In America, we revere the Gettysburg Address of Abraham Lincoln as one of the greatest short speeches ever delivered in this land. In only 278 words, Lincoln captured the purpose of the life, or so it seems to us today. He concluded with...
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
But I submit to the Round Table that the true birth of freedom did not occur on that Pennsylvania battlefield, but on a hill far away, 18 centuries before. The apostle Paul gave an even greater speech on that freedom, and he required only 266 words.
"Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'
"Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man's design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead." - Acts 17:22-31
Even from the earliest days of Christian ministry, the preaching of the resurrection of Christ was offered as proof of God's justice and coming judgment. Many heard and believed, many more scoffed and turned away. And it has been so since man first walked as a creation of God. For..."There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." Proverbs 14:12, 16:25
Millions of men of Athens have gone down to their death since that day on the Hill of Calvary, including all who fought in that battle near Gettysburg. Some now reside in eternal life with Christ, because they heard the message of Christ and believed. How blessed are those who believed, and shared the Good News of Christ!
Sir Chuck of the One True Battle