PLYMOUTH, Mass. (BP) — We are all in search of freedom, peace and happiness. These ideals are priceless. They were God-given gifts, but sin introduced mankind to slavery, war and suffering. That is why God sent His Son, Jesus — to restore the world through repentance.
In Matthew 4:17, Jesus preached His first sermon in which He declared, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Man can only find freedom, peace and happiness when he repents of his sin and is no longer possessed by the world but instead chooses to possess the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 11:28-30; John 1:4-5; John 1:12-13; John 3:16).
I recently visited the town of Plymouth, Mass., where a group of 120 people who came to be known as the Pilgrims landed in 1620. The story is a familiar one: They boarded the Mayflower and crossed the Atlantic Ocean in what they saw as a search for religious freedom, peace and the right to a pursuit of happiness. Upon arriving in the New World they faced much hardship. Many of them did not survive the first winter and were buried in a strange and foreign land without seeing their dreams come true.
The town of Plymouth still reminds us of this history. Visitors make their pilgrimage, schoolchildren by the busloads, parents with their children. They come to gaze upon the famous Plymouth Rock, where the date “1620” is engraved. The waves of the Atlantic Ocean crash against the rocks on the beach just as they did when the Pilgrims first landed. It brings a tinge of sadness to my heart as I look out on the bay, thinking that they knew the uncertain future they faced.
These early Pilgrims built Plimoth Plantation, a colony where they could live together and worship God freely. They are our forefathers of faith who laid biblical foundations for future generations. And now, nearly four centuries later, America has grown into the greatest nation on earth.
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Source: Baptist Press