Sunday, July 3, 2016

Thoughts for July 4th

Thoughts For The 240th Anniversary of the birth of the 
United States Of America

By: Pastor Jack Hilton

Tomorrow, July 4, we will be privileged to celebrate the 240th anniversary of independence for these United States of America. As I enjoy another year of living in this great land of Freedom and Liberty, I am continually confronted with two vitally important questions:

1. Does the average person truly understand the great heritage they possess as a citizen of these United States of America? 
2. Does the average person understand their responsibility as Stewards of this great heritage which our fathers and fore-fathers provided for us?

As we take time to celebrate our numerous blessings of liberty and freedom and remember the labor and sacrifice required to secure and protect our liberty and freedom, we must give praise and thanks to our Sovereign LORD and those multitudes who fulfilled their responsibilities and maintained a good stewardship over this great heritage.  As we view the parades, enjoy the fireworks and think upon the images, such as Old Glory and the Statue of Liberty, which represent our freedom and liberty, I trust we will reflect upon the history of Ellis Island as the millions that have passed through that great harbor into a Republic that offered “Freedom and Opportunity” to all. I trust we will take the time to reflect on the tremendous price paid by our fathers and forefathers. In the wars of the past and present, many have and are still paying the ultimate price to secure and keep the freedom and heritage we enjoy today.

As the original thirteen colonies declared their separation from England they laid the foundation that would serve as an anchor for the new Republic being born. The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence begins with the words that laid that sure foundation.

“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.”

After the successful long and bloody struggle to throw off the yoke of bondage, the colonies were faced with the awesome task of establishing a government for the “New Born” Republic. Having the wisdom from the history of many failed nations and civilizations, they decided the only form of government that could last would be one governed by an unchanging set of laws [The Constitution]. The Preamble to that great document reveals the wisdom and purpose of those who prepared it.

“We the people of the United States, in order to a form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

As I watch and listen, I wonder if our younger people truly realize the great national heritage they inherited at great expense and sacrifice of their forefathers.

Thinking about such a great gift quickly brings my thoughts to the greatest gift man could ever receive. The gift of Jesus Christ, God the Son, [John 3:16-18] opens the door to a multitude of gifts (i.e. Forgiveness of Sin; Freedom from the penalty and power of sin; Spiritual Life; Indwelling of the Holy Spirit; God’s Eternal Word; Fellowship with God; etc.).

I am also reminded of another great gift; the Church of Jesus Christ; which opens the door to many more gifts. One is the gift of being a part of a local Fundamental Bible Church. (i.e. Membership; Fellowship; Truth; Love; Service; Discipleship; Worship; etc.)

These three great gifts [Nation; Saviour; Church] have been provided for you at the expense and labors of those who went before. 


In Psalm 16, King David clearly recognized and understood the heritage of Israel and the great heritage of every person who comes to God through Scriptural Faith.

Psalm 16:5-6 “The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.”

Israel enjoyed a similar experience when God brought them out of bondage and slavery in Egypt though the wilderness and into the Promised Land. They had (1) God’s Word; (2) God as their Leader; (3) God’s assembly; (4) and God’s Promised Land.

Rev. Jack M. Hilton is the Pastor of the Bible Evangelical Methodist Church in New Danville (Lancaster), Pennsylvania.  He also serves as a member of the Board of Appalachian Educational Communication Corporation (AECC) that owns and operates WHCB 91.5 FM.