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The Peril of the Republic

Ron Kelly
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Ron Kelly

Senior Pastor, Village SDA Church, Berrien Springs, Michigan

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  • July 4, 2020
    8:30 AM
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Let's pray Father we're here before you and whether or in this house or whether we're watching online and praying Lord that our hearts would since you're near Nissin that they would burn within us we want to honor you Lord with our lives not just our lips we don't want to be afraid we want to be bold and committed to the promises of freedom and willing to pay the price so I'm praying Lord strengthen us in the inner person give us that sense of confidence that our lives are hitting Christ that our righteousness is a gift and this rate relationship an amazing privilege and may we truly worship you for what you've done we want to honor you now I pray bless us in this moment in Jesus' name amen smore is unique morning in that it is the Sabbath which is a day that proclaims in affirms our liberty in Christ and it is also a anniversary of liberty for not just the american peoples but for so many others because of the social experiment. The American peoples and so the Smorgon I'm going to extend a tremendous sense I hope of honor for the greatness of this country and if you are not a citizen of the United States of America no offense is intended and yet certainly this nation on the surface of this globe represents the most unique experiment in governance and the most awesome governmental issuance of liberty that the experience of humanity has ever known and so it is my hope when we're done here today. That you will understand the great privilege and the great responsibility of the Spirit and the principles behind the American governmental experiment it is also my hope that we would understand the potential perils upon this system of governance and that we would be wise about the time and the age we're living in so that we my not allow the liberty the light of liberty to flicker or go out in our homes in our churches in our schools and in our society I received a book in the mail yesterday you don't usually get books in the mail and when you do you try to understand where they're coming from I didn't pay for this book I didn't order this book I didn't ask for this book it's an interesting book entitled The biggest lie in the history of Christianity you know if you want to get the book it'll cost you unless you're on the same mailing list and this is not like I signed up for a book club I don't do that but someone figured that I might be a good recipient for this book the subtitle is How modern culture is robbing billions of people of happiness so I want to ask you a question do you think it's actually possible that modern culture is robbing billions of people of happiness in your own mind I see I see head shaking yes they do it's not a book that way off on some agenda left or right and it's written by a New York Times best selling author with a good last name its name is Matthew Kelly. And I haven't had time to read the book I've just done a little research on it and perused it. But I do know more about the book this morning than I knew yesterday evening when I picked it up it's put out by an organization called the dynamic Catholic and so I want you to understand that this book is an outlier to where the Book of Revelation tells us we're going when I say it's an outlier I mean it's a messenger ahead of the curve and effectively the American experiment gone wrong in other words individual ism and license all over responsibility and more reality is leading us on a trajectory to where eventually the result in slavery of addiction through lack of self-control and the resulting dysfunction will call the American people to lead the way in a return to a neo biblical biblical ism or a neo conservatism pastor come on get simple it's going to be a call back to the simple old fashioned ways of returning to God and a people of holiness and one of the main premises of this book is how to experience holiness. How to have a holy moment why does it matter because the threshold of frustration with the dysfunctions of unbridled individual is a minimum bridled license is filling in society we have people right now who are refusing to work because they're making more money on unemployment than they get at their jobs where they would actually be producing something for a paycheck which means in effect if this is what you're doing you're stealing from all the tax payers. Who have put money into the till not so that you could free load on where society is in the moment but so that you could actually protect provide and make your fair way in a society in other words we've come to a place where the twin pillars of religion and morality are no longer holding up in free society and without a collective conscience and without an individual conscience people will do what's best for them they'll move by the the emotion and the feeling of ease complacency and self-indulgence Yes the biggest lie in the history of Christianity is an outlier to where the Book of Revelation tells us liberty loving societies are headed without even knowing it because without the proper balance in a liberty loving suicide in other words without self control self governance cannot work without moral self governance liberty loving people will find themselves in slave to their privileges their desires it manners Margaret Thatcher once said the price of freedom is still and will always be eternal vigilance now let's talk about another book from home pastors have certain perils the peril of the pastorate is too many books. And I'm holding in my hands now another book written by an old professor at Battle Creek college you'll recognize his name Percy team again Percy McGinn wrote a book entitled The peril of the Republic I don't know where I got this book I don't know how I got this book but every once in a while I'll notice a book on my bookshelf and I'll get it out. And I'll set it by the chair at home where occasionally I have time to sit down and read and I'll start going through the book or I'll set it on my desk here in the office and I'll start looking through the book McGann does a masterful job on the front side of his book explaining to us the amazing the componentry of a government designed and legitimated by the consent of the people I want you to understand that the American Revolution and other revolutions let's contrast the French Revolution are built on 2 very different premises the American Revolution was built on the idea of God Christ and the scriptures the idea of man's inherent right to be recognised as a person of dignity it was built on the concept of self-control self-reliance the French Revolution which followed ours was built on the concept of anti God Anti Christ anti Scriptures and that French Revolution they wrecked it a woman as the goddess of wisdom and placed her on the altar in Notre done Robespierre followed with the reign of terror and $20000.00 heads rolled in the street the glorious beginning of the French Revolution was termed year one and what we see between these 2 revolutions is one is a glorious success and one is an un mitigated horror the reign of terror. I want to recognize in the beginning of this journey this morning that if Margaret Thatcher is right if the price of freedom is still and always be eternal vigilance we as a people holding a stewardship of a prophetic message ought to be eternally vigilant about understanding where we are in the ebb and flow of governmental time that we ought not to consider simply our best efforts to prepare ourselves for the coming implosion of religious liberty the coming implosion of constitutional privileges and protections we ought stead to proclaim that the genius as a matter of fact I don't want to skip over this that would genius has captured me when looking at the web page of the dynamic Catholic the mission of the dynamic catholic go there and check it out that's where I got my book from Matthew Kelley is to reenergize the Catholic Church in America by developing world class resources that inspired people to rediscover the genius of Catholicism Now I love my Catholic brothers and sisters and don't want anything I say today to be personalized and yet as a system I'm about to contrast 2 things that the genius of self governance the consent of the governed is the power of the government nurse and the genius of Catholicism what sets itself above the Bible itself are 2 completely opposite ends of the spectrum of governmental philosophy the one dictating not only who has the right of access to the Scriptures but the right of interpretation. The one determining issues of life and death relative to discussions of theology and whether that bends one towards the heretical side or towards the orthodox side again based on an authority much higher in their own description of governance than the scriptures in other words this morning what I want you to understand is that completely antithetical in other words opposite from the the structures of all medieval governance and by the way McGann will point out as well as others that for years the diabolical theology of the Divine Right of Kings which was heralded supported nurtured by the church itself for a period of over a 1000 years is the exact opposite of that which nerved the men who signed their names to the Declaration of Independence in other words the Scriptures teach in Acts chapter 10 verse 34 when Paul when Peter is at the house of Cornelius Peter announces something that has perhaps been react goed over time by that which true American ism espouses is that God is no respecter of persons which means there is no class now we're talking royalty and by the way the concept of religious liberty is different than the concept of religious toleration for millennia the idea of religious liberty was something that was to be stepped on tamped on put down that's why we have the rock in the fagot. It's because all of these things were designed to protect a ruling class a ruling elite ism of power whether it was political or religious or combined which for most of European history it was but when we come to the story line of the American people there is this sense them put inside every human bein was a God given. In a legal right that we were all created not equal in capacity not equal in ability not equal in so many things but in the God given right to the freedom and pursuit of happiness this is a Scriptural teaching and this is a truly inspired form of governance as far as it goes this idea that governance governance is a issued privilege given by those being governed it is a consent of the governed that you have the right to govern this is a biblical sentiment standing in direct contradiction to all the lines of regal ness and Royale royalty throughout all time the American experiment is not only an act of genius for which we would describe far too man made glory the American form of government was actually a final act of governance on the face of the Planet of the work of inspiration that God would really remind all that in the sight of God there are not too tears in society the royal with the limited bowl and unlimited powers to confer their will on the people. And those of a lesser status who must simply open wide in re see no the American experiment believed in the rule of law and order governed upon as washed you would say the 2 principles of morality and religion and while the Constitution was to respect no religion over another or to support it it was understood that the componentry of self governance would be a function of a culture a home a family a church a society in which God and the principles from which these inalienable rights were given and recognized would be the center of the operating locus of the local the center in point as it were for how of people should live and move and decide in other words for these men who signed their names to these documents there was this new sense that all could be a part of the journey of a nation developing moving growing in a stab a machine and in the end that there would be accountability for all whether they were on the voting side up or on the political side down this morning I want to remind you that the cost of freedom is eternal vigilance reading from patriarchs and prophets page 616 The context is the fact that Saul has been made a new King Saul is the 1st king. It was never God's design for this form of governance and yet saw was to be called to the throne as the vice regent of the Israelite nation now America is not a theocracy and the American government is predicated on a proper separation of the political efforts of power and religion but the experience of America is also undergirded by the superstructure of morality and religion if you have your Bibles open them if you would to the book of 1st Samuel 1st Samuel chapter 11 the cost of freedom is eternal vigilance we need to understand that from the days of Moses in which Liberty was given to Israel and the days of Joshua in which the inheritance of their land under the God ordained dynamic of judgment to those whose time had expired in that lay and followed by the judges in which the love of ease and indulgence in the absence of fidelity to the conquest of truth did not follow we finally come to the days of Samuel in which as prophet priest and judge the nation had received excellent leadership to the end of his life when his sons were no longer the kind of people that the governed want so all is king he's not been received by all men if you look at the last verse of 1st Samuel 10 certain worthless men verse 27 said how can this one deliver us and they despised him and did not bring him any present but he kept silent this was a high water mark or saw in the nobility of his leadership he was God ordained prophet affirmed and yet resisted resented and rebelled against by some but he did not exercise authority. To destroy their dissent verse 11 noun a hash the Ammonite came up and he b. c j bitch Gilliard and all the men of j. Bish said in a hash make a covenant with us and we will serve you so they were willing to give up they were willing to give in but nay hash is not a very nice guy nay hash they have and I said to them I'll make it I will make it with you on this condition that I gal Giles the right eye of every one of you thus I will make a reproach on all of Israel. The elders of j. Bish had the good sense to not roll over too rapidly and they said no and let us alone for 7 days that we may send messengers throughout the territory of Israel then if there is no one to deliver us we will come out to you then the messengers came to give me a of a saw and they spoke these words in the hearing of the people in all the people lifted up their voices and webbed now the whole saw was coming in from the field behind the ox and he said What's the matter what's the matter with the people that they weep so they related to him the words of the men of j. best in the Spirit of God came upon so mightily when he heard these words and he became very angry. I saw in the beginning side the nascent side of his royal term recognizes in this moment a divine call to arms that this nation scattered and ununited and this city of j. Besh ready to be subjugated and this this corporate insult placed upon all of its citizens by the gal gene out of one of its eyes had to be somehow contended with and he offers up his oxen and sends out a piece of them along with an offering to God to all of Israel and he gathers the people in at the end of those 7 days he's marched all night long and by God's direction he splits into 3 groups surprises the Ammonites delivers the men women and children of j. Besh and Israel is on a completely different trajectory no longer cowering and hiding but Saul makes a very important mistake which the author of patriarchs and prophets points out she writes after the assembly of Gilgo saw disbanded the army that at his call had arisen to overthrow the Ammonites reserving only 2000 men to be stationed under his command it Mick mash and $1000.00 to attend his son Jonathan a given here was a serious error his army was filled with hope and courage by the recent victory and had he preceded it once against the other enemies of Israel a telling blow might have been struck for the liberties of the nation going on she writes controlled by love of these and this in an abject spirit induced by long oppression the men of Israel had to a great extent neglected to provide themselves with the weapons of war now I'm going to take and I'm going to project. The progression of God's providence and provision from this renaissance of government and this new leader in Israel and I'm going to project it some 3000 years forward to the moment I'm going to do it like this though this nation quoting from Abraham Lincoln having a new birth a new sense of its purpose after paying the high price of the Civil War The high price of the Revolutionary War Other high prices throughout time in the midst of this nation's journey God has brought out of its experience not only great measures of religious revival but in the middle of it is its existence he has resurrected the final act of the Protestant Reformation that final act is to be carried out by a group of people who received the greatest stewardship the greatest religious treasure the greatest the greatest bulk of understanding about who God is that any church in all of the history of the last half of this or 6000 years have ever received certainly the greatest in the last 2 millennia so out of this journey of the great awaking in the Miller movement comes the 7th Day Adventist Church destined to understand the final acts of judgment that there's a sanctuary in heaven the 3 phases of Christ Ministry as sacrifice on the cross as mediator in the heavenly sanctuary and finally as arbiter the final arbiter the one who spread his arms and paid the price the abandoned $1.00 by people and by God It would seem who cried out God why have you for saken me to this one has come the final act of determination in both explanation and execution of right and wrong. So he not only is the sacrifice in the one pleading for the final reconciliation of the human race but he's also one that finally declared he was holy let him be holy still and he was unjust let him be unjust kill that one truth that one final story line that wrapping oneself around the arms of the Greatest Story Ever Told the battle between right and wrong begun in heaven poured out and played out in the Garden of Eden the prince procession of symbols and types up to the reality of the cross then Jesus Himself the mediator and High Priest and then Jesus himself the judge that one teaching all by itself would distinguish the 7 damaged church is the greatest contributor to modern theological tenets of all times all by itself but written woven into that is also been knowledge of the fact that the dead actually do die and that this great myth of Christian dumb which lent itself to a nother horrendous myth that God burns people forever in hell all of these wrapped up together communicate a God for whom you could actively willingly say I would desire his leadership over me the consent of the governed to the governing. We put back into this not only the picture of a God who could be love but the story line of a God who wrote 10 commandments the laws of liberty and those laws written down actually direct the time with God would be the great liberating principle the love of God put within through this experience it's remember the entire week but on the 7th day the sabbath God calling us back to remember it's not our doing. That's our doing sometimes it's our doing that's our undoing he calls us to rest there will be a call in the future to rest friends but it will be for a false Sabbath and it will be directed by the support of both of those that proclaimed a Protestant heritage and those who proclaim the genius of the mother church that day is coming when we think about these amazing theological tendence when we think about these amazing truths that describe a god that could be loved that explains salvation like no other church can explain we must find ourselves asking if the if the commentary on the beginning of this solves ministry is not the commentary that has come upon adman tism in the 21st century controlled by a love of these if we have not neglected to provide ourselves with the weapons the room. Where is the focus where is the sense that there is this mighty showdown coming farther in the way go to the Book of Revelation Revelation let's look at it let's make sure we understand it the amazing declaration of the American experiment Revelation Chapter 12. The amazing story of the battle of the 2 churches. The pure woman the evil woman of Revelation 17 the idea that this whole experience will find itself locked in a religious battle again are we neglecting the weapons of our warfare are we interested in in houses and lands and and interesting opportunities for self development and posture in our next our next generation for. Being at the top of the pack in the pile the true amazing thing is that there is this amazing story of a balance come from heaven to earth but the battle gets much more delineated in its details we see a beast coming up out of the sea in chapter 13 verse one blasphemous names written on it it can be disc it can be determined it rains for a period of 1260 years and then we come to the last half of Chapter 13 versus 11 and we see this amazing counterpoint I saw another beast worse 11 coming up out of the earth he had 2 horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon This is no longer simply a monarchy all form of government it is unique and that we have these balancing of powers represented in these 2 horns he looks like a lamb but he speaks as a drag he exercised all the authority of the 1st beast which inherent in this sentence is the reality that at some point time all the liberties of this nation in the separation of religion from power will be resigned will be turned back over to the genius of the 1st beast he makes all the earth and those who dwell in it worship the 1st beast whose fail wound was he'll go down to verse 16 and cause us all small and great and the rich and the poor and the free men in the slaves to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead and he provides that no one will be able to buy or sell except those who have the mark even the name of the beast or the number of his name here is the wisdom let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast for the number of that is a man is number 666. I'm here to affirm to you this morning that modern culture is robbing billions of people of happiness. I'm here to affirm to you this morning that more stuff and more opportunity is not going to prove sufficient to deal with the escalating insecurity of our age and the wondering about what the posterity fear future is equaling indeed we are coming to the point where the cup of our iniquity and its results in the resulting intemperance of our lives will render us ready for a return it will not have to be a heavy handed moment indeed what is happening in America is the actual culture of the governed is trending towards this absence of civility and security to where eventually those that have been liberty loving will be security loving more and there will be a desire to restore a basic level of civility and steadiness you see in the end the laws of a country taking for instance the 5 year old now been 5 years since the highest court of our land of firmed that homosexual marriage is proper It's been far more than that since we have affirm that the I'm bored can be slaughtered in the womb and now we're pressing our way forward to the very edges of civility and governance as we watch those actually elected by proper Vody separate themselves farther and farther by idiology attitude and action yes we are Paris really tipping from one side to the other and some point in time the crowd will go out from the people give a steadiness at any price. But are we neglecting ourselves in readiness for the weapons of war that will be required for the final showdown taken by them turn over the Gospel of John chapter 8 John Chapter 8 yes this nation is a great nation this nation its principles were truly inspired many other nations have experienced in its shadow and with its mentoring and nurturing a new birth of freedom as well but we're living in the age a post modern age where your truth is your truth and there is no there is no corporate truth there is no absolute truth juice the spoke in this chapter and he said You shall know the truth and the truth will make you free verse 32 they answered him and said we're Abraham's descendants and we've never been slave to anyone how is it that you say you will become free Well 1st it was the Egyptians then it was the Babylonians and as they spoke it was the Romans they come to the place where the presence of Christ was an affront to their bent and twisted lack of morality and religion the truth is that we find ourselves in a similar spot today religion is no longer true to the word it's true to a clamoring and a positioning for power McGann in his book writes the government of God in the beautiful world to come will be a government of love a government founded upon the principles of the consent of the governed for every thought in that blessed home and Kingdom and in all the infinite universe will desire nothing else but God in Jesus Christ rule this will be the supreme and ever living desire of everyone Heaven's government is indeed one of deriving its powers which are only just from the concept of the governed. He goes on to say the United States obtained its national charter from the hand of Providence with the disc distinct understanding that its cardinal principles of government should forever be liberty and equality and also with the express to me a stipulation that the rule of right should always be paramount in the power of the sovereign state and it is 1st chapter he ends it with this sober sentence with men there is a here after with nations there is not and as they cannot be punished or rewarded in the next world they must be in this Indeed we are going to hear the sounds from the religious world eventually crying now that there must be justice in the nation that there must be a return to God Those sentiments will come how far away they are I cannot say but they are coming but have we allowed ease to preclude a proper state of mind and a proper preparation for the weapons of our warfare are carnal but it is the knowledge of the power and presence of Christ in our midst to pull down all of those oppositions to truth Daniel Webster said this finally let us not forget the religious character of our origin our fathers were brought here by their high veneration for the Christian religion they journeyed by its light and labored in its hope they sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society and to diffuse this influence throughout all their institutions civil political and literary You see friends it was an influence but our culture has become so secular the practical godliness so extinct that there is no aroma of that which is Christian or there is a diminishing aroma I should say. In the arenas of civil political and literary dynamics it is a diminishing measure of the saltiness the Savior is fast passing out he goes on to write Webster does letters cherish the sentiments and extend their influence still more widely in full conviction that it is the happiest society which partakes in the highest degree of the mild and peaceful spirit of Christianity the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution this is McGann now of the United States or indeed the New and Old Testament and things pertaining to Caesar as the Bible declares that all men are equal before God God be no respecter of persons so the declaration affirms that all men are equal before law and that this equality is their own on a label and primal right and I'm going to end with these sentiments from the 2nd president of the United States John Quincy Adams the sovereign authority conferred upon the people of the colonies by the Declaration of Independence could not dispense them nor any individual citizen of them from the fulfillment of all their moral obligations for these they were bound by the laws of Nature's God nor is there any power upon earth capable of granting absolution from the people who assume there is equal and separate station among the powers of the earth by the laws of Nature's God by that very act of knowledge themselves bound to the observance of those loss and I could neither exercise nor can for any power inconsistent with them there is a powerful beauty in the history and legacy of this nation I can remember 44 years ago as a boy during the bicentennial. I used to get in trouble as a kid for riding my bike on the side my motorcycle on the sidewalk and not hardly motorcycles a little bitty Q a 50 with 2 gears it might have reached a screaming top speed of 20 miles an hour when I lived in this little postage stamp of a yard in a subdivision outside of Peoria Illinois. The police were called on me more than once as a child for breaking out of my yard and screaming up and down the sidewalk but I remember on July 9th for 1976 I had every permission to ride that little motorcycle on the streets and I did I was late for the parade but I pulled the throttle back as far as it would go and I caught up and for a mile or 2 I rode around with everybody else celebrating 200 years of this great country everything this country does is not great it is bound to moral law that moral law begins in the consent of the governed but when the govern themselves trend immoral the government is in trouble and I want to remind you at the end of this message that by beholding we become changed and I want you to know that the transaction and the transformation of our society has been accelerated by the communication revolution and we are more rapidly pointing toward self-indulgence in evil as opposed to responsibility and through Republicanism then we have or have and by the way the true founders were terribly afraid of raw democracy listen to your news they still believe that leaders should leave and if they are needed to be a firewall between raw democracy and the final and Ackman of leadership. We have not made the study of civics and constitutional law and the privileges and progressives sufficient enough subject matter with our young people and we are producing a nation of entitlement that does not understand responsibility and we will unfortunately somewhere in the not so distant future reap the rewards of this kind of living there is a future peril to the republic it is written in the scripture Unfortunately it appears that free people don't know how to manage their blessings for the blessing of others and it in to it ends up rotting the soul of freedom but today's July the 4th and there is so much good still a part of this country I can still stand up here and say what I want with some limitations but they are the limitations of the consent I cannot stand in this auditorium and yell out the word fire unless there's a fire there's limitations to my free speech but again these are the laws of the consent I have not been told no one in this society is better than another my potential freedom is linked at some level to my potential commitment to the laws of freedom and my initiative and while there is much that needs to be remediated And while there is a certain peril to the Republic I want to assure you today. But I am very proud. To be a part of a nation that has brought liberty and saved the world from despotism multiple times. I'm very proud of all those men and women that wear the uniform I'm very proud of all those civic servants who make less money and give more than they have to give. I'm very proud of all the teachers and the preachers of righteousness and godly parents and godly homes where people have been told that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance and that we must bear the weight of responsibility and sometimes shed blood to preserve and I'm very proud of a nation who took its cues out of the shadows of oppression and brought a new age of inspiration in liberty and potential and it is my hope that when this nation must be judged for abandoning its principles there will still be a people there will still be a group who says what God gave me I will not surrender to any man or woman I will be true to my call not only as a citizen of this great nation but as a higher citizen of a higher community of faith. And I'm appealing this people not to be plonking themselves down in front of their devices and wasting their time but to actually be committed to their churches and priests and priestesses in their own homes to be shaping the lives of their children to be ready to stand tall and erect in an age of ignore me and persecution and darkness. Yes God is calling us back to the principles of true republicanism the back to the principles that made this nation great and this morning friends I believe there will be a new birth of freedom but it will come a great cos I believe many will come out of the darkness of error into the knowledge of true light it will be a function of all the seed sown in the plants of righteousness this Froude so effectively in this country. And the world will be enlightened again according to The Book of Revelation chapter 18 and by God's grace we can be a part of it for these things will not end in permanence even though unfortunately or fortunately we could say the kingdoms of this earth will become the kingdoms of God. But there are certain principles of this Kingdom which will go forward because indeed they were still ordained inspired by God May God help us all to bear the price of freedom to speak truth even when truth is not appreciated or cost us relationally emotionally financially God help us may this be a true day of celebration because we recommit ourselves to that which made this nation great. This media was brought to you by audio force a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know war about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more service leader visit w w w audio verse or.

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