One of the great mistakes people make today is that they ignore history. Too many think that world history, at least anything worthwhile or important, began the day they were born. Things in the past don’t really matter to them because they weren’t there. Things in the present are also unimportant unless it directly affects their life. That’s why so many have no idea who the Vice President is, how high our national debt is, the impact of a Supreme Court decision or even who ISIS is. They simply don’t know the significance of such important things and, quite honestly, they don’t care. That people are being decapitated by ISIS because they aren’t Muslims, well, so what? What difference does it make? If America goes bankrupt like Greece and we fall into economic chaos…well, that will be someone else’s problem. How tragic!
This week we will celebrate America’s birthday. Sadly, a great number of people don’t know the significance of this great country and its place in the history of the world because they’ve never bothered to study it. They don’t realize just how great America has always been or how great she can be again. Of course, no nation in the world is perfect and we certainly have had our dark moments over the years. But no nation on earth has been the beacon of light, has offered hope to so many or has given those with no chance a real opportunity.
The reason for her greatness is that America has always been a nation of freedom. Those who fail to study history have no idea just how precious a gift freedom is. If you have freedom, you can pursue any dream you have. Throughout our history, millions and millions of people have fled their homelands to come to America for one reason – freedom. They yearned to be free; to not have other men tell them how they must live, work, think or worship. America has offered the world that dream. I hope that we always will.
Some today want to deny our freedoms and trample all over the Constitution of the United States, especially the 1st Amendment guarantee that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”. If these would take the time to study history, they would realize that America is a nation founded by men who sought freedom based on their religious beliefs. Those who deny the role that the Bible played in the founding of our nation are simply ignoring historical facts. For example, nearly half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had seminary degrees! The writings of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Patrick Henry, Benjamin Franklin and many others clearly show that these men believed that freedom, whether for a man or for a nation, could only be provided by God.
The Founding Fathers understood that freedom given by men is not true freedom. If freedom is given by governments or laws then that freedom can be taken away by the same. There is only one true freedom and that freedom is found in Jesus. No one, not even Satan, can take away our freedom in Christ. Sunday morning we will examine that freedom and what it means for our lives today. Jesus said “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31,32 NKJV). As we will see, no matter what men or governments do, Jesus provides us with true freedom that allows us to live an abundant life today and, even better, to live eternally in the Father’s house. Men’s laws can’t take that away.
In Ecclesiastes 1:9, Solomon said that there is nothing new under the sun. That’s why studying history is so important. We find that men have always had to deal with the same issues that we deal with today. Studying history allows us to learn from their successes and their mistakes. Sunday night we will see a great mistake that Israel made that caused God to admonish them to “consider their ways”. In Haggai 1, we will find a principle that should guide our lives today, every day, just as God demanded of His people 2500 years ago. Isn’t if funny that the more things change, the more they stay the same?
This Sunday we will study freedom, history and what it means to be a child of God. We ask the Lord to “Revive our STUDY, O Lord, According to Your Word!”