2017-02-17 Free Indeed

VN520517 7-2-17 Doyle

For the first time you heard it and comprehended what was really going on, what was really being discussed in that Psalm, but this is the weekend that we’re celebrating July the 4th. Independence Day. It’s Independence Day. It’s the day that we celebrate the fact that we became independent of every other nation’s control over us. We became self-determining people and while we became independent of other nations having a rule or a dominance over us, we did not become independent from God. That is not what that declaration is about. You hear all the time the statement separation of church and state and if you look that particular phrase up that they keep quoting at us and saying separation of church and state, separation of church and state the guy that wrote that was writing to a Baptist convention and it wasn’t addressing a governmental body and if you read the rest of it, it says separation of the church and state and this is paraphrased, the basic idea that he went on to state is to keep the state out of the church’s business. It wasn’t to keep the church out of the state’s business. Separation of church and state.

I say that to put it this way. There are pushes all the time now that say Christians should keep their religion because they have freedom of religion only within the buildings that they are in. They should not be given the freedom to go out and discuss their beliefs with any other person. It should be kept within their own building and that’s the only guarantee of freedom of religion. Now, I’d like to read to you some quotes of people. Some of you probably know and some of them I wrote a little bit about them. This is Patrick Henry, you know, the one who said, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Most of the younger people have never heard that, but Patrick Henry also said, “The Bible is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed.” John Jay, he was the first Chief Justice. He was the Governor of New York and he wrote the Federalist Papers and he wrote these things. “The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the Word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.” “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is their duty – as well as privilege and interest – of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” That’s John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Thomas Jefferson who you hear people always trying to quote, he says this. “I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.” Benjamin Rush. He’s the guy that signed the Declaration of Independence. He also helped ratify the United States constitution and he was what they call the father of the public schools. The father of the public schools says this. “The great enemy of the salvation of man, in my opinion, never invented a more effective means of limiting Christianity from the world than by persuading mankind that it is improper to read the Bible at schools.” Then John Hancock, the guy who signed his name real big, he was addressing a group and he said, “Pray that universal happiness may be established in the world, that all may bow to the scepter of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the whole world would be filled with His glory.” Those are sayings of what we call our founders. We’re talking about when they were establishing our country on July 4th and declaring independence. Now, that’s just a short list.

If you’d like to go to a longer list Andy Ferrier, the guy who sponsors Messianic, I’m trying to think of it, missionary to the Messianic people, missionary to the Jewish people, he sent out an e-mail. There’s a little place there and you can click on it and it’s just founding father after founding father quotes and some of them are just one line, some of them are paragraphs, and it just goes on and on and on of like 45 different founders of our country and what they had to say about Jesus, God and Christianity and how it is important to our nation for that. So, the greatest men of that original group who was bringing this country into existence was very much a [backer] of Jesus Christ and of God, but the greatest founder of freedom is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The greatest founder of freedom is the Lord Jesus Christ. John 8:36. “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” And Galatians. I’m going to read just the first part of this verse. Galatians 5:1. I can read the whole thing if you want. Sure. “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”

You know, they set up a free country for us so we could take a free stand for our God and Savior Jesus Christ and the founding fathers encouraged us to do this very thing, but as we sit here in our country now it looks as though everything is going awry. The country seems to be faltering. Bad times seem to be coming upon all of us and for all indications what the scripture has always said, I shouldn’t say indications, for all the promises of God what it says is any country can be great if that county actually trusts in God. Now, the Jewish people at one time just before they had a big crash and they got invaded and their country was removed and hauled off they were saying this, God won’t let us fall because we have the temple of the Lord. We have the temple of the Lord. We have the temple of the Lord. Notice they said it three times because the prophet was trying to emphasize this. They thought because they had the temple of the Lord that God would take care of them and they could do and act any way they wanted to. They didn’t really trust in Him. They trusted in this building. We have the temple of the Lord. Therefore, they thought they could do anything and get away with it.

Our country is faltering and a lot of people say well, it won’t fall because we have a church on every corner. We have church people everywhere. There are lots and lots of church men and women on television. We’ve got churches. We’ve got religious freedom. Our country will not falter. Our country will not fall. But remember what was actually being taught is that the people who have the great countries are the people who actually trust in God. They’re actually listening to His Word. Just like the founders were saying, read the Bible. It’s more important than any other literature you can read. Read your Bible. Discuss your Bible. Think about it, educate. Go after this Bible. It’s so important to be established in God and to seek Him and His holiness. That is what the scripture was teaching, not that we have a building on every corner, not that we have lots and lots of denominations or lots of television preachers or time on radios dedicated to the discussion. It is do we actually trust God? Do we believe what He says? But it seems like at this time our country is starting to falter. It seems like it’s going down the tubes.

Now, this is what we Christians need to do. I’ve been saying this ever since I got here. Jesus never said go out and make believers. He said go out and make disciples. So, I’m just going to cover this discipleship thing a little bit this morning. The very first thing after salvation, the first thing that you need to do is choose, that’s an important word there, to choose to make Christianity what you will dedicate your life to. Choose to dedicate your life to Christianity. That is the first thing and foremost part of discipleship. Just say this is it. Christianity is my all and all. Now, that sounds bad, well you can’t say that, I will repeat it then because I want you to know I can say that. Christianity is the purpose of our life as a Christian, to share Christianity with all people. A lawyer friend that I know said one time that he was talking to a lady in court in front of the judge about a woman who was using meth and she said out loud in front of everybody the first time. No, let me back up. What she said was this, I love my children, but the first time I took meth I found my purpose for living. I love my children, but when I took meth I found my purpose for living.

Then another person I know of who got off on meth and was there for quite some time and has since walked away from it told his mom, she mentioned it and he just looked at her and said mom, I’d sell your soul to the devil if I could get some more meth. That’s the way he felt about it then. He’s not that way now, but he said, when he was using, “Mom, I would have sold your soul to the devil if I could have had more meth.” They say well, that’s the normal way for these people and yet they tell us you should not be this way. You shouldn’t go out and recruit people for Christianity. You shouldn’t go out and try to make discipleships, but meth users and drug dealers are on our corners trying to make users and disciples for their product, and our product is beneficial to a person each and every day. Number one, dedicate ourselves to the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ not just getting believers, but getting disciples and say you can believe in Christ, but if you really want to make a difference in your life and in the life of other people you need to dedicate your life to Jesus Christ.

Amazing Grace. The first time you really understand it, wow. The second thing we need to do after that dedication is to also choose to take 15 minutes a day to pursue or to promote that decision of dedication. 15 minutes a day to pursue or to promote that dedication. Prayer, Bible study, mailing tracts, speaking to somebody, I don’t care, just say this is a priority. I’m going to do something with my Christianity today 15 minutes. Third thing, you make time, make it, make time for your family. Talk to them about Christianity. Discussing it, praying with them, praying for them, and it should be just as easy for us to talk to our family about religion as it is, men, about talking sports to your kids. You can talk sports to your kids morning, noon and night. I don’t know. I can’t discuss it with the ladies or speak authoritatively but I’m going to say ladies, it’s probably the same with you and fashions and pedicures and manicures and haircuts. I don’t know, shoes, shopping, whatever it is you can discuss with your daughter or your kids if he likes to go shopping, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m just saying we need to have that comfortability with our family that we can discuss this.

This doesn’t mean bullying them, ambushing them, guilting them, but rather we can discuss with them our Christianity and our beliefs. Even in the Old Testament he says this is something you should do with your family morning, noon and night. Talk about it, discuss it and make it just as common as any other conversation you could have. Every time somebody is leaving, it’s a family member of your house we usually say goodbye, see you later, so long, farewell. Add on to that God loves you, don’t forget that as they’re driving away. Don’t forget God loves you and I love you. Bye. I like the Spanish ve con Dios, go with God. That idea we should be telling people that we care about them and that God cares about them. It should be just that easy and not think a thing about it. The good thing about saying goodbye to people that way is they’re getting in the car. You know, they’re getting in the car and driving away and you don’t need to feel oh, gosh. Just go goodbye. I love you. God loves you. They’re going to drive off and you don’t have to be embarrassed and by the time you talk to them later it’s all gone. They have forgotten it maybe. Maybe not, but you could be the person that impacts their life because they’ll say I always remember driving away and hearing this.

Fourth is express your gratitude to God and to other people. Just say thank you, God, for what you’ve done and mean it. Specifically, here is something, thank you for that. Also to other people. If they do something that’s just halfway decent encourage them and acknowledge that you saw it and you appreciated it. It can be walking right up and saying I appreciate that. It can be just a note that says thank you so much for doing that, or I want you to know I saw that and it was great and here’s a note to say so, and I’m sure a lot of people if you write it on the back of that 50 dollar bill I talk about and send that banking note they will remember you. Number five is this, along with all this that I’ve listed don’t give up. Don’t give up on your dedication. Don’t give up on your kids. Don’t give up on your family. Don’t give up on that 15 minutes a day. Don’t give up because you’re advancing, you’re advancing, you’re advancing. People say to me don’t you think it’s already too late? Our government and everything is just falling apart. I hear it every day at the store. Things are so bad. Everything is just collapsing around us.

The big discussion this weekend was Illinois doesn’t have a budget again. What are we going to do? They’re going to shut the roads down. They’re going to shut schools down. The bonds are going to jump value. I can’t believe the health insurance, Doyle. It’s just terrible. Things are falling apart. The banks are in such bad shape Doyle. The stock market is way up there but it’s a bubble. It’s going to bust. There’s a group of people called Allen & Company. They’ve been meeting since 1983 in Sun Valley. That ought to give you a heads up. They’re the rich people. These are the billionaires up there and they’re meeting together to discuss what they’re doing. And there’s another group called the Bilderbergers that people have denied in the media that they ever existed back when I was a kid growing up and they said oh, no, these people don’t exist. Now they’re coming right out and saying yes they do and here’s the people that’s attending. It’s a secret group of people who meet together to decide what they’re going to try to accomplish the next year for the goals that they have and one of the big things is globalism. To take over and rule this world as they think is the absolute best way to do it and they think one of the best ways to do it is get rid of Christians who follow Jesus Christ and are dedicated to that book and following what it actually says.

People say “It’s too late Doyle.” You even talk about the second coming and the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ and that is just filled with gloom and doom. It’s too late. But you know what one of our favorite arguments on everything is and still should be? What about the thief on the cross? Was it too late for him? He was nailed already. He was up there already suffering. It’s too late and Jesus looked him right in the face the best He could and said today you shall be with Me in paradise. It is never too late even if that person is laying on their death bed. It’s never too late for that person to call upon Jesus Christ. Even though it looks like our country is going right down the tubes it’s never too late for this country. Doyle, what about the gloom and doom in the second coming and we can’t stop it? We’re focusing on the wrong part here. Yes, there’s chapter after chapter after chapter but you’ll notice what the name of that book is. It’s the revelation of Jesus Christ. It’s not the revelation of gloom and doom. It’s not the revelation of the second coming and the events. It’s the revealing of Jesus Christ Himself. It’s preparing all of us for what is going to happen.

Now I’d like to read to you what’s going to happen. “Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever. And he said to me, ‘These words are faithful and true.'” Gloom and doom? I don’t think so. All this stuff is given to us so we would have a heads up so that we wouldn’t crumble while these things are starting to happen. When things are down at their lowest what does He tell us even at this? When things are going bad and you see all this going on look up because your redemption is coming.

He talked to Abraham. He said Abraham, you’re going to have all this ground, everywhere you’ve walked since you’ve got over in this area. It’s all going to be yours. It’s yours right now even though it doesn’t seem like it. It is yours and it will be your childrens forever and ever and that’s just the way it is, but before they take absolute control over it first they’re going to spend some time down in Egypt, about 430 years. Why did He tell them that? So that when they got down there and that Pharaoh would rise up and did not know Joseph and things started turning bad for them they could say it’s time to look up because Abraham was told about 400 years and we would be out of here. Not only will we get out of Egypt, we will have a country of our own forever and ever and ever. Therefore, when our life starts getting hard, and Christ said it would, He said your life is going to have these times and these issues and remember this, the servant is no better than the master. We have a Master that went through some hard times. We’re going to go through some hard times, but He rose from the dead and we will also, but every time we get in those rough spots look up, look to Jesus because he’s coming to rescue us.

We’re going to take the Lord’s Supper at this time and the Lord’s Supper, it’s called the Lord’s Table, it’s not about drinking the juice and eating the bread. It’s not the ritual that’s involved. It’s this idea just like having a church on every corner. The temple, the temple, the temple. It’s to give us time to remember what He did. And what did He do? He freed us. He set us at liberty to walk in freedom. He freed us from the law of sin and the law of death. They were joined together. You sin, you die. You sin, you die, and he freed us from that law of sin and death that rule. Now He says you’re mine. You make a mistake, you confess your sin, I am there for you. I will make sure that you get to heaven. You start with this faith and I will keep your faith growing and growing and growing. What I started I will finish and some day you will see a river that is crystal clear. You will see that water run out of that throne. You will see the tree of life. You will see your loved ones and when you look on those gold streets you’ll notice there’s something not there. There will never be a tear stain those streets. Never a tear stain those streets of gold. He set us free and He said He gave us liberty and to stand firm in that liberty.

Remember that when you’re taking this. He set me free. I’m at liberty to live my life without fear. Would the elders come forward please? Here at Glenwood we practice open communion. That just means if you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God you are welcome to partake of this as the bread and the wine go by you.