This booklet is written for the edification of the few American citizens who are truly concerned about the tragic condition of our nation.It is written for those who are still able to think for themselves and who do so regularly.It is written for those who understand that our nation is being undermined and that we are being robbed of the blessed liberties for which our forefathers lived, sacrificed, fought and died.It is written to enlighten those who find nothing but darkness in the future being left to us by the self-serving liberal establishment.This booklet is written to encourage those who feel so small and insignificant in a nation that is so often ruled by greed, rather than common sense and morality.Finally, it is written to equip those who really want to contribute something to this great battle and make a difference.
The British statesman, Edmund Burke, once said, AAll that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.@In the final analysis there will only be two kinds of people: those who helped to save America and those who didn’t.Many people like to think of themselves as being in a neutral position, but this is only a profession, not a reality.No one can drive a car in neutral.Friend, you are either helping this nation go back to the old paths which our forefathers trod (Jer. ), or you are helping to drive us over the deadly cliff ahead.Jesus said,AHe that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.@ (Mat. 12:30) In the war between good and evil, there is no middle ground.If you aren=t helping, then you are hurting.If you aren=t promoting righteousness, truth and freedom in America, then you are promoting wickedness and bondage.Most Americans have sat idle and enjoyed life while Satan has hacked away at the foundation pillars of our country.Much ground has been given to the enemy while ignoring the clarion call of the true patriots who have been sounding their alarm for decades.While our country has slept, the enemy has sown his tares among our wheat (Mat. ).Those tares have been allowed to grow for decades and are now filling many high offices in our land.The free America that we’ve known and loved is being transformed into a socialistic monster.
It might be too late to make any significant difference, but, as Amos preached during Israel’s trying times, we should “Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious . . .”(Amos )
This booklet is simply a collection of quotes, documents, articles, sermons, and other writings that will hopefully make us want what we had more than that which we have and that which is rapidly approaching.
God=s Purpose for America
Most Americans have probably never given a thought to the question of our nation=s purpose, yet this is the key to understanding why she is in such a sad condition today.Those who are fighting for our freedom without knowing our purpose are fighting a losing battle.This explains why the conservative movement in America, though gaining some ground, has not solved our problems or reversed our direction. A problem cannot be solved until it is identified, and the authors and spokesmen in the conservative movement have not and will not deal with the real issue.
What is the real issue?Like it or not, the real issue is God.That=s right, God.For far too long the American people have lived as though the Bible were a fairy tale book not to be taken seriously.God, His Book, and His people have been shoved into the religious category while mainstream society marches full speed ahead as if they really had a chance for success.Unfortunately, for such people, God isn=t just a God of religion.God is the Supreme Commander of the universe.
God is ever monitoring the affairs of all men, religious or otherwise: AThe eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.@ (Pro. 15:3) No one rises or falls without His hand: AFor promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.@ (Psa. 75:6-7)
The same is true of NATIONS: AHe increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them: he enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again.@ (Job )Nations seem so large and powerful to the human mind, yet they are very small things in the sight of Almighty God: AAll nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.@(Isa. 40:17) God isn=t impressed with any nation=s military strength or financial wealth.God looks upon the hearts of men, and He sees only two kinds of people, the righteous and the wicked.Consequently, God only sees righteous nations and wicked nations.
President Reagan was certainly correct in referring to the Soviet Union as an Aevil empire,@ but by God=s standard all nations are evil when they do that which is right in their own eyes rather than that which God has commanded.Does it really make sense for us to label other nations as Aevil@ when we have taken prayer and God=s Ten Commandments from our public schools?How can we point fingers at any other nation when we murder over 4,000 unborn babies every day?Who are we to play the role of Aworld police@ when our own nation=s capital has one of the highest crime rates in the world?The very sins for which God once destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah are now being legalized in our state legislatures!Yet we press forward in a passive state of mind, practically sleepwalking into self-destruction.ACan the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of people that these liberties are the gift of God; and that they are not to be violated but with his wrath?Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.@Those aren=t the words of a preacher.Thomas Jefferson said that in 1781 in his Notes on the State of Virginia.
God is not dead, and God is not asleep.Nations which fear God prosper, and nations which forget God suffer destruction.The record of history makes this clear over and over again, and God=s sacred word makes it clear: AFor the kingdom is the LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations.@ (Psa. 22:8)AO let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.@ (Psa. 67:4) ADefile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you.@(Lev. 18:24) God is a Judge of nations, and Jefferson was so right in his stern warning about His justice not sleeping forever.America sits today in the valley of decision.Our only hope is to repent of our sins and return to our purpose.
If we should take a serious look at history, it wouldn=t be a hard task to discover why God allowed America to rise in the first place.There was clearly a purpose in the mind of God. When our forefathers set their sights on the new world it was for a reason.God knew their reason and he miraculously directed their pilgrim path in order to grant their requests.Reader, do you know the reason?Do you know why our pilgrim fathers boarded the Mayflower, parted with loved ones, and sacrificed their all to reach a new land? Most Americans don=t have a clue, and this is why our country is in such a sad state today.
Our pilgrim fathers knew why they left the old world, and they knew why they needed a new home.They had a purpose in coming here, and God had a purpose in bringing them here.Until our nation rediscovers its purpose its future will be hopeless. Unlike the European explorers, the pilgrims didn=t come here for gold and wealth.Had they done so, God=s blessings would have bypassed our nation just like most others.The first reason given in the Mayflower Compact for the pilgrim fathers coming here was Afor ye glorie of God, and advancemente of ye Christian faith@ (Old English spelling).Make no mistake about it: it has always been God=s plan to use America to carry the gospel to the world.It was none other than John Adams who said, “The destiny of America is to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ to all men everywhere.@
In 1892, the United States Supreme Court made the following ruling: AOur laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind.It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian.@(Church of the Holy Trinity vs. the United States)
Before coming to the new world, our pilgrim fathers proclaimed in their petition to the Virginia Company that Ait is not with us as with other men.@They wereunlike other men, and we, as a nation, are unlike other nations.We have a special calling of God.Our fathers confessed it, and our history confirms it.America has done more good work in the name of Jesus Christ than any country in world history. We=ve published more Bibles and gospel literature than any nation.We’ve built more churches and sent out more missionaries.We’ve reaped further blessings for being a friend to the Jewish people and to the nation of Israel since its birth in 1948.Because of our obedience in these all important responsibilities, God has allowed us to lead the way in other areas such as agriculture, medicine, technology, industry, education, economics and, of course, military might.
The inspired words of Deuteronomy 28:13 have become a reality for our own country:AAnd the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them.”However, like Israel of old, our prosperity is conditional upon our obedience to God.We=ve become the head of all nations, but we can also become the tail if we lose our vision and forget our purpose.We must repent and Ado the first works@ or God will surely remove His glorious candlestick from our midst (Rev. 2:5).We have a purpose under God.Unless we fulfill that purpose by promoting righteousness at home and abroad we are useless to God, and His blessings will cease.ARighteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.@ (Pro. 14:34)
Of America’s Freedom
“Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”(Luke 6:47-49)
In this passage of Scripture the Lord Jesus Christ illustrates hearing and obeying His words as laying a firm foundation for a house.Our country was built upon a firm foundation because it was built upon Biblical principles.This is not to say that all of our founding fathers were Christians, but they certainly did respect and promote Christianity.This truth is evident to anyone who has taken the time to read their writings.It was none other than Benjamin Franklin who quoted Psalm 127:1 to President Washington in his letter requesting a National Day of Prayer: "In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine Protection.Our prayers, Sir, were heard -- and they were graciously answered.All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. . . .And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend?Or do we imagine we no longer need its assistance?I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men.And if a sparrow can not fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have also been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that 'except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it.' (Psalm 127:1)I firmly believe this, and I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel . . ."
In President Washington’s inaugural address to both houses of Congress, on April 30, 1789, he said, “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States.Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency . . .”
Good foundation stones were laid, and this is the only reason America has enjoyed such greatness, but let us take heed to the warning of the psalmist: “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psa. 11:3)
Satan and his massive forces have so damaged the foundations of our country that they are no longer recognizable to the average citizen.Our country has forgotten God and taken credit for the very blessings that He has bestowed upon us! Abraham Lincoln, in 1863,warned us of this in his Proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer: “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven.We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity.We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown.But we have forgotten God.We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
The Foundation of the Bible
The Bible is one of our foundation stones.George Washington said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”Thomas Jefferson said, “I have always said, I always say, that the studius perusal of the sacred volume will make better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands.”How can we expect God’s continued blessings upon our nation when we live as though the Bible had never been written?Can you name any nation in history which has matched America’s greatness without honoring God’s word?No, you can’t.True success comes only to those who take God’s word seriously: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Jsh. 1:8) There was a time when Americans, in general,were a Bible reading people, but those days are gone.Most “Christians” today have never read God’s word through even once.God’s holy words have been cast aside and looked upon as “archaic” and “unscientific” while men press forward with their own opinions and philosophies.We must re-discover the importance of God’s word in our lives or we will not continue to enjoy our prosperity.
The Foundation of Good Education
Education also played an important role in the early days of America, but it bore no resemblance to the educational system that we know today. The educational system which was once based on the Bible has become one of the greatest enemies of the Bible!The very first public school in America was established by the Puritans of Boston in the year 1647.They placed the word of God at the center of the curriculum because they believed it is “one chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures.”
Eighty-eight percent of the first one hundred universities in America were organized to promote the gospel of Jesus Christ.John Witherspoon, Princeton’s first president, said, “Cursed be all learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ.”Harvard’s Rules and Precepts in 1646 required that “Everyone shall consider the main end of his life and study to know God and Jesus Christ which is Eternal Life.”Fifty-two percent of Harvard’s seventeenth century graduates became ministers.
Today we spend more money on education than at any time in our history, yet our schools continue to be plagued with low test scores, violence and gross immorality.We throw out prayer and the Ten Commandments and teach our students Darwin’s theory of evolution, and then we can’t understand why they act like animals!Professor George Reisman of PepperdineUniversity said, “This is no longer an educational system.Its character has been completely transformed, and it now clearly reveals itself to be what for many decades it has been in the process of becoming: namely an agency working for the barbarization of youth.”
What will your Government do about it?They will raise your taxes and establish more useless programs. If America doesn’t re-discover the very purpose for education in our land,the entire system will crumble.
Nearly five hundred years ago the protestant reformer Martin Luther penned some very prophetic words regarding education.Luther said, “I am much afraid that the universities will prove to be the gates of Hell, unless they diligently labour to explain the Holy Scriptures and engrave them upon the hearts of youth.I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount.Every institution where men are not unceasingly occupied with the word of God must become corrupt."
The Foundation of the Family
Another American foundation is that of the family.In the Bible, the family is the first human institution of God.Before God speaks of government and religion He establishes a family with a man as the head. (Gen. 2-3) In the New Testament we read, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. . . . Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. 5:22-23; 6:1-4)
Early Americans understood and practiced this divine order, and they reaped the blessings of God.Men understood that it was their duty to work and provide for their families.Wives and mothers understood that their first obligation was to their husbands and children, and pursuing a “career” was simply out of the question.(Tit. 2:5; Pro. 7:10-11) Strong families could only be built with a loving father and mother doing their God-given duty instead of chasing their selfish dreams.Good parents produced good families, and good families produced a good strong nation. Yet, those days are gone.The average family today is so divided by pursuing material wealth, education, sports, recreation and entertainment that they hardly even resemble a family.Since 1920, the divorce rate has gone from less than fifteen percent (one out of seven) to over fifty percent.This combined with liberal education and the glamorization of sin by the movie and music industries has wrecked our families and produced an entire generation of brain-dead, programmed, robots.Our nation wasn’t built this way, and it cannot continue this way. If God’s principles are not reinstalled in our homes, then we will soon meet a tragic end.“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Pro. 22:6)
The Foundation of Morality
The foundation of morality is also under attack.We have reached a place in our society where there are no absolutes.Everything has become relative, and people live comfortably in sin.Preachers have ceased to preach against sin, and, as in the book of Judges, everyone is doing that which is right in their own eyes. (Jud. 17:6)Righteousness has become a forgotten idea while self indulgence has become the rule of the day.
It was Immanuel Kant, the eighteenth century German philosopher, who said, “It is God’s will, not merely that we should be happy, but that we should make ourselves happy.This is true morality.” Unscriptural philosophies such as thisare the inventions of men, not the words of God, yet our institutions of higher learning have embraced the perverse philosophies of men while ignoring the Bible.Consequently, moral relativism has replaced the Bible. (If it feels good, do it; what’s right for you may not be right for me; no one has a right to judge others; we need values clarification; just be yourself; find yourself; you only live once; a little bit doesn’t hurt; everybody else does it; we know when to quit; it all depends on how you look at it, etc.)
Friend, our great nation wasn’t built by immoral philosophers and professors.It was built by men and women of absolute conviction.Had our pilgrim fathers subscribed to modern philosophies, they would have trashed their God and Bible and never boarded the Mayflower.But they were “not as other men.”They had strong convictions and they weren’t afraid to stand and fight for them.Our nation must renew its vision of morality by giving God and the Bible the preeminent place. God hasn’t died and God hasn’t changed.The Ten Commandments are still commandments, not suggestions for our consideration.The Bible is still God’s absolute final authority for all men, and we will all be held accountable to its words: “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”(John 12:48)“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”(Isa. 8:20).This may be a “narrow-minded” view, but it’s the right view and the only view which pleases God.
The Foundation of Good Government
A few words also need to be given about our foundation of good Government.When President Washington took office, he refused financial compensation.It was not his desire to be President.The people of this nation wanted Washington in office because they knew from his previous wars that he was a natural leader of great faith and courage.Money and power were not his motives as they are with most politicians today.The Bible says in I Timothy 6:10 that "the love of money is the root of all evil."Psalm 62:11 tells us that "power belongeth to God." Powerdoesn't belong to man.A politician who is seeking money and/or power will only harm his nation.A man's motive for holding a public office should be to benefit his country, not to benefit himself, his political party, or any special interest.
John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”Kennedy is idolized by many today, but statements such as this would turn a great many voters against him if he were alive and running for office.Most American voters aren’t interested in doing anything for their country; they’re voting for politicians who promise to do things for them. In doing so, we are empowering Government and gradually replacing our Republic with a dictatorship.
When Ben Franklin exited the Constitutional Convention, a concerned citizen asked the question, “What have you wrought?”Franklin’s insightful reply was, “… a Republic, if you can keep it.”Well, we haven’t kept it.
We once had a simple and good Government which stayed out of our lives and protected our liberties.Now we have a monstrous Government that ever seeks to make us more dependent through socialistic policies.We began with a Declaration of Independence, but we will likely end with a Declaration of Dependence on big Government unless we start electing, at all levels, men who are dedicated to downsizing the Government and breaking the chains by which it has enslaved its citizens.We need men who have deep convictions about upholding the Constitution and repealing the unconstitutional laws that have been passed over the past century.
We are in desperate need of good leaders today.We need some men who will openly denounce political correctness for the communist tool that it is.We need some men who will fight to put prayer and the Ten Commandments back into the schools, or, for that matter, just abolish government schools altogether.We need some leaders who will take a strong moral stand and turn our country back onto the road of righteousness.We need a strong national defense, and we need to break off ties with all communist nations and terrorists nations.I realize how slim our chances are of finding such men to lead our nation, but this should be a common vision for us to work towards, and we should never lose sight of it.
America began with some good foundations, but she cannot survive much longer as a free nation unless she returns to them. “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn . . .” (Isa. 51:1)
The Pilgrims’ Preference
“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.How shall we sing the LORD'S song in a strange land?If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer notJerusalem above my chief joy.” (Psa. 137:1-6)
Modern Christianity is filled with people who “prefer” all sorts of things.Folks prefer this church or that church, this Bible or that Bible, this preacher or that preacher, this fundamental camp or that fundamental camp, and so forth.Frankly, I’m just sick of the whole mess because most of the preferences that people have are not rooted in anything all that important.They’re just a bunch of selfish babies who demand that they have their way.Self denial and serious decision-making is a foreign concept to most modern Christians.
Now, with the author of Psalm 137 it was a different story.Regardless of who the author was (and there are debates about the matter), he was sick of where he was, and he longed to be somewhere else.He was in Babylon, in captivity, a stranger in a strange land, but he said that he preferredJerusalem above his chief joy.
His preference was not a careless or weak preference.His preference was what you and I today would call a conviction, which is apparent from what he said about it: “. . . let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.”That’s a good bit stronger than someone preferring a preacher because he isn’t long-winded or someone preferring a church because it has a large youth department. Unlike modern Christians, the writer preferred something that God also preferred.
That brings me to the subject at hand:a preference that someone else once had, a good and strong preference, much like that of the Psalmist.There was someone else who felt like strangers in a strange land, and they too had a strong preference to be somewhere else.Their preference was so strong that they took action, made some serious sacrifices, and ended up seeing their dream come true.
It was on September 16, 1620, that our pilgrim fathers boarded the Mayflower at Plymouth, England, and began a 65 day voyage across the Atlantic to start a new life in a new world.But the voyage could not have begun at all if they had not first had a preference.They were not procrastinators; they were pilgrims.Their preference was so strong that they put their minds together, prayed about it, and decided to leave for a brand new world.
It Was a Spiritual Preference
Before docking and stepping off onto the land, the Pilgrims drew up the Mayflower Compact.In part, it states that they came here for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.Not a bad preference, huh?That’s why God blessed it.God always blesses a spiritual choice.Jesus said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”(Mat. 6:33)That’s what the Pilgrims did.It would have been a lot easier to just compromise some of their Biblical convictions and stay in the corrupt Church of England, but that’s not what spiritual people do.
Had they been carnal, like most Christians today, that’s exactly what they would have done.They could have reasoned, “Hey, at least we’re in a church, and it must not be all that bad or so many people wouldn’t come here.”
They could have also justified staying there by claiming that their children needed the social connections of other children, but they knew better.In fact, the negative influences of other children were one of the reasons they left!
They could have claimed that they needed to stay there because there were no good educational institutions in the new world for their children, but that would not have been a spiritual argument.
Economic hardships in the new world could have been an argument for staying, but they refused to give in to such carnal reasoning.
The Pilgrims were a spiritually-minded people, so they made a spiritual choice.There was only one question to be answered: Is the life we are presently living the best for us and our children spiritually?The answer was “No,” so they left.
If every Christian lived and made decisions by that same simple rule today, we’d have a national revival. But we’ve lost the Pilgrim spirit—the pioneer spirit that says, “I’m doing this even if no one else does and even if everyone thinks I’m insane.”If it’s right, then it’s right, regardless of the little or large numbers involved.
The pilgrim choice was a spiritual choice, and we need to follow their example.
It Was a Necessary Preference
I like the attitude of the Pilgrims.Unlike the Puritans, they didn’t attempt staying in the state church in hope of things getting better.They reached the point of no return and gave of up hope of any reform occurring within the Anglican Church.There is no cure for apostasy (II Chron. 36:16), and they knew it.
They actually did attempt a compromise.About twelve years before crossing the Atlantic, they took a smaller step and crossed the English Channel to Holland.But in time they came to realize that a much larger step was needed.
They could have justified staying at Holland.After all, it wasn’t as bad as the Anglican Church, where the Puritans still were.At least they had done something.But something wasn’t enough.They had to do the right thing, not just something.
Jesus said, “. . . I must be about my Father's business . . . I must preach the kingdom of God . . . I must walk to day, and to morrow . . .”(Luke , , )That’s how the Pilgrims felt about what they were doing: we must leave this place and head for the new world.
Friend, you’ll never amount to anything in life if you don’t learn to use that word and use it often: I must get serious about learning the Bible; I must pray; I must tithe; I must witness; I must attend a good strong church; I must train up my children right.You MUST be driven by a few “MUSTS” in your life, or you just won’t go very far.
Their “must” drove them clear across the Atlantic.
It Was a Bold Preference
There was nothing easy about the Pilgrims’ preference.They had already gotten quite a name for themselves by leaving the Church of England and moving over to the mainland in Holland.However, it was still possible to visit family members and old friends on occasion, if they wished to do so.But this next move, thousands of miles across the Atlantic, would forever sever their ties with the folks back in the old world.That took some boldness.
Then there was the danger factor.They’d heard stories about storms on the high seas and ships sinking, and they’d heard about Pirates.Then, even if they did safely reach the new world, how would they be treated by the natives?They might very well endure a long and hard voyage only to be massacred when they stepped out onto land. In fact, they had more reason to be fearful than one might imagine.They had already tried sailing in a ship called the Speedwell, but they had to come back because of leaks.
It’s easy to prefer something that doesn’t put much of a challenge before you, but that’s not our Christian heritage.Proverbs 28:1 says, “ . . . the righteous are bold as a lion.”Well, there’s nothing particularly bold about reading an NIV because it’s “easier to understand” or attending a big denominational church because “they have a lot going on for kids.”Most Christians today spend their lives taking the path of least resistance, but that path never takes you anywhere worth going.
God, help us to have bold preferences and take the Pilgrim path.
It Was a Long-Term Preference
It was Bob Jones Sr. who said, “Never sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.”The Pilgrims understood that.They understood that their decision to go to a new world was not a selfish and temporal decision.They knew that this endeavor, if successful, would make life better for future generations.Had they been temporal-minded, they’d never have left England, but their thoughts extended far beyond themselves.Consequently, here we are nearly 400 years later talking about their sacrifice.
Will anyone talk about us 400 years from now?In the MillennialKingdom, will anyone look back to the independent Baptists of twenty-first century America and find anything worth speaking about?I sure hope so.I hope we can be the Pilgrims of our day and age, the people who choose to be different for the glory of God and for the advancement of the Christian faith.I want to be remembered as the people who said “NO!” to Laodiceanism, denominationalism, ecumenicalism, and just plain sin.I want to cut a straight and narrow way through the wilderness so that our children and grandchildren will not have to travel the broad way to destruction.I don’t want to be a dead Anglican in the established church or a naïve Puritan who wastes his life trying to reform that which cannot be reformed.I want to be a Pilgrim who is driven by strong, life-changing, preferences.I hope and pray that you do as well.
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”(Heb. 11:13)
Two Significant Compacts
In the fall of 1620, before stepping out of the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock and beginning their new life in their new world, the Pilgrims agreed to sign the Mayflower Compact.Their signatures were written beneath the following words:
In ye name of God, Amen.We whose names are underwritten, the loyall subjects of our dread soveraigne Lord, King James, by ye grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland king, defender of ye faith, etc., having undertaken, for ye glorie of God, and advancement of ye Christian faith . . .”
That’s quite a vision, but it get’s even better.Eighteen years later, in 1638, Dr. John Clarke, led a group of Christians about forty-five miles southward to Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and founded America’s first real Baptist church.He had been banished from Boston (since religious freedom was non-existent at the time), so he led his group of believers to Rhode Island and drew up the Portsmouth Compact.The Portsmouth Compact would be the first government document to protect religious opinion on American soil (a predecessor to the First Amendment).It reads as follows:
“We whose names are underwritten, do here solemnly, in the presence of Jehovah, incorporate ourselves into a body politic, and as He shall help, will submit our persons, lives and estates, unto our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, and to all those perfect and most absolute laws of His, given us in His holy word of truth, to be guided and judged thereby.”
Now, that’s a vision if you ever saw one!No mention is made of the king of England, just the “King of kings” and a desire to follow His words.If you ever travel to Portsmouth, Rhode Island, you might give special attention to the city’s welcome sign:
Birthplace of American Democracy
The Greatest Christmas Ever
“For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” (Psa. 75:6-7)
My reason for choosing the above text will become more apparent later.
Colossians chapter two speaks of Christians not making a big deal about special days, but the fact is that Christmas already is a special day.You cannot change that.The entire world slows down and changes its pace on this day, and you will have to play along to some degree (meals, family gatherings, special store hours, days off work, etc.).So, we all observe Christmas in one way or another.
Some Christians try to emphasize Christ in Christmas by reading Scripture about his birth, singing spiritual Christmas carols, and speaking about the greatest Christmas present of all, the gift of eternal life.Maybe some of that is okay, but then again, we should be magnifying Jesus every day, not just on Christmas day, especially when He wasn’t even born on Christmas.
If you know that Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th (and He wasn’t), then you might feel a bit peculiar in celebrating His birth at that time.If so, maybe every day can be Jesus day and December 25th can be set aside to celebrate something that really did happen on that day.After all, plenty has happened on December 25th, most of which goes completely ignored year after year.
There are some December 25th events that we can just as well ignore. You probably don’t need to sit around the fireplace drinking boiled custard and celebrating the birthday of Sol the Roman sun god (est. 274 A.D.), the crowning of Charlemagne by Pope Leo III (800 A.D.), Cab Calloway’s birthday(1907), or the birthday of Barbara Mandrell (1948).
Then there are some December 25th events that you might at least keep in the back of your mind.John Phillip Sousa completed his Stars and Stripes Forever on December 25th (1896).It is also the birthday of Sir Isaac Newton (1642), a Christian who discovered the law of gravitation, and it’s the birthday of Clara Barton (1821), the famous Civil War nurse who founded the American Red Cross.
Another one to remember is the Christmas Truce of 1914, when, during World War I, German troops ceased firing to sing Christmas carols.At points along the Eastern and Western fronts, French, British, and Russian soldiers would stop fighting and join in the singing.That’s worth telling to someone.
But if you can’t remember any of that, please remember the story that I’m about to tell you.This did happen on December 25th, and you owe this one to your children and grandchildren.
The date was December 25, 1776, the greatest Christmas ever.You say, “Preacher, what in the world happened that was so important?”Oh, nothing much, just the fact that a general and his men crossed a river.Of course, the general was George Washington, the father of your country, and his men were 2,500Continental soldiers, and the river was the Delaware.
That Christmas was, by far, the greatest Christmas ever.Please grant me your patience as I present two good reasons for making such a claim.
It Was the Most Important Christmas
Would you not agree that up until now no nation has done more good for the world than the United States of America?This world is in a mess these days, but just imagine the mess it would be in if God had not raised up the USA over two centuries ago!I don’t have the space to give multiple history lessons here, but can we agree that it was important for the world, not only for America, that we win the Revolutionary War?Of course it was.
If Charlemagne had not been crowned, the world would have been better for it.If Sol the sun god had never been born, the world would have been better for it. But if we had lost the Revolutionary War, nothing would have been better and much would be a lot worse.
Well, we were not winning on December 25, 1776.Things were looking bad.We had lost some major battles in recent months (Long Island, August 27; Chatterton Hill, October 28; Fort Lee, Nov 24), and Washington’s beaten down army had been pushed back to the West bank of the Delaware.The whole thing actually should have been over on August 27th, but a strange fog showed up just in the nick of time and hid Washington’s troops as they escaped Brooklyn over to Manhatten (KipsBay).Why, one might even think God was on our side!
Well, anyway, here’s the father of our country on Christmas Day, 1776, with his beaten down army on the West side of the Delaware. The British were so confident that the whole war was nearly over that some of their officers had begun shipping their luggage home. It didn’t look like we stood a chance of winning, but if we could win, that day just might become the most important Christmas ever.Would you agree?Can you document anything better that ever happened on December 25th?I didn’t think so.
Well, as it turned out, we did win.So, which is the greatest Christmas ever?
It Was the Most Inspiring Christmas
The greatest history-making events occur when two things happen: man does his part and God does His part.That’s a pretty simple formula.The hard part is that God usually says, “YOU go first.”
Many of the men in the Continental Army weren’t ready to go anywhere but home.Many had quit and many more were finishing up their terms of service, not going to re-enlist.Looking back, you might find fault with them, but just put yourself in their shoes.On second thought, that would be tough to do since many of them had no shoes.Some actually left bloody footprints behind as they walked through the snow.I’ll not criticize them for wanting to quit because I’ve quit a lot easier things than that.But I’m sure glad they didn’t quit!
So, how did we win?Wisdom, just a good ole’ dose of wisdom granted to our first “George W” from the Father above.Regardless of how large and intimidating an army might be, without wisdom they’re just a bunch of fools.(Prov 4:7).
The British had the most powerful military in the world, but we had George Washington, a man who believed that “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”Not a bad start, huh?
Washington had already gone down in history as one of the greatest and bravest military commanders ever.Here are a few words from page 59 of M.L. Williamson’s Life and Anecdotes of George Washington, regarding the fierce battle at the Monongahela River where General Braddock was killed:
“Throughout the deadly fray Washington displayed the greatest courage and presence of mind. The other aides had been wounded early in the action and he alone was left to carry the orders to the General (Braddock).Two horses were shot under him and four bullets passed through his coat.The Indians singled him out for death, but in vain.He rode on as protected by enchantment . . .”
Fifteen years later an Indian chief from that battle ran into Washington and his doctor once again.The old chief had these words to offer:
“I am a chief and ruler over many tribes.My influence extends to the waters of the great lakes and to the far blue mountains.I have traveled a long and weary path that I might see the young warrior of the great battle.It was on the day when the white man’s blood mixed with the streams of our forests that I first beheld this chief.I called to my young men and said, Mark yon tall and daring warrior?He is not of the red-coat tribe—he hath an Indian’s wisdom, and his warriors fight as we do—himself alone exposed.Quick, let your aim be certain, and he dies.Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for you (pointing toWashington) knew not how to miss.T-was all in vain, a power mightier thanwe shielded you . . . Listen!The great spirit protects that man (pointing to Washington) and guides his destinies.He will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire.”
The chief went on to say:
“I had 17 fair fires at him with my rifle, and after all could not bring him to the ground.”
Now, that’s the man we had leading our army on December 25th, 1776.Here’s what happened.British General William Howe, after winning a series of victories against Washington, went to his winter quarters leaving about 1,400 men (Hessian mercenaries) at Trenton, NJ, under the command of a Hessian Colonel named Johann Rall (sometimes spelled Raul or Rahl).Washington reasoned that the Hessians might be drinking and partying through the night and be sleepy headed and hung over the next morning.So, he decided to cross the Delaware on Christmas night under cover of darkness and then march nine miles south and attack them at Trenton early the next morning.It was a long shot, but if they could pull it off, the Americans just might still have a chance at winning the war.
They began crossing at on Christmas night.Nearly seven hours later some 2,500 men had crossed the Delaware without alarming the enemy.
Now, watch God have some fun.A Loyalist farmer spotted the men crossing the Delaware and ran to tell Colonel Rall, who was partying and playing cards at the home of a man named Abraham Hunt.Rall refused to take time to see the man, so the man scribbled the warning message on a piece of paper to be given to Rall.Hunt walked in, handed the note to Rall, then Rall stuck the note in his vest pocket without reading it!The next day, as he lay dying on an operating table, the bloody note was discovered, and Rall said, “If I had read this at Mr. Hunt’s, I would not be here.”
Washington and his men killed 23 enemies, took about 1,000 prisoners, loads of ammo, guns, and canons, and had only 4 men wounded.None were killed.Do you think maybe God had a hand in all that?
That was just one victory, but it couldn’t have come at a better time.The morale of the troops did a 180 degree turn.Men chose to re-enlist and new recruits signed up in the spring.We went on to win the war and become the greatest nation inhistory.
Never forget it, friend.On December 25-26, 1776, God gave America and the world a great Christmas present.He gave hope to the Continental Army, and that hope grew into the very freedom that you and I enjoy today.Merry Christmas, and may we never forget the greatest Christmas ever.
The American Flag as
A Picture of Jesus Christ
“We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions.” (Psa. 20:5)
“Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.” (Psa. 60:4)
Those verses speak of a banner, or a flag, as something that represents a great truth, or a great cause.With that in mind, I believe we can find several fine comparisons between the American flag and the Lord Jesus Christ.That is, our Lord can be well represented, or at least symbolized, by our national flag.
Men Respect the American Flag
People in general have great respect for the American flag.It has traditionally been a symbol of freedom, something that the human spirit has hungered for since the cradle of civilization.So, throughout the world, the American flag is respected as a symbol of freedom.
Likewise, people respect Jesus Christ.Even most unsaved people show respect for our Lord, not loyalty or love, but respect.Most lost people do not take His name in vain, do not tell jokes about Him, and will show respect when something is being said or done in Christ’s honor.
No other name carries with it the respect that the name of Jesus carries.
Men Exalt the American Flag
A flag is to be exalted, lifted up and displayed for all to see.Jesus said, in John 3:13-14, “. . . as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.” Again, in John , “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
Just as men lift up the flag that others might see and follow, we too must lift up Jesus Christ, and not ourselves or our churches, that sinners might see clearly the way of salvation.
Men Illuminate the American Flag
Few people seem to know this (or care about this), but the displayed American flag is supposed to be visible at all times, even at night.Before darkness falls, the flag is supposed to be either taken down, folded and kept properly or it is to be illuminated with sufficient lighting.
So it is with Christ.He deserves the spotlight in our lives.Never should He be hidden.Jesus should be continually visible in our lives.
Men Love the American Flag
Not all men, of course, but some men do genuinely love the flag.I’ve seen grown men shed tears when talking about Old Glory because it brings back some sacred memories for them and they love the republic for which it stands.
I recall a particular man, a war veteran, who once became very emotional over the fact that a flag was being displayed on the right side of a room instead of on the left (the flag must be displayed to its own right, which is the onlooker’s left).What seemed an insignificant issue to most was a major issue to this man because he loved the flag.
Christian, have you not had some similar experiences when reflecting on how dear Christ is to you and how you’ve been through so much together?Does it not bother you to see people misrepresent Him?Sure it does, if you love Him.
Men Despise the American Flag
We’ve all seen it: vicious protesters desecrating our flag and even burning it.These are people who literally despise America and the flag that represents our way of life.Such dense-minded people fail to realize that the flag they are desecrating actually symbolizes their freedom to do just that.In other words, let’s see them go to Red China and burn that nation’s flag!In their hate for the American way of life, they have deceived themselves in despising the very flag that keeps them free.
Some people also despise Jesus Christ.Rather than seek the freedom from sin that He offers, they choose to love sin and despise Christ.They’re hateful toward His servants, and they never cease to blaspheme and mock His holy name.
Men Follow the American Flag
In exercise and in battle, the flag is a visible rallying point.When the flag is advancing the soldiers are advancing.Jesus said, “Follow me” (Mat. ).Remember the words to the hymn “his blood red banner streams afar, who follows in His train?”As a good soldier follows his flag, let us follow our Lord.
Men Die for the American Flag
If you’ve never been to ArlingtonNationalCemetery, you really ought to go at least once in your life.To stand there and see nothing but death in every direction as far as your eyes can see is unforgettable, especially when you think “those men fought for my freedom, and many of them died for it.”
Only God knows how many men have died literally carrying the flag, especially in such wars as the War Between the States where men died endlessly in this fashion.As soon as one standard-bearer went down another soldier would pick up the flag and press onward, knowing full well that he too might be dead any second.But the cause kept them pressing onward.
In I Samuel David said, “Is there not a cause?”Then, before the chapter ends, Goliath is laying dead on the ground.
God, give us a double portion of David’s spirit!Let us remember the cause, which is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and may we be more willing to die for Him than to live for self.Perhaps we’ll be like David and not have to die, but may God give us the same willing heart!
Spiritual Truths from
The American Flag
“Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.”(Psa. 60:4)
Our text says that a banner, or a flag, as we would call it, should be displayed “because of the truth.”That is, a flag should tell a story.
Likewise, one who displays a flag should be able to tell a story about that flag.I would venture to guess that most Americans who display our nation’s flag could tell a patriotic story or two, which is good because the Bible says that a banner should be displayed “because of the truth.”
In addition to having a great national history, America has also had some pretty good spiritual moments as well (in spite of her present sins), and, to this day, God uses American Christians, probably more than anyone in the world, to fulfill His Great Commission.
With this being true—that America has a rich spiritual history and calling—let us glean a few spiritual truths from our flag.In fact, what we are about to discover could be used as a great witnessing tool to the lost.I have nothing against the standard Christian flag, but the American flag would make a pretty good Christian flag as well.
Psalm 60:4 says, “Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.”Because of the truth; let’s focus on that for a while as we take a closer look at our national flag . . .
There’s Truth in Its Colors
Ask any ten people to tell you the colors of our flag and they’ll all say the same thing: RED, WHITE, and BLUE, and in that order.Why do they never say it in another order? It’s always red, white, and blue.That’s interesting since one must first be washed in the RED blood of Jesus Christ, then he becomes WHITE as snow (Isa. ), then he has a home in heaven, represented by the color BLUE.
Think of that!You get an abbreviated plan of salvation every time you see an American flag or hear someone speak of its colors!
There’s Truth in Its Symbols
Let’s consider three symbols of the flag: the stripes, the stars, and the union.
The stripes come in two colors, red and white.The red ones remind us of Christ for Isaiah 53:5 says, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”Then our healing (from sin) is represented by the white stripes.David said in Psalm 51:7, “. . . wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”When we see the red and white stripes on the American flag, let us not think only of the blood of our soldiers who fought that we might enjoy freedom, but let us think higher thoughts and remember that with the stripes of Jesus Christ we can be healed from sin.
The stars also contain spiritual truths.A star is a light, but more than a light.Like that first Baptist preacher (John ), a star is a burning and shining light.There’s nothing artificial about it.As we have been given the supreme example by our “bright and morning star” (Rev. 22:16), let us shine with God’s truth in this dark and dying world.Then one day we shall shine “as the stars for ever and ever” (Dan. 12:3).
The union is the blue area that contains the fifty stars.It too has spiritual truth for us because it speaks of unity.Psalm 133:1 says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”Ephesians 4:3 says we ought to be “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”Sometimes division cannot be avoided, but we should never seek it.We are told to seek unity.May the unified stars on our flag serve as a reminder of this, and may it remind wandering church members that they are supposed to be assembled together with the other Christians (Heb. 10:25)!All of the stars belong in the union.Amen?
There’s Truth in Its Numbers
Let’s look at four numbers on the flag. First, we have the number 6.Notice that there are 6 white stripes.The number 6 in the Bible is the number of man, and it is man who needs to be cleansed as white as snow.When I see the white stripes on the flag, I can think of myself and how Jesus made me white.Nobody is saved unless they are made white as snow (Isa. ).No racial slur intended here, but if you ain’t white, you ain’t right! So, the white stripes speak of our righteousness in Christ.
Then we have the number 7 because there are 7 red stripes.As you likely know, 7 is God’s number, the number of spiritual perfection, used over twice as many times in the Bible as the number 6.As already noted, the red stripes speak of the blood of Christ, so there are 7 of them. It was perfect blood; it was God’s blood (Acts ), so there are 7 stripes.
Add the 6 stripes to the 7 stripes and we have a total of 13, the number of rebellion.Just as the 13 colonies rebelled against England, mankind rebelled against God, so Christ came to bear the curse and repair the damage.Galatians (verse 13!) says, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”Let the 13 stripes remind us of how our rebellion against God nailed Christ to the cursed tree.
Then a very good number appears, the number 50.This is the number of liberty in the Bible.Leviticus 25:11 says, “And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.”This was a time of freedom and great rejoicing.Ah, should this not “ring a bell” (much pun intended) with all Christians?Paul told the Christians at Corinth, “. . . where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”The truth has made us free (John ), and we have been liberated by Jesus Christ!The Bright and Morning Star made me a star!
By the way, the Liberty Bell sits in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where our Constitution and Bill of Rights were signed.If you ever visit Independence Hall, you might pay special attention to the words written on the Liberty Bell: “proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”Well, well, I wonder where they found those words!
For that matter, isn’t it at least interesting that the nation which promotes liberty for all first secured that liberty by signing a document in a city named Philadelphia?“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.”How’s that for liberty?(I trust you know what Philadelphia means)
There’s Truth in Its Order
I Corinthians says, “Let all things be done decently and in order” so we should appreciate order when we see it, even on our national flag.We have colors, symbols, and numbers, so let’s get them all in order.
Notice that one must cross a red stripe before reaching a white stripe.This is true coming from the bottom or the top.As a blood washed saint of God, I am in Christ (Rom. -39).If Satan desires to reach me, he must first come through Jesus Christ.
But wait!There are 6 white stripes, each one a little higher up than the last, yet all covered by red stripes.So it is with the saints of God.Step by step we ought to be growing up in the Lord, pleading the blood all the way.
Being “in Christ,” I am a “new creature” (II Cor. ), so I’ll not be a horizontal stripe forever on the timeline of humanity.I’m headed for the stars!I am a “son of God” (John , I John 3:2), and Job 38:7 likens the “sons of God” to the stars!Just look at the flag and see that I’m already white like the stars, and, in the resurrection I’ll become one:“. . . for one star differeth from another star in glory.So also is the resurrection of the dead.”(I Cor. 15:41-42)
We’re not through yet.Genesis tells us that God drove Adam and Eve out of the garden on the “east” side.So, theoretically, they were going out of God’s will traveling eastward.Had they been permitted to reenter the garden, they would have traveled westward back into God’s will (Hence: Horace Greely’s “Go west young man.”)
The door of the temple faced eastward, so one had to enter the temple while moving westward. So, as a general rule, the direction of God’s will in the Bible is east to west.The gospel message of the New Testament moves in this direction, and, if that’s not enough, we have Matthew 24:27:“For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Even America was settled in this manner.So, generally speaking, the direction of God’s will in the Bible is west.
Of course, the direction of God’s abode is north (Psa. 48:2, Psa. 75:6-7, Isa. , etc.).So, the direction northwest becomes the perfect direction (at least for symbolic purposes).As you can see, this is where the union and stars are on the flag.Christians ought to have their affection on things above (Col. 3:2), so the union and the stars are on the upper part of the flag.Christians ought to be always in the will of God, so the union and the stars are on the west end of the flag.
Seriously, what am I saying?I’m saying that Christians can be reminded by the location of the flag’s union that they have a place to be in life, and that place is the will of God.Friend, are YOU in the will of God, or does the Star Spangled Banner stand as a perpetual witness against you.
Bad Government and Good Christians
“For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.”(Isa. 33:22)
Our nation was designed to be a good and godly nation.There are many evidences of that.One evidence is our three branches of government that just happen to match God’s ideal government.Perfectly matching Isaiah 33:22, we have a judicial branch (the LORD is our judge), a legislative branch (the LORD is our lawgiver), and we have an executive branch (the LORD is our king).With that formula in place, we have the promise that “he will save us.”Our form of government has sustained us for over two centuries, while many other governments have come and gone.Forty-three times we have peacefully installed a new President, and we’ll likely install a forty-fifth one in 2012.Believe me, that doesn’t happen with bad governments.God has traditionally blessed us with a good government, and we ought to be thankful for it.
However, we live in a time when large numbers of people, especially Christians, believe that we live under a government that is growing more corrupt all the time.That’s not to say that our government is totally corrupt.There are obviously still many good elements in our government.If this were not true, then you and I would have seen our religious liberty thrown out the window a long time ago, along with free speech, home schooling, the right to bear arms, and a host of other liberties that we enjoy.There are still many blessings that flow our way and make the United States of America the greatest place to live in this world.We ought to thank God for that regularly.
But wise people do see a pattern of growing corruption in our government, and this could mean that we, or our children, live to see the day when America is no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave.If this nation is transformed into the big government social democracy that so many desire to have (Pro. 28:2), then America may very well become more bad than good and cease to be the best place to live in this world. As we see that possibility becoming more likely with every passing year, what are we supposed to do?If bad government is to become our reality, then what will our Christian duties be?
I’d like to sum up our Christian duties in the form of a little poem and then preach through the separate points, looking up and reading the appropriate scripture references as we go.Naturally, I’d encourage you to familiarize yourself with the scripture that we’re going to cover, but you might also do well to memorize the poem.It might come in handy on occasion.
What are our Christian duties under an increasingly bad government?I believe my little poem sums it all up quite well:
For those in authority, always pray,
Submitting even in the evil day;
Refrain thy lips from any curse,
Lest thou sin and make things worse.
For those in authority, always pray . . .
Paul wrote to Timothy and said, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”That’s our first point because he said, “first of all.”He didn’t exhort anyone to bad-mouth the government or resist the government; he said to pray for all that are in authority.
The neat thing about prayer is that not only can it move God to deal with the individual for whom you are praying; it can also keep you humble, and that’s the heart attitude that we need toward our government.Psalm says, “When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.”If you have a complaint about the powers that be, take it over their heads into the throne room of God, the highest authority in the universe.“Oh, that won’t do any good,” you might be thinking.Well, obviously it does do some good, or else we would have gone under as a nation many years ago!Somebody has been praying, and God has graciously answered those prayers, just as He promised, by allowing us to lead quiet and peaceful lives.
How did we ever survive Franklin D. Roosevelt’s creation of a welfare state?How did we survive two world wars? How did we survive the radicalism and turmoil of the 1960’s?How did we manage to survive eight years of Bill and Hillary Clinton?There were different factors at work in our favor, but I can assure you that one of the greatest factors was millions of praying Christians.
It is the nature of God to move on behalf of humble people who are threatened by oppression.He heard the cry of the Israelites in Egypt (Exo. 3:7-8).He honored the fasting of Esther and Mordecai by reversing the evil plans of Haman (Est. ; 8:1-10:3).Under the various oppressive governments of the book of Judges the Jews cried out to God for help and were delivered.Prayer might seem weak and useless, but that’s only the case for those who either don’t pray or they pray in doubt.Those who pray with faith and fervency are always better for doing so, and it will get more done with the powers that be than any other action that one might take.The proof is found in the fact that we still live in the best nation on earth, in spite of all the evil influences working against us. For those in authority, always pray . . .
Submitting even in the evil day . . .
I trust that you are familiar with Romans 13:1-7, the familiar passage where Christians are commanded to “submit” to the powers that be because the powers that be are ordained of God and they generally are not out to harm law-abiding, God-fearing citizens.The passage even says that they are “ministers of God.”A good companion passage is I Peter 2:13-15, which says, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.”That’s a good commentary on the passage in Romans because it tells you how to submit to the powers that be.It says to submit to “every ordinance of man.”
Now, my flesh doesn’t like that any more than yours, but there it is.Take seat belts, for instance.I believe it’s bad government to tell people that they have to wear seat belts.Being forced to wear seat belts in the “land of the free” seems like a contradiction to me, but that’s one of the ordinances of men, so we have to submit to it.The same is true with speed limits, taxes, gun permits, and so forth.No matter how foolish a law might seem (and some seem very foolish), our Christian duty is to submit to that law as long as it doesn’t violate God’s higher law.
You might remember that in Exodus chapter one (verses 15-21), the Egyptian government demanded that the midwives have all male babies killed.“But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them . . .”They clearly disobeyed the powers that be, yet God blessed them for doing so and built them houses, it says.
The three Hebrew children in Daniel chapter three were told by the powers that be that they had to bow down to an image.This, of course, was a violation of their second commandment, a higher law of God.So, they humbly disobeyed the powers that be, and God delivered them from the fiery furnace.They didn’t stir up a rebellion, or start an unregistered church, or join a militia group.They simply refused to bow to the image.They submitted in other ways, but not in that way.That’s the Christian’s duty.The Babylonian government was evil to the core, but the Israelites were expected to submit to it.In fact, through Jeremiah’s preaching, God told the Jews to “serve the king of Babylon, and live” (Jer. 27:17).Serve him how?Serve him in every way possible.Submit to him and obey him in all things, unless he requires them to do something unscriptural.That’s the rule.
Do you know something?I am forty-seven years old.I’ve been serving God faithfully since I was about twenty-two.I’ve preached in jails, on street corners, and in various pulpits.I’ve preached from my own pulpit for over fourteen years.Our church has published millions of tracts, booklets, books, and recorded messages, and we’ve locally distributed well over 100,000 of those items ourselves.Now, get this.Not one time in all those years has the government required me to do something against the word of God. When we had a confrontation with the police department about street preaching, we simply changed locations and had no more trouble.The Bible says for us to street preach, but it doesn’t say to do it on the corner of Lindell and University streets, so we moved to another spot.I had the same thing to happen over in Union City.I moved down a block, and all was well.Reasonable compromise is good.It is unscriptural compromise that we must avoid.
Best I can tell, there are four human institutions of God.Four is the earth number, so, in this earth, God has ordained four human institutions.The four are the family, occupation, the state, and the church.If you want a better understanding of what your attitude toward government should be, just compare your attitude toward government to your attitude toward your parents, your employer, or your pastor.You might disagree at times, but you understand the importance of submission as long as you are in the system.If you want to leave a job, you may do so, but you must obey the boss as long as you stay employed, and you do so in a spirit of fear, respect, and humility.A teenager might not agree with mom and dad’s strict rules, but his or her Christian duty is to obey and honor the parents, not rebel against them.If you don’t like the way I run this church, you can either leave or remain here with a humble and submissive spirit.You can intreat me as a father with your disagreements, but you cannot stir up a stink among other members and get your own little “Bible study” going in your home in an effort to get your own church started.That constitutes rebellion, and the Bible says that it’s as bad as witchcraft.So it is in our relationship to the powers that be, even when they aren’t the best powers.Submitting even in the evil day . . .
Refrain thy lips from any curse . . .
Now, this is where we have so much trouble.Most of us are willing to submit as long as we reserve the right to run around and bad-mouth those politicians that we don’t like.Somehow we’ve adopted the notion that it’s possible to submit outwardly while still rebelling inwardly.Well, that’s not possible, and that’s not scriptural.If we’re going to be good Christians under God, then we must train ourselves to seal our lips from speaking harsh things about our government.
Ecclesiastes says, “Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.”How about that?God is not only interested in your words about government, but also in your thoughts.I don’t like that any more than you, but there it is.God wants total submission.The government is part of God’s chain of command.The powers that be are ordained of God, so rebellion against government is rebellion against God.
In Titus 3:1-2, Paul tells Titus what to preach to his church:“Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.”He said not only to obey magistrates, but also to speak evil of no man.That brings up a question: what constitutes speaking evil?Is it evil to even speak words of disagreement?I think the golden rule works very well here: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.It wouldn’t bother me as a pastor to have some of you humbly disagree with something I believe.It wouldn’t bother me to have you say that you disagree, as long as you did so in a respectful manner.I believe in free speech.But free speech doesn’t mean that you have a right to freely speak evil of your pastor, your employer, your parents, or your government.If some of you were to say, “Why, James is an idiot for believing such and such,” that would violate the golden rule, because you know that I wouldn’t appreciate being called an idiot.I wouldn’t mind some respectful disagreement, but don’t call me an idiot.God didn’t give us free speech for the purpose of sinning against Him.
Alright, here’s another one:“Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”(Philip. 2:14-16)Our primary calling in life is to shine as lights for Jesus Christ and hold forth the word of life.Murmuring about things will only dim our gospel light and hinder our service to God.
Consider Acts 23:1-5: “And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day. And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest? Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.”There’s a good example of what I’m saying.Having a disagreement with authority was one thing, but shooting off his mouth and saying, “God shall smite thee, thou whited wall” was something totally different.It constituted evil speaking, and that’s why he apologized for it.
Look, even if the day comes when a woman leads this country, we will still have to submit and refrain from speaking evil.After all, God did honor the leadership of such women as Deborah, Candace, and the queen of Sheba.
Some like to argue that it’s okay to speak out against government because men of God like Moses, John, Elijah, and Nathan spoke out against governments.Yes, they did, but they didn’t do so by running around spreading evil words like little cowards.They went to their rulers face to face and said, “Thus saith the LORD.”That’s a bit different from saying, “Obama is the antichrist.”
You can humbly and respectfully disagree.That’s why God gave us the First Amendment, but always remember to . . . Refrain thy lips from any curse . . .
Lest thou sin and make things worse
Think about it: has your murmuring ever really accomplished anything.Has the government improved because of your complaining and your political jokes?Then why do it?Maybe if we’d spend that time praying for those in authority, things would improve.We only make things worse by complaining.Remember, when the people complained, it displeased the Lord (Num. 11:1).Did that make things better or worse?
You may remember the time when Shimei came out throwingdirt and cursing David (II Sam. 16). Remember what David said about that.He said, “let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him. It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day.”(verses 11-12)Do you want God to judge and correct those in authority who are ruling wrongly?Well, then don’t curse them!God might bless them, if you curse them, and that would just encourage more evil on their part and make things worse.Just be quiet and humble, and pray for them.If you must exercise your free speech, then do so with respect and humility.Anything more could constitute evil speaking, and that will only make things worse.
For those in authority, always pray,
Submitting even in the evil day;
Refrain thy lips from any curse,
Lest thou sin and make things worse.
Liberalism vs. Conservatism
Regardless of political party affiliations, most Americans are either liberals (in the modern evil sense, as opposed to the good Biblical sense), or they are conservatives.Those who claim to be “moderates” usually line up with the liberals when “push comes to shove.”The following are some samples of how liberalism and conservatism compare:
LIBERALISM:Appeals to your EMOTIONS.
CONSERVATISM:Appeals to your INTELLECT.
LIBERALISM:Focuses on INCOMPLETE DETAILS.
CONSERVATISM:Focuses on PROVEN PRINCIPLES.
LIBERALISM:PROVIDES for the poor.
CONSERVATISM:ENCOURAGES the poor to provide for themselves.
LIBERALISM:Teaches to HATE successful people.
CONSERVATISM:Teaches that YOU TOO can
LIBERALISM:Majors in SYMBOLISM.
CONSERVATISM:Majors in SUBSTANCE.
LIBERALISM:Survives on an IGNORANT public.
CONSERVATISM:Survives on an INFORMED public.
LIBERALISM:Follows POLITICAL CORRECTNESS.
CONSERVATISM:Follows COMMON SENSE.
LIBERALISM:Says, “Government, HELP ME.”
CONSERVATISM:Says, “Government, GET OUT OF MY WAY.”
LIBERALISM:Seeks to SPREAD the wealth around.
CONSERVATISM:Seeks to INCREASE wealth for everyone.
LIBERALISM:Let’s be LIKE all other nations.
CONSERVATISM:Let’s be a shining light TO all other nations.
LIBERALISM:Says, “GIVE ME my rights.”
CONSERVATISM:Says, “Don’t TAKE my rights.”
LIBERALISM:EXPLOITS the poor.
CONSERVATISM:ENCOURAGES the poor.
LIBERALISM: Says what people WANT to hear.
CONSERVATISM: Says what people NEED to hear.
LIBERALISM: Wants PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT for minorities.
CONSERVATISM: Wants LIBERTY and JUSTICE for all.
LIBERALISM: Says, “PRO CHOICE” but really
means “PRO ABORTION.”
CONSERVATISM: Says, “PRO LIFE” and means it.
LIBERALISM: Seeks peace by PACIFYING our national enemies.
CONSERVATISM: Seeks peace by DEFEATING our national enemies.
LIBERALISM: Believes that power DESCENDS from the government to the people.
CONSERVATISM: Believes that power ASCENDS from the people to the government.
LIBERALISM: Hides behind a mask.
CONSERVATISM: Confronts you face to face.
LIBERALISM: An ideology of COLLECTIVISM.
CONSERVATISM: An ideology of INDIVIDUALISM.
LIBERALISM: Is DESTRUCTIVE and EVIL.
CONSERVATISM: Is PRODUCTIVE and GOOD.
Beware of Socialism
America’s first experiment with socialism didn’t come inmodern times.It came nearly four-hundred years ago when our Pilgrim fathers came over from Europe and began their settlement.According to William Bradford’s work Of Plymouth Plantation, the Pilgrim settlers established rules that required every family to give their harvests to a communal storehouse that would divide the goods equally among all citizens.This proved to be disasterous since many grew lazy, knowing that they would be fed regardless.Others refused to give their best effort, knowing that the fruit of their labors would only be taken from them.The whole plan was eventually ditched, and free-market capitalism was embraced, which worked wonderfully.But who ever learns from history?Certainly not Americans.
If individuals, families, businesses, or even churches, want to distribute their goods to others, that’s perfectly fine, and the Scriptures encourage them to do so with cheerful hearts as the Holy Spirit leads, but governments have no goods to distribute to anyone other than the goods they have taken from people, so this makes socialism an unscriptural economic system.
In an effort to explain the dangers of socialism, I once told the following little story to our church children:
Once upon a time Jared, Joy, and David, were playing on their grandfather’s great farm, called Freedom Farm, when they wandered off across the pasture, into the woods, and all the way to the banks of a big, wide, river.While looking across the river they saw a very great, dark, mountain that they had never seen before. They also saw a great bridge stretching across the wide river to the base of the mountain.With much excitement, they ran all the way back to grandpa’s house and cried, “Grandpa!Grandpa! We just saw a great river, and across the river a very great mountain, and a big bridge to take us there!What’s it called, grandpa?Have you ever seen it?Have you ever been there?Will you take us there?”Then, with the most serious look they had ever seen on his face, grandpa sat down, gathered the children around, and told them the truth about the mysterious mountain, the wide river, and the great bridge:
“Children, don’t ever go back there again. That great mountain you saw is not a mountain at all.It only looks like a mountain.It’s really a very dangerous volcano called Communism, and it has claimed the lives of many people.The people who live there are called Communists.Folks like to go there, thinking that they’ll be happier, only to be devoured by the wrath of the volcano.God placed the wide river there, called Constitution River, to keep us from crossing over into danger.”
“But who built the bridge?” asked David.“Yeah,” added Joy, “and does the bridge have a name?”“The bridge was built by the Communists,” said grandpa, “and it is called Socialism.But never should you set a foot on the bridge, not one step!Stay here on this side of the river, and you can always enjoy the many blessings of God. Promise me thatyou’ll never take the first step onto the bridge.”
They all promised, and they all lived happily ever after, serving Jesus on Freedom Farm.
We have a choice, America.We can enjoy the American dream as one nation under God, or we can suffer the socialist/communist nightmare under Big Brother Government.
Pledge of Allegiance
As approved by Congress, 1954
I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the republic for which it stands,
one nation under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.
Preamble to the
United States Constitution
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.
The Star Spangled Banner
Our national anthem was penned by Francis Scott Key (a Christian) on the morning of September 14, 1814, after the shelling of Ft.McHenry. Unfortunately, people usually sing only the first stanza:
Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O'er the ramparts we watch'd were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream.
'Tis the star-spangled banner, oh, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footstep's pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Oh, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov'd home and the war's desolation!
Blest with vict'ry and peace may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv'd us a nation
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto, “In God is our Trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
The Bill of Rights
Thanks to the diligent efforts of John Leland and the Baptists of Virginia, the first Ten Amendments, also known as AThe Bill of Rights,@ were added to our nation=s Constitution on December 15, 1791.They read as follows:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor 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 all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining Witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Declaration of Independence
Complete text and original spelling as
Adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776
The Unanimous Declaration of the
Thirteen United States of America
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.
He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.
He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:
For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing taxes on us without our consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:
For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:
For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:
For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:
For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.
We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
Words of Wisdom
A democracy cannot survive as a permanent form of government.It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury.From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money with the result being the democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, followed by a dictatorship . . . The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years.These nations have progressed with the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back to bondage. Attributed to 18th century Scottish Professor Alexander Tyler, although some dispute this.
I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning.I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.
Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.
America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. Attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville
If we don=t hang together, we most assuredly will hang separately.Benjamin Franklin
Bad men cannot make good citizens.It is impossible that a nation of idolaters should be a nation of free men.It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains.Patrick Henry
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.Ronald Reagan
Free government is founded in jealousy, not con-fidence. It is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind those we are obliged to trust with power.... In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in men, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson
If we will not be governed by God, then we will be ruled by tyrants.William Penn
If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.Samuel Adams
A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.Dwight D. Eisenhower
That Book, Sir, [the Bible] is the rock on which our Republic stands.Andrew Jackson
Never a night goes by, be I ever so tired, but I read the word of God before I go to bed. Gen. Douglas MacArthur
Man is not free unless Government is limited.Ronald Reagan, Farewell Address, 1988
Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind.It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian.United States Supreme Court Ruling, 1892, Church of the Holy Trinity vs. the United States
I enter a most earnest plea that in our hurried and rather bustling life of today we do not lose the hold our forefathers had on the Bible.I wish to see the Bible study as much a matter of course in the secular colleges as in the seminary.No educated man can afford to be ignorant of the Bible, and no uneducated man can afford to be ignorant of the Bible. Theodore Roosevelt
The Bible makes the best people in the world. Thomas Jefferson
No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.Douglas MacArthur
In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me.Martin Niemoeller, German Lutheran pastor, freed by the Allied forces in 1945
But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government. Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837.
Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.Ronald Wilson Reagan
Liberty without learning is always in peril and learning without liberty is always in vain.John F. Kennedy
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be. Thomas Jefferson
Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.John Adams
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. ... God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion; what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787
Most people prefer to believe that their leaders are just and fair, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which he lives is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one's self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all. Michael Rivero
I know not what course others may take but as for me: give me liberty or give me death.Patrick Henry
Voting is no substitute for the eternal vigilance that every friend of freedom must demonstrate towards government. If our freedom is to survive, Americans must become far better informed of the dangers from Washington -- regardless of who wins the Presidency.James Bovard in “Voting is Overrated”
Had the people during the revolution had any suspicionof an attempt to war against Christianity that revolution would have been strangled in its cradle . . . At the time of the adoption of the constitution and its amendments the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged . . . That was the religion of the founders of the republic and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants.U.S. House Judiciary Committee, March 27, 1854
At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.Jeremiah 18:7-10
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Jesus Christ, Matthew 5:13
I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do.Edward Everett Hale
The Unknown Soldier
In ArlingtonNationalCemetery rests the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.This tomb stands as a national memorial to the thousands of American soldiers who have died in war.
There are thousands of good men who have suffered and died in battle, only to be forgotten by their fellow countrymen.Over 400,000 soldiers lost their lives in World War II, but how many can you name?Over 33,000 men died in the Korean War, but how many can you name?Vietnam brought about the death of some 58,000 American soldiers.Can you name ten of them?Let’s face it: you can name more movie stars and sports figures than you can American soldiers.
The sad fact is that we, as Americans, have taken our freedom for granted with very little appreciation for those who have sacrificed so much, even their very lives, to ensure our liberty.The many thousands of unknown soldiers in our nation’s history will, for the most part, remain unknown.Life will go on, and most of the brave soldiers who have sacrificed for our freedom will be forgotten by most Americans.
However, friend, there is one soldier whom you cannot afford to forget.There is one soldier who suffered, bled, and died for you personally.That’s right.There is one soldier who spent thirty-three years on a foreign battlefield and then died just for you.This good soldier obeyed his orders, left his own home, completed his mission, and then laid down his honorable life just so you could be free.
Who is he?He’s the beloved Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.Jesus left his glorious home in heaven to come to this earth and die for your sins.He shed his blood and died to save you from a burning hell.Will you show your appreciation by placing your trust in him, or will you dishonor him by ignoring the great sacrifice that he made for you?
“Why,” you may ask, “did Jesus have to die for me?”He died for you because you are a sinner: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”(Rom. ) You were born with a sin nature, just as all men are, so Jesus Christ came to REDEEM you from your fallen sinful condition.Satan is a thief who has led mankind into sin, death, and hell, but Jesus Christ came to lead men back to heaven.
Romans says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”Jesus said, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”(John 10:10) Jesus bled and died so thatYOU could have ETERNAL LIFE.He was a good soldier indeed!
Now, please notice these inspired words from Romans 5:6-10: “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”Read it again, please.Friend, Jesus Christ was much more than a good soldier.A good soldier will die for other good men, but Jesus Christ died for his EMEMIES!You, as a sinner in this world, are an enemy of God (James 4:4; Col. 1:21), but Jesus still came and died for you!Jesus is a GREAT soldier!He’s the greatest soldier to ever live.
In fact, God the Father in heaven was so pleased with Jesus Christ that he RAISED him from the dead after three days in the tomb!The Bible says that “ . . . Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”(I Cor. 15:3-4)
Many soldiers have died for their country, but none have ever walked out on death.Jesus Christ came up from the grave - a victor over death - to offer eternal life to all who believe on him.He is now the CAPTAIN of our salvation (Heb. )!Jesus said, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Rev. 1:18)
Do YOU want to walk out on death one day?Jesus Christ has the keys!Jesus is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE (John 14:6).Why not confess that you are a lost sinner and that you need a living Saviour today?Why not show your appreciation to the greatest Soldier to ever live by joining his army today?Why not turn your back on the devil and fight the good fight for Jesus Christ?
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”You cannot save yourself.Only the blood of Jesus Christ can wash your sins away: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”(Rom. 3:24-25) Friend, if you could earn your salvation, then Jesus came and died for NOTHING.If God wanted you to “do good” and earn your salvation, then he would have never sent his Son to pay for your sins!
Friend, just as a military victory can establish national freedom for millions of people, Christ’s victory over sin and death can establish SPIRITUAL freedom for you.Because of Jesus, your sins can be washed away and forgiven FOREVER!“. . . Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.”(Rev. 1:5)
Why not make Jesus Christ YOUR Captain right now?Romans 10:9-10 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”Why not bow your head right now and ask the Lord Jesus Christ to come into your heart and wash your sins away?You won’t find a better friend anywhere!He DIED for you, and he AROSE for you!Now he invites you to be his very own.
Will you call upon him today, or will you let him fade into the past like an unknown soldier?“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Rom. )
1. Our Pilgrim fathers came to America in the year ________.
2. The document that the Pilgrims signed before coming ashore was called the _________________________.
3. John Adams said the destiny of America is to do what?
4. “. . . I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”Whose words are those?
5. Which founding father quoted Psalm 127:1 to President George Washington in an appeal for a national day of prayer?
6. True or False?George Washington said that it is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.
7. What happened on September 16, 1620?
8. Where is the “birthplace of American democracy”?
9. In American history, what is the greatest thing to ever happen on Christmas day?
10-12.Name three ways in which the American flag pictures Jesus Christ:
13. The fact that the United States has fifty states is interesting because fifty in the Bible is the number of __________.
14. What is the spiritual significance of the colors of the American flag?
15. Where does the Bible command Christians to pray for those in authority?
16. Where does the Bible command Christians to submit to the powers that be?
17. America’s first experiment with socialism came when?
18. Was this socialistic experiment successful?
19-21. List three strong differences between liberals and conservatives:
22-24. Please fill in the blanks:
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States
of America and to the _________ for which it stands,
one nation ___________, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.
25-28. List four rights protected by the First Amendment:
29. Which amendment protects the right to bear arms?
30.Which of our founding documents states that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”?
31. Which of the following quotes is not from Benjamin Franklin?
A. If we don=t hang together, we most assuredly will hang separately.
B. They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
C. Voting is no substitute for the eternal vigilance that every friend of freedom must demonstrate towards government.
32. Who authored the following words?
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. ... God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion; what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.
33. Who said that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty?
34. Where does the Bible say that God plucks up and pulls down nations?
35.Fill in the blanks:“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do __________.”
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