Summary: We are citizens of a heavenly realm and this world is NOT our home!
Date Written: August 11, 2007
Date Preached: August 12, 2007
Where Preached: OZHBC (PM)
Sermon Series: A Study in 1 Peter
Sermon Title: This World is not our home!
Sermon Text: 1 Peter 1:17 - 21
17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who thru Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
Today in England, there are some independent radio stations, but 40 years ago (in the 1960’s) the British Broadcasting Company had a monopoly on the airwaves in England.
In 1965, a free-spirit named Roy Bates, decided to set up his own, independent, illegal, pirate alternative radio station which he called Radio Essex. Being against the law, and he was quickly arrested and fined £100.
Not willing to give up his radio voice, Mr. Bates moved his operation offshore. England’s territorial waters at the time extended only 3 miles off the coastline. Roy Bates knew of an old abandoned fort six miles off the coast, just far enough to lie within international waters.
It was a military platform built during WWII to protect the Thames Estuary – the harbor at the mouth of the Thames river and it housed up to 200 men, and had a helipad.
After the war, the platform had been abandoned. Roy set up his radio station on this offshore haven because he was safely in international waters, and he was able to broadcast his own brand of entertainment over much of England.
In 1967, Roy realized that because his home was in international waters that it was claimed by no country, so he decided to claim it as his own sovereign realm...his own country.
Roy and his wife Joan declared the off shore tower to be the “Principality of Sealand,” and to be an independent country. They crafted a constitution, named themselves Prince Roy and Princess Joan of Sealand, and swore loyalty to their new country, using their newly created flag and national anthem.
By late 1968, the British navy had become aware of the new situation and dispatched a naval cruiser to quietly resolve the situation. Prince Roy took exception to this invasion of his territorial waters and fired warning shots – basically plinking the side of the naval warship with a shotgun loaded with bird shot.
Since Prince Roy was still an English citizen, he was accused of several serious crimes against England and was summoned to a British court. In this widely publicized lawsuit, the court decided that it could not exert any jurisdiction outside of British national territory, which many interpret as the first de facto recognition of the Principality of Sealand.
This case actually ruled that Sealand was not part of the United Kingdom, and it also inferred that there was not any other nation claiming it, so therefore, Prince Roy’s declaration of a new Sovereign State was upheld.
A well-recognized international precedent known as the Montevideo Convention states that one test of the legitimacy of a nation is when it is recognized by other states. England, by specifically NOT claiming it, was recognizing it.
What would you do with a country of your own. What kind of laws would you pass? Sealand instituted an international ferry service consisting of a rubber Zodiac. In order to board the Sealand vessel at the dock in England, you had to present your Sealand passport and submit to customs inspection.
Smoking and swearing were both subject to banishment, as was taking more than three five-minute showers per week. Sealand printed international postage stamps and used them to mail letters in England, which the British postal service subsequently delivered, again recognizing Sealand’s existence and rights.
But dark days soon fell on the brave new country…
In August of 1978, a number of Dutch men invited Roy the continent. It was later found that these men were part of organized crime families wanting to take over this small country! It would make them legitimate and beyond the laws and reach of other nations.
Roy left Sealand under the control of his Prime Minister (the German night shift disc jockey, who was later discovered to be tied in with these gangsters!
And while Roy was away, armed men boarded Sealand and staged a coupe, imprisoning Prince Roy’s son the His Royal Highness Prince Michael. Prince Roy became suspicious and returned to his country.