Updated for Volume 16
On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress agreed upon the content of the Declaration of Independence. Two days later, on July 4, the document was signed. We do not know exactly what was said and done the day the Declaration was signed. What we do know, however, is that only John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, and Charles Thomson, Secretary of the Congress, signed the Declaration on July 4th. Most delegates signed the Declaration on August 2, and one didn’t sign it until 1781. Nevertheless, we know that the delegates knew they were taking a major step. Mary Katherine Goddard, the publisher of the Maryland Journal, made the first printed copy of the Declaration of Independence with the names of all the signers and distributed the document across the colonies. Having declared their freedom, the American patriots had to win it in battle. By signing the Declaration of Independence, the delegates were putting their lives on the line. If they were to lose the war for independence, then the British government would execute them in a very painful and nasty way. Thus, although we do not know if Benjamin Franklin actually said, “we must all hang together, or … we shall all hang separately,” it is likely that that idea was in the minds of the delegates that day in July.
More often than not, the enemy seeks to divide and conquer. Witness the current political climate in our country. We are being divided because of perceived differences between gender, ethnicity, belief, politics, and even church. As long as we allow Satan and the World to tell us what we think and what we believe, we will be divided and conquered.
I had a conversation with a Filipino and a Korean guy today and they asked me if I was a Christian. When I said yes, they asked me what church. I told them that I am a follower of Christ, therefore Christian by conviction, Pentecostal by choice of Worship. I told them what apparently I posted on Facebook three years ago as you will see below. We get so hung up in man-made doctrines that we forget this:
Ephesians 4:4-7 (ESV) There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
Before you set out to argue about scripture and what they mean or defend the doctrines of your church please endeavor to remember that if we believe that Christ died for us and have repented (turned away from our sin and toward Christ) then YOU ARE THE CHURCH. The body of Christ is believers like you and me. Not a Building, not an organization but you and me. We are the church. Satan shakes at that knowledge and we should rejoice together. And when we are divided, Satan laughs because he has won.
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