A deeper look at how the Bible has been the foundation for framing American government, and preserving the nation from its beginning.
As presented at First Assembly of God Church, Fort Myers, Florida
Sunday, July 3, 2016 https://vimeo.com/173639684
To learn more about David Barton go to his website: www.Wallbuilders.com
We have a birthday to celebrate, our nation's birthday. Tomorrow we will be celebrating 240 years under the same piece of paper, and that will be a world's record. Every 4th of July we have now is a new world's record. As you look at the 240 years we have been under that same piece of paper, other nations do not enjoy what we do. We are so used to it, we just take it for granted. We think everybody enjoys this longevity. Not so.
If you are alive in Poland today and you are ninety-five years old, you have lived through seven constitutions in your life time. If you are a baby boomer in South Korea, you have lived in six constitutions in your life time. You will find that across the world most governments have a new revolution or a new constitution every ten to twenty years. Not in America, every year we set a world's record in longevity.
We Are Blessed in America Because of the Bible.
We are also blessed with creativity. There are a lot of ways to measure creativity. You have international copy writes, international patents. America represents 4% of the world's population and yet every year our 4% produces more creativity. We produce more medical discoveries, more cures, more technologies, more everything, than the other 96% of the world combined.
Our little 4% is very prosperous economically. We produce 25% of the world's GDP, Gross Domestic Product. This is not because we have more. Many nations have greater natural resources than we have; we just take what we have and we go further than other nations do.
We have been blessed in so many ways. Had you been in school prior to World War II, you would see an open acknowledgment in your text books of what has made America different.
What makes us unique, what makes us special is the Bible.
We literally said this in our text books at one time.
Today we say exactly the opposite. We say a that America is founded as a secular nation with secular founding fathers. Even today with a secular cutler, it is very easy to show the influence the Bible has had on us just by the way we talk to one another, the way we speak.
We have 257 idioms, phrases, that we use every day that are nothing more than quotations out of the Bible. You will recognize a lot of these, they are exact Bible verses:
By the skin of your teeth. . .Job 19:20
I will give you my two cents worth. . .Luke 21:2
A leopard can't change his spots. . .Jerimiah 13:23
To everything there is a season. . .Ecclesiastes 3:1
There's nothing new under the sun. . .Ecclesiastes 1:9
Signs of the times. . .Matthew 16:3
A throne in the flesh. . .2Corinthians 12:7
From the cradle to the grave. . .Judges 13:7
Handwriting on the wall. . .Daniel 5:23-25
That's a fly in the ointment. . .Ecclesiastes 10:1
What happens, if you will listen, you will hear these being used on a regular basis. People uses these all the time. You go McDonalds, you will hear somebody use them. You would not believe how often ESPN quotes the Bible! They do not have a clue they are quoting the Bible, but they are using these phrases all the time. Next time you're at Home Depot you will hear it, or the next time you go to Walmart or wherever; and when you do you really ought to stop that person and ask them, "Hey do you know what Bible verse you just quoted?" The problem is they are going to look and you and say, "N…NO. What Bible verse was that?" And we won't have a clue either. That is the difficulty, we don't know where they come from. Every one of these phrases has an address in the Bible.
Where America is today is very much described by the American President John Quincy Adams who said, "With regard to the history contained in the Bible, It is not so much praiseworthy to be acquainted with it as it is shameful to be ignorant of it."
We have had a cultural shift in American where today if you know the Bible we praise you. They say, "Man that's unbelievable. Can't believe you knew all those verses." Back in their day, they would have said, "You did not know that was in the Bible? How can you call yourself an educated person and not be familiar with the greatest book in the history of the world?"
The difference in our two cultures is today it is praiseworthy to know what is in the Bible, while back then it was shameful not to know what was in the Bible.
Without the Bible We would not be Recognized as America.
For the next few minutes I will be making quotes for the presidents because for 150 years it was the Presidents of the United States who carried the weight on the Bible. They were the ones that were always reminding Americans how important the Bible was. What it means to our institutions, to our country. The presidents were the ones telling us.
Teddy Roosevelt said, "The teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our civic and social life that it would be impossible for us to figure what life would be if these teachings were removed."
He was saying that if you take out of America, what the Bible has done in the civic and social realm, you would not even recognize America.
The economic prosperity that we enjoy, which comes from what we call the Free Market Economic System, was developed much earlier in American than other nations. We are one hundred years ahead of most of the world. Our Free Market Economic System is what makes us so unique economically, in business and some other things, because it came out of five Bible verses. Historically our Free Market Economic System was versed out of 1Timothly 5:8; 2Thesselonians 3:10; Matthew 25; Luke 19; and Matthew 20.
Americans use to know this at one time. If we were to take our Free Market Economic System out of America, you would not recognized us anymore. That is what the Bible predicts.
The same is with our form of government. We have what is called a Republican form of government. There are seven forms of human government in the world, the Bible mentions all seven. The Bible endorses what we call a Republican form of government. It is where we elect our leaders in local, state, and national levels. Exodus 18:21 says, "Choose out leaders from among you." Leaders of ten, fifties, hundreds, thousands. Elect your local, county, state, and federal officials.
You also find this in Deuteronomy 1:15-16; 16:18. Our founders saw this and said that was exactly what we are going to be, a republican form of government. It was not happening in Europe but it was happening in America, because of the Bible. If you take away our republican form of government you would not recognize America today. It was a product of the Bible. This is why Teddy Roosevelt said our civic and our social life is based upon the Bible. If you take that away, you would not recognize us.
President Franklin Roosevelt said, "In the formative days of the Republic, the directing influence the Bible exercised upon the fathers of the Nation is conspicuously evident."
You go to any school today and the Bible is conspicuously missing. Matter of fact, we go just the other way today and say that America was founding as a secular nation by secular founders.
He continued, "We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a Nation without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic."
Like all nations, we have problems; we have warts on our nose. But we have fewer warts on our nose than other nations because every time we have advanced it was because we were following the Bible in some area, in some realm, in our civic and our social life.
We did not get everything right, we still don’t do everything right. But more than any other nations, we have move in positive directions and you cannot look at our history without seeing the Bible is responsible for that.
When you look at the Bible and see that it is conspicuously involved in our founding fathers, you might think about Ben Franklin. He was not very religious. Franklin was one of the 250 folks we call a founding father. He is one of the five least religious of the founding fathers, hands down. But he is interesting for another reason: he was the first person to ever call our nation the "United States of America". Way back in 1754, twenty-two years before the American Revelation, he said "Let's not be the thirteen colonies, let's be the "United State." They did not buy it back then. But twenty-two years after that, Franklin is one of the 56 guys who signed the Declaration of Independence, which started moving us to becoming the United States of America. Seven years after that he is one of only three guys that signed the peace treaty that ends the American Revelation, and thus established us a genuine independent nation. Four years later he is sitting at the Constitutional Convention and he is helping create Constitution of the United States of America.
He had been dreaming about this for thirty-three years. By this time Franklin is 81 years old he is a white-haired guy. 81 is not that impressive to us because the average lifespan in America is 80 to 90 years old. But 81 back then was impressive because the average lifespan back when they signed the constitution was only 33 years old. Which means if you happen to be a high school senior back then, you would have already had your midlife crisis. Franklin was 81 and he was loving it.
Benjamin Franklin did not like the way things were going at first. Only five weeks into the convention and everything was literally falling apart. People were leaving, they were tired and arguing with each other. The problem was everyone came with their own agenda. There was the Virginia Plan, New Jersey Plan, the New York Plan, the Connecticut Plan. . . Those from one plan did not want the plans from the other states because everybody had their own agenda. So after five weeks of bickering and fighting, Alexander Hamilton is just going back to New York because he was tired of wasting all this time. George Mason of Virginia is headed home because he has better things to do than to bicker and fight with everybody. As Franklin is watching this dream he has had for thirty-three years fall apart in front of his eyes, on Thursday, June the 28, 1787, Franklin gave the longest speech he gave at the Constitutional Convention.
"Gentlemen, In this situation of this Assembly, groping, as it were, in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once thought if humbly applying to the Father of Lights, to illuminate our understand? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers were heard, and they were graciously answered."
This was the exact room in which eleven years earlier they had signed the declaration. Back then we had the Continental Congress. They had two chaplains who prayed all the time. By 1815 there had been 1400 government issued calls to prayer in America. Back then we prayed all the time. Franklin is telling these guys, when we sensed danger we had prayer right here in this room. He said that our prayers were heard and graciously answered.
Franklin went on to say, "All of us engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. And have we now forgotten this powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs the affairs of men. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that 'except the Lord build the house, the labor is in vain that build it.' I firmly believe this; and I also believe without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel, and we shall become a reproach and a byword down to future ages. I therefore beg leave to move that, henceforth, prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessings on our deliberation be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business."
May I point out that is not bad for our least religious founding father.
He had just chewed out all the others for not praying enough.
This speech that Franklin gave was fourteen sentences long. How many Bible verses did you see Franklin quote from in these fourteen sentences? He quoted from fourteen Bible verses. Back in his day even the least religious founding father knew the Bible well enough to quote from its fourteen times in a fourteen sentence speech.
That is the cultural difference between then and now.
Though he was the least religious of his day, today he would have been called a radical religious person. Back then they knew the Bible and they used the Bible. Today Christians are not as familiar with the Bible as they were in that day.
The rest of the story is quite interesting. After Franklin made this speech the convention recessed for three days to have a cooling down period. In that period of time, George Washington's diary indicates they went to church for three days, they listened to patriotic orations, and had a special time of prayer. The Reverend William Rogers prayed over the Constitutional Convention. His prayer over the convention is not like what we do with civic prayers today. It is not like a city council prayer, a dinky little prayer to open a session up. It was a very serious time of prayer.
Everyone in Philadelphia knew this thing was falling apart. They noticed people were leaving town, others were ticked off at what was going on. So as Reverend Rogers has the convention people sitting in front of him, he knows what has been going on. He prayed for them in the convention in such a way it became popular enough they printed it on the front pages of the newspapers of the day. It took up three fourths of the front page of the newspapers. This was a serious time of prayer. It was a great prayer.
So when they reconvened after having these three days of prayer, they came back and delegates like Jonathan Dayton said the atmosphere had shifted. What was a real dumb idea last week, they thought was not all that bad now. So they go from falling apart to ten weeks later they produced the most successful constitution in the history of the world.
The Longest Ongoing Constitution in History
It is the longest ongoing constitution in world history. When you look at this constitution, and if you know the Bible, you will find Bible verse all throughout it.
Today we are told that the constitution is a secular document. There is a book out by two professors of Cornell University called, The Godless Constitution that considers this. When somebody says the constitution is a secular document or that it is a godless constitution, what they have actually said is they are Biblically illiterate. They would not recognize a Bible verse if it bit them in the ankle because not only are there Bible verses all thought our constitution, but it is only because they don't recognize the Bible verses they consider it to be a secular document.
The history was so evident about the constitution and the Bible that even for the lest religious presidents, like Andrew Jackson, it was a no brainier for him, who said, "The Bible is the rock on which our republic rests."
President Zachary Taylor, the old "Rough and Ready" said, "The Bible is the best of books. I wish it were in the hands of everyone. It is indispensable to the safety and permanence of our institutions."
He was saying if you want our institutions to last, to be safe and permanent, we must keep them in the Bible. That is why we see in America the more secular our institutions become the less well they are going to work.
We love education. We put $460 Billion a year into education in America. We average $164,000 in tax payers money to send a student from 1st grade through 12th grade. And in the last fifteen years 19% of graduating students are 100% illiterate. They cannot even read their own diplomas. It takes $164,000 for twelve years of education and they can't read the diploma? America in 1962 was #1 in the world in literacy. They took the Bible and prayer out that year and now we are #68 in the world in literacy.
The more secular education becomes, the less well it will work.
The more secular our judicial becomes the less well it will work.
The more secular economics becomes the less well it will operate and the more it will look like Wall Street, greed, and corruption.
The more secular government becomes the less well it will work.
The permanence and safety of our institutions, not faith, our institutions, is based upon the Bible. That is how our government was built in its beginning.
President Taylor continued, "Especially should the Bible be placed in the hands of the young. It is the best schoolbook in the world. I would that all our people were brought up under the influence of that Holy book."
Best schoolbook in the world? He can't say that! That's unconstitutional! At least that's what they think today. Which is the irony that today for us to do what we did two centuries in America is now unconstitutional?
How did that happen? It was not unconstitutional in previous generations because we knew our history. And people knew the Bible!
Those generations knew men like Dr. Benjamin Rush.
Dr. Benjamin Rush
He is one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
John Adams said, "Dr. Rush was one of the three most notable founders."
Adams said of our founders, "We have George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush."
Benjamin Rush started the first Sunday School movement in America.
He started the first Bible Society and the first Abolitionists Society in America.
He was a huge civil rights leader. He help found the first black denomination in America.
He did the first faith based prison reform in the United States.
He is the most famous doctor in American history, being called the father of American medicine.
He started five universities, three of which are still open today.
He was huge in education. He is call the father of public schools under the constitution.
As much time that is spend on public education, you would think we would talk about the guy that is the father of that institute, but we don't.
Dr. Rush helped to signed the declaration and the constitution was ratified in 1788 and in 1789 we now have a federal government. George Washington is the President, and they asked themselves now that we are one United States, what do we have to do in education to stay the United States? Dr. Rush said we have to make sure we teach the Bible in the schools. On March 10, 1791 he gave a dozen reasons we would never take the Bible out of schools in America because it has to be the basis for education. Many other founding fathers said the same thing about the Bible in schools. They put the bible in the schools and it was typical to go through the Bible in the classroom. This was so much of what America did in those days.
In 1844 the US Supreme Court, in the case of Vidal vs. Girard's Executors gave a unanimous, 8-0 decision, that said, "If you are going to be a government school, you will teach the Bible. We are not going to fund any government school that won't teach the Bible."
I don't think we have heard about this in our history courses in the last fifty years. We used to know our own history back then, but what we hear about know is modern history. We hear about what the court did in 1963 in the case of Abington Township School District v. Schempp.
[Link to the case: http://infidels.org/library/modern/cale_corbett/abington.html]
In that decision the US Supreme Court said this idea about using Bibles in the schools, we are not going to do that anymore. The justices that made that decision specifically said that taking the Bibles out of the schools were without historical or legal precedent. If there were not historical or legal precedent, then why did you take the Bible out of the schools? In their decision they said that portions of the New Testament were read without explanation and that they could have been psychologically harmful to the child. So now we have discovered that the Bible causes brain damage. I would argue that we have suffered massive brain damage since we have taken the Bible out of the schools. We can't even tell where the genders are anymore. We can't tell simple stuff. We have gone so far to the other direction.
Benjamin Rush said, "The Bible, when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life."
We now know statistically he is exactly right.
The younger you are when you start reading the Bible, the more likely you are to keep reading the Bible.
If you don't start reading the Bible when you are four, five or six, when you are starting in school, it is hard to start reading it when you are fifteen, sixteen or seventeen. It's even harder when you get into your twenties, even harder in your thirties. Statistically, if you don't get started when your young, it is hard to keep reading the Bible. That is why we have the Biblical illiteracy we do today. For sixty years we have been saying you can't read the Bible in schools, so now we have a Biblically illiterate generation, and Biblically illiterate nation.
People use to know the Bible speaks to every issue of life.
Every one of the issues that are popping up in our society today, the Bible is very clear about. We as Christians use know what the Bible said about them. Which taxes were good; which taxes were bad; what it said about military; immigration; foreign affairs; education; the type of course to teach in education; even teaching methods of education; and what the Bible says about due process of law.
We knew that the reason you get to confront your accusers is because of John 8:12.
We knew that the reason you get to compel witnesses in your behalf if because of Proverbs 18:17.
We knew the Bible verses behind these things.
That is why the presidents could talk about it.
But today we do not have that knowledge of the Bible, though it still has the answers for all of these issues.
Dr. Rush said, "the Bible contains more knowledge necessary to man in his present state than any other book in the world."
The way we are today, people think he meant in spiritual knowledge; that the Bible contains more spiritual knowledge. No, he said knowledge. It did not matter what the issue was, the Bible addressed these issue. I will give you an historical example.
There was this a guy named Matthew Maury. We rarely study him in textbooks anymore. I have been appointed by a number of state boards of education and governors across our nation to do history and social studies standards for students in their state. I see what is in the textbooks. I see what is in the standards, and nobody talks about Matthew Maury anymore.
Matthew Maury is known as the father of oceanography. This is the man that found there were jet streams in the ocean. He showed if you want to get to Europe, get over here in this jet stream and you will get there about a week faster than anyone else.
This man lived back in the times when he listened to the speeches of the founding fathers. He listened to James Madison and others. From the time he was a young boy he loved the sea. Before he was ten he went to sea as a cabin boy and worked himself up to become a sailor, then an officer, than a captain. Then he started owning his own ships. It was not long before he had his own fleet of ships.
He was at shore one day and got in a stagecoach accident which crushed his leg, and it never grew back right. Disabling him from ever going back to sea. He had lost the love of his life so he started studying the sea. It was here he finds where all the jet streams are in the oceans.
What would it have been like for him to study back in the beginning of the 1800's. He did not have satellites, so how did he know there were jet streams in the sea. He could not see them.
The way Matthew Maury knew they were there was what he said was in Psalm 8. He was home sick one day and he asked his family to read the Bible out loud. The passage they read was Psalm 8:6-8,
"Thou madest man to have dominion over the works of thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet - all sheep and oxen, yea, and beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas."
That last part jump out at him: "whatsoever passes through the paths of the sea".
He thought, "I had been on the sea my whole life and I have never seen paths in the sea; but if God says there are paths in the sea, they have to be there." He went looking for them and he found them. That is why he is called the father of Oceanography, because he found the paths of the sea. He is also called the great path finder of the sea. All based upon that Bible verse.
Another Bible verse that had a huge impact on Matthew Maury was Ecclesiastes 1:6.
"The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the north; the wind whirls about continually, and comes again on its circuit."
So he started looking and found there were jet streams in the air as well as the sea.
He did all this without the technology we have today. He found the jet streams because of what the Bible said. Because of this, for the first time, weather prediction became possible. Because of his studies in these areas, he is call the father in naval meteorology. For the first time in history you can predict the weather because he found out how the currents moved in the air. That is pretty advanced stuff and it all came out of the Bible.
We are told today that the Bible and science are incompatible. I am sure Matthew Maury heard that same thing back then. He said, "I have been blamed by men of science, both in this country and in England, for quoting the Bible in confirmation of the doctrines of physical geography. The Bible, they say, was not written for scientific purposes and is therefore of no authority in matters of science."
We still hear that today. Statements that the Bible and science are incompatible.
Matthew Maury says that is just not true.
He went on to say, "I beg pardon! The Bible is authority for everything it touches. The Bible is true and science is true. They are both true; and when your men of science, with vain and hasty conceit, announce the discovery of disagreement between them, rely upon it; the fault is not with Witness of His records (i.e. God), but with the "worm" (sinful human) who attempts to interpret evidence which he does not understand."
He is saying any time the Bible and science come into conflict, the truth of the Bible will eventually win. There are new studies that have come out in the past twenty years that shows the scientific positions are learning that the Bible true in its teachings. Science is coming back to the Bible after all these years. For two hundred years Christian America has been saying the Bible is the best scientific book that exists, because God created everything that is out there. He is the best scientist because he knows everything there is in science and he has told us, it is in the scriptures.
That is why you will find that all the great scientist like Francis Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Sir Isaac Newton, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, and others, it does not matter who, were all big time Christians who read the Bible. Some of the greatest scientific discoveries they point to came from the Bible. We are being told today that what Newton did with optics and so much more, was because of secular science and research. No it is not. It was all based upon Biblical research.
Bible Verses were Used to Form Our Government
John Adams was one who surely helped to form our government. He was big on the constitution of separations of powers. We knew there were three branches to government because Isaiah 33:22 tells us there are three branches of government. John Adams got America to see those three branches needed to kept apart. That we need to separate them and we need to have checks and balances so one can't take over the other two. That had never been done by a government before.
James Kent is one of the two fathers of American Judicial System. Talked about Circuit Courts. We still have Circuit Courts today. The US Supreme Court was originally a circuit court. Every justice on the US Supreme Court got on horseback and rode a circuit. They were all circuit court justices. They are still circuit court justices today, they just do it electronically. Every Supreme Court justice still has a circuit they are in charge of and they still work that way. James Kent say the idea for circuit courts came out of 1Samuel 7:15-16.
A signers of the constitution, men like Alexander Hamilton, sites Luke 11:20 as the reason we have a written constitution. James Madison used the same statement out of the same verse.
There are so many things that came out of the Bible that is unique to our culture because these guys read the Bible and applied it. Though they were not perfect, what they understand about the Bible they applied to our government and it worked.
Franklin Roosevelt said, "Every time it has gone right, every time we had advanced, every time we had done something, it was because we were following the Bible."
This is why the Founder's Bible was made. It is Bible verse they used to build the kind of culture they lived in, which we do not understand today.
When thinking about the birthday of our nation, the 4th of July.
1. Get into God's Word. Read the Bible.
We have a high Biblical illiteracy in America today. A massive study on the Bible has shown that less than 9% of Christians read the Bible daily. When it comes to how many Christians have actually read the Bible from cover to cover, we are down around 3 or 4%. That is such a small amount of Christians who have actually read the Bible from cover to cover. This use to be the standard in America, to read the Bible all the way through. We need to start by reading the Bible again.
John Quincy Adams wrote so much about the Bible, that in 1848 they took his writing on the Bible and created a textbook for showing 10 year old Americans how to read through the Bible once every year.
You could only imagine what would happen in America if any president would write anything that would show people how to read the Bible through in one year.
In Mr. Adam's book he said, "No book in the world should be so unceaseably studied and so profoundly meditated on as the Bible. The first and almost only book deserving universal recommendation is the Bible. I have myself for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year."
That was the standard back then.
We did it in the schools by then.
The founding fathers read through the Bible cover to cover.
Mr. Adams went on to say in his book, "I read the Bible so it may contribute to my advance in wisdom and virtue. I always endeavored to read it with the same spirit, which I now recommend to you."
The best way he found to read the Bible is what I am recommending to you also:
That you read the Bible so it may contribute to your advance in wisdom and virtue.
When I read the Bible it is not a spiritual or devotional book.
I am look for specific things to apply.
I want something that will change the way I think, my wisdom.
I want something that will change the way I act, my virtue.
We are always looking for specific things to apply.
There is something that applies to the judiciary;
There is something that applies to economics;
There is something that applies to tax policies.
They were able to find things like this all the time back then, because they were looking for a specific application.
Today we are told the Bible is a spiritual book, which it is.
But the Bible is more, it is a Life Book: dealing with everything that comes up in life.
In celebration of this 4th of July start reading the Bible through. Make this commitment to yourself so you will have read the Bible through by this time next 4th of July.
It is Easy to Read the Bible in a Year.
It is easy to do. You only have to read three chapters a day. It takes about 15 minutes a day. If you don't want to read it, get an app like U-version and it will read it to you. This is an easy thing to do. You can do this.
If you are one of the small percent that has gone through the, make the commitment and then by this time next year you will have gone through it again. Our forefathers did this every year.
Signed the peace treaty to end the American Revolution.
He was the President of the Continental Congress from 1782 to 1783.
He was the first attorney to amended the Supreme Court bar.
He helped frame the bill of rights.
He got George Washington to do the first Thanksgiving proclamation.
He was 77 years old founded the American Bible Society. This is the largest bible society in the world, and it still exist today.
At 77 years old he said, "I have read through the Bible more than fifty times, and every time I read through it, I see things I have never seen before."
That is the nature of the Bible, that you see things new each time you read in it. This is why the Bible calls itself "Unsearchable". You will never get to the bottom of God's wisdom that is contained in that book. Every time you read in it you will see new things. It will take the level of wisdom you have and take you to another level, then to another level. You will get deeper and deeper read in its pages.
God has a great promise attached to reading in the Bible.
"Constantly think about My Word every day and every night so you will be sure to obey it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."
This is what made America different. American is not special because we have a four syllable word with an "A" on the end. That is not what made us different.
What made us different was people across our history tried to the best of their ability to apply what they saw in the Bible.
They did not always get it right but more than any other nation, they did get some things right.
This is why we have been so blessed in so many ways.
2. Celebrate the 4th with Solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty.
When the 56 people who signed the Declaration of Independence, they voted on it first before signing. And John Adams was one of those who voted on it. After they had voted he wrote a letter to his wife Abigail and said, "We did it, we separated from Great Britain, and voted," and he explained what went on. He wrote her a second letter that day and told her he had been thinking about what they had done, separating from Great Britain, and how will future generations see what we did today? He went on to say what he thought would happen. He said, "I am apt to believe that this day will be looked at by succeeding generations with day of great celebration and festival. I think future generations will turn this day into some kind of a holiday." He thought it was a good thing. He went on to say he thought the day should be commemorated. He said, "I think this day should be commemorated as a day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty."
They saw the 4th of July as a religious holiday. You will find that for many generations our top two religious holidays in America were Christmas and the 4th of July. We do not think of the 4th of July as a religious holiday today, but that was the way it was founded; that was the way it was done; that was the way they viewed it.
So on the 4th of July make sure you do something that celebrates this day as solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.
3. Consider what happened to the people, and be a good steward of the country, our the rights, and our institutions.
These same 56 men that signed the Declaration of Independence paid a real price.
We don't cover this in our history books anymore, that is, What Cost Did They Pay?
9 did not live to see what they wanted the rest of us to have.
7 of them lost their entire estates and fortunes trying to keep this thing funded. Trying to keep independence going.
5 of them actually took out massive loans to help fund the government for the rest of us because no nation was willing to loan us money. No one thought we were going to win.
2 that were wounded.
5 were made POW's (prisoners of war).
3 lost their wives.
2 lost their children.
Massive losses were suffered by these 56 who chose to sign the declaration.
After the revolution is over and John Adams is starting to advance in years, and he talked about what that was, he said, "Posterity, us, you will never know how much cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you make good use of it. If you do not I shall repented in heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it."
He was saying don't make me regret what it cost us to preserve you.
Now we are talking about stewardship.
They passed something on and we can't take it for granted.
We have to take it personal and get involved in it.
In the next generation after John Adams, there was a preacher named Matthias Burnett. A very famous preacher. He had the entire government of Massachusetts assembled and he reminded them of their obligation, and citizens as well, when he said, "To God and posterity, your accountable for your rights and your rulers. Let not your children have reason to curse you, for giving up those rights and prostrating those institutions which your fathers delivered you."
That is where this generation is right now. We have the choice to whether we are going to preserve the rights, preserve the institutions, or give them up and prostrate them where our kids will have it worse in America than our generation.
It can't be, not if we are good stewards.
This actually goes back to what Jesus said with his disciples.
He told them, "I don't even know when I am coming back. I will come back when the Father tells me, but nobody knows the day, nor the time. I don't even know the time." Mark 13:32.
He said in Luke 19:13 You guys occupy until I come.
This is what we have to do in America. It is not optional to get involved in civil affairs.
God created civil government, he created the institution of family. Those are his institutions they are not secular institutions, they are ours as Christians, and we have to get involved.
1. Read the Bible this year. It will make a difference in you and it will make a difference in America.
2. Make sure you celebrate the 4th of July with solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.
3. Commit yourself to good stewardship of the country and the rights and institutions that God has placed in our hands.
Then when he returns and says, "What did you do with that country that I gave you?"
It is our responsibility to have a good answer to give him.