"In other words, this is going to take the people to take care of it, to cultivate it. This is not something that runs on its own accord. It doesn't go by itself. The people have to take an active role in governing themselves," Metaxas told CP.
"I think we have forgotten that in the last 40 years. Unless we take dramatic steps to reacquaint ourselves with what it is that makes this country work and what it is that made this country great, we are going to see, in short order, this great nation disappear. This nation will become America in name only, which would be one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the world."
It wasn't just the creators of the U.S. Constitution who understood that the principles of American liberty could be lost if it is not properly guarded by the people.
According to Metaxas, President Abraham Lincoln believed that America was chosen by God to "bless the world with freedoms that we had enjoyed." However, it was up to the people to govern in accordance with "moral law."
"Just as the Jews had been chosen by God to bring his Messiah into the world, and through that the Messiah to lead the whole world to the God they worshiped, so for Lincoln America had been chosen by God to bring a new kind of nation into the world, and through that nation to lead the whole world to take part in that national experiment in liberty for all," Metaxas wrote. "But for those like Lincoln, who perceived it rightly, the only thing to question was whether we could acquit ourselves as God wished us to do in this mission to the rest of the world…"
When Lincoln faced the crisis of the Civil War, Metaxas wrote that Lincoln knew that he had moral law on his side and that turning away from moral law would have resulted in the loss of God's blessing on America.
"Either we would turn from the great sin of slavery forever, or we would perish," Metaxas wrote. "We were a country on a mission to the whole world, but first we must get our own house in order. If we could not survive the agony of so doing, we would surely fail in our God-given mission to the world beyond our shores."
Metaxas also criticized the modern American education system for not teaching students the ideas of American exceptionalism and American universities for actively "teaching against" those ideas.
Just as America could have perished if it didn't abolish slavery, Metaxas wrote that the nation could "flip into oblivion quickly" if it continues to ignore the country's "God-given mission."
"So if we turn from our calling — whether intentionally or merely by forgetting what that calling is — we commit suicide," he says in the book. "And if we turn away from that moral law, we forfeit the blessings of God."