“AMERICA NEEDS JESUS!” Matt. 9:35-38
INTRO – Anybody in here suffer from road rage? You know – that aggressive behavior that erupts when someone does something you don’t like when you’re driving down the road. Just this past week, a 17 yr-old PA girl, Bianca Roberson, was shot & killed in a road rage incident.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines road rage as when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property; an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of one motor vehicle on the operator or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle caused by an incident that occurred on a roadway.”
That incident might be that they’re driving too fast, or they’re driving too slow. Or they’re following too closely, or staying in the left land, the passing lane. Or they change lanes too quickly, or pull out in front of you, or are texting & driving, or don’t give a signal when they’re turning, or they speed up, then slow down, speed up, the slow down.
Road rage is not officially recognized as a mental disorder. But in an article published in 2006, the behaviors typically associated with road rage can be the result of a disorder known as intermittent explosive disorder that is recognized as a mental disorder.
I believe that right now, there are many people in the USA who are suffering from “nation rage.” Like road rage, those who are suffering from nation rage are lashing out at those who do something that they don’t like or agree with. People in every sector of society are suffering from this malady. There are people suffering from nation rage in every political party, in every race, every religion, every socioeconomic strata, in every community & region of our country. And it seems to be getting worse & worse. We can point all the fingers that we want to point. We can argue all day long about who’s at fault. We can debate & rage about the reasons we believe this is happening. We can have every talking head on every news channel on TV giving their viewpoints & opinions. But the bottom line truth of all of this shows one major point: AMERICA NEEDS JESUS!
I don’t think I need to do a comprehensive rundown of all the problems that we’ve got going on in America right now. We are all aware that the spiritual & moral climate in our nation is in a rapid downward spiral. The slope is slippery & getting more so every day.
- The politicians aren’t going to fix it.
- The educators aren’t going to fix it.
- Hollywood isn’t going to fix it.
- Folks that go on rants & tirades on Facebook aren’t going to fix it.
- The answer is found in the One who came to seek & save those who are lost; the One whose heart broke when He saw the lost & desperate crowds of people; the One whose blood can wash away all of our sins.
- AMERICA NEEDS JESUS!
Billy Graham – “My heart aches for America & its deceived people…I’m absolutely convinced that no matter who’s elected, America is not going to be saved unless we have a moral & spiritual revival.”
Greg Laurie – “We are rotting from within… There never will be a spiritual awakening in this country until we believe in the one and only true God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Without this, there never will be moral change or a cure to our nation’s countless social ills.” (http://www.wnd.com/2017/01/why-america-needs-a-spiritual-awakening/)
The late Adrian Rogers – “America…is on a collision course with God’s judgment. We should be greatly alarmed! As in that day, today the prayer of a patriot needs to be, “Wilt Thou not revive us again?”
America needs Jesus. Why?
B/c we ALL need eternal life – Every person who has ever been born & will ever be born needs to be saved. And b/c God loves every person who has ever been born & will ever be born, He has provided the way for each person to be saved – through Jesus Christ alone. 1 John 2:2 – “[Jesus] is the propitiation [the atoning sacrifice] for our sins, & not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”
B/c we ALL need community love – I’m not talking about a mushy, feel-good, “I’m OK, you’re OK,” group hug kind of love. I’m talking about the life-changing, life-altering, radical love of a real community of believers who know they are broken, but know that Jesus can & will take their broken lives & use them for His glory & His Kingdom. I’m talking about the church! It’s incredibly important! It’s absolutely essential! It’s a biblical necessity in all of our lives! And it’s more than a name on a church roll & an occasional $20 bill in the offering plate. Too many people are TRYING to do Christianity w/out doing Church – NOT GONNA HAPPEN! When we join Jesus, we join His FAMILY & His MISSION!
- “A Jesus-centered community is an attractive community – a community that encourages, forgives, serves, loves, & invites non-Christians into its community.” (Jonathan Dodson, Gospel-Centered Discipleship)
B/c we ALL need purposeful living – Rick Warren, best known for his book, Purpose-Driven Life, – “If you’re alive, there’s a purpose for your life…Without purpose, life is motion w/out meaning, activity w/out direction, & events w/out reason.”
What IS our purpose for living? Paul summed it up in 1 Cor. 10:31 – “So, whether you eat or drink, or WHATEVER you do, do all to the glory of God.” Our purpose as Christ-followers, plain & simple, is to glorify God in ALL that we do in ALL circumstances in our lives, in ALL relationships in our lives, in ALL areas of our lives. And the ONLY way we can do that is to let Jesus continually reign over our lives in every way.
And what’s our purpose as a Church? DEVELOPING DEVOTED DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS!
Matthew 9:35-38 – Let’s look at this passage again & see what the Holy Spirit is saying to us today through His Word:
JESUS’ PLAN – v. 35 – Go to “all the cities & villages” – There’s that word “all” again
- “teaching” – instructing
- “preaching” – proclaiming, announcing the Gospel
- “healing” – serving
Jesus went to ALL people to teach, preach, & heal/serve them. And He calls us to do the same!
JESUS’ PASSION – v. 36 – Broken, hurting people – When He saw them, He was moved w/ “compassion” – moved in the deepest possible part of His soul. The people were:
- “harassed” – literally, “skinned alive”
- “helpless” – thrown away, thrown down, & rejected
- “like sheep w/out a shepherd” – What do “sheep w/out a shepherd” do?
- They stray – making them vulnerable to predators & DEATH!
- They stumble – making them vulnerable to injury & DEATH!
- They starve – making them vulnerable to weakness & DEATH!
JESUS’ PLEA – v. 37-38 – More workers – You & I are the answer to His prayer. If His disciples were obedient to Him & actually prayed “earnestly” (begging, pleading), then you & I are the answer to their prayers!