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Sermon Notes

“They Gave it All”
Memorial Day

1 Kings 4:25 “During the lifetime of Solomon, all of Judah and Israel lived in peace and safety.”

Now, we know that Solomon ruled Israel in peace and safety because his father, David, had fought the wars necessary to bring such peace!

When King David had wanted to build a Temple unto the Lord, God said to him:

1 Chr. 28:3 “You must not build a Temple to honor my name, for you are a warrior and have shed much blood.’”

But to what end had David been a warrior?—So that all of Israel and Judah could live in peace and safety!

Today is Memorial Day.

Many Americans see it as just a day off—a 3 day weekend—and never stop to think of what it’s really about!

But for those who have lost someone to war, it means much more than a day off.

Just as David fought great battles to bring peace and safety to Israel, brave men and women throughout our history have paid the ultimate price so that we can be free!

• Because so many have died for this country, we have the right to preach God’s word freely.

• We have the right to live in peace in our own homes.

• We have the right to pursue peace, prosperity and happiness.
• We are free to attend church
• We are free to choose what we want to be when we grow up
• We are free to choose where we want to live
• We are free to choose most of the things that affect our daily lives.

Think about it!

• Every night we Americans go to bed in the safety of our own home while terrible wars rage on foreign soil.

—Our cars will not be blown up tonight,
—we’re not going to face bombers on the way to work,
—no missiles flying overhead,
—no soldiers marching down our streets

—When you tuck your kids in at night, you can thank a soldier that they can sleep all night in peace.

—When you relax in the comfort of your living room you can thank a soldier you don’t have to worry about a hostile government seizing your home.

When we look back in history on just three wars that were fought to obtain and sustain our freedom, we see the huge price that was paid:

In the Revolutionary War (1775-1783) that we fought for our independence from England—50,000 soldiers died.

Their average age was 17—They made $6.25 per month.

Of the 50,000 that died in that war, around 16,000 of them died of starvation or disease, the rest in battle.

Because of their sacrifice we were freed to become our own nation.

The war to end all wars, World War I, was initially fought to defend our freedom on the oceans (1914-1918).

—9.7 million military personnel died.

The average age of a WWI soldier was 18-22.

They never got to live their dream, raise a family, watch their kids graduate and get married, or bounce grandchildren on their knee.

Because they gave it all, America remained free.

In World War II (1941-1945)—1,076,000 soldiers died to defend our freedom from Nazism.

The average age of a WWII soldier was anywhere from 17 to 25.

Many of those in their 20’s had a wife and at least one child hoping for their return, only to wait in vain.

But because they gave it all, Hitler’s evil plan to conquer the world was stopped in its tracks.

So in all, roughly 11 million Americans died in three wars—wars that were specifically fought to keep us free.

Some of the epitaphs on their tombstones are very moving.

One reads:

*Gone So Soon
*Faithful Unto Death
*Gone But Not Forgotten
*At Rest—Asleep in Jesus
*Life’s Work Well Done, She Rests in Peace
*I was…somebody

They fought together as brothers-in-arms.

They died together, and now they sleep side by side.

We owe them the solemn obligation of sustaining the freedom they gave everything for!

President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Those who long enjoy such privileges that we enjoy forget in time that others have died to win them.”

So true!

So on this Memorial Day weekend, let me mention a few facts about freedom.


I. Freedom is never really free

Freedom is almost always bought with the blood of patriots.

But why is this such a fact of life?

Because the Bible reveals that we live in a fallen world filled with evil and darkness.

The Apostle John wrote that, “the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19 NIV).

Paul the Apostle made it plain that a constant, pervasive, and intense spiritual battle is being waged 24/7 in the spiritual dimension of life:

“For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies—the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world” (Eph. 6:12 LB).

This is why most people in history have lived under the misery of tyranny, dictators, and evil despots.

They have not enjoyed freedom like ours!

Wicked men with wicked hearts ruling wicked governments have kept their citizens in bondage—hungry, deprived, living out lives of quiet desperation!

We look today at places like North Korea where Christians are routinely arrested and killed for reading a Bible…

Or Venezuela, where socialism has destroyed their nation and the citizenry are eating out of trash cans to stay alive.

Or communist China, where churches are routinely shuttered and burned to the ground, and christians are increasingly arrested, imprisoned, and killed.

These kinds of conditions have been the standard experience of human beings throughout most of history!

So because of evil in the world, and the godless hearts of those that rule the nations, freedom must be fought for!

SECOND fact:

II. Freedom comes only through strength

Study your history and you will find that the only way freedom has ever been attained is by fighting to get it and then fighting to keep it!

Our woke, anti-military society doesn’t like to admit this.

There are many people enjoying the freedoms of America who criticize making our military strong.

But those same critics don’t understand that God has delegated His authority to civil authorities, like the police, government, and the military, to protect and keep us free.

Listen to Romans 13:

“Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority—(police, the military, the government)—have been placed there by God…4 The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good.” (vs 1-4 NLT).

So when law enforcement arrests lawbreakers they are restraining evil from running unchecked.

When the military attack an aggressive enemy to defend the country, they are restraining evil from destroying the nation.

The fact is—if we were to totally disarm our military today, destroy all of our weapons, and outlaw self-defense, it would not take 24 hours for a foreign nation to invade our country and bring us under their control!

So because of the reality of evil, a nation will only experience FREEDOM thru STRENGTH.

And once you are free, that same freedom must be defended from those that want to take it away.

And this is why the blood of the patriots we honor today was shed!

And THIRD, not only is our national freedom sustained by strength and was achieved by the Blood of patriots…

Our spiritual freedom was won by someone else’s blood!

III. The shed blood of Christ!

Jesus was a soldier of a different kind.

He came to earth to set us free within, and He did it by fighting a spiritual battle with Satan that took Him all the way to His death on the Cross!

Listen to how the Bible describes the war He fought:

“He (Jesus) defeated the rulers and powers of the spiritual world. With the cross he won the victory over them and led them away, as defeated and powerless prisoners for the whole world to see” (Col 2:15 ERV).

Thank God, Jesus fought and won the greatest battle of all!

The battle with Satan to secure our freedom from sin, death, hell, and the grave!

Yes folks, we meet today in national freedom because of the shed blood of patriots.

And we meet in spiritual freedom from sin and hell because of the shed blood of Jesus!

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