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Freedom Is Dangerous; Slavery Is Peaceful??
The Power of a Billboard!
Why This Title?
Along side Interstate 5 in Chehalis, Washington, stands a billboard that posts editorialized comments concerning current issues from a conservative viewpoint. It is changed periodically whenever current events so move the owner of said billboard to make his personal position known to the public at large. It is double-sided with two separate messages; so whether you are traveling north or south, you will get a dose of his view. Curiosity rules the day: when he changes the message, you will slow slightly to make sure you don't miss what he has to say. I borrowed the title of this article from a recent message, adding only the question marks. The message caught me off guard for a while; but knowing that his motives are politically motivated, I got the gist of where he was probably coming from....BUT I couldn't stop thinking that there was really a much deeper message than he may have intended. I was already considering writing an article on real freedom when I was struck by an epiphany and the message from the billboard came alive from a Christian perspective. So fasten your seatbelts and here we go.
Is Anyone Really Free?
First Things First!
EVERYONE IS A SLAVE!
There is NOT ONE person this side of heaven, whether a Christian or not, that is not a slave to a "master" of one sort or another. Worldly slave masters are the product of each individual's own heart and mind: some masters are blatantly our mortal enemies, others appear to bring happiness...for a season, while others are more subtle, more secretive until it is too late. This is the bane of ALL humanity and every true Christian knows this to be the truth.
There is not enough room or time to list by name these masters, for as soon as we think our list is complete, we will find a thousand more. Sadly, as a Christian saddled with this "flesh" which is contrary to righteousness, I know all too well the war I personally have to wage against the masters of this world. As a young Christian, I believed the older and more mature I became, the war would become easier. I have found the opposite to be true; for only by the grace of God I survived the wars of my youth and as I have matured, I find my enemies seem to have grown stronger and bolder.
Who or what is your master? False gods, drugs, alcohol, money, sex, pornography, house, car, clothes, your body, your "beauty", fame, power, children, books, movies, television, music, sports, education, profession, solitude, approval, attention, violence, war, patriotism, nationalism, racism, "genderism"?, death, hatred, adrenalin rushes, cheating death, her, him, it, they and closer to home - the preacher, the church, gifts, praise, miracles (real or imagined) and "self-esteem"...to name a few and a myriad of variations on each.
I am a Bondservant of Christ, a doulos, one whose will is sold out to another. My greatest joy will be when I am one day soon, rid of this flesh and I am FREE to perfectly serve my Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is my earthly war, for I long to serve only one Master and the older I get the more I understand Paul's lament, "..oh wretched man that I am...". There is a great danger in freedom this side of heaven, but conversely there is a freedom of inexpressible joy available only to the elect.
Interesting: Freedom and Rebellion - Brothers in Life
Hell Is Filled With The Rebellious In Search of "Freedom"
How many wars have been fought; how much death, destruction and despair have been wrought in the name of freedom? Millions fleeing one oppressive task-master into the open arms of another, knowing not that their new master is even more cunning and cruel until it is too late. Years ago I had the misfortune of going to the movies to see "Reds" starring Warren Beatty. A true story of American wealthy idealists caught up in the perceived wonderful Bolshevik revolution and their journey to Russia to be a part of this glorious adventure. What they found was death, despair, and disease ... and it found them. Truly there is NOTHING new under the sun; as we daily are witnessing a wide array idealistic factions rioting and protesting, when in truth they are nothing but sheep following a goat with a bell around its neck to their own destruction. From Cain's rebellion and murder to today's headlines, this scenario has been played out countless times on both small and epic scales.
This brings me to the one driving motivation in the quest for "freedom" that inflicts its sinister work of death in all of mankind: man's desire to be free of God and to be in control of their own lives and destinies. Romans 3:10-16 "As it is written, There is NONE righteous, no, not one: They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is NONE that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways:". So much for those people who claim to have been seeking God all their lives: either God is a liar or someone else is very deceived....hmm, I wonder who? Don't give me the Hebrews 11:6 passage as your mantra...ONLY a Christian can seek God and that is to seek how to please Him.
A Question That Begs An Answer!
What Does The Hatred of America and Christians Have In Common?
As Christ said, "..but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." When the world sees a true believer, they see one of God's own, and being that they are in constant rebellion against God, we are condemned by association. I am guilty as charged. One side of the question is easy to answer, the other side of the equation has to do with the basic tenets of our government's laws. They are largely based upon biblical principles and as a "freedom" loving people, the lost want to be FREE of any and all godly influences: the laws MUST be changed! Sadly, there are those rotten, stinking, narrow-minded Christians that stand in their way of changing the laws of the state. This anti-freedom group is too large of a voting bloc, so the "freedom-fighters" must protest, riot and intimidate any who oppose their desire for "perfect" freedom, thus they go directly at the elected officials on the both the local and national levels. Strangely, the media is very complicit and almost as if they are encouraging this behavior; remember it not only promotes readership and viewership, they too have a hatred for that which could be construed as being "godly". It is the "goats" with the bells that both fund and manipulate the raging mobs, for their hatred of God far exceeds that of the sheep, for they desire to replace God with themselves. All the while, the stray sheep believe the world will get better under a new master and they can live their lives without any social restrictions. By the way, it IS coming soon to a neighborhood near you.
No Bible believing Christian should be taken off guard by the current situation; sickened by what they observe but not surprised. As Paul wrote "..in the last days men will wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." We live in the most incredible times and that too is part of God's plan; you and I with the same calling of Noah. Warn the lost and encourage as many of the brethren as you can reach, to look up for our redemption draws nigh.
A Freedom Found Only In Jesus Christ!
A Joy Inexpressible!
You and I, in the here and now, still have the burden of the flesh and its godless tendencies, BUT this we do have...FREEDOM from the burden of sin! Yes, there will be a judgment for the Christian that deals with our works and the use of those gifts given us by the Holy Spirit. There will NOT be a judgment for our sins, for as Micah puts it, "...they have been buried in the depths of the sea." I am sure I will have some wood, hay and stubble that will be cleansed away with fire, but the gold, silver and precious gems will last forever; these are the works that brought glory to our Savior. This freedom from the consequences of sin is what the rebellious hate more than anything else about us. They cannot stand the concept of forgiveness for they believe they have nothing of which to be forgiven. To them, should there actually be a "god", their good surely will outweigh their "not so good". The Truth be known: the rebellious "freedom fighters" of this age, know they are worthy of the death penalty and yet they encourage others to join them in their folly. (Roman 1)