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10/07/12 Good Citizens!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, October 8, 2012 Under: Sermon

Text: 1 Peter 2:13-17 (NKJV)

13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men--16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV)

Intro: American Bible Society does an annual survey of the State of the Bible, and this year it tested attitudes toward the upcoming election. Lamar Vest serves as president of the Society. Vest “Of those [ages] 18 to 27, 59 percent of those in the survey indicated that faith has very little or no influence in their views on political issues," he summarizes. "Of those 64 and older, you see a higher percentage of people who say that it matters to them what people believe about the Bible."

Vest says that one of the shocking statistics was that about half of those surveyed said they would vote for an atheist as president. Only 49 percent would vote for a candidate based on whether they use a Bible. "Twenty-five to thirty years ago, we did a survey with Gallup that shocked us all that basically indicated that people going to church on a regular basis had little to do with the way they lived their lives," Vest laments. What the latest survey shows is that people suggest they believe the Bible is divinely inspired, but it has little to do with the way they vote in the election. Vest notes the Bible is still a top seller, and that people debate it and give it as gifts. "They seem to do everything but read it," he decides, pointing out that that is the challenge.

From a Biblical perspective when I stand behind the pulpit, I believe I still have that 1st amendment right? I ask, can a Christian, should a Christian idly stand by while their core convictions of Christian citizenship be removed? Is it okay for Government to attack religious liberties, the sanctity of human life, and the institution of marriage, just to name a few! In a month Christians all over the country will have the right, no a command from God to vote.

- Not to vote is to make a pledge of silence and keep your light under a basket.

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) Is a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth. They work diligently to foster and defend an environment where pastors are free to speak, act, and minister in accordance with biblical principles without fear of government censorship, punishment, unlawful regulation, or loss of tax exemption. Society will not long survive without a strong, vibrant, and fully engaged Church led by courageous individuals willing to speak, act, and minister the truth of God’s full Word.

What other pastors are saying: “The Church’s assignment is to be the moral and cultural conscience of the nation.” Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr. Church of Hope, Beltsville, Maryland

“It’s not enough to be an advocate of something… you must be an outward advocate. We can no longer be silent. If we don’t speak up, no one is going to speak up.” Rev. David Jeremiah, Shadow Mountain Community Church. El Cajon, California

The future of religious liberty in America depends on the willingness of pastors to speak up boldly for their God-given, constitutionally protected freedoms.

Application: Good Citizens let their Light Shine!

1. The Command for Submission: vs. 13

Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme.

The bible teaches us we are to obey the laws of the land, submit to the human institutions He ordained, to be obedient, but also to imitate Christ. Christians will obey all laws and respect all authority, unless called upon to do something God forbids or not do something He commands.

Romans 13:1-7

1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

"Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." Matthew 22:21

This is for the Lord’s sake; just as the Lord submitted to His father we must submit! God is pleased when unsaved people associate Christians with spiritual virtue, righteousness, love, graciousness, humility, and the gospel of salvation.

“Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” Philippians 2:14-15

Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. That command does not exclude authorities who make bad or unjust decisions. Despite the evil that occurs because authorities are fallen and institutions are imperfect, believers must trust that God still exercises sovereign and perfectly wise rule over societies and nations.

2. The Command for Obedience: Romans 12:2

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." 

Obedience means the Christian must speak out against the wiles of the devil, against corruption and immorality. Against accepted practices that say evil is called good, and right is called wrong. I like what I heard from Kirk Cameron supporting pulpit freedoms and the urgency to once again stand on biblical principles behind the pulpit. He made the comment “Our forefathers left us a reset button” We need to reset or return to our factory settings, man comes with instructions and these instructions are in the:

BIBLE. Basic instructions before leaving earth.

The bible documents obedience from leaders of the Old and New Testament. Leaders who saw the mandate of scripture, we had prophets like Nathan and Jeremiah and preachers like Stephen and John the Baptist – not to mention Jesus Himself, who answered questions on still-hot topics like the meaning of marriage, taxes, and the character of public officials.

At one time in history a man and a woman didn’t live together until they married, the Country didn’t stand by and say all that’s okay, but we can add to that, now states in America are saying it is okay for men to marry men and women to marry women, it’s alright there not bothering me, but there is hope! 32 States in our Country say we will support the traditional marriage God planned, praise God in North Caroline 61% support this: “And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' 5 and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." Matthew 22:21

I know by now in this message there has to be someone thinking Pastor you’re being too political. My next thought would be but where is the moral compass. For almost 200 years in this Country it was accepted, it was okay for a pastor to preach the truth! 58 years ago that all changed, on July 2nd 1954 Lynden Johnson a senator at the time pushed and it was passed the: Johnson Amendment. Basically telling pastor’s they could no longer speak of or indorse any Candidate behind the pulpit for it would put them in danger with the IRS and losing their being exempt.

I’m taking a bold stand and quite honestly it scares me, I chose to pledge to an organization called Pulpit Freedom and agree along with over 1500 other pastor’s in this country to stand behind the pulpit on October the 7th and preach the Biblical Principles of the truth. I made a commitment to Faith, Family and Freedom. The Country is 16 trillion dollars in debt, the sanctity of life is being destroyed, marriages are up for grab and everything is acceptable. Immorality is going up as fast as inflation.

Illustration: Termites in the wall you can’t see them but their there. The foundation of the building, the walls are going to collapse going to be destroyed unless we get an exterminator. The command for obedience means we must be that exterminator; we must destroy sin, or just like the fall and destruction of the Great Roman Empire, the United States will self-destruct because of the selfless, selfish desires of man and control. Christians think God doesn’t see what they do with Politics.

3. The Command for Understanding: Ephesians 4:14-15

14 That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.

An understanding of how we are to vote or who we are to support must first come with prayer and fasting, Abraham Lincoln in 1863 called for a time of prayer & fasting. We need more leaders that follow God’s principles to take us back to the values this country was based on. 50% of the voters in this country don’t vote! How many of them are Christians? Just a few years ago the man that was put in the white house won by 547 votes, should we vote? The constitution was based on Biblical Principles and a nation under God. Now there is a convention that said “No” three times to the need of a God in their platform. Christian you can’t keep sleeping in the bottom of the boat. We must rebuild, there is a need for more Nehemiah’s!

Take Heed: “Then He charged them, saying, "Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod." Mark 8:15

Beware! The evil of religionists and world leaders is leaven. Jesus said, "Take heed, beware of the leaven” The leaven of the Pharisees (religionists) was their doctrine or teaching and their hypocrisy, deception, and play-acting. The Pharisees believed in a personal God and in the Scripture as God's Word to man, but they added to God's Word. They added rules and regulations, rituals and ceremonies which put undue restrictions upon man's behavior. Guarding one's mind and soul against the leaven of the Pharisees and world leaders is to be the believer's constant concern, not worrying and caring for earthly things. A person's thoughts must be dominated by the truth so that they may remain in the truth and not be misled spiritually The leaven, the false teaching of religionists and world leaders, is the great threat to human survival. If believers are blind to this fact, then the world is doomed. The danger in dealing with religionists and world leaders it creates spiritual blindness and hardness of heart.

We face the same danger today: spiritual blindness and hardness. Too many are attached to the world and its things, its possessions and pleasures. The world and its god (the devil) blind the minds of people lest they see the truth. As a result people are dying, and they are doomed to perish eternally. “Whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 2 Corinthians 4:4

The Bible never prompts us to mock our leaders, hate our leaders, or pray for their destruction, we are directed to treat all those in authority with steadfast respect. But the Bible also teaches that the highest respect we can give to anyone – government official or fellow church member – is to speak the truth to that person, in love: “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”

The time is critical, it must be heard, the Christian must place moral decisions in the ballot box this election year. Deciding not only candidates for national, state, and local offices, but political questions with enduring significance for our country. Jesus says: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Conclusion: Be that Frog and jump! Fully Rely on God

Is there hope for America?

As Nehemiah got permission to go back to Jerusalem to restore the walls and rebuild, Christian’s we must ask permission from God to restore our walls, to the way our forefathers governed our great country all with Biblical Principles. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Be that Good Citizen!

“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” 2 Timothy 4:2

Some of us do not like the hot summers because there uncomfortable it is so hot everything is wet, some of us do not like the cold winters with the freezing temperatures and cold air, but the Christian must be ready regardless of the season. Who will speak if the Church is silenced? “And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”

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