We, as a nation, enjoy unparalleled freedoms. When other nations were ruled by tyrants, our Founding Fathers established a republican democracy. The Bill of Rights guarantees freedoms not generally granted in the late 18th century – the freedom to worship as one sees fit, the freedom to speak out against the government, the freedom to have a trial by jury of one’s peers. This nation has defended her freedoms through the course of her history – from Lexington and Concord to Gettysburg to Iwo Jima to the deserts of Afghanistan, men and women have bravely fought – and died – for the freedoms of others.
Although we enjoy unparalleled freedom as Americans, the freedom we find in Christ far surpasses our American freedoms. Jesus said that he could provide true freedom: “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (Jn. 8:36). True freedom can come no other way, except through Jesus. Any freedom outside of Christ is just an illusion, because it’s temporary. The freedoms of this nation – as precious as they are – could be taken away from us. Yet, the freedom we enjoy in Christ can never be taken away.
This morning, we want to examine the freedom we have in Christ.
Christ Makes Us Free from the Law
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1). The Galatian Christians were wanting to go back and keep parts of the Law of Moses – specifically the command to be circumcised. Paul says, “NO! Jesus has made you free from that law. Don ‘t you dare go back.”
Those who lived under the Law were slaves to the Law. Paul affirms this fact.
“But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by” (Rom. 7:6).
“Do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1).
Peter also affirmed the bondage of the Law – “Why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?” (Acts 15:10).
Why were those who lived under the Law slaves to it?
The Law could not justify (Gal. 3:10-12). The Law could not take a sinner and make him right before God.
The Law could not justify because of the weakness of men: “What the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom. 8:3).
The law could not save, because no one could keep it perfectly. No one, regardless of how hard he tried, could keep every single command in the Law. Therefore, he stood condemned before God.
Jesus freed us from the Law. He freed us from the Law because faith in Christ can justify (Gal. 2:15-16). Proper faith in Christ can take one and cause him to stand right before God. Because of his perfection, Jesus can save. “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:14). God needed a perfect, spotless sacrifice to cleanse people from sin. That sacrifice was found in Jesus.
Lest we get the idea that the Law was a failure, we need to comprehend that the Law did perfectly what God intended it to do. The Law served as a “disciplinarian” until Christ came (Gal. 3:24). The disciplinarians guarded boys to and from school – they made sure the boys made it to school safely and they made sure the boys made it safely home. The Law served as a disciplinarian to make sure that the people of Israel came into contact with Jesus.
Therefore, as the disciplinarian, the Law prepared the way for Jesus. The prophets pointed to Jesus. Jesus himself affirmed this: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matt. 5:17). “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” (Jn. 5:39). The Law told us that a Savior was needed. The Law made painfully obvious that a man could not earn his own salvation.
The Law taught us the horrors of sin. Paul affirms this:
“What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made” (Gal. 3:19).
“I would not have known sin except through the law. I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet’” (Rom. 7:7).
In the Old Testament, we see that offerings had to be made for sin. In the Old Testament, we see that sin must be punished. Korah and those with him died for their rebellion (Num 16). Achan and his family died for his disobedience (Josh. 7).
Christ Makes Us Free From the fear of Death
”Through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:14-15).
Jesus destroyed the one who had the power over death. “Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor. 15:54). Human nature is to want to compete and to win – whether we’re playing cards, whether our favorite team is playing basketball, we want to win. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest victory ever known to man.
Jesus came, died, and was resurrected. We, therefore, have no reason to fear death. We have a great deal of apprehension over our deaths – we fear the pain that shall likely accompany our deaths, we dread leaving those we love, we fear the unknown. But, Jesus came so that we would not need to fear death – so that we could know that even if we were to lay aside this house of flesh, we would dwell in the eternal city of God. That is the assurance we have as Christians. That is the basis of our not having fear at the thought of our deaths.
Christ gives us hope because of his own resurrection (1 Cor. 15:20-23).
Christ Makes Us Free from Sin
The Scriptures teach that Christians have been set free from sin.
“And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Rom. 6:18).
Slavery to sin is a real problem. “While they [false teachers] promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage” (2 Pet. 2: 19). Slavery to sin is a real problem, because all people sin (1 Ki. 8:46; 1 Jn. 1:8, 10). Since all people sin, all people are in danger of becoming slaves to sin.
Paul describes this slavery in Romans 7: 14-24. Paul paints a very bleak picture. He cries out, “Wretched man that I am!” The situation seems almost hopeless. He sighs, “Who will rescue me from this body of death?”
But, Paul had hope (Rom. 7:25-8:4). We knew that he could not get out of sin on his own. He had to rely on the victory and freedom which he could have through Christ.
We can have freedom in Christ; Christ wants to make us free. Do you have the freedom which comes through faith in Christ?
This sermon was originally preached by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., at the Main Street church of Christ in Pikeville, Kentucky.
In case you haven’t noticed, today is the 4th of July. It is the day when our nation celebrates its birth and when we appreciate the qualities that have made the United States of America the unique country that it is today. Besides fireworks, lakes, and cookouts, when most people think of the fourth of July, the one thing that likely comes to mind is freedom. Freedom is perhaps the central, founding principle of our nation. Freedom is what Independence Day is all about. Freedom continues to be at the heart of what it means to be an American. To be an American is to be a free person. Quite simply, to be in America is to know a lot about freedom. We are surrounded by it, live in it, hear about it, and appreciate it. We have holidays like the 4th of July to celebrate it. But freedom is a word that also should strike at us for a different reason. We are Christians, and freedom is also something that is central to our faith. In fact, Martin Luther once wrote a treatise called “On the Freedom of a Christian.” In this treatise, he says this:
A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant, subject to all.
He spends the rest of the treatise defending these two seemingly contradictory statements. Basically what he says, and this is very basic, is that Jesus Christ frees us from the slavery of good works. We are not justified by works, but we are justified only by faith in Jesus Christ. Because of that, we are completely free people, not under any sort of law that we must keep in order to earn salvation. Luther says that we are freed from the belief in good works, justification through works. And in this way we are freed from the law. But we are not set free from doing good works. No, Luther says that good works are imperative for the Christian. We must do good works because we are still people who live in this world of flesh and bones. He compares it to food. Perhaps some of you are getting hungry already. Does anyone think that we can exist without food and drink? Absolutely not! But do food and drink justify us before God! Absolutely not! The same is the case with good works. We do not need them for justification, but we shouldn’t dismiss them, either, just like we would not dismiss eating this afternoon on account of the fact that we are already saved by grace alone through faith. If you will go home and eat, then you should also commit yourselves to doing good works. So, a Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none, and a Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant, subject to all.
I think that this sort of paradox is a good thing to keep in mind as we are considering our scripture texts from today on this 4th of July when freedom is at the forefront of our minds. Just because we have been granted certain freedoms does not mean that for us as Christians, that we should exercise them at all times. In our gospel lesson for today Jesus is sending out the disciples two by two to proclaim a message: “The Kingdom of God is near!” We have joint citizenship. We are citizens of the United States of America, but we are also citizens of the City of God. But we are most importantly citizens of the City of God.
As Americans, the ultimate document of freedom for us could likely be considered the Bill of Rights. It outlines what freedoms we have which cannot be revoked. I want to look at some freedoms that are granted to us as citizens of America and compare that with our scripture lessons today.
The 5th amendment says, “No person shall be… deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” In this amendment we are guaranteed the right to keep our own property. All of the things that we have worked hard for are ours. No one else has a right to them. The luxuries that have been afforded by our own hard work cannot be taken from us at a whim. No, in America we are free to keep things for ourselves. We are free to take care of ourselves.
To this, hear these words of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke: “3Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.” Jesus tells the seventy-two to lay down all of the things that they have earned for themselves. All of the things that would be helpful for traveling: things like money and a change of clothes, Jesus says to put those things away. For the disciples, they have a different kind of freedom: freedom from property.
The First Amendment guarantees Americans more freedoms, one of them is the freedom of speech. Part of it states: “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.” This is the law that allows us to hold opinions and express them without interference. If we want to speak against our government, we are promised the freedom to do so. Of course, it also protects our right to say things that are vile and indecent. It is this freedom which allows pornography to run rampant on the internet.
Does the Christian have freedom of speech? The apostle Paul says this in our lesson from Galatians today in verse 14: “14May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” For the apostle Paul, there are restrictions posed on Christian speech. We are to boast not of ourselves, our accomplishments, our children, even our church, but we are only to boast in the cross of Jesus Christ. When you think about it, what else is there to talk about? What else is there to boast about? The law of Christ frees us from shallow, empty speech in order that we may speak of things that matter, in order that we can speak of the cross.
The last freedom I want to look at is the freedom of religion, again in the first amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Again we turn to the apostle Paul in Galatians to see what he has to say about our ability to exercise religion freely. In verse two he says: “2Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Put simply, Paul says that we are not free to practice our religion however we want. He says that there is a very specific way to practice our faith: to bear one another’s burdens. Paul says that this fulfills the highest law in the land, law that is higher than even the Constitution of the United States: the law of Christ. And what is the law of Christ? In a word: love. We can find no deeper, no more robust practice of love than when we bear the burdens of one another. The law of Christ frees us from selfishness in order that we may experience the joy that can only be found in deep, meaningful relationships, relationships that are not afraid to share burdens with one another.
Many of you know that a member of our church, Gerry Seefeldt, passed away Friday morning. Pastor Joel would normally attend to the family during this time, but obviously he was out of town. Pastor Ryan Mills from Our Redeemer in Grand Prairie told Joel that he would provide pastoral care should it be needed while he was away. Thursday morning I got the call that Gerry was getting very ill and there wouldn’t be much time left. The family requested a pastor to come pray with Gerry and the family in those last hours. So, I called Pastor Ryan. I could have simply told him about the situation and let him handle it. I’m quite untrained in what to do in these situations. I haven’t had much experience with death, and I didn’t think I would be much help. But for some reason I thought that I should go, so I offered to accompany him. I’m glad I went. I saw what it means to bear one another’s burdens while I was with Gerry’s family. Ryan and I went and saw Gerry and Pastor Ryan led us in prayer and scripture reading. We closed with the Lord’s Prayer. One of Gerry’s daughter said that when we were praying the Lord’s Prayer with her that Gerry prayed with us as loud and as clear as she had said anything in the last few days. And then the next morning, Friday, I got the phone call that Gerry had passed away. So for the second time in as many days, Pastor Ryan and I both dropped what we were doing to attend to Gerry and her family. We entered the home, spoke with the family, and prayed again over Gerry’s body and helped the family to say goodbye to their mother. It was a holy moment.
Were Pastor Ryan and I free to do whatever we wanted with our life and with our time on Thursday and Friday? Absolutely not. We were bound by the law of Christ to bear the emotional burden of this death in Gerry’s family. But Pastor Ryan and I would not have it any other way. Were we free to do whatever we wanted? No. But we were free to love this family in their time of grief. It is because of the bond of Christ that we were free to go into a home filled with people whom we had never met and share those moments with them.
The freedom of Christ is like that. It closes some doors in order that we may experience true freedom. My time was not my own this past weekend in order that I could be free to fulfill the law of Christ. We are not free to say anything that we want to say, but we are bound only to boast in the cross of Jesus Christ, because when you get right down to it, anything else is not speech, but just shadows of reality, just wasted breath. We are freed by Jesus Christ to true speech. And the freedom of Jesus Christ frees us from our possessions. So often our possessions own us. The law of Christ helps us lay everything down, to take no purse or bag or sandals with us, but to experience true freedom from the things that occupy so much of our time and energy.
Just as Jesus was very God and had all the rights and privileges of God, he laid them down for our sake (Phil 2). So we too have been afforded many great rights as citizens in the kingdom of America. But there are times when we must lay down our rights and lay down our freedoms, in order that we may be truly free. We serve the king of kings, the president of presidents. And when we are truly free we can say with the Psalmist and all peoples of the earth today:
1 Be joyful in God, all you lands;
sing the glory of his name; sing the glory of his praise.
2 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
Because of your great strength your enemies cringe before you.
3 All the earth bows down before you,
sings to you, sings out your name.”
4 Come now and see the works of God,
how wonderful he is in his doing toward all people.
5 He turned the sea into dry land, so that they went through the water on foot,
and there we rejoiced in him.
6 In his might he rules forever; his eyes keep watch over the nations;
Excerpt from Thomas Sowell’s “Black Rednecks & White Liberals”. Thomas Sowell: born June 30, 1930, is an American economist, turned social theorist, political philosopher, and author.
Dr. Thomas Sowell is probably one of the most brilliant minds alive in America. In a series of long essays, It presents eye-opening insights into the historical development of the ghetto culture that is today wrongly seen as a unique black identity–a culture cheered on toward self-destruction by white liberals who consider themselves “friends” of blacks. This essay titled “The Real History of Slavery” presents a jolting re-examination of that tragic institution and the narrow and distorted way it is too often seen today. The reasons for the venomous hatred of Jews, and of other groups like them in countries around the world, are explored in an essay that asks, “Are Jews Generic?” Misconceptions of German history in general, and of the Nazi era in particular, are also re-examined. So too are the inspiring achievements and painful tragedies of black education in the United States. “Black Rednecks and White Liberals” is the capstone of decades of outstanding research and writing on racial and cultural issues by Thomas Sowell.
He is currently Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Sowell was born in North Carolina but grew up in Harlem, New York. He dropped out of high school and served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. He received a bachelor’s degree, graduating magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1958 and a master’s degree from Columbia University in 1959. In 1968, he earned his Doctorate in Economics from the University of Chicago.
Sowell has served on the faculties of several universities, including Cornell University and the University of California, Los Angeles. He has also worked for think tanks such as the Urban Institute. Since 1980, he has worked at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He writes from a conservative libertarian perspective, advocating supply-side economics. Sowell has written more than thirty books (some which have been reprinted in revised editions), and his work has been widely anthologized. He is a National Humanities Medal recipient. Sowell is both a syndicated columnist and an academic economist, whose column was distributed by Creators Syndicate. Themes of Sowell’s writing range from social policy on race, ethnic groups, education, and decision-making, to classical and Marxist economics, to the problems of children perceived as having disabilities.
A Marxist black man in his twenties, while often described as a black conservative, he prefers not to be labeled, having stated, “I prefer not to have labels, but I suspect that ‘libertarian’ would suit me better than many others, although I disagree with the libertarian movement on a number of things”. He primarily writes on economic subjects, generally advocating a free market approach to capitalism. Dr.Sowell opposes the Federal Reserve, arguing that it has been unsuccessful in preventing economic depressions and limiting inflation.
Dr.Sowell also writes on racial topics and is a critic of affirmative action and race-based quotas. On the topic of affirmative action, Sowell has stated it’s “one of the few policies that can be said to harm virtually every group differently. Obviously, whites and Asians lose out when you have preferential admission for black students or Hispanic students—but blacks and Hispanics lose out because what typically happens is the students who have all the credentials to succeed in college are admitted to colleges where the standards are so much higher that they fail.” He takes strong issue with the notion of government as a helper or savior of minorities, arguing that the historical record shows quite the opposite.
NO PARAGRAPH CAN DO JUSTICE TO A MAN WHO HAS WRITTEN OVER 30 BOOKS ON ECONOMICS, SOCIETY, POLITICS & RACE, but here goes. Thomas Sowell is an American original free-thinker, PhD economist, political philosopher and author who approaches the world with a practical logic honed as a Marxist in his 20’s and refined in a conservative, libertarian with a Harvard, Columbia, University of Chicago pedigree all of which is built on a North Carolina Black South and New York Harlem upbringing.
July 4th comes every year. The actual events and documents which gave us Independence Day on July 4th don’t change. There is a current movement afoot which seeks to delete facts and history and replace it with a disturbingly negative story. This disturbingly negative story seeks to install their propaganda at every level of education, major media outlets, big corporations, and the military.
Our military will no longer be an efficient cohesive combination of various size, shapes, colors, and backgrounds of people under this disturbingly negative story. Simply put in a foxhole when enemy rounds are incoming the real care is that those in the foxhole have each others back. If the disturbingly negative story were implemented in the military members of the military would not trust each other and the enemy would overrun our military. We’d be defeated from within. (1)
The governing document of our country is shorter than many contracts, has no fine print and easy to read, see (2).The Constitution of the United States is the foundational document of our American Government. It lays out the system of Government and the limits what our government may and may not do. Some say the Constitution lists the rights of the American people. Our Rights come from God not the government. It is the people who establish the government and grant certain powers to their representatives and government to act in their stead.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”
A little spoken of Amendment to the Constitution, number Nine, supports the power is retained by the people.
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
The War of Independence against British was fought to free Americans from the tyranny of the British Monarchy who arbitrarily imposed rules, laws, regulations, and edicts without consultation or consent of the governed.
Americans endured an oppressive form of government under the British and formed a bottom up form of government, a Constitutional Republic. Oppressive governments rule by fear, fear they may displease the ruler. Fear, anxiety, depression, and suicide run rampant under oppressive governments. Summary executions with due process become common under oppressive governments.
The Constitution has three parts. The Preamble tells the purpose of the document and Government. The Articles set up how the Government is organized and how the Constitution can be changed. The Amendments are changes to the Constitution. The First Ten Amendments are called the Bill of Rights.
Any laws which violate the Constitution are void, can not be enforced, because they are UnConstitutional. The Constitution can not be changed by legislative or executive fiat.
Refuse to be bullied into the disturbingly negative story.
The Constitution and Bible when correctly applied are recipes for Freedom, Liberty, tranquility for all and Independence.
Psalms 33:12 — Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!
AS WE CELEBRATE THIS NATION’S 245TH BIRTHDAY, WE NEED TO LOOK AT OUR HERITAGE AS A NATION AND REMEMBER HOW GOD HAS PROSPERED AND PROTECTED US.
There are 3 things we need to consider:
We must never forget how God has blest America in the past.
We must see what God is doing for America in the present.
We must realize what God will doto America in the future.
1. WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR AMERICA
– First: America exists because God raised it up and plays a prominentrole in her existence.
He was revered in the first colonies – In Jamestown, Virginia. The first community building was a church, the only building with a wall still standing today.
The 1st thing the Puritans did at Plymouth Rock was kneel, praise God and dedicate their new colony.
Roger Williams (Baptist Minister) established Rhode Island.
Lord Baltimore held church services when establishing Maryland.
William Penn (Quaker) established Pennsylvania, NY, DEL, Conn, NC, SC, Georgia.
– When you read their writings there’s no doubt God birthed America.
William Penn in writing government policies for Pennsylvania made sure “all treasurers, judges, and all elected officials professed faith in Christ.”
Of course this history isn’t taught in our schools today because the heathen History Revisionists want to defame our history and divorce God from all that has been done in the past.
My how far we’ve fallen! 18 years ago The U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a Federal trial court that the Ten Commandments memorial placed in the rotunda of The Alabama Judicial Building by State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore must be removed.
Judge Moore authorized the memorial to remind us Biblical laws stand as the moral groundwork of American law — He was removed from the Alabama Supreme Court.
I guess we want to be careful not to upset young people by telling them not to kill, steal, or commit adultery! We might hamper their activities and upset their fragile psyches!
Our Founding Fathers consistently used the Bible and Judeo-Christian values to define and preserve this nation:
– 12 of the original 13 colonies incorporated the entire 10 Commandments into their civil and criminal codes.
President John Adams said, “The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal code as well as a moral and religious code. These are laws essential to the existence of men in society and most of which have been enacted by every Nation which ever professed any code of laws. Vain indeed would be the search among the writings of secular history to find so broad, so complete and so solid a basis of morality as the Ten Commandments lay down.”
Contrast that with Joe Biden and Kamala Harrisin the White House today promoting such ungodly programs as abortion and same-sex marriage, and wide-open borders allowing who knows what into our nation!
Did you know The American Bible Society was started by an act of Congress and John Adams, our 2nd President, served as its 1st leader?
Our laws are based on The 10 Commandments and sound Bible principles.
– The Supreme Court Building – built 1935 – has Moses and 10 Commandments carved right on the front of it.
– It’s too bad the Justices must enter back way!
In the House of Representatives a sculpture of Moses is across the Speaker’s seat.
– Think how proud Moses must be to share a seat with Nancy Pelosi!
President George Washington: “It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible. Of all dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, our religion and morality are indispensable supporters.”
In 1782, the U.S. Congress voted a resolution recommending and approving the use of the Bible in the schools.
The Bible was the first reader for children.
The Bible was taught in the classroom until 1963. — Madilyn Murray
Henry Laurens, 4th president of the Continental Congress, said, “I had the honor of being one who framed the Constitution. In order effectually to accomplish these great constitutional ends, it is especially the duty of those who bear rule to promote and encourage respect for God and virtue.”
Patrick Henry, 1st Governor of Virginia and a member of the Continental Congress, said, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
The Constitution ends by pointing back to Jesus: “in the year of our Lord.” – Our Nation’s motto: “In God we trust” – Pledge “One Nation under God” God birthed America, but America has slipped so far away from our roots…
God Blessed America! We’ve compromised and are losing His Blessing!
American history has tons of stories of God’s miraculous intervention in times of crisis, but most history books are written by humanists who deliberately edit true facts out of textbooks.
In the Revolutionary War, British Commander William Howe was moving 30,000 British soldiers to take New York.
– General George Washington only had 18,000 inexperienced troops. It was 1776.
– The British troops outflanked Washington.
– Washington lost 1,000 men and 2 top Generals.
– Washington’s troops were cold, hungry, and discouraged.
Without any reason the British halted their troops.
– Had they pressed on they would’ve destroyed Washington’s troops.
– Washington’s army was trapped on Long Island and the only escape route was the treacherous East river.
– The weather was very bad — it seemed impossible to cross.
Washington called for a prayer meeting to ask for God’s guidance and help.
– It was decided to try to cross river.
– It was storming — suddenly at 11 pm the wind died and the rain stopped.
The river became as smooth as glass.
– As the little Army started crossing a gentle breeze came up behind them to push them along.
Even with this miracle it’d still be impossible to get all troops across to Manhattan Island before daybreak.
– Just before daybreak, a thick fog formed over them hiding them from the British.
When fog lifted British Commander Howe was shocked — Washington’s troops had escaped!
– Washington and his men recognized God’s blessings on America.
There are so many more stories of how God used the weather and other circumstances to help our military to gain victory. He used weather in the invasion of Normandy on D-day in world war II.
Don’t take our freedom for granted. We’ve not all paid the same price.
– Allen Star erected a monument in Arkansas to the 241 servicemen killed in bombing of Marine headquarters in Lebanon.
– With $2000 and used bricks he built 8X4 ft monument with bronze plaque that says, “Lest we forget that peace has a price.”
As you celebrate the 4th of July remember your freedom isn’t free – just ask a parent who lost a son in a war.
– Ask a child who lost a father.
– Ask a man who lost a leg, arm, his sight, or was injured for life.
What has God done? Birthed America and Blessed America.
2. WHAT GOD IS DOING FOR AMERICA right now is Beholding America
– He sees how far we’ve fallen in the 245 years since our birth in 1776.
He sees all the sin and corruption of our sexually promiscuous society.
He sees the 62 million babies aborted for the convenience of women and men who want to play around but don’t want the responsibility for their actions.
He sees the drunkenness and drug addictions destroying lives today.
He sees the violence and murders occurring daily in this once God-fearing nation.
He sees the perversion of gay life-styles, sex changes, the Critical Race Theory, the accusations of “White Supremacy.”
God is totally aware of how wicked and rebellious we have become!
He sees the crookedness, lying and cheating in our politics and elections.
He sees a belligerent nation that has forgotten its roots and is completely out of control.
Because He knew this was coming He inspired the Apostle Paul to write 2nd Timothy 3:1-7 over 2000 years ago: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
In God’s eyes are we better to Him or bitter toward Him?
– How long will God continue to bless America?
– Someone will say, “Well, we’re a religious country!”
RELIGION ISN’T THE ANSWER
Psalm 9:17 — The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
AMERICA HAS FORGOTTEN GOD!
Today we have more churches than ever. More corruption, hypocrisy in government and like I said, more churches than ever!
– Where’s God in all this?
We must have a National Revival if we hope to survive!
In our history, every time the Nation had strayed too far, God sent Revival to put us back on course.
A blog written by Patrick Morley, outlines the seasons of revival in this country.
The Great Awakening, 1734-43
The 2nd Great Awakening, 1800-1840
The Businessmen’s Revival, 1857-58
The Civil War Revival, 1861-65
The Urban Revivals, 1875-85
The Welsh Revival, 1904-06
The Azusa Street Revival, 1906
The Post-World War II Awakening
The Charismatic Renewal and Jesus Movement
The Mid-1990’s Revivals
There have been no signs of a Spiritual Awakening in our Nation in this century! The Nation has become more and more corrupt and a sure candidate for God’s Judgment to fall on us:
Psalm 9:17 — The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. AMERICA HAS FORGOTTEN GOD!
This modern generation has never experienced a revival so they don’t know what they’re missing or what to look for!
Christians need to pray for a God anointed, Heaven sent Revival!
2 Chronicles 7:14 — If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Each revival or awakening leaves its own heat signature; in 1740 youth led the way, in 1857 businessmen and prayer took center stage, and the 1906 Azusa Street Revival was decidedly interracial. Yet all share common themes. What are the most frequently mentioned characteristics of revivals and awakenings in literature?
Timing: Revivals emerge during time of spiritual and moral decline, which leads to intense prayer.
Prayer: God puts a longing into the hearts of many to pray for revival.
The Word: The preaching or reading of God’s Word brings deep conviction and desire for Christ.
The Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit takes people to a spiritual depth they could not achieve on their own.
Conviction: Affected sinners are inconsolable except in Christ.
Glory for God: God receives praise, honor, and glory for bringing revival.
Reformation and Renewal: Revival produces lasting fruit. New ministries are founded and society experiences a reform of morals as more and more people convert.
Manifestations: Manifestations like fainting, groaning prayer, and miracles vary by culture and denomination.
Messy: Revivals are messy-controversies swirl about miracles, abuses, excesses, suspicions, and theological disputes (to name a few).
Cyclical: Revivals inevitably crest and decline.
In Jesus’ day the world was a whole lot like ours.
– Governments and churches were corrupt — People were lost!
– John 14:6— “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life…”
Today our world’s so messed up that people joke about Christ’s Invitation.
– The many false rapture predictions haven’t helped……….
– But Jesus is the Way — He’s speaking to lost people.
Of all the religions in the world how do we know Jesus is the Way?
– When it comes to Eternal life, Confucius is dead, Mohammed is dead, only Jesus claimed and proved victory over sin, death, hell, and grave.
If you’ve lost direction or purpose then follow Jesus because He is the Way.
– Jesus is the Truth! — He’s speaking to educated people.
– The world teaches there are no absolutes. Jesus says there is.
There’s a big lie too many have swallowed: It doesn’t matter what you believe about God as long as you’re sincere and it helps you.
– Listen! Your belief doesn’t create truth.
Truth is true whether you believe it or not.
– What you must do is check out your belief and see that it’s the Truth.
Jesus is the Life—He’s speaking to Longing people:
– The bottom line is – people are looking for something worth living for. – I John 5:12 “He that hath the Son hath Life…”
Why are people lost?
– They haven’t come to the Way of Jesus
Why are people not finding Truth? – Why are people not living a real life? — Instead of just existing?
America’s the land where anyone can hear the Gospel.
– You’re greatly privileged.
– God’s watching what you do with all your privileges.
– What will you do with Jesus?
3. WHAT IS GOD GOING TO DO TO AMERICA?
Bible teaches that – God will Blame America.
History’s filled with the wreckage of nations that forgot God. – Romans 14:12“So then every one of us must give an account.”
When you stand before God and He asks you “Why should I let you into My Heaven?” How will you answer?
If we took a survey asking people on the street and in most churches, “How many plan to burn in hell forever?”
– No one with any sense is planning to burn in Hell forever.
– If I ask how many of you are born again for sure?
– Not all of you would raise your hands.
When are you planning on getting right with God? God says, 2 Corinthians 6:2— For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
Hebrews 2:3–How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; July 4, is when we celebrate our independence and freedom!
If you want to celebrate real freedom, give your life to Jesus!
John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
This is your day of liberation or a day you will be forever judged for rejecting Jesus Christ.
HAPPY FOURTH! REMEMBER, IT’S MORE THAN HOT DOGS, COKE OR PEPSI, AND APPLE PIE!
America’s 40th president, Ronald Reagan, spoke at the Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day in 1986. The speech reminds all us Americans to be thankful for the valor of others and how Memorial Day will always be a time to remember the “splendor or America” and never forget those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
President Ronald Reagan stated at a 1986 ceremony that Memorial Day is a day set aside to honor fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes would ever have to die for us again.
Former President Reagan’s remarks delivered at Arlington National Cemetery:
“It’s a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others. It’s a day to be with the family and remember.”
“Arlington, this place of so many memories, is a fitting place for some remembering. So many wonderful men and women rest here, men and women who led colorful, vivid and passionate lives. There are the greats of the military: Bull Halsey and the Admirals Leahy, father and son; Black Jack Pershing; and the GI’s general, Omar Bradley. Great men all, military men. But there are others here known for other things.”
“Here in Arlington rests a sharecropper’s son who became a hero to a lonely people. Joe Louis came from nowhere, but he knew how to fight. And he galvanized a nation in the days after Pearl Harbor when he put on the uniform of his country and said, “I know we’ll win because we’re on God’s side.” Audie Murphy is here, Audie Murphy of the wild, wild courage. For what else would you call it when a man bounds to the top of a disabled tank, stops an enemy advance, saves lives and rallies his men, and all of it single-handedly. When he radioed for artillery support and was asked how close the enemy was to his position, he said, “Wait a minute and I’ll let you speak to them.”
“Michael Smith is here, and Dick Scobee, both of the space shuttle Challenger. Their courage wasn’t wild, but thoughtful, the mature and measured courage of career professionals who took prudent risks for great reward — in their case, to advance the sum total of knowledge in the world. They’re only the latest to rest here; they join other great explorers with names like Grissom and Chaffee.”
“Oliver Wendell Holmes is here, the great jurist and fighter for the right. A poet searching for an image of true majesty could not rest until he seized on “Holmes dissenting in a sordid age.” Young Holmes served in the Civil War. He might have been thinking of the crosses and stars of Arlington when he wrote: ‘At the grave of a hero we end, not with sorrow at the inevitable loss, but with the contagion of his courage; and with a kind of desperate joy we go back to the fight.”
“All of these men were different, but they shared this in common: They loved America very much. There was nothing they wouldn’t do for her. And they loved with the sureness of the young. It’s hard not to think of the young in a place like this, for it’s the young who do the fighting and dying when a peace fails and a war begins. Not far from here is the statue of the three servicemen — the three fighting boys of Vietnam. It, too, has majesty and more. Perhaps you’ve seen it — three rough boys walking together, looking ahead with a steady gaze. There’s something wounded about them, a kind of resigned toughness. But there’s an unexpected tenderness, too. At first you don’t really notice, but then you see it. The three are touching each other, as if they’re supporting each other, helping each other on.”
“I know that many veterans of Vietnam will gather today, some of them perhaps by the wall. And they’re still helping each other on. They were quite a group, the boys of Vietnam — boys who fought a terrible and vicious war without enough support from home, boys who were dodging bullets while we debated the efficacy of the battle. It was often our poor who fought in that war; it was the unpampered boys of the working class who picked up the rifles and went on the march. They learned not to rely on us; they learned to rely on each other. And they were special in another way: They chose to be faithful. They chose to reject the fashionable skepticism of their time. They chose to believe and answer the call of duty. They had the wild, wild courage of youth. They seized certainty from the heart of an ambivalent age; they stood for something.”
“And we owe them something, those boys. We owe them first a promise: That just as they did not forget their missing comrades, neither, ever, will we. And there are other promises. We must always remember that peace is a fragile thing that needs constant vigilance. We owe them a promise to look at the world with a steady gaze and, perhaps, a resigned toughness, knowing that we have adversaries in the world and challenges and the only way to meet them and maintain the peace is by staying strong.”
“That, of course, is the lesson of this century, a lesson learned in the Sudetenland, in Poland, in Hungary, in Czechoslovakia, in Cambodia. If we really care about peace, we must stay strong. If we really care about peace, we must, through our strength, demonstrate our unwillingness to accept an ending of the peace. We must be strong enough to create peace where it does not exist and strong enough to protect it where it does. That’s the lesson of this century and, I think, of this day. And that’s all I wanted to say. The rest of my contribution is to leave this great place to its peace, a peace it has earned.”
“Thank all of you, and God bless you, and have a day full of memories.”
WATCH: President Reagan’s 1986 Memorial Day Speech below:
The purpose of this sermon is to motivate the hearers to affirm to others – while tears, pain, and death still exist – to set aside time to commemorate those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom in which all Americans enjoys.
U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris, Jr. West Fort Hood Chapel
Memorial Day Worship Service Killeen, TX
30 May 2010
Soldiers (and family members of military members) should set aside time to commemorate those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom in which all Americans enjoy daily.
All Theologians seem to in agreement that Revelation is the “Hardness Book in the Bible”; Note: I’m inclined to believe that Revelation is both literal and figuratively;
Revelation 22:3 (NIV) No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him; Proverbs 30:5b (KJV) weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning; Isaiah 65:17-25 (ESV); Romans 4:1-12 (NIV); Memorial Day in History (This Day in History Channel); Revelation 21:4-27 (NIV); Revelation 21:4 (NIV) He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away; Isaiah 65:17 (NIV) “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind; 2 Peter 1:12-14 (NIV) So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me; Hebrews 11:10 (NV); For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God; 2 Peter 3:10-13 (Peter’s reference to the New Heaven and New Earth); Genesis 1:1 (NIV) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth; Revelation 1:9-10 (NIV) I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet;
III. READ THE TEXT: Revelation 21:4 (ESV) He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
IV. PURPOSE: To motivate the hearers to affirm to others – while tears, pain, and death still exist – to set aside time to commemorate those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom in which all Americans enjoys.
V. SERMONIC THEME: “Freedom Isn’t Free”
Memory and recall is important.
It’s my opinion that it’s important for us all to remember and NOT to forget certain things.
Every married man knows that it’s important to remember and be able to recall his Wedding Date.
And, of course, every man knows the importance of remembering his wife’s birthday.
On the other hand, every wife should be reminded that “SHE CAN’T CHANGE HER HUSBAND”.
It’s important for every wife to never forget that HER HUSBAND will never be perfect!
Memory is important!
MOVE 1: Dictionary.com defines “memory” as the mental capacity … of retaining and reviving facts, events, impressions … or of recalling … and recognizing previous experiences.
a. As an American Soldier or family member serving at West Fort Hood and worshipping in the West Fort Hood Community Chapel, today, many of us are living witnesses
b. AND WE, ALSO, RECALL that there is a price, and a cost associated with the freedom that we – and our fellow Americans – around the world – enjoy.
c. **Therefore, Today, I stand here to remind everyone under the sounds of my voice that it’s important to remember that “Freedom Isn’t Free”!
d. The Apostle Peter says in 2 Peter 1:12-14 (NIV) and I quote: “So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.
e. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.”
f. Yes, my brothers and sisters, there is a price that is often paid for freedom!
g. This price that has to be paid … doesn’t arrive to us by way of our postal service or friendly mail carrier/mailman.
h. But, strangely enough this price has to be continuously paid in order for Americans to continue to enjoy freedom and liberty.
i. History reminds us, this morning, that the price has never been free; and it has always been paid by way of DEATH.
MOVE 2: PLEASE STAND & BOW YOUR HEADS, WITH ME, FOR
– A MOMENT OF SILENCE – IN HONOR OF THOSE THAT HAVE MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE …
a. From the Revolutionary War, – War of 1812, America Civil War, Spanish-American War, World-War 1, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan War, – through the wars currently happening simultaneously in Iraq and Afghanistan.
b. History reminds us that “FREEDOM ISN’T FREE”.
c. With no respect of gender, race or ethnic heritage – the price has always been death. “FREEDOM ISN’T FREE”.
d. Today, we – the West Fort Hood Community Chapel Congregation – commemorate those that have served, before us, and have paid the ultimate price.
e. Only 1 percent of Americans serve in our Armed Forces. Tomorrow, let us not forget that Memorial Day belongs to the fallen Soldier, the fallen Marine, the fallen Airman, and Sailor.
f. My fellow Soldiers, brothers and sisters, Memorial Day belong to those that have paid that ultimate price.
MOVE 3: We have all been witnesses by way of history books, history channels, or boots on the ground.
a. Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day.
b. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers … for the purpose of … decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country …
e. … During the first celebration of Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery…
f. … after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery.
MOVE 4: In 1966, the federal government, under the direction of President Lyndon Johnson, declared Waterloo, N.Y., the official birthplace of Memorial Day.
a. They chose Waterloo—which had first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—because the town had made Memorial Day an annual, community-wide event during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
b. By the late 1800s, many communities across the country had begun to celebrate Memorial Day and, after World War I, observances also began to honor those who had died in all of America’s wars.
c. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May.
d. In contrast – Veterans Day is a day we (Americans) also set aside to honor all veterans, living and dead, and it is celebrated each year on November 11.
e. On tomorrow – Monday, 31 May 2010 – Memorial Day will be celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery with a ceremony in which a small American flag will be placed on each grave.
MOVE 5: It is also … customary – on Memorial Day – for the president (or vice-president) to give a speech honoring the contributions of the dead and …
a. … lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It is estimated about 5,000 people attend the ceremony annually.
b. Many of whom will painfully share tears as they commemorate our fallen Soldiers.
c. Tears which will fall from their cheeks with salty memories of how each death must have affected the family members of those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
d. In Revelation 21:4 – The Bible reminds us all today … that although Memorial Day is very special …
e. and it’s a day that we should set aside to commemorate those that have gone before us …
f. There will come a time that believers will not always have the chance to remember …. Painful and TROUBLED TIMES …. Like Memorial Day …
MOVE 6: The very thought of memories will be obliterated by the many mercies of God.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) 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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
“Nothing Happened Today” — – Britain’s King George III wrote the day’s activities in his diary: “July 4, 1776–
Nothing happened today.” —Nothing happened?!!!!
America was born that day! King George.
– Her birth marked an epoch in history for the cause of human freedom.
For nearly 245 years (it will be on July 4), we’ve celebrated our independence — our right to do as we please in governing our own lives. What a wonderful country we live in — despite all its faults and failures.
– What wonderful freedoms the citizens of the USA have enjoyed and taken for granted!
One of these freedoms is FREEDOM OF RELIGION.
– We’ve been able to believe or worship anybody or anything we want — no one has told us differently until a year ago when the Government shut down the Churches because of Covid 19.
Thousands of people in our Armed Forces have paid the supreme sacrifice of dying to provide and maintain our Freedoms that we seem to take for granted!
Originally Memorial Day was a day set aside to remember the heavy price that’s been paid in blood and sacrifice for our freedoms.
What a shame that it’s been, for the most part, turned into a day of pic-nics, sports contests and frivolous activities.
Many thousands of Christians around the world have died for trying to worship God and we’ve just taken this right for granted each and every year.
– Yet in America — a country established for that very right — many won’t give God the time of day, much less their lives.
What happened that made millions now celebrate “Freedom from Religion” instead of the “Freedom of Religion?”
Many have tried and succeeded to get God kicked out of our schools, sporting events, public places and work places.
It’s not the Hindu gods or the Muslims’ Allah — it’s not the philosophy of reincarnation or the New Age, it’s not homosexuality or condom distribution they want out.
– It’s Jehovah God, it’s Jesus Christ.
– “Spiritualism” has taken the place of Christianity.
– Spiritualism puts self on the throne and religion in general.
– Christianity — the founding guide for America — is under attack.
Way back in April 1994, The Reader’s Digest carried an article by former Secretary of Education, William Bennett: “What Really Ails America”:
He said, “Today, much of society ridicules and mocks those who are serious about their faith.
– America’s only respectable form of bigotry is bigotry against religious people.
– And the only reason for hatred of religion is it forces us to confront matters many would prefer to ignore.
To a great extent our society has gotten what it wanted – A society without God.
– But what good has it done?”
Bennett continued, “Last year I compiled The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators, a statistical portrait of American behavioral trends of the past three decades. Among the findings: Since 1960, while the gross domestic product has nearly tripled, violent crime has increased at least 560 percent. Divorces have more than doubled. The percentage of children in single-parent homes has tripled. And by the end of the decade 40% of all American births and 80% of minority births will occur out of wedlock.” – These are not good things to get used to!
The United States leads the world in murder, rape and violent crime.
– At the same time, our elementary-school students rank at or near the bottom in tests of math and science skills.
– Since 1960, average SAT scores in our high schools have dropped 75 points.
In 1940, teachers identified the top problems in America’s schools as: talking out of turn, chewing gum, making noise and running in the hall.
– In 1990, teachers listed drugs, alcohol, pregnancy, suicide, rape and assault. – These aren’t good things to get used to, either. – We’ve become desensitized to the cultural rot that is setting in.
– People have lost their capacity for shock, disgust and outrage.
During the 1992 Los Angeles riots, Damian Williams was filmed crushing an innocent man’s skull with a brick, while Henry Watson held the victim down.
– When Williams finished, he did a victory dance.
– Lawyers for Watson and William’s built a legal defense on the premise that people can’t be held accountable for getting caught up in mob violence.
– One juror told the New York Times, “I guess they were in the wrong placeat the wrong time”
– When these men were acquitted on most counts, the cry wasn’t outrage, but relief. – This isn’t a good thing to get used to. What’s the answer?
Today we’re in a struggle for the country we love.
– We must push hard against an age that’s pushing hard against us.
All those statistics I sighted were from 1994! 27 years ago!
Things haven’t improved, in fact they’re much worse now!
Today we have riots in our major cities as “Black Lives Matter protest” take over cities and destroy lives and property. (Don’t misunderstand, know that black lives matter, but so do blue lives, brown lives, white lives–ALL LIVES MATTER AND ARE PRECIOUS TO JESUS AND ALL LIVES SHOULD BE TREATED WITH RESPECT!)
There’s a move on to defund the police and fire departments while crime and violence is running rampant. If that happens we “ain’t seen nothing yet!”
Our free elections have become a mockery!
Our money and economy are on the verge of collapse!
Too many people are pushing for a Marxist style government because they don’t understand what will happen if they get their way!
Today, there is so much confusion over sexual orientation. Somehow we’ve identified 57 different genders!
Someone wrote: “There are many different gender identities, including male, female, transgender, gender neutral, nonbinary, agender, pangender, genderqueer, two-spirit, third gender, and all, none or a combination of these.
Isn’t that stupid! God made 2 genders–male and female!
People need to stick with the gender they were born with and life will be better! If you don’t know your gender, your birth certificate can give you a hint.
You know, if America would finally have full employment and greater economic growth – if we have cities of gold and alabaster – but our children haven’t learned to walk in goodness, justice and mercy, then America, no matter how gilded, has failed. – Don’t surrender. Get mad. Get in the fight. Do something! I don’t like the language, but that 1976 movie where the actor said, (“I want you to get up, go your window, open it and say, I’M AS MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!)
I don’t suggest that, but he did have something in what he said, we need to get some righteous indignation and take a stand for Jesus Christ and Christians!
I can’t imagine how those who died on the battle field to insure our freedoms would feel if they could see our Nation today!
How can we turn our nation back to God? Can it even be done? Yes if we are willing to pay the price! – We can make a difference! — 2 Chronicles 7:14—“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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Let’s look at this promise:1. IF MY PEOPLE WHICH ARE CALLED BY MY NAME… .
– There can’t be “finger-pointing” when returning to God. He’s talking to us, HisChurch. Judgment always begins at the House of God.
2. WILL HUMBLE THEMSELVES AND PRAY AND SEEK MY FACE… – It’s good to be proud Americans as long as we still bow to God. – Prayer is never obsolete, outdated or too late.
3. .AND TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS… – We’re notorious for repenting but not turning. Look what happened after 9 11!
Churches filled, but there was no repentance!
– Repentance means to turn from sin–180 degrees. — Be sorry for our sins, Confess, not just because we got caught, but have real remorse about how we’ve hurt God. And then, really confess them to God, and quit sinning.
Do we love evil too much to turn from it?
4. THEN I (GOD) WILL HEAR FROM HEAVEN… – God’s waiting to hear from us. — He’s longing for America to return to
5. AND WILL FORGIVE THEIR SIN AND HEAL THEIR LAND… – God’s Forgiveness is available to all who will turn to God. – Healing awaits all who turn.
Can America return to God? If America wants to – YES! Do we want to?
God’s blessed our country.
It’s a blessing worth preserving through prayer and devotion to God inspite of those who want to tear our nation down.
– Unless we serve God we will live in bondage.
We have been so blessed to have the Freedom we enjoy, but it isn’t guaranteed to always be there! It takes commitment on our part to keep it. There’s a cycle we need to be aware of:
From Bondage to Spiritual Faith
From Spiritual Faith to Great Courage
From Great Courage to Liberty
From Liberty to Abundance
From Abundance to Complacency
From Complacency to Apathy
From Apathy to Governmental Dependence
From Governmental Dependency back to Bondage
WHERE ARE WE TODAY?
Christianity and patriotism have a lot in common. It’s significant that our patriotic hymn “My County, ’Tis of Thee”, was written by a Baptist preacher, Samuel Francis Smith.
The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by a Baptist minister, Francis Bellamy.
The words, “In God We Trust,” on our coins, are traced to Rev. W.R. Watkinson of Ridleyville, Pennsylvania.
– He wrote a letter of concern to the Honorable S.P. Chase, on November 13,1861.
Seven days later Mr. Chase wrote to James Pollock, Director of the U.S. Mint saying: “No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins. Will you cause a device to be prepared without delay with a motto expressing in the finest and tersest words possible, this national recognition.”
The “under God” added to pledge in 1954 while President Eisenhower was in Office.
The President of Princeton, Reverend John Witherspoon (Presbyterian) was the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence. – History books have nearly forgotten him and his far-reaching influence on democracy. FYI, We live in a Republic, not a Democracy like Nancy Palosi keeps saying.
– John Witherspoon personally taught several of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, nine of them were graduates of Princeton.
When he signed The Declaration of Independence, Witherspoon said: “There is a tide in the affairs of men, a spark. We perceive it now before us. To hesitate is to consent to our own slavery. That noble instrument upon the table, that insures immortality to its author, should be subscribed this very morning by every pen in this house. He that will not respond to its accents, and strain every nerve to carry into effect its provisions, is unworthy of the name of free man. For my own part, of property I have some; of reputation, more. That reputation is staked, that property is pledged on the issue of this contest; and although these gray hairs must soon descend into the sepulcher, I would infinitely rather they descend thither by the hand of the executioner than desert at this crisis the sacred cause of my country.”
There’s one other area we must look at if we want to save the USA.
– That’s how we’re treating Israel.
America is married to 2 ancient brothers. (Sons of Abraham: Ishmael and Isaac.)
– From Ishmael we want his oil.
– The 2nd one, Isaac, is because of guilt over how we turned away during the Holocaust while 6 million Jews were needlessly slaughtered.
God said in Genesis 12:3 —“I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
– God’s has blessed the USA because we’ve stood with Israel since May 14, 1948.
Our Covenant with the Arabs won’t change because we want oil.
Our Covenant with Israel won’t change so we find ourselves caught in the eye of the prophetic storm.
In 1991, the 1st President Bush initiated the Madrid Peace Process.
– This was designed to force Israel to exchange land for peace.
– Israel was to give the Arabs the West Bank, Golan Heights, Gaza, and Jerusalem in exchange for peace with the Arabs.
Please note, there are no Jews living in Gaza. The News Media tried to say the Jews had settled in Gaza and were refusing to leave. Untrue! Gaza is settled by the Palestinians and Hamas and other Gaza -based militant groups.
The problem with the Madrid Peace Package is God has promised the land to Israel in an everlasting Covenant and whoever divides this land will face Judgment and be destroyed by God.
– Zechariah and Joel are explicit about how God will judge the nations that attempt to divide His land.
In October, 1991, President Bush and Russian Premier, Mikhail Gorbachev sponsored the Madrid Land for Peace Conference. This was the beginning of many catastrophes.
– While they were conducting the Conference the Perfect Storm developed (11/1/1991) in the N.E. Atlantic sending crashing 30 foot waves into Bush’s Kennebunkport home in Maine.
On August 24, 1991, the Madrid Conference convened in Washington D.C.
– That same day Hurricane Andrew (largest up until then in U.S. history) pummeled Louisiana and Florida — devastating storm happened same time Israel’s land being discussed in D.C.
January 15, 1994, President Clinton and Syrian President Assad were in Geneva, Switzerland, calling upon Israel to leave the Golan Heights.
– Within 24 hours a major earthquake hit in the center of Northridge, California, producing the largest earthquake and 2nd largest disaster in U.S. History.
Many of us watched Israel leaving Gaza.
– August 24, 2005, the day the final Jews were evicted from Gaza and Northern Samaria, tropical depression 12 formed near the Bahamas.
– Within 24 hours it was Tropical Storm Katrina.
– Within 72 hours it was Hurricane Katrina hitting S.W. Florida.
– 72 hours later it hit Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama producing the largest disaster in this country’s history that dwarfed 9-11, Hurricane
Andrew, and the Northridge earthquake in size and intensity.
God has blest the United States, but He hasn’t forgotten His Promises to Israel.
Has America felt the wrath of God for the recent stance America’s taken in the Mid-East?
– Has God sent us a message through the uncanny natural disasters that coincide with key events? Is it all just a coincidence?
Obama, now Biden, has treated Israel with contempt!
President Trump treated Israel with respect and we prospered during his term.
– Biden has consistently attacked the Bible values of Christians, and Jews since taking office.
Enjoy your Memorial Day celebrations, but remember it’s more than just a National Play Day!
It’s a day when we remember those who paid the ultimate cost for the Freedom we enjoy and it’s a day when we should thank Almighty God for letting us live in this Blessed Land.
Remember also, GOD’S STILL IN CONTROL AND GOD’S WILL – WILL BE DONE!
Exclusive: Chuck Norris shares favorite story from his popular ‘Fact Book
This last year under COVID has been as suffocating for most as a continuous martial arts headlock. Government overreach has become in vogue, cloaked under the umbrella of virus restraint. Our liberties have been stifled like never before. And Americans’ losses have been astronomical through employment losses, business closures and a vast array of other personal loss, diseases of despair, etc. (If you haven’t, please read my previous column, “7 dire consequences and collateral damages from extended lockdowns.”)
The Harvard article states: “People who attended religious services at least once a week were significantly less likely to die from ‘deaths of despair,’ including deaths related to suicide, drug overdose, andalcohol poisoning, according to new research led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.” (Please underscore those three words: “significantly less likely.”)
Unfortunately, over the entire last year, most governors (like California’s Gov. Newsom) deemed religious gatherings as “non-essential.” They have had little if any regard for America’s constitutional Bill of Rights and are ignorant of the power of religion to help. In California’s case, it took the U.S. Supreme Court to spank Newsom by forcing him to allow churches to meet like other businesses.
All of our governing officials need to wake up, follow the Harvard science, and quit fueling diseases and deaths of despair. When they shut down churches and other centers of faith, they are literally closing spiritual hospitals. They are not just essential but lifesavers.
The truth is, especially as we walk into Holy Week around the world, faith is more essential than ever. The roles of faith and religion remain central to humanity’s success and society’s civility, as George Washington so eloquently conveyed in his Farewell Address. (We need more Washingtons in Washington!)
Based upon the preceding, Holy Week provided our country and the world with opportunities to infuse and empower our health in mind, body and spirit. Easter brings unique help and hope in its message to the darkest times, like the sun’s rays bursting through the stormiest clouds. Is there a better time for it than now?
I’m not a preacher nor do I pretend to be. Though we respect all religions and those who adhere to them, my wife, Gena, and I are Christians, and our faith is the primary anchor for our souls. It’s the one thing that offers us true peace, hope and a remedy against fear, especially through hard times.
This seems like an awkward time for humor, but even novice psychologists would tell us that “laughter is still the best medicine.” Humor won’t eradicate a virus, but it will encourage a downcast spirit. Even on the battlefields of war, levity can leverage greater joy and steadiness.
“Chuck Norris Facts” started over a decade ago and are still even being quoted and created today. For example, someone sent me this one a few months ago: “Chuck Norris contracted the coronavirus. Now the virus is in quarantine for 14 days!” That’s funny, and I’d be overjoyed to reduce the power of any virus anytime and anywhere. But the truth is, even humor is ill-equipped to bring relief when COVID cripples an elderly person or family.
So, let me quote from what I believe is the most inspirational story and my most favorite entry in my book. It’s the last one: No. 101, and it’s fitting to repeat for this Holy Week. I’m quoting it verbatim. You’ll see why.
#101 “Chuck Norris’s tears can cure cancer. It’s too bad he’s never cried.”
Let’s be honest …
If my tears could cure cancer, I would cry a million of them. Of course, that is only wishful thinking. But I do know of a substance that can cure the soul.
Mom raised my brothers and me in the Christian faith. We didn’t just attend church and Sunday school (which she taught, by the way); she also read to us from the Bible, prayed with us, and modeled a life of love. Nothing was forced down our throats – it was just lived out in front of us every day. I am who I am today because of my mom’s influence. [She’ll be 100 years young on May 4! Here’s her autobiography.]
I was twelve years old when I accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Savior and was baptized at Calvary Baptist Church, where our family attended. As a young man, I recommitted my life to Christ at a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles.
I’ve always maintained my faith throughout my martial arts, movie, and television careers, but there was also a time when I lost my way. As resilient as I thought I was, I swallowed the hook of the Hollywood lifestyle.
Mom continued to pray for me throughout those years, and I’m convinced that’s how and why God brought Gena into my life. She is a beacon of God’s light and love, just as my mom is. Gena brought me back to my childhood faith – in which compromise was unbecoming, transparency was a virtue, humility was required, and belief was daily practiced. We’ve always respected all religions and those who hold differing beliefs, but we are unashamed Christians.
On Easter Sunday 2009, I experienced another highlight in my spiritual life. I recommitted my life to Christ yet again, but this time with my household. Gena, our eight-year-old twins at the time, and I all recommitted our lives to Christ and were baptized together by our chaplain. What an absolute joy it was to watch my loved ones go into those sacred waters on our Texas ranch and to hear them affirm their belief and recommitment to follow Jesus.
Watching them, I thought about the place in the Bible where Paul and Silas were miraculously freed from a jail cell. The jailer was so moved by the event that he asked them, “What must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.” Then the jailer and all his family were baptized.
As our chaplain leaned me back and fully immersed me in the water, I thought about all I had been through in my life and all I still wanted my life to be. I felt renewed, refreshed, and cleansed, with the waters that are a symbol of Christ’s forgiving blood. As I came up with water flowing off my head and body, I prayed as my mom has prayed every day of her life: “For your glory, Lord. For your glory!”
Every Easter I reminisce about our baptisms. Every Easter is a powerful reminder of a day that changed history, and I’m not talking about the bunny. The physical Resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of the Christian religion and our personal faith. It reset the course of humanity and has indelibly changed the hearts and souls of billions, including Gena and me. It has also given us our hope for the afterlife and a time when this world will be finally set right with God as its only King.
Our friend, spiritual mentor and prolific Christian author, Randy Alcorn, who has recently deeply struggled with his beloved wife Nanci’s battle with cancer, explained it in an almost poetic and perfect way:
“Hope is the light at the end of life’s tunnel. It not only makes the tunnel endurable, it fills the heart with anticipation of the world into which we will one day emerge. Not just a better world, but a new and perfect world. A world alive, fresh, beautiful, devoid of pain and suffering and war, a world without disease, without accident, without tragedy. A world without dictators and madmen. A world ruled by the only one worthy of ruling.”(Bold mine.)
Now, that’s great Easter news and chicken soup for every soul!
Coming out of the recent pandemic that saw a near complete shutdown of our society along with critical shortages of many essential items, I am struck by the things we now seem to have an abundance of.
Anger comes to mind as something we have in abundance. And hatred, let’s not forget the overflow of hatred in America. Oh, and I don’t want to forget one other thing we have in great abundance today; finger pointing. Can’t forget that now, can I?
Almost beyond belief, it would seem that the cataclysmic virus that had doomed us all to certain death really wasn’t the apocalyptic event prophesied by the media after all. How could it be, when hundreds of thousands are marching side by side not wearing a mask? Imagine that would you?
Things were so bad that we were strictly forbidden to go to church for fear of spreading this death defying virus, yet somehow or another congregating in crowds of tens of thousands doesn’t pose any health risks at all.
I mean, who knew?
Honestly, I’m thinking the wrong crowds are filling the streets of America. I’m thinking we awful, disease spreading, unenlightened Christians ought to be the ones pouring out into the streets of America to protest the theft of our Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of worship. 
Speaking of pouring out into the streets, I have lived on this earth for just over 65 years, and in that time I have seen many instances where people took to the streets out of frustration and anger over issues beyond their control.
I was just a boy of eight years of age when Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963.
I was thirteen when the infamous “Chicago Seven” were arrested for their anti war activities during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.
Just two years later when I was a 15 year old, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a crowd of Vietnam War protestors, killing four and wounding nine. Living just a couple of hours from Kent State University, it seemed like it was in my backyard.
Since those tumultuous times of decades past, there have been several other noteworthy examples of citizens taking to the streets to protest for one reason or another. Abortion, LBGTQ, Environment, Guns, Women’s rights, Anti-war, and the Million man and Million woman marches have all made their mark on the fabric of American society.
Today, as our nation once again seethes with anger in the wake of the brutal, heinous murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, millions are again taking to the streets in a show of indignation and defiance of the status quo.
Of course, the violence that has erupted during the peaceful marches is the result of a well planned and well funded attempt to destroy the fabric of American society from within. There is only one word that most aptly describes what is being played out before our eyes: EVIL.
We can dress it up any way we like to, but it’s still EVIL. We can call it racism or bigotry or any number of other names, but it’s still EVIL. And this is what those marching and protesting in the streets do not understand. This is NOT an issue of race. It is an issue of EVIL. Even those violent criminals that have been unleashed upon our society are completely misguided. The issue here is not one group hating another. It goes much, much deeper than that.
What we’re dealing with here is of the spiritual nature. Don’t believe that? Read what the Apostle Paul had to say about the subject of EVIL.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (emphasis mine)
Did you understand what Paul meant? Our battle, your battle, is not with mankind. It is NOT with your neighbor who is of a different skin color than yours. It is NOT with those whose belief system differs from your own. No, the battle is against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
In other words, the battle is against the spiritual forces of darkness that exist in high places. Who is leading the charge of these forces of darkness at play in our society? Why, it’s none other than Satan himself. That’s right, and every person storming the streets today is being played by the devil. Not a popular sentiment, is it?
Why do you suppose racism still exists at the level it does today? Why haven’t supposedly educated, enlightened individuals been able to come up with a permanent cure for racism? The answer is so simple that its almost too simple. The reason racism still exists at its current level is because the cure for racism is the love of God, and the world has largely rejected the Source of this love.
It’s like the old adage about taking a knife into a gunfight. You can be the very best at using a knife, but against a gun you have virtually zero chance of success against your adversary. Fighting systemic racism by protests, even violent protests does nothing to address the root of the problem! To be sure, these marches have gotten the attention of the entire world. They have no doubt spawned new discussions (or soon will) on how best to deal with the problem.
But not one thing is being done to address the root of the problem: we have forsaken God.
And that, dear readers, is not something that can be corrected by marching down Main Street USA. It can only be corrected at an altar.
Have a blessed day,
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? Psalm 2:1
I remember reading an article about a man who avoided the beach in the summer after admitting his addiction to pornography to his wife. He concluded that being around people who were barely covered often triggered his compulsion. Other cases involved a man who stopped visiting certain sections at a local video store and a woman who stopped reading romance novels. Both concluded that viewing this material was stimulating lust. What about the gym and the yoga pants trend? Enough said!
How bad do you want freedom? Although these examples may seem extreme, to counter lust as believers we must avoid places, people, or things that stimulate that desire. I find it ironic that most of the Christian books that were written over a hundred years ago have a strong emphasis on holiness and obedience, but today we find these words offensive. We want New Testament power but not New Testament holiness. For example, J.C. Ryle (1816–1900) in his book on holiness said that we must stand guard as a soldier on enemy ground. The problem is that many love the world and have a hard time separating. They believe in heaven, but they don’t truly long for it. They “say” that they fear God, but they don’t live like it. They indulge temptation rather than fight it. They enjoy sin rather than confront it. And they compromise rather than conquer.
The lukewarm church disdains the heat of conviction. Holiness, to them, is outdated, old-fashioned, and too conservative, but holiness is clearly biblical and always linked to freedom from sin. Most people want to coddle their sin rather than crucify it. Again, how badly do you want freedom? An extreme attack requires an extreme defense.
Proverbs 5:3 reminds us that “the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil.” Sin is always enticing: it fascinates before it assassinates! But be encouraged: being tempted isn’t sin—surrendering to it is. Temptation is also an opportunity to do what is right by turning from it. First Corinthians 10:13 states, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” The door of temptation swings both ways—you can enter or exit. If you choose to enter, once inside, you may not see the exit sign so clearly again.
To hit SIN right between the eyes, we need to “go back to the old paths” (Jeremiah 6:16)—the old paths of holiness and a deep hunger for righteousness. Accountability is great, and software protecting your phone or computer is important, but nothing compares to keeping your eyes on Christ and obeying Him. This forward motion leads to the filling of the Spirit. You can’t be filled with sin and the Spirit at the same time. One or the other will prevail depending on whether you feed your flesh or starve it.
The context of Jeremiah’s words is very relevant for us today. God said, “When I had fed them to the full, then they committed adultery and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses. They were like well-fed lusty stallions; every one neighed after his neighbor’s wife” (Jeremiah 5:7–8). Since we crave more of what we feed, consider fasting to silence the voice of the flesh. Gordon Cove reminds us in his book, Revival Now through Prayer and Fasting, that “fasting arrests the appetite of sex because food feeds all desires and appetites of the flesh and fasting starves them. A luxurious diet and habitual overfeeding produce an unbalanced animalism” (Schmul, 1988). A free download of my book, Feasting and Fasting, is available here for those needing additional support.
Conviction is a gift from God; use it to return to the old paths. We also must stop making excuses and see the death in sin. America’s porn epidemic will continue to pervert, with the ultimate goal of destroying. Men, stop the silly video games, get off Facebook, kill your porn habit, and tell your ungodly friends to hit the road. You’re called to lead, love, and die if necessary for your family. We are the reason the nation is deteriorating. We are the reason the family is breaking down. We must stop blaming everyone and everything, from God to the government, and face the truth that we are the stench in the nostrils of a righteous, holy, pure God.
I can hear it now: “Shane, you’re being too hard on the guys.” If that’s your thinking, wake up! Life is a battleground, not a playground. In the 1970s, Ted Bundy was one of America’s most brutal serial killers and rapists, who was put to death by electrocution on January 24, 1989. He said, “I’ve lived in prison a long time now. I’ve met a lot of men who were motivated to commit violence just like me. And without exception, every one of them was deeply involved in pornography. Without question, without exception, deeply influenced and consumed by addiction to pornography.”
And Ariel Castro, who was exposed in 2013 for kidnapping three women and holding them prisoner for ten years, admitted that a deep addiction to pornography fed his perversion. He eventually committed suicide in prison. His idol promised pleasure but brought death and destruction. But don’t let discouragement and failure stand in your way. Follow the apostle Paul’s advice, “Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead” (Philippians 3:13). Forget your past mistakes, but remember the lessons learned because of them, and fully surrender your life to Christ. He is our only hope.Additional support: Both these videos will offer hope and freedom for those who struggle with pornography.