Give Up? Or Take Back!

Today is the 245th anniversary of the United States of America. Our history as a Christian Nation began in 1620. From the first governing document instituted among free men in this nation, I would like you to hear a very lightly edited version of The Mayflower Compact:

IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten… Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politic, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience. IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James, Anno Domini; 1620. … Signed by 41 men of whom Mr. William Bradford, Myles Standish, John Alden, are undoubtedly the most well known. Half of these men were dead by the following spring. They took their covenant seriously. The Mayflower Captain begged them to give up and return to England. They. Would. Not. Disavow their covenant before God.

By 1636 many more colonies had been founded under very similar covenants. All to the glory of God. All for the Advancement of the Christian faith.

Step forward 156 years and change scene from Cape Cod to Philadelphia. July 4, 1776.

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 inalienable 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 of 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 shewn, 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.  …

Our Declaration of Independence goes on to list many of these injuries and usurpations in defense of their decision to throw off the chains of a tyrannical government.

The history of the founding era of this nation is a history of the CHURCH in America! Those most instrumental in the formulation of civil government in America indeed in America becoming a Nation at all, were the leaders of the churches in America! You would do well to read some of the history of the early colonies and how they were led by their FAITH and their understanding of God’s authority and Man’s responsibility! The King himself was so put out with the influence of the leaders of the Church in America leading up the Revolution, he put a bounty on their heads! They were called the Black Robed Regiment! And they spoke loudly and often against the ruinous and ungodly rule of the British.

Many were itinerant, traveling throughout the colonies. Their sermons might go on for an hour or more! They were published in the local newspapers! They were discussed, measured against the Scriptures, questioned as to whether they were faithful to God’s Word and if they were useful in the living of a righteous life! If loyalty to the King of England was more virtuous than loyalty to Jesus Christ. They said in no uncertain terms that ‘render unto Caesar’ really DID NOT mean obeying immoral law and acting against your neighbor?

Things have changed. When was the last time you saw a sermon printed in a newspaper? A streaming video is NOT the same thing! Printed sermons pretty much ended when the consensus became that religion was no longer welcome in the public square. Remember? Two things we don’t discuss—Politics and Religion! Why? Because they start arguments! Did you ever wonder WHY they are so divisive that people can’t talk about them in “Polite Society”? Why do those subjects always seem to raise hate and dissension between people of otherwise quote ‘peaceable natures’? Well, one, people with truly peaceable natures are rare as hens teeth and two, people are generally proud of their considered opinion even when truth is not part of their consideration in FORMING that opinion!!!

Opinions concerning politics and religion, unless scrutinized in the light of absolute truth, are based on nothing more than feelings and disagreeing with those opinions hurts feelings! And when you disagree with what I believe you are attacking ME! The fight or flight kicks in and the battle is ON! Reason is out the window in direct opposition to the guidance of the Holy Spirit! Now you can say that argument is ALWAYS pointless and that everybody is entitled to believe whatever they want. That mindset and worldview is UNCHRISTIAN! Yes, OTHER people CAN believe whatever they want BUT we are duty-bound before God to PRESENT the GOSPEL. If they reject it THEN we can, with a clear conscience, shake their dust from our sandals and move on.

What is the Great Commission? Go ye therefore into ALL the world MAKING DISCIPLES, teaching them WHATSOEVER I have Commanded! If you never open your mouth to anyone about YOUR FAITH(which begins with Jesus Christ, with why He HAD to DIE so that WE might have LIFE and ends with being a good neighbor) you can NEVER fulfill His Commission! And Politics in this country, how the laws under which we live and interact with each other, originally, were measured against the Word of GOD for their validity and Necessity! In America our religious views and beliefs, our FAITH, MUST eventually, if not PRIMARILY affect our POLITICS!

Both politics and religion were measured against the Word of God for their TRUTH! That is no longer the case!! John Adams once famously said that “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

I am spending a lot of time today speaking about our nation and where we find ourselves in the spheres of both politics and religion. The reason for that is that since 1859 when Darwin published ‘Origin of the Species’, evolution has become the secular religion of unbelievers, the fundamental science taught in schools for more than a century, and the erasure of Genesis as the TRUTH concerning the ORIGINS of BOTH God and Man. A religion that recognizes no Supreme Being, no Creator God, and a moral structure that rests on survival of the fittest, is exactly the opposite of what Adams was talking about. This kind of a ‘moral and religious people’, secular humanists, are UNGOVERNABLE because they are a law unto themselves! This is what the last 4 generations have been drowning in and we are to blame because we have failed to keep God and HIS Word front and Center.

I know! Elmer is a town of about what, 77 people? What can WE do? That first spring on Cape Cod there were only about 50 left. Half of those who signed the Compact were dead! But those who remained built a NATION to the glory of GOD! What CAN we do? First: READ YOUR BIBLE! It is the most owned, least read book in America! Blow the dust of of it and get introduced to the Creator of the Universe! Find out who YOU are in HIS eyes! Second SHARE what you read! Discuss it with friends, neighbors and FAMILY! FAMILY FIRST AND FOREMOST! Join a Bible study or START ONE! We have no problem talking about TV shows or the latest gossip! Its time we REPENTED of THAT and began spreading the Word of God with those we hold dear and even some we don’t if they are willing to take part! The Bible is NOT a hammer to beat people over the head with! It is the revelation of God to His children in need of His Grace, His Mercy, and Repentance! That’s the Gospel—the GOOD NEWS! It is a book of instruction written to a stiff-necked people by our Creator, The God Who loves US! Even when we are yet sinners.

I have a poster on the wall in my office. It says, “In the Age of Information, Ignorance IS A CHOICE!” We have more resources at our fingertips today than at any other time in recorded history! If we do not understand something or need to know something we can just GOOGLE IT! Is what we find on the internet always accurate or fair and balanced? NO!!! But there are many sources available and like my dad used to say “Use you head for something besides a HAT RACK!” Christians have the promise of God that the Holy Spirit will lead us into all TRUTH but to GET there we have to GO there! We must take the trip, make the journey, seek HIS wisdom as gold and silver and precious jewels!

Second Timothy 2:15 says, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Study as a WORKMAN studies not as a STUDENT studies. For a student its just a grade. For the workman its our livelihood! Food on the table. Paying the rent! The workman studies as if their LIFE and the lives of their children depend on it!

If you have friends in the surrounding area encourage them to get involved in KNOWING our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

If you need wisdom in how to deal with what is going on in your life and relationships, heed what James says here in Chapter 1:2-4, My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Are you worried that you can’t understand God’s Word? His assurance to you is in James chapter 1 beginning in verse 5. He says, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

The history of the book of James is one of controversy! Luther thought the book of James was, in his words, a book of straw! Luther was famous for the doctrine of Justification by Faith ALONE! I believe Luther misunderstood the point James was trying to make when he said, What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? (this must be all that Luther saw, but James goes on) If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

True faith, SAVING Faith, cannot exist apart from the works that EXPRESS IT! Faith Saves – WORKS are PROOF!

Roman’s 12:1-2 says, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

What IS a living sacrifice? Taking time to be with the Lord! Read His Word, Pray for Wisdom and Understanding! Give of your TIME and TALENTS without expecting great reward!

Our nation is in desperate need of a return to TRUTH! Who will bring it if CHRISTIANS do not? If not now, when?

Pilate faced a Man Who had done nothing wrong and yet was hated by everyone who politically counted! He asked Jesus, “What IS truth?” in a dismissive tone. Truth is that which expresses to us, reality in the eyes of GOD! Not what my flawed and fallen senses might perceive but that which God has revealed through His Creation and through His Word! His Creation reveals His Power, His Majesty, His depth of Wisdom and knowledge. His Word reveals His Grace, His Holiness, His Love and His Mercy, His Justice and His Patience. His Word also reveals the condition of our heart, our rebellion and our need for repentance and a Savior.

We are used to hearing about the Lamb of God and all He has done for us: the suffering servant, the sacrifice once for all, the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. It is time we heard a lot more about the Lion of the Tribe of Judah! He is the One found worthy to open the 7 seals on the Scroll of Judgment in the book of Revelation. He is the One Who will pour out the bowls of the Wrath of God upon an evil and adulterous generation! He is the One Who came NOT to send Peace but a SWORD: The Sword of Truth!

Christians are to be a peculiar people! America was not built by people who had to wear helmets to ride horses and bicycles and seat belts to drive carts or cars and knee and elbow pads to wear roller skates! America was built by people who could and would govern THEMSELVES according to the moral and religious principles revealed in the Holy Bible. The axiom of governmental authority our Founders envisioned was: the government that governs best governs LEAST!

If we cannot govern ourselves, how can we be trusted to govern others OR SELECT OTHERS TO GOVERN US?

We are to work out our Salvation with Fear and Trembling because we anticipate the day the Lion of Judah WILL RETURN and call us to account. Our Faith that He IS coming AGAIN is to the Jew a stumbling block and to the unbelievers it is FOOLISHNESS. In their eyes believing that makes us really peculiar. The FOOL says in his heart there is no God. So are we to be swayed or feel cowed because they refuse to know the TRUTH? America was founded by men who covenanted together in the sight of God to build a nation to HIS Glory and for the Advancement of His Kingdom. In their view religion MUST affect politics because honesty, morality, and conscience are the outworking of one’s religion and those given power over others must exercise those qualities in GREAT measure!

I have another poster on my wall. It is The American’s Creed. It says:

I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon. I seek opportunity to develop whatever talents God gave me – NOT SECURITY! I do not wish to be a kept citizen humbled and dulled by having the state look after me I want to take the calculated risk: to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence: the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before an earthly master nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say – “This, with God’s help, I have done.”

All this is what it means to BE an American.

We have allowed our nation to become what Canaan was like before Joshua. God brought Israel as judgment upon them. If we do not take a stand for the Lion of Judah we will suffer the same fate as Canaan. It does not start somewhere else or with someone else. It starts here and now with you and yours. America is an uncommon nation. We MUST NOT allow it to be swept into the dustbin of history on OUR WATCH! Stand up and witness for our Lord. This, with God’s help, you CAN DO!

Let us pray. Most Gracious Lord, We have allowed ourselves to turn from you and be deceived by the bounty and riches this land has given. We beg You to let each and every one of us Repent that we may be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Help us to Put on the whole armor of God, that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in the heavenly places.Therefore help us take up the whole armor of God, that we may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand, having girded our loins with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;above all, taking the shield of faith that we may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; guide us to pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, I pray, that utterance may be given to each of us, that we may open our mouths boldly to share the Gospel and BE disciples ourselves so that we may make disciples as your Great Commission calls us to do. Lord give us the courage of the Lion of Judah to speak with unshakable faith for Your Glory. Amen

Jesus said that if you confess Him before man He will stand with you before the Father.

If anyone here today has not made a public profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, now is the time. If anyone here today has questions and feels the need to know more of the Lord’s work in our lives see me afterward there is nothing to fear unless you turn away.

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