Publisher's Note: Eastern North Carolina native and veteran's activist Lt. Colonel Pete Benton share with BCN this inspirational sppech that he made Saturday, July 25, 2020, at the God and County Alliance meeting in Goldsboro, NC.
Good afternoon, my dear friends. Thank you for this splendid opportunity to spend some time together as men and women of faith who love this great Nation dearly. When trying to decide what I should talk about, I recall President Ronald Reagan's quintessential speech, "A Time For Choosing"
and decided it was the perfect starting point along with God's holy word, The Bible for inspiration. For those who do not know, I had the great distinction to serve Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush as the Officer In Charge, Ceremonial Flight in the United States Air Force Presidential Honor Guard. It was truly a blessing beyond measure and equal. I believe it was God's guiding hand that placed this opportunity in my path. I will always treasure it and be eternally grateful!
I would like to take this opportunity to dedicate this inspiration to the memory of my dear friend, Reverend CL Bryant's wife, Jane who recently departed this earth on her final journey to be with our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. For this I know that when Jane was uplifted and stood at the pearly gates of Heaven, this is what God said to her, "This is my beloved daughter whom I love and adore and with whom I am well pleased".
For truly Jane was a devout woman of God, a devoted wife and a loving mother. She was a shining light of faith and love in this world. By the way, Heaven has a new angel, her name is Jane.
Recently, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vagano wrote an extraordinary letter to President Donald Trump about his great concern for our Nation and the American people and how there is a great struggle between the children of the light and the children of darkness. He said, ""the children of the light constitute the most conspicuous part of humanity, while the children of darkness represent an absolute minority. Any yet the former are the object of a sort of discrimination which places them in a situation of moral inferiority with respect to their adversaries, who often hold strategic positions in government, in politics, in the economy and in the media. In an apparently inexplicable way, the good are held hostage by the wicked and by those who help them either out of self-interest or fearfulness. These two sides, which have a Biblical nature, follow the clear separation between the offspring of the Woman and the offspring of the Serpent. On the one hand there are those who, although they have a thousand defects and weaknesses, are motivated by a desire to do good, to be honest, to raise a family, to engage in work, to give prosperity to their homeland, to help the needy, and, in obedience to the Law of God, to merit the Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, there are those who serve themselves, who do not hold any moral principles, who want to demolish the family and the nation, exploit workers to make themselves unduly wealthy, foment internal divisions and wars, and accumulate power and money; for them the fallacious illusion of temporal well-being will one day - if they do not repent - yield to the terrible fate that awaits them, far from God in eternal damnation."
So my fellow Americans, where do we go from here? Now, more than ever, it is a TIME FOR FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE
, AND THE GREATEST ONE OF ALL, IS LOVE! Reverend Billy Graham, America's greatest preacher shared this beautiful, yet enduring scripture. "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works; lest any man should boast". (Ephesians 2:8-9). The Bible teaches us that faith is the only approach, the only way to God, "Anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that the rewards those who diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6)
. Additionally, scripture teaches us that faith pleases God more than anything else. "Without faith it is impossible to please him" (Hebrews 11:6)
The greatest way we can please God is to believe His Word. Remember, what Christ said to his people, "Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake" (John 14:11)
. We are saved by grace through faith. Faith is simply the channel through which God's grace to us is received. It is the hand that reaches out and receives the gift of His Love. In Hebrews 11:1, we see, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen"
. Now faith is a confident assurance of that for which we hope, a conviction of the reality of things which we do not see. Faith means "to give up, surrender, or commit"
. Faith is complete confidence and inspires hope.
It is our faith that will sustain us throughout the darkest of times in this Nation, we need God at the center of our hearts to help us and give us hope that through his grace and blessings we can overcome these great struggles and challenges. Without God, America's fate is sealed. Psalms 7 tells us that "Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption."
America must turn her eyes towards Heaven and seek the face of the Almighty God, the Lord loves his people. We are reminded in Chronicles II, verses 7-14
, "If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land."
Finally, and most importantly, America must rely on the two greatest commandments, Jesus shared with his disciples in Mark 12:29-31, "Hear, o Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these".
God, as our Holy Father loves the world because he created man in his image that he would be our God and we would be his people. He gave Moses the Ten Commandments to show us how we should live as his people, establishing the eternal covenant between him and his people. He was willing to sacrifice his son on the cross of crucifixion so that the sins of the human race would be washed clean and that we might be given the gift of eternal life in his Heavenly Kingdom. As recorded in John, 3:16
; "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life"
. The power of love is the greatest force in all the galaxies because it comes from the heart and soul of God which he gives freely to those who love and obey him and his son, Jesus Christ! Let all Americans put aside their differences, come together in the spirit of brotherly and sisterly love and reunite this Nation as one people under one God! America is the world's last great hope for democracy and self-governance, we are that bright and eternal torch for all the world to see that faith and freedom live here and that all are welcome.
Ronald Reagan once said, in his speech "A Time For Choosing"
, You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We can preserve for our children this, this last best hope of man on earth, or we can sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us, we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.
Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address, said the following: "That this nation shall have a new birth of freedom and that the government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth"
. My fellow Americans, we have come to the fork in the road, this a Time For Faith, Hope and Love and the greatest one of all is Love!
When Lee Greenwood penned the lyrics to God Bless the USA, he captured the essence and spirit of Ronald Reagan's vision of this Nation, .
- And I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free
- And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me
- And I'd gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today
- Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
- God Bless the USA