Jesus told us the one thing that will set us free from any bondage. That one thing is truth. In fact, without truth, we are only deceived into thinking we are free and have liberty. Jesus directly connected true liberty (freedom indeed) with truth.
4th of July Independence Day
by Pastor Delbert Young
Freedom or Deception
Scriptures: John 8:31-36
Tomorrow is Independence Day for the USA! Two-hundred and twenty-nine years ago tomorrow, the Continental Congress met to declare the United States free from British rule. Thomas Jefferson had prepared the Declaration of Independence for the occasion and that magnificent document begins with these 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.” The document goes on to say, “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
The United States of America went on to be the greatest nation that has ever existed. It is the nation that came to be synoptic with freedom and truth. How many are appreciative for the USA? Thank God for America! It is an anchor of FREEDOM and TRUTH in a confused world.
The Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these TRUTHS to be self-evident… and among the rights given us by God are Life, LIBERTY, and the pursuit of Happiness.“ Allow me to point out something to us. The founding fathers directly connected TRUTH(S) with LIBERTY. There is no real FREEDOM without TRUTH.Jesus had a lot to say about truth. Interestingly, he too connected truth with freedom.
[John 8:31-36] To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. THEN YOU WILL KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the TRUTH, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you FREE, you will be FREE INDEED.
Jesus told us the one thing that will set us free from any bondage. That one thing is TRUTH. In fact, withoutTRUTH, we are only deceived into thinking that we are free and have liberty. Jesus directly connected trueLIBERTY (freedom indeed) with TRUTH.
Those Jews were very deceived concerning liberty! They thought that because they were descendents of Abraham (Israel) they were free. In actuality, they were some of the most enslaved people who have ever existed.Israel disobeyed God’s laws and under the Assyrian Empire went into slavery in 721 B.C. They remained in slavery under the Chaldean Empire, Persian Empire, and Roman Empire to whom they were in slavery at the time Jesus said this. A few short years later in A.D. 70, the Romans laid desolate the nation and it did not exist again until 1948. Other than a short time called the Maccabaean period, these Jews experienced no liberty for 700 years and the total time of their bondage and slavery was about 2600 years. Yet, they thought and said they were free. Did they have FREEDOM OR DECEPTION?”
The point is that being an American or a Christian does not make us free. We can say we are free and shoot fireworks and wave flags, but not be free indeed.
Jesus said that FREEDOM is not connected to the nation in which you live or the religion in which you believe.FREEDOM is directly connected to TRUTH. In America alone, there are millions of people in slavery to addictions, pornography, and anger. How many people do you know that are in slavery to finances? People are in bondage to bad relationships. People are slaves to prejudice and bigotry. People are slaves to gossip. People are slaves to materialism. People are in bondage to religion even though they are Christians. Amazingly, if you were to ask those people who live in America if they were free, they would say, “Yes! I am free. I am an American and I am a Christian.” What about you? To what might you be in bondage? Is it FREEDOM OR DECEPTION?” Jesus said…
YOU WILL KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. Again, notice that Jesus directly connected TRUTH to TRUE FREEDOM. Do you agree with that statement? Is it possible for a person be deceived and be free? Of course not. Do you agree with Jesus? No one else of whom I am aware ever said that before Jesus. Jesus said in essence that “TRUTH = FREEDOM.” However, so many today, as did Pilate long ago, ask, “WHAT IS TRUTH?” Is truth relative? Is truth absolute? Is truth what I want to believe for me and truth for you is what you want to believe for you? Is truth what my friends say? Is truth what my parents say? Is truth what the preacher says? Is truth what politicians say or even what the President of the U.S. says? If those are the ways that we determine “WHAT IS TRUTH”, then no wonder so many people today are in bondage, or as Jesus said slavery.
Today our children and grandchildren are asking, “WHAT IS TRUTH?” They are filtering through all the information – more readily available information than ever in the history of humankind. They are asking serious questions. Is there a God? How do you know if God is real? If so, then why do horrible things happen? If God is so good, then why is there a hell? What is wrong with homosexuality if that is what a person wants to do? What is wrong with my having early sexual activity? Why do I have low self-esteem? What am I going to do with my life? Why do you think you can tell me what to do? Your child is trying to find the answer to “WHAT IS TRUTH?” A parent’s answer of, “Because I said so,” is not going to get it. Deception and bondage awaits them unless you can connect TRUTH and FREEDOM. Are you able to give them truth?
PEOPLE WANT TRUTH. Your friends want truth. Your loved ones want truth. The world is full of options and illusions attempting to deceive. Are you capable of giving them truth? People want truth. Why? Jesus gave us the ANSWER. TRUTH IS LIBERATING. God has created us to hunger for truth. Asking questions is not wrong. It is when we reject truth that we have problems. God created us to believe that there are truths out there somewhere and when I find truth, it will fix my problems. You hunger for truth and answers. Your children hunger for truth and answers. Your friends and loved ones hunger for truth and answers. All the while, Jesus answers for us “WHAT IS TRUTH” and how to find it. Jesus said…
THEN YOU WILL KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. The emphasis is on THEN.
[John 8:31-36] To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. THEN you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free… . So if the Son sets you FREE, you will beFREE INDEED.”
Jesus said that If you hold to his teachings… THEN you will know truth. I know that is not what people want to hear today, but it remains the TRUTH. That is not what your children want to hear. Nonetheless, it remains theTRUTH. That is not what your friends and loved ones want to hear, but it is still the TRUTH. The reason that no one wants to accept the TRUTH is because we want to hold onto our apple. What?
Some Americans were stationed on a small island in the South Pacific during WWII. Monkey meat was a real delicacy on that island, so the natives showed the Americans how they captured monkeys. They would put an apple in a jar. Tie one end of a rope to the jar and the other end to a tree and then wait. A monkey eventually found the apple and reaches into the jar. Its hand will compress to fit into the jar, but its fist holding the apple is too large to pull out. The monkey is too stubborn to release the apple and so, ‘Monkey de Veau’. UMMMMMMMMMMM!
The point is what makes a monkey out of you? To what apple do you hold? We all have an apple that we could hold. Adam had one. Eve had one. Remember Sampson? He had one that he would not release named Delilah. He refused to let it go and…
[John 8:31-36] To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you HOLD TO MY TEACHING, you are really my disciples. THEN YOU WILL KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the TRUTH, EVERYONE who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you FREE, you will be FREE INDEED.
Jesus said, the TRUTH is, the only way to be FREE is to HOLD TO MY TEACHING and not to your apple. Let your apple go and you will be FREE INDEED. If we hold to the apple, we may think we are free; but actually, our apple has deceived us and tied us to a tree. There, we will be devoured by the devil – Monkey de Veau’. So, is itFREEDOM or DECEPTION? By taking the teachings of Jesus and giving truth, the Son will make us free indeed.
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