The Fourth of July is a day on which all Americans should celebrate our nation’s cry for freedom. Since the Second Continental Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence 246 years ago, The United States of America has been a beacon of liberty throughout the world. More people have risked their lives to become Americans than to become citizens of any other country in the world–because people yearn for freedom and the blessings it brings.
The Pilgrims came to America to have a place where they could freely worship God. Our Founding Fathers’ generation fought for the right to be free citizens rather than restricted subjects of an earthly king. Ever since, America has welcomed those “yearning to be free” (as inscribed on the Statue of Liberty). Our Founding Fathers didn’t think that America was Israel or the kingdom of God, but they certainly recognized the principle that Jesus shared with the Jews: “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free…If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed” (Jn. 8:32,36). True freedom comes from knowing and living out the truth, which refers to Divine Revelation in contrast to the philosophies and traditions of man and principles of the world system under Satan (cf Col. 2:8).
As Herbert Hoover, the thirty-first president of the United States pointed out, “Our Founding Fathers built for the United States a government new and different from all the governments of the Old World.” It was based on a written Constitution, division and balance of powers, and governing laws. What was the source of their brilliant, revolutionary ideas? The Judeo-Christian Scriptures. Moses gave Israel a written constitution: a tripartite government of prophets, priests, and kings ruled a decentralized nation of twelve tribal states. All were equal before the throne of God” (p. 94 in Is This the End by Dr. David Jeremiah).
Man was created to be free and nothing was to hinder his relationship with his Creator–not governments nor its leaders nor the will of man. But, sin entered through man exercising his free will to disobey God and mankind and nations have struggled ever since to experience true freedom. We began believing Satan’s lies instead of truth from God. When we suppress the truth and don’t honor and obey God and His Word, we find our heart becomes darkened and we start living in bondage to our old sinful nature (Ro. 1:18-32). We become slaves to sin But, praise God, when we acknowledge and commit ourselves to the truth about God as the Creator, and about His provision for our sin through the death, burial and resurrection of God the Son (The Lord Jesus Christ) to pay for our sin, we are set free. We are “no longer slaves to sin” (Ro. 6:6). And, when the Son makes us free, we are “free indeed” (Jn. 8:36).
The reason our great nation has been so blessed and has experienced so many freedoms is because of our acknowledgement of the true Jehovah God of Israel and of the work of His Son, Jesus Christ at Calvary to pay the penalty for our sins. The majority of the early settlers and Founding Fathers loved and served God and established a governing system based on God’s Word that would help to guarantee individual freedoms, especially the freedom to worship God without interference from government. We have also been supporters of God’s Chosen People, the Nation of Israel and have been blessed because of the covenant God made with Abraham to make of him a mighty nation and to bless those who blessed that nation and curse those who cursed that nation (Gen. 12:3). For those reasons, our country has been unique (apart from that of Israel) among the nations of the world. We have been the “beacon of liberty” to the world. We have sent out missionaries with the “Good News” of forgiveness through Jesus Christ, we are quick to respond to the needs of other nations for help in time of natural disasters. We have helped other nations to fight for their own freedom from tyranny. President Ronald Reagan, in his State of the Union Address in 1988, described America as the “Shining City on a Hill.”
But, our nation has begun struggling greatly to continue to be that lighthouse for the world because we have “suppressed the truth” and started following the philosophies of man and have tried to remove God and His Word from the public square. We still are blessed with many great privileges here but we also see how they are in jeopardy if we don’t repent and return to putting God in His rightful place. President Reagan said, “If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be nation gone under. If we lose our freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.” Politicians love to finish their speeches with, “And God bless America.” But, as Ann Graham Lotz said, “How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?” Erwin Lutzer, pastor of Moody Church wrote in What Happens When a Nation Forgets God: “The future of America will ultimately rest, not on politicians, but on the fervency of God’s people in sharing their faith as credible witnesses to the Christ who saved them. Unless the culture changes, America will not change, and that change is best brought about one life, one family and one community at a time” (Amen!)
So, pray for our nation and its leaders, but also pray for your neighbors and co-workers, and share with them the life-changing message about Jesus Christ. To borrow a phrase from past President Donald Trump, that’s how to “Make America Great Again.” People are crying for freedom and that freedom comes only in the One who is “The way, the TRUTH, and the Life,” Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:6) and through His Word which is truth (Jn. 17:17).