America’s Forgotten History (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on July 6, 2014

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This is the Independence Day sermon, delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on Sunday, July 6, 2014. This message examines the purely Christian roots of the United States, and contrasts that heritage to the state of the union today. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

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Luke 4_18

SERMON NOTES:

America’s Forgotten History: Luke 4:18

Liberty. . . through the Word of God!

Philadelphia, July 5, 1777:

“My dear Daughter: Yesterday being the anniversary of American Independence, was celebrated here with a festivity and ceremony becoming the occasion . . . The thought of taking any notice of this day was not conceived until the second of this month, and it was not mentioned until the third. It was too late to have a sermon, as every one wished, so this must be deferred another year”  -(John Adams, from Adams Family Correspondence: June 1776–March 1778, 274).

John Adams made an observation that should be remembered today. Everyone wished to hear a sermon as part of the celebration.

We have come far! (In the wrong direction).

It is the liberty of Christ that will heal the brokenhearted. It grants deliverance to the captives and new sight to the blind.

True freedom can come only through Him.

John 8:36

Since it’s inception, the United States has stood as a symbol of freedom to the entire world.

The U.S. has been a land of hope and opportunity. Not just because of our political liberty, but because we were founded on the freedom that can only come through Christ.

Because of this, this nation has reaped God’s blessings.

Psalm 33:12

Many have fooled themselves into thinking that religious pluralism is the great strength of our nation.

However, diversity and pluralism are nothing more than euphemisms for what God calls idolatry.

God doesn’t celebrate religious diversity, He condemns it. The first commandment of all was Exodus 20:3

When Israel was about to enter Canaan, a land filled with pagan idolatry, God commanded the Israelites to “put away the foreign gods that are in your midst”

Joshua 24:23

Joshua 23:7

Do you think God’s view of idolatry has changed in the last 3000 years?

Even so, the anti-Christian forces in today’s society have set themselves up as gods by defining their own morality, yet If we proclaim the morality of the Bible, we are called intolerant and self-righteous.

However; the Bible is clear that we are not to be tolerant of false religions.

Furthermore; a Christian’s righteousness is not his own, but God’s. Therefore; we are not the self-righteous ones. Those who define their own righteousness are self-righteous.

Work, pleasure, money, and self-indulgence have become the god of those who rail against Christianity, and Christ is far too radical and judgmental to have a place in their lives.

They have left us a godless nation, and while they enjoy the benefits of God’s blessings, they don’t want the obligation of obedience or service to Him. Living without a care, they are oblivious to any coming judgment.

The blessings we now enjoy are now only residual, we are riding the coat-tails of a forgotten time in our history, but it hasn’t always been this way.

America was founded as a Christian nation, and we won our independence as a Christian nation.

Christ was not on the same level as all other gods, He reigned supreme. All other religions were considered false, impostors, and rightly so.

But now our attitude of inclusion (acceptance of all types of sinful lifestyles) and non-offending policies, have allowed us to become nothing more than a breeding ground for the future residents of Hell!

However, this is not how our nation was founded. The first settlers came to this land in search of freedom, freedom to worship their God.

This hard-won freedom was neither free nor easy, but they understood the importance of freedom.

Freedom today is often taken for granted, we indulge in the luxuries of life, while scarcely a thought is given to the price that was paid for our freedom. Lives were lost, and families were destroyed, but there was no doubt that the cause was just.

We desire this freedom because apart from life itself, it is the most precious gift we have from God.

God himself apparently places a high value on freedom, consider this:

God has given us the most precious of all freedoms, the freedom to either accept or reject Him.

Consider the consequences of this freedom. Because of this freedom, countless souls will spend an eternity in Hell. This freedom carries the highest price of all, the ultimate cost or the greatest reward, Heaven or Hell.

Why would God impart this freedom with such a price tag on it? After all, it is His will that none should perish.

Without freedom of choice (free will) there would be no true love of God, no real devotion. We were created to love God and fellowship with Him.

If God values freedom enough that He offers it at such a high cost, then we should also esteem it. We must protect freedom, regardless of the consequences, and all Earthly consequences pale in comparison to the ultimate consequences of God’s freedom. If Heavenly freedom is worth the price of Hell, how much less are the prices we pay for Earthly freedom?

With this desire for freedom in mind, the founders of this nation sought a place where they could freely worship the God of the Bible.

Consider some facts from this nation’s history:

  • The first charter of Virginia, dated October 10, 1606, indicated that one of the primary purposes of English colonization in the New World was the propagation “of Christian religion to such people, as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God.”
  • A crude church building was erected the first month after the settlers landed at Jamestown. It became the center of religious, social, and civic life of the first permanent English colony in America. We know what their priorities were.
  • In many early charters and land grants in America, a missionary purpose was expressly pointed out that became one of the primary objectives of colonization.
  • All throughout the New World, as soon as homes were erected, meeting houses were built as a place to worship God.
  • The majority of the original colonies required a person to be a professing Christian, in order to hold office or vote.

What a difference today. Christian influence in government is now considered taboo.

In fact, the phrase in the Declaration of Independence “endowed by their Creator. . .” actually eliminates the majority of religions in the world.

  • In the original writing of the constitution of South Carolina, one of the requirements to be able to vote was: “Acknowledge the being of God, and to believe in a future state of rewards and punishments.” (Heaven or Hell)
  • Our entire governmental system was based on Scripture, and the need for laws was inspired by Jeremiah 17:9
  • The three branches of government were based on Isaiah 33:22
  • Our original and fundamental system of laws was based on the Ten Commandments.
  • The tax exempt status of churches was based on Ezra 7:24

This nation was built on the solid rock of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and The Holy Scriptures.

Satan; however, has been blasting away at this foundation, and he has been using our education system to do it. It is interesting that in the early days of this nation, education used to honor God. Christianity was the mother of education in Colonial America.

  • A Massachusetts law of 1647 required public education for religious purposes. The law said that children should be taught to read because Satan tried “to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures.”
  • Our first colleges were church-related.

The inscription on the west gate at Harvard reads:

“After God carried us safe to new England, and we had built our houses, provided necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for God’s worship, and settled the civil government: One of the next things we longed for, and looked after was to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present Ministers shall lie in the dust.”

  • The Supreme Court said in 1844, Vidal v. Girard’s Executors, “One does not have to treat all religions equally in the classroom, because other religions are infidelities. America is a Christian Country.”

Furthermore, the Supreme Court reasoned that since this is a Christian nation, we should not hesitate to teach the Bible to our students to encourage moral behavior:

“Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament, without note or comment, be read and taught as divine revelation in the school—It’s general precepts expounded, Its evidences explained and its glorious principles of morality inculcated?…Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New testament?”

According to the Supreme Court, attempting to separate the teaching of Christianity from the teaching of morality was not only impossible, it was unnecessary since this is a Christian nation.

  • In 1782 the United States Congress said, “The Congress of the United States approves and recommends to the people the Holy Bible for use in schools.”

What a change in the public school system of today. Christianity has been replaced with evolution. It is the new, state-sponsored religion. The teaching of morality has been replaced with sex-education, and the Bible has been replaced with “Heather Has Two Mommies.”

Today, there are many among us who would have us to forget our nation’s Christian heritage. They have been rewriting the history books so as to remove God. In doing so, they have devalued the lives of all the men who died so that we could have this freedom. They have cheapened God’s role in the development of this nation, and relegated Him to the ranks of all other supposed deities.

As a result, this nation has been on a downward spiral. Millions of babies are killed each year, and they call it abortion instead of murder. Violent crime is up, and scholastic achievement is down. We are forced to pay to have a false religion taught to our children in the public schools. Politicians who allow this to happen need to be voted out of office.

Christians must send a message. We must resist this trend with all our strength, because it resists God. We must be active and make our voices heard. This new philosophy has a direct effect on the faith of our nation, and the acceptance of Christianity. Although people may persecute us because they do not like what we preach, we MUST stand in fear of God, not in fear of men.

Matthew 10:28

  • We Christians need to make our voices heard.
  • We need to hold our leaders accountable to the Word of God.
  • We must preach the good news of the Gospel to the lost world around us, introducing people to the saving freedom that Christ offers.

Be grateful and celebrate the wonderful liberty that God has granted the United States. But pray:

Matthew 6:10

Even so come Lord Jesus.

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Posted in: Holidays, Sermons