Why God Has Blessed America
Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…
Intro: Today is July 4, 2012. This nation was founded 236 years ago TODAY! I love my country. I love America! It is the greatest nation on the face of the earth. God has poured out His blessings on this nation for 236 years, and had a direct hand in the birth of this great nation.
What is about this nation that makes it so great? Why has God blessed us like He has? I think I have a few reasons.
I. Because of the Intentions of its Founders
- George Washington, July 2, 1776 - “Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the world that a free man, contending for his liberty on his own ground, is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.”
- Benjamin Franklin – “Any people that would give up liberty for a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety. Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.”
- Samuel Adams – “If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
- Thomas Paine – “It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government.”
- John Adams - “Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.”
- Patrick Henry – “The battle, Sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, Sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable; and let it come! I repeat, Sir, let it come!”
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War. What kind of men were they?
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags. Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and
his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward. Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton. At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr. noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt. Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months. John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later, he died from exhaustion and a broken heart. Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates. Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild-eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: “For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”
II. Because of the Integrity of its Foundation
A. The Bible
- Thomas Jefferson – “Political interest [can] never be separated in the long run from moral right. Can the liberties of a nation be sure when we remove their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people, that these liberties are a gift from God?”
- Fisher Ames author of the final wording for the First Amendment wrote, “[Why] should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the Sacred Book that is thus early impressed lasts long; and probably if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind.”
- John Jay, Original Chief-Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court , “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.”
- James Wilson, Signer of the Constitution; U. S. Supreme Court Justice, “Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine. . . . Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.”
- Patrick Henry – “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. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”
B. The Constitution
- John Adams – “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
- Patrick Henry “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”
- Benjamin Franklin –“The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”
- Alexander Hamilton – “The Constitution ought to be the standard of construction for the laws, and that wherever there is an evident opposition, the laws ought to give place to the Constitution.”
- Thomas Jefferson – “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.”
- James Madison – “Do not separate text from historical background. If you do you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution.”
III. Because of the Insuring of its Freedoms
- Thomas Jefferson – “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.”
- John Adams – “The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.”
A. Freedom of Religion
The Pilgrims and the Puritans came here in the 1600’s for religious freedom.
Gives Americans the freedom to worship God.
No state-run or government mandated religion.
B. Freedom of Speech
The freedom to preach, to teach, to proclaim the Gospel.
The freedom to have church and meet with our families and sing and worship God.
C. Freedom of the Press
- Thomas Jefferson - “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”
The freedom to publish the Word of God; to print the gospel; to propagate the Good News.
The right to say what we want – to speak our mind – to give our opinions.
D. The Freedom to Bear Arms
- Thomas Jefferson - “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
- Patrick Henry - “Those that hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.”
- Patrick Henry - “The great object is that every man be armed.”
- Alexander Hamilton - “The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.”
- Samuel Adams – “The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the U.S. from keeping their own arms.”
- George Madison – “To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”
- George Washington – ““Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American peoples’ liberty teeth and keystone under independence… From the hour the pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable…The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that is good.”
IV. Because of the Influence of its Faith
The United States has been largely responsible for much of the world-wide missions effort.
Though many other nations are sending missionaries, America has been at the fore-front.
Many of the nations that are sending missionaries today were reached first by American Christians.
- Reasons for departure are suggested by William Bradford, when he notes the “discouragements” of the hard life they had in the Netherlands, and the hope of attracting others by finding “a better, and easier place of living”; the “children” of the group being “drawn away by evil examples into extravagance and dangerous courses”; the “great hope, for the propagating and advancing the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world.”
In 1620, a document was created called the Mayflower Compact. Here it is:
In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith, etc.
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.
In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, 1620.
Just 16 years after the Mayflower Compact in 1636, the Massachusetts legislature founded Harvard University – to train ministers and preachers. It was named after its first donor – Reverend John Harvard who donated his entire library and half of his estate to the school.
American Christians have been planting churches, winning the lost, training preachers, printing Bibles and Christian books ever since.
Conclusion: I urge the church to take advantage of the freedom that we still have today, and let’s get the Gospel out! Let’s speak it – let’s print it – let’s get the truth around the world while we still can!