If you follow any news feeds for very long it seems like we are living in a battleground. Some people are willing to embrace violence to make a point. Others use violent words instead. Different groups are fighting for control of our nation and its direction. Now more than ever it is critical to ask, “what is a Christ follower’s role during the conflict & turmoil that emerges national elections?”
- We are Living in a Battleground. Different voices come with different values & mixed motives. The fact that we tolerate this kind of conversation in our election shows that no matter who wins we are still losing.
- Followers of Jesus don’t quite fit any more. Our citizenship has changed… fully and legally at our conversion, but like all such changes it takes time to work itself out fully. We are in transition on our way to eternity! (See Philippians 1:6). If we are honest and listening to Jesus we find that we really don’t fully fit in any political parties any more. We probably never did.
Philippians 3:20-21 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…
CORE TRUTH: We are Citizens of Heaven and Ambassadors Here.
It is vital that we remember this. If we do, it helps us resist the temptation to join the battle in destructive ways and frees us to serve as agents of good. Notice the marks of a citizen of heaven:
Heaven’s citizens prioritize following heaven’s king.
- Heaven’s citizens embrace the life values of heaven’s king.
- Heaven’s citizens live as aliens and strangers among the nations.
- Heaven’s citizens experience conflict with the values of the nations.
This truth leads to two clear roles we must embrace if we are going to be of any help in times like this.
First, Embrace Your Citizenship in Jesus’ Kingdom and the Values that Come with It.
Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. See also 1Peter 2:11-12
We know there are different values in different cultures! Be sure you intentionally embrace the values of Jesus. Like any immigrant learning a new culture this takes time, but it is important if we are going to experience heaven’s impact on earth. Nurture Jesus’ values in your soul and work them out in daily life. Jesus is working inside you. Embrace the lessons. Work at it like you would expect an immigrant to work at learning English, driving rules along other values & quirks of life in our country.
Second, Live as an Ambassador of His Kingdom by Representing His Kingdom Where You are Now.
2Corinthians 5:20-21 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Let the people you know about Jesus Kingdom! Show people the door to Jesus’ Kingdom. Invite people to enter His kingdom. Help them get to know its King.
The most important kingdom we can campaign for is Jesus’ kingdom. Our core message now is: the salvation you are looking for can only be found in Jesus. New tax codes won’t save you, new marriage laws won’t save you, new immigration policies won’t save you, a giant wall won’t save you and further health care reform won’t save you. What good is it to move from one fallen kingdom to another? Those things are worth talking about but with a higher perspective. Otherwise we endlessly rearrange the furniture on the Titanic.
The Kingdom of God is at hand. Its king can save you if you will embrace Him.
You can here the entire lesson at http://www.parkviewfamily.com. Join us any Sunday if you are in south central Nebraska at 9:15 or 11:00.