​​​​​​​​A Declaration of Dependence
Psalm 33:10-22

I trust everyone got to celebrate the birth of America this week with family fun, food and maybe even fireworks. I used to really enjoy watching fireworks and had two favorite places to watch them. One place would be sitting on a blanket on the dike in Pahokee, Florida, over-looking Lake Okeechobee as they would shoot the fireworks from a barge setting about a quarter mile out in the Lake. And with the sun setting as the backdrop the fireworks would stand out beautifully. Also, the crowd in Pahokee was reasonably small.

The other place was in West Palm Beaxh sitting in our car on the top deck of the parking garage at Palm Beach International Airport. Thousands and thousands of folks crowded downtown to watch the very same spectacle as we watched in the comfort of our car.  The fireworks were from a barge sitting in the middle of the intra-coastal waterway.

Now, Let’s suppose that sometime this week you turned on the TV News and heard these 3 announcements:

#1 “The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has just issued this statement: ‘Divine Providence (that’s God) has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty… of our Christian Nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.’"

#2 - “Our reporters reveal that almost every state legislature has now passed a law requiring all elected officials to take this oath: ‘I do profess faith in God the Father, in the Lord Jesus Christ His only Son and the power of His Holy Spirit in my life… and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be given by divine inspiration.’"

#3 - “Legislation was passed today in Congress to affirm that, ‘The Congress of the United States approves of and recommends the Holy Bible for use in the public schools.’”

What do you think the response to these announcements would be, especially in the media? 

The amazing thing is: Every one of these statements is historically accurate and factual.

It was John Jay, the very first Chief Justice and often called the “Father” of the Supreme Court, one
of the primary writers of our Constitution, who wrote, "It is the duty and responsibility of our
Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."

It was first the state of Delaware (with most of the others following) which required officeholders to take an oath affirming their Christian faith before they could take office.

And not only did Congress in 1782 approve the use of the Bible in our schools, they even paid for them with tax dollars. In 1844, when someone sued to remove them, the Supreme Court ruled: “Why should not the Bible, and especially the New Testament, be read and taught as a divine revelation in the schools? Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?”

Just think about this: If these people, who were so instrumental in establishing our nation, were here to say and do those things in our country today, they’d be considered right-wing radicals, and declared a threat to our nation and labeled as terrorists by today’s liberals. And I don’t think that’s an exaggeration.

We’ve come a long way away from our roots as Americans. So, one of my goals this morning is to do a little bit of re-education. In fact, this message is more of a history lesson than a Bible based message, and that bothers me a little because I’d rather preach Bible-based messages and do my best to apply its message to the needs of our lives. 

But there is so much about our early history that many younger Americans just don’t know. And I concluded that people need to know this, and if they don’t hear it at church, where will they hear it?”

Our school systems and colleges and universities have become so secularized, so distanced from religion, that huge chunks of information about the spiritual roots of our nation are neglected, and unless you hear it from Christians, where will you hear it?

So, here are some things that are worth knowing about the roots of our nation, about what’s right with America:

Only a few years ago (248 to be exact) 50 men had signed a document written by Thomas Jefferson. "When in the course of Human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve a political bond which they have committed with another and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature’s God entitles them.... We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

This week we celebrated "Independence Day." AMERICA’s BIRTHDAY! That’s a long time for a nation to remain free. But, when you take the long, historical view, America, you’re just a CHILD among the nations. Egypt, China, Japan, Rome,  Greece—they all have much longer histories, yet not so free.

America, your entire history has spanned only 4 generations. When Thomas Jefferson died, Abraham Lincoln was a young man of 17. When Lincoln was assassinated, Woodrow Wilson was a boy of 8. By the time the nation mourned the death of President Wilson, Ronald Reagan was a boy of 12.

AMERICA, Even though you have a short history, God has richly blessed you. You are the RICHEST nation in the world. Your natural resources are still the greatest of all nations.

You are a great nation with a great history. When you were very young, the famous French political philosopher, Alexis deToucqueville (de tore cue ville) visited your shores to learn the secret which enabled a handful of people to defeat the mighty British Empire.

He traveled across your vast land from shore to shore, looking for greatness in your harbors and rivers, your fertile fields and boundless forests. He studied your schools, your military, your Congress, your Constitution—but still he could not find the secret.

It was not until he went into your churches and heard your pulpits “aflame with righteousness” that he found the answer. When he returned to Europe, he wrote this warning: “America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

AMERICA, You have learned that greatness is not measured in silver and gold, rivers and forests, or even in bombs and missiles. Greatness is an inner quality found in what we ARE rather than what we POSSESS.

The noble lady in New York harbor stands proudly with her flame lifted up for all to see—a gift from the French, she still inspires even those of us who were born here.

On July 4th, 1776, 56 brave men signed a document known as "The Declaration of Independence."
Do you have any idea what price these men paid?
* Five were captured and tortured by the British before they died.
* Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned to the ground.
* Two lost their sons in the war.
* One had two sons captured.                             

* Nine fought and died from wounds or the hardships of the war.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British navy. He sold his home to pay his debts and died in rags.

Thomas McKean was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in Congress without pay and he died a very poor man.

Thomas Nelson’s home was seized by the British at the Battle of Yorktown and used as a command post. He urged General George Washington to open fire on it. The home was destroyed and Nelson died bankrupt.

LIBERTY HAS ALWAYS EXACTED A PRICE. That’s what the 4th of July is all about---remembering.

However, this spirit of independence that we celebrate was not meant to exclude God!

Our nation is steadily moving away from the Lord as is evidenced in recent years.
* God has been kicked out of most public institutions.
* Abortion on demand, extending to 28 days beyond birth in some instances.
* Euthanasia and the legalizing of drugs are gaining support.
* Pornography is more acceptable and available than ever.                                                           * Homosexuality is now a legally excepted lifestyle. And if one doesn’t approve, you’ll be labeled a hate monger.

Not many years ago, a U.S. District court ruled that the cadets at West Point could no longer be made to attend chapel.

A member of the House rose in a session of Congress and stated that no politician or government representative should take a public stand on a religious matter of any kind---and right behind him on the wall is a large plaque with the words inscribed: IN GOD WE TRUST!

Billy Graham, in and address to a congressional prayer breakfast said he believed that there were many times in the history of America when certain men stood for God and changed the course of its destiny.

For example, at the first Constitutional Convention, the delegates were frustrated due to the burdens of the hour. They were burdened and harassed by tremendous crisis. They were so fragmented that they were just about to throw out the whole concept of a constitution.

Just then an old white-haired man by the name of Benjamin Franklin rose to his feet and said:
Gentlemen, if it is true that not one single petal from any flower falls to the ground without escaping God’s attention, will the distress of this nation go unheeded? Let us therefore determine to seek His face.

They promptly got down on their knees and when they arose from prayer, the slogan, E Pluribus Unum was born: means “OUT OF MANY, ONE”.

Can you imagine what would happen today if all of Congress would get down on their knees? REVIVAL would surely come to these shores!

So, today I am calling for a Declaration of Dependence--dependence on God!

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He chose for His inheritance."

1. America: Built Upon Christian Principles

Greece built a civilization on culture, and it failed.
Rome built its civilization on power and it crumbled.
But our forefathers founded our nation on Godly principles and America will live on as long as the Lord is her God.

Do you recall the picture of Washington at Valley Forge? His little army was almost starving and freezing to death. Everything that they held dear was at stake. They were fighting against seemingly insurmountable odds--but out in the snow George Washington was down on his knees, praying.


"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord"

2. America: Richly blessed by God

* Natural resources second to none
* Natural beauty
* Good government although not perfect, but still the best--no concentration camps, no secret police, no one-man rule.
* Freedom of speech and the press.                      * Religious freedom--no state church. A few people meeting in a little shack for prayer have the same rights as those meeting in a cathedral.

* A place where everyone has a chance--men like Edison, Henry Ford who were born into poor families and yet became millionaires. Abraham Lincoln, born in a log cabin rose to the White House.

3. America today is In Need of God

A certain family was riding down a highway one day and saw a sign with the word, "Jesus Saves." A little girl in the back seat asked if it was a bank.

A 14-year-old boy was given a Gospel of John. "What’s that?" he asked. When he was told it was a part of the Bible, he said, "What’s a Bible?"

A child attending VBS went home and told her mother that her teacher was swearing. That’s what she thought it was when the teacher used the name of Jesus.

A woman was invited to attend a neighborhood Bible class and declined, saying that she was already a member of a political party.

A young boy, after hearing the creation story corrected the teacher, saying that Adam was God and he and Eve created the world.

Look at verse 18: “But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him (who hold Him in awe; who respect and revere Him; who see Him as the Holy One, high and lifted up).”

The word “fear” in the Bible means “to tremble.” It is used in connection with 3 experiences:
(1) To tremble with the thought of being punished by a Holy God for our sins.
(2) To tremble at the sight of the mighty acts of God.
(3) To tremble with joy at the knowledge that people are being saved.

Our nation desperately needs more respect, more reverence for God.

Today, in our American culture, we have crossed the line from disrespect to outright blasphemy! God’s holiness is mocked. It is open season on the character of God.

Even our churches are often filled with a lack of reverence. Is there no place that is sacred?

Who is this God that we say we trust in?
The Man upstairs?
The Big guy in the sky?

The Bible says He is the Holy One—El Shaddi (Almighty One)—Alpha and Omega—Creator of the Universe—Everlasting Father—Rock of Ages. His Name is Yehovah.

Jude reverenced God. He closed his short letter with these powerful words: “To the only God and Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forever more! Amen.”

You ask, WHAT CAN I DO?

1. The best thing you and I can do for America is to give her a good Christian life. Be light and salt. Bloom where God has planted you. God will see your life and will use it to bless our nation.

2. You can pray--for a national revival. God is at work. Congress is riddled with those claiming to be Christians. Pray for them.

3. You can depend on God as your true Source of liberty, courage, and spiritual power.

Now I know someone else coined the phrase, I Have a Dream. But I also have a dream.

I have a dream that those who claim to be born again will declare themselves verbally and back it up with Godly lifestyles.

I have a dream that America’s churches will one day put away their commitment to change man by changing his environment and replace it with the emphasis upon the need for a heart transplant.

I have a dream that the people of God will tear down the non-essential walls that separate them in order to show a united front to the world.

I have a dream that Christians everywhere will truly love each other and thereby demonstrate that they really are the children of God.

I have a dream that one day in our great nation our boys and girls will be allowed to pray in our public schools again.

I have a dream that one day America will cease killing unborn children at the rate of over a million and a half each year.

I have a dream that revival will spread across this land and reach into every town, city, and hamlet.

I have a dream that the hall of Congress will ring with the sound of singing praises to God and the hush tones of prayer.

I have a dream that the family unit will be restored to its proper place in society as the very foundation of our nation.

I have a dream that child pornography will be replaced with child protection and care.

I have a dream that the Church will once again become the centerpiece of the community where people will look for comfort, inspiration and moral leadership.

I have a dream that the churches of America will be packed every worship service and that a hunger for God’s Word will arise across the land.

I have a dream that one day America will return to the faith of our Founding Fathers.

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!" 

I’ll finish by reading a letter from a high school girl to a friend:

I attended your church yesterday. Although you had invited me, you were not there. I looked for you, hoping to sit with you. I sat alone. A stranger, I wanted to sit near the back of the church, but those rows were all packed with regular attendees. An usher took me to the front. I felt as though I was on parade. 

During the singing of the hymns, I was surprised to note that some of the church people weren’t singing. Between their sighs and yawns, they just stared into space. 

Three of the kids that I had respected on campus were whispering to one another throughout the whole service. Another girl was giggling. I really didn’t expect that in your church. 

The pastor’s sermon was very interesting, although some members of the choir didn’t seem to think so. They looked bored and restless. One kept smiling at someone in the congregation. 

There were several people who left and then came back during the sermon. I thought, “How rude!” I could hear the constant shuffling of feet and doors opening and closing.  

The pastor spoke about the reality of faith. The message got to me, and I made up my mind to speak to someone about it after the service. But utter chaos reigned after the benediction. I said good morning to one couple, but their response was less than cordial. I looked for some teens with whom I could discuss the sermon, but they were all huddled in a corner talking about the newest music group. 

My parents don’t go to church. I came alone yesterday hoping to find a place to truly worship and feel some love. I’m sorry, but I didn’t find it in your church. I won’t be back.

If reverence for God is to return to our nation it will have to start with God’s people! 


When Voices Of Hope Evangelistic Team is ministering in Word and Song, their Fire Choir will sing several songs and then lead the Congregation in singing. Since that isn't possible on-line, please click here and may you be blessed by the song, "God Bless America."