The Home of the Brave and the Land of the Free!

The country we live in has many freedoms and privileges, which have cost many lives and much sacrifice. Every year on July 4 we celebrate our independence from tyranny. We believe that every citizen has this right to live and enjoy this freedom. We have become so used to these freedoms that we take them for granted, thinking that they will always be there. God had given Israel the land of Canaan after traveling through the wilderness for forty years and being in Egypt for so many years as slaves, but they became lethargic, forgetting the God by whose strength they were able to overcome all their enemies.

And Joshua, the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash. And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim: And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger. (Judg. 2:8–12)

Our country was founded on the Word of God, and like Israel we have forsaken the Lord who has blessed us so richly. There are still many churches that worship the god who they believe is the true one, but not the God of the Bible. At this time of year many flags are flying. Outwardly things appear to be good, but many people are not happy. Why is this? We have lost the sense of what freedom is and what it costs to keep it, but even more the God who made us the most powerful nation in the world is not needed any more. This is sad. Why were we created and put here in this world? The leaders are becoming more and more bold in denying the Bible, but it is not the leaders first of all who are the problem. God has given them to us because that is what we asked for. God has sent and is sending us warnings in nature, but there is no repentance: “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein” (Jer. 6:16).

We pray that the Lord would send his Spirit into our hearts and cause a great revival in our land. We live on this earth for only a short time, because we must all die and give an account of all our words, deeds, and even our thoughts. To have had a life free to live as we see fit on earth without knowing God will be the only freedom we will ever have. You see, this life is not the end but only an entrance into eternity. The Bible also refers to this life as a fight: “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses” (1 Tim. 6:12). What are you fighting for? To have freedom to live our life without being harassed and persecuted is a blessing from God that we should cherish, but it is only temporal and will last for only a few years. By nature we are slaves to Satan and sin, thinking we are free. Have you learned this truth? “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). God says in John 8:36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

Who is this Son who shall set us free? Listen to John the Baptist: “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Jesus Christ “was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:10–12). We see that freedom in this world is a great privilege, but it is not enough. We must be born again to receive that true freedom that shall last through all eternity (John 3:1–20). To be crucified with him is freedom indeed. Galatians 2:17–20 explains, “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Jesus becomes my true freedom and my life. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1). Do you know Jesus? If not, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39).

Mr. Cornelius VanKempen known as Case, has been married to Susan for fifty-seven blessed years. They attend and are members of Heritage Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, MI.