GOD, GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.”
Romans 13:1-2 – “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”
INTRODUCTION: Christians are commanded to willingly submit themselves to the higher powers. We should be an example of some of the best citizens around. We should love our country; honor our country and those who have fought to preserve its freedom. We should give honor to whom honor is due as the Scripture commands us. We should also remember that our true citizenship is not on earth if we are believers. If we have been born again our true citizenship is in Heaven with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So our ultimate allegiance is to God who is on the throne in Heaven and not to a man that rules on earth.
Alexis de Tocquiville came to America in the 1800’s to study our nation; to try to find out what made America so great and what made Americans tic so to speak. In his long study he came to this conclusion as to what truly made America great – “Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret to her genius and power. America is great because America is good and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” Alexis de Tocquiville. – He concluded that America’s greatness was based on the righteousness and boldness of the preaching in which the majority of Americans sat under. America was great because of her fear and reverence of God. Would he come to the same conclusion today?
Look at what the congress of the United States used to say was the central and most important element to America – “The great vital and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and divine truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” United States Congress 1854
REMEMBER OUR COMMAND FROM CHRIST (Matthew 28:19-20 – Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.)
Remember our command from Christ. We should be more concerned with winning and discipling souls for Christ than with the temporal things of this world. The Great Commission is not a suggestion from the King of Kings, but a command from the King of Kings, and we can fulfill it in many ways; such as inviting friends to church, speaking up on a hot topic and politely yet bolding giving the Biblical stance on the issue. We can fulfill in part the Great Commission by witnessing for Christ with our social media accounts. We also need to go out and compel the lost to come in. (Luke 14:23 – And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.)
Remember our citizenship is in Heaven with our King. As Christians here on earth we are his Ambassadors to this world. We are his representatives to the Lost. As His Ambassadors we are to follow His commands and do our best to live by His word. We are to live by His commands and His Word not our concerns. As a good Ambassador our priority should be representing our King to the best of our ability. As Ambassadors for the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, we should be striving to follow His orders in every detail and in every way we can. (II Corinthians 5:20 – Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.)
How do we get our orders from our Commander, from our Captain, from our King? ….. By reading His Holy Word. By searching the Scriptures, by meditating on His Word. The Bible is how God talks to us. The Bible is to be our guide for our life. The Bible will guide our life. The Bible will give us comfort in the storm. The Bible will teach us how to live a Holy life. The Bible is all we need. The Bible is what we need. How much time do you spend in the Bible every day? Do you spend any time in the Bible every day? (Joshua 1:8 – This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. & Matthew 4:4 – But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.)
President John Quincy Adams said “Let us, then, search the Scriptures ….The Bible contains the revelation of the will of God. It contains the history of the creation of the world, and of mankind”
REMEMBER IN WHO WE TRUST (Psalm 20:7 – Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.) We should not put our faith and trust in political parties or political leaders. We need to be putting our trust in God. Men and political parties will let you down but God never will. Trust God to meet the needs of your life don’t trust government to meet your needs.
“IN GOD WE TRUST” – If the motto of our country were only true. We find this on our currency and etched on courtroom walls throughout our land. But is this just a slogan of a by-gone era in our county or is it something you live by? As a Christian this should be your motto not just your countries motto.
We can trust God with national and foreign affairs. No matter who is in The Whitehouse, the Congress, or on the Supreme Court, God is on the throne. (I Timothy 6:15-16 – Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.)
God is Sovereign over all the affairs of this world. He is Sovereign over:
God is in control. So why not go through life trusting in Him instead of yourself or others or government. God is sovereign over all anyway so just trust in Him. (Ephesians 1:11 – In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:)
Christians need to focus on what we are called and commanded to do, and trust in God to enable us to do it, instead of being focused on the disaster that our government is, or trusting in it. (I Timothy 1:12 – And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;) – If you are a Christian you have a ministry God is preparing you for. You have your orders given to you by the King of Kings. Put your trust in God and go about following His orders.
“If we ever forget that we are one Nation under God, then we will be a Nation gone under.” – President Ronald Reagan
REMEMBER OUR RESPONSIBILITIES (I Peter 2:12-15 – Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:)
We have a responsibility of living out our Christian faith and letting our faith in God and His word guide our political stance.
Remember our first responsibility is to God and the principles laid out in His word and if our government runs contrary to God and His word we must obey the King of Kings and trust He will take care of us according to His will. (Romans 12:1-2 – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.)
If our government has laws that run against God and His word, we should work to repeal those laws. (James 4:17 – Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.)
We should however respect the authority over us. We may not respect the man in that position or office, but we need to respect the office and the authority of the office. Remember, government is ordained of God, and we are commanded to submit to it and honor those in the position of authority over us. (Matthew 22:20-22 – And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.)
We are called to boldly denounce immorality and unrighteousness but we must do it in a respectful manner. (I Peter 2:17 – Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.)
If our government and its laws are ever in direct contradiction to God and His commands – what is a Christian to do? – A Christian should do what a Christian should always do and that is to follow God and what He says no matter what. (Acts 5:29 – Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.)
Our country is in the midst of a great decline in morals; it is suffering from a self inflicted, through legislation and court rulings and the backsliding of Christians, quick decent into a great moral decay. Is there hope for America? Is there hope for another Alexis de Tocquiville to come to America and find our greatness as a result of the righteousness of God lived out by her citizens? – Yes with God there is always hope; but we as Christians need to get on fire for Him, we need to get busy for Him and start taking the country by storm with our bold statements of our beliefs, we need to start taking stands, drawing lines in the sand, planting a flag and not being moved no matter the hatred and visceral reactions we get from the world. (Acts 4:13 – Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.) – Pray for boldness and take your stand for Christ.
“History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline.” – General Douglass MacArthur
REMEMBER WE ARE TO PRAY FOR OUR NATION AND ITS LEADERS (I Timothy 2:1-2 -I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.) We have no right to complain about the government we have, or its leaders, if we are not praying for them.
In addition to submitting to the laws of our country and having respect for those in authority over us we are also commanded to pray for them too. Paul wrote these words during Nero’s reign. Paul prayed for the king who eventually authorized his execution. Are you praying for your country? Are you praying for its leaders? Are you praying for your President?
Christians should pray for those in authority over us, so that we may lead a peaceful, free and quiet life. Pray we get to keep the freedoms we already have. Pray for the safety of our country and the brave men who are charged with keeping us safe and free. What is your first response when our leaders do something you don’t like? Is it frustration? Is it anger? Is it disgust? Our first reaction should be to pray for them.
Christians should be praying for the salvation of our leaders. We should be praying for their eternal souls. Pray they will get saved if they are not, and one day be in Heaven, and not faced with an eternity in hell. (I Timothy 2:3-6, 8 – For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.)
Remember true “Change” begins from the inside out. It starts in the heart and then it manifests itself in actions. If we want our government to change, we need to pray for the salvation of the souls of the leaders of our government. Christ living in their heart will change their actions and their priorities and their stances on the issues. (Philippians 4:6-7 – Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.)
We also need to remember true change and revival in a nation also starts with Christians not with the world. We as Christians need to get ourselves right with God and then God promises revival in our land as a result of Christians collectively humbling ourselves and getting right with God as a whole. (II Chronicles 7:14 – If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.)
“It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness …” President Abraham Lincoln
IN CONCLUSION: Remember our citizenship is in Heaven. Though we currently dwell here in America our true home is in Heaven. We are to be in the world but not of the world. We are to influence the world for Christ and not allow the world to influence us. We are Ambassadors for Christ we represent Him here on earth. We are to follow His directions, His commandments, and live by His standards and laws. When earthly laws contradict God’s, we are to follow His as supreme over all earthly laws because He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Our identity is not defined by being an American. Our identity should be defined by being a Christian first and an American second. If we are saved we are citizens of Heaven here on earth representing our Heavenly King and doing His work and following His commandments. The Great Commission should be a top priority of ours. Heaven is where our fellow countrymen dwell, it is where our names are recorded, it is where our King is at and it is where our Savior sits at His right hand.
President George Washington at his first Inaugural Address had this to say about our earthly country verses our Heavenly home. “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”
Philippians 3:20-21 says “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” Our life is in Heaven. Our Lord’s concerns should be our concerns and He is concerned about the souls of men. We need to “Go ye” and fulfill His command. We as Christians should boldly proclaim the truth in love. We should stand up for right. We should maintain respect for those in authority over us. We should “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s“. We need to pray for our leaders and remember real “change” starts in the heart. If we want change in our country pray for the salvation of our leader’s souls. Remember God is Sovereign over the affairs of men. (James 4:13-17 – Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.) Spend your life concerned about the eternal priorities of your Lord instead of the temporal concerns of men.