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Why America? Why Thanksgiving?

Ron Kelly
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Ron Kelly

Senior Pastor, Village SDA Church, Berrien Springs, Michigan



  • November 28, 2020
    11:30 AM
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Father, thank you for your intervention in our lives and I pray now Lord intervene, however you wish so that we can have strength and courage, peace and purpose. We come to you humbly, Lord, pray now for your spirit to touch our Hearts. And may we not mistake his impress in Jesus name? I ask this that Last week I was asking you to reflect on significant anniversaries that we could or should be celebrating. And I asked you if you're aware of any and most of you were not, I was assured that with a little prompting, some would have remembered and no doubt they would have. But I asked you, why is it that we've come up to the fore a century of the Pilgrim fathers coming to our country? That is 400 years for this very young country, about a century and a half older than the country. Why is it that nobody is talking about it? How come we're not celebrating the componentry of religious Liberty in the Foundation of this nation? There are a variety of reasons why this be so one would be that we no longer really believe that the church and the motivations of God are what made this great. Somehow we have the idea that it is the genius of Enlightenment that moved on the Hearts of a Jefferson or an Adams. And that somehow, while law, we ended up with this nation, minus the infusion of the Spirit of God, directing in the Affairs of men. There is another reason and that is at this moment in our country's history, we are exceptionally polarized. And one of the reasons you're not hearing about this in the modern media is that the media has moved on to a New Gospel. Now I don't want to in any way, minimize what I'm about to talk about and was very edified in the Sabbath school paper portion of our worship services this morning. As we were looking at the story taught by none other than Jesus. About the Good Samaritan, who in the minds of every Jew, no such thing existed. That was an oxymoron. There was no such thing as a Good Samaritan. The problem is wherever you go, wherever you live, it doesn't matter whether it's in northern Michigan between People of one color and the Native Americans, or whether it's halfway around the World in another place. Yes. Whether it's the caste system in India or prejudice in any of its forms in any country including this one, people without Christ are very good at dividing along tribal lines. And sometimes the tribal lines are visible and you can see them. And when this happens, what we find is that people no longer have a bridge for connecting. We have lofty sentiment, academic and philosophical goals, but no bridge for connecting the small earning. I want to assure you that we are one in the spirit. We are one in the Lord in Christ. There is no East or West. Now, some would contend that in the church that is not so. And I want to assure you that in many places and in some Hearts it is not. So if there's one thing that should distinguish the 7, they have it is Christian from all others. It is an object of commitment to the truth. The truth cuts whatever way it's a 2 edged sword, it cuts going up, it cuts going down, it cuts going in and it cuts coming out and it cuts to deliver US from the social ills and the spiritual tumours that would take away our freedom in God There is no human heart that is beyond being prejudiced, and there is no human heart that cannot be set free from prejudice. However, the New intellectual Gospel suggests that no human heart is Wise enough and aware enough to be aware of the hidden prejudices. Of course there's some measure of that that is true, but God does not take US and leave US where we're at. He moves US on a journey. So there's a 2nd reason this morning that I want to make you aware as to why we are not celebrating the 400 years of Pilgrim history. It's not just that the church is now seen as the locus of prejudice and bigotry against the New gender Gospel. It's also because the church with other value systems that stand in the way finds itself without a clear Clarion voice outside of the political realm to establish its own integrity and credibility and a skeptical nation. There was a, a project that a reporter from The New York Times conceived Nicole Hannah Jones a summer ago just over a summer ago, August of 21000 is called the 21900 project. And while I have no doubt that her intentions are well, at least I choose to believe so the outcome has found its way into what I'll call an ever polarizing narrative of peoples in different places. The New York Times published its 161000 projects in August when they did people lined up on the streets in New York City to get copies since then the project, a historical analysis of how slavery shaped American political social economic institutions has spawn pond. Cast a high school curriculum, an upcoming book for Nicole Hannah Jones, the reporter who conceived of the project, the response has been deeply gratified. So Let's hit the pause button. I want you to know from this preacher's point of view, there is nothing wrong with turning over whatever rock needs to be turned over to expose the dark and unfortunate and wrong sides of American culture. However, the problem is, is that the 2900 project is not just a study and how we can move away from any of our problematic paths. It's a journey in the reframing of the history of this country. And when the story line is I shouldn't say over, but when it starts to reach its ultimate point. The problem is now instead of seeing the nation as a place of developing Liberty, we see it with to use their terminology and original sin of bigotry. And because there were indentured people and slaves brought over with some of these original, You could say colonists for sure. America is fatally flawed and is only now coming to reap the fruits of our sins. Well, I'd like to suggest you a completely different narrative and the narrative as such is that not only has America had its flaws, and not only has America battled its racism some not so much which is terrible. No Christian should begin to take the name of Christ, who knowingly entertains the slightest momentary sentiment of anx against a person of another ethnicity, nationality or origin. None. And if we want any credibility in this World, we better be able to articulate it on the side of the oppressed, the ones that we don't, that don't easily understand. I told you a story not long ago, all repeat it here this morning because I don't want to be misunderstood. Person in our community shopping happens to be a person of lighter colored skin. They trip and fall outside of a grocery store and a person of color goes to assist them. A member of our church, that person is waved off by the person who is obviously elderly person needing help. Another person comes to help who peers to have a pigmentation, much more similar to their own. And that person is not waved off. Tell me how you feel when that kind of thing happens. Some of you have never experienced it. Some of US have never experienced it. It's completely categorically wrong. It's rooted in the fabric of the carnal heart and has no place in the Fellowship of Christ, no place in the church. So I want to make sure we understand this. However, to talk about this dynamic in regards to those who have been on the wrong side of the minority status, that is wrong in the sense of being treated wrong, cannot keep you or me in the right way from talking about the other half in this morning that's what I'm talking about. I have no intention to try to create a problem in anyone's heart, but I do have this intention which remains mine every Sabbath. And that is to lovingly lift up the Christ, who told the truth to his best friends and his worst enemies in the hope that they would turn to the narrow path that could make them brothers and sisters no matter whether they were Samaritan or Jew, a man this is where God's church is called To Be. Now having said that, the 61000 projects, which is 161000 projects which has found its way into the ascendancy of American culture, has America as a place of compromise, Liberty from the very beginning. Of course, it was in some measure, can be no doubt the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence. We all understand not only own slaves, but treated them as property and to the final and most perhaps Unacceptable step of fathering a child with a slave. These are all blights on their person at the same time, should we take everyone from 2 centuries ago and try to place them in the flow of a progression of truth and suspect that they should have then what we have now, we would be Mis managers and Malla liners and Mis practitioners of what it means to be human and grow. God is calling US into a journey of growth, no excuses. And yet at the same time, the supposed sense of heightened morality that can cast a Shadow backwards on people. When we don't know what Shadow be cast back on US is a gross form of intellectual hypocrisy. And so this morning, I come to you with this knowledge that there are a variety of reasons that the, the country that we will be celebrating today is in no doubt a unique country. And I'm not celebrating today from the dynamics of a, a wrong sense of National pride. This country has its flaws, but in the same sense this morning, I think it's important for you to know that people are always looking for a cause. And when they find one, they can somehow, I sometimes turn it back around to cure him books out this morning. If you would. We're going to look at this in the form of a hymn. Take your hymn books out. And I want to look at that he, I'm entitled once to every man and nation 606. Now we're not going to sing it. We're just going to look at it 606. And I want to read the words with you, because I want you to understand the nature of truth, what our forefathers knew and what they know. Now what we know now is different. You know, this church does not teach because the Bible does not teach you that you burn in Hell forever. But there were many of the men and the women who began this church who began believing God did that. The truth of the matter is that kind of abuse and abuse of God finds no place in the litany of Truth, wants to every man and nation number. 606 comes the moment to decide. In the strife of truth with false and for good or evil side. Some great cause God's New Messiah offering each the Bloom or blight, and the choice goes by forever TwixT the darkness and that light. Then to side with truth is noble. 2nd verse, when we share her wretched crust Air her cause brings Fame and profit and is prosperous to be just then it is the brave man chooses while the Coward stands aside. Tell the multitude make virtue of the faith they had Tonight. By the light of burning martyrs, I want to pause right there. That's not a metaphor. That is a statement in this 3rd stance of this song that is a statement of physical fact. The Church of the Middle Ages found civic power to suppress dissent. And it went as far as making Human Torches of people. Christ die bleeding feet, we track. In other words, if they persecuted the Master, they'll persecute US, toiling up New Calvary's ever with the Cross that turns not back. New occasions teach New duties that makes ancient truth, ancient good couth, that they must always upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth. Now I want to focus for a moment on that phrase, New occasions teach New duties. Time makes an ancient good on couth. That's what we're dealing with in 21st century America. And the polarization of our country is built around the Liberal left who thinks they're intellectually superior and around the Conservative, right. Who thinks they're morally superior. The truth of the matter is both groups when you're talking politically, find themselves with break. With, with brazen inconsistency is that diminish the ability of people to reach across the Gulf and class pants or to move even more towards the middle. You let alone towards one side or the other. We are living in an age when ancient good has become on couth. They must upward still and on word who would keep abreast of truth last verse. Though the cause of evil Prosper, yet to truth alone is strong, though her portion be the scaffold, this is where you are hung and upon the throne be wrong, yet that scaffold sways the future and behind the demo known, stand of God within the shadows. Keeping watch above his own, I'd like to suggest to you this morning that the very fact that we're not celebrating the religious beginnings of this country is another sign of the times. Which speaks very clearly that the darkness of religious oppression is closer than we think. As a matter of fact, when we get to be of such a culture that we cannot talk about those things in our history, which we would reflect differently on the present than we would like for them to reflect. We are farther into the darkness than we thought we could ever go. There shouldn't be any problem talking about issues of right and wrong with an honest hearted person. But when the honesty disappears from a nation, they must create, they must mythologized, which leads me to my 2nd article this morning that I'd like to reference to this one from the b.b.c.. It's written by an ECB right. Now mind you, the b.b.c. is no off the wall media organization, the Mayflower at $400.00. What we all get wrong about the Pilgrim Fathers, We'll tell you a little bit about where the article is going very early on. It does remind US though, that 9 United States presidents can trace their roots all the way back to the Mayflower. We also learn, it least, I learned in preparing for this mission. It's that not one President has ever, at least openly about himself as an atheist. That's held the office When we look at this article, it has some pretty serious biases in it. Of course, England is a very secular country. Very early on in the initial Para paragraph, it says already this year, the country has been forced to confront the baleful legacy of slavery and the systematic racism that grew from that original sin. There is that phraseology. Now, listen, the effects of slavery are not over. Ok, there is no doubt in my mind that when you subjugate and take advantage of the natural God like dignity of a person, you leave a long Shadow on it that discussion can and should go forward. But the idea that we reframe the history of America in the context of its original sin is an affront to the very nature of what this country has espoused in a progression of a deeper knowledge of true. So on this $400.00 anniversary to the Pilgrim Fathers even deserve all this fuss. He goes on to say in the late 1900 century, there was a plan to erect a statue to come or commemorate the Pilgrim fathers that would have rivaled the Colossus of Rhodes and dwarfed the New York Statue of Liberty. I didn't know that and never came into being of course, farther along into the article, he talks about the statements of Alex, to Tocqueville, the French philosopher and historian, who wrote his seminal work democracy in America. He said, I think we can see the whole destiny of America contained in the 1st Puritan who landed on these shores. I would agree with did Tocqueville. There was something so distinctly religious in the motivation of those who came here that we ought to make sure. We understand it and farther into his paragraph he makes the statement. This National holiday derives from this derives from the celebration making of the 1st harvest in 621. When the colonists sat down with the Wampanoags name Americans, yet most America, Children I'm skipping, are taught about what they're taught about that holiday does not withstand close scrutiny. It is a myth Ology not a history at that prominent time. I'm thinking to myself is this man talks about colonization. Who are you representing the most colonizing country in the history of humanity? Perhaps I don't want to offend any of our Great Britain or members who are listening to me right now, of whom I hold in very high esteem, but no country or for you at least, could ever equal the colonizing dynamics of the British Empire. Now having said that, I think it's important for Mr. Bryant to know that those who left the old World to come to the New World came because of conscience something that was keenly tuned and it was listening and it was walking that narrow road. Jesus talked about and they were not in the habit of rationalizing to create mythological stories. While we might mythologize in a post modern age for India, logical progress. Those who came for centuries ago came over issues of life or death. They sacrifice wealth and inheritances. They sacrifice family relationships to come to this country. And the idea that somebody writing for the overseeing Empire from which the Revolution of $776.00, the Somehow the American history that you were taught and I were time was taught is a myth, as opposed to true history really is either very, very true. And we all ought to do a serious navel gazing as a nation, or we ought to find ourselves completely affronted by the suggestion. I maybe consider this man. I don't know if he's British or not, but maybe consider him more ignorant of American history than most Either way. It's not a very good article and it's not that it's not good because I don't agree with it. It's not that it's not good because it is driven more by social media, narrative, and modern postmodern Gospel efforts than it is by the truth. The fact of the matter is, is that by some People's estimates, 98.4 percent of Americans are $1776.00. That's 150 years after the Mayflower declared themselves as Protestant Christians, $1.00 declared themselves as Roman Catholic Christians. That means that 99 plus percent of American citizens, 150 years after the Mayflower were of out Christians. And when you read our documents, whether it's the Declaration of Independence written by an avowed atheist, of course that's a very hands off view of Providence, or at least of God's role in the life of man. Our documents still speak powerfully and clearly about the place of religion, not only in the heart of individuals, but in the heart of the country. I began reading a good book by John Meacham and cause entitled The American Gospel. Very interesting book Meacham in his book is attempting to a Sabbath what it means to live in a country that values religion. I appreciate it, especially his reminiscing about the forefathers of our country. For all the Fame that goes with Washington kneeling down and train, which I'm not here to suggest, he did not. He assures US in his book The George Washington was not accustomed in the early while he prayed and did not often partake of communion. He reminds US that individuals like Benjamin Franklin, were extremely malleable when it came to elements of religion. As a matter of fact, Franklin was so good that Samuel Adams would write, or actually John Adams would write. The Catholics thought him almost a Catholic. The Church of England claimed him as one of them that would be an Anglican. The Presbyterians thought of him as a Presbyterian, and the friends believed him to be a wet Quaker. In other words, Franklin, While there was a belief he had and God certainly was quite able to maneuver himself amongst the amazing religiosity of this country. But I especially appreciate goal to distinguish, He writes the wall that Jefferson referred to, is designed to divide church from state, not religion from politics. And I want you to think about this for a minute. There was never to be a Sky, a church that was the National church or a religion that was the country's religion. And yet all of these men understood that in a moral Society would not work with a self-governing principle. God was shaping this nation, and Meacham in his book will go out of his way to show that it is the proper role of religion to shape the culture, the soul of a nation. It is not the proper role of religion to align itself with one Party or another. And yet individuals are free to do so if they should, so to dot desire. If totalitarianism was the great problem of the 20th century, Meacham will go on to write about our country today. This book was written in 2007. Then extremism is so far the great problem of the 21st century. And then he makes this very interesting statement. Extremism is a powerful Alliance of fear and certitude. Extremism is a powerful Alliance of fear and surge. Now, I want you to think about this, because before this message is over, I'm going to sure there will be one final global colonization that's going to go on. For the greatest societal and social evil of, of historical analysis that is, of the analysis of history is the form of one person forcing their culture on another person, thus colonization. But I'm here to suggest you this morning that if fear and certitude are the powerful alliances of extremism, then no Wonder we're at a place where extremism has the potential to lead US back to toe, Telenet carrion ISM. And I'm here to suggest you this morning. Not suggest, but to assert that the Bible teaches one final global colonization. One final moment when all the inhabitants of the Earth will be required to surrender their identity, their conscience, their freedom of worship and subs be subjugated as it were, to one final global civil religious power. But back to our originators are our forefathers of this country. Jefferson, he actually wrote that the atmosphere of our country is unquestionably flawed with threatening cloud of fanaticism lighter and some parts denser in other but too heavy and all that fanaticism is a reference to religious fanaticism. No doubt can be made that this nation is, is incubated, raised, reared, and discipled on the substance of religious commitment. Meacham will go on to write about the Virginia employment colonies. And he will reference to George Washington who, who articulated an Almighty being rules over the universe. And that, that individual, with all of these religious folks around him have been at the Center of the country's public life. This should not be surprising. Meachem will say human beings are what scholars refer to as Homeo, religiosity Religio says, Homo Religio says, we are by nature and kind a look outside ourselves and beyond time and space to a divine power or in old times in antiquity, power, worse, we don't believe in a pantheon of gods in America, typically, at least somewhat generically, I'm speaking and collectively. But human beings are by nature inclined to look outside themselves beyond time and space, but divine power that creates and directs and judges the World. Homer said it this way, all men need the gods. Franklin before his death, I would write about believing in one God, one creator of the universe. John Quincy Adams would read the Bible in the mornings and would then plunge him self naked into the Potomac River for a swim before attending his weekly church service. He also would consider going into the Ministry at one point time. Samuel Adams was a Puritan, a fierce advocate of Independence, and he looked askance at other face, but he knew that faith and political warfare were a deadly combination. I already about Franklin, who was seen to be a variety of different religious persuasions. Jefferson took a razor. This is not lore, this is not myth. Jefferson was a deist. He went through the New Testament, the 4 Gospels, and he actually took a razor and cut the portions out of the Bible that did not fit with his view of God. But for all that being said, when Jefferson died, there were 3 things he wanted on his tombstone. Number one was the fact that he founded the University of Virginia. Number 2 is the fact that he wrote the Declaration of Independence. And number 3 was the fact that he was the author of the Virginia religious Liberty Bill. I wish he remembered for those things. So Let's remember what the statute says. And by the way, he was in Paris when it went before the Virginia late legislature. So he did not even defend the Bill. But Let's, Let's remember what the beginning of this Bill on religious Liberty to the Virginia Citizen says. Whereas, Almighty God had created the mind free. That phrase in caps, slates. What Meacham will say are the twin obsessions of the founders of in this case of Jefferson Liberty and faith. The fight for the law came when Jefferson was abroad in Paris. So it fell to his neighbor, James Madison to carry it through. And this is what Madison wrote, while we assert for ourselves of freedom to embrace, to profess and to observe the religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny any equal freedom to those whose minds now listen to the last part of the phrase We cannot deny any equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which is convinced US. There can be no way to rework the history of this nation as being mythologically religious. It has been religious in its roots beyond the Shadow of doubts. Many of US Jefferson would write, if not most believed, yet none must, interestingly enough, Jefferson will die 50 years to the day on the acceptance of the Declaration of Independence July for 82610 minutes to one. When we think about all of these things, we have to ask ourselves why America and interest in Lee, enough Washington, whom it was asserted would not kneel for prayer and was not given to taking of the communion. Also saw the works of Providence in the experience of the nation. Meacham, All right, Washington would not kneel to pray was not known to take communion, yet he could only explain the American victory in the Revolution as the Act in the hand of Providence. Now listen to this going on about God's role in defeating the British Empire at such length. He was writing a letter to a friend. He interrupted himself in the letter saying, quote, There would be time enough for me to turn preacher, when my present appointment ceases. Yes, all, many of the great men of our nation were driven by a sense that this country should be different than all others and Washington, I mean, Thomas Jefferson himself will refer to the United States that God would relate to it as he related to Israel of old, this nation was to occupy a place amongst the panoply of Nations in such a way to hold up that torch by that Lady of Liberty in such a way that all could worship should they wish and none if they should wish, not. The balance between the prose of the Declaration of Independence, with this evil cation or its evocative language of divine origins and destinies. In the practicalities of the constitutions, with its check on extreme extent, extremism remains the most brilliant of American successes. Meachem Well, right, so it's fine for Jepsen to talk about when in the course of human events, and to declare the laws of Nature and Nature's God. But when you get to the Constitution itself, it lays down some pretty severe limitations on how this componentry of religion fits into the experience of American culture. So much so that when the Bill of Rights is penned, the very 1st Amendment is about freedom of religion. No establishment and no hindering in the opening Meacham will say of the 21st centuries. Some Americans believe the country strayed too far from God. Others fear that Zell zealots, including those in the White House to the school board are waging a Holy War in American Liberty. And many, if not most, seem to think that we're a nation hopelessly divided by religion. None of these views dire views is quite right. He'll state the great good news about America, the American Gospel, if you will, is that religion shapes the life of the nation without strangling it. Belief in God is Central to the country's experience. Yet for the broad Center, it is a matter of choice, not coersion. And the legacy of the founding is that the sensible Center still holds. Now, the sermon is not over. For fact, I haven't even opened the Bible yet and it's 10 to one I'm aware of that. But I want to read you some words from our closing him. You don't have it in your hymn book. It says, Oh, beautiful for spacious skies, for Amber, waves of grain, For purple mountain Majesties above the fruited plain. By the way, the old hymn no had Ocana in it had many patriotic songs in our New hymnal, not so much. And of course, that represents a period of time and the great internationalism of this church. But nonetheless, the closing song we're going to sing came out of the old 70 evidence Him book. Ok, so I don't want you think I've gone into the, into the archives of American him Knology to find this. It was in the 7. Have him book for probably 50 years, and maybe longer for purple Mountains Majesties above the fruited, plain America, America, God shed his Grace on Thee and Crown that good with Brotherhood from sea to shining sea. That's a good prayer today, is it not crowned the good with Brotherhood? It's hard for those who aren't good, at least honest to have Brotherhood 2nd verse. Oh, beautiful for pilgrims feet. This is why I chose it. These next 2 verses, who, who Stern, impassioned stress of thoroughfare for freedom built across the Wilderness. If you were on that little boat for over 2 months, starting to get the signs of scurvy. Wondering if you'd ever show up knowing you're not going to end up at the Hudson River, where you are headed for showing up in New England. In late November, there was a lot of serious stress America, America, 1st to God, Men die every Does anybody know what the next word is? Fla? God mend the every flaw. So Miss Bates is writing the song or at least the music in Samuel Ward who wrote in 800 $82.00, they're well aware that America, while Liberty in legislation was the goal, was not exactly everything it could be or should be, or would be The idea that somehow and this, this is prevalent in the minds, especially of younger people in this country. They somehow think they have the New measuring stick for everybody else. And they go measure their parents and they measure their grandparents. But remember, last week when I was preaching on nebby can as Yours grandson Bell Shaz are who was bold enough to take the Golden vessels out of the temple and through a drunken orgy with them. When Daniel comes in and confronts him, he says, this is the shit that happened. And I asked the Congregational ask you today because some of you were here. How was Bill Shatner to learn what he was supposed to know about how to relate to the vessels that was only one way for him to learn. He didn't get 7 years of insanity like Navigon as Or he had to learn from the generations that came before him. And the arrogance and the hubris, to other words, for a colossal pride. That's in the Hearts of so many people today where they can hold out the measuring stick and figure out that they've got their parents or go, they know what their flaws are. They're going to do a whole lot better. You do your best to do better, but I tell you what you're no better than your father's or your mother's. The fact of the matter is, is that those who founded this nation and those that were serious and sober and honest in the realm of what brought the pilgrims to the shore and the founders to the writing of the declaration in the Constitution. They understood there was a progression onward and upward fun from the country. God meant by every flaw confirm the soul and self-control and Liberty in law 3rd verse. Oh, beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife who more than self their country loved and Mercy, more than life. I want you to think about it. I've stood there in that little gazebo on the shores of France. The day I've been to Normandy, I've seen the fresco on the ceiling of the gazebo. I've stood in probably the most sober sanctuary. Going to find on the place of the Earth, every single Cross where they have a Jewish star. Not in perfect alignment. I've seen that fresco on the top. It's the soul. It's the persons of American soldiers coming to deliver the old World and their dissin bodied souls, which we don't believe in flying back to their American mothers. Yes, Liberty and Mercy, more than life, but listen to the rest of it, America, America may God via gold refine. In other words, there is this continual dealing with the dross of our Society to all success, be nobleness and every gain divine. I won't continue to go on. I will say this though, before we look at briefly at the Book of Revelation, I was online do a little shopping on Thursday, and I came on one of the deals and I was, I was a little startled by it. Especially thinking this is the fodder for our children. Here it is, it's a Play Station 4. And the title of it is The Last Of Us Part 2. And it's producer is not a dog. So I'm assuming they're out for every noble good goal. They could find and the rating on it is mature 17 plus. So I decided to figure out, find out what it was about that in the little search. Do you know friends That most of life is a progression either up or down? I mean, we didn't start out as a nation with a desire to become dark instead of light. We don't have a copper statue in New York Harbor with a woman shouting her head in shame. She's actually holding up a torch. And the Tocqueville supposedly didn't say it, but whether we did or didn't, it makes sense that America is great because America is good and when Merican ceases to be good, it will cease to be great. We're the checks and balances on the individuals of this free Society. Who are relishing in their freedom of thought, but not very kin to the idea of Accountability to make US want to be good. So we could be a Brotherhood. The darkness of this age is rapidly moving US into the polarities of left and right, moral and amoral. And they can't work together because the Gulf that divides them is too great. And what I'd like to suggest you this morning take your Bibles, we're going to spend a few minutes in them. A lot of this is religious history, the history of the nation. But I want to remind you what the Book of Revelation says, Let's go to our memory verse or our scripture reading, Revelation 12. I'm not going to take the time, I'll summarize it for you. Revelation Chapter 12 tells about the church. It describes it is a woman that's a symbol in the Bible talks about the Dragon. That's a symbol for saying it tells a story of a baby coming. That's Jesus. It tells the story of the rebirth of the Christian church. Then it takes a little interlude and it describes the War in Heaven. The War in Heaven preceded the War on Earth. That's verses 7 through 10. When we get down to verse 11, we find the War back on Earth again. And in the midst of it all, there's a prophetic time period over a 1000 years 1260 to be exact. And during that 1000 plus years, the Falls Church persecutes the true church. These 2 entities are described as 2 women later in the Book of Revelation, a true woman and a harlot woman. When we come down to our scripture verse, we come down to an amazing statement. Verse 15, the serpent. That's the symbol for the Devil. Poured water. Is it that somebody is thirsty or does this water represent something? The Book of Revelation will explain its own imagery. It is a book of symbols. What the Scripture is saying is that Satan sought to use the masses to overrun the minority. In this case, it's not ethnic or gender or of any other origin, it's actually about religion. The Bible describes that the great final dividing line will be over false and true in relationship to God. So when it talks about point out water like a River, it's talking about using the masses of Europe to overrun the church with falshood. So pours out a River like water like a River out of his mouth after the woman so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. But the Earth helped the woman how the Earth opened its mouth and drank up the River, which the Dragon poured out his mouth. It's a prophetic description. It tells the origins and the Sesame of America. It wasn't just the Walden season, the Albigensians. It wasn't just these religious, more enormities, that fled into the Mountains so they could exist in religious freedoms as they desired. It was the fact that eventually it, whether it was the, Whether it was the non-conformist of England, or the Anabaptists, or whoever it might be. There finally was a sense that Europe was no longer the place to establish the kind of Society we wanted to establish. And there was this a journey across 3000 mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean. The Earth opened up its mouth and swallowed, in other words, what happened was another space and distance from the oppressive powers was created that a New nation could arise on the face of the planet. That nation is America. If you look at the next chapter, we find that the Battle goes on. There's a Beast from the sea again, this Beast now represents not Satan, but it receives its power from Satan. The Battle here is a religious Battle. It's a true church, it's a false church, and this Big Beast has the power to make War. With the Saints. The Bible describes a time of persecution, deadly persecution. Verse 4. They worship the Dragon because he gave his authority of the Beast and they worship the Beast saying who is like the Beast, who's able to make War with him. And there was given in the mouth a speaking, arrogant words and blasphemies. It's a religious entity and another time period, but go to verse 11, then I saw another be. So we have this Beast that represents the persecuting power of the false church, of the faith, of the dark ages. But then another Beast comes up out of the Earth and he has 2 words, like a Lamb. And he speaks as a Dragon, he exercise all the authority of the 1st Beast in his presence. Now listen, what's described here in the Book of Revelation is the story line of the New World. It's the fact that a New nation would be created with Lamb like principles. What I want you to know for certain is that things like this that you can find on the Internet and there are just one click away. The last of US Part 2 is that the transformation of the, of the country represented by the land is one of inward transformation before it is one of tyranny and religious oppression. The soul of the nation is being transformed into darkness in anticipation of the absence of Mercy, the absence of freedom, the absence of Liberty. In other words, before the Lamb speaks like a Dragon, she's transformed into a Dragon. And that darkness is what you and I are progressing through time in, in this 21st century, America, there is a moment coming in. This are sister a when fear, which is an Alliance of tyranny. When fear will be of such a level of palpable, tangible breathable, readable, audible perspectives that this nation will actually do an about face on Nature's God and Nature's laws which declare Liberty. Jefferson was a theologian of summits in the sense that he knew in the beginning, God did not force compliance was a liberating thought. But the idea that this nation which is held the torch a life for self-determination, losing its self control, will end up allowing others a lack of self-control. This is where we're going. This nation has existed for a laugh, Blaze of glory, to all the World of the true Gospel. And in the midst of it all, the 7 am, a church was raised up with the true Gospel, a Gospel that teaches that you have the right to say Yes or no to God not do I suffer now and not burn in Eternity forever or do I burn in Eternity ever because I'm going to hoop it up. Now. This Gospel, which teaches is a God in Heaven progressing systematically impatiently through the work of Salvation. This Gospel of the 3 Angels which teaches a literal, visible God coming back in a hopeful delivery way. This Gospel, which does call US to the fact that there's judgment, but that the price has been paid. The door of relationship has been opened, the citizenry of Heaven reestablish. Yes, this Gospel is our Gospel, and there are so many out there are taking their cues from the religious, right. Who are They're transforming the very visit of their pre-press in Taishan proclamation of the Gospel there compromising themselves? Because they're unwilling to call out blatant hypocrisy, for the lack of the loss of power that it might lead to. This is an affront to Christianity. Truth has always been the determent of agent of the real essence of American living and American culture. And we've wandered from that. The fact of the matter is, as the polarity increases, we shouldn't be surprised. Christ said that there where we are so intimate the wheat and they were both left to ripen their ripening friends. The reason there is polarity is because the grain that is good is ripening, and the reason there is because the evil is ripening. What does that mean? It means the harvest is coming before the harvest. There is this great proclamation of Revelation. Chapter 18 the 4th. Angel's message, the glory of the of the Gospel will light up the World. Why America, wife? Thanksgiving? Why adamant isn't the truth of the matter. Is this country is special like none other prophesied and foretold in the scriptures you know, way that would establish the legitimacy of end time prophecy when it was needed most why I think skipping because it's not just some faith that we're thankful to. There's a living God who can intervene in our lives, who's provided this is stable Society, giving US a purpose and more than that, friends given US a stewardship. You and I have a stewardship. We're not supposed to enjoy all the blessings without doing something with them. As a nation, as a church, we have an appointment and we are to meet it. And why Adventism? You see friends, it could be construed as pride and hubris for me to make this final statement. But it is fact, so I will make this nation was established to be a platform For the 3 Angels message is to go around the World that is its primary purpose. So for all those who shed their blood to protect it and all those who shed their blood for its inception, what does it say to you and me? Who might not be willing to shed anything to be inconvenienced by the fact that the World is darkening. And we have the light that could light it. Yes, I'm thankful this Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for this church. I've been reflecting on in its efforts. I'm thankful for my wife, my children, my family, I'm celebrating a son whose walk with God is deepening and growing. I'm grateful for my health. I'm thankful for every opportunity I have. I have more opportunities than I can take advantage of. I praise God that I have freedom in my soul, Joy in my heart, happiness and peace. These are all gifts from Christ. Should I just go along enjoying them while I receive my good salary and enjoy the bus and benefit of your good Fellowship? Or is there a purpose to it all and will the night come when no man can work? I want you all to think about it. It's not about fitting all money as many potatoes as you can, and real or false Turkey, whatever it might be for you, is not about watching a football team win or lose. There are people, there is the soul of a nation. Should our church be weak at a time? The forces of darkness is strengthening. Should we be relaxed and casual at a time when evil is purposeful and intensifying? Think about when in my lifetime, would I ever come to a place where I would read from a major news outlet that most of the history of this country is myth, fallen g., not history. We are coming close, my friends to the final days of opportunity. May you not anticipate a great Abreu Grand future for your children on this planet? May you not into the paid a great American dream experience for yourselves? It does not exist. And for as long as it does exist, it is not to be the ambition of the administers. God is calling US back to our knowledge through the way marks this time of secular misconstrue once of secular history, which happens have a significant sacred component. God is calling US back to the way marks of intentionality and problems. The marches on Jesus is coming and this country was established. So the World could know. And this church was established on the backs of the great religious movements of this country as a progression of truth. And I'm calling you all here today to understand it. Some of what I've said here today, it was a lot maybe more than you could take in a one setting. But I'm calling it a go study on your own. Don't follow other People's lives too much. Get into the word, leave the t.v. off. You don't have to use your thumbs all the time. Use your fingers to turn some real pages and go deeper into the Word and understand there's a Divine Purpose, a divine giftedness you have, and a divine opportunity for US to press together and finish this work. America is a great nation and we need, God meant its flaws to find its goals. Let God do the same in life. This media was brought to you by audio. A website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio, and much more. If you would like more about audio, If you would like to listen to more sermon W.w.w. audio verse or.


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