July 4th, also known as Independence Day or The Fourth of July, since 1941 has been a federal holiday in the United States, but the tradition of Fourth of July celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 4th, 1776, two days after the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. Since 1776, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with celebrations ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more relaxed family gatherings and barbecues. The Fourth of July 2021 is this Sunday, and we here at Turning Point will be celebrating with a cookout, games and our own fireworks display. We are proud to be Americans.
I would also like to take this time to remind us that we are also citizens of another kingdom with our own “Declaration of Independence.” Peter speaks of this to the 120 just hours before the outpouring of the Holy Ghost. “Of the men therefore, that have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and went out among us, beginning from the baptism of John, unto the day that he was received up from us, of these must one become a witness with us of his resurrection.” (Act 1:21-22) Peter is referring to an event John Mark records like this:
“And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”(Mar 1:9-11)
In declaring that Jesus was the Son of God, the God who spoke in an audible voice to John the Baptist in a vision, declared Independence for all mankind. On October 19, 1781, the American people won their war for Independence. When Christ was resurrected and ascended to the heights of Heaven, the supernatural war was won. 10 days later, on the “Day of Pentecost”, a new people were birthed, and a new nation was born. A new “Day.” The “Day” that the LORD has made. We will be glad and rejoice in it!
Pastor Alton Thornhill