I have never seen a time in our country when so many things are going wrong. I have read stories and I watched documentaries on the events that occurred in the sixties. As a nation we saw a president assassinated, his brother was also assassinated, riots in the streets, people beaten for no other reason than to peacefully march for their right to vote, and civil rights leaders murdered. Without a doubt it was one of the most tumultuous times in American history. But, I didnít see those times. I have however seen the violence that has erupted over the last couple of years. Baltimore erupted into a violent frenzy where buildings and police cars alike were burned. In Ferguson, MO we saw riots all over the streets. Couple this with the attacks against police officers, the mass shootings at schools, and the constant barrage of hysteria on our new networks and for the first time in m life I am genuinely afraid for our nation. I am afraid for what lies ahead for my children. I am genuinely afraid that the America I grew up with will not be here for my children.
It is strange to think of a world without a great nation like America. It is strange to think that my children may grow up in a world where hate prevails. It is strange to grow up in a world where morality and basic kindness is not the prevailing thought of the average person. My thoughts go back to Gen. 6 where it describes the mindset of Noahís world. They only thought on the heart of man was only evil continually. That is a really scary reality. No one could think decent thoughts. Now, I have no doubt we have people in the world today like that. You donít open fire on a group of police officers by thinking good and holy thoughts. Right now I can be thankful that my children donít live in that world. Of course, in order to assure that they donít I need to be a preacher of righteousness. I need to be a good father that raises my children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. I need them to see that not serving God has its eternal consequences and that the reason why this world is suffering right now is because the world has turned its back upon God.
Furthermore, as I continue to contemplate what these recent events me for our nation, I had to remind myself that America, while often called the greatest nation in the world, is not really the greatest kingdom in the world. Sure, we have great freedoms. Sure, we have great financial successes. Sure, we get to choose the leader of our nation, unlike many nations in our world. But still, it is not the greatest. It never has been. It never will be the greatest. The greatest nation, or kingdom, is Godís. His kingdom knows no boundaries. His kingdom has the greatest king. His kingdom has the greatest law governing it. His kingdom has the greatest citizens. His kingdom has the greatest impact upon the lives of those who are blessed by the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. As such I need to remember what world this great kingdom was established in. The apostles went about preaching the gospel in a moral defunct world. They preached the gospel unto political leaders who committed such gross immoralities that it makes our modern day leaders seem not so bad. From what I can tell in the book of Acts, early Christians were absorbed with being in that great kingdom that is Godís. We see in Acts 4-5 that they were selling their possessions and giving to the Lordís church so that their would be none who was needy. They sought to be with the saints on a daily basis in Acts 2. They strove for unity (Eph 4 and Phil. 2). And if the nation they lived in forced them out, they didnít throw their hands up and quit, not they took Godís kingdom with them. We see them preaching wherever they went (Acts 8:4). It was not just preachers, elders, and apostles that were doing this work. It is the average citizen of Godís kingdom. To use a modern vernacular, they were true patriots to Godís cause. Sadly, I see most American Christians being more concerned with this election cycle, fantasy football, Big Brother and the Kardashians.
If I want my children to live in a better world, I need to remind them that the greatest kingdom to ever exist is the one that God established. I need to teach them how to be citizens of that kingdom. I need to teach them why being citizens of that kingdom will make their lives more full, and I need to teach them to be all in with Godís kingdom. To do this, I need to live that way myself. I need to be absorbed with the better of Godís kingdom. Am I helping the local church to grow? Am I helping to further the gospel wherever I go? Can my friends, my children, my parents say that I am all in with Godís kingdom or that I am just trying to not be really bad?
Grinnell church of Christ
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Let's Make God's Nation Great Again
Volume 7 Issue 29