For many years the license plates of New Hampshire, bore the slogan, made famous by Revolutionary War general John Stark – live free or die. The irony is that those great words were printed onto the license plates by inmates in the state prison. They could not leave their prison, but many of us stay in our prisons when we have the power to leave. We want to live free, but we do not want to do what the gospel says we need to do to be truly free.

-Michael Shannon, Preaching March/April 2004

 


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There is story told out of Persia about a General who had the strange custom of giving condemned criminals a choice between the firing squad and the big, black door. As the moment of execution draws near, the spies are brought to the Persian General, who asks the question, “What will it be: the firing squad or the big, black door?” One spy, faced with this dilemma, hesitated for a long time. It was a difficult decision. He chose the firing squad. Moments later shots rang out confirming his execution. The General turned to his aide and said, “They always prefer the known way to the unknown. It is characteristic of people to be afraid of the undefined. Yet, we give them a choice.” The aide said, “What lies beyond the big door?” “Freedom,” replied the general, “I’ve known only a few brave enough to take it.”

I want you to know that on the other side of that door we call Christ there is freedom. The freedom and forgiveness from your sins awaits. Be brave enough to take it! (Brett Blair, www.eSermons.com, May 2004)


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For
many years the license plates of New Hampshire, bore the slogan, made famous
by Revolutionary War general John Stark – “live free or die”. The
irony is that those great words were printed onto the license plates by inmates
in the state prison. They could not leave their prison, but many of us stay
in our prisons when we have the power to leave. We want to live free, but we
do not want to do what the gospel says we need to do to be truly free.

 

_______________
J.
Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati,
OH.


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In 1776 Thomas Paine, American Revolution patriot and writer, wrote about the price of freedom:

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; ’tis dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as Freedom should not be highly rated.


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“Americans are a free people, who know that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation. The liberty we prize is not America’s gift to the world; it is God’s gift to humanity.”

(President George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, 1/28/03)

A complete text of the speech is available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/onpolitics/transcripts/bushtext_012803.html


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This is the actual text of a court order in a Kentucky county in 1858.
“MANU-MISSION: It is ordered that Sam, a man of color, who was manumitted
under the will of Joshua Childers, dec’d, be summoned to court to say whether
or not he accepts his freedom.” Isn’t that remarkable. We can hardly
imagine that Sam did not accept his freedom. But then thousands upon thousands
have been offered a larger freedom, freedom from guilt and sin, and they have
not accepted it.


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