Sunday, May 24, 2020

Fight The Good Fight Of Faith - Memorial Day 2020

Temple Baptist Church - 5-24-2020
1 Timothy 6:12


A.  Tomorrow, May 25,2020, is Memorial Day.  Recognize Veterans.

1.  The day in which we honor our war dead: men and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedom that we enjoy today.  

2.  “All gave some but some gave all.”  Their lives were cut short; they died in their youth; their dreams were never realized; their dreams can only be realized through us!

3.  Would have been friends, neighbors, doctors, lawyers, teachers, mill workers, miners, store owners, moms, and dads—America’s youth, America’s strength, America’s future!

B.  As we enjoy our freedom and blessings tomorrow, our day trips, picnics lunches, grilled favorites, do not fail to remember those who will not be there to enjoy them with us! 

1.  These statistics are several years old.  In all the American wars, either by our country or within our country, over 45,000,000 men and women have served in wartime with app. 1,175,000 war dead and app. 1,500,000 wounded in action. 

2.  That is a tremendous number of young lives that have been given and families forever changed while affording us the freedom that we now enjoy. 

3.  I knew a soldier who, as an 18-year-old was carrying a machine gun, wading through the waters of the Pacific Islands under heavy fire, watching his buddies die before his eyes.  He grew up that day. 

4.  I remember a man who, as young artillery man, coming on shore at Omaha Beach on D+2, watching them as they carried away the dead and wounded. 

5.  I have known men who fought through the harsh winters of Korea, walked through the jungles of Viet Nam, died in the middle east and continue to die until this day for our freedom. 

6.  My thoughts go to Arlington National Cemetery and to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and read the inscription, “Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.”

C.  Freedom in a privilege, not a right!  Citizenship is a privilege, not a right!  There are many living in this country that enjoy the freedoms while misusing them. 

1.  We do not have the freedom to do wrong in this land. 

2.  We do not have the freedom to live here and defame this land.

3.  We have not right to burn the American Flag.

4.  America has had some sordidness in its history and still is not a perfect land, but it is my country and I say, “Love it or leave it.”

5.  Come to America but come legal, learn the language (I do not speak Spanish), salute the flag, pay your taxes, be productive, get a job, and be a good citizen!

6.  You are not here because it is your right; you are here because you are privileged to live here.  This is our country, one nation under GOD, paid for with the blood of our valiant youth!

D.  War is not something that any sane man or woman wants, but we find in our text that war is sometimes a necessity. 

1.  Men who will not fight will not remain free. 

2.  Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death!”  It is the cry of the patriot and is the prerequisite for freedom.  To live free, some must sometimes die.

E.  God bless the memory of our war dead; God bless our troops; God bless America!

F.  This morning, for a few minutes, I want to look at a different type of war casualty.  You and I are in a spiritual warfare today.  It is a war just as real as physical wars are real.  We have spiritually what we have this morning because someone paid a great price.

1.  From the blood of Abel to those who are martyred in other countries today, blood has been shed as men earnestly contended for the faith once delivered.

2.  Throughout history, men and women have been tortured and died because they were not willing to recant concerning their faith.  We have the witness of the Scriptures; we have the witness of books such as “Fox’s Book of Martyrs” and “Trail of Blood.”  Over 50 million died for their faith in the Dark Ages alone.

3.  We have the witness of both church and secular historians who have brought to us the reality of these sacrifices.  Millions upon millions have and will die for their faith.  While we sit free in America, Christians still die in other lands and our nation is becoming less and less “Christian Friendly.”

Hebrews 11:33-38  Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,  (34)  Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.  (35)  Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:  (36)  And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:  (37)  They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;  (38)  (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
Revelation 6:9-11  And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:  (10)  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?  (11)  And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

G.  Because of the sufferings and death of these and countless others like them, we are spiritually blessed!

1.  We have the blessing of a pure Bible!  Without those who suffered and died for this old Book that I hold; we would not be so blessed.  I know that preservation is an act of God—not an act of man—but God used men who were willing to suffer reproach and often die that we might have it.  This morning, I want to say, “Thank you for my Bible!”

2.  We have the blessing of our Faith once delivered!  Without those who suffered and died, I would not know the way to heaven!  They prayed and many “paid” that I might have the privilege of knowing how to be saved.  So many denominations have departed from the faith into “Cain Worship.”  They are now right with God because they are “right with God?”  I am glad that my salvation is by grace through faith.  Many have been persecuted for their unwillingness to capitulate on the doctrine of salvation.  I am glad that I know that Jesus Christ is the only Way to heaven.  This morning, I want to say, “Thank you for my Salvation!”

3.  We have the blessing of Fathers to follow!  Not only do we have the Bible and a wonderful Salvation, we have the “Old Paths” wherein is the right way and the good way.  Our doctrine is pure, our separation is purposed, and our path is well trodden by those who went before.  Many have suffered and died to make those paths well defined and easy to follow.  Many are leaving the “Old Paths” for the “New Paths” in order to draw crowds and avoid persecution.  In the “Old Paths,” we are different from this present evil world that the Lord died to deliver us from.  We are not saved in our sin; we are not saved to sin; we are saved from our sin!  I love the “Old Paths” that our fathers trod and will not forsake them for the “New Paths” that the world follows.  The “Old Paths” are the right ways!  They are the good ways!  This morning, I want to say, “Thank you for leading me into the Old Paths!”

4.  We have the blessing of Truth to guard us!  We live in days of spiritual deception.  This past week, a spiritual “crackpot” denied clear Scripture concerning the time of our Lord’s return.  He brought reproach to the Second Coming of Christ by the news media.  He gave the scoffers an occasion to blaspheme by saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?”  There are men and women on every hand who claim to be either the Messiah or claim to know Him and, at the same time, preach doctrines contrary to clear Scripture.  They are being followed by those who will one day be sent “strong delusion” and be damned eternally.  I am glad that I know the Truth of God’s Word.  I accept it as Truth.  I follow it as Truth.  This morning, I want to say, “Thank you for teaching me the Truth!”

Conclusion:  Tomorrow is Memorial Day.  Let us remember our war dead.  Let us remember those who gave their lives for our Freedom!  Let us also remember those who gave their lives for our Faith!

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