Transcribed and edited from:
Sunday 6:00 PM July 3, 2016 Livestream Broadcast
In a couple minutes, we are going to worship and praise God and what we don’t know, what we have not heard is that when the Declaration of Independence was ratified, and signed and they found that July 4th would most likely become a holiday, John Adams said, “You know what we need to do? We need to spend July 4th fasting and praying and praising God.” So we are going to do what John Adams wanted.
When we were in prayer this afternoon, Doyle asked me, “Do you have anything to say tonight” and I said “No” and we started praying and God started talking and it was wonderful and I want to share it with you.
I’m going to do something that is not normally done: I’m going to put church history and American history together, because they are parallel and you will see that. I want to begin by sharing with you the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence.
Tomorrow in America it is the 4th of July; we celebrate our Independence Day. The Declaration of Independence was ratified (voted on) on July 2nd, on July 4th they signed it—this is the day we decided to celebrate.
The second sentence in the Declaration of Independence, a huge document, that did something that history had never seen before said:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator…
And you say that our forefathers did not believe in God.
…with certain unalienable Rights, (certain rights that you cannot take away) that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—that is what our Continental congress voted on, to ratify the Declaration of Independence and what we were telling England was:
“We’re done with ya, we are done with you. We have our own country and this is why: because we have certain rights given to us by our creator and we’re going to follow those rights.”
Now, what you weren’t taught in high school, what you weren’t taught in elementary school, was, that in the middle of this, from 1720 to 1770, America was in a huge revival; look it up in your church history. What happened was in 1720, one hundred years after the Pilgrims showed up, the preachers in 1720 realized that the children of all those people who came across for religious freedom, to worship God as they saw fit, the children weren’t doing what their parents were doing. And they realized their children weren’t interested in God. All their children were interested in was money and land—sound familiar? Their children wanted prosperity, that’s where their hearts went.
So they started to pray and preachers started to preach and a revival broke out. If you remember the name, Jonathan Edwards, he was one of the first evangelists in America. Jonathan Edwards started preaching an interesting series of sermons: justification by faith alone. You know what I preached this morning? Justification by faith alone. That kind of made me happy when God showed me this.
But, Jonathan Edwards was one of the first evangelists and huge crowds started coming, huge crowds started listening and huge crowds started believing. He said in one meeting, 300 people were born again and that was just the beginning. Then a little later on, we had another evangelist by the name of George Whitfield. I don’t know if you knew about George Whitfield but he came up in the time of the Revolution and George Whitfield had huge crowds come to him. This is in the 1700s and he would have 32,000 people show up to hear. George Whitfield had a friend, Benjamin Franklin.
Benjamin Franklin never publicly said that he was born again but Benjamin Franklin became a good friend of Whitfield and actually, he began publishing Whitfield’s books for him. They would meet and they would talk, and Benjamin Franklin made a wonderful statement. He said after Whitfield would minister in a town, in his town, he couldn’t believe the change in the people. We are talking thousands changing, thousands being born again. Ben Franklin said the change was amazing; he said he would walk down the street in the summertime and peoples’ windows would be open and he could hear people in their homes reading the Psalms out loud. Does that familiar?
Revival in America, and do you know what Whitfield preached? The gospel. He said to the people, “You must get back to the gospel; you must walk in the gospel,” that’s what Whitfield preached. Now in the middle of this, we end up starting a revolution. We end up having a preamble to the Declaration of Independence that says,
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”
Where did that come from? It came from the revival. Who sent the revival? Our heavenly Father sent the revival. Our Father sent the revival. Why? Why did we have a revival? It was called the Great Awakening. Why this revival in the United States and why did It bring out the Declaration of Independence? Why did America escape from Great Britain? Why did America now have their own country?
Back to the preamble:
“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."
Go with me to 1 Timothy 2:
1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
Does that sound like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Do you see what that bible brought us? It brought us the Declaration of Independence and not only that, it brought us the Constitution. And do you know what the First Amendment in the constitution is? Freedom of religion.
Freedom to meet together, freedom to have the religion that you believe, freedom to walk in your conscience obeying God, freedom to walk in the gospel—that we may have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Do you see how those two things parallel? Do you see how that revival brought this? Do you see how God talked to our forefathers? Do you see how they heard this? And do you see how it showed up in our Constitution and out Declaration of Independence? Yes, these men did believe God.
Go with me to John 10:10. Life, liberty, a pursuit of happiness—I know there are other documents, but you are talking about men that listened to people preaching the gospel for sixty years. Our forefathers heard them, John Adams heard them, obviously Ben Franklin did, Thomas Jefferson did; they heard these ministers, they were in their churches, they heard the gospel preached. And what does John 10:10 say?
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Do you see that out of that revival, God gave us a country and gave us the freedom to walk in the gospel? Do you see that through the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution, we as a people were given the freedom, the freedom to walk in the gospel? Now who gave us that freedom? The heavenly Father, and where did we get it? We got it through the gospel.
America, America, you were given your freedoms to obey the gospel, to walk in the gospel; the freedom to meet together, the freedom to read that bible, the freedom to walk in the Holy Ghost and now you want to give it up. You want to give it up for Obama Care, you want to give it up for Social Security, you want to give it up for food stamps when you could have had what Jesus said, “that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.”
You know what America? There is a people here that are going to go on and they are going to walk in the gospel and they are the people of God and they are going to stand up, they are going to be the Church that Jesus brought, the Church that Jesus made and someday that Church is going to go be with Him in heaven. Amen.
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