One of my favorite of the American founding fathers is Patrick Henry. I remember years ago visiting his estate at Red Hill in Eastern Virginia. In the museum was a copy of his last will and testament. Above all of his material wealth, he specifically stated in his will the importance of a personal faith in Jesus Christ. He was a Christian patriot, and I believe we celebrate freedom today because of freedom loving and God loving people who sacrificed for future generations.
By now we have all read plenty about the culture shift in America, the demise of the biblical family, and the erosion of freedom for Bible believers in light of recent high court rulings. Yet, I wanted to take a moment to say, “God is not finished with Christianity in America!” Perhaps now we will be called upon to stand as never before, but this day of “Laodocean Christianity” may have needed such a wake up call. The kind that will raise up some Patrick Henrys who will pave the way for future generations to have freedom and know Christ.
This is not the time to let despondency be the main emotion of the 4th of July holiday! Consider a few truths from the Word of God and from history:
The gospel is more powerful than any government. When communism arose in brutal fashion in China there were perhaps a million or two Christians in China. Today there are conservatively over 200 million.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)
We often see great spiritual progress after dark spiritual times. I enjoy studying Baptist history and am also inspired by the faith of the reformers, I have visited the cave churches of the Waldensians of the twelfth century and the sight of the burning of Huss, Latimer, Ridley, and others.
While we celebrate the faith and courage of those who gave their lives for the faith, we also are aware that millions trusted Christ because a few were willing to stand.
And we should never forget that just before the Reformation or the Great Awakening or even the rise of soulwinning Baptist churches in the 70s and 80s there were periods known as the “Dark Ages” or the “sexual revolution.” These were periods when many were hopeless, but the Word of God was not bound.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
Christ is still building His church. I will never forget my friend and mentor Dr. Curtis Hutson singing at a pastors meeting in North Carolina around 1995. His body was filled with cancer and his days were drawing to an end. The song he chose? It was entitled, “I’m on the Winning Side.” Dr. Hutson was on the winning side, he is, and so are all of us who are in Christ. Happy Independence Day!
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)