Sunday, August 31, 2014

Do we have rights?

In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in allthe world for a witness unto all nations; and then shallthe end come.

I enjoy politics, I guess. As a political conservative, I focus mainly on what the Constitution does and doesn't say. I love the Constitution, for it is a document that allows freedom and protects our citizens from the evils of big government.

On the other side of the political aisle are the progressives/liberals. These have spent the last 100 plus years chipping away at the Constitution in order to give the federal government more and more control of our individual lives. This is a very bad thing and I will fight it to my dying breath.

However, in the church world, we have the opposite problem. 

We spend a great deal of time "spreading the gospel" and trying to get people "saved." 

That's all well and good, except our focus is wrong. 

We teach lessons, sing songs, write books, etc the goal of which are to show people what God will do for them. I guess the theory is that, in order to reach the "me generation," we have to "get them saved" by explaining the benefits of becoming a Christian. After all, everybody needs Jesus as their savior, right?

That's true.

But, we do them a disservice because we are only showing them half (if that) of the picture.

Jesus didn't come just to seek and save that which was lost. He came to impose his kingdom and displace the devil's kingdom. 

Every step he took towards Calvary and beyond was in direct and open warfare with the devil's kingdom.  

For example, Jesus didn't heal everybody he met that were sick and injured. He could have. Why didn't he? 

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

If he didn't heal someone, they were sick of natural, not supernatural, causes. 

Put simply, the kingdom of God had come to war with the kingdom of Satan. And Jesus won! 

But, there are some things that we must understand.

Jesus MUST be savior AND Lord (supreme controller) or he cannot be savior at all.

Human nature is that if we do not have an authority above us that we must follow and obey, we will do whatever we think is right.

The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). We must obey that gospel to enter into his kingdom and become a citizen (John 3:1-8, Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 4:27, 2 Thes. 1:8). 

But, when we enter the kingdom, we have been bought with a price and are no longer our own (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23). We can no longer do anything we want. There's a higher authority that we must (and will) answer to.

The kingdom of God has a king. His name is Jesus. As king, he has the right to allow us to do something. He also has the right to tell us no. 

As citizens of his kingdom, we have the right to ask, and we have the responsibility to obey the ruling that the king gives on any given matter.

The reason the church cannot allow a homosexual teacher/preacher/singer in it's walls is not that God (and we) don't love them. It's because the king's decree (the Bible) forbids it.

The reason we must stand against all sin is because our king has decreed that sin will keep men out of his kingdom and condemn them to eternal punishment in hell. 

Politics involves compromise. In the kingdom of God there is no compromise. 

When you become a citizen of the kingdom of God, you willingly submit yourself to his rule over your life- in all areas. 

There is no middle ground. It's the kings way, or the devils way.

Do we have rights? Yes. The right to obey God in all things. Period.