The Cause Of Liberty
By Hal Lindsey
In the almost two and a half centuries since the United States declared itself a free and independent nation, it has seen many crises. And every time America called for help, a group of heroes stood up and said, “Count me in.”
They did this knowing they might suffer grievous injury. They might lose a limb, or an ability, such as the ability to see. They might not walk again. They might die.
Through the years, millions of heroes have risen when needed. They came from farms and skyscrapers; from small towns and metropolises. Among them, you will find every color of skin, and the descendants of every nation on earth. Millions of them. American heroes all.
On July 4th, the United States of America celebrates 241 years of independence. I have been (and remain) an unwavering critic of much in American life. But I would be foolish indeed not to recognize that every day of my life has been enhanced immeasurably by the land of my birth, and a way of life made possible by the sacrifice of heroes.
It’s important to remember that these men and women didn’t lay down their lives for a particular race. This country has always been a melting pot of many peoples. Nor did they do it out of loyalty to a king or crown.
So why did they do it?
Each hero would have expressed it differently. But I think that deep in their American souls, they would agree that they did it for an idea — a great shining idea.
Thomas Jefferson put the idea into words;
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
American heroes laid their lives on the line as a gift to each U.S. citizen and, in many ways, to the whole world. They didn’t do it because they evaluated our character, and found us worthy. Few of them even knew you or me. They did it because it was right.
In Thornton Wilder’s classic play, “Our Town,” the Stage Manager takes the audience on a tour of the town graveyard. One area of it holds special meaning. “Over there,” he says, “are some Civil War veterans. Iron flags on their graves… New Hampshire boys… had a notion that the Union ought to be kept together, though they’d never seen more than fifty miles of it themselves. All they knew was the name, friends — the United States of America. The United States of America. And they went and died about it.”
In “America the Beautiful,” Katherine Lee Bates wrote;
“O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!”
It’s a kind of miracle. People who didn’t know me… died for me.
But on the scale of miracles, there’s something even more amazing. What if someone knew us, and died for us? I mean, really knew us — knew every evil thought, every rotten deed, every selfish or silly thing we ever thought or did. What if, even knowing all this, Someone still chose to die for you?
That’s what Jesus did.
John 3:16 gives us a glimpse at the grandeur of God’s plan for human salvation. He loved the world so much “that He gave His only begotten Son.”
John 15:13 makes it personal, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
And Romans 5:8, makes it astonishing. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
We Americans are once again celebrating our nation’s birth. We call it Independence Day. We celebrate freedom, and an ability to exercise inalienable rights.
Maybe America isn’t your home. Or maybe you’re an American citizen, but you don’t feel free. God offers a level of liberty no nation can match. In Luke 4:18, Jesus used an Old Testament prophecy to explain why He came into the world. He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed.” (Luke NKJV)
We’re all captives of our own sinful natures — until He sets us free. He heals our blindnesses, and our broken hearts. That’s real freedom. And you can have it right now. Just ask Him for it.
In John 8:36, Jesus said, “If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”