“An Opportunity To Be Faithful”

“An Opportunity To Be Faithful”

The Pastor’s Perspective

November 2008
“An Opportunity to be Faithful”
Pastor Mike Wing
Grace Community Bible Church

With the elections now over, there has been a growing concern with Christians over how the current political climate will affect us as a body of believers. I would like to remind Christians of a few key truths in light of their disappointment and perhaps even fear.

1.  God is sovereign.

As you listen in on various conversations with concerned Christians, you would think that God lost this last election. But let us never forget that God is sovereign over the affairs of men, and that includes the results of this past election. Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.(Romans 13:1). Nebuchadnezzar, the most powerful king on the face of the earth, learned that his earthly dominion was still subject to the sovereign will of almighty God.  “This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers And the decision is a command of the holy ones, In order that the living may know That the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, And bestows it on whom He wishes And sets over it the lowliest of men.” (Daniel 4:17) ” The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.(Proverbs 21:1)

2.  Our allegiance is to Christ and His church.

We must be reminded that we, as Christians, are followers of Christ, not some political party or movement.  While I am thankful for the opportunities that I have enjoyed as a citizen of this country, my allegiance is first and foremost to Jesus Christ and to the establishing and strengthening of His church.  As a result, our primary concern must be to be faithful in carrying out the responsibilities placed upon those who have been called by God.

a.  Growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord.

We must never forget that, as Christians, we are to be always standing upon the truth of God’s word. Though this is a very basic truth and one that would be readily acknowledged by all genuine believers, it is quickly forgotten in the “heat of the battle.” As Jesus was preparing to die upon the cross, He prayed for His disciples this way,“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.(John 17:17).  In many ways, the contemporary church has contributed to the biblical ignorance and moral decline of our world because it has supplanted the supremacy of God’s word with human strategies with the hope of making men “better”.  It has become quite evident, that such a pragmatic approach to spiritual issues has failed. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,(2 Corinthians 10:3-5). In these days of uncertainty, let us make sure that we are basing our thoughts, hopes, and actions upon God’s will as revealed in His word.

b.  Personal holiness.

We are to live as saints, unto the glory of God.  Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.(2 Timothy 2:3-4) As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;(1 Peter 1:14-15)

c.  Not ashamed of the gospel.

Our Lord would be glorified and our neighborhoods and community would be far better served if we were to spend a fraction of the time proclaiming the gospel that we have spent talking about politics and politicians over these past many months.

For some reason, it is easier for us to engage in a conversation with complete strangers when the topic is politics, but when it comes to the gospel we remain silent. As Christians we must never lose sight that we have been called by God and set apart to be His ambassadors, proclaiming the gospel which is the power of God unto salvation.Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.” (1 Corinthians 15:34)

Our goal is to bring glory to God through the advancement of the gospel, not to usher in an earthly kingdomJesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” (John 18:36)

3.  Our politicians are not the enemy.

I will admit that it has been difficult watching the news in these days following the elections.  The major media outlets have been almost gleeful in anticipating some of the sweeping changes that will be made by the new administration.  It is assumed that most restrictions on abortion will be removed and that the pro-homosexual agenda will be significantly strengthened.  Any Christian should be grieved at the thought that such ungodliness will not only be tolerated but promoted and protected by our government.  But we must be very careful that we do not allow a sincere and righteous indignation to blossom into an un-Christ-like anger and even hatred for those who are promoting such an agenda.  James reminds us that “… the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.(James 1:20).  The apostle Paul reminds us that we, too, “… were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.(Ephesians 2:1-3). We must ever be mindful of God’s grace in our lives so that we will have compassion for those who are still dead in their trespasses and sins and in genuine humility seek to proclaim the gospel to them. Those who lead this nation need the gospel, not our condemnation.

4.  We are commanded to pray for our leaders.

In his first letter to Timothy, Paul says, I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.(1 Timothy 3:14-15).  In this letter he will be talking about the role of women, the qualifications of elders, warnings concerning apostasy and other very weighty issues. It is interesting to note that as Paul really begins the instruction he starts off with our need to be praying for our leaders. First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2) How many of God’s people have spent more time criticizing our elected officials than praying for them.

To be sure we live in some very challenging times.  But we have a wonderful opportunity to bear testimony of our gracious, righteous, and sovereign God and His call for all men to repent and be saved. We must be  vigilant to ensure that we are being faithful to our high and holy calling and not sidetracked by fears over a changing political climate.

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;(Philippians 3:20)

Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places. For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.(Habakkuk 3:17-19)

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give me a call.

Pastor Mike Wing
Grace Community Bible Church
(308) 534-3008

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