- Our citizenship is in heaven – Philippians 3:20
- We have been conveyed into the kingdom of God’s dear Son – Colossians 1:13
- As such, we are described as “sojourners and pilgrims” in this world – 1 Peter 2:11
Listen, NO earthly kingdom is eternal. The great proclamation we read in Revelation 11:15, is that one day loud voices will call through the streets of heaven, reverberating out to the ends of the universe, “the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.”
On that day, the world super power of the United States, along with the British Empire, and the massive Republic of China, and the European Economic Union, will ALL have passed into the annals of history as “yesterday’s ideas” – remembered alongside the Roman Empire, and the Persian Empire, and the Babylonian and the Alexandrian, and the Egyptian Empires, and every OTHER former kingdom. ALL finished. And the Lord Jesus shall reign over HIS one eternal Kingdom that encompasses and supersedes all.
That is our future, Christian. Don’t build your stock in this world. Heaven is our home.
Which government is Paul talking about? The term he uses is “higher powers” / “higher authorities”. It surely encompasses Federal, State, City governments. Includes police and courts of law.
We are to be “subject”. In willing submission.
God may give a leader to lead in His purposes, according to His Word. He may give a leader as judgment, to bring the nation to her knees in prayer. But He WILL appoint the leader.
2. Governments are Accountable TO God
Paul gives us here the reason that God establishes human government. And this reveals what God expects of those he sets in these positions – to execute justice. It would be good for our leaders to read these verses from time to time. (See v4-5).
We are to submit to our rulers recognizing that their power is delegated by the Lord. HE is our ultimate King. That means that we obey our earthly authorities “as unto the Lord”.
And here is where there is a caveat to our obedience. No earthly authority is a law unto themselves. They are accountable to God – and every one will stand before Him. Each one is being, and will be, evaluated by God.
The Bible clearly teaches us that if earthly rulers contradict God’s law, we are to obey the higher law of God. Acts 4:18-20. (It’s not a question of disobeying man, but rather of obeying God.)
We have brothers and sisters around the world this morning who are in prisons, persecuted and tortured for sharing their faith in Jesus. Many of them could avoid that treatment if only they would promise to keep their faith to themselves. The authorities wouldn’t bother them for being a Christian if they never told anybody else. But they see this as the command of their Lord Jesus – to “go into all the world and preach the good news”. So who are they to obey? God or men? They will not stop, and they’re suffering for it. (What would they think of us, with all our freedoms, when we DON’T share our faith?)
So, there is a time for civil disobedience. A time to obey God rather than men. HOWEVER, we’d better be sure that we ARE acting because of obedience to God’s law, and not just for our own opinion’s sake!
Well, all that being said, what are we instructed to do at this election. What would God have Christians to do.