© 2017 Don Pinson | [Download]
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Concerning Civil Government, God says in Romans 13:1,
“…there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”
Thus, we see that God is the One Who created the realm of authority known as civil government, just as He created the realms of authority known as the home and the church. And from the Garden of Eden to the time of Noah, God exercised the authority of civil government by punishing crime Himself. He set up the angel with the flaming sword to guard the Tree of Life, and keep man from eating of it after man had sinned. It was God, Himself, who pronounced the sentence on Cain for murdering his brother, Abel. It was God who sent the great Flood and punished the people of Noah’s day for their crimes of immorality and violence. So early in human history God took responsibility for enforcing His statutes of civil law onto man.
But after the Flood, God transferred to man the responsibility for operating civil government. He said to Noah about the one who would murder:
“Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed…” (Genesis 9:6)
From the time of Noah to the present day, God has entrusted civil government to man. Since it’s our responsibility, we will give an account for it at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Throughout history God has taught us that His people are responsible for civil government. One of the ways He did that was by sending His prophets to speak to government rulers.
When King David had committed adultery and murder, thinking it was all a secret, God sent to him Nathan, the prophet, to call him to account. God sent Micaiah to Ahab. The prophet’s bold statement to the king was,
“…what the Lord God saith to me, that will I speak.” (1 Kings 22:14)
Daniel, the Prophet, spoke boldly to the Babylonian king, Belshazzar, and told him he would die that very night for his sins against God and man: The king did die that night!
From these and many other Bible stories we could quote, God reveals that He expects man to operate God’s civil government for the reason He created it; that is, to “punish…evildoers” (1 Peter 2:14). He intends man to operate God’s civil government with the structure God gave it; that is, as a republic, as recorded in Deuteronomy 1 (vv. 13-18). And He intends man to operate His civil government in the spirit which God planned for it: That is, the spirit of morality. That morality is to be the morality which is taught in the Ten Commandments.
When Jesus told us to “Go ye therefore and teach all nations…” (Matthew 28:19-20), the “therefore” was referring to His statement in the verse before it when He said, “All authority has been given unto me…” (Matthew 28:18) He’s reminding us that “all authority” to be exercised in the home, the church, or in civil government, comes from Him. We, His followers, are to teach people their need of Him personally, and in their homes, in their churches, and in their civil governments.
This is why America’s Founders taught that all nations are responsible to obey the Ten Commandments. George Washington stated this when he wrote:
“…it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for his benefits…”
(Washington, George. October 3, 1789, from the city of New York, the President issued a Proclamation of a National Day of Thanksgiving | Jared Sparks, ed., The Writings of George Washington, 12 vols. (Boston: American Stationer’s Company, 1837; NY: F. Andrew’s, 1834-1847), Vol. XII, p. 119 | William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN))
Pastor, are you teaching the reason for, the structure of, and the spirit in which civil government is to operate? Are you educating your people about it from the Bible; are you educating your local community about it?
Think about it; because if you don’t, someone else will do your thinking for you—and for your children! And you won’t like what that brings to you. I’m Don Pinson; this has been Think About It.