Friday, August 2, 2019

The World Will Not Forget

     A year and a half after the first shots were fired on Fort Sumter, the prospect of the Union defeating the South looked grim.  It was during this time of uncertainty that Abraham Lincoln made his annual address to Congress on why freedom for the slaves must be central to the War.  In one month Lincoln planned to sign his Emancipation Proclamation. He knew it was an extremely controversial idea, not only in the South, but among his own Administration.  Lincoln knew what needed to be done, and he exhorted the North to stand united behind this history altering decision.  He believed the existence of the Nation hung in the balance.  With these words he earnestly plead, "The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate for the stormy present.  As our case is new, we must think anew, and act anew.  We must dis-enthrall ourselves, and then we will save our country... Fellow citizens we cannot escape history... We will be remembered in-spite of ourselves... We say we are for union.  The world will not forget we say this... In giving freedom to the slave, we give freedom to the free... The way is plain, peaceful and generous, a way which if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless."
     Lincoln's words did not fall on deaf ears.  The Proclamation was signed.  The slaves in the Rebel states rejoiced, and thousands joined the fight.  Over 170,000 free slaves enlisted in the Union army, therefore insuring victory.  The back of slavery was broken, the war was won, and the world did not forget.
     This same plea is just as relevant for today as it was back then, but to a different audience.  My Fellow Christians, we cannot escape history.  We will be remembered not so much for our words, but for our deeds.  We say we are for Christ.  We say He is the only Way.  We say Christ lives within us.  The World will not forget we say this.  The Bible echoes the same cry of Lincoln,  "Little children, let us not love with word or tongue alone, but in deed and in truth." 1 John 3:18
     In speaking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those enslaved by sin, all men and women can find freedom.  An even more powerful testimony is this.  If we live out the Words of Christ before the world, they will not forget His words.   "If  the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed." John 8:36

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