There have been many outstanding men in the short history of our nation. There have been pioneers, war heroes, doctors, preachers and men of various other vocations that have earned a prominent place in American history. Yet there are three (actually four) who are the greatest men in our history. How do I judge who these three greatest are? Simple. I consider these men the greatest because the result of their lives touches our lives everyday. There have been some great men other than these, but these three (four) touch your life everyday. Here they are:
2. George Washington – I count George Washington one of the greatest men in our history because he still affects our life today. How? Well, after the end of the American Revolution the form of government that the new nation would have was still undecided. There were many of America’s leaders who still favored a monarchy. They approached Washington and suggested that he become “King George I” of America. He immediately rebuked them and told them that this was the very thing that they had just fought a war to prevent. His opposition was insurmountable. Thus, a congress met, decided on a republic (not a democracy), a Constitution was written and Washington ended up being our first president. Eight years later when he left office and turned the presidency over to John Adams history was made. For the first time in the history of the world the leadership of a nation had changed peacefully, without a war or revolution.
Had George Washington elected to be king you would be governed today by a king (that’s what Clinton thinks anyway) rather than a president. George Washington touches your life everyday.
3. Abraham Lincoln – I know some “wannabe Rebel” will bristle at Lincoln’s mention but if you can shut up and grow up you’ll thank God for him. Lincoln’s contribution to your everyday life is the fact that our nation still exists. Yes, I’ve heard all the talk about “state’s rights” and I agree with them. But Lincoln recognized that the most important goal of the Civil War was not freeing slaves, defeating the South or inflating the power of the federal government. He knew that the war was designed to divide America and prevent it from becoming the great nation it is today.
If the “Ah just hates you Yankees!” crowd would get their heads out of the sand they would admit that they know that the prime mover behind the Civil War was the Roman Catholic Church. They would also admit that that organization saw the danger that a strong, united states would be to its goal of ruling the world. The goal of the Civil War was to split America and prevent it from ever becoming a world power. “States Rights” was just the excuse the Catholics used to fan the flames of rebellion in the 1860s just like “Civil Rights” was the excuse communists used in the 1960s. True “States Rights” wouldn’t have lasted five minutes after the ink was dry on the document officially splitting the Union.
Some thinking-challenged folks have argued that if the South had won there would then be two strong nations for God. Not so. What would really have happened is that the Union would have split again, then the Confederacy (Virginia was already talking about leaving the Confederacy.), and the western territories would never have bothered to join either. North America would be filled with powerless little fiefdoms and Rome would have had a free hand in the world.
Lincoln realized that the single most important outcome of the Civil War was to preserve the Union, for you. He did it. Rebels (not Southerners) hate him because it’s just fun to do. One-worlders hate him so much that they’ve transformed his victory into a fight against slavery. The Catholic Church hated him so much that all nine of those involved in his assassination and the one single man to escape justice ended up working at the Vatican guarding the pope! But regardless! You benefit everyday from what this man did for you.
4. Henry Ford – Yes, that’s right! I said, “Henry Ford.” (And that’s hard for a “Chevy Man”to say.) Why? Well, Henry Ford didn’t invent the automobile. He invented the affordable automobile! Unlike snobbish Europeans, Ford made the automobile available to people in any financial class. Thus Americans bought cars…and bought cars…and bought cars! Soon we developed our famous, national “love for the automobile.” This love led to an explosion of highways and turnpikes and; travel, freedom, and an INDEPENDENCE of spirit that characterizes us to this day around the world. If you “hop in the car” then Henry Ford has touched and helped to mold your life. Even if it’s a Chevy that you hop into!
These three men touch our lives everyday. No others in American history have effected all of us. But there is one other man Who has influenced this nation even beyond the noble ventures of these three. .
1. Jesus Christ – Unlike every other nation in history (except Israel) this nation was founded on the Bible. Jesus Christ was (is) God. He was (is) supreme. Yet, unlike earthly kings He was benevolent. He cared about children. He helped the infirm. He opened His arms to the down-trodden (Mat.11:28-30) The biblical influence and the example of Jesus Christ instilled into Americans that there was more than gain or wealth to be achieved in life. Thus American GI’s in the middle of war in Europe would stop and give candy bars to kids. Thus we have a national fixation with seeing the underdog prevail. Thus no other nation in history has given so much to others through either federal or private charity. The very concept of liberalism, though today choked to death by greed and communism, was fostered by Jesus’ example of helping others.
When “heroes” of this nation are discussed, Jesus Christ should be the first one mentioned. He should be exalted the highest. He should be thanked daily in prayer for what He has instilled in this nation. In these people called “Americans.”
If you live in America you do not live under a tyrant king because of George Washington. You live in a huge, powerful, secure nation because of Abraham Lincoln. And you are capable of jumping into your car and driving from one end of it to the other because of Henry Ford. But mostly, you are good. No, not righteous. But you have always had your eye on more than personal gain. Always been picking up the weaker and sending them on their way. And if you’re saved you have Jesus Christ to thank for your salvation. He is so important that if the other three had never shown up or had failed in their individual goals things would still be all right as long as you had Jesus Christ as your Saviour.
Do you ever thank Him?