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Memorial Day 29May04 : Hear the Audio Format mp3 as you read.
Scripture: Ex 13:9
Location: TBC AM
People to Thank: Pastor Prigge and Pastor Harper
TRANS: Tomorrow is Memorial Day in America. Memorial Day was originally instituted after the Civil War to honor those who died in that war. More than 620,000 people died during that war.
Other wars have been fought that have insure our national liberty. There are 106,957 US military personnel interred in 22 US military cemeteries in Europe (there are four other US military cemeteries overseas: Manila, The Philippines; Carthage, Tunisia; Mexico City and Panama City).
Memorial Day is a day in America that we remember those who have fought and died that we might have the freedom that we enjoy.
Amazingly, freedom is not normal, it is not the direction of political gravity. Those countries that have a democratic government today are largely the result of American war efforts and influence. The countries of Europe that despise us, would not have freedom today if it were not for our country fighting two World Wars and then holding the Communist Russians at bay.
Would the Chinese have had any scruples of attacking and claiming Taiwan, the Philippines, even Japan and Korea if it were not for the influence of America in the world?
The one democratic country in the Middle East Israel, would not exist if it were not for American influence in its founding and American influence enabling its existence.
What countries were genuinely democratic and free before 1776? There were some Greek city states. The Roman empire at points had somewhat of a representative government. But by and large it was not until after the Revolutionary War in America and the writing of the US constitution and the establishing of a truly democratic or representative government in America, that freedom began to take root other places.
By from the early 1800's to 1920, 29 free countries came into existence largely from the example of the United States.
However by 1942 that number had been reduced to 12. After WWII the number again increased to about 36 then went backward to about 30. With the fall of Communism, the number has increased to about 60. It does not take a much observation to realize that much of this increase would not have occurred if it were not for the power and influence of the United States in the World.
Looking at this entire movement somewhat more particularly, can you see the dramatic impact that the pilgrims made in the world?
The Mayflower Compact written in 1620 was the seed bed that led ultimately to the US Constitution. In 1639 the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut were adopted. It was the first time in history that a government had been formed from a written constitution.
That document advances and moves toward the freedoms that we enjoy in the US Con[stitution].
Do you realize that all of these documents came from the heart of men who were steeped in Biblical truth that recognized the sovereignty of God and the dignity of the individual that had been created in the image of God?
Mayflower Compact begins: In the name of God, Amen. After acknowledging King James continues. having undertaken for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and the honor of our King and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do. . . solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God and one another, covenant [pledge] and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic.
The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut begin with the following: For as much as it hath pleased Almighty God by the wise disposition of his divine providence so to order and dispose of things that we the Inhabitants and Residents of Windsor, Hartford and Wethersfield are now cohabiting and dwelling in and upon the River of Connectecotte and the lands thereunto adjoining; and well knowing where a people are gathered together the word of God requires that to maintain the peace and union of such a people there should be an orderly and decent Government established according to God, to order and dispose of the affairs of the people at all seasons as occasion shall require; do therefore associate and conjoin ourselves to be as one Public State or Commonwealth.
Think of the significance of a man like Thomas Hooker, the founder of Connecticut whose statue stands in the center of Hartford almost 400 years later with a Bible in his hand as a testimony of Gods working in the founding of this state and of this nation.
Listen to this historical account:
Nowhere in this great document is there a reference to "our dread Sovereign" or "our gracious Lord the King," nor to any government or power outside of Connecticut itself. It did not even limit the vote to members of Puritan congregations. In all history this is the first written constitution which created a government, and it is easily seen to be the prototype of our Federal Constitution, adopted exactly one hundred and fifty years later.
When you think that at this time there were no free nations in the world. The influence of William Bradford the writer of the Mayflower Compact, the influence of the early puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and of Thomas Hooker on the progress of freedom in this country, you begin to realize how these few men, who were totally committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ have changed the modern world.
It is easy to see that mankind has a sin nature as the Bible clear describes "in me, that is in my flesh there dwells no good thing", Ep 2:3 is very clear, by nature the children of wrath... Ro 8:7 reveals the simple truth, the carnal mind is enmity against God...
Just as the normal choice of every individual man apart from God is away from God, is downhill, tends toward corruption and depravity and filth. The same exact thing is true for the nations of this world.
Left to themselves without strong Biblical influences or the influence of a country like America that was founded clearly upon Biblical principles, the natural tendency will be away from freedom and democracy. Just as the number of free nations decreased from 29 to 12 before WWII, so the same thing will happen in our world.
If we were to carefully look at the Bible, we would see that the world will move progressively toward a one world government that has ultimately 1 supreme dictator that will control as much as possible the movements and the transactions of every person he can control.
Freedom is a concept that flows from the Bible and is an concept for which Bible believing people and those influenced by biblical concepts are willing to lay down their life to maintain.
BI: God desires His people be free.
The Bible uses the term liberty about 26 times
There are many in America who do not understand or care about the concept of liberty. There are more who fail to understand the connection between God, the Spirit of God and liberty. The pledge of allegiance says, I pledge allegiance to the flag...with liberty and justice for all.
It is this desire for freedom and the fear of servitude that has caused hundreds of thousands of American men and women to lay down their lives and soak the ground of foreign soil with blood to maintain our freedoms and enables others to have opportunity for the same.
It is this spirit that we hear in the words of Patrick Henry, In 1763, arguing the famed Parson's Cause in Hanover County, Patrick Henry proclaimed that a king who would veto a good and necessary law made by a locally elected representative body was not a father to his people but "a tyrant who forfeits the allegiance of his subjects."
In March 1775, Patrick Henry urged his fellow Virginians to arm in self-defense, closing his appeal with the immortal words: "I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death."
Henry was greatly influenced by The Rev. Samuel Davies, the leader of "The Great Awakening" in Virginia, who established several churches in Virginia in the 1740's and later was the fourth president of Princeton University".
The truth is that where the Bible has free reign in the hearts of men, it counteracts the direction of the sin nature and of the natural normal degradation of society and of nations.
The more the Bible is proclaimed and believed in the land, the greater the freedom those people will experience and desire. Where the Spirit...
2. The simple truth is that, "where the Spirit of the Lord is not, there is not the overwhelming desire for liberty."
As a practical application if we were to take this truth as a principle and use it to evaluate various types of governments and various types of religions in the world we may be able to at least discern, where the Spirit of the Lord is not.
a. Take the religion of Islam for a simple example. Where that religion is adopted by the majority of the people of a country, does it bring a burning desire for liberty, for freedom? Do you see those nations on their own throwing off despot dictators? Do you see those nations promoting free elections, freedom of conscience? Even freedom of religion?
No sadly, they are so far from God and from the Spirit of the Lord, they are unable to see the opportunity when it is being handed to them on a silver platter. Why? Islam is not from God but is a satanic counterfeit that does not set people free, but brings people into bondage.
When you have free people, you have people with a desire to improve their lot in life. Though money and possessions are not the goal, free countries have people who have the desire to improve, to do better. The scripture is filled with promises like, if you will meditate on Gods word day and night, you will prosper in whatsoever you do...
Colonial American quickly prospered in the face of many hardships. The pulpits were filled with powerful messages on the fear of God, on diligence, on honesty, morality, integrity. The nation prospered.
b. Lets look at the fruit of Roman Catholicism. There were many countries that were totally RC before 1800. How many of those were free nations? How many of those were filled with people with a desire for representative self government? How many RC nations are filled with a desire to succeed for the glory of God?
3. These truths have Practical Personal Applications:
a. How does this apply to you and me? It certainly has a civic application. As believers we are to be salt and light. We ought to at least vote for people who are not promoters of socialism, of bigger and bigger government, who want to rule our lives.
b. Secondly, it applies personally in the spiritual realm to every human being. Satan is a powerful foe to strength, freedom, liberty and prosperity.
Believing error will bring you the greatest bondage of all the bondage of eternal damnation in hell.
That is total complete bondage
Satan causes people to forget.
We see that happening in America. We have forgotten the price of our liberty.
We see that happening as believers. We forget the pit from which God saved us and are like dogs that return to their vomit.
It is good to review Good to have Memorial Days in America. Good to have Memorial Days in our Church.
Good to have Memorial Days in our personal lives.
Good to thank others for the influence they have had to help us escape the chains of sin and find the liberty of Christ.
Jesus Christ brings true freedom through personal salvation.
When you get saved, you get the Spirit of Christ as part of the deal. Ro8:9 says, if any man...
When you trust Christ you are set free from the chains and skeletons of the old life 2Co 5:17
Jesus Christ sets you free as a believer from the chains of sinful habits.
Jesus Christ sets us free from the bondage of legalistic religion and from the bondage of sin at the same time.
It is a balance.
Some do not grasp it and err on one side or the other.
Standards of personal holiness can become rules that hold in bondage if those standards are being maintained for self promotion or for depreciation of others or even if we think of those rules as a mark of spirituality.
The proper motive for choosing modest or feminine dress, or if a man masculine and modest clothing: is because we believe that such is Gods will for our lives as indicated by the Bible.
It is said that vigilance is the price of liberty. I would contend that remembering is part of vigilance.
God desires His people be free. Are you free?