FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
309 East North St. Sidney, Ohio 45365
Sunday School 9:15am
Sunday Worship Service 10:30am
Scripture: Romans 13:1-7 July 14, 2019
Sermon: “The Danger of a ‘Government’ Moral America” Pastor John Young
During July (our national independence month) we are considering subjects that relate to our nation. It’s a series of four messages I hope you will find thought provoking. Thus far we have considered the subject, United We Fall.” This morning I invite you to turn with me to:
I don’t know that I’ve met a serious Christian who isn’t deeply concerned with the dramatic shift in the American culture. In fact, the shift has led to massive efforts by Christians and Christian organizations to regain what we have lost. For the vast majority of Christians, this desire is interpreted in terms of regaining the reins of political power. But I think we have to honestly ask whether the primary agenda of the church is to reclaim the American culture. If we are not careful we may find that we have developed a deeper passion for politics than for the eternal destiny of lost souls.
Let’s say that we succeed in bringing America back to its moral roots via Christian organizations, movements, TV and radio programming or even elections. What victory have we really gained?
I. First, given the fact that we live in a democracy, it would always be a SLIPPERY victory in terms of its duration!
A. Matter-of-fact: It’s only good until the next election! And, because it didn’t come through conversion but through ballots, it has nothing to do with spiritual commitment.
1. Next term could be a complete reversal!
II. We should also remember that political victories are always SECONDARY in terms of a Biblical worldview!
A. Reclaiming our culture may help keep our world safe and stable, but it will not win people to Jesus Christ!
1. God has not called us to save America, but to save Americans!
a. The great commission is, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
III. And even if we succeeded in returning America back to our Judeo-Christian foundations through politics, it would be a SHALLOW victory!
A. Ravi Zacharias, a gifted Christian speaker and writer, has written, “If we succeed in making America more moral, then what we will have is more lost moral Americans!”
1. What kind of victory is that?
2. In Pilgrim’s Progress (if you’ve ever read it), Pilgrim got sidetracked in the village of Morality where everything is morally correct. He found, however, that morality without the Cross was unable to remove his burden of sin.
IV. In addition, political triumphs are a SEDUCTIVE pursuit!
A. By that I mean¾it tempts us to shift our eyes away from the primary focus of the church¾I.E. to win souls and disciple Christians.
1. Worse yet¾we develop unbiblical actions and attitudes.
a. We start seeing those on the ‘other side’ of the political fence as enemies instead of ones for whom Christ died!
b. And, we start spending more time debating the political issues than developing our walk with Christ.
2. As a result:
a. We find ourselves angrier over politics than in anguish over lost souls!
b. We begin supposing that it is the government’s responsibility to advance righteousness!
c. Eventually, we even feel betrayed that our government no longer advocates truth and righteousness!
d. Do you see how twisted our thinking becomes!?!?!?
B. According to our text (Romans 13:1-5) & I Timothy 2:2 the responsibility of the government is to provide us safety, stability, peace, and justice.
C. Our responsibility according to Romans 13:1 is to “...be subject unto the higher powers.”
1. What is interesting about this scripture is that it was written to Christians living in a pagan environment far worse than ours¾Rome!!!
a. What is even more interesting is that Christians have often done their best in such an environment!!!
D. But, not only are we admonished to “...be subject unto the higher powers.” We are supposed to acknowledge God’s sovereign oversight! “...For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”
1. This is the biblical view, and it should not only change our attitudes¾it should release us to get on with the business of carrying the torch of God’s redemptive power!!!
V. Finally, a primary focus on political triumph is, at best, SHORT-SIGHTED!
A. Do you remember what the Disciples and most of the other Jews hoped Jesus would do when He came on the scene? They hoped He would overthrow the Roman government. It was pagan and oppressive!
1. But do you remember what Jesus said he came to do, as recorded by Luke in 19:10? Jesus said, “...the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
2. You see¾revival has never come by way of political victory!
a. Jesus could have easily won a political victory during the wilderness temptation (Matthew 4:8 & 9), but instead He focused on an eternal spiritual triumph by way of Calvary and the empty tomb!!!
b. And the disciples still didn’t get it¾because after Christ’s miraculous resurrection, in Acts chapter 1, they still asked, “...Lord, wilts thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?”
c. But what did Jesus tell them? (V-7 & 8, “...It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”)
d. You see¾for Christ the compelling issue was always¾and still is¾the work of the Cross, not the establishment of a political kingdom!
Conclusion: Please don’t misunderstand me this morning. I don’t think we should be passive concerning the shift of our culture. With compassion and without intimidation, we need to do all we can to restore our heritage. But political triumph cannot eclipse the more important reason for our existence on this earth! Remember! A moral America is still a lost America!
So, how do we effectively bring redemption to a people that are disinterested in our God and our message¾a people distracted by material gain and affluence? That’s what we will consider next week, the Lord willing!