Jesus is completely in control

Jesus Christ [is] the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.  (Revelation 1:5)

The world is run by rulers of all sorts and kinds.

Some are elected representatives, and others, self-appointed tyrants.  Some lead by example and others rule by force and fear.  Some act in ways that honor God and benefit their people, while others use their authority for selfish ends.

Yet, none of the rulers of earth truly have the final say.  Jesus does.

Whatever the political landscape looks like today, remember this.  Above every earthly power sits the exalted throne of the risen Christ.  Above the authority of every grand emperor or petty politician is the rulership of the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

He is infinite in power, boundless in wisdom and altogether good.  So, even when governments seem to run unchecked and societies seem to come unhinged, you can take comfort in this liberating truth…

Jesus is in complete control.

–Pastor Phillip

Don’t let politics derail your perspective

An Encouraging Word

DON’T LET POLITICS DERAIL YOUR PERSPECTIVE

Today my friend texted me in despair.

“I’ve given up on everything political,” he said.  “If things are going to change for the better, it’s going to happen by changing the hearts of men.”

How right he was.

Today’s landmark Supreme Court decision will forever alter the fabric of our society.  It will have far-reaching effects in our families, businesses, schools, churches and beyond.  It will impact our lives in ways we can’t see yet, affecting issues we haven’t even begun to imagine.

Even so, this thought gives me peace:
God is still on His throne.An-Encouraging-Word-WP-Logo-2015

“Of course He is,” you may say, “that’s why we need to __________.”  But maybe, just maybe, what we need to do most is simply breathe.

Government is neither a Messiah nor the Anti-Christ.  It never has been, and it never will be.  Both great and evil things can and do happen through political process.  It’s always been that way.  It will stay that way as long as humans are involved in the process.

But God is still on His throne.

If you rejoice in this decision and expect it to usher in a golden age of tolerance and diversity, it won’t.  If you mourn this decision and see it as the end of morality in America, it’s not.

This is simply a step.

For some it’s a step forward, to others, a step back, but it’s only a step.  It’s a big step, to be sure, but it’s only a step.

Don’t hear me saying this is not a big deal, because it is.  Don’t hear me saying there won’t likely be hard times ahead for the Church, because there will be.  I’m simply saying this…

God is still on His throne.

This decision changes everything for our country, but changes nothing for Christians.  Why?  Because the Christ we follow never commanded us to seek political solutions to spiritual problems.  Nor did He tell us to be disengaged, but rather to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  (Mark 12:17)

This means that all of us, whether we agree or disagree with the decision, have both an opportunity and an obligation to do what Jesus has always commanded us to do: deal kindly with those on “the other side” of our position.

It means as the sticky situations and uncomfortable conversations begin to increase, we must respond with wise and thoughtful dialogue, not foolish fear-mongering, name-calling, and doom-saying.

So, whether you feel elated or defeated by today’s ruling, take a deep breath today, and remember this:

God is still on His throne, so don’t let politics derail your perspective.

 

–Pastor Phillip

PowerPoint-Title-Card-[Counter-Culture]p.s. Do you want to engage helpfully on issues like these but aren’t sure how?  Join me starting tomorrow night at 6:00pm for an all-new outpostChurch teaching series called, “CounterCulture: navigating the war zone between culture and Christianity.”  We’ll explore what the Bible says about many hot issues of our day, and how Christians can respond well as we engage with the world around us.  (Can’t make it tomorrow night?  Listen or watch online at outpostChurch.org!)

How to Have Hope Unaffected by Elections

NOTE: I wrote this post about six weeks ago as a meditation on Colossians 1:13.  In God’s providence, it came up in the queue to be posted this week, and it seemed an appropriate reminder on Election Day.  May God’s perspective bring you peace, no matter which way the wind blows. -Pastor Phillip


 

“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the Kingdom of His beloved Son.” -Colossians 1:13

In the modern world we don’t often think of “domains” and “kingdoms.”  Most of us belong to states and nations and tend to have a very individualistic sense of our fate.

Yet, the language of Scripture is stark and specific.  In the spiritual world, we are far less autonomous than we believe.  We are elsewhere called “slaves” to sin, and the “captives” of the evil one.

That’s why this passage is so glorious!

In Christ, we are no longer a part of the nation of darkness, but of light.  Our freedom is not autonomy but a purchased allegiance to a much better King.

This King is no task master, but takes delight in blessing and caring for His people.

Here’s the thing, though.  We have received our new citizenship now, but will be given our full residency later.  Though our homecoming is assured, we are now ex-patriots living in a foreign land.

While we’re here, then, our call is to demonstrate the characteristics of our home country, in hopes that many more will join us in new citizenship now and new residency later.

We don’t create the full Kingdom here, but we bear witness to its glory by building and being outposts of its presence here and now.  If you’re a follower of Christ, then first, foremost and above all other allegiances, YOU are a citizen of Heaven and an outpost of the Kingdom of God.

That means that no matter what happens in whatever country you live, your destiny is secure!

Whatever political changes take place in the nation in which you were born, your final authority is not the person who holds office in a palace or parliament or the presidency.

Your final authority —and true hope— holds the title of King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Almighty Maker of Heaven and Earth… and Heavenly Father… and Lover of Your Soul.