The Declaration of Dependence - 7/1/18

THE DECLARATION OF DEPENDENCE 07 01 2018

Proverbs 14: 34 & Deuteronomy 8: 7-14

This Wednesday we will celebrate the birthday of our nation plus the signing of
the Declaration of Independence. … It was a momentous decision for each one of
the men who placed his name upon that Declaration.
As John Adams signed, he said; … "Whether we live or die, sink or swim, succeed
or fail, I stand behind this Declaration of Independence. … And if God wills it,
I am ready to die in order that this country might experience freedom."
It was that kind of patriotism which led men, … armed with little more than
hunting rifles, … to engage in battle with what was the most powerful nation in the
world.
Many of our forefathers paid a terrible price in the Revolutionary War …
but finally they won the victory so that you and I might be citizens of this; …
"land of the free and home of the brave."
What we often forget is that in declaring their independence from England, …
our forefathers made an equally strong … “Declaration of Dependence” …
upon the great God that we all serve and love.
THEY DECLARED THEIR DEPENDENCE UPON GOD
The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence begins with these
words: … "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that
among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
The closing words of their Declaration solemnly states: … "With a firm reliance on
the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives,
our Fortunes & our sacred Honor."
It is important that we remember this declaration of their dependence upon God,
… for in a time of world unrest, … the United States, today, is rapidly forgetting
the God of our fathers, … the God who gave this nation its birth … and its
greatness.
I dare say, … all here know the name, … “Patrick Henry” … but I’m afraid many
of our school children know almost nothing of him at all.
Patrick Henry was a famous statesman of colonial Virginia. …

In 1764 he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses where he became a
champion of the frontier people, … supporting their rights against the arrogant
exercise of power by the aristocracy.
In 1774 he was a delegate to the First Continental Congress. …
In 1775, … before the Virginia Provincial Convention, … which was deeply
divided between those who supported England … and those who desired freedom,
… he uttered his most famous words; … "Give me liberty or give me death!"
During the Revolutionary War he became commander-in-chief of Virginia's
military forces. … Henry was a member of the Second Continental Congress.
He helped draw up the first constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia …
and was the key principal, … responsible for drawing up the amendments to our
Constitution … known as the Bill of Rights.
Patrick became Virginia's first governor … and was re-elected three more times.
He then retired from public life … but despite his strong objections, … the people
went ahead and elected him Governor for the 5th term.
But Patrick meant what he said, … so he refused to take the office.
He was offered a seat in the U.S. Senate, … posts as ambassador to Spain, …
then to France. … President George Washington asked him to join his cabinet and
become Secretary of State; … later, Washington wanted to appoint him the Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court … but he refused all such honors and recognitions.
So why do I bring up all of this about Patrick Henry?
It is because I want all of us to realize that he was an important and respected
leader in those days when our nation came into being.
Now listen to his words; … "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that
this great nation was founded not by religionists, … but by Christians; …
not on religions, … but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
His Last Will and Testament was filed in the Brookneal County courthouse in
Virginia. … Read his Will … and you'll discover that he bequeathed everything to
his children, … just as most people do … but the last paragraph in his Will is
especially interesting.
He wrote, "I have now given everything I own to my children. There is one more
thing I wish I could give them and that is Christ. … Because if they have everything
I gave them … and don't have Christ, … they have nothing!"
I love to read about courageous men like Patrick Henry, George Washington,
John Adams, Thomas Jefferson … and John Jay … plus many of the other patriots
who gave of themselves so valiantly … that we might enjoy the freedoms we have
today!

At the same time, … we also need to be reminded of the solemn warning that God
gave to another nation which was experiencing the thrill of independence after
centuries of slavery in Egypt. … Although it was written over 3,000 years ago, …
this caution could very well apply to the United States today.
In Deuteronomy 8:7-14, … Moses tells the people: … "For the LORD your God is
bringing you into a good land, a land with streams of water, springs, and deep
water sources, flowing in both valleys and hills; 8 a land of wheat, barley, vines,
figs, and pomegranates; a land of olive oil and honey; 9 a land where you will eat
food without shortage, where you will lack nothing; a land whose rocks are iron
and from whose hills you will mine copper. 10 When you eat and are full, you will
praise the LORD your God for the good land He has given you.
11 “Be careful that you don’t forget the LORD your God by failing to keep His
command—the ordinances and statutes—I am giving you today. 12 When you eat
and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, 13 and your herds and flocks grow
large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases,
14 be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the LORD your
God."
Do we today, … have a reason to be concerned about this warning?
WATCH OUT THAT WE DON'T FORGET GOD
The testimony of history has made it abundantly clear that not only nations …
but also individuals, … need to be mindful of that warning!
The greatness of a nation is not measured by its military power, … technological
advancements … or national wealth: … Righteousness and justice are the
determining factors.
Solomon, … at one time, … the wisest person alive, wrote: … "Righteousness
exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." (Proverbs 14:34)
A clip I read some time back went like this: … “What in the world is happening
with our kids today? Let’s see…I think it started when Madalyn Murray O’Hair
complained that she didn’t want any prayer in our schools, and our Supreme Court
said “Okay.”
Then someone said “You had better not read the Bible in school” – the Bible that
says, “Thou shall not kill, thou shall not steal,” and “Love your neighbor as
yourself.” And our nation said, “Okay.”
Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave
because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-
esteem. So we said, “Okay, we won’t spank them.”

Then someone said that teachers and principals better not discipline our children
when they misbehave. And our administrators said, “No one in this school is to
touch a student when he misbehaves because we don’t want any bad publicity. And
we surely don’t want to be sued.”
Then someone said, “Let’s provide our children with birth control so they can
have all the ‘fun’ they desire.” And our nation said, “That’s a great idea.”
Someone else said, “Let’s provide abortions for underage girls, and they won’t
even have to tell their parents.” And our nation said, “That’s another great idea.”
Then some of our top officials said that it doesn’t matter what we do in private.
And we said, “As long as I have a job…, it doesn’t matter to me what anyone does
in private.”
SURPRISE, SURPRISE; … now we’re asking ourselves why many of our children
have no conscience, …why they don’t know right from wrong … and why it
doesn’t bother them to kill.
Probably, … if we think about it long and hard enough, … we can figure it out.
My opinion (for whatever that’s worth , today); … it has a great deal to do with, …
“We reap what we sow.”
Wow! … What a concept!
This week leading up to our Nations birthday, …if we are truly are concerned
about America; … if we earnestly want God to bless her, … then live a life that
reflects the will of our Lord and Savion, … Jesus the Christ.
Only then does one truthfully have the right to sing: …
God bless America, land that I love. Stand beside her, and guide her,
Through the night, with the light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam;
God bless America, my home, sweet home.
AMEN