Summary: This sermon addresses the costs of freedom and liberty, both to the United States and to the Christ-follower.
Study more on this topic and other related topics in the American Patriot’s Bible (Thomas Nelson), edited by Dr. Richard Lee, at www.americanpatriotsbible.com.
"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13
When we think of the liberties that Americans enjoy we must remember that these blessings came to us at the expense of the blood and sacrifice of brave men and women who have given their lives for these freedoms we enjoy.
The well worn saying is still true..."Freedom is never free." Our liberty cost greatly, and many paid the ultimate sacrifice.
I. THE GREAT PRICE OF LIBERTY.
It was on June 11, 1776 that Thomas Jefferson aided by James Madison, began to draft a Document later known as the Declaration of Independence. On July 4th of that same year 56 men gathered together to approve this document in a Continental Congress.
Finally, on August the 2nd, the Declaration was ready for signing. Who would sign it? How many would be willing?
Each man knew the potential cost of doing so. They could lose their home and property. They could be hanged by the British as rebels. Their wives and children could be thrown into prison. They would be putting all that they had on the line.
Yet, when time came, the document was presented by Richard Henry Lee, John Hancock was first and then every man stepped to the table and signed this Declaration of Independence.
Someone wrote of these men...
"These were not wild-eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were dedicated, consecrated, determined men of means and of education.
24 of them were lawyers, 11 of them were merchants and 9 were large landowners.
And when they signed that document, they did so knowing that if they were captured it meant torture and death. 9 of the 56 were captured by the British as traitors and tortured and put to death. 2 of them lost their sons in war. Another 2 had sons captured and 12 of the fifty-six had their homes ransacked and burned.
Typical of them was John Hart, who saw his fields and mill laid waste. For more than a year, he lived in forest and caves. When he returned home, he found his wife had died, his children had vanished and a few weeks later, he died of a broken heart.
These are men who valued liberty more than they valued their lives. Standing tall and straight and unwavering, they pledged for the support of this declaration with reliance on God. This Declaration of Independence began: "All men are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights..." And it ended: "we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."
We are a nation born in the blood of sacrifice. Our Liberties are written in blood of our Sons and Daughters.
(Refer to APB pg. 1395)
If you have ever been to Valley Forge you will remember in the middle of the Park, there is a great bronze statue of George Washington kneeling in prayer. That statue commemorates the days in 1777 Washington and his little Continental Army was surrounded by British. Bloody footprints where left in the snow by bootless men. Near naked soldiers wrapped in thin blankets huddled around smoky fires of green wood trying to stay alive. More than 2,000 soldiers died that winter from diseases. But this "Army of Skeletons" were American heroes.
Governor Louis Morris wrote: "An army of skeletons appeared before our eyes naked, starved, sick and discouraged."
The Frenchman Marquis de Lafayette wrote: "The unfortunate soldiers were in want of everything; they had neither coats nor hats, nor shirts, nor shoes. Their feet and their legs froze until they were black, and it was often necessary to amputate them."
But Washington’s troop survived those terrible winter months and eventually won the War and America’s Liberty.
Many other wars have been fought for our liberty and the liberty of other peoples and nations.
(1) The Revolutionary War; (2) The War of 1812; (3) The Mexican/American War; (4) The War Between the States; (5) The Spanish American War; (6) WW1; (7) WW2; (8)The Korean War; (9) TheVietnam War; (10) The Gulf War; (11) The War in Afghanistan; (12) The War in Iraq, and in each, the price of liberty has been in blood.
Freedom of thought...speech...religion...commerce and industry. The right to vote, bare arms, to enjoy self determination of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
When Sherman said, "War is Hell" he knew what he was saying. But unfortunately as long as there is sin, there will be the hell of war. Sin brings with it hatred, greed, envy, prejudice and war. And liberty is often won only by war.
II. THE RESULTS OF LIBERTY.