The urgent need for national repentance

This year on St Georges Day (23rd April) many Christians attended prayer vigils across the UK, focusing in particular on the state of the Nation. Nationally we are in a mess, socially, morally, politically, economically and spiritually. We have driven the Lord Jesus out of our culture, out of our government and out of the education of our children and the result has not been peace and harmony but turmoil and discontent. Many people are frightened not just by world events but they are also frightened by what they see happening here on our own soil and in our own society. Each day, many watch the news with a certain sense of trepidation wondering “What has happened now?” It is against this backdrop that numerous Christians across the country met up to pray.

In Psalm 107v34 it states “A fruitful nation will become impoverished because of the sinfulness of those who dwell in it,” and in Proverbs Ch14v34 it adds “Righteousness will exalt a nation, but sin will destroy any people.” With this teaching in mind, they prayed that people in this Country would really come to understand why we are in such a mess and that this insight would then be followed by a spirit of true repentance.

Some time ago I came across a story which clearly explains this Biblical truth. Several years ago a certain woman had a strange dream. In her dream she found herself wandering around some shops in a large shopping centre. All of a sudden she noticed a particular shop which took her fancy. She wandered in and found the Lord Jesus behind the counter. Jesus then said, “You can have anything your heart desires.” Astounded, she immediately asked for “peace, joy, happiness, wisdom and freedom from fear”. Then she added, “And not just for me, but for the whole of the Country.” Jesus smiled and then said, “I think you misunderstand Me. We don’t sell the finished product, we only sell the seeds.”

In Galatians Ch 6v7 it warns “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows that he will also reap.” This verse could just as easily read, “For whatever a nation or society sows, that it will also reap.” God wants to bless our nation and our individual lives; He wants us to enjoy good things. He wants to deliver us from the misery of sin and to give blessings of protection and deliverance. The problem is that over many decades we have refused to plant, tend and nurture the seeds which would have grown into these blessings. Instead, there has been an increasing neglect of His Church and His Laws; the very things which would have brought blessings.

As a people we have sown “the wrong seeds”. We have gone our own selfish ways, let ourselves become
consumed by greed and materialism and ignored God’s will for our personal lives. What message does this give to Almighty God, Who so loved us, that He sent His own Son to die on the Cross for our sins? Was the Cross some trivial thing? Was the sending of His Son some minor act of no great consequence? The Bible describes God’s Gift of His Son as being so stupendous it is “indescribable”. In spite of this, since the end of the Second World War, our Nation as a whole has rejected God’s Gift and while God would love to shield and deliver us from trouble, we have consistently refused to obey those very Laws and Commandments which would have brought blessings of peace and protection. As a nation and as a society we are now reaping what we have sown.

Many politicians and economic experts have come up with all sorts of packages and ideas on how to sort out the problems confronting our Country– but this is really just tinkering with the symptoms, not dealing with the cause. The root cause of the problems we have is a spiritual one – and being spiritual, then only a spiritual solution will solve it.

Today I read from an ancient source of wisdom which gives the answer to all our problems. This ancient source goes back many millennia and has been passed down from generation to generation. Previous generations who followed its teaching in the UK used to be very much in the majority, but in this present age they are temporarily very much in the minority. These people know the real answer to our national problems. The Ancient Book is of course the Bible, and those who follow its teachings are devout Christians who genuinely take Almighty God and His Commandments seriously.

Scripture teaches that the solution to our national decline and the disintegration of our society is wholehearted “National Repentance”. There needs to be a genuine and widespread change of heart, whereby the people of this Country repent of their disobedience, selfishness and greed, and start obeying the Laws of God, both in their hearts and in their daily lives. Instantly, this would allow God to bless, protect and prosper us, as He did so in previous generations. Almighty God regularly intervened to help previous generations and He can do exactly the same for our generation, provided there is a true spirit of repentance and change of heart regarding His Commandments.

When Britain was close to defeat during the Second World War, and the entire British Army was trapped at Dunkirk, in desperation King George 6th called for a National Day of Prayer to be held on 26th May 1940. In a national broadcast he called for the people of the UK to turn back to Almighty God in a spirit of repentance and plead for Divine Intervention. Literally millions of people across the British Isles responded to his call and flocked into churches humbly praying for deliverance.

Two events immediately followed. Firstly, a violent storm arose over the Dunkirk region grounding the Luftwaffe which had been killing thousands on the beaches. And then secondly, a great calm descended on the Channel, the like of which hadn’t been seen for a generation, which allowed hundreds of tiny boats to sail across and rescue 335,000 soldiers, rather than the estimated 20-30,000. God’s response to the National Day of Prayer was so clear and so dramatic, people referred to it as “the miracle of Dunkirk”. Sunday June 9th was officially appointed as a Day of National Thanksgiving.

National Days of Prayer where held at several crisis points throughout the War and after each one, God responded with His blessing and protection. Looking back at these events the Bishop of Chelmsford Dr H.A. Wilson wrote, “If ever a great nation was on the point of supreme and final disaster, and yet was saved and reinstated it was ourselves…it does not require an exceptionally religious mind to detect in all this the Hand of God.”

What God dramatically did for that generation, He can also do for ours. Our Nation urgently needs His help and protection. May we, like the Wartime generation before us, turn to God in a true spirit of repentance and plead for Divine help. In 2nd Chronicles Ch7v14 He promises, “If people humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land.” If our Nation, once again sought God’s help as it did during Wartime, now, just as then, miracles of blessing and protection would begin to happen.