Celebrating Independence Day
June 29, 2003
1. This Friday we will celebrate "Independence Day." On July 4th, 1776, 56 of the bravest men who ever lived, signed the document known as "The Declaration of Independence," declaring independence from King George III and the government of England.
a. That document, as we know, came to be the steppingstone for the United States Constitution, which was signed in just a few years later in Philadelphia in the year 1787.
b. The Constitution is one of the most important, if not the most important document ever adopted by a nation of people. For in the writing of that document, those men passed on to the people of this great nation, a set of rules and guidelines--if followed, would lead America to become the single most important, most powerful, and most free people on earth.
2. Let's be reminded today that those 56 men who were willing to sign the Declaration of Independence did so at tremendous cost to themselves. Many lost their lives, most lost their property, and all of them lost certain freedoms in order to give us ours.
3. As we celebrate our freedom today, I want us to think for a moment about America's past, her present and America's future.
I. NUMBER ONE, AS WE THINK OF AMERICA, LET US CONSIDER HER PAST
A. First, America's beginning
1. The people who first came to America were hardened and determined people. These were people who had decided that it was worth any risk to their lives to be able to come to a place where they could have a fresh start.
a. However, that fresh start - that new beginning, came at a heavy price. In the year 1620, the Mayflower landed at Plymouth. Of the 102 who left England, only half survived the first winter.
2. But, why were they so willing to hazard themselves and undertake such an adventure - leaving their homes, leaving behind family members and friends, many giving up businesses and careers...for what?
a. They were looking for freedom. They were tired of their daily enslavement to political tyranny and an oppressive form of government.
b. But more than that, these first colonists were seeking a place where they could be free to worship according to the dictates of their hearts. They wanted freedom to worship Jesus Christ.
1) The men of the Mayflower reflected their intent, as they prayerfully put together a document we know to be the Mayflower Compact. In part, it reads, "In the Name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten... have undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith to plant the first colony in the northern Parts of Virginia."
2) You will notice, nowhere in that statement does it declare, "That we have come to America to perpetuate the Muslim Religion, nowhere does it say that, "We have come to establish a colony for humanists an atheists." It says, "...for the advancement of the Christian faith."
3. Ladies and gentle ...
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