Kids want to be independent from their parents. Many workers want to be independent from their boss or their companies. In America, many people want to be a “self-made man.” We want to do things on our own. We are independent people. Most of us want to be independent from something. What do you want independence from?
The Founding Fathers wanted to be independent from the tyranny of England, from the rule of King George III. Even though these men wanted to be independent from England, they understood that all of us are dependent on our great Creator God. The beginning words of the Declaration of Independence are: When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. 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.
And the concluding words of the Declaration of Independence are: We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Please notice in the Declaration of Independence, they used words such as: Laws of Nature, Nature’s God entitle them, all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator, Supreme Judge and divine Providence. So for all of you God-haters, mockers, scoffers, atheists and others who run around all the time crying “separation of church and state” “separation of church and state” LEARN WHAT THAT PHRASE TRULY MEANS! It does not mean that you have a right to NEVER HEAR THE NAME OF GOD MENTIONED IN PUBLIC! It does not mean that you have the right to NEVER HEAR THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD MENTIONED IN PUBLIC! That is not at all what the phrase “separation of church and state means.”
Separation of church and state means that the government CANNOT set up a state church and force everyone to go to that church. For example, the United States of America cannot set up a government church, like England did with the Church of England. That is what “separation of church and state” means. It does not mean that the words God and Jesus will never reach your ears. I just read to you earlier that the signers of the Declaration of Independence said “God,” “Creator,” “Supreme Judge” and “Providence.”
You may think that you are really intelligent, but I dare to venture that you are not smarter than the men who declared our independence and who came up with our Constitution. No, they weren’t all Christians. Some of them were Deist. Even those who were not born-again believers acknowledged that we were created. They understood and believed in the Creator. So if you continue in your deceit, if you continue lying to yourself and you die in your sins, you will have no excuse on Judgment Day. You will be without excuse and you will be speechless.
Romans 1:18-22 states: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has showed it to them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
You may do so grudgingly, but on that great and terrible Day of Judgment; you will bow your knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11). But it will be too late to do you any good if you wait until you have died in your sins to confess Jesus Christ is Lord. You will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone; where you will suffer immense pain and torture forever. You will never get out of that awful place, once you are thrown in there. You will foolishly pay for your sins forever and ever.
I say you will foolishly pay for your sins, because your sins have already been paid for. Jesus paid your sin debt for you (1 John 2:2). Jesus paid it all. The perfect, sinless One, shed His innocent blood on that cruel cross. He bore the wrath of God while He hung there. He took the punishment that you and I rightly deserve. He died on that rugged cross, was buried and Jesus then rose from the grave. He defeated sin, death, Hell and Satan. He now sits on the right hand of God the Father in Heaven. He arose. Hallelujah Christ arose. He takes away the sins of every believer. Through His own shed blood, He washes every born-again believer clean.
God offers eternal life, life everlasting to every person who repents from their sins and puts their faith in Jesus (Acts 26:13-20, especially verses 18 and 20). He saves everyone who receives the gift of salvation. It is freely offered, but you must receive it. It is a free gift. It was a very costly gift to Jesus Christ; but He offers it freely to you. But you must receive it. You must confess and forsake your sins (Proverbs 28:13). You must believe in Him. Belief is more than intellectual knowledge. Belief is total surrender.
You cry out for Jesus to save you and you cry out “Your will be done Lord, not mine.” You turn away from your sins, you stop trusting in your own self righteousness, in your own goodness and you completely put your trust in Jesus (John 14:1-3). You recognize and admit that you are a sinner. Admit that you have sinned against a Holy God. Confess that you have broken His 10 Commandments. You also admit that you cannot make yourself right with God. You cannot earn your salvation and you aren’t good enough to wipe out a single white lie, let alone a major sin. But Jesus can wipe them out (Acts 3:19). God will remember your sins no more, but only if you come to Jesus.
Please don’t foolishly die in your sins. Please don’t foolishly pay your sin debt to God forever in torment and agony in the lake of fire. Please don’t continue mocking and scoffing God. Please don’t continue running from and denying the great Creator; that not only do you know exists, but you also know that He made you and He has given you every breath that you have taken to this point. But one day His mercy will be removed for you. One day He will snuff your life out, just like you and I snuff out a candle. Your life will be over. Life is short; it is but a vapor. It is here today and gone tomorrow. Don’t think that you have a lifetime to get right with God. Tonight is the night to get right with God and Jesus is the only Way. He is the only way of salvation (Acts 4:12).
On July 4, 1776, the Founding Fathers declared America’s independence from England. What do you need to be freed from tonight? What sin are you bound to? Is it drugs? Is it Alcohol? Do you have a sexual addiction? Are you hooked on pornography? What sin in your life has you bound to Satan (Ephesians 2:2-3)? Jesus can set you free tonight. He came to seek and save the lost and He also came to set the captives free (Luke 19:10; Luke 4:18-21).
Maybe you are out here tonight and you have already tried living independent from God. Maybe Satan has chewed you up and spit you out. Maybe you are broken and you think that there is no hope. Without Jesus Christ there is no hope. But there is blessed hope found only through Jesus Christ our Lord (Titus 2:13). He can forgive you for your sins (Ephesians 1:7). He can cleanse you and make you whole.
Tonight, fall at the foot of the cross. Lay your sins down at Jesus’ feet. Commit your life to Him. Submit your life fully to the Messiah tonight. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Then deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow Him. Deny yourself the fleshly pleasures that once held you as a servant to sin. Pick up your cross, whatever cross Jesus asks you to bear. Follow Him. Follow Him completely, anywhere He wants you to go, whatever the cost.
You may want independence from a lot of things in this life, but being independent from God is a foolish way to go. Admit that you need Jesus. You are either dependent on and a servant to sin or you are dependent on and a servant to Christ (Romans 6:16-23). Make the right choice. Repent and put your trust in Jesus. Do this tonight and be saved. Come to Jesus. Don’t put this off. Please be saved tonight.
(This message was proclaimed in the open-air in downtown Springfield, MO on July 5, 2014)