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

Tony Evans - God and Government

Tony Evans - God and Government
TOPICS: Government

In God's kingdom, he has four covenantal relationships. A personal covenant, where you pledge fidelity to him as a individual. A family covenant, where marriage and the family places themselves under his covenant. Then there would be the church covenant, where a body of believers place themselves underneath him. And then there was the concept of the national covenant. And it was in our Pledge of Allegiance, it is in our Pledge of Allegiance, "One nation under God". That would be the assumption that if this nation would be undivided, if it would be one, if it would be jam packed with liberty and justice for every citizen, then it would have to be covenanted underneath God.

Let me put it in another way. The assumption was, if God was not a part of the equation, then unity would be in trouble, liberty would be in trouble, and justice would be in trouble, because the relationship to God, was not as it ought to be. A covenant, is a divinely created relational bond. It's an agreement that one of those four entities, or all four, agree to be covered by God, because a covenant is designed to cover. It is incumbent upon Christians, to first and foremost ascribe themselves not to a political party, but to the super intending governance of God through civil government. It is to the degree that we operate under this umbrella, under this alignment with God, when it comes to your voting, and your participation in the politics of the day, whether you lean Democrat or Republican, it is your kingdom centeredness, because you are covenantally-aligned, that should influence, guide, and govern your vote.

The Bible makes it clear in Romans chapter 13 verse 1, which says this, "Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except God. And those which exist are established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God, and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves". Okay, I hope you caught that. If you want the right kind of government, God must be in the equation. Let me put it another way. The further you remove God's person and God's policies, 'cause a lot of folk believe in God's person who ignore his policies, then you have removed yourself from the place of blessing and covering as a nation. Or to put it another way, the further you remove God's person and policies from what a government believes, how a government operates, the character of the leaders who make up that government, then you have removed yourself from divine blessing.

No matter how much you pray and no matter how much you use the God word, he says, "Then you have messed with God's authority, and you've messed with God's ordinance". The Bible is pregnant with politics. From Genesis to Revelation, you see God all up in politics, setting up governments, taking down governments, giving laws, judging law breakers, he's all up in politics and nations. He makes it a comprehensive statement. He says, "All authorities," plural. That means your mayor, your city council. That means your state legislature. That means your Governor. That means your House of Representatives. That means your Senate. That means your president all authorities.

To the degree that they are aligned with God's person and God's policies, is to the degree you'll have a unified nation, a free nation, a just nation and a righteous nation. Conversely, to the degree you're unaligned, is to the degree that chaos will replace order. The biblical role of civil government as outlined enrollments 13, is to maintain a safe, just, righteous, and compassionately responsible environment for freedom to flourish. You cannot remove God's perspective from government, and have an ordered society. It will either become a chaotic environment, it'll become anarchy, it'll become oppressive, it'll become so free that there are no standards. I mean, it'll go all over the place, because there is no super intending standard, by which you are measuring how you approach the concept of voting.

Now, people, when they hear that, get a little nervous because they say, "Evans, are you purporting a theocracy"? Well, let me explain something. You're too late. The Bible declares that the world is already a theocracy because the Bible declares that God rules over all. In fact, Psalm 22:28 says, "The kingdom is the Lords and he rules over the nations". So, God is already ruling over everything. What ought to concern you is an ecclesiocracy. That is where a particular religion or a particular faith governs the society. But you cannot have God removed and have an ordered society, because then you wind up with homeocracy, that is, where man is seeking to replace God in the name of government. So I want you to get this perspective, leave God out; government is in trouble, so the citizenry is in trouble. Bring God in, policies and person, then you have a much more ordered environment, in which to live and fulfill the role of safety, justice, righteousness, and compassion, all working together to help a hurting nation like ours right now.

Now, the idea of government is to mirror, or to reflect the image of God for the wellbeing of society. Romans chapter 1 verses 18 to 32. He says, "Because they no longer wanted to retain the knowledge of God". They didn't want his perspective anymore. "God released them," turned them over, "And he allowed decay to enter their world and their society". If you're tired of decay as a kingdom voter, as a representative of the King, then that means you're gonna take seriously this responsibility to vote God back in and his perspective, which means, your whole rule is accountable. Whether they're Democrats or Republicans, to his perspective on whatever the issue is.

But as long as the evil one can keep us illegitimately divided, by making us more Democrat than Christian or more Republican than Christian, make our alliances more to homeocracy than the rule of God, then we are aiding and abetting the deterioration and the destruction of the culture. Now in our series, we'll get to some of the specific issues, but I want you to get this framework because I want you to be a kingdom independent. What I'm saying to you is government is not only a political enterprise, it is a sacred enterprise because it involves God. It is a spiritual enterprise. What discourages me is when the spiritual is brought up, people get offended. They don't wanna hear it. When you bring what God says about justice, or brutality, or race, or life, they start going into, "I think, I feel, or my opinion is". No, you don't get to have an opinion that disagrees with God. You may have it, but you need to switch it, change it. Because if government belongs to God, you better get his opinion and adjust your opinion.

Now you have a framework. You're gonna be a kingdom voter, then you're gonna partner with God in your vote and his definition of civil government, to maintain a safe, just, righteous, and compassionately responsible environment for freedom to flourish. You know, he talks about the ordinance of God in verse 2. In other words, God has rules, right? The ordinance of God. You don't make up rules even when it comes to government. You find out his rules and you obey those ordinances, those governing guidelines. That's why the "Pledge of Allegiance" and the idea of America is so great because, it recognized that there are alienable rights given by the Creator, that belongs to all men, and that if we are under God, we benefit from that. This country said it was God's house. We said "One nation under God". Said, "We gonna be God's house".

If you're gonna be God's house, then it doesn't matter what everybody else says, if the head of the house has spoken on any given subject. And so, God is calling a nation of citizens to recognize his rules. He goes on to say, "For rulers," verse 3, "are not a cause for fear for good behavior, but for evil," that's safety, but that's also righteousness. He says, "There's good behavior, there's bad behavior". Well now wait a minute. If there's good behavior and bad behavior, who's defining what's good and what's bad? 'Cause, once everybody gets to define it as they think it is, then you can have competing definitions of goodness. Good is, 'cause God says it's good. Bad is, 'cause God says it's bad. That's why The Ten Commandments was, "Thou shall not". He was giving a standard of good and bad. That's why we have laws to give a standard of good and bad. He says, that those ordinances come from God.

The Bible says in Deuteronomy 4:8 that "Nations became great because they followed God's righteous laws". If we are going to experience help and healing in our country, then your vote has to vote for God's way, whether you vote for Democrat or Republican, because once you come out the booth, you're only going to follow God's prescription, as we will see defined as we go along. So, "He calls those who are in power," the political leaders, verse 4, "For it is a minister," referring to the rulers of God, "To you for good. But if you do what is evil be afraid, for it does not bear the sword for nothing, for it is a minister of God and avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil".

Guess what he calls a civil leader? A minister. I know, we think of ministers as preachers, right? The person behind the pulpit and that is a minister. In fact, every Christian is called to be a minister on some level, but he calls now civil servants, "Ministers," and not only call them "Minister," he calls them, "Ministers of God". Now we know in the ministry, you can have a bad minister, and you can have a good minister. They still give him the title minister, but that doesn't mean they're good ministers, it just means they hold the position of minister. The job of Christians is to call them into account personally, and policy wise, to be good ministers. You don't just pick policy and skip person. You don't just get person and grab policy, because the ordinances are in the hands of the minister, and the minister is a person, he says, they're a ruler, you call for both.

Some people talk about policy, some people talk about person. No, if you gonna be a minister of God, you're supposed to be a good one in both categories. He says, "They are to represent God in good". He says, "They don't bear the sword in vain". Why? Because you want a safe, just, and righteous environment. Because freedom can't flourish if there is no safety, if there is no righteousness, and if there is no just justice. And so he calls on them to hold and administer a standard of righteousness. In fact, 1 Timothy 2:2 says, "To pray for your leaders," pray for your politicians, "That they may create an environment of peace". And so we are to hold our leaders accountable for the peacefulness of the environment in which we live.

So, what's our standard? What are we gonna use to judge it? Is it what I think, how I feel, how I was raised, what I prefer? You got Democrats, you got Republicans, you got Libertarians, you got this issue, that issue, two parts of the same issue. You've got police, you've got community, and you've got arguments coming at both sides. You've got this politician, that politician, and it's coming at us and sometimes you don't know which world you're in. You fluctuate. "Well, I like this over here, but I don't like that over there. I like this over here, but I don't like that over there," and you can wind up being totally confused. So you need a tool, something to help you discriminate through all the muck and mire of the confusion as you consider who you're gonna vote for. You need a tool. That tool has to be the divine standard on each issue. Your first question is not who you're gonna vote for. That's a secondary question. I know it's the one we talk about. The first question is, who does God want me to vote for?

Now, based on the issues, every Christian still won't vote the same, but they should ask the same question, 'cause you're a kingdom independent. What's the tool. What's the scripture saying about the issue? And you go to that first and you don't get mad, if the scripture says something other than you think or believe. You affirm yourself to the sovereignty of God, because he rules the nations. And I love Proverbs 8:15. He says, "By me, king's reign. By me, king's reign". So if you want a king to rule right, a politician to rule correct, he says, "They gotta rule by me. I set the standard". Government is to execute safety. Ecclesiastes 8:11 says, "This just execution of safety should be done quickly so that people do not have to live in fear. It must be done justly, however". But then it says in chapter 12 verse 19, "When government does this, you cannot take personal retribution". He says that.

So this principle of government, God's covered everything. There is not one issue in government that you can come up with, to which God has not given a precept or a principle, to govern how you should view that issue. And if only Christians would vote with that covenantal worldview in mind, the Bible says in Isaiah chapter 5, 20 and 21, "That when people call good evil, and evil good, and they get this thing all mixed up," then it says that, "Confusion comes and people are discombobulated". Isaiah chapter 8 verse 20 says, "If you bypass God's rule, you don't have the dawn". In other words, you can't see straight. And I think there's a lot of blindness today, all around both parties. On the police side, on the citizen side, everywhere there's blindness. Why? Because people have not decided to keep God in government, which is what the scripture says you must do. "Therefore," he says, "It is necessary to be in subjection not only because of wrath, but also for conscience sake".

God must be included in government in order to have government function in a way God designed it to function. To promote the good, to keep evil from proliferating, and let him decide what's good and what's not good. Psalm 72:11, I love this verse. Says, "He wants all leaders and all nations to serve him". A kingdom voter, brings a biblical worldview to the ballot box. A kingdom voter, votes for the person and the policies that will best advance the kingdom of God and the definition of civil government that I have articulated for you today. That's what kingdom of voting is all about. Now, that will affect your view of justice. That will affect your view of discrimination. That will affect your view of abortion. Yes, that will affect your view of marriage. Yes, that will affect your view of taxation. All of that, 'cause guess what? God's gotta view on all that, he doesn't have, he has more than a view, he has a rule.

And if you and I would take this rule seriously, then Christians could lead the way. 'Cause you know, as you've heard me say, Christians are one of the major problems because we haven't been kingdom minded, we've been more cultural minded, and political party minded, that we've not set the stage, and so we have contributed to the chaos greatly. But now is a time in the midst of the chaos, that we can step forward and set a new temperature. In Genesis chapter 11, the first 9 verses, God let there be confusion in the land, because they wanted society without him. And the Bible says, "And so there was confusion". You leave him out of your vote, of our votes, on person and policy, there will be more confusion in the land and we are the ones who have what God thinks. But what we've done, is we've allowed our own identities, our own races, our own preferences, to keep us from taking a comprehensive stand on righteousness and justice in the life of our society.

So, you remove being under God, we remove being under God, we will discover we are a nation gone under. We remove under God in practice, we will be a nation gone under. You're seeing it, it's right before your eyes. But God has given us a brief opportunity to turn this thing around, if we will operate as a nation covenantally as kingdom voters. You know, it reminds me of how we view God. We hold him in high esteem. "In God We Trust," it's on our money. "One nation under God," is in our Pledge of Allegiance. In our Declaration of Independence, we say, "By our Creator".

We begin political events with invocations, we close them with benedictions. He is held in high esteem, but when it comes to how the nation operates, and often how Christians vote, he has no clout at all. We can care less what he thinks, what he says, and how he feels about it, 'cause this is how I feel, and what I think. And we'll keep him in position 'cause we'll go to church. We'll sing our songs. We'll wave our hand in the air like we just don't care. We'll give him position while ripping him of power. If you and I wanna see a nation healed and helped, then we must not extract God from government. And that should be manifested in your thinking as you go into the voting booth.

The Bible makes it clear that God is the author of government. The government was established by God to bring his perspective to the ordering of society. The biblical definition of civil government, is to maintain a safe, just, righteous, and compassionately responsible environment, for freedom to flourish. This government perspective, God has established leaders to implement as his ministers, as those who are acting on his behalf to fulfill that definition. The closer a government is to God's person and principles, the more ordered society will be. The further government is from God's person and principles, the more chaos society will have. This is why it is critical, that we have government and governmental leaders, who not only believe in God, but want to reflect his principles in society.
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