“Sirs, what must I do to be saved? So they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” –  Acts 16:30-31

July 4th is solidified as America’s Independence Day. But what really happened on that first July 4th? President John Adams wanted July 2 to be celebrated as Independence Day. Thomas Jefferson held out for July 4th!

On July 2, 1776 the Continental Congress as a whole body first considered the draft of the Declaration of Independence, written by Jefferson in June. But not till July 4th did they finally approve of its perfected wording. Then, they did not sign this completed Declaration until August 2. It did not arrive into the King of England’s hands until November, 1776, the person to whom they were declaring their independence as a new nation.

Thomas Jefferson’s desires for July 4th won out over John Adams’ wishes; so, July 4th has been celebrated ever since. Only one day could be celebrated as our birthday, so July 4, 1776, it is. Coincidentally, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4th, 1826, within two hours of one another.

Little things set dates that become locked in concrete over time. Once established it becomes difficult to change. Cancel culture tries, but meets stiff resistance. It is doubtful 1619 will ever be celebrated with fireworks, picnics, and parades.

But in the ultimate scenario does July 4th matter much? Does your own birthday? Does your wedding anniversary? Or even the date of your death? What date really matters?

Only one matters much in the date book of God as far as you are concerned: the instance of your regeneration! Your date of being born again. The day your name is inscribed in the Lamb’s Book of Life forever. Once written there it will never be erased.

Many do not know the moment, the day of their regeneration. The famous Scottish theologian/preacher Thomas Chalmers, the subject of my Masters’ Thesis, did not know the moment of his regeneration. He knew the five year period in which it happened. Five years of very serious illness in which he almost died several times. By his own testimony he knew that within that period of time the Spirit of God performed it. But he does not know the exact date.

I do not know the moment or date of my own. I do know at the age of four I asked my mother about my eternal destination after my preacher father delivered a sermon on hell. She led me in the prayer of salvation. But the Spirit could well have regenerated me before that or after. It is just that I do not know a conscious day I did not consider Jesus as my Savior. Such is true of many believers.

What is vitally important is that you have assurance that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 21:27). There are many verses and passages in Scripture which address your assurance of your name being there, but these might suffice:

“Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

“Truly, truly I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24)

“And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may KNOW that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:11-13)

You can know that your name is there! This is the only critical truth which matters to you in this life. July 4th? It matters not. Your regeneration by the Spirit of God? This matters!

Encouragement

“Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on thee; leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me! All my trust on thee is stayed, all my help I bring from thee; cover my defenseless head with the shadow of thy wing.”

(2nd verse of Charles Wesley’s hymn, “Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” 1740)

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