Summary: Every person must respond to God's offer of salvation and service through Jesus Christ. The choices are: reject or accept. To reject is to remain in bondage. To accept is to be set free!


Patriotism - love for and appreciation of country - became a part of me when I was seven years old. The year was 1941. World War II called forth that fighting spirit and undying devotion to country that had served as the bedrock upon which our forefathers founded “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Prior to 1941, the USA had survived several wars, and had come through the Great Depression, but now was faced with threats of annihilation from the insane tyrant named Hitler and the imperialist emperor named Hirohito. Once again, our country had to rise to the occasion – and did!

There was not a whole lot a kid my age - seven when it began and eleven when it ended - could do, except respond to the challenge from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, when he asked the American people to plant Victory gardens. At school and at home, I did my little bit of hoeing and planting and watering the rows of a garden that formed a V-shape.

This same president – having led our country out of the Depression into a new era of prosperity, then into the fight to keep America free - in a speech before Congress, presented “four cornerstones of a great nation” in terms of Four Freedoms.

FDR proposed four essential human freedoms that should be enjoyed by people “everywhere in the world.” The Four Freedoms were these:

Freedom of speech - everywhere in the world . . . Freedom of worship - everywhere in the world . . . Freedom from want - everywhere in the world . . . Freedom from fear – everywhere in the world.

FDR made the point, after his four freedoms speech, that his was “not a vision of some distant achievement, but rather a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation.”

Millenniums prior to FDR, the apostle Paul trumpeted his vision of freedom - freedom that can be, and should be, fulfilled in the Christian life:

“Christ has set us free to live a life of freedom. So, stand firm! Never let anyone put a harness of enslavement on you.” (Adaptation of Galatians 5:1)

Paul goes on to declare, “I am emphatic about this!” Why could Paul be so dogmatic about his vision of freedom for the Christian? He could do so primarily because:

Paul - “persecutor of Christians turned preacher of the gospel” - had personally experienced the freedom of which he spoke in his own life after surrendering his life to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Paul’s testimony about his new life in Christ was stated in this conclusion:

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)

In stating his conclusion concerning freedom in Christ, perhaps Paul recalled the teaching of Jesus who was quoted by John as having said, “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 (of God) sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:34-36)

Thus, this theme of freedom in Christ was keynoted by the One who sets us free – Christ Jesus – and experienced by the one who proclaimed that this Good News was for people everywhere in the world!

In Christ, there is no east or west, north or south, “for God so loved the WORLD that He gave.”

Everywhere in the world, people of every race, climate, geographical location, color of skin, political persuasion, cultural difference, family tie, national identity or any other label anyone wants to affix to people who are different, have, or should be afforded, the chance to become a Christian and, thereby, set free!

It was so that others – everywhere in the world – might come to know Him who to know is life eternal, and be set free, that: The Bible was written . . . Jesus came . . . Jesus died on the Cross . . . Jesus was raised from the dead . . . Jesus enlisted the twelve apostles . . . Jesus established His Church . . . Jesus commissioned His Church to go make disciples . . .

His followers were willing to suffer for the sake of the gospel . . . His Word has been preached throughout the centuries . . . Christianity continues to survive despite attempts from without and within to diminish its message and its messengers . . .

Each of us connected to Christ and His Church have been constantly reminded, by the Word of God and the Spirit of Christ who dwells within, that we shall be His witnesses unto the uttermost parts of the earth.

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