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Hello my name is Jerral Campfield and this web site is dedicated to Moral Recognition Therapy using Biblical principles. Please come back often to join me in understanding Gods hands are outstretched still to forgive.

Contributed by Jerral Campfield   
Friday, 02 October 2020

 This is a message ]our Son Dale in Cinn. Ohio gave last Sunday I will preach this Sunday!

"Is There Hope for America?” 
October 4, 2020 
 “Is There Hope for America?” 
If we do not turn from our wicked ways, the country of America is on a collision course with destruction. Is there hope for America? I guess that depends upon us, right? 
Allow me to give you snapshot of my opinion in what America has become since its inception… In my opinion… 
America is…  I. America is… A Nation Divided 
Never have we been more divided than we are right now. 
· We are divided racially and socially with the injustices that have taken place and continue to take place. 
· We are divided economically in greater degrees than ever; the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. 
· We are divided politically with the Democrats and Republicans, especially with the upcoming presidential election on the horizon. Some trust the government and some don’t. Some like the direction we’re headed while others don’t. 
· We are divided spiritually with the denominational Churches in the world. The Church is attacking one another in ways we’ve never seen before. Church houses are divided in unprecedented ways. 
· We are divided in the health world with the pandemic of Covid 19, masks vs. no masks; vaccines vs. no vaccine, etc. Who will fix it? Do we believe the scientists? Do we believe the doctors? Do we believe the media? 
· We are divided in our homes/families. Families are being torn apart.  Luke 11:17 
Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. 
 America is… A Nation in Deception 
Deception is the act or state of deceiving or the state of being deceived. The dictionary says to deceive is to mislead by a false appearance or statement. Sounds like the kind of environment we live in doesn’t it. 
Never before has the deception of the devil been as prevalent as it is right now. The devil comes to rob, kill and destroy. He comes has a deceiver. Deception is running rampant. 
· We have been deceived by church leaders 
· We have been deceived by elected government officials 
· We have been deceived by the media (in all aspects to varying degrees) 
· We have been deceived by the medical experts everyone has a different interpretation of science 
· We have been deceived by the Devil! And he’s getting away with it!   
2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. 
 III. America is… A Nation in Defiance 
America has always been a pluralistic nation, offering the freedom of religion to its people, but from our very founding it has also been a nation in which Christianity has always been the dominate Faith of our people. That is no longer true in reality. We have become like Judah of old, our nation now tolerates all gods except the Christians God, Jesus Christ, the God of our ancestors and of our history. 
We too are abandoning Him and opening our doors to any and all of the false gods of the world. In every city in America there stands houses of worship for every faith known unto man, and on top of that, America like Judah has made the works of our own hands our gods as well. – The god of sports, finances, business, music, entertainment. 
The decades of carnality and apostasy in the Christian Church has weakened our faith and allowed our society to believe that all faiths are equal, that Salvation is not exclusively in Jesus, and to say so, is to be intolerant. Now America is tolerant of all faiths and gods except the Christian Faith and the Christians God. 
That was the state of religion in Judah when she fell under the judgment of God. 
Are we still One Nation Under God? If so, who’s God is it? God or god? 
 “So help You (your) God.” In many courtrooms today. 
 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. 
No one comes to the Father except through Me.” 
 IV. America is… A Nation in Depravity 
On June 25, 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court declared school-sponsored prayers unconstitutional in the landmark case Engel vs. Vitale. Prayer was taken out of the public school system. 
Public outrage was immediate and widespread. For millions of Americans, the Court had “kicked God out of the schools,” to use a phrase that has entered the culture-war lexicon. 
The Results of That Decision… 
Teen Pregnancy: For 15 years before 1963 pregnancies in girls ages 15 through 19 years had been no more than 15 per thousand. After 1963 pregnancies increased 187% in the next 15 years. 
For younger girls, ages 10 to 14 years, pregnancies since 1963 are up 553%. 
Divorce Rates: Before 1963 divorce rates had been declining for 15 years. After 1963 divorces increased 300% each year for the next 15 years. 
Educational Standards: The educational standard of measure has been the SAT scores. SAT scores had been steady for many years before 1963. From 1963 they rapidly declined for 18 consecutive years, even though the same test has been used since 1941. 
Crime: Since 1963 violent crime has increased 544%. 
Illegal drugs: Have become an enormous & uncontrollable problem. 
Legalized Abortion: In 1973, the Supreme Court legalized abortion nationally with the Roe v. Wade decision, since then over 61 million babies have been aborted legally in the US. 
Same Sex Marriage: In 2015 Supreme Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal In All 50 States 
Pornography: Porn sites on the internet is a multibillion dollar industry, destroying untold lives of people of all ages and destroying the heart beat of morality in the our country. 
We are a pornographic society, so much so that there are reports that tell us that Americans spend more of their money each year on pornography than groceries.  
Psalms 9:17 “The wicked shall be turned into H-E-L-L, (sheol-the grave) and ALL the NATIONS that forget God.”  
V. America is… A Nation in Derision 
Derision means to be ridiculed, disrespected, mocked, to be literally laughed at, to be disrespected by others. 
The years of defying the Lord had taken a toll upon the nation of America. People around the world are looking at America with derision. 
Society itself is looking at the Church with derision, and saying how is the Church any different than the world?  Pornography in the Church.  Christian leaders “falling from grace.”  Divorce rate higher in the Church; 3 out of 4. 
The Church is looked at with great hypocrisy from the world’s eyes. They see no difference. In fact, a great deal of people would rather do business with a non-Christian as opposed to a Christian. They feel Christians are fake and hypocritical. 
Matthew 15:7-9 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” 
VI. America is… A Nation in Denial 
Jeremiah spent 40 plus years warning his nation, but no one took him seriously, the nation as a whole remained in the state of Denial. The same was true of Noah’s society, God had determined judgment for their wickedness and like he did Jeremiah, He called out Noah to warn his society of pending judgment, but they too remained in a state of Denial, and we are told in… 
 Matthew 24:38, 39 “For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark. And KNEW NOT until the flood came, and took them all away, so shall also the coming of the Son on Man be!” 
Did you notice what the people were doing while Noah was preaching and preparing the Ark for a refuge from the judgment to come? They were paying him no attention, they were in a state of Denial, and went on with life as usual. That was a disastrous mistake and it turned out to be a drastic mistake for Judah as well, and it will be a deadly mistake for America as well if we do not change. 
What if your doctor told you that you had a deadly virus and you needed to return to him and let him treat you and cure you or face a sure death? What would happen if you refused to accept his diagnosis, and just choose to go into a state of denial, thinking that if you didn’t face it, that it would sooner or later go away? The answer is simple, you would eventually die and nobody would be more surprised than you!! That is what happened to Judah; they refused to accept the Lord’s diagnosis and return to Him for their healing, and eventually died as a nation. 
That is where America is headed as sure as did Judah, as sure as did Noah’s generation, as sure as did Sodom and Lot’s wife. The Fear of God is our salvation. The Fear of God is to simply begin to take Him and his Word seriously enough to believe it and act upon it. 
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, Moved With Fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house, by which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” 
America, the dark cloud of judgment looms over our land, and it is certain that it is soon to be raining the judgment of the Lord down upon us. Take the Lord seriously, run for the ark of refuge that is in Jesus and Jesus alone. 
Do not believe the lie that just because you attend church you are immune from judgment, or that America is special and beyond the reach of God’s judgment. That is playing the fool and the hypocrite. 
Romans 2:11 “For there is no respect of persons with God” Nor does He play favorites with nations, allowing some nations to live wickedly and some not to do so. 
Judah was [Zechariah 2:7] “…the apple of His eye”, yet that did not spare them from the judgment of God, as a matter of fact “…judgment Must Begin at the House of God…” 
1 Peter 4:17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator. 
The Heart of a Nation will Follow the Heart of the Church 
Therefore; the Church is on a collision course of disaster that must change! I propose to you that…  
America needs a Damascus Road Experience, that starts with the Church! 
2 Chronicles 7:13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Slide 19 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. 17 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, 18 I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to rule over Israel.’  19 “But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 19 “But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 
Let’s look at ACTS 9 & “ACCEPT’” The Damascus Road Experience : A Damascus Road Experience Unfolds in Five Phases 
I believe that the Church, setting the stage for the rest of the country, must walk in these unfolding phases in order to see America saved. 
PIC ILLUS: De-Mask-Us 

Acts 9  Read it and make comments
1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, 
Saul (Paul’s reconversion name) was still the church’s number one enemy, still raging against it. Persecuting Christians consumed him; it had become his whole life. The very air he was breathing was that of threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord. The word “murder” is significant. The fact that he had succeeded in having others (besides Stephen) put to death is certain. The term disciples refers to all believers, not merely the twelve apostles. Every Christian is a follower of and learner from the Lord Jesus Christ. Saul wanted every one he could lay his hands on. 
went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 
The high priest, here was acting in his capacity as president of the Sanhedrin. The Roman government allowed the Sanhedrin to exercise jurisdiction over Jews living outside of Palestine. Saul’s intention was to bring those who belonged to the Way to Jerusalem as captives, to be tried by the Sanhedrin. For that purpose, he asked for credentials that would give him the authority to do so. He planned to go to the synagogues because that was where Jewish followers of Jesus would be worshiping. They were Jews who believed that their Messiah had come. They would not stop worshiping with their fellow Jews until it became clear that they (and Jesus’ name) were no longer welcome. 
A Damascus Road Experience Unfolds in Five Phases 
Phase #1: Contact 
Acts 9: 3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 
It’s time for the Church to have a face-to-face contact with the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit is CONTACTING us; are we paying attention! 
Saul was still charging full speed for Damascus when he was suddenly stopped dead in his tracks. A light from heaven flashed around him, and Saul and his companions fell into the dirt. A light, proceeding from heaven flashed around him as sudden in its appearance, as powerful, and as dazzling as a flash of lightning. Confronted with the appearance of the blazing glory of Jesus Christ, Saul, the hardened persecutor of Christians, was speechless with terror. 
Although He does not usually do it so dramatically, God always initiates the contact in salvation. The Holy Spirit sovereignly arranged the circumstances leading to conversion. That is, necessary, since unbelievers, being dead in their trespasses and sins, cannot come to God on their own. Paul was sovereignly brought to the Light of God's Presence and came to the realization of who He was though the work of the Holy Spirit on his heart and mind. 
 Phase #2: Conviction 
7: 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 
Lying on the ground, Saul “heard a voice saying to him”. This heavenly voice was something Judaism was familiar with. It is known as a bath kol. This provided a means for the Jews to receive information and/or confirmation from God (during the interbiblical period between the closing of Malachi and the beginning of the ministry of John the Baptist). This form of revelation was necessary because there were no inspired prophets during this period. 
This means of communication would not be normative today as we now have a completed canon of scripture. Everyone with access to the scriptures today, has the infallible voice of God. 
The voice was saying to him: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” Here it marks a rebuke of Saul, intended to bring anguish of soul, so Saul would realize how wrong he had been, and guilt would overwhelm him. He was one who had hated Jesus Christ without cause. Our Lord’s words “Why are you persecuting Me?” reflect the inseparable link between Himself, as head of the body, and its members. No blow struck on earth goes unfelt in heaven by our sympathetic High Priest. By persecuting Christians, Saul inflicted blows directly on their Lord. Saul, who had been so violent, was violently brought face to face with the enormity of his crimes—not against Christians but against Christ. Even those who don’t persecute believers, but simply fail to love and trust Jesus Christ, are as guilty of crimes against Him as was Saul. The question, Why do you persecute Me? is filled with significance for it shows the union of Christ with His church. The Lord did not ask, “Why do you persecute My church?” The reference to “Me” gave Saul his first glimpse into the great doctrine of Christians being in Christ. 
This should give us pause to consider how we treat one another. When we speak or show kindness ministering to the needs of others we do so to Christ. But when we are so wrapped up with ourselves and our own objectives failing to look to the needs of others, or worse, showing hostility or apathy, then we do so to Christ Himself. 
Phase #3: Conversion 9: 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” 
It is apparent that he saw Jesus on this occasion, heard his voice, and spoke with him. And this did not occur in a dream; it was not exclusively an internal process in his soul; it was not the apparition of a spirit, but a real, visible and audible manifestation in the world of sense: Jesus appeared to Saul personally in his glorified corporeality, as true man, as the same Jesus, who had dwelt on earth, and who nevertheless appeared at this time from heaven in divine glory. 
Saul’s immediate response, “Who are you, Lord?” was a recognition of deity—he knew it was the Lord. Paul lying face down on the ground with brilliant light flashing around him and a heavenly voice calling to him in Aramaic—indicates that Paul realizes he is confronted by Jesus, the ascended Lord. 
It is not hard to believe that he already knew the answer to this question as he asked it—Jesus was the Messiah, Christianity was true, the gospel was God’s truth, and he had been fighting God. When Saul heard the words “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,” "The light of His Presence" was confirmed in his soul and the gospel became positive. 
To kick against the goads is a proverbial statement the Romans probably knew, meaning that one cannot ultimately resist God’s will. Goads were sharp sticks used to prod oxen, and if the oxen kicked in resistance, the drivers would keep them in line by using the goads more severely. 
God draws people unto Himself at His appointed time. He shows them their falleness and through His love, calls them unto Himself. Although people may resist the general call unto salvation when the word is preached, when God directly calls upon the heart and mind through His Holy Spirit, His sovereign call is irresistible. 
 Phase #4: Consecration 9: 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7 And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. 8 Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 
The genuineness of Saul’s conversion immediately became evident. Saul’s surrender was complete, as he humbly submitted himself to the will of the Lord he had hated. In contrast to the teaching of many today, Saul knew nothing of accepting Christ as Savior, then (Hopefully) making him Lord later (We are never called to make Jesus Lord). The plain teaching of Scripture is that Jesus is Lord, independent of any human response. The question in salvation is not whether Jesus is Lord, but whether we are submissive to His lordship. 
Paul’s fellow travelers saw no one but heard a sound which they could not explain. Saul’s companions were probably Levite guards who came along to arrest and bring back captive believers. They knew that something supernatural had occurred. They heard the sound of a voice but did not understand what Jesus said. Paul saw Jesus, listened to his voice, and understood what he told him to do. The temporary blindness of Saul was designed by the will of God withdraw and seclude him from the external world, during the period in which he pondered, and learned to understand, the decisive event that had occurred; it furnished him with an opportunity to be alone with himself and with his God and Savior. According to this view, his blindness was not a punishment, but much rather an aid to reflection and a gift of grace. 
Saul rose/got up from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. His entry into the city was very different than he had anticipated. Instead of barging in as the conquering hero, the scourge of Christians, he entered helplessly blinded, being led by the hand. God crushed Saul, bringing him to the point of total consecration. From the ashes of Saul’s old life would arise the noblest and most useful man of God the church has ever known. God sometimes struck people with blindness to stop them from an evil purpose or as a temporary measure to get their attention. 
 Phase #5: Communion Act 9: 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. 
So startling and sudden had been his placing of faith in the Savior that Saul needed time to reflect on the transformation of every aspect of his life. During his three days without sight, when he neither ate nor drank, God led him through the process of reconstructing everything he was and did. That he neither ate nor drank for three days ... is likely the result of his shock, confusion, and utter brokenness of will. 
Although salvation is an instantaneous transformation from death to life, darkness to light, it takes time to plumb the depths of its meaning and richness. Saul began that process. 
Quote: Someone once said: "I don’t understand electricity, but I’m no fool—I’m not going to sit around in the dark till I do. I don’t understand the thermodynamics of internal combustion and the hydraulics of an automatic transmission either, but I’m no fool—I’m not going to stay in one place until I do. The truth is that I don’t understand a great deal of the things that are part of my everyday life, but I make them a part of my life anyway. The same is true of salvation. No one will fully understand how God could become man, how he could die, how his death could be the basis for our forgiveness, how he could give you and me a new life, and all of the other aspects of salvation. But only a fool would ignore such a great opportunity just because he didn’t understand it". 
CONCLUSION:  A Damascus Road Experience Unfolds in Five Phases 
Phase #1: Contact 
Phase #2: Conviction 
Phase #3: Conversion 
Phase #4: Consecration 
Phase #5: Communion 
 The Damascus Road Experience Was Complete and Saul was Never the Same Again. In fact, his name was changed to Paul and he moved forward to make one the greatest impacts for the Kingdom of God throughout history! Wrote books of the Bible, a disciple of Jesus, the first Pope, etc. 
God is not done with America yet – because He isn’t done with the Church yet! 
You watch… You wait… You’ll see! 
 Illus: Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant The famous football coach of the University of Alabama, Paul “Bear” Bryant, once gathered all his coaches together for a meeting. He told them, “There are different kinds of boys out there and we don’t want all of them playing football at Alabama. There is one kind of boy who gets knocked down and stays down. We don’t want him at Alabama. There is another boy who gets knocked down and gets up. But if you knock him down again, he stays down. We don’t want that boy at Alabama. But there are some boys that you can knock down and they get up. You can knock them down over and over again and they will always get up.” One of the assistant coaches piped up, “That’s the kind of boy we want at Alabama, isn’t it coach?” “No,” said Bear, “We want the boy that’s knocking the others down.” 
This is what God has called us to do; to “knock down” the enemy; and our enemy is not man, it is the devil! CHURCH – AMERICA – It’s time to go to war! 
“Is There Hope for America?” If we do not turn from our wicked ways, the country of America is on a collision course with destruction. Is there hope for America? I guess that depends upon us, right? 
10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12 And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.” 13 Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” 17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. 19 So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus. 20 Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. 21 Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?” 22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.

Copyright 2005 Jerral Campfield, All rights reserved.