Summary: A Fourth of July Message. Our forefathers claimed this nation for God. We need to re-claim it! Paul tells us how in 1 Timothy 2:1-4.
“Keeping America Great”
(NOTE: Several sermons on SermonCentral were helpful in the writing of this message. Thanks!)
INTRODUCTION: Today is the 4th of July … Independence Day! Isn’t America a great place to live … AMEN? While it’s not a perfect place (like Heaven will be!), it’s a lot better than most other nations in the world today.
America is a crazy place. Here’s what somebody wrote … “Only In America”:
• Only in America can pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.
• Only in America are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink.
• Only in America do drug stores make the sick walk all the way in the back to get their prescriptions … while healthy people can buy suntan lotion up front.
• Only in America do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a DIET coke.
• Only in America do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway, and fill our garages with junk.
• Only in America do we use answering machines to screen calls, and have call waiting, so we won’t miss a call from someone we didn’t want to talk to in the first place.
• Only in America do we buy hotdogs in packages of 10, and buns in packages of 8.
• Only in America do we have Braille on drive up ATM machines.
I still believe that America is the greatest nation in the world. I feel blessed by God to have been born and raised in the good ‘ol U.S. of A. AMEN?
The Apostle Paul gives us several things we can do to KEEP America great. Turn to 1 Timothy 2:1-4
I. PRAY FOR AMERICA – 2:1-2a
The GROUNDWORK for the freedom we enjoy, has been laid over the past 228 years. We enjoy our freedom today, because of what our founding fathers, our fathers, our brothers & sisters, our sons & daughters, have done to get and preserve this freedom.
Our freedom didn’t come cheap. The patriots fought and died to give us our “freedom of religion”. There are those today who are trying to tell us that the intention of our founding fathers was to give us “freedom FROM religion”. There’s a difference between “freedom OF religion”, and “freedom FROM religion”.
Are we a Christian nation today? Probably not. Was this nation founded on Christian principles? Absolutely!
The first settlers of America came here to express their religious faith … for freedom of worship. The Pilgrims who came to Plymouth Rock on the Mayflower, wrote the Mayflower Compact in 1620. Listen to what they said: “In the name of God. Amen. Having undertaken for the glory of God and for the advancement of the Christian faith, do solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, covenant and combine ourselves together.”
23 years later, the New England Confederation was written. Listen to what our founding fathers wrote: “Whereas we all came into these parts with one and the same end and aim, namely to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to enjoy the liberties of the gospel in purity and peace.”
What do we have today? A group of people who are trying to eliminate and exterminate not only the word “God” from public view, but also to obliterate the very idea of God.
This is a much different idea than our founding fathers had. LISTEN to what the framers of our Constitution wrote in 1776 – “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…. “And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence … we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”
When the first Continental Congress met, and were debating about how the Declaration of Independence should be written, Ben Franklin got up and said – “Gentlemen, if it is true that not one single petal from any flower falls to the ground without escaping God’s attention, will the distress of this nation go unheeded? Let us therefore determine to seek His face.” After having said that, 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence went to their knees and began to pray and seek God’s wisdom. Can you imagine what would happen if that were to happen in our Congress and Supreme Court today and they said: “Almighty God, what do You want for this nation?”.
56 brave men signed our Declaration of Independence. Do you realize the PRICE that they paid for YOUR independence and the freedoms YOU enjoy?
• 5 were captured and tortured by the British before they died.
• 12 had their homes ransacked and burned to the ground.