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What Does the Word of God Say About Government?

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
November 4, 2020 7:00 am

What Does the Word of God Say About Government?

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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November 4, 2020 7:00 am

At this crucial time in our nation, we need to confess our sins, turn from our wicked ways, and understand what the Word of God says about government. In this message, Adrian Rogers reveals our responsibility as Christian citizens in these dividing times in our nation.

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From the Love We're Finding studios in Memphis, Tennessee, I'm Byron Tyler, here with Kerry Vaughn, the CEO of Love We're Finding.

Kerry, today Adrian Rogers has a message. What does the Word of God say about government? Based off of Proverbs 14, 34. What an excellent reference.

You know, Byron, you and I have talked about this many, many times. Regardless of party affiliation, if the body of Christ would step up, we don't have a problem when it comes to election day. And so when we go to the polls, it's a moral vote. We're voting pro-God, pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, right?

Pro-Bible. I mean, those are the things we're after, and those are the things that we will not compromise on. If the evangelicals will stand firm in that regard, then we never lose. Well, the Word of God also states that government serves two basic purposes, to restrain evil and to encourage good. And that's what we really want to see in our community.

That's how we have a healthy society. It is, it is, and I think that's how we play a vital role as well. We love so much hearing from our Love We're Finding listeners. Here's one from Indiana that says, this ministry means so much to me because of these messages and resources. I'm learning how to be a faithful servant of God in this day and age. Thanks once again for all you do. You know, if we live in righteousness, God will bless obedience.

Yes. Well, I love what Adrian Rogers says, the only authority the government has is that which is granted ultimately by Almighty God, we ought to obey God rather than man. We seek approval from everybody else except the Almighty. Well, for today's message, what does the Word of God say about government?

Here's Adrian Rogers. You know, when it comes to the political scene and government, there's some people who have dropped out altogether. They have the idea that if you get involved in government, that somehow that is the social gospel. And so people have just dropped out and they've just hunkered down and try to hold on till Jesus gets here.

And they see the political scene as being dirty and worldly. And some have been intimidated by the great debate between church and state. We can't drop out. It's impossible to think that God would have ordained government and told his people to stay out. Who else does that believe?

To run things. So there are those on the one hand who've dropped out. There are others who with misguided zeal have turned their churches into precincts and have tried to bring in the kingdom of God by political machinations.

That cannot be done either. We can't use our government to wage holy war against the heathen as such. We have to defend ourselves. But where do we get the answers? We're not going to get the answers today from the politician who may have his personal ax to grind. We're not going to get the answers from the ungodly and the humanists who don't believe the Word of God. We're not going to get the answers from finger bumping philosophers who don't know the Word of God.

Another place we're going to get the answers, I believe, is from the Word of God. Now, what does the Word of God have to say about government? The Word of God teaches us that God has ordained human government. God has ordained that. If you read Romans chapter 13, you will read that the powers that be are ordained of God and that God sets up human government. Well, you say, if God sets up human government, what about wicked governments? Did God set them up?

It may surprise you to learn, yes, he did. That does not mean they're God's will in the greater sense. God would much rather have righteousness, but people get the kind of government by and large that they deserve.

Let me give you a few scriptures here, and you might want to jot these down. First of all, Daniel chapter 2, verse 21. Here's what the prophet Daniel said, speaking of God, and he changeth the times and the seasons, he removeth kings and setteth up kings. God is the one who removes kings. God is the one who sets up kings. Let me tell you, for example, there was a king named Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel was speaking to Nebuchadnezzar, and Daniel said in Daniel 2, verses 37 and 38, Thou, O king, art a king of kings, that is, he rule over a world empire, for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, strength, and glory. The God of heaven gave Nebuchadnezzar his kingdom. What about Pharaoh, who put all the little babies to death? A wicked Pharaoh. Did God have anything to do with his rulership? Romans chapter 9, verse 17, For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. God raised Pharaoh up to bring Pharaoh down, and the hidden hand of God is in history, and God is behind human government.

Whether that human government is good or bad, whether you understand it or not. When Jesus Christ stood before Pilate, Pilate stuck out his chest and said to Jesus, Don't you understand that I have the power to release you or to crucify you? Pilate was an egotist, stuffed with pride and with overweening authority. And here's what Jesus said to him in John chapter 19, verse 11, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above. You didn't have any power to do this, except God allowed it.

Now, friend, that may be strange to you, but don't you think that God is out of control? Yes, some of these men were evil, and a wise man said that we deserve the kind of leadership and government that we get. However, human government is ordained of God, and human government is given to us for two basic reasons. Romans chapter 13, verses 3 and 4 tell us that human government is given to us to restrain evil. Human government is there as the instrument of God. We often hear people say, You can't legislate morality.

Well, that is true. You can't legislate morality. There's no law that can make you moral. There's no law that can make you love me. We cannot legislate morality. That's why we have to have laws to legislate against immorality.

Now, catch the point very carefully. There is no law that can make you love me, so we must have law to keep you from killing me. See, that's the purpose of government. Government is here not to make us good.

Only God can make us good. The government is here to restrain evil. That's why we have a police force.

Who would want to live in the city of Memphis, or any major city for that matter, without a police force? Sometimes in restraining evil, the government must take life. Does the government have the right to take life? Read Romans 13. The Bible says that the magistrate, the power appointed of God, is to bear the sword, and he is a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Sometimes these people who parade against capital punishment and war hold up banners, and on that banner they quote a part of the Bible, Exodus chapter 20, verse 13, that says, Thou shall not kill. These people are pathetic in their ignorance because they think that that verse negates capital punishment. It does not. They think that verse negates a self-defense or just war.

It does not. That verse teaches that you and I do not have a right to take personal vengeance. And what it literally says, rightly interpreted, is thou shall not murder. It is against murder. Now, anybody who can read the Bible can pick up the Bible in Exodus chapter 20 and verse 13 and read, Thou shall not kill. But all they have to do is go fast forward to two chapters, Exodus 22, verses 2 and 3, and it says, If a thief be found breaking up and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.

If somebody is breaking into your house and you don't know what he's up to in self-defense, he's shot, your blood is not shed for him. All murder is killing, but all killing is not murder. Romans 13, verse 4, speaks of the magistrate as bearing the sword. The Bible clearly teaches capital punishment. Genesis 9, verse 6, Who so shedeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God made he man. Now, these people quote Exodus 20, verse 13, Thou shall not kill. Why don't they go one chapter further to Exodus 21, verse 12, He that smiteth a man so that he die shall surely be put to death.

Isn't that amazing? The people only pick and choose a few verses, but don't look into the whole Bible. Some people say, well, capital punishment is cruel. Are you more wise and more loving than God himself?

Coddling the criminal is cruelty to the community. Some people think that God is too good to punish evil. The truth is just the opposite. God is too good not to punish evil. Sometimes we have to go to war. Are we not supposed to love our enemies? Of course we love our enemies. You read in Romans chapter 12, the Bible says, We to do good to those who persecute us, and if our enemy does thus and such, we are to pour cold water on his head, as it were.

That is to pacify him. As much as possible live peaceably with all men. We are not to take vengeance, but there's a difference in our personal vengeance and the government going to war or a police force to protect innocent people. God gave the government, first of all, to resist evil, and God gave the government to encourage good. Now, the government cannot make us good, but the government can encourage good. For the Bible says, If we do good there in Romans chapter 13, verse 3, then concerning the government, we are to have praise of the same. So, that's the reason the framers of our Constitution erode in our Constitution, we are to provide for the common defense, that's to resist evil, and to promote the welfare, the general welfare.

Not to provide the welfare, but to promote it. To give us a place where we can go out and work and live and preach and teach. Now, what are the responsibilities of government and what are the responsibilities of church? Rightly understood, we believe in the separation of church and state, rightly understood. We do not want a government church. I do not want the government messing in religion.

They don't know what they're doing, they have no business, and the government needs to butt out of religion. The separation of church and state, however, as a phrase is not found in the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution simply says in the First Amendment that Congress will make no law respecting the establishment of religion nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

That is, we're not going to set up a state church, whether it be a Baptist church, Episcopalian church, a Catholic church, or anything else. But our founding fathers did not believe for a moment in the separation of God and government. The whole thing is based on belief in God. As you know, the Declaration of Independence, the most precious document in our National Archives, says we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.

They said we don't even quibble about that, that it all comes from God. Joyce and I visited the Jefferson Memorial and I looked up there at the Jefferson Memorial and saw the inscriptions concerning God written all the way around Jefferson. Jefferson was not what you would call a Bible-thumping evangelical Christian, but he had enough sense to know that there's a God and up there and chiseled in stone is the God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time. And he said, again, in another place, I have sworn by the altar of God to stand against all tyranny over the human mind and so forth. It began with Jefferson, the principal author of the Constitution, that we believe in God. I think about these people who have tried to remove the Ten Commandment stone from down there in Montgomery, Alabama, under Justice Roy Moore, because they say the Ten Commandments don't belong in that courthouse. Ladies and gentlemen, I said, Joyce, let's go to the Supreme Court building.

I just want to go one more time. I looked up over that great frieze, that façade. There were those nine justices to sit right overhead in the center. Is Moses holding the Ten Commandments? In the Supreme Court building of the United States of America. George and I went to the rotunda of the Capitol and there, looking at those magnificent pictures all the way around there, there is a picture of those Mayflower pilgrims coming over there with an open Bible on their knees giving this land to Almighty God. If you wanted to remove the references to God Almighty from Washington, you'd have to take a jackhammer and a chisel and go to work and stay there for years to remove all of the references that are there to Almighty God. And yet, we cannot post these Ten Commandments in the courthouse when the very Supreme Court, who would not hear the case, has them hanging right over their heads.

There's something mighty strange about that to me. We believe, we believe in the separation of church and state. We do not want a state mandated church, but we do not believe in the separation of God and government. Our founding fathers did not and those who've gone before us did not. That's the reason you can pick money out of your pocket and read, In God We Trust. That's the reason that Congress opens with prayer. That's the reason I was able to visit the chaplain of the Senate when I was in Washington.

That's the reason that we still salute old glory. One nation under God. Abraham Lincoln said, I believe it is the duty of nations as well as men to own their dependence on the overruling power of God.

That's what he said. Now, people don't like the idea of God in government because it cramps their style. They want to live in sin and the idea of God cramps their style. Well, what are we to do? First of all, we are to pray for our government. 1 Timothy 2 verses 1 through 3, I exhort therefore that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

For this is good and acceptable and right in the sight of God our Savior. We need to pray for leaders even if they are wrong. The Bible says in Proverbs 21 verse 1, the king's heart is in the hand of the Lord.

As rivers of water he turneth it whethersoever he will. Sometimes God will change a ruler. Sometimes God will remove a ruler. Sometimes God will override a ruler. Again, wicked leaders are God's reward for wicked people.

America gets the kind of leadership it deserves. The Bible speaks of God's people in the Old Testament and it says this of them. He gave them the desire of their hearts but sent leanness to their souls. They said we want thus and such. God says if that's what you want, I'm going to give it to you, but you will not have my blessing. Not only do we need to pray for our government, friend, we need to pay taxes.

Sorry about that. The Bible teaches that we're to pay taxes very clearly and very plainly. Jesus said we are to render a tribute to whom tribute is due. And the word tribute basically would be counterpart of income tax today and Jesus paid taxes.

And God teaches that it is our responsibility to pay taxes and I'm going to tell you what else we need to do. We need to be patriotic. Today it's getting a little old-fashioned in some corners to be patriotic, but I'm still a red-blooded, flag-waving American. Joyce and I were in the nation's capital and I looked at our monuments. I looked at our documents.

I looked at our history and I just felt warm in my heart. Now, I know that these one-worlders say you can't put America first. Of course you put America first. And if you're a German, you put Germany first. If you're Chinese, you put China first.

Listen, I'm a Rogers. I love your family, but I love my family more. You think that's wrong? No. The Bible says if any provide not for his own specialty, those of his own house.

He hath denied the faith, he's worse than an infidel. This is my country and I love it. And we're to love America. There's nothing wrong with patriotism.

The Bible says we are to honor the king, give honor to whom honor is due. And when our government does right, we are to let them know. There's nothing wrong with patriotism.

There's nothing wrong with loving one's land. I'll tell you what else we need to do. We need to speak to the government when the government does wrong. And because we are loyal Americans, that somehow we've been disenfranchised. There are people who want us to go under the rock and hide. We need to come out from under the rock, stand on the rock and say the word of God.

And if we don't speak, who's going to speak? I studied the Bible and I know some people don't like it when I may sometimes say something that sounds in their estimation political. Well, everything that we think about in some way is political. Murder is political. Capital punishment is political. Abortion is political. Homosexuality is political. Adultery is political. What can you, what thievery is political.

What can you talk about that does not somehow, that's moral, that does not have political implications? Nathan warned King David. Elijah preached to Ahab. Daniel preached to Nebuchadnezzar. Moses was God's prophet to Pharaoh.

John the Baptist preached to Herod. As long as they're killing babies, Adrian is going to speak up. When public schools are issuing condoms to teenage girls and boys, I'm going to speak up. When a free-born American is told he cannot pray vocally, I will speak up. They say, oh, well, you can have silent prayer. I say, you can do that in a Russian concentration camp.

No, we have freedom of speech like everybody else. Jesus said we're to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's. Our Caesar is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And if you don't participate, in my estimation, you're disobeying the Lord. Proverbs 29 verse 2 says, when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice, but when the wicked bear through, the people mourn.

The tragedy in America is the bad citizenship of good people. And if you don't vote, I hope a wart grows on your nose. I'm telling you, we cannot be silent. We cannot sit around. One vote can make the difference.

I'm only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something, and what I can do and ought to do that, by the grace of God, I will do. But I am believing God for a national revival. You know, sometimes we think that it's just too late, and we just hunker down. That's what the devil wants us to do. It's always too soon to quit. God has sent revival in the darkest days before, and not one shred of scripture that says we cannot have revival in dark days.

You think it's bad now? Friend, in the 18th century, there was a great revival in England. I'm starting on another sermon. Listen, it is not too late for America, and I don't want you to say my country right or wrong. I want you to get right. I want to get right.

One by one, let's get right. Get right with God and say, say it, sing it, pray it, and mean it. God bless America. Amen. What a timely message for today. At this crucial time in our nation, we need to confess our sins.

We need to turn from our wicked ways and understand what the word of God says about government. Do you have a prayer request you want to share? At Love Worth Finding, it's one of our greatest honors to come alongside you and pray with you and for you. Go to our website homepage if you can at lwf.org slash radio and scroll down to find our prayer wall. There you'll find the option to either submit a prayer request or pray for others or both. This resource is one of our favorite ways to keep the ministry and the community praying continually for one another's needs.

We can't wait to hear from you. Again, go to lwf.org slash radio and scroll down to our prayer wall today. Thank you for joining us in God's word for this convicting message. It's not too late for America. One by one, we can get right with God. Sing it, pray it, and mean it. God bless America. Be sure to join us tomorrow for more real truth that never changes right here on Love Worth Finding.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-30 09:46:29 / 2024-01-30 09:55:59 / 10

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