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(A Christian Chat forum
discussion, questions and answer)
Jews For Jesus
Has God Abandoned
On May 3rd of this year during the National Day of Prayer (NDP), one of
the nation’s most respected Christian leaders, Pastor
John MacArthur of Grace Comminity Church in Sun Valley, CA gave
the following sermon entitled A Nation Abandoned by God.
those not familiar with Pastor MacArthur, he is a bestselling
author and a popular conference speaker as well as the president
of Grace to You (www.gty.org) and the featured teacher of the
Grace to You radio program
which airs more than 800 times daily on stations around the world.
MacArthur’s NDP message was considered so important that Dr.
James Dobson (Focus on the Family) featured it for two days on
the June 4th & 5th editions of his Focus on the Family
Most oral sermons by their nature are not structured
as an article for publication. Therefore, I have edited the following
sermon by eliminating a portion of Pastor MacArthur’s
some punctuation, and made other minor adjustments for the sake
of clarity and readability. In
no way have I changed the meaning of this sermon. Those who wish
to verify what I am saying is true are more than welcome to go
to the Grace to You website and download the entire sermon or
print it out.
Folks, I have never heard a major Christian
leader proclaim that “God has abandoned America.” That’s a serious statement with serious implications.
I highly encourage you to read this entire
sermon. Think seriously about what Pastor MacArthur has said.
Think about the founding of our nation and where we are today.
I don’t know whether or not God has abandoned
America. I’m not saying He has and I’m not saying that He hasn’t.
However, I do think we need to pray. I think we need to pray like
we’ve never prayed before. We need to pray for our nation, its
people and our leaders to fall to their knees in repentance. We
need to pray that this nation will turn from its wicked ways,
follow God’s Word –
the TRUTH - and
return to Jesus. We need to pray that, as Pastor MacArthur states
in his closing comments, “We might be the greatest recovery story
A Nation Abandoned by God
By Pastor John MacArthur
It’s not a small thing to have the opportunity such as
I have tonight to try to put a little bit of perspective and focus
on the issue of praying for our nation. There are so many things
that could be said and probably should be said and I certainly
don’t intend to say them all, by any means. But trying to funnel
down our thinking a little bit so that our prayers can be direct
is really helpful. I want to try to target our prayers in what,
I believe, is the most needful way -
not to the exclusion of any other things, but this, I think, has
to be the primary focus. It may take me a little while to get
to that point, so you need to stay with me and you’ll see how
this unfolds, and hopefully it will be helpful. That certainly
is my prayer.
The True Thanksgiving
By Dennis Rupert
It seems that every
year we are treated to articles attempting to disprove the “myth
of Thanksgiving.” In these articles we are told that: The Pilgrims
weren’t the first people in America to
hold a thanksgiving; That the first thanksgiving
had no religious significance at all, but was merely a harvest
festival; That our traditional Thanksgiving dinner has nothing
in common with the Pilgrim’s meal.
Some of these accusations are not a serious concern. After
all, who cares if the Pilgrims served cranberries or not? But
what seems to lie behind some of these articles is a desire to
devalue the religious nature of our present Thanksgiving holiday.
This is unfortunate since Thanksgiving is one of the few holidays
on the America calendar that is not swept away with commercialism
or mixed with pagan elements.
So here is ‘The True
Thanksgiving Story.’ We have included references to primary sources
which you can read for yourself. After reading I believe that
you will still be able to eat your turkey with a happy stomach
and a grateful heart to God.
Who Observed the First Thanksgiving?
Okay, it wasn’t the
Pilgrims. Of course, native Americans
celebrated many thanksgiving festivals before Europeans ever arrived
in America. For example, the Wampanoag (Indian allies of the Pilgrims)
held six thanksgiving festivals during the year.
The first recorded
Christian thanksgiving in America occurred in Texas on May 23,
1541 when Spanish explorer, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, and
his men held a service of thanksgiving after finding food, water,
and pasture for their animals in the Panhandle.
service occurred on June 30, 1564 when French Huguenot colonists
celebrated in solemn praise and thanksgiving in a settlement near
what is now Jacksonville, Florida.
On August 9, 1607 English
settlers led by Captain George Popham
joined Abnaki Indians along Maine’s Kennebec River for a harvest
feast and prayer meeting. The colonists, living under the Plymouth
Company charter, established Fort St. George around the same time
as the founding of Virginia’s Jamestown colony. Unlike Jamestown,
however, this site was abandoned a year later.
Two years before
the Pilgrims on December 4, 1619, a group of 38 English settlers
arrived at Berkeley Plantation in what is now Charles City, Virginia.
The group’s charter required that the day of arrival be observed
yearly as a day of thanksgiving to God. Captain John Woodleaf
held the service of thanksgiving. Here is the section of the Charter
of Berkley Plantation which specifies the thanksgiving service:
“Wee ordaine that the day of our ships
arrival at the place assigned for plantacon
in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept
holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty god.”
In addition to
1619, the colonists perhaps held services in 1620 and 1621. The
colony was wiped out in 1622. It was a private event, limited
to the Berkeley settlement.
Thus Spanish, French
and British colonists held several Thanksgiving services in America
before the Pilgrim’s celebration in 1621. Most of these early
thanksgivings did not involve feasting. They were religious in
nature, i.e. worship services of thankfulness to God.
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