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Our world is becoming increasingly divided, and sometimes we wonder which side to support. The Republicans have usually promoted more conservative values than the Democrats; or maybe the Nationalists are the ones to support. Recently in Ottawa, Canada, a group of truckers protested for weeks, completely overwhelming the city, and then Trudeau’s government used force to clear them out. Surely the truckers deserved our support since they stood up against unrealistic restrictions. A war is raging in Ukraine right now. People are impressed by Ukrainian president Zelensky’s fearless stand against the invasion from a Russian dictator trying to remove their democracy. Surely, he deserves our support. Then the pro-life groups and conservative government officials trying to pass laws that will protect the unborn in our country. They would definitely be a better group to support than the abortion clinics. Did Biden honestly win the election, or was there enough cheating to steal it from Trump?
How do we talk about the various conflicts that arise in the world around us? Usually, we “support” one side or the other by the way we talk. So which side should we support by our conversations? Or is there another option?
As American Christians, we have enjoyed unprecedented freedom for most of time for God’s people. This lifestyle has so impacted us so that we think we deserve certain rights in our country and in the world. We “deserve” to have democracy, and freedom. Our government doesn’t have the right to impose upon those freedoms. We know better than to sue the government when they violate our rights; instead we support one side by our talk. But how do we decide which side to support?
Or is there another option? When Jesus was before Pilate, He said: My Kingdom is not of this world: if My Kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight… Jesus was explaining that there is something different about His Kingdom versus the kingdoms of this world. How He relates to the problems in this world is entirely different from how the world relates to them.
Jesus’ Kingdom is calling people to prepare for a better country, not to improve this world so we can continue to live here. He is not trying to make good moral nations. He wants to transform people’s lives by His death and resurrection and give them the grace to live a holy life for Him. When talking with the world around us, don’t cry the blues with them. Instead, tell them we aren’t planning to stay in this old world. We are preparing to leave for a new one. Salvation is the answer, not good moral ideas. We have a different perspective about this world.
Jesus’ Kingdom does not use force; His Kingdom is a voluntary one. He does not use the world’s guns and laws to accomplish His plans. Instead, He sends His Spirit to work in people’s hearts, calling them to repentance and a life of holiness. While we might agree that Ukraine is being invaded unjustly, they are still using the world’s ways to fight its problems. Someone has once said that when the church has failed to accomplish her mission God’s way, she starts to use man’s ways to change the world.
Jesus’ Kingdom is for all tribes, nations, and tongues. He is calling all men to a relationship with Himself. He extends His salvation to the Democrats just as much as the Republicans. He is calling the Russians to Himself, the same as the Ukrainians. One reason we don’t fight in war is that we want to point both sides to the Gospel, not send the other side into eternity by killing them.
Jesus’ Kingdom promises grace, not earthly rights and peace. We were promised persecution for following Him, not earthly rights. We were not promised a good life on the earth. Instead, He promised to be with us and give us grace for the things we will face. We shouldn’t be surprised that our country is turning against Christianity; that is what Jesus said would happen.
In closing, the challenge for us is to be ready to give Jesus’ answers to the world’s problems, not try to figure out which earthly side we sympathize with. Let us use the conflicts and divisions in the world as ways to point people to Jesus and the gospel message. His ways have a more profound impact on people’s lives than any earthly method ever will. After this world and its kingdoms have long been gone, we will still be in the perfect World, with Jesus and the people we pointed to Him.
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