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Christian Citizenship | Part 1

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
October 21, 2020 8:00 am

Christian Citizenship | Part 1

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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October 21, 2020 8:00 am

What does the Bible say about Christian citizenship? What are our responsibilities, duties, and rights? In this message, Adrian Rogers explains how we are to behave concerning politics, using Paul’s letter in Romans 13.

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From the Love Word Finding studios in Memphis, Tennessee, I'm Byron Tyler, here with Kerry Vaughn, the CEO of Love Word Finding. Kerry, today Adrian Rogers' message, Christian citizenship. What does the Bible say about Christian citizenship? Recently I discovered 50 verses on the topic, what are our responsibilities, duties, and rights? What are Christians to do, to think, and how are we instructed to behave? It's very clear in Scripture, it leads us to understand what it means to be a Christian citizen. Many shy away, Kerry, from political involvement for various reasons.

Some are discouraged, others are intimidated or maybe annoyed. That's exactly right, Byron. You know, the greatest responsibility in America is not in the White House, but in the Church House. When you joined your church, and when I joined mine, there were some expectations, right? Maybe one hour of service, one hour of fellowship, and one hour of worship. The same is true for our membership in America, right?

What are the expectations? And so when you unfold this sermon, what you see is we have a great, great opportunity to praise our government, to pray for our government, to participate in our government, and much, much more. Well, I've heard Adrian Rogers say many times, separation of church and state does not mean the separation of God and government.

That's exactly right. And I believe we need the influence of God in our government, right? It's not a political influence that we need, it is the presence and power of God that we need. That's so true, Kerry. Well, we always love hearing from our Love Worth Finding listeners. This message from Facebook, time and time again, God uses Adrian Rogers' pure teaching of God's Word to reveal exactly what God is wanting to say to me. I appreciate this timeless truth, which the Holy Spirit uses to correct, change, transform, and illuminate my walk with God.

Oh, that's so true. You know, our walk with God is a direct correlation with our time spent with God. You know, a wise pastor once said, never confuse your service for God with your walk with God.

But that comes with communion with the Father, right? And Adrian knew that. Because of his time with the Father and because he was truly a reflection of the Savior, he became a spiritual advisor to many U.S. presidents. And he knew kind of what this Adrianism says, the government is not here to make you good. Only God can make you good.

So he knew if these leaders would be a vessel that the Holy Spirit could flow through, then God could use that to change a nation. Well, Kerry, this month's resource is a book called Battle for the Soul of America, originally out on an e-book download, still available that way. But we are making printed copies for those who would like to have a copy. Absolutely. So get your copies.

It may be a Sunday school class, maybe a neighborhood watch, maybe some family members, but get that and use that during this time over the next 60 days. Your purchasing these books and sharing will also help to support the ministry of Love Worth Finding. And for any gift that you would give to the ministry, we would love to make this book, Battle for the Soul of America, yours.

Absolutely. As you give a gift to Love Worth Finding, we will send that to you and pray that God will use it in a mighty way. Well, for today's message from Adrian Rogers, here's Christian Citizenship.

The book of Romans is the constitution of Christianity. And I want to tell you, it is a solid word for an unsure age. And our age without the Word of God is an unsure age. And I'm speaking to many people.

You're looking for something solid. You're looking for a place to stand and yet you feel like you're walking around on eggshells and jello. Thank God for the solid rock of God's Word. And I want you to see what the Bible has to say about Christian citizenship.

What are our responsibilities, our duties, our rights? Is the Bible oblivious to this? Or did God ordain human government and tell His people to stay out of it? What are Christians to do, to think, and how are we going to behave? Now, I, the first to confess that many Christians have simply dropped out. And let me tell you the reasons that many have dropped out.

We're going to read the scripture now in just a moment. But let me tell you why many have dropped out. They see involvement somehow as the social gospel. And I am against the social gospel as much as anybody else because there's only one gospel and that's the saving gospel of Jesus Christ, the blood gospel where Jesus died for our sins according to the scriptures.

But there's some who have substituted culture for Calvary. And others think that if we get all involved in government, that all we're trying to do is make the world a better place to go to hell from. And so they just simply drop out because they think, well, we're not to get involved in the social gospel. Now, there are other people who have dropped out just simply because they have given up hope. They say that America has crossed the point of no return. And so what they've done, they've just hunkered down and they have begun to sing the song, Hold the Fork. And they're just waiting for Jesus to get here and to rescue them. And so they've just given up hope. Now, there are others who have dropped out, not that they equate activity with the social gospel or not because they are hopeless, but because they see politics as dirty.

Something that would defile them, that we as Christians are to be other worldly, that our kingdom is not of this world. And so therefore, we don't want to get contaminated. So we will just stay away from all of that. And some folks really believe that. And then there are others and a great number like this who have dropped out and don't participate, very frankly, because they are intimidated. They are intimidated. The ACLU and others have prated so much about this thing called church and state and the separation of church and state that they think because we are Christians, somehow we have no rights, no privileges, no prerogatives that we have been disenfranchised. And they just tell us, why don't you shut up and go back inside your little stained glass prisons and leave it to us to take care of it?

Now, very frankly, a lot of people who are believers have more or less dropped out. Now, where are we going to get the answers? I mean, how are we going to know the answers to these questions? Are we going to get the answers to self-serving politicians?

Not all politicians are self-serving, but are we going to let some self-serving politician, A, try to co-opt the church and use the church for his or her purposes or perhaps intimidate the church so that he can or she can have his or her way? Are the politicos going to tell us what is right or what is wrong? Do they know the answer? Where are we going to get the answers? Are we going to get the answers from the humanist and the secularist who don't believe in Christ, don't believe in God, don't believe in the church? Are we going to get the answers from some egg-headed philosopher who's going to sit back and bump his fingers and tell us what he thinks? I'm going to tell you where we're going to get the answers. Right here.

Right here. The Word of God and the Book of Romans is going to speak very clearly and very plainly about this matter of Christian citizenship. Begin now in chapter 13, verse 1. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. Now, the word powers, there's a translation of the word that means authorities. When he's saying higher powers, what he is literally talking about is the civil magistrate, the governmental leader. Let every soul be subject unto the civil magistrate. For there is no power, that is, no authority but of God, and the powers that be, that is, the rulers, the leaders, the magistrates, that be are ordained of God.

Now, you might think of your minister as an ordained minister, but have you ever thought of your governor as an ordained governor? Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, that is, the authorities, resisteth the ordinance of God, and they that resist, that is, rebelers, shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power of the civil magistrate? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same, that is, of your governor, your ruler, your king, your president, your mayor, your council, for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid, for he beareth not the sword in vain, for he is... Who is he talking about now?

The civil magistrate, for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore, ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake. For this cause pay ye tribute also, for they are God's ministers attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues. Tribute, to whom tribute is due. Custom, to whom custom. Fear, to whom fear.

Honor, to whom honor. Now that's the scripture we're going to look at today, and we're going to look at it basically under three headings. And the very first heading that we're going to look at today is the reasons for human government. And you're going to find, and when we get to the bottom line, the big question is not, can you be a Christian and be involved in government? The big question is, can you be a Christian and not be involved?

And not be involved. Can you obey this word of God and not be involved? Now, what are the reasons for human government? The Bible tells us that human government is ordained of God. Did you know that God sets up kings and God brings kings down? That God ordains rulers, and sometimes God sets up wicked rulers? God does that. For example, in Daniel chapter 2 and verse 21, Daniel said concerning the Lord, he removeth kings and seteth up kings. God takes them down and God puts them up. That's what the word of God says. He removeth kings and seteth up kings.

Now, I'll give you a prime example of that. One of the mightiest potentates in the Old Testament was a king named Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar ruled over ancient Babylon. And Daniel was in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. And Daniel had a chance to prophesy and testify to Nebuchadnezzar. And Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar where his power came from. In Daniel chapter 2 and verse 23, God said through Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar, thou, O king, art a king of kings for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom. That's Nebuchadnezzar. And he was not a godly king.

As a matter of fact, he got so rotten full of himself, he got so full of pride that God judged him and he ended up crawling around on all fours eating grass like an ox with long fingernails. This man who was so stuffed full of himself, God set him up and God brought him down. That's Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon.

Let me give you another king. Who do we think of as the arch villain so much in the Old Testament? Oh, Pharaoh. Well, how did Pharaoh get his kingdom? Well, God raised Pharaoh up. Pharaoh was wicked, malevolent, anti-god, a murderer of little babies.

But now listen to this. Romans 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. God said, I brought you up and I'm going to bring you down.

I'm going to show my power in you. Remember the man, that pussy-footing politician, Pilate, who didn't have the moral rectitude and courage to release Jesus? He washed his lily-white politician's hands and said, I'm innocent of the blood of this just man. But it was Pilate that had Jesus Christ in front of him. And Pilate said to Jesus, don't you know who I am?

Don't you know that I have the power to crucify you or to release you? Now let me give you the answer that Jesus gave to Pilate. In John chapter 19 and verse 11, Jesus said to him, thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above. Even Pilate, even Pilate who allowed Jesus to be crucified. Jesus said, you don't have any authority, you don't have any power, except it was given to you from above.

That's a very interesting thing because of the three illustrations I've given you now, all three of these were wicked men. And yet God allowed them to have power. The authorities that be are ordained of God. Who was the authority when Paul wrote this?

Old season. The Roman government was in power. That was not a democracy. The Christians were disenfranchised.

They had no political power. As a matter of fact, what they believed was illegal because they would not say Caesar is Lord. And yet under that aegis, the apostle wrote, the powers that be are ordained of God. The Bible says, if you resist these authorities in verse two, you're resisting God. Because it is God that set them up.

Well, I know what you're thinking right now. You say, well, wait a minute. Do you mean that some king, some potentate, some fat toad sitting upon the throne may tell me to do this or that and I am to do it? Contrary to the word and the will of God. Well, hold on to that thought and we'll get to that thought.

But now listen to me. I want you to get this point down in your heart and in your mind that God ordains human government for two reasons. He tells us right here. Number one, to restrain evil. Look, if you will, in verses three and four of this chapter. He says here, for their rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power?

Do that which is good and thou shall have praise of the same, for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid, for he beareth not the sword in vain. Reason number one that God has given us human government is for restraint to restrain evil. Now listen, you can't legislate morality. Law can't make you good. Only God can make you good. Government is not here to make you good. It can't make you good.

Only God can make you good. Government is here to restrain evil. There's not a law on earth can make you love me, so I have to have one to keep you from killing me.

See? There's not a law on earth that can make you honest, so we have to have laws that keep you from stealing. There's not a law on earth that can keep you from lying, so we have to have laws against perjury.

You see, you don't legislate morality, but you do legislate against immorality. And thank God for those who are here to restrain evil. And I want to say something else. It's about time we said a good word for the policeman. I'm sick and tired of policemen being put upon.

I took this out of my files. Listen to it. A policeman is many things. He is a son, a brother, a father, an uncle, and sometimes even a grandfather. He is a protector in time of need and a comforter in time of sorrow.

His job calls for him to be a diplomat, a psychologist, a lawyer, a friend, and an inspiration. He suffers from an overdose of publicity about brutality and dishonesty. He suffers far more from the notoriety produced by unfounded charges. Too often, acts of heroism go unnoticed, and the truth is buried under all the criticism. The fact is, listen to this, less than one-half of one percent of policemen ever discredit their uniform.

That's a better average than you'll find among clergymen. A policeman is an ordinary guy who is called upon for extraordinary bravery for us. His job may sometimes seem routine, but the interruptions can be moments of stark terror. He is the man who faces a half-crazed gunman, who rescues a lost child, who challenges a mob, and risks his neck more than we realize. He deserves our respect and profound thanks. A policeman stands between the law abider and the law breaker.

He is the prime reason your home hasn't been burned, your family abused, and your business looted. Try to imagine what would happen if there were no policemen around, and then try to think of ways to make their job more rewarding. Show them the respect you really have. Offer them a smile and a kind word.

See that they don't have to be magicians to raise their families on less than adequate salaries. We think policemen are great. We thank God for all the little boys who said they would be policemen and who kept their promise.

We hope you feel the same way, and we hope you will show it so there will always be enough good policemen to go around. He is the minister of God to thee for good. He is there to restrain evil, and the Bible says that he bears the sword. A sword is an instrument of death. Sometimes the government, in order to restrain evil, must take life.

Now, I want you to listen to me, friend. The scripture that says, Thou shalt not kill, Exodus 20 and verse 13. Now, this scripture in the Ten Commandments means, and the Hebrew translation bears it out, that thou shalt do no murder. Thou shalt take no personal vengeance. But, friend, the same person who wrote Exodus 20 and verse 13 wrote Exodus 21 and verse 12.

Whoever else he was, he wasn't insane, a madman. And what did he say in Exodus 21, verse 12? He that smiteth a man so that he die shall surely be put to death. The same Bible. The same Bible.

Chapter next to chapter. One chapter says, Thou shalt not kill, that is, don't do murder. And the next chapter says, if you do, you ought to be put to death. He beareth not the sword in vain. The sword is an instrument of death.

Now, why is this? Well, the Bible said way back in Genesis chapter 9 and verse 6, listen to it, Whoso shedeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed. All murder is killing. But all killing is not murder. Again, listen to it, Whoso shedeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed. For he, that is man, in the image of God made he man. The God that gives life is the God that has the right to take it. And God has his ordained ministers to do his work for him.

And that is the civil magistrate. Somebody says, that is cruel, Pastor Rogers. I thought you were a man of love. Friend, you may not believe what I'm saying is based on love, but I don't want to be any more loving than Almighty God, and God is infinite love. And I'm giving you the Word of God.

And if you don't believe Genesis 9, 6, when you get to heaven, if you get to heaven, take it up with God, okay? God is love. You see, the coddling of the murderer is really cruelty to the community.

Don't think that you're more wise or loving than God himself. Let people say, well, capital punishment. That's not an inhibition to murder.

Well, in some cases it is. I want to tell you that Henry VIII pardoned a murderer one time, and that murderer, after having been pardoned, killed another man. They came back to Henry VIII, and they said to King Henry, pardon him again.

He said, oh, no. He said, he killed the first man, I killed the second man. He won't kill anymore. And the man died for his crime.

You see, it does inhibit some from killing again. Some say, well, God is too good to punish sin. No, God is too good not to punish sin.

Now, if you don't believe that God believes in capital punishment, I want to ask you this question. Who crucified Jesus? Well, you say the Roman soldiers. Well, they were the instruments that nailed Him to the cross. You say, well, the Jewish council, yes, they were the ones that hounded Him to the cross. But if you'll study your Bible carefully, you'll understand that God the Son died at the hands of God the Father. He hath put Him to death. That's what the Bible says, that God the Father poured out His wrath upon His only Son.

Why? Because God's Son was standing in our place. God was my substitute. Jesus was my substitute.

He took my place. And therefore, He took the death that I should die. And the Bible says the wages of sin is death and the cross was capital punishment.

That's what it was at the hands really of Almighty God. And we'll hear part two of this message coming up tomorrow on Love Worth Finding. In the meantime, maybe have questions about who Jesus is or what He means to you, how to surrender your life fully to Him. Go to our Discover Jesus page at slash radio. You'll find resources there and materials that will answer questions you may have about your faith. Again, go to slash radio and click Discover Jesus. Well, thanks for joining us for our study in God's Word today. Remember, we dare not identify the Christian faith with the Democrat or the Republican Party. We need to be free to tell both parties to repent and get right with God. Aren't Adrian Rogers' wise words so comforting in this season? Be sure to join us tomorrow for the conclusion of Christian citizenship right here on Love Worth Finding.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-02 21:10:35 / 2024-02-02 21:19:45 / 9

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