Saturday is July 4th, the day each year on which we celebrate the birth of our nation. Our republican form of government was best described by Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address: Government of the people, by the people, for the people. 

Government by the people is only possible when people are free to vote for their representatives. But people are not free just because they can pretty much do as they please most of the time.

Jesus reminds us, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). All unbelievers in Christ are not free at all but slaves to sin. Salvation through Jesus Christ frees us from the bondage of sin. Christians do not have to sin; unbelievers have no choice but to sin. We know this because of what we are told in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

If you are a believer in Christ, let me suggest that the next time you are tempted, fall to your knees and ask God to help you to overcome the temptation. He has promised that the Holy Spirit, in your heart if you’re a believer, is there to help you, to comfort you, to counsel you, and to lead and guide you. Make use of Him. He wants to help you. He loves you.

A lady asked Benjamin Franklin soon after the formation of our new nation, “Sir, what kind of government have you given us?” Franklin replied, “A republic if you can keep it.” There are many people today in our country, some are even citizens, whose aim is to bring down this Republic. They have no love of the United States. 

But let all Christians, though we love our country, remember that this world is not our home. All believers in Christ are going to a far better place, called heaven. Paul said we can’t imagine how wonderful it is. He described it this way in 1 Corinthians 2:9: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” We are told that heaven is unimaginably beautiful and delightful. We who have trusted our souls to the Lord Jesus Christ will live there in perfect joy and happiness forever. What a wonderful thing is our hope of heaven! 

At the same time, we worry and grieve for people we love who do not believe and have not trusted Christ for salvation. They are in for such a shock of sadness and despair on judgment day! Jesus will tell them, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”   

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