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Watch 2022 online sermons » Dr. Tony Evans » Tony Evans - Returning God to Government

Tony Evans - Returning God to Government


Tony Evans - Returning God to Government
TOPICS: Kingdom Voting

God promises to bless the nation who prioritizes God's relationship to it. A kingdom voter is a Christian who takes the opportunity to promote the rule of God in history through civil government. They are at their core kingdom independence. They do not ultimately belong to any political party, they belong to the kingdom of God. They ultimately are dedicated to advancing God's name, God's person, and God's policies in history. I am a kingdom citizen. I do kingdom voting as a kingdom independent because I do not represent the kingdoms of this world, I represent the kingdom of the Lord and of his Christ. Vote as a kingdom independent and make sure your church is a kingdom church creating kingdom disciples who are making a kingdom impact.

The question is, how should a Christian vote? I'd like to suggest to you that there is a kingdom worldview to approaching this subject and your vote. And if you will adopt a kingdom worldview, then we can approach this issue and come out as the church of Jesus Christ not in conflict even if we didn't vote the same way. You see, until the church gets it right, the culture can't get it right because as you've heard me say, I'm sure, many times God doesn't skip the church house to fix the White House. Now, at the whole concept of kingdom voting is kingdom; and if you're familiar with the worldview that we promote, it is the kingdom agenda which is the visible demonstration and manifestation of the comprehensive rule of God over every area of life. God's perspective is tied to one subject, and that is his glory through the expansion of his kingdom.

If you were to come to me and say, "Evans, my life is falling apart. What should I do"? I would take the Bible, I would give you what God says about your circumstances, I would then ask you to agree to an obedient set of actions to apply what you learned, then I would ask the Holy Spirit to empower your obedience based on the book to bring healing to your devastated life. If you brought to me your family and said, "My marriage and our home is unraveling," I would take the same book that I use with you as an individual, I would show you the biblical principles related to the circumstances that are underlining your difficulties in your home, I would give you practical steps to obediently apply the principles from Scripture, and then I would pray for the Holy Spirit's empowerment for that application for the transformation of your family.

If you came to me with your church in disarray, members fighting, leaders fighting, I'd take the same book that I use with you as an individual or as a family and I would show you God's prescript for how the church has been created and designed to function, then I would call for acts of obedience that would demonstrate faith in what was written, and then invoke the Holy Spirit to empower the obedience to bring about the harmony in the church. But what do you do when your nation is unraveling? What do you do when the two teams are Democrats and Republicans? What do you do when the conflict is between police and the community and issues of justice? What do you do when the issues in a society are chaotic, conflicting, with different perspectives and worldviews and goal lines? What do you do?

Unfortunately, far too many who name the name of Jesus Christ change books. I'd like to suggest today and throughout this series of kingdom voting that God does not change books. If we're going to bring harmony to us in the church as a model to harmony in the nation; we got to stop changing books, or we must stop using the part of the book that we like while ignoring the whole counsel of God when it comes to this area. What would you think about a referee who took off his jersey and put on the jersey of one of the other two teams? What do I mean by kingdom voting? When I use that term, what am I referring to?

Let me give you a working definition for this series related to kingdom voting. Kingdom voting is the opportunity and responsibility of committed Christians to partner with God by expanding his rule in society through civil government. Let me repeat that again. Kingdom voting is both the opportunity and responsibility to partner with God for the expansion of his rule in society through civil government. I'm going to make the case it is only to the degree that you include God's person and God's policies, did you hear me? God's person and God's policies in society through civil government as he defines it, not as you prefer it or I prefer it, that we can begin to see healing in the church so it can be modeled in the culture.

We call it an opportunity because every culture doesn't have the opportunity to vote on its leadership. We call it a responsibility of partnering. Why? Because all through the Bible God calls people to partner with him. Scripture makes it clear that we are workers together with God. So while we must pray for God to heal our land, we must partner with God for the healing of our land. When our part of the partnership wanes, when we don't fulfill our responsibility; we don't change who God is, but we may alter how he may work because the partners aren't dealing with the partnership the way the partnership was established to work, to run, and to operate. God has lost his Democratic partners. He's lost his Republican partners, his libertarian partners because they've left being a kingdom partner and a kingdom voter.

And if we're going to see him intervene, inject himself in the affairs of a collapsing society of a devastated nation, then we're going to have to return to him not in concept nor by simply throwing his name around. Everybody says pray. Everybody says they have faith in God. It's hard to make it too far in our culture without a belief in God that is not enough. God has policies. It is only as we embrace his person and his policies that we will experience his presence in healing our lives, our churches, and our nation. Let me say it another way. The further God is removed from the life of an individual, from the life and definition of a family, from the life and definition of the church, and in this case from the life and definition of a citizenry of a society, the more chaotic those entities become.

The closer the God of the Bible is to the individual, the family, the church, and the society, the more ordered and less chaotic it will become. God is not simply a cute addendum you throw out there. No. He wants to be intricately involved. The theme of the Bible is the glory of God through the expansion of his kingdom. God is concerned about one thing; that he's glorified, and that his kingdom is expanded. Once you leave that you've left the Bible, and once you leave the Bible you've left him. The Bible is clear. For example, Psalm 22, verse 28 puts it this way. "The kingdom is the Lord's, and he rules the nations". Did you hear that? "The kingdom is the Lord's," Psalm 22:28 says, "and he rules the nations". Psalm 33, verse 12 says, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord". Psalm 103, verse 19 says, "The Lord establishes his throne in heaven, and his sovereignty rules overall".

Okay. So let's get this straight. He's king running a kingdom, and that involves the nations. So that involves this nation. It involves the nation of your life, and it involves the influence of your vote. Now, I know that that creates consternation because we're voting on what the Bible would call kings; and in our case we vote on presidents and we vote on senators, House representatives, and mayors, and governors, and all down the line of those who represent civil government. And we want our person to win as we ought to. That's why we vote for them, but just so you know that God is partnering in that situation.

Daniel chapter 2, verse 21 says that God removes kings and he establishes kings. He running the show. You can exclude him if you want to, but it is to your detriment and my detriment. So guess what? If you are a Christian and you name the name of Jesus Christ, you don't get to leave God out of your vote. You don't just get to vote 'cause you like it or want to, you only get to vote for his glory and the expansion of his kingdom. Well, I want to try to answer the question now since I've defined kingdom voting, how God votes 'cause I want you to vote with God and I want me to vote with God. So let's find out how God is voting. So if you're a committed Christian, you and I can vote with God.

In Joshua chapter 5, Joshua is fitting the battle of Jericho. God has promised him victory, but Joshua has to partner with him. He's going to give him victory, but he's only going to give him victory on God's terms. So Joshua has to partner. In other words, the wall of Jericho just is not going to fall down. Joshua is got to do some things for the walls to fall down and for God to give this nation victory. So we're going to find out how God votes 'cause I want you to vote like God votes 'cause I want to vote like God votes 'cause who wants to vote against God, right? Says in verse 13, "It came about when Joshua was by Jericho," so he's surveying the walls around Jericho, "that he lifted up his eyes and looked". So he's peering out. He's looking. "And behold, a man was standing opposite him with a sword drawn in his hand".

Here we got a guy ready to fight. He's ready to get it on, ready to go to battle. "And Joshua went to him and said, 'Are you for us or for our adversaries?'" Oh, isn't that the question of voting? "Are you Democrat or Republican? You know, what are you? Which way you going"? You know, folk ask me that question, and I'm going to tell you what I am before this sermon is over. And I ask folk that question and folk get in debates who you vote for. So he sees this guy ready to go to war, sword drawn, and asked the question, "Whose side are you on? Are you for us"?

Now, that would be like the conservative side 'cause us is Israel. So these are God's people. I mean, this is real. This is the staunch conservative group. "Are you for us? 'Cause we got the Law of Moses. You know, we got the Ten Commandments. We're your people. You got to be for us. We're the conservatives. Or are you for our adversaries"? They're liberals 'cause, you know, as Jericho. They don't hold to the same stuff we hold to religiously, spiritually. You know, we're different. "So I want to know whose side you're on".

Now, that's a very important question because Joshua's mama didn't raise a dummy. This guy is out here with a sword. He's ready to fight. He's captain of an army, so he got a whole bunch of folk. "So if this guy is for us; hey, we got it made 'cause we're going to fight, and now we got this whole other army and they going to fight. Conservatives are going to win. But now if he for them, if that other side loses or the other side gets in, then we got a little problem. 'Cause now we're going to fight Jericho, but Jericho got this other army out here and we're going to be outnumbered. So my mama ain't raise a dummy. I need to know whose side you on so I can figure out my strategy here. I need to know which way you're going to go".

Now, remember, this is captain of the Lord's army. This is like a theophany. This is like God showing up in history. And when he did that in the Old Testament, it was Jesus Christ pre-incarnate. But so God shows up in visible corporal form and leading an army, ready to fight 'cause the sword is drawn. "Let's get it on. It's time to decide who you voting for". Let's look at the captain as our answer, the captain of... rather verse 14. He said no. "What do you mean no"? I said, "Whose side? Their side, our side? How are you going to vote"? "No. Rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord. No. Rather I come indeed as captain of the Lord". No. Translation, "I'm not on either of your sides". "You're conservatives"? "No". "Jericho, you li..". "No. No. 'Cause I'm operating on a whole another program. Israel, you want me on your program and you're my peeps. You're my people. You know, you're the chosen nation and I'm still not on your side just because you're my chosen people, and I'm not on Jericho's side and they hardly know my name. But no, I'm not voting for either of you".

So let me tell you God's political position. He is a kingdom independent. Let me say that again. The God of the Bible is a kingdom independent. And just because you're a Christian, just because you belong to Israel doesn't mean he's on your side when it comes to the battles. Now, you can quote that all day, but he's telling Joshua the head of Israel, God's people no. Because a lot of Christians think, "Just because we're Christian God is on our side". That sounds right, but the pre-incarnate Christ, God's manifestation of the Old Testament said, "No. And I'm not on their side either because I am the consummate independent".

So if you want to know who Tony Evans is, I'm a kingdom independent. Let me go one step further. Every Christian should only be a kingdom independent, only a kingdom independent. Now, you may vote Democratic, you may vote Republican, you may vote libertarian, you may even write in; but the only thing you are obliged to be if you want God on your side is a kingdom independent, which means you can only be Democrat light or Republican light. You remember those soft drinks light? You know, not too much sugar, not too much calories. I'm voting over here and we'll go into some of the nuances; or I'm voting over here, but I'm not obligated to either because I belong to another order. I belong to another king and a kingdom. What the captain says is, "I did not come to take sides, Joshua. I came to take over". God's not here to take your side; he's here to take over. Why? Because he rules the nation.

You know what it means to rule? That means to call the shots. That means to have the last word. That means to determine how things are going to work out. The God of the Bible does not ride the backs of donkeys or elephants. The God of the Bible is not first a Democrat or a Republican. The God of the Bible is his own independent. He only votes for himself. The problem occurs is that no political party only votes God's way. The problem is that among men they pick and choose. Some pick righteousness. Others pick justice. Some pick life emphasis in the womb. Some pick life justice to the tomb. We pick and choose as though God is divided in a way. He is not divisive. No.

Joshua learned a great lesson for us today in the 21st century when it comes to civil government. "Don't think I'm on your side just 'cause you're my people". That's why we see so much brokenness in our lives and in our churches. That's why we have a white church and a black church. The only reason why we have a white church and a black church is because one group of the church decided that another set of Christians didn't belong and as a result a schism that God didn't vote for. How do you know God didn't vote for? He drew his sword. How do you know he drew his sword? It's called a civil war, and I don't know if you knew that or not. The civil war designed in slavery was the captain drawing a sword. "Since y'all not going to get this thing together, you didn't do it in the church, the nation is about to split apart, I'm going to draw a sword".

You see, unless we allow God on every issue to make the final decision regardless of how you were raised, regardless of the color of your skin, regardless of your political background or allegiances... now I'm not suggesting that you not be a Democrat or you not be a Republican as long as you're light, as long as you're not fully committed because God wants to have the final say. He rules, and you and I get to partner with him. This leads us to a final thought. It says when Joshua heard no, he fell down on the earth and bowed down.

Okay, let me help you out here. He took a knee. And if you're unwilling to take a knee and say let God be true and every man a liar, even my party whatever that party might be... yes, you're going to vote this or that. I got that, as long as you do it light, as long as you're not owned 'cause chapter 6 tells about walking around the wall and, you know, once a day for 6 days. Every day walk around seven times. He gave him a odd strategy for a supernatural victory. So what's a kingdom voter? It's one who understands they've been given the opportunity and responsibility to partner with God for the expansion of his rule in society through civil government.

What is kingdom voting? Kingdom voting is the opportunity and responsibility of committed Christians to partner with God in influencing his rule for the order and improvement of society through the vehicle of civil government. Because we have been given this opportunity to express through voting God's heart and mindset about how society is to function, we are obligated to take advantage of this witness that voting gives us because we have a say so in a democracy about how society functions. In sense, we are to reflect God in society since it is God himself who created government. We should take seriously that responsibility to as best as we can through the voting influence we have to reflect God's character, God's content, and God's perspective on how society should function through the righteous use of the ballot box.
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