Freedom is an indescribably precious gift. Our Father and Creator understood its value so clearly that He gave us the freedom to reject what He lovingly offers. Foolish actions and the rejection of Godly wisdom will always lead to the loss of freedom and the resulting bondage.
Freedom is so important that Jesus’ first public announcement included His mission to, “set the captives free.” He boldly proclaimed to all humanity, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” That statement followed His announcement, “I am the the way, THE TRUTH and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.” There is no other way and there never will be. Not Buddha, not Confucius, not Mohammad, not any religious affiliation – Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, whatever – there is no other way. Jesus only! He said, “When the Son makes you free, you are free indeed!”
The U.S. and most of the world will witness the death of freedom if God’s people do not wake up and stand up for the truth that sets us free and keeps us free. America’s founders were part of a supernatural miracle. What happened in 1776 must happen again for freedom’s sake. Consider what happened then, and must occur in our day, as the result of a spiritual awakening. A diverse group came together from multiple religious backgrounds. Some were even considered Deists. They prayed together and reasoned together and as iron sharpens iron, they birthed a miracle declaration and constitutional document.
Because I love God, my neighbors here and abroad, and my enemies, I have praying with many concerned Christians and seeking to call diverse groups together in the presence of the Lord. We must learn to reason together. This is what Jesus has challenged and commissioned us to do. We shouldn’t cut people off. We must reach out in love and truth. Believers must inspire national leadership to sit at the table of reason and diligently seek to find meaningful solutions to our ever-increasing serious problems.
I have been joining with strong Christian leaders on our knees before God in a desire for supernatural unity and wisdom that comes from God for the sake of everyone Jesus died to redeem and for freedom’s sake. Great progress is being made as we come together.
I consider Pope Francis’ invitation to evangelicals to meet and pray with him a few days ago a miraculous answer to prayer. I am appalled, even shocked, that a few people have been extremely critical of my visit and a few others have simply questioned why I would meet with Pope Francis. Because he invited us to meet and pray, seeking to know God’s will, to learn together and see Jesus’ prayer in John 17 answered in our day. All of us, including Pope Francis, clearly understood the first part of that prayer is that we know God and become one with the Father as Jesus is. That is redemption – salvation – the spiritual new birth, not a religious affiliation. It’s not being a Catholic or Protestant or some other named religion under Heaven by which no one can be saved. That’s why Pope Francis gave the first Papal “high five” in history. It was the result of a discussion that we had together concerning salvation and the fact that everyone must be born again and experience a personal relationship with Jesus. We must all heed God’s Word! Pope Francis is challenging all within the Catholic Church to know Christ personally and get in God’s Word for themselves and learn from the Word.
In our gathering, we asked God to show us the supernatural unity that Jesus prayed for so we would become one in the purist sense of the Word. In 1999, Catholics and Lutherans signed a document “The Catholic-Lutheran Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification,” AFFIRMING TOGETHER THAT it is salvation – by grace through faith. It is not works, it is not religion, IT IS A RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST. In my opinion, that is very positive progress. Between 1962 and 1965, the leaders of the Catholic Church met in Council. Of the many instructions to come from that historic meeting was a return to the use of the native language for the Mass or Liturgy. Of course, that means the readings from the Bible and the sermon as well. They wanted the faithful to hear clearly God’s Word. Don’t all of us need to experience positive progress and necessary change? Is Almighty God not able to convict and change all of us and do it “exceedingly abundantly and beyond all that we ever asked or hoped for”? I say: YES, HE CAN! I want Him to accomplish His perfect will, beginning in me.
Please fellow believers – Christ followers – cut me a little slack as I pursue the heart, mind and will of God for His Kingdom purpose. I will never knowingly compromise God’s Word. I just believe there is “nothing impossible with God.” I also firmly believe if we love others, we must seek common ground to address our common concerns. I disagree with Catholics in many ways and I am certainly not converting to Catholicism. No one asked me to!
How do you see Pope Francis? Do you see him as a brother? We are told to “love the brethren.” Do you see him as a neighbor? We are told by the Lord Jesus Himself to love our neighbors. Do you see him as an enemy? Once again, Jesus said, “Love your enemies.” I have obeyed God. I love Pope Francis. I pray for him and prayed with him, and I will continue to love others, even if I disagree, as I certainly do with many of the Catholic beliefs. I am going to reach out because I want everyone to know Jesus personally. And I’m going to love those who criticize me or misunderstand.
Just this week God answered the prayers of many – including Protestants, Catholics, Baptists, Pentecostals and Charismatics – when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties and the families of the owners. It was an answer to prayer on the part of all concerned believers and it is not insignificant that the five votes for the Green and Hahn families came from five devoted Catholics. Where were the evangelical Protestants? There is not even one on the Supreme Court. One must wonder, is it possible that evangelical Protestants spend too much time defending and discussing God’s Word rather than demonstrating its power and the power of love? That is a question worth considering.
Let me close with these words: we will either come together in humility and brokenness before the Lord and commit to live for His kingdom purpose, or we will witness the death of freedom in America as we have known it and it will happen very soon. It will be a horrible, hellish, painful destruction. Some may say we deserve it. Perhaps so, but as surely as Jesus compassionately extended the marvelous invitation to Jerusalem in the face of destruction, He mercifully extends it to us in our day. The invitation to come to the shelter and shadow of the Almighty like chicks to the wings of the hen still stands. I ran there years ago and seek to live there while reaching out to all who have ears to hear and hearts to heed. I will not stop – so help me God. Dear Jesus, please set the captives free. You can rest assured; He is ready, able, and anxious to do so. I pray freedom won’t die on our watch.