Being that this is the 4th of July weekend, we though that it would be appropriate to bring a message on the subject of liberty or freedom. Before we get into the heart of our message, we want to ask the question: What is liberty? Lets notice a few thoughts about what liberty means.
1. Civil freedom. To be free from bondage of any kind to anyone. We think of slavery or one person being in bondage to another for whatever reason, or one nation being subservient to another nation, or private citizens in bondage to the secular government of the land.
2. Freedom of movement. To have the right to come and go at will.
3. Freedom of private property. To purchase and own property and to use that property without constraints or restrictions by governments or others.
4. Freedom of expression. To express oneself without persecution. Freedom of speech, freedom of dress, freedom of the press and other media exposure.
5. Freedom of conscience. To believe in God and worship God according to the dictates of the conscience, without compulsory religions.
Can any people or nation truly have liberty without any constraints whatsoever? The answer is, of course not! Human depravity prevents humanity from enjoying unbridled, uncontrolled liberty. Liberty at its very best, must have sufficient controls in place to keep human depravity from self destruction. The question is then, under whose controls can mankind experience and enjoy the best possible kind of liberty in the greatest degree; manís controls or Godís?
Our nation started out well under Godís controls, and ran well for 200 years with God at the helm of our government and society. But today our wicked and sinful secular system thinks that it can do a better job than God has done. They donít like His controls. They donít like His moral laws, much less His spiritual law of liberty in Christ, and of late they have thrown off the easy yoke of Godís liberty with its God given controls, and are seeking the amoral controlís of secular humanism and situation ethics, which have no respect or regard for God or His Holy Word.
The question is, will this new system work? If man would look at history he would learn that manís way has never worked. Mankindís Godless liberty only brings more bondage. Every culture, and every nation of every age has proved this to be true, even the nation of Israel in time of rebellion against God were brought into bondage, not greater liberty.
But the new-age libertarians think they are wiser, and have a better philosophy than the great thinkers of old, who failed in their efforts to have liberty without God. Thus Solomon, the greatest thinker of all time, when he considered the oppression in the earth, and the ways of man, and the depravity of man, and the ways of human society when left to its own devices, said ďthere is nothing new under the sunĒ; ďas it was in former times, so it shall be in the future.Ē All of manís sinful ways and philosophies are only the old ways and philosophies in a new dress.
This evening we want to speak on the subject of national liberty of a god fearing nation.
True national liberty must be based and founded on the moral law of God, otherwise there can be no true national liberty.† Note the following passage of Scripture:
Joshua 8:30-35 Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in mount Ebal, 31 As Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings. 32 And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel. 33 And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, as well the stranger, as he that was born among them; half of them over against mount Gerizim, and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel. 34 And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them.
Mount Gerizim represented the blessings of God upon His nation Israel for their obedience to the law of God. Mount Ebal represented the cursings of God upon His nation if they rebelled and disobeyed His law.
Israel now would have national status with their own land and cities and government, and all the things that make up a bona fide nation. The purpose of these two mountains of blessings and cursings, and of Joshuaís reading the law of Moses, was to accentuate the necessity of their obedience to Godís law in order for them to continue to receive His blessings. Otherwise if they disobeyed Godís law, they would receive His cursings instead of His blessings. Their liberty was dependant wholly on their obedience and submission to Godís controls upon their nation.
We see that this was true of Israel, but it is also true in principal for any nation on the earth:
Pr 14:34† Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
I want to read the following Scriptures that pertained to the nation Israel,† and see if these verses are not true of the United States of America.
De 4:8† And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
De 28:1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
If ever there was a heathen nation that obeyed Godís commandments, it is America. Therefore He set our nation on high above all the nations of the earth.
†28:2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. 3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.
Every facet of our society, from the urban cities to the rural farms; God has blessed our nation through and through.
4 Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. 5 Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.
Our agriculture and food production has been and still is the envy of the world, because of Godís blessings on Americaís obedience to His laws!
6 Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. 7 The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.
Yes beloved, America has been blessed in its coming in and going out. We seldom fear the other nations of the world, yet we have been the terror of the world, as our enemies have been smitten before our face, and have fled in all directions at our presence. Beloved, God has caused all of this, and not our own strength and might. Oh, foolish nation we are, for boasting in our might!
8 The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 9 The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.
Truly the Lord our God has blessed our storehouses, and He has blessed all that our hands have desired to do as a nation. No nation in modern times, or in all of history for that matter, has known such productive industries as our nation. But this will only hold true as long as we keep the commandments of the Lord our God, and walk in His ways. But Iím afraid that America is no longer fulfilling her responsibility to her God, and therefore it is only a matter of time before she receives the cursings of Ebal, instead of the blessings of Gerizim.
10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.
Beloved, I feel quite sure that the multitude of heathen nations upon the earth have known that America has been called a Christian nation, and that we have followed and obeyed Godís laws for the most part, and they have reverenced America and have been afraid of her.
11 And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. 12 The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.
This has been true of America for many, many years, and we are still blessed with the Lordís good treasure, and we are still able to lend of all our blessings to the other nations of the earth that know not God. How long this will continue, however, Iím afraid to guess.
13 And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:
Yes beloved, the Lord has made America the head and not the tail. We have been above the nations of the earth, and not beneath, because historically as a nation we have kept the commandments of the Lord and observed to do them.
14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
Oh beloved, this is where we have failed in recent times. We have gone aside from the words that God has commanded. We have allowed the homosexuals to infiltrate our society and our government, and pass their wicked laws of same sex marriages. We have allowed murderers in the land to destroy millions upon millions of unborn babies. We have allowed cultish religions to undermine and destroy the place of Christian prominence in our society. We have removed God out of our schools, and our courts, and other public places.
It is only a matter of time before the Christian witness in our society will be legislated against, and we will no longer be permitted to preach against sin and sinful practices on the radio, TV and other media sources.† It is only a matter of time before Christians will no longer be allowed to witness the Gospel of Jesus in the public places, and from house to house. It is just a matter of time before we will no longer be permitted to congregate in the public place of worship, and worship God in Spirit and truth, and preach the uncensored Word of God from behind our pulpits, without risk of persecution. It is just a matter of time! It just a matter of time, I believe.
In conclusion, ďrighteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.Ē At one time in our nationís history, righteous obedience to Godís Holy law has exalted the United States of America, but the sin of our generation is going to be this nations downfall. Yes, our sin will be our downfall!
Well beloved, there is another kind of liberty, and that is the liberty of the soul and spirit. This liberty is found in knowing Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior:
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 8:36† If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
All who will repent of their sins and sinful ways and receive the truth of the Gospel of Jesus, how that Christ died on the cross for their sins according to the Scriptures, was buried in the tomb, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, shall have liberty of their soul and spirit. They shall receive the forgiveness of their sins, and the free gift of eternal life.
Do you have soul liberty this evening? Are you a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ? If not, repent and believe in Jesus and thou shalt be saved, and your soul will be set free from the power of darkness and of Satan, and from the power of sin that enslaves you, and is pulling you down to death and hell. And you will be given the liberty of the children of God, and eternal life with Jesus in the glorious liberty of Heaven for ever and ever.
Beloved, for us who are saved, spiritual liberty, as well as national and civil liberty, come with laws and with responsibilities. Spiritually, we also must live with certain controls to govern our Christian lives. We have a responsibility to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world (Titus 2:12).
Galatians 5:13† For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
1 Peter 2:16† As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
In Romans chapter 6 Paul speaks about the Christianís liberty to use our members as instruments of righteousness to serve the Lord. We are not to use our liberty for an occasion to the flesh, or for a cloke of maliciousness, but rather to serve the Lord. May God help us ďÖto confirm our souls in self control, and our liberty in law.Ē
Finally, what are we doing to promote liberty?
Are we sounding out the Gospel of Jesus, which alone can bring true liberty to lost sinners?
Are we living up to the standard of the Holy law of God for all the world to see? Beloved, we must be the example for this lost world to see!
And finally, are we speaking out against sin? Are we like the prophets of old, who stood up and preached the judgment of God upon the wicked sins of their wicked nation, without fear of what man could do (and did do) unto them for preaching against their sins! May God help us to rise up and speak out against the sins of our nation today.
Oh, how good and how blessed it is to have libertyÖNational liberty, civil liberty, and spiritual liberty. As Americans we all still have much of these first two kinds of liberties. But do you have spiritual liberty in Jesus Christ? If not, repent and believe in Jesus now!