29 February 2014.
I’ll be brief today. As Christians, we are citizens of two completely different kingdoms… the Kingdom of Heaven and the kingdom(s) of this world. Our citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven is by God’s Grace, through Faith in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:1-10 (ESV) | By Grace Through Faith
2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship,created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand,that we should walk in them.
Romans 8:14-17 (ESV)
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Now, though we have been adopted as sons and daughters of the Most High God, while we continue in this life walking this cursed earth, we are subject to the Authorities set in place by God.
Romans 13:1-7 (ESV) | Submission to the Authorities
13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
Here in the United States, we live (for now) under a Federal Government that has clearly defined limits and guaranteed protections of rights endowed to us by our Creator. Part of this government system is the opportunity to elect our Representatives. This is both a blessing and a responsibility. We really don’t get to choose who will run, nor do we really choose who will “win” the nomination. We get to provide input via voting. We should do so in our service to our neighbor. An unbiblical work isn’t ever a good work. Speculative ventures, or supporting a candidate for reasons that are unbiblical don’t qualify as a good work. Ultimately, God is in control and His Will shall be done. I’m not writing to place the weight of the US Government on your shoulders… that’s not your weight to bear. It isn’t mine, either.
I’m writing today, to encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ to love your neighbor in executing your vocation as US Citizen in a God-Honoring way, so that your conscience may be clear. Don’t venture in speculation, for you have no way of knowing how a candidate “might” perform after you’ve cast your vote. It’s completely outside of your control. All you can do is cast your vote in support of the individual you consider to be the best for the job. And then, that’s it. It’s up to God and His plan.
The US may not survive much longer, but cast your vote faithfully. We may all lose our “political freedoms”, but cast your vote honorably. Our hope is not set on this life, we are not laying up treasures for ourselves in this world; rather, we are to lay up treasures in Heaven.
Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV) | Lay Up Treasures in Heaven
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
No matter how you cast your vote, know that we dare not place our hope in anything other than Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 1:3-21 (ESV) | Born Again to a Living Hope
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven,things into which angels long to look.
Called to Be Holy
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
Do not be anxious for what tomorrow will bring. I say this as a word of encouragement that I myself struggle with… for which I am also in need of Grace.
Jude 24-25 (ESV) Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
In Christ Jesus,