The Foes of Freedom
"The Foes of Freedom" is a topical sermon by Mark Hollingsworth.
Judges 2:6-14 *v.14
Jdg 2:6 And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel went every man unto his inheritance to possess the land.
Jdg 2:7 And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel.
Jdg 2:8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being a hundred and ten years old.
Jdg 2:9 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.
Jdg 2:10 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.
Jdg 2:11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:
Jdg 2:12 And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.
Jdg 2:13 And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.
Jdg 2:14 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.
In this passage of scripture we have read, we find the Israelites during a period of time following the death of Joshua. They had entered the "Land of Canaan," had experienced partial victory and are now entering into the routine of everyday life. We see in verse 14 where God has let them become overtaken by their foes of freedom.
Our country is faced with several dreadful enemies or foes of freedom today. Most think of social issues like alcohol, drugs, etc. when they think of enemies of the state. True, one out of every two homes is affected by the problem of alcohol but I'm talking about other foes of freedom.
Drug addiction is definitely a problem in our society. Drugs are found in every grade school today. The degradation of our homes is astounding. Premarital sex, rebellion, corrupt government, and uncontrollable economy, are all on everyone's list of public enemies. They are definite foes of freedom.
But I want to discuss the root of all of these giant enemies and problems facing America and true Freedom. What are our real foes of freedom in the spiritual realm?
I. Emancipation is one of our Foes of Freedom (Worldly Freedom)
II. Excitation is one of our Foes of Freedom
- Emancipation Defined.The definition of emancipation is being set free from servitude, bondage or restraint. It means to gain one's freedom.
- Emancipation's Source.Society is looking for freedom in the wrong places. The American public cries out for freedom. In fact, wars have been fought and are being fought to give us our freedom. Lives have been given for the freedom of the American citizen.But freedom cannot be found in the halls of the Supreme Court. Freedom cannot be found in the White House. The Department of the Interior cannot guarantee freedom. Freedom comes from only one source. Any other so called source of freedom is really one of our foes of freedom.John 8:31-32
Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.1. John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, the life." The Truth makes one free. A person that is in bondage or a slave to sin can become free only when he knows and follows the truth.2. Truth is the deliverance from sin, the atonement for sin. The truth about drugs will make one free if he will accept the truth. The truth about alcohol will make one free if he will accept the truth. The truth will make one free from sin.3. Too many people are satisfied with only half the truth, but where do you stand if the half you get is the wrong half?
- Emancipation Misunderstood.Secular society today thinks freedom authorizes anything. But freedom bears with it responsibility.1. Freedom does not grant total release of morals and sanity.2. Freedom has guidelines. A running back in football who breaks free at the line of scrimmage must still run within the boundaries on the field, or that freedom ceases to function as freedom...he is out of bounds and can't continue.
- Emancipation Misused.1. The liberal element has destroyed the true meaning of freedom. Three or four decades ago we saw the many rise and cry, "Freedom, freedom, we want freedom." In the 20's and 30's the cry was, "Bring on the Booze." In the 40's and 50's (the rise of the great labor unions) the cry was, "Blast the Boss." In the 60's and 70's and 80's it changed to "Butcher the Babies." In the 90's and 00's we hear the cry, "Bury the Bible."2. The purpose of the liberals is to try to "Blot out the Babe of Bethlehem." He is the only real source of freedom and cries for this kind of freedom is really one of our foes of freedom.3. The problem with this group is they need to be "Bathed in the Blood of the Lamb." This group of Anti-Americans is not wanting freedom or seeking real freedom. They are not wanting freedom from bondage or slavery...they want approval of sin. But freedom from any other source than Jesus brings bondage and slavery, and that is an enemy. Anything that takes prisoners or causes bondage must be an enemy of that society, a foe of freedom...real freedom anyway.
Our nation is an excitement oriented society and with each generation the level of excitement intensifies. When I was growing up, teens were satisfied to get together at a friend’s house and play "Monopoly" or "Checkers" or have a backyard basketball game. Very few had cars and very few had money. We walked or rode our bicycle.
Then came the television and folks would sit around every evening and watch such mind tingling shows as "Our Miss Brooks" and "Father Knows Best." Then of course that great educational telecast of "Mickey Mouse" came along. But the next generation brought the need for more excitement and then more and more and more.
III. Exaggeration is one of our Foes of Freedom
- Excitement is an outward extension of the flesh.A person that is under the control of his body, his flesh or self, seeks excitement. Excitement comes from the world. The Spirit controlled person has joy. Excitement brings on habits and slavery to them. Excitement intensifies and never satisfies. Joy deepens and brings peace. Excitement, when finished, brings boredom. Joy brings contentment. Excitement is a never ending process. Joy is complete within itself.
- Excitement addiction reveals a person.A person that has to have excitement constantly is either a saved person controlled by the flesh or unsaved. Excitement is an over-expressed desire and one of the foes of freedom.1. Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart." If you will stop your excitement quest long enough and turn to the Lord, He will fulfill your longing and your emptiness.2. Psalm 107:9, "For He satisfieth the longing soul." That void in your life can be met. You don't need all the excitement from the world because Jesus will satisfy.
Everything we do today is in exaggeration. We exaggerate just about everything. You hear about the mother speaking to her son one day when he just told her some exaggerated story, "Billy, I've told you ten million times not to exaggerate.
IV. Experimentation is one of our Foes of Freedom
- We Exaggerate the Physical.The physical will be destroyed one day. But that doesn't keep them from building more and more physical fitness centers. Nearly everyone belongs to a spa because we exaggerate the physical. I'm not against eating right and staying in shape but don't let it be your god.Paul instructed in 1 Tim. 4:7-8, "For bodily exercise profiteth little..." What Paul is saying is "Physical exercise only lasts for a little while but as he explains later "Godliness is profitable unto all things..." Rather exercise yourself spiritually unto godliness.America has exaggerated the physical so much until nearly every human is in love with themselves. Many spend more time to and from the spa (and to and from the mirror) than all spiritual involvement combined. No wonder America is in trouble. The body is corruptible and will return to dust. The Spirit lasts forever. Why not exercise the eternal more than the physical?
- We Exaggerate Pleasure.You know what the general conversation is now? "What are we going to do for kicks?" "There's nothing to do around here anymore." It has been exaggerated so much until this generation has very little incentive to work. That's one of our foes of freedom.The digital age has all but consumed the total time of the American youth. More money is spent by our teens on video games and computers than on evangelism and missions. And that's exaggeration. 1 Cor. 6:12, "All things are lawful unto me...but I will not be brought under the power of any."
- We Exaggerate Peace.The American public has forgotten there is no peace without sacrifice or war. I'm not a war-monger. I would rather our boys and girls come home and not put their lives in danger. But peace brings with it a price. And the best way to maintain peace is with a strong defense system. A little guy is not going to pick a fight with a giant of a man. No, he will try to talk peace and settle without conflict. America has allowed our greatest asset of peace to escape us. Our defense against attack of an aggressor will insure peace. Our talk not backed up with strength is viewed as weakness.
Everything evil or questionable today has posted beside it a test sample. I read about a "wet paint" sign one time right beside it was a small panel that read, "Use this as a test sample." In other words, if you have to touch the wet paint to prove it is wet paint do it here.
God says, "Thou shalt not." We say where is the test sample? Let's see if it is really like God said it is. The last several generations have challenged God. There was a time when if a generation stumped its toe the former generation could come in and pick up the casualties and salvage most of the remaining generation. But now the older generations are in as bad shape as the younger ones.
We have experimented with everything from abolishing marriage to legalizing murder and drugs immoral behavior. We have experimented with sin to the ultimate. That is one of our foes of freedom. There are some things that cannot be experimented with.
- We must accept Love without Experimentation.Love never needs testing. An experiment block or panel with love chokes the seed by which love grows. Love is not tested before marriage.
- We must accept the Bible without Experimentation.You can't take God's Word and experiment with it because experimentation with the Bible will cause doubt and criticism of the truth. Experimentation is for the satisfaction of the flesh. It eliminates faith. Cultists are the result of Bible experimentation. The American public says, "We believe the Bible but to be sure let's test it first. Then if it passes the test, we will accept it." God says accept it first. That's faith.
- We must accept the Savior without Experimentation.1. John 8:24 "...for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." You better not experiment with that.2. If you experiment with "ye shall die in your sins" you will wind up in hell.
The sad thing about this whole message is that there are some of our own fighting forces lined up with the enemy and are actually foes of freedom themselves. They are on the wrong side of the fence because they are more interested in fleshly emancipation, excitation, exaggeration, and experimentation than in real spiritual freedom.
We need to get on the right side and line up with Jesus. if you are saved but you have been way off somewhere out there not being used of God, then come home today.
If you are unsaved you need to come and repent and receive and believe Christ as your Savior today before it is too late. Come to Jesus.
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