Regardless Of Who Wins The Election - Part 2

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Patriotism is a good thing, defined by Webster as, love of one’s country.  It’s fitting for a believer to love his country and be grateful for it, just as he might be grateful to God for any number of blessings and benefits (Ps. 103; 1 Tim. 2:1-3; 1 Tim. 6:17; et al.).  It is a problem; however, when patriotism becomes entwined with one’s faith in such a way that the two are indistinguishable.  When you have wrapped the cross in the flag, you have gone too far.  While your faith should make you a better citizen, your citizenship should never take priority over the dictates of faith.

Many have lost sight of the fact that America is a godless, Gentile nation. America has no eschatological, exception clauses.  She will be swallowed up in the antichrist system of the end times and judged with the nations upon Christ’s return (Mt. 25:31-46; Rev. 11:15).  This program of antichrist is already at work and has been for centuries (Ps. 2; 2 Thess. 2:7).  

As the fulfillment of all Old Testament prophecies concerning a coming Messiah (Messiah: the one anointed to be Israel’s promised King), the Lord Jesus Christ came to establish an earthly, visible, Jewish, Messianic Kingdom on this earth (Ps. 50; Dan. 4:26; Is. 2; Zech. 14; Mt. 6:10; et al.).  The entire book of Matthew was written in order to demonstrate this truth for the Jew.  The phrase, kingdom of heaven, is found only in the book of Matthew and is found 32 times in 31 verses.  A few quick facts about this kingdom that Christ came to establish on the earth:

  1. It is not synonymous with the church.
  2. It was rejected by Israel (Jn. 1:11-12; Mt. 11-12)
  3. It has been postponed for a future time (Ro. 11:25-36; Acts 15:14-18; Mt. 25:31-34; et al.).

In this era, the church has been established in place of the kingdom.  While the kingdom agenda had and will one day again have to do with nations, the church has to do with individuals.  “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13); “…his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God” (Jn. 1:11-12).  God is not dealing with nations today…his program is with the church which is comprised of individual, born-again believers.

This brings us to the point under consideration.  Regardless of who wins the election, the church’s mission stays the same!

The church’s mission in the world is not social justice, political revolution, world peace or economic parity.  Luminary, 19th century Baptist pastor, I. M. Haldeman of New York City, identified one of the false concepts of the church as the belief that:

The church is the kingdom of Christ; that Christ is the unseen and spiritual King; that the church is to go forth, preach in His name, and seek to extend this kingdom till the whole world shall come under His moral and spiritual power; and thus Christ shall be the King of kings, ruling over a world filled with His peace and righteousness. This concept has led the professing church to join hands with the civilization of the world in an endeavor to build the world in the way of righteousness. It has led preachers, a multitude of earnest Christians and, indeed, the church as a whole into social reform, into the endeavor to purify legislation and civil government.…this concept of the church and the work of the church is wholly false and without the shadow of scriptural foundation (The Mission of the Church in the World, by I. M. Haldeman, reprinted by Oliver B. Green, p. 31).
The church’s mission has nothing whatsoever to do with political agendas.  We are not trying to make the world “a better place to go to hell from.”  Haldeman said, “The church is not here to make the world better.  On the contrary, the church is here to testify the world cannot be made better; that so far from being made better it will go from bad to worse” (The Mission of the Church in the World, by I. M. Haldeman, reprinted by Oliver B. Green, pp. 14-15  The cross of Christ is a message of personal redemption, not political reformation.  To attempt to join or mingle the causes of civil government and the New Testament church is to do damage to both.  We must remember that it was our Savior, Jesus Christ, “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world according to the will of the Father” (Gal. 1:4).  One can deduce quite simply from that verse: No politician, party or effective legislature can deliver us from our sins or change this present evil world.  It will be evil when Christ returns (Tit. 2:11-15).

I have heard it trumpeted a thousand times, even said it myself in ignorance, “If we want to change the world we do it one soul at a time.” That sounds great and I am for reaching sinners with the gospel, but not for the purpose of saving America.  It is done for the purposes of bringing glory to God and saving the soul.

I. M. Haldeman said, “The church is here to save men out of the world.  It is here to save them out of that system which is called the world” (The Mission of the Church in the World, by I. M. Haldeman, reprinted by Oliver B. Green, p. 35-36).  This is what James was saying in Acts 15:14 when he said, “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.”

Our mission, the church’s mission in the world is the same as it was when Christ gave it.  Go, preach the gospel, baptize the believers, organize churches and teach them to follow Christ.  The result of this is the spread of spiritual societies called churches that are separate from the world, not entangled with it.  While we as individuals have every right to vote and participate in government according our consciences, we must never confuse political agendas with the mission of the New Testament church.
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