COMMITTED to train men and women
to have minds for the Lord Jesus,
hearts for the truth, and
hands that are skilled to the task.

Sermons on Freedom

THE ROAD TO FREEDOM

The French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville is best known for his two volume work DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA, published in 1835
“I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it.”

In 1944 Friedrich A. von Hayek published the book
“The Road to Serfdom” (back page of the book)
“The Road to Serfdom was seen as heretical for its passionate warning against the dangers of state control over the means of production.
For F.A. Hayek, the collectivist idea of empowering government with increasing economic control would lead not to a utopia but to the horrors
of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy.”

Erwin Lutzer in his book «Hitler’s Cross» Subtitle: HOW THE CROSS WAS USED TO PROMOTE THE NAZI AGENDA writes:
“The story of Nazi Germany is one of conflict between two saviors and two crosses. “Dein Reich komme,” Hitler prayed publicly – “Thy Kingdom come.” But to whose kingdom was he referring?
“Some people think that philosophers sit in ivory towers and spin theories that have little to do with the life of the ordinary, hardworking citizen. But in point of fact, philosophers have often ruled entire countries (Karl Marx is but one example).
Germany has had its philosophers too, brilliant men who gained a wide audience through their teachings and writings. They prepared the soil and planted the seeds of nationalism and fanned hatred of the Jews. Whether they knew it or not, they were preparing the way for Hitler. Let’s meet just two of them.
GEORG HEGEL (1770-1831) held the chair of philosophy at Berlin University. His dialectical philosophy, which inspired Marx, preached the glorification of the state, saying it was “God walking on earth”. Individual rights, he believed, simply got in the way of the state as supreme authority. The state, he said, is “the moral universe….and has the foremost right against the individual, whose supreme duty is to be a member of the state…for the right of the world spirit is above all special privileges.”
War, Hegel taught, was the great purifier that was necessary for the ethical health of the people. As for private moral virtues such as humility and patience, these must never stand in the way of the state’s agenda; indeed the state must crush such “innocent flowers.”
As might be expected, Hegel denied the uniqueness of Christianity and argued that the Old Testament had to be rejected because of its Jewish roots. A pure Christian faith could be had only by a pure race, namely the Germans.”
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), the son of a Lutheran pastor, wrote a bitter assault on Christianity accusing it of weakness and of being the cause of Germany’s ills. In his ANTICHRIST, he wrote, “I call Christianity the one great curse, the one enormous and innermost perversion, the one moral blemish of mankind…I regard Christianity as the most seductive lie that has yet existed.”
Nietzsche wrote: ‘Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the grave diggers who are burying God? Do we not smell anything yet of God’s decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead and we have killed him.’
Nietzsche faced the frightful implications of atheism without blinking. Listen to how he describes what the death of God means for man: ‘How shall we, the murderers of all murderers comfort ourselves? Who will wipe the blood off us? What water is there to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must not we ourselves become gods simply to seem worthy of it?
Nietzsche knew that with God’s death there was no answer for man’s guilt, no one to wipe the blood from our hands. Since God was dead, a successor would have to be found. Nietzsche knew that in an atheistic state the strong would rule the weak. A coming elite would rule from which this superman would spring. He and those around him would become ‘lords of the earth.’
With God out of the way, humans would be unrestrained; there would be no fear of judgment, nor belief in the virtues of morality. When humans realize that history was based on raw power, there would be universal madness.
Nietzsche reinforced the prevailing philosophy in Germany that a genius was above the law, that he should not be bound by the morals of ordinary men.”

Viktor Frankl, the great psychiatrist who survived the Holocaust has this so say:
“The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment – or, as the Nazis like to say, “Of Blood and Soil.” I’m absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desk and in the lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers.”

On July 14, Hitler decreed that the Nazis would be the sole political party in Germany.
How did Hitler justify his actions? “If anyone reproaches me and asks why I did not resort to the regular courts of justice, then all I can say is this; in this hour I was responsible for the fate of the German people. I became the Supreme Judge of the German people.” (From the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich)

GOD ORCHESTRATED THE ENTIRE DRAMA

When we look at our world today we think that God somehow lost control of everything that is going on. That God orchestrated the entire drama even during out lifetime becomes evident whenever we consult God’s book, the Bible, instead of consulting political or economic periodicals.
Jonah is the son of Amittai, a native of the tribal area assigned to Zebulon. This region was later a part of Galilee. Jonah was born a few miles away from the city of Nazareth, where our Lord Jesus Christ was brought up.
Why did Jonah decided NOT TO GO? The Assyrians where arch enemies of Israel. Why should Jonah get a better treatment than being killed by those enemies? A dangerous mission indeed. Well, once on the ship, Jonah proved however that he was not afraid to die.
No, Jonah hated the people in Nineveh so much that he was afraid that if they hear that God is about to destroy them, they would have a chance to repent and God would spare them.
There are a few things we need to highlight in these verses.
How did Jonah KNOW that the storm would cease once he was off the ship? Jonah told the sailors to send him to his death. He was willing to die so they could live. Did God tell Jonah to do this? I believe that it could have been so because Jonah heard God speak to him before. Remember, Jonah was now in the middle of the Mediterranean or Atlantic and how could he ever get back to Nineveh. God must have told him that He already had a great fish on standby to take him back to where he is supposed to be. Seems like Jonah was willing this time around to follow orders.
Jonah knew his God. He never starts anything and then leaves it half finished. He always finishes what He starts.
What Jonah did not know is HOW GOD IS GOING TO BRING HIM BACK WHERE HE BELONGS.
What can we learn from this?
First there is nowhere in this world God’s people can hide from God. We can run, we can disobey, we can go the opposite direction, but God will meet you and me somewhere on our journey. If necessary, a mighty storm in our life will bring us to our senses. The people who have helped us to disobey God without even knowing it will be a part of this storm. If we repent God will tell us what to do, saving those around us while at the same time bringing us back to where we belong.
God’s people are NOT CALLED to make our nation a better place or to help the world to live a better life.
God’s people are CALLED TO
GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS, BAPTIZING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS THAT I HAVE COMMANDED YOU, AND LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, EVEN TO THE END OF THE AGE. AMEN.
That is when we enjoy the freedom God has given us. That is when we are truly free. Not free to do our own thing as Jonah did, but free to serve Almighty God who orchestrates the entire drama. Hallelujah.

THE TASK OF REMAINING FREE

Was Jesus proclaiming that once someone is set free, they would be free forever? This question demands a Biblical answer because it does not just address the problem individual Christians in America and around the Word have to deal with, but also, in this crucial and sensitive time of our country, our nation, America as the beacon of Freedom in this world, has to find out.
Abraham Lincoln understood this challenge: “If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all times, or die by suicide.”
“The problem is not wolves at the door but termites in the floor” says Os Guinness.
Listen free people have no one else to blame but themselves. That’s exactly what Jesus said to His own people, in His hometown of Nazareth. I came to set you at liberty, I give you freedom, I have come to purchase your freedom with my own life. But how did they appreciate that freedom? They were not willing to take it by faith and sustain it by faith.
Jesus, our foundation, won freedom for us on Calvary, and proved to be victorious when He rose from the dead 3 days later. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the cornerstone of our faith and our freedom.
Our forefathers not only won freedom for us, they also went on to provide a moral, cultural and above all, political framework in which freedom can flourish. People who would be free must be able to rule themselves, which is another way of saying that free people need saving from themselves as much as from an oppressive regime.
In other words, true freedom is far more difficult to sustain than most Americans realize. Spiritual freedom is no different. It is one thing to accept the Lord Jesus Christ and be set free from the power of sin. It is quite another thing to SUSTAIN THAT FREEDOM daily. We can claim freedom and liberty, but without being willing to sustain that liberty and freedom, we are only hearers of the word, NOT DOERS.
We replaced freedom with the word CHOICE without meaning and without value. Choice has become the heartbeat of freedom.
We have forgotten that spiritual freedom is the foundation of political freedom. And spiritual as well as political freedom has its requirements for self-control, self-restraint and self-government. You can easily conclude that Freedom is not free. It has its demands. The task of remaining free is ours and ours only.