Government and the Gospel

Which are you trusting to overcome evil?

Government or the Gospel?

The news has been filled with rhetoric about what to do with refugees and how to respond to terrorists. I believe part of the struggle to come to grips with how to respond is because we confuse the role of Government and the Gospel.

One of the God ordained functions of governments is to restrain and punish evil. 

Romans 13:3-4 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, [4] for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer.

However government can only restrain evil it does not transform it. Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can do that. When we (the church) see evil our response should be to advance the Gospel. The good news of Jesus Christ is the one thing that changes hearts and lives. Each of us is free to be critical of how our individual governments handle and respond to crisis. But let us remember that the power to push back the darkness is in us through the Holy Spirit. The UN, the EU or any coalition of governments will not provide the victory, the testimony that Jesus Christ loves then and gave His life on a cross that they may be forgiven and find eternal life is the victory. Therefore we (the church) must respond as Jesus respond in that while we were still sinner Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8).  

Jesus extended grace towards us while we were His enemies. We must do the same to those near and far who need to know the good news of Jesus Christ. 

Here is our victory! Here is how evil is overcome...

Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns."

Let us be careful lest our love grow cold. Jesus warned us that our focus must stay on the gospel.

Matthew 24:12-14 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. [13] But the one who endures to the end will be saved. [14] And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.