Summary: Independence Day sermon using a Monopoly Board to contrast what we call freedom with what the Bible declares is freedom.
What makes you feel really free?
--Just over 643,000 American soldiers have given their lives in various wars since the birth of our nation in the pursuit and defense of freedom.
--Patrick Henry was a famous statesman and orator of colonial Virginia. In 1764 he was elected to the House of Burgesses where he became a champion of the frontier people, supporting their rights against the arrogant exercise of power by the aristocracy.
In 1774 he was a delegate to the First Continental Congress. In 1775, before the Virginia Provincial Convention, which was deeply divided between those who supported England and those who desired freedom, he uttered his most famous words, "Give me liberty or give me death!"
During the Revolutionary War he became commander-in-chief of Virginia’s military forces, a member of the Second Continental Congress, helped draw up the first constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and was largely responsible for drawing up the amendments to our Constitution known as the Bill of Rights.
He became Virginia’s first governor, and was re-elected four times. Then he retired from public life, but despite his strong objections the people went ahead and re-elected him Governor for the 5th time. But he meant what he said, so he refused to take the office.
He was offered a seat in the U.S. Senate, and posts as ambassador to Spain and to France. President George Washington asked him to join his cabinet and become Secretary of State, and later wanted to appoint him the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. But he refused all such honors and recognitions.
Listen to these words from him: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians - not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
His Last Will & Testament was filed in the Brookneal County courthouse in Virginia. You read his will and you’ll see that he bequeathed everything to his children, just as most people do. But the last paragraph in his will is especially interesting.
He wrote, "I have now given everything I own to my children. There is one more thing I wish I could give them and that is Christ. Because if they have everything I gave them and don’t have Christ, they have nothing."
Monopoly board illustrates the kind of freedoms we think we enjoy:
1. Get out of jail free—a belief that we are beyond consequences
2. Houses and hotels—freedom coming because of financial security
3. Free Parking—I have arrived, I can relax
I don’t think we understand the underlying principle of freedom.
What document in our history most proclaims freedom?
--The Declaration of Independence?
--The Bill of Rights?
The document from our history that proclaims freedom in clarion tones is the Bible!
But some might object proclaiming the Bible as a compilation of nothing more than prohibitions to real living, restrictive, constraining.
Let’s go back to our Monopoly board and illustrate from the Bible how popular thinking is restrictive and how Bible teachings bring real freedom.
1. Get out of jail free
a. sin will take you farther than you want to go
b. sin will leave you longer than you want to stay
c. sin will cost you far more than you want to pay
You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
RO 6:19 I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2. Houses and hotels
a. Achan thought a little bit of Jericho’s prize would be o.k. because they didn’t need it anymore.
b. Ananias and Sapphira thought holding back a little bit was the prudent thing to do.
c. The Rich young ruler was prisoner to his money more than he could ever realize.
• PS 37:25 I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
PS 37:26 They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be blessed.
• PS 112:5 Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely,