Minister’s forum: Another kind of Independence Day
I feel privileged to write for the Minister’s Forum this week as we celebrate our independence from an oppressive foreign power, and can now determine our own destiny. July 4 holds a very special place in my life and heart.
After months of combat, freeing Europe from the tyranny of Nazi Germany, the Army newspaper, Stars and Stripes, announced that the 345th Inf. Regiment, 87th Infantry Division was scheduled to leave the shores of France on July 4, 1945.
What exhilaration, what a feeling of liberty and freedom. On July 11, as our West Point ship sailed into New York harbor past the Statue of Liberty, there was not a dry eye aboard.
The Israelites endured untold suffering at the hand of the Egyptians for 400 years, and God led them to the Promised Land. Through the centuries, man has still been under the domination of a great power – Satan. Satan entered a perfect environment, the Garden of Eden, and seduced Adam and Eve to disobey God’s commandment concerning the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil – Don’t touch, don’t eat of the tree. Sin entered into the world through Adam and all of mankind since that day. We are sinners by birth, sinners by commission and omission. Our souls are lost in sin.
Jeremiah 17:9 pinpoints man’s condition: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?”
Romans 8: 1,2: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”
Galatians 5:1: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”
In April, 1946, I celebrated another Independence Day when I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ and asked Him to use me for His glory. Now, these words may make no difference to the reader. However, it will make a difference when you stand at death’s door and contemplate your eternal destiny. I am no longer under the domination of Satan. I’ll be the first to tell you that I am not perfect; God does not promise me that in this life. I will, however, enter heaven in that condition. Have you celebrated your second Independence Day? If not, give Christ Jesus a chance to change your life.
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
– Thurston Ott is serving as a minister-at-large.