Lest We Forget

Psalm 144; Text verse 15

It is our aim in this message to  point out the godly influences, which have contributed to America's greatness and to inspire ourselves to pass on those contributions to succeeding generations

     In our pledge of allegiance we say, "one nation under God." On our coins are the words, "In God We Trust". A legal oath in court is phrased, "So help me God." Every president and governor in our history has been inaugurated with the Bible and prayer. Every session of our National Congress and State Assemblies are opened in prayer. Every branch of service has it chaplains. When our astronauts went to the moon they placed on its surface along with our Nation's Flag a copy of the Bible on Microfilm

     What is the cause of these influences in our national life which pay homage to God?


A. The Spanish came for greed but did not retain this land.

     The first foreign power to send forth armies and settlers were the Spanish. They intended to extract from this land its wealth for their own national purposes. We believe God prevented this nation from being a colony of Spain.

     A refugee from a Latin American dictatorship who came to this country said, "I had to know what made the United States different. Why did part of the new world become the wealthiest, most powerful, most advanced nation on earth while the rest remained backward, poverty-stricken and unstable? I bought books on United States History and I read and read. After a while I saw the difference. Latin America was developed by lust for gold; men came and took and gave back nothing. The United States was developed by men who wanted to serve God. They brought families and built on the Bible. So I got a Bible and read that. I came to know Christ through it. Now I understand why North America developed so differently."

B. The French came for gain but did not retain it.

   The French came for territorial expansion. They one time exercised authority over a large portion of this country, but lost that control. Many other nations tried to forge colonies in this country but none were able to retain their holdings.

C. The Pilgrims came for freedom of religion and missionary outreach and possessed the land.

     They had spoken out against the feudal system and the State Church. They fled first to Holland, but because they rejected the consequences of intermarriage with people of contrary religious conviction they left there and came to America.

     They anchored near Plymouth Rock in December of 1621. Those who survived the voyage were sick and weak. They rowed toward shore but were overturned. It was Saturday evening. They walked up and down in wet clothes and through the cold Saturday night. They could freeze and die, but they could not violate their convictions about the Lord's Day and build a fire.

     They penned the Mayflower Compact, "In the name of God, Amen, and having undertaken in the glory of God, in the advancement of the Christian faith…do solemnly and mutually in the presence of God covenant and combine ourselves together…"

     Others joined them who fled Catholic and reformed persecution in Ireland and Europe.

D. Freedom of religion was first guaranteed in this land.

     In 1636 Roger Williams founded the First Baptist Church of Providence, Rhode Island. He penned the first charter guaranteeing absolute religious liberty and civil democracy. In 1643 the Constitution of the New England Confederation did likewise.

E. The Declaration of Independence was based on Bible principles.

     It contains four references to God:

    • "…the laws of nature and of nature's God…",
    • "…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…",
    • "…appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the rectitude of our intentions…",
    • "… with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence…"

     John Adams, a member of the committee appointed to draft the American "Declaration", and Benjamin Franklin were the only two individuals who suggested the terminology to be used. Adams recalled in a letter to Jefferson in 1813 that they had based their immortal document to a great extent on the tenets laid down in the bible. He wrote, "The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity."

     In 1681, William Penn said, "If you are not governed by God, you will be ruled by tyrants."

F.  Our national Constitution was based on Bible principles and drafted in prayer in 1787.
     Fifty-five men labored five months on the Constitution without reaching agreement. Benjamin Franklin arose and made a motion for prayer: "I have live, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth…that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?" From the day they began their sessions with prayer they moved steadily forward in writing the greatest constitution in the history of humanity.

     Daniel Webster said in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1820; "…more than all, a government and a country were to commence with the very first foundations laid under the divine light of the Christian religion…who could wish that his country's existence had otherwise begun? Let us not forget the religious character of our origin."

     Other statements by our founding fathers abound which describe their reliance on Biblical principles to draw up the organization and philosophy of our nation.


Our Religious Heritage
     Some of the most respected men in all of Christian history have been Americans. Pastors, evangelists, circuit riders and missionaries, have stamped the life of America with the message of Christ. Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, George Whitefield, David Brainerd, William Carey, Peter Cartwright, Adoniram Judson, Charles G. Finney, D.L. Moody, R.A. Torrey, J. Wilbur Chapman, Gypsy Smith, Billy Sunday and thousands of other servants of God have filled our years of history with powerful Christian influence.

Our Education Heritage.
     With strong authoritarian approach to education, this nation became the most advanced nation on earth. With textbook, Bible and hickory stick, a nation was educated which became the envy of the world.

Our Industrial Heritage.
     Along with other nations, this country was guilty of many abuses regarding the working man and child labor. There is no country, however, which has done more through its laws to grant protection and authority to the laborer for a just wage and decent working conditions. Indeed for a time, organized labor was the most powerful force in American life. At the same time industry in America has become the unrivaled giant of the world. Over half the wealth of the world lies within the borders of the United States.

Our Political Heritage.
     America enjoys the right to elect whatever representatives they desire to city, county, state, and national positions. These representatives write all laws. It is still possible for bad laws and abuses to be corrected by electing representatives who will do so.


Consider some blessings the United States has enjoyed:

    • Every other great nation has had at least one change of government by revolution. The U.S.A has never had a revolution that changed the form of government.
    • We are the only great nation that has never been humiliated by signing a document of surrender
    • We are the most scientifically advanced nation on earth.
    • We are the only great nation that has never given up territory unwillingly.
    • We have more material blessings than all the rest of the world put together.
    • We have more professing Christians than any nation on earth and more churches with an orthodox Bible position.
    • We have sent more missionaries out with the gospel than all other nations combined.
    • Godly forefathers have passed on all the above blessings and more, to us. They possessed sufficient conviction, fortitude and effort to pass them on. May we be persuaded to preserve them for the next generation.


     Satanically inspired forces would erode the foundation of our freedom and destroy the influence of Christianity within this nation and around the world.

Assaults On Our Foundations

Military Assaults

  • By the British in the War of 1812. Our National Anthem was written after the battle of Fort McHenry.
  • By Mexico in 1846-47.
  • By Civil War: The North won because God wanted one nation and not two. The Confederates had two chances to win the Battle of Gettysburg (on the first and the third days).
  • By Spain in the Spanish-American War 1898.
  • By Germany and her confederates in World War I.
  • By Germany and Japan in World War II,
  • By Communism in Korea, Indo-China, Cuba and Russia.

Moral Assaults    
     There is constant effort to change our country from the land of the free and the home of the brave to the home of the spree and the land of the rave. God's people must be vigilant! Drugs, drunkenness, obscenity, humanism, abortion, and etc. abound.

Political Assaults
     We are barraged in all branches of government with bills to separate our nation from God; stifle individual freedoms; take away the rights of private ownership; make Biblical practices illegal (discipline of children and the husband/father being the authority in the home); transform our government from a Republic to a Socialist state and relinquish our freedom to an internationalist governmental system.

Theological Assaults
Every heresy imaginable under the name of Christianity
     An invasion of oriental religions and cults
     An apostasy in once orthodox Christian groups

Financial Assaults.
There are many influences that threaten to destroy our money system:
     Deficit spending by government; (pressure groups lobby to get our legislators to subsidize everything.)
     Being the Free world's "policeman" takes its toll.
     Giving foreign aid may have some noble goals, but it is rarely used for noble purposes and has produced disastrous results.
     Everybody wanting more money produces an inflationary spiral that constantly drives costs up
     Big business being more concerned about profit than the national welfare

The goals for which we must fight

     At Dover, England, three lights are used to guide ships past the rocks. The pilot maneuvers the ship so that the three lights appear as one. We need to guide our ship of state so that the home, the church, and the government are lined up together. Amos 3:3

      When the Declaration of Independence had been drafted many of the representatives were afraid to sign it because they knew that it could be their death warrant. John Witherspoon made a challenging speech that so motivated John Hancock that he could hardly wait to sign the document.

     John Witherspoon was also a fundamentalist Presbyterian preacher. John Hancock went to hear him preach. His subject was John 10:9, "I am the door, by me if any man enter in he shall be saved…" On the way home he spoke with friends saying, "I've always enjoyed hearing John Witherspoon speak, but tonight he left me mystified. He said Jesus was a door, and that I don't understand." He arrived home in the dark, felt for the door handle several times before he located it, then opened the door and stepped inside. Still thinking of the preacher's message he said, "Now, I see." His family sitting around the open fire laughed and one remarked, "Sure you can see. You've been out in the dark. You just opened the door and came into the light. Of course, you can see." John Hancock said, "By faith I have also laid hold of another door that opened into light and life eternal." He had put his name on the Declaration of Independence, but the Lord had now entered his name in the Lamb's Book of Life.

Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scripture quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted