Proverbs 29:2 says, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” As I am talking with people around the district, I hear a lot of mourning. It doesn’t take much to get people started on what is wrong with county government. The survey just conducted by Gallup Polls reveals that “Every state has at least some residents who are looking for greener pastures, but nowhere is the desire to move more prevalent than in Illinois and Connecticut. In both of these states, about half of residents say that if given the chance to move to a different state, they would like to do so. Maryland is a close third, at 47%.”
One family I spoke with are lifelong residents of Maryland, but they told me this weekend a for sale sign is going up in the front yard and as soon as the house sells they are gone from Maryland for good. They were quick to share the reasons why: a government which has no respect for God’s Holy institution of marriage; a government which has no respect for the God given right of self-defense secured by the 2nd Amendment as well as the rapacious greedy government which sees no problem in helping itself to the largest portion of your paycheck or if you retire making it impossible to survive unless you move out.
I spoke with others who voiced similar mourning under the wicked who rule our State and County governments. Their cynicism shows strongly when they tell me good luck in your campaign, I’ll vote for you but I’d don’t know that you can actually change what happens in county government. Does any of this connect in any significant way to our calling as disciples of Jesus Christ? I think the average Christian, and most churches answer no, it has nothing to do with our calling as disciples of Jesus Christ. Now let’s turn to what Jesus Himself said to His disciples in that upper room on the evening of Resurrection Sunday. Turn to Luke 24:45.
The Summary of the Gospel—Luke 24:45-49
“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”
Jesus was saying they would need supernatural power to accomplish the mission He was sending them upon. As we have seen in our previous studies in this chapter, Jesus clearly presented the evidence to His disciples that He was truly resurrected with an actual physical body that possessed supernatural qualities. Jesus expounded from the whole of the Old Testament that the events of the Holy Week were a necessary fulfillment of a plethora of prophetic Scriptures. Here in verse 47, He is giving us our marching orders. What is it that we are to communicate to the world, “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
We must never forget that the battle we are engaged in is a battle with spiritual forces of darkness that desire above all else to prevent us from sharing the good news and to stop us from making disciples. For example, John G. Paton, a missionary to the South Sea Islands, often lived in danger as he worked among the hostile aborigines who had never heard the gospel. At one time three witch doctors, claiming to have the power to cause death, publicly declared their intentions to kill Paton with their sorcery before the next Sunday. To carry out their threat, they said they needed some food he had partially eaten. Paton asked for three plums. He took a bite out of each and then gave them to the men who were plotting his death.
On Sunday, the missionary entered the village with a smile on his face and a spring in his step. The people looked at each other in amazement, thinking it couldn’t possibly be Paton. Their “sacred men” admitted that they had tried by all their incantations to kill him. When asked why they had failed, they replied that the missionary was a sacred man like themselves, but that his God was stronger than theirs. From then on Paton’s influence grew, and soon he had the joy of leading some of the villagers to the Lord.
Are you spreading the Good News and proclaiming His name?
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