Summary: Christ begins to send the disciples out to build His Kingdom on Earth.
The Expansion of the Kingdom
Matthew Chapter 10
Sunday, July 9th, 2006
I was at Family Camp at Delta Lake early this week. One of the things I love about Delta is the faithfulness of those who go there. There are many people who arrange their entire schedules around camp and wouldn’t miss it for the world. I grew up that way. I didn’t miss a family camp until I was in my 20s. But for the last 7 or 8 years, I was not able to attend because moving around and then being at a church in Ohio. As I walked around the camp, it was full of people that I remember from growing up. There were the same ladies that used to yell at us for playing in the flowers. I had to resist the urge to duck and hide when I saw them coming. I ran into a lot of people and I don’t know how many times when I was asked what I was doing that I got the response, “You’re a Pastor?” I said, “I’m trying!”
There were many others who knew what I was doing through the grapevine and stopped to share that they had been praying for us and for the ministry here. There are many who are keeping us in their prayers and the things that we see happening here are no mistake. When people pray, God moves.
The focus of Family Camp is the teaching. The morning session were taught by the Pastoral Ministries Dean of Nyack College, Ron Walborn. I am hoping to get him to come here at some point. In the evenings, the speaker was a little bit different. He was a lawyer and an author. It wasn’t your typical pastor up front preaching. He spoke Tuesday night on the question of whether or not America was a Christian nation. If someone asked you that question, what would you say? Is America a Christian nation?
You may not read it in the text books anymore but there is no denying that America was founded on Christian principles. Our struggle and fight for freedom was a religious battle in many ways. You learn in school that it was because of taxation without representation that we declared our independence. This is one of 27 grievances in the Declaration and doesn’t even show up until number 17, many of the ones above it have to do with religious and Christian ideals. They won’t teach you that.
Listen to the faith of the Founding Fathers.
John Adams and John Hancock:
We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus! [April 18, 1775]
–John Adams in a letter written to Abigail on the day the Declaration was approved by Congress “ The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals of Christianity (you don’t need to look any further than that to see that this nation was founded as a Christian nation)… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”
• “[July 4th] ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
Benjamin Franklin: | Portrait of Ben Franklin
“ God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel” –Constitutional Convention of 1787 | original manuscript of this speech IF God wasn’t the foundation of America, the founding fathers gave it little chance of survival!
Thomas Jefferson"I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus."
James Madison “ We’ve staked our future on our ability to follow the Ten Commandments with all of our heart.”
George Washington:“ It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible.” Can you imagine some of our politicians saying that?!?
“What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.” [speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs May 12, 1779]
Sam Adams, John Quincy Adams, William Bradford, Alexander Hamilton, John Hancock, Patrick Henry, John Jay, the list goes on and on. This country was not just founded by Christians, it was founded on the principles of God’s Word and God truly blessed America in those early days because America, as a nation, blessed God.
Alexis De Tocqueville was a French philosopher who had come to America in the 1830’s to find out what made her great so that the French could learn and copy some things to become great as well. After traveling throughout the US, he made these comments. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers - and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce- and it was not there . . . 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 aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.