Summary: This message encourages us to not only remember those who have died to preserve our country’s freedom, but also to remember the One who suffered and died to set us free from the law of sin and death, providing us with eternal forgiveness and salvation.
REMEMBER, LEST WE FORGET
Text: Ps.103: 2
Intro: Tomorrow we celebrate Memorial Day. It is a day set aside by our nation to remember and honor all who have paid the ultimate price to preserve and maintain our freedom.
It is certainly befitting that we should honor those brave men and women who have sacrificed to preserve this great nation of ours, for we must never forget that freedom is never free. Freedom is always costly. It has always cost one of our most precious possessions—life itself. Therefore, we must remember, lest we forget freedom’s value. We must remember, lest we take freedom for granted. We must remember, lest our freedom ceases to be precious.
I remember seeing a National Geographic article some time ago about an attempt to locate the USS Indianapolis, which was sunk by a Japanese sub during World War II.
At 12:14 a.m. on July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the Philippine Sea and sank in 12 minutes. Of 1,196 men on board, approximately 300 went down with the ship. The remainder, about 900 men, were left floating in shark-infested waters with no lifeboats and most with no food or water. The ship was never missed, and by the time the survivors were spotted by accident four days later only 316 men were still alive (Taken from www.ussindianapolis.org).
Those men on the Indianapolis had friends, loved ones, hopes, ambitions, and dreams, just as we do. But they were willing to set all of that aside that they might defend our country’s freedom.
Folks, our freedom is precious because of what it has cost our nation and its people. Freedom has never been, and never will be, free. However, it’s not merely the sacrifice of its people that has made our nation great. It is something deeper than that. One man put it this way:
French writer Alexis de Tocqueville, after visiting America in 1831, said, "I sought for the greatness of the United States in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, her fertile fields, and boundless forests--and it was not there. I sought for it in her rich mines, her vast world commerce, her public school system, and in her institutions of higher learning--and it was not there. I looked for it in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution--and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great!"
Alexis de Tocqueville.
The Bible says, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov.14: 34). The fact is folks; biblical righteousness comes only as a result of knowing, on a personal level, the righteous One. To possess national freedom without knowing Christ as Savior is to know only partial and temporary freedom. The greatest battle ever fought was that which Christ fought and won on Calvary. Again, God’s Word says, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free in deed” (John 8: 36).