Friday, October 23, 2009

Role Of Government - The Fall Of Rome

Today I'd like to quote from John MacArthur's book, "Why Government Can't Save You" written in the year 2000.

"In its final years the Roman Empire deteriorated into a huge welfare state in which those people who still worked hard had to pay increasingly greater taxes to support the growing number who no longer worked."

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Role Of Government

Romans 13:3-4 provides a concise summary of the role of government:

"For rulers are not a cause for fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil."

Note that government workers are called "ministers of God" not once, but twice. This term also means "servants" of God. All governments are put in place by God and all government workers are ministers of God, putting them in a very special place and giving them serious responsibilities both to God and the people they serve. But this also makes sense, since all goverments are from God, then those representing the government are, in a way, representing God's will.

I find it interesting that some of the requirements for government service, in the early years of America's history, where that those in government positions be Christians. Our founding fathers understood what the Bible says about government workers being "ministers of God" and they wanted to help ensure wise choices where made for government service.

Let's look at the list of the three roles of government from yesterday, but I'll say them in a different way.

1. Punish wrongdoers - it is very clear from Romans 13:4 that government is to punish those who do wrong

2. Restrain evil - Romans 13:4 tells those who do evil that they should be afraid and notes that the government wields the sword (weapons) to be used against those who do evil. The way government restrains evil is by putting fear in the hearts of wrongdoers. This, of course, means that if they are not restraine by fear (the best option) then #1 above applies and it is the government's responsibility to punish those who do wrong.

3. Promote good - this means to treat citizens, who are doing good, in a just and fair manner. For example, government should be protecting the legitimate rights people have.

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Beautiful Day For God's Judgment

What does it look like when you are living in a country that is under God's judgment instead of blessing?

I look out the window and see blue sky, green grass and beautiful flowers. The Mama's and Papa's Anthology is on the CD player. The air is warm, just perfectly right. I had a pleasant meeting with some Christian clients this afternoon. It a beautiful day... nothing is going wrong. Is this what it looks like to be in God's wrath?


God's wrath takes several forms, one of which is the withdrawal of His blessing. I'd guess this has been happening in America for at least the past 40 or 50 years, maybe longer. What does the withdrawal of God's blessing look like? Roman 1:24-32 describes what happens.

"Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another." [Gay marriage and homosexuality being recognized as not on acceptable, but right and good.]

"They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, andworshipped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen" .." [Evolution, although not based on fact or scientific proof, becoming the only accepted explaination for life.]

"The have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice." [Corporate executives' greed. Politicians' adultery. The murder of millions through abortion. A socialistic government that thinks nothing of lying if it furthers their cause.]

Verse 32 ends the list of evil and wickedness with a perfect description of America: "Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them."

Look at the countries America is trying become friends with. It's a list of evil dictators. Who are we turning away from? Israel.

Look out your window. The America you see is what a country under God's wrath looks like.

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Saturday, June 06, 2009

How Does God Treat Nations?

I have a question for you... Does God's interaction with the nation of Israel in the Old Testament reflect how He interacts with nation's today?

How does God use nations? God blessed Israel when they turned to Him and he withdrew His blessing when they turned away. Actually He did more than withdraw His blessing, He punished Israel. He brought drought, insects, enemies and exile to punish the nation of Israel. National punishment hurt both those who still lived in obedience to God and those who had turned away.

What does God do with nations today? The Bible tells us that all governments are from God. Does that mean that governments are tools He uses to teach us? Tools He uses to drive us to Him?

In America we have replaced God with government. It is now government we turn to for salvation. Not salvation from sin, but salvation from anything and everything else. But the more we turn to government to save us, the greater our problems. Don't we know history? For each problem government "solves" they create the foundation for three or four new problems that will become the next big crisis... which of course the government is then called on to solve.

Turning to the government for salvation brings nothing but increased misery. Maybe this is what God is teaching us. It's the same thing He was teaching Israel in the Old Testament. Trust God. Turn to God. Obey God. He is our creator. He made us. He knows us. He loves us. Trust Him.

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Where Is God?

I just canceled my subscription to our local paper. I'd browse through its pages and feel like there was nothing to read... not one mention of God. The few times Christianity was mentioned in an article, it was invariable misrepresented. Yes, there was the religion section in the paper every Saturday. But that was about religion, not about God.

The question kept coming to mind, how can there be daily news without once mentioning the creator of the universe, and the one who continues to hold it all together. Without mentioning the one from whom all good things come, every day of our lives. The one who provides the food we eat and the very air we breath. And every day He is ignored.

Although the paper was filled with Obama worship, there was never any worship of the true God. There was no point in paying for something that was not worth reading.

But this led me to the question, what has happened to us? How is it that we have removed God from our lives and put Him so far away from us? How is it that we, as a nation, ignore God every day... and expect to get away with it?

Where is God? He is not first in the thoughts and deeds of most Americans. God is here. He has not left us, but we have left God.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

What Do We Worship - What Are We Losing?

What do we worship in America... and around the world? What is the #1 focus of most people?

Money. Possessions. Stuff--clothes, cars, MP3 players, DVDs.

What have we been losing for the past couple of years, at an accelerating rate? Money. Possessions. Stuff.

God gives us a chance to change. It's been starting slow and building. And what has been happening? Has America been turning to God? No, we've turned to Barack Obama as our savior. No, we turn to the government to bail us out and give us back our money. Is that the answer?


Turn to God. Make God #1 in your life.

Remember God first loved you... gave His Son so you could live.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

She Defiled Herself With Immorality

When each of us dies we are judged by God. Our judgment comes after our physical life ends. For nations judgment comes while that nation exists. God is patient. Judgment and the results of judgment do not come with haste, giving the citizens of that nation plenty of time to repent and turn to God. What causes God's judgment on a nation? This is why Jerusalem (the nation of Judah) was judged and destroyed:

"She defiled herself with immorality with no thought of the punishment that would follow." - Lamentations 1:9

The city of Jerusalem speaks saying, "He [God] wove my sins into ropes to hitch me to a yoke of captivity." - Lamentations


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

God Let's You Do What You Want To Do, BUT...

We've been using the book of Jeremiah to uncover part of God's character and learn how God deals with nations. When does He bless nations and when does he curse (withdraw blessings) nations.

Does God force people to behave in a certain way? Is Christianity a religion of compulsion, that forces people to live and behave a certain way? About 2,500 years ago Babylon had conquered Israel, leaving just a remnant of the Jewish population behind. Those Jews started worshipping the Queen of Heaven, a pagan god. They refused to stop disobeying the LORD God and continued to worship the Queen of Heaven. So this is what God said:

"You and your wives have said that you will never give up your devotion and sacrifices to the Queen of Heaven, and you have proved it by your actions. Then go ahead and carry our your promises and vows to her!" - Jeremiah 44:25

If you choose to turn your back on God... if you refuse to obey God... he let's you do that. It's your choice to make and you may do as you wish. BUT, there are consequences both to you as an individual and to a nation that turns its back on God. The consequence for a nation is that God withdraws His blessing, and that brings disaster. In the case of the Jews God spoke to in Jeremiah 44:25 the consequences included "war and famine until all of you are dead." (Jeremiah 44:27)

In America today we are turning our backs on God both individually and as a nation. Individually, after our death, we all will stand before God to be judged. If you have disobeyed God in any way, the penalty is death (hell). As a nation the consequences don't come after the death of that nation, they are more immediate and may result in the death of the nation.

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