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One of America's founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, reportedly was asked concerning the establishment of a constitutional government, as to whether the United States would be a monarchy or republic. He answered, "A republic, if you can keep it." It was a word of promise, but also ominous warning. As we come to the celebration of the birthday of America, I have mixed emotions.

On the one hand, there is a bit more optimism than I have felt in some time. We had gone so far from being a constitutional republic that it seemed all hope of recovery was lost. Yet, God in His providence has given us enough Justices on the Supreme Court to turn us back toward the type of government that America was designed to be. The erosion of rights such as religious liberty, freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, and the right to life, has halted for now. In this we rejoice!

Yet, there is so much more to be done. This may only be applying the brakes from a downward descent to judgment, before once again speeding toward the catastrophic crash of civil society. There is still much wrong in the land.

I have ministered to many terminal church members. It seems most rally one final time--they become more alert, breathing becomes more regular, there may be a resurgence of appetite and physical strength. Then, in a matter of days, even hours, their decline returns and rapidly moves to their demise. Is that what America is now experiencing?

Our hope is not in elections, legislation, even judicial decisions. Our hope is in God. As the late President Ronald Reagan famously said,"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." Pray for spiritual awakening. May God do a work in our churches that will affect the spiritual and moral climate of our country and send the Gospel to the ends of the earth! It is time for a declaration of dependence--dependence on Almighty God!

Yours in Freedom,

Dennis Thurman, AMS

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