America will celebrate 245 years of independence from Great Britain on July 4th of this year. Although we celebrate as one nation, we continue to struggle with cultural, ethical, and religious differences. What it means to be an American and who is worthy to receive citizenship depends upon who you talk to. We are a house divided. But the one thing that unites us – our quest for freedom – also divides us. So, for the record, I believe the The Fourth of July is America’s holiday and that includes you, me and every American citizen – regardless of the differences we have.
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.
Those words, taken from the Declaration of Independence, create the track that the “American Train” runs on. But do those words apply to every American citizen or just a select few? Our history has shown that the answer to both questions is, yes. How can that be, you ask? The answer is, application of those words is in the eyes of the beholder.
“Beauty is no quality in things themselves: It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty.” ― David Hume, Of the Standard of Taste and Other Essays
“Justice, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Some see an innocent victim. Others will see evil incarnate getting exactly what’s deserved.” ― Emily Thorne
Regardless of what side of this debate you’re on, the big picture still looms. We live in a broken society that gives us the limited right to decide how we see the rules and how they apply. Good or bad, right or wrong, I have the ability to voice my opinion. The opposite is everyone else has that same right.
Now, let’s transition to what scripture tells us about The Kingdom of God.
1. We are citizens of God’s Kingdom:
But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. Phil 3:20.
If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. John 15:19 ESV I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. John 18:14-16 ESV
2. Unlike earthly kingdoms, we are united as one in Christ:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:28 KJV. because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Rom 10:9 ESV
3. Earthly kingdoms will always have social class differences:
For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. Mark 14:7 KJV
The Book of Revelation proves that social class differences will still be in existence when Christ returns. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; Rev 6:15 KJV.
4. The best is yet to come:
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” Rev 21:2-4.
With that said and at this point in human history, America is still the best country in the world in which to live. People of all ethnic backgrounds have worked and are continuing to work to make America better and keep her in that position. Therefore, let’s celebrate the Fourth of July as our holiday while we transition from human history, governed by man, to the coming kingdom, governed by Christ.
Written by Henry L. Hopson, Jr.