Posts Tagged ‘government’

Are You Worried about Government?

January 12th, 2017

All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. (Isaiah 40:17)

I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:34-35)

An incredible amount of emotion, fear, worry, and even rage are spent in concern for things that we cannot control, specially human governments. In these days in America, with the presidency of Barak Obama coming to an end and the presidency of Donald Trump beginning, there has been a significant amount of outpouring of emotion from both sides. Some prefer the style of Obama, and others prefer the substance of Trump – no doubt that in personality Obama is smoother than Trump, or than most people in the planet, for that matter.

No human government in the history of the world has been perfect nor can become perfect because they are always dealing with the sin and failure of humanity. Some governments are better than others, and some are worse than others, but beyond that no one can truly say that a flawless one has ever existed, or will ever exist, until Christ returns.

God’s work in our age is redemptive. He lifts up the fallen, forgives the sinner, and redeems the captive from his addiction to sin. He establishes people in His grace and allows us to stand in Him forgiven, free, and new. He gives peace to the troubled, health to the sick, food to the hungry, and joy to the joyless. He makes peace between enemies, turns swords into plowshares, and makes former enemies to become brothers.

Paul wrote:

But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. (1 Cor. 1:27-29)

Government’s work is as an agent of God to establish order and to see that justice is done. Romans 13:1-7 teaches us the biblical principles of governments, that they are instituted and upheld by God for without them there would be anarchy and chaos, the rule of the mob and of the mobster. So be grateful for the government that you have. It is imperfect, flawed, but still helpful. Seek to make it better if you can, but do not expect it to be perfect.

But God is not in awe of human government. He does not tremble at the thoughts of kings and dictators, or of presidents and prime ministers. “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing.” He loves and He redeems from sin, and He has a plan for our eternity, but human government is not impressive to God.

What we can do in the name of Christ is to seek to spread love, forgiveness, peace, and redemption. There is enough indignation, cynicism, anger, and hate. If you are spreading more of that then you are not necessary, and you have made yourself such. We need people who will reach out in compassion and grace and draw people to Jesus Christ. He is our hope.

Instead of anger and hate, instead of fear and worry, I suggest we spread love and grace, that we preach confidence in the final victory of Christ and of His return. I believe this will bring more honor to Christ and will be a bigger blessing to people on this earth.

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Salvation Come!

June 3rd, 2016

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! (Psalm 14:7)

The biblical understanding of life and human society is that God must come and save us. It is good, during election times, to keep this thought in mind.

Most ideologies put their hopes in humanity – that we must fix our own problems without any expectation of God’s help or deliverance. Some invest in political solutions, some in economic solutions, some in popular social movements, and some others are anarchists who put themselves above all others.

But the Christian understanding is that any human government is a temporary arrangement, born out of necessity, and not the ideal. We must wait for the return of Christ before the ideal will be established on earth – as Christ taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The order in Christ’s prayer is instructive – his kingdom must come first for his will to be done here like it is in heaven.

The values of his kingdom come to our hearts at our salvation, so the principle of the kingdom of God is already at work in this world. Through the teachings and witness of justice, mercy, righteousness, and compassion, we find the influence of Christ and of his future kingdom already among this world. A study of the history of the world’s governments will reveal that you cannot separate the establishment of fair and just laws from the influence of Christianity.

The Old Testament teachings of workers’ rights, fair compensation for injury, the central role of the family, the compassion for the poor and dispossessed, especially for the fatherless, and other central concerns of human justice, have become part of the fabric of world government and civilizations.

Yet we apply them unequally, imperfectly, and spasmodically. The problem is not only in the writing of just laws, but in the application of these laws and the daily living lives that will help establish justice.

The problem, in other words, is in the human heart itself, and no form of government will be able to completely establish justice until the heart is changed. And that must happen by God. so we pray as did the saints of old, “Oh, that salvation would come!”

Forgiveness came out of Zion: Zion was the fortified city of Jerusalem, but came to mean the temple mount itself, and eventually for Christians, the heaven of God – and all of this centered in the person of Christ. Peter quoted Isaiah the prophet when he said, “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame” (1 Peter 2:6 and Isaiah 28:16).

On Zion, on the temple mount, for centuries, the coming sacrifice of Christ for the sins of the world was acted out daily by the priests and the daily sacrifices – the pictured the coming sacrifice of Christ on the cross for the sins of the world. The world cannot be healed and move forward until there is grace and forgiveness. In the sacrifice of Christ is the mercy and grace of God for the forgiveness of all the sins of the world.

The future Millennial kingdom will come out of Zion: At the return of Christ the bible teaches about a Millennial Kingdom – a one thousand year period of time in the future where the government of the world will be centered in Jerusalem and Christ will reign. (Revelation 20) Christ, as the stone rejected by the builders, will become the chief cornerstone of a new world government.

The eternal city New Jerusalem will also come “out of Zion”: Christ will also return. The author of Hebrews spoke of the eternal dwelling of God and also called it Zion: “But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12:22). There will come a time when God will remove the impact of sin from the human heart, where he will remove our lusts and pride, and complete the spiritual transformation (Phil. 1:6; Rom. 8:28-30; 1 Thes. 5:23-24). There will come a time when human lives, whose hearts were unwilling to bow before Christ in faith and obedience will be removed from the scene of human society, and life shall be lived in the full knowledge and experience of his perfect Lordship.

So, during election seasons, it is good to remember these truths. We should elect the finest people we can – the most moral and decent – and enact the finest laws we can imagine. But the heart of our problems today is spiritual, and until Christ comes we will not live in perfect peace and justice. Yet he is coming! Salvation will come for us who believe! That is our hope!

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