The Christian View Of Politics

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I teach a men’s discipleship Bible study on Tuesday nights at our Church. As we come together, we fellowship, and study the Word of God. As part of our class we talk about things going on around us.

In our class last night, several of the men wanted to get home right after the Bible Study so they could watch the Presidential Debates. If you watched the debates (I didn’t), I was told that it was a – and I quote one news source – a “hot mess”. Again, I didn’t watch it. But as part of our study we are going through the Book of John, and the text we read are really appropriate to this time in American history. What we read was what occurred right after Lazarus was resurrected from the grave by Jesus. Let’s read this together:

John 11:44-53 And {Lazarus} that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. 46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.

47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. 48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. 49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50 nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. 53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

Who Controls The Earth? Politicians? Or God?
I Believe God Is In Control – ALWAYS!

What you see in the text above is POLITICS. It has nothing to do with religion. The Lord Jesus Christ had upset the Sadducees, the Pharisees, the Herodians, and the Temple Officials. Jesus came preaching the truth of God. Nothing will gain you enemies than preaching the truth of God, the Scripture itself. The Pharisees and Sadducees were upset with Jesus because, at the beginning of His ministry, He entered into the Temple and removed all things that dishonored God. The Bible says that Jesus ..

John 2:15-16 made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; 16 and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

The Pharisees were upset by what our Lord did. They and the Sadducees were probably making money on the selling of sacrifices. When Jesus ran the money changers out, they asked Him:

John 2:18 … What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?

In other words, “By what authority are You doing what You just did”? Jesus’ answer (you can read it in John 2:19-21) did not satisfy them. From that point on in His earthly ministry, Jesus and the religious crowd were at odds with one another. They were constantly chasing after Jesus. They questioned His ministry, from A to Z. Jesus spoke the Word of God, carrying the message of the Father to the world. Jesus said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father” (John 14:9). Yet the politicians continued to hate Jesus. Why? Because Jesus was genuinely concerned for the lost. They, in turn, were only concerned for themselves, and how they looked before the people.

Then Jesus resurrected His friend Lazarus from the grave. The politicians had been planning to destroy Jesus – but now they meet in earnest, plotting His death.

John 11:47-48 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. 48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

The chief priest of the Temple gathered with the Pharisees, the religious conservatives of Jesus’ day. They called a meeting of “the Counsel”, the Jewish Supreme Court known as the Sanhedrin, or “The Seventy”. The question before the Court was not whether Jesus was true to the Scripture. No, the Bible had nothing to do with what they were planning. Instead they postulated a straw man argument. They said:

If Jesus continues without us doing something, then He will gather many who believe in Him. If enough believe in Him, the Romans will see this as an uprising against their authority. If that happens (and we know it will), then we will lose our jobs, and our nation will be destroyed!”

These people – politicians all – are looking for a reason to kill Jesus. They cannot find a reason in the Scripture. The Bible states that:

Deuteronomy 5:17 Thou shalt not kill {רָצַח râtsach, {pronounced raw-tsakh’, “do murder”}

When Noah and his family got off the Ark, the very first Law God gave humanity was:

Genesis 9:5-6 … surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. 6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

The Sanhedrin had no Biblical reason to kill Jesus. Had Jesus committed a capital offense, then He could be tried and executed – but ONLY if there were two witnesses who saw Jesus do the offense. The Bible says:

Deuteronomy 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

Jesus had done nothing worthy of capital punishment. The Scripture would not support killing this Man. So the politicians used a straw man argument against Jesus because, frankly, that is what Rotten Politics 101 teaches. With their “we’d better get rid of Jesus” argument on the table, the High Priest speaks up:

John 11:49-50 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50 nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

Rather than correct the discussion, Caiaphas joins in with the “kill Jesus” decision. Caiaphas says, “It is better for Jesus to die for the people – and this will save our nation Israel”. Caiaphas is not doing what High Priests should do. He should be interceding with God for the people. Instead, he has moved into the realm of politics in order to have Jesus killed. After all, Jesus is rocking the boat!

What is most extraordinary about our text today is what the Apostle writes next. We read:

John 11:51-52 And this spake {Caiaphas} not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.

Did you catch that? Caiaphas did NOT speak this of himself. When he spoke of Jesus dying for Israel, in fact, for all the people, Caiaphas was prophesying. If you study your Bible you’ll find out that prophecy is a gift given by God. The Bible says:

Romans 12:6 … Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

2 Peter 1:21 .. the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

1 Corinthians 12:7-10 … the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit … prophecy

Caiaphas is not a believer in Jesus Christ. He is a plotter against Christ, part of the conspiracy to murder the Messiah. And yet, God gives him a prophesy. He speaks as God moves him! That should tell you something.

Our God is in control. It is not the politicians that determine the fate of our nation, but our God.

As these politicians plot the murder of Christ, this is in accordance with God’s own will. The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is …

Revelation 13:8 … the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

The politicians were plotting murder, but God knew that Jesus Christ had to die. It is only through Christ’s death that our sins are covered. The Bible tells us:

Romans 5:8-19 God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13 (for until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15 But not as the offense, so also is the free gift. For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification. 17 For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

God the Father sent His Son Jesus into the world to be our Messiah, our Savior from sin. Jesus had to die on Calvary. He had to go to that Cross, or else, we would never be forgiven. Sin is a trespass against an infinite and immortal being we call God. When you offend the Infinite, nothing you will ever do will correct that offense.

So Jesus went to Calvary to be the correction.
Jesus Christ, by dying for us, whited out our sins.
When we believe on Him, and receive Him as Lord and Savior,
we become the sons and daughters of God. Forgiven. Redeemed.

The politicians plotted against the Son of God, but Jesus came to be our Savior. He knew He was going to die. Jesus actually knew who was going to kill Him. The Bible tells us:

Mark 8:31 and {Jesus} began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

Mark 9:31 {Jesus} said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.

Mark 10:33 {Jesus said} Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: 34 and they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.

Jesus knew. God knew. The only ones who did not know were the politicians. The Apostle said:

1 Corinthians 2:7-8 … we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

The politicians who plotted and planned and executed the betrayal of Christ had no idea they were doing God’s work. They thought they were protecting themselves. God is in control.

The Christian Responsibility In The Area Of Politics

Every election year for, I guess, the past 11,576 days, or 31.7 years, I have had to choose between two candidates, neither of which I particularly liked. The last politician I cared for was Ronald Reagan. You may not have liked him, but I did. I thought he was a good Christian man, though like all of somewhat flawed. Since Reagan left office on January 20, 1989, I have struggled every year at who I would vote for.

And yet I voted.

So many Christians I talk to have thrown up their hands, saying, “I’m just not going to vote”. That is certainly your decision. I never thought about this before, but I was reading the article Politics and Its Christian Discontents today, and really enjoyed it. David Deavel wrote:

Politics as we know it and civilization, on the other hand, with their complicated and morally messy details, were founded by Cain, who founded the first city in the land of Nod after being exiled from his family. Cities have organized government, social stratification, and a written language. They have more complex market systems and, generally speaking, more advanced technology and a more developed artistic and cultural world. Politics and civilization, you see, are the legacy of a killer.”

I never thought about that before. It was Cain who, on killing his brother Abel, went to the land of Nod. The Bible says:

Genesis 4:17 Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.

It was Cain who built the city, and named the city. Cities are organized governments. Cain was probably the first politician. Many Christians throughout the history of the Church have withdrawn themselves from politics, preferring to live in monasteries or closed communities. After all, doesn’t the Scripture say:

Philippians 3:20 … our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:

The word translated CONVERSATION is the Greek πολίτευμα políteuma, {pronounced pol-it’-yoo-mah}, from where we get the word “politics”. The word literally means “our community, our citizenship, our commonwealth”. The Christian has dual citizenship. We are citizens of the countries we are in on this earth, but our most real citizenship is in Heaven, with Jesus Christ our Lord.

But does that mean we should not vote?

I don’t think so. The Bible tells us that Jesus wants us to be

Matthew 5:14 … the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

When God saved us through faith in Christ, He left us on this earth to represent Him. Light does not stay enclosed, but shines so that all can see it. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:13 … Ye are the salt of the earth …

Light contained has no purpose. Salt in the shaker does nothing. As Christians we are called to have an impact on our world for Jesus. What better impact can we have than to VOTE? We need to VOTE. When Israel was carried away into captivity, exiled to Babylon, God told His people:

Jeremiah 29:5-7 … build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; 6 take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. 7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.

The old song says,

This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through;
My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue;
The angels beckon me to Heaven’s open door,
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore!

It’s true that this earth is a place we are just passing through. But just as Israel was not going to stay in Babylon captivity forever, neither will we be on this earth forever. But while we’re here, we are to make homes here. We are to marry, and give in marriage. We are to contribute positively to the area we are in, no matter where that area is. We are to seek the peace of the city, of the nation, to pray unto the Lord for it.

Christians are to be in the world, but not OF it. Jesus prayed for His Church:

John 17:14-19 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Christian, you are on mission for Jesus until the day He calls you home. You need to contribute. You need to vote.

But Who Should I Vote For? They Are All So Flawed!

I agree. I do not personally like any of the candidates that are running. And yet, I will vote. I will not tell you who to vote for, but I’ll tell you what I do. I pray and ask God Who I should vote for. Yes, they are all flawed. But God can use (and does use) flawed people.

God used a pagan Persian king called Artaxerxes I. Artaxerxes gave Ezra a letter, stating:

Ezra 7:12-13 Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time. 13 I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.

In the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, Nehemiah, his cup bearer, asked:

Nehemiah 2:5-8 If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favor in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchers, that I may build it. 6 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. 7 Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah; 8 and a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

This Persian King gave Nehemiah the authority and the funds to go back to Israel, and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. There are so many other examples in Scripture.

  • God gave Joseph the favor of the unbelieving King of Egypt, so that Joseph could save Israel, causing it to become a mighty nation.
  • God sent Daniel to Babylon. Daniel excelled, and was made the Prince of the Magi (Daniel 5:29) by unbelieving King Belshazzar. Daniel taught the Magi about the coming of Jesus Christ. Descendants of these Magi would come to see the Baby Jesus (Matthew 2:1).
  • Cyrus the King of Persia, though an unbeliever, rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem:

Ezra 1:1-2 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, 2 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

God is in control! He is always in control. As we come to the election this year, let’s not be monks. Let’s vote. Before you vote, seek God’s face. Seek His direction. Whoever goes into the White House, will go in accordance to the will of God. The Apostle said”

Romans 13:1-2 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. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

God is in control. Pray. Seek God’s face. Then vote. Regardless as to who gets into office, pray for that individual daily. Pray for kings, and all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Let the light of Christ shine through all that you do. Vote! David Deavel wrote:

We will certainly not be able to create a Heaven on earth, but we are often able to put off the creation of little hells.”

Amen and Amen. May God touch your hearts with His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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