They had to be men of great integrity and men who really had a lot of values... because they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that they could be killed for signing it. There were 56 men who signed this document, 24 were lawyers and jurists, 11 were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners, and all of them were well educated and men of means. They had plenty of so-called “security,” but they valued their freedom and the freedom of future generations to the point they were willing to put their lives on the line for it. They were God’s FRONT LINERS!!
Now here’s what the history books don’t talk about. Following that day when they indelibly signed their names on this famous piece of paper, five of them were captured by the British. These men were accused as being traitors and they were tortured before they finally died. Twelve of them had their homes ransacked and burned. Two of them lost their sons in the Revolutionary War. Two others had sons which were prisoners of war. Nine of the 56 fought and died from either wounds or the hardships of the Revolutionary War. Standing up for freedom and what was right cost all of them something precious. And because of these and the sacrifices of many others, we’ve enjoyed freedom in America.
Freedom is something that is so precious, but it’s also something that requires a continual battle to maintain it. If we don’t battle to maintain it, if we don’t do our part nurturing it, freedom can be lost. The Bible clearly defines the word “freedom.” God’s kind of freedom is the freedom to love, to respect and the freedom the serve. Satan’s brand of freedom is the destructive kind where one does as he or she pleases without any regard for others or the consequences. There is a constant battle in this world, not only between Christ and Satan, but between the philosophy of these two kinds of freedoms. But history has proven time and time again that Satan’s kind of freedom has devastating effects, while God’s kind of freedom brings much peace and happiness.
Jesus speaking about freedom said in John 8:32, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” So freedom isn’t something that just happens... it’s the result of knowing, living and breathing truth, and truth is only truth when it comes from God. The American democracy has a foundation which is based on God’s philosophy and truth. Our country was founded by people who loved God. Many left their homelands to come to America just so they would have the privilege of worshiping God as their conscience directed them. So when the Declaration of Independence was written, it was based on love for God, love for our fellow men and it was based on principles we find in God’s Word today. This country has enjoyed precious freedom for many years because the people in America have stood for these principles, and as a result God has blessed this nation more than others who have laws based on man’s ideas. Yet we can see that Satan is very busy in whittling away our freedoms a little bit at a time.
How does God want us to react as Christians when we see Satan’s philosophies gradually infiltrating our country, our states and our communities? In Isaiah 58:1 God says “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet and declare to my people their transgression and to the house of Jacob their sins. He continues in verse 6 saying “Isn’t this the fast that I have chosen, to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free and that you break every enslaving yoke.” These texts don’t sound like a description of closet Christians to me. God wants us, as Christians, to be vocal and active! He wants us to be channels of His integrity, His discernment, understanding and knowledge into our communities so God’s blessings can abound in them! (Proverbs 28:2) But once again, this is not talking about the activity of a Laodicean closet Christian, it’s talking about Christians who are willing to stand for God’s principles, those who are willing to stand for the truth that gives us genuine freedom. Today God is looking for FRONT LINERS! So instead of “sitting on the premises, let’s start standing on the promises.” And while we’re standing on those promises... let’s not forget to wrap everything we do and say in the big cozy, warm blanket of the love of God!