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil . . . Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes stubble and dry grass collapses into the flame, so their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away as dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel." Man can pass laws legalizing ungodly behavior, but God's principles don't change.
D. What are our scriptural responsibilities?
1. We need to stand up and live out the godly life we profess. If more pastors and other leaders had consistently preached biblical truth, we would not be in the situation America faces today. As believers, we need to faithfully live out our convictions.
2. Speak up. Don't be ashamed of the name of our Savior. One day, "every knee will bow . . . and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" (Phil. 2:10-11).
3. Cry out to God to change the direction of our nation. He promises that He will respond to that prayer (2 Chron. 7:14). The spiritual core of our nation needs to change, and that change must begin in the house of God.
IV. Conclusion: We reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow. This fundamental biblical principle is true both in our personal lives and on a national level. We will reap the consequences for our disobedience. Make sure your life is contributing to the spiritual health of this nation, not detracting from it. If you and I want to live in a free country, we must be willing to take responsibility for maintaining our liberty.