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When Loyalties Collide Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
June 30, 2022 1:00 am

When Loyalties Collide Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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June 30, 2022 1:00 am

The government is encroaching on the Christian freedoms our country once had, favoring various political agendas which run contrary to God’s Word. In this message about Jesus’ view of Caesar, we acknowledge three duties we owe government: taxes, submission, and prayer. When a country opposes the cross of Christ, what should believers do?

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Run with endurance the race that is looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our government is repressing the freedoms Christians once have favoring the agenda of same-sex marriage and unrestricted abortion when the red white and blue longer blends with the cross of Christ. What do believers do to find out state church in Chicago this morning to win with when Sir whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line extroverts or will we have to choose whether to obey God or the government.

Soon Dave, I think that we are already there. We have to choose between God and government. And of course God should always win.

If you believe that we should always obey this stage you are putting this state in the place of God.

While today's the last day, we are making a very special resource available to you as we near the end of June we are making available once again, the book entitled life-changing Bible verses you should know.

For example, how would you explain the doctrine of assurance to someone or the armor of God or conscience or courage or the cross. How do we navigate in this world with all of the sand and all of the temptations around us for a gift of any amount. It can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 ask for the book, life-changing Bible verses you should know this is the last in a series of four messages entitled Christians in conflict.

The first message was that when religions collide in the second message was when beliefs collide and then when personalities collide in today with our theme of patriotism. It is when loyalties collide were going to be speaking about church state issues because the Bible says that we are citizens of heaven and the citizens on earth.

Paul says in Philippians chapter 3 verse 20 but our poly to mom.

That's the Greek word from which we get the word politics. Our politics is in heaven, from whence also we look for a Savior, but meanwhile, we are commanded to live on earth and sometimes there are conflicts between our citizenship on earth and our citizenship in heaven, for example, were living at a time when our own Congress is debating the issue of hate speech and hate laws laws of hate crimes. The purpose of this is not only to give special recognition to those crimes that are committed against the homosexual community but also to stifle free speech and I know that because of what happened in Canada. They had hate crime laws and data.

Lo and behold, when a pastor would speak on the issue of homosexuality. He could be targeted because after all of that is hate speech a few weeks ago I spoke to a pastor in Canada and I said can you still read Romans chapter 1 in Canada and he said yes as long as no one is there to report us. There should be no trouble but we could get into trouble that could be deemed hate speech.

So what do we do in a culture that is committed to stifling what we think is our right, namely, freedom of speech. Let me give you another example. Some of you parents face. This what happens when the culture begins to clash with your values in school when your children are forced to take classes on such things as sexuality member the quote that I gave you a year or two ago that occurs in my book on same-sex marriage by Tammy Bruce. Now she was the head of now the national organization for women in California, so she writes, not as an evangelical Christian. But she is exposing the agenda and she says the reason for teaching children sexuality in the early grades is to sexualize them so that the pornography industry will have a lot sub attic in years to come, to buy their product snow that comes from her, not from someone who is an evangelical.

How do you handle that and then let's take another instance, the name of Jesus is being marginalized. It's being outlawed today. People say it's fine to give a prayer that is very ecumenical but don't use the name of Jesus. This is been true for a long time about 20 years ago I was asked to pray in a political rally, and I prayed in the name of Jesus and later on, there were some people who came and said we expected and ecumenical prayer, but not a prayer that ended the way you ended yours. I smile when I have those kinds of situations you always smile and you say you know I don't know any other way to pray. I'm sorry but that's who I am. How do we handle it well. These are the issues that were going to talk about together today and I hope I haven't scared up more rabbits than I'm able to shoot but were going to get into this whole topic by talking about taxes. Not a good place to begin. That's one thing that is consistent with the Democrats and the Republicans, both of them have our money. So now we can begin to talk taxes, the Bible passage for today is the 22nd chapter of the book of Matthew Matthew chapter 22 and the issue is taxes just like it was in those days. Benjamin Franklin said that there are two things that are absolutely certain death and taxes. But don't we wish they would come to us in that order. Somewhere along the line we got things can you seems to me now.

The Bible says in chapter 22 of Matthew.

Verse 15 then the Pharisees went out and plotted how to entangle him in his talk. They wanted some basis upon which to arrest Jesus and they sent to their disciples. The Pharisees didn't go alone and that they do been instantly recognized and Jesus would've been suspicious of them. That's the way they reasoned, so they sent to their disciples and they joined up with pepper rhodium were the Herodian's.

They are the followers of Herod the king remember that during this period of time. The land was completely in occupation by Rome. Every place that the Jews went they had to be with soldiers they had to give their identity and the soldiers basically controlled and ruled the land and in the Herodian's represented Rome and they were greatly hated by the Pharisees.

The Pharisees and the Herodian's were natural enemies, but when it came to doing away with Jesus, their hatred for Jesus was greater than their hatred for one another so they teamed up and they tried to get Jesus at trick question. They sent this delegation to Jesus and he's in the presence of the temple, there is still Wednesday of Passover week and the question that they ask him is simply this. Tell us what do you think verse 17. By the way they flatter them first. We know that you are true and that you teach the way of God. Truthfully and you do not care about anyone's opinion for you are not swayed by appearances tell us, then what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not greatest form of flattery is to ask someone's opinion. We know that you are wise, we know that you know a lot. What do you think, and they think that by flattering Jesus is going to give them an answer that they want but think of what they asked him, is it lawful to give taxes to Caesar or not. Most of them would've said most of the Jews would've said absolutely not. As a matter fact, the Jews hated the idea of giving taxes to Caesar, there were three different kinds of taxes. There were the taxes that were like an income tax 10% on everything that you got from the land and then there was a another form of tax that was 1% and then there was the poll tax. It was simply a denarius that you had to give for every single member of your family. When Jesus and his mother when Mary and Jesus and Joseph Jesus of course was not yet born made that trip from the northern part of the land in Nazareth to Bethlehem. They went to be enrolled because Rome was taking as senses so that they could collect the toll or pull tax that was the purpose of the census and the Jews hated this because in their mind.

That meant that they acknowledge the government of Rome. They acknowledge the authority of Rome and they were God's people and they hated paying distant areas for every member of their family. What about the Herodian's. Well, certainly the followers of Herod, they were in agreement that the tax should be paid.

After all, Rome was doing Palestine a favor.

In those days and so the tax should be paid now. Think about it. If Jesus said, yes, we should pay taxes on to Caesar. He would anger the Jews and they would have him arrested if he were to say no.

The Romans would be there to arrest him for treason and sedition. How is he going to answer all the wisdom of Jesus is overwhelming. He says give me a coin and then he looks at the coin and says who's pictures on the coin whose likeness and inscription is this verse 20 as if he didn't know. They said Caesar's and then he gives one of the most explosive comments that has implications for church state relationships that shows a difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament in terms of all of these political involvements in religion and Jesus says all right you render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and unto God what is God's will. No wonder it says at the end of the text, they marveled at him and went to way we didn't catch him. Now look at the text your finger in the text please. In verse 21 when Jesus said render to Caesar. He uses a different word than the Pharisees used when they came to him and they came to him in verse 17, they said tell us, is it lawful to pay taxes. They use the word pay taxes.

Jesus used an entirely different word. He didn't say therefore pay taxes to Caesar or paid to Caesar what is Caesar's, he said render upload.

Ditto, my in Greek it means to pay back Jesus is saying you owe a debt to Caesar is not only legal for you to pay taxes to Caesar, but it is also morally appropriate that you do. You owe it to Caesar to pay this tax you render on to him. What is due and then of course you render unto God what is due him so I like to do in the next few moments is to outline briefly what our responsibility is to the state what our responsibility is to God and then were going to talk about principles that help us resolve these conflicts. That's where were going. Remember it's my responsibility to speak. It's your responsibility to listen and I've been praying that we shall end at the same time. All right, first of all, what do we owe to Caesar what we owe taxes taxes, you know, in November we have Thanksgiving and in April we have tax giving and in both, we serve God. There are things that the state does that we can do alone protections of police and firemen. The larger issues of federal tax and protection for the country we can do these things on her own and we have an obligation to pay tax.

Now I know that there is some people who say I'm not going to pay tax because I don't like the way in which the government is spending my money if we all said that the government would have no money at all. None of us is completely happy with the way in which the government spends money, but noticed that it was not up to the Pharisees to decide whether or not Rome was using this money wisely.

They opened the taxes. Jesus said pay Caesar. What Caesar has coming to him. First of all, taxes. Secondly, submission to laws it says in Romans chapter 13 that the powers that be are ordained of God and let every soul be subject onto kings and to those who are in authority because God has ordained them. We oftentimes think that when a Christian leader has been elected or installed but that is God's will, but if an evil leader has been installed. That can't be God's will all yes doesn't mean that God does it. But God is the one who controls history and through secondary causes. The Bible says promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west are from the South of God as judge and he sets up one and he pulls down another the end of the day you read the book of Daniel, you discover that God is in charge of the kingdoms of this world. He is God and it's is the subject.

You say will are there no exceptions that when Paul wrote Romans. Nero was in power.

And if you know anything about history. Nero was not a friend to Christians. Yes, there are exceptions will get to them. I want you to first of all see how strongly the Scriptures exhort us to be obedient and then third prayer. The apostle Paul says I urge that entreaties and prayers be made for all those who are in authority for kings, that we may live a tranquil life.

Most Christians think well I will pray if a Christian is in power, but I will not pray for a person who is not a Christian. The Scripture would say again in the midst of pagan Rome.

You pray for your leader. You pray that God will bless him that God will give him wisdom that God will give him enlightenment that God will enable him to come to know the living God. But you pray for them. Perhaps today on being more candid than I should be. I usually find that out later. But I know that we're in the midst of a presidential election. Not quite that you have a lot of candidates. I don't know how many and others may join the race at this point I have to speak candidly. So far I've not found anyone in either party that really rings my bell. That's the way I feel about that contemporary situation and a few of you are tempted to clap apparently agree with me but well we going to get for president. We don't know this much should be our conviction, no matter who it is we will pray for that person. We will agonize for that person. And when we do we fulfill biblical that's what we owe to Caesar, and it should be a privilege to give it to him than what we owe for God render unto Caesar that which is Caesar and unto God that which is God's but we owe to God, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart with all thy mind and with all thy soul, and I neighbor as thyself. Wheel God total complete allegiance. There's not a single square inch of our territory. That should belong to anyone other than the all mighty God and his blessed son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

We owe it all to God. Now let's be clear on this point I don't think that Jesus meant that there are two compartments on the one hand, we overstate this and when whirling the state this. We have no allegiance to God. But over here in spiritual matters. Now we have an allegiance to God.

In these matters of spirit. Martin Luther your member spoke about the two spheres and it was misinterpreted during the days of Nazi Germany.

The idea was this that when you're in the realm of the state you can do whatever you like, whatever the state tells you to do.

You can torture people in a concentration camp over here because the state compels you to do that. But you go home for Christmas and you go to church and you sing Christmas carols and you read the Christmas story and you're a good Christian when you are in church.

Perhaps Luther did not intend that, but that's the way in which it was interpreted what I believe Jesus would agree with because of other passages of Scripture is this that God is over all things wheel him. Our allegiance and in the process of obeying God. We render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and we fulfill our duties to the state under the guidance and the leadership of God Almighty. Did you know that God desires your heart and your allegiance.

The Bible says that a double minded man is unstable in all of his ways and God does not want that kind of instability.

If there's a part of your heart today that is shot out like someone says there is a closet in my life where I do not allow God to enter today. I ask you in the name of Jesus open it and let God in God deserves our total complete allegiance.

Secondly, it says in the book of Malachi. What does the Lord your God required, but to seek justice and mercy see not only should we have a right relationship with him, but we should be making a difference in society by the mercy and the grace and the love that we show to those around us and do what we can to bring about just laws like Wilberforce did in England vented to change the nature of the culture by our lives and what this is pastor. Today's the last day, we are making a very special resources available to you.

It's a book entitled life-changing Bible verses you should know. So don't get the impression that it is just a list of Bible verses.

It is actually a list of topics 40 topics. As a matter of fact, that have to do with Christian living that have to do with Christian doctrine. I believe that it will be a tremendous resource not only for you, but especially if you are interested in discipling others. Each of the topics has questions at the end that can be used for discussion now for a gift of any amount. It can be yours. Go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 now because it is near the end of June and this is the last time we are making this resource available. I'm going to be giving you that contact info again remember the name of the book, life-changing Bible verses you should know. Here's what you can do. Go to RTW or you can call us right now at 1-888-218-9337 thanks in advance for helping us financially because together we are making a difference.

That phone number again 1-888-218-9337 time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Luzerne, a question about the Bible or the Christian life. All signs seem to indicate dark days coming from the United States for those without jobs, perhaps facing foreclosure. Those days have already come in no doubt the moral climate is sinking fast, very concerned listener of ours emailed this question. Pastor Luzerne is America under God's judgment. Now, I believe that America is under God's judgment today. Yes, you know. Oftentimes, when we talk about a nation being under judgment. Today people think that that means that we see judgment only in a terrorist attack or at a time such as Katrina.

The tremendous natural disaster which devastated so many, but actually a nation is under judgment when it begins to feel the effects of its sin. Judgment is nothing more than the accumulated effects of sin. All sin has some judgments but when you have a nation that has so turned away from God is. We have so consciously turned away from God. We see the effects of sin and the judgment of God. Everywhere we see it in the breakup of our families. For example, the fact that 20 million children will go to bed tonight in America with a single parent in the household fatherlessness because of immorality because of the breakup of the family because of selfishness because we have ignored God's laws. All of this, the effects are clearly seen, and we need to understand that we also see it in the political world where God is excluded from government from law from education and this has its consequences to we look at the moral and the spiritual breakdown we see today that our leaders appear to be absolutely blind to what is happening around them that to his judgment. You know, when Israel was taken into Babylon. They were under judgment, but in the midst of that you have people like Daniel and others who are faithful to the Lord. So we are called to be faithful at a time when our nation is experiencing the consequences of its sin.

And that's a long story. What faithfulness really means. But yes, God does not wink at sin and we have dethroned God in our culture and the consequences are apparent. Thank you Dr. Luther middle Lord have mercy on the United States of America. If you'd like to hear your question answered.

Go to our and click on ask Pastor Luzerne or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us that's running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 under pressure from agenda driven groups.

What was once free speech is now a federal crime in public schools. Tax money is spent teaching our kids about the homosexual lifestyle. Is there a time to stand up and say no when Luther says yes, next time I'm running to win, we conclude when loyalties collide with guidance on when to obey God rather than man.

Thanks for listening. This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the teacher

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