This past Thursday our nation celebrated 4th of July as all patriots say “Happy Birthday, America!” But what do we actually celebrate on July 4th? Below are some interesting facts and myths about July 4th…
- The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. FALSE! Although most Americans would say we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, it was ratified by congress on July 4, 1776 but not signed until August 2, 1776.
- Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. FALSE! Although Thomas Jefferson had huge influence on the final draft, he did not write it. There was a “Committee of Five” made up of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, and Benjamin Franklin.
- George Washington signed the Declaration of Independence. FALSE! George Washington did not sign the Declaration of Independence, but was leading the army in New York at the time. John Hancock was president of congress and was the first signer. This is why his name is large and in the center.
- They rang the Liberty Bell on that day. FALSE! It was rung when the Declaration of Independence was read in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776.
- Two signers (actually authors) of the Declaration of Independence became president. This is TRUE! Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. Interesting note: In a twist of fate they both died on the same day, July 4, 1826, which was the 50th Anniversary of our nation.
America’s Foundation: But our nation is built on a stronger foundation than brilliant men writing great documents and designing a unique form of government. America’s Foundation is a deep faith in God (by many), and acknowledgement of Biblical morality (by most).
Listen to the testimony of the Fathers of our Nation…
John Hancock, signer: “We recognize no sovereign but God, and no king but Jesus!”
Patrick Henry, signer: “It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Patrick Henry is the one who famously declared, “Give me liberty or give me death!”
George Washington: “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without the Bible.”
Sam Adams, signer: “that holy and happy period when the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and all people everywhere willingly bow to the scepter of Him who is Prince of Peace.” He added, “I … [rely] upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins.”
Roger Sherman, co-author & signer: “I believe that there is one only living and true God, existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost…That the scriptures of the old and new testaments are a revelation from God, and a complete rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.”
Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence and ratifier of the U.S. Constitution: “The gospel of Jesus Christ prescribes the wisest rules for just conduct in every situation of life.”
John Adams: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Most of these guys are in this famous picture “Declaration of Independence” painted by John Trumbull in 1818!
Alexis de Tocqueville was sent by the French government in 1831 to study America. He concluded, “America is great because America is good. If American ever ceases to be good she will cease to be great.”
WHY CHRISTIANS SHOULD CELEBRATE: Christians should celebrate the 4th of July as a reminder of the grace of God on our nation, and our dependence on Him as our Founder and Sustainer!
Proverbs 14:34 (NIV84) Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
2 Corinthians 3:17b (NKJV) “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
What about you? Are you free and dependent? True Freedom MAKES YOU:
— Free from the penalty of sin.
— Free from the fear of death.
— Free from the power of sin.
— Free to love and serve the Living God.
— Dependent on the Lord for everything!
Acts 17:28a (NIV) “For in him we live and move and have our being.”
Romans 8:2 (NKJV) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Galatians 5:1 (NKJV) Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
Psalm 119:45 (NLT) I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.
James 4:10 (NLT) “When you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on him, he will lift you up and give you honor.”
Hebrews 12:2a (NLT) “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish… “
What if on this day we made a Declaration of Dependence? Fully dependent on our God and Savior!
As the words of America the Beautiful declare, “America, America! God shed His grace on thee.”
Onward gratefully free,