Publication: Pastor Letter, July 2013
Dear Friend in Christ,
This month recalls America’s independence as a nation. We remember July 4, 1776, as a special day in our history; it reminds us that our forefathers valued liberty and justice above their very lives and treasure. The value of anything is the price that is willingly paid. They paid with their blood.
We are heirs of their great gift and heirs of those who since then have made the ultimate sacrifice. The blessings that they secured for us are as incalculable as the price that they paid. We are debtors to them without a means to repay, except to pass liberty and justice forward and intact. To do that we will need divine wisdom and to place the same value upon our precious gifts. As the writer of Ecclesiastes said, “An inheritance with wisdom is good” (Ecclesiastes 7:11).
We celebrate our political freedom with speeches, festivals, and fireworks, but the fireworks of 1776 and in conflicts thereafter were real guns and cannons. Our national anthem was written in war. Freedom always seems to require a battle. History can be told in many ways, but most often in battles. While war is not always between good and evil, it often is. The motivating force is human power versus the love of freedom that beats in the human heart.
We understand that tyranny and injustice are the faces of evil. Therefore liberty and justice are the faces of good, and even the face of God. The battle between these forces has raged since Cain killed Abel, and in jealousy took away Abel’s life and freedom. Since that evil day, blood has been shed in the great conflict.
I have read numerous books regarding World War II, which but one example of this battle. I have examined characters such as Hitler and Stalin, and others of that era. Estimates of lives lost in this one war range upward to 48 million. In only one year, more than 400,000 British civilians were bombed into oblivion by Adolph Hitler. We know that 6 million Jews were slaughtered by him; 250,000 of those were babies.
Prior to those devastating days, Stalin is estimated to have killed up to 50 million of his own people by starvation and murder. And after the war, Mao Zedong was said to have killed 20 million of his own people in China. These horrific numbers are mind boggling, but scarcely scratch the surface of the great evil of tyranny through the centuries.
And naiveté is always there, making way for evil’s war … the naiveté of those who continue to believe the lies of the devil until the time to resist has passed. The longer it takes to see the truth, the greater the cost.
Campaigns, political and military, are usually fought over the promise of a better future; if not for those who fight, at least for those who come after. Hope is the carrot; intimidation and fear are the stick. But all too often, hope is deferred and hearts became sick. The future is not based upon promises, but upon principles. Our founders had principles that were demonstrated in their own sacrifices; therefore, they are still celebrated as having kept their word at their own expense.
Their principles were rooted in the notion that liberty is a gift from God and that only a moral people could preserve it. Their principles were not derived from polls and the winds of public opinion. Their mission was not to meet all our needs, but to provide a framework in which we could pursue our highest hopes and greatest joys with personal freedom. But all too often political leaders use our hope to only fulfill their own.
Tyranny has no problem making promises and using our hopes to achieve theirs. In the process our choices are systematically reduced and our appetites used against us. Such was the case when Lucifer promised knowledge of Good and Evil to Adam and Eve, but in their naiveté their choices and freedom were greatly reduced.
God’s desire was to be loved by His creation from a free will. Lucifer’s desire was to rob God and us of that freedom. When tyranny talks, smoke gets in our eyes. Only God can give us the ability to see through the smoke. Without God, we become victims of someone else’s agenda and power, and we lose our own. People who fail to believe God can believe almost anything else. History says amen to that.
All leaders know the temptation to seduce their followers through promising something, be they political, economic, or religious. The victim is thinking marriage, the seducer is thinking something else. So, if we must be skeptical of political promise, where can we place our hope?
I love that great old hymn “The Solid Rock” which says: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name…When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.”
Freedom is not just a political idea; it is a God idea. Long before any hero thought of it, God thought of it. Before the foundation of the world, Jesus was ordained to die to set us free. Thomas Jefferson said, “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” That is true. But the eternal price of freedom is the blood of Jesus that sets us free from false hope in ourselves or others. His freedom to us came at His sacrifice, not ours. When we trust in Him, we are delivered from the dominion and tyranny of Satan and enter the kingdom of God that provides righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
The kingdoms of this world, including this one, will not forever endure. But His is an everlasting Kingdom (see Revelation 11:15; Daniel 7:14). If we should celebrate with fanfare a national “kingdom” which passes away, how should we celebrate His kingdom which is forever? If we can celebrate a kingdom that requires our vigilance, how must we celebrate the Kingdom which guarantees eternal victory over sin and death? If we can celebrate a kingdom which is unique in history, how should we celebrate the Kingdom which stands above history? I celebrate today the fact that tyranny will be cast down into Hell and we shall be raised up with Christ to the very Throne of God from whence true liberty and justice came to us.
Stalin promised a freedom from God. Hitler promised a 1000 year reign. The French Revolution promised a freedom from a king. All such freedoms exhausted themselves in human foolishness. Jesus promised the truth, a Divine commodity that would set us free, and said, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” The freedom to hear and obey God, and the freedom to walk in and be filled with God’s own Spirit, are freedoms no man can take from us. And if we are persecuted as many of our brothers and sisters are, though the price be high, our spirits will be everlastingly free to praise, worship and glorify God! Tyranny will find its place in Hell where it belongs.
The Rebirth of Freedom
From time to time men and women find themselves oppressed. Tyranny, like a python seeks to choke the life out of us. Such was the case when the baby Jesus was born into Herod’s rule. Herod was a wicked and brutal despot, a baby killer. He taxed the life out of Israel and threatened their very existence. He bought off the fearful religious leaders. His success beheaded the great John the Baptist.
But Jesus grew up and offered a rebirth of freedom. He said, “Come unto me and I’ll give you rest. Take my yoke upon you for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Thousands came to Him and in Him, freedom was reborn. Jesus was meek-strong, but His strength was held in check at the Cross, where He shed His blood for our freedom. On the third day, He rose again … the victor over sin and death. His Resurrection confirms our freedom. That is the Gospel, the Good News to the downtrodden everywhere.
I am convinced that the enemy of our soul hates the Gospel and everyone who tells it. Even now, he seeks to restrict our choice to share it. He hates it because he fears it. The Gospel is the antidote to tyranny. We have it and we are compelled to tell it. The disclosure that our own government has investigated and sought to limit some Christian groups is a telling sign. So what would you do if told that you could not share your faith in Jesus? I’m sure that you would protest. Yet, many who would make such a protest never share their faith, though they are free to do so. We will either use it or lose it! And as we lose our freedom to tell the world and our friends about Jesus, we will lose other freedoms to speak the truth in the love of God. It is the truth that sets us free.
The Best Celebration
So how can we best celebrate our precious freedom? Let me suggest some ways.
The best celebration of our liberty is to obey the source of it-the Lord Jesus Christ. When you serve and praise Him, you let freedom ring. No political promise and no religious observance can match the power of Jesus’ name. The sacred fire of God’s Spirit cannot be doused by secularism, humanism, or any other “ism”. That is something to celebrate not once each year, but every hour of every day! The kingdoms of this world shall become the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!
I would also ask you to consider supporting CSM this month in your prayers and in your giving. When you support us, you co-labor with us in “extending the kingdom of God … one person at a time.” Friends such as yourself have been used by the Lord to further the message of the Kingdom among the nations, including here in the United States. We’ve been able to support other ministries as well, and to sow heavily into missions such as the Hidden Treasures Children’s Home in Costa Rica.
Please visit us online for ways to support this ministry, to receive encouraging resources, and to share your own prayer requests with our staff. We appreciate your friendship! If you know of someone who could benefit from our encouraging and equipping materials, please let us and them know. And feel free to visit us on the web at www.csmpublishing.org and on our Charles Simpson Ministries Facebook pages, as well as following us on Twitter @CSMinPublishing.
May God bless you and your family this month, and always!
All contributions to Charles Simpson Ministries (CSM) are tax deductible. CSM is a 501 (C) (3) organization as recognized by the Internal Revenue Service.
Scripture Reference: Ecclesiastes, Revelations, Daniel
Charles Simpson is an internationally-known author, Bible teacher, and pastor, serving in ministry since 1955. He is also Editor-in-Chief of One-to-One Magazine and ministers extensively throughout the United States and the nations.