- Thursday, July 03, 2003
What does it mean to be a Christian in America these days? It means, in a word, to be like Christ. God has called each of us to a standard by which we must live our lives - and that standard is truth and obedience. Though the tide of public opinion may sway and even storm at times against us, we must resolutely stand to be like Christ. I want to give you five responsibilities from the Word of God that you and I have as American citizens.
1. Pray for government. 1 Timothy 2:1-3
When Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, Nero was in power. This man lived in the very depths of depravity, and Paul exhorts us to "first of all" pray and offer thanksgiving for all men, including kings like Nero. Why? Because Proverbs 21:1 promises that the "king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will." God is in charge of the kings He has placed in authority over us! He can turn them whichever way He wills. The battle for godly government isn't won with upward fists of rebellion, but with downward, humble knees in prayer.
2. Pay for government. Romans 13:1-7
Just as we give our tithe, we are to pay our taxes. That's not just obeying the letter of the law, that is obeying the Master of the law. In Matthew 22:15-22, Jesus taught us to render unto the government that which it is due it, and render unto God that which is due Him. There wasn't an issue of whether the government was doing right by its people, but whether the people were doing right by their government. Jesus said, “Even though I am free and am the owner of all things, I am going to pay taxes.” (see Romans 11:46) There's simply no loophole when it comes to paying taxes. Jesus did it, so must you and I.
3. Praise government. 1 Peter 2:17
We are to give honor and respect to our government officials because honor is due. The men and women who hold public office do so, and only so, because God has allowed them to hold office. Psalm 4:5 says, "Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD." Sometimes, it is hard, and I would venture to say, impossible for us to honor someone in public office who has shown himself or herself unworthy, and yet that is precisely what God has called us to do. We are to offer a sacrifice of praise, not because we agree with their politics, but because it is honoring to our King to do so.
4. Preach to government. Ephesians 4:15
We are to speak the truth to our governmental leaders. We dare not be silent because we are called to share the gospel with whomever and wherever God calls us. We need to tell every official that what is politically correct is sometimes morally wrong! It is Satan's strategy to keep good people silent in evil times. Your calling, and mine, is not to rise in the polls of popularity, but to pursue holiness! Without stammer or stutter or hint of equivocation, we need to speak up in truth for God's glory!
5. Participate in government. 1 Peter 2:12
Daniel Webster said, "Whatever makes a man a good Christian, makes him a good citizen." Don't let the world intimidate you into believing the lie that the phrase, "separation of church and state" is a mandate for your eradication or worse, neutralization from governmental affairs! When you were saved, you weren't disenfranchised from the world. You were saved to impact the world for Jesus Christ. To bring glory to God with every moment of every day. The only hope for America is Jesus Christ! Your mission is to pray for the Holy Spirit to call sinners to Himself and for you to have an impact in your home, your neighborhood, your workplace, your community, and even your nation for the glory of Jesus Christ.
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