And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15)
In the book of Romans chapter 13, Paul wrote, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” In this verse, Paul is referring to the leaders of civil government. It is the duty of all Christians to obey those that are in power because God has ordained them for our good. There is no person that rules any country unless God permits and ordains him to be there. This is an amazing statement in light of Rome’s government in the first century. At the time of Paul’s writing, Nero was the emperor and his hostility towards Christianity was legendary. Christians were cruelly tortured and killed during his reign and yet there is no mention in scripture that Christians were to rise up to fight against this godless government. How is it possible that Paul should write such an admonition to believers?
We might well ask the same question today as we are very perplexed with the government of our country. Did God put this president in power? It may be hard to swallow, but the answer is “yes.” God providentially ordains governments to His ends. This government could well be the destruction of life in America as we know it, but is this necessarily against the providence of God? Does not God use government also as a means of chastisement? See Romans 13:3-4. The political party that is now in power has made no secret of its hatred of God. While pretending to be still a “Christian” government nearly every evil imaginable has been foisted upon us. In the name of “tolerance” we are commanded to accept murder and perverted lifestyles as the right of individuals. At the same time, true Christianity is proclaimed intolerable and Christians that oppose the evils perpetrated upon us are declared guilty of “hate crimes.” It is shameful that American Christians bear much of the responsibility for the terrible condition of our country. Many have fallen prey to the greed of our wicked society and now vote according to their pocketbooks rather than the principles of God’s word. As we know, the alternative last year was to vote for a Mormon. The leaders of evangelical Christianity like Billy and Franklin Graham were busy about reconciling Mormonism to Christianity! What disgusting choices!
How are real Christians to react to this kind of government? Are we right to obey it? Should we not rather be anarchists? I believe the answer is found in our scripture reading today. Notice the present tense verb in this passage: “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ.” This scripture was written near the midpoint of the Revelation and yet there are eight more chapters to go until Christ returns in power and glory to begin His Kingdom upon the earth. How is it possible that voices in heaven can declare the Kingship of Christ in the present? The secret is the surety of God’s plan. In the Greek language, there is a verb tense that allows a future event to be spoken of as if it has already happened. This is how the Bible writers expressed the absolute certainty of the coming reign of Christ. This means that though we live under a godless physical government for the time being, we are citizens of the perfect government of Jesus Christ. We do not need to concern ourselves with the overthrow of this American government because human government is not our end. We live peaceably now as much as we can while we wait for our true King to come. While we certainly believe in patriotism, our goal is not to make sure America survives, but to pray that it will be utterly conquered and become a kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.
It is often said, “No one knows the future.” I beg to differ. I know the future of America and of every nation of the world. None of them will continue to exist in their present form. Christ will not “tolerate” them. They are guilty of “hate crimes” against Jesus, and friends, it does not pay to be His enemy. For the time being, just wait; be patient. “…greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ…”(1 Pet. 1:6-7)
Pastor V. Mark Smith