Acts 13:26 Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
27 For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.
28 And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.
29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.
30 But God raised him from the dead:
31 And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.
Over the past two plus years we have seen a major shift in how most churches look at things. We have mentioned before that for all of my lifetime we have been told that there must be a separation of church and state. Over the years this rhetoric has been increased to try to keep the church completely out of the public life of people.
Most churches have sold their souls to the ungodly political system of our country. We have seen this over the past two plus years. The government dictated how and if churches could meet. A few churches did not cave to this wicked plot. A few of them faced threats from the government and fines.
Most churches have lost their way. If we go back to the Bible, we see that Jesus Christ declared that He would build His church upon His name. Jesus Christ has never changed that fact. True churches are still under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ.
As we see in our text, it was the false Jewish religious system that went to Pilate to ask for his authority to murder Jesus Christ. It is false religion that has put itself under the authority of corrupt religion. True churches are not under the authority of the government. True churches are always under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is the fact. Yet for some reason, there are still too many Christians waiting for the government to change its policies so that churches can do what God has decreed they must do. It is important to pray for our governments at all levels. True Christians also need to be spending time in prayer as we saw true churches doing in the first century.
When Peter was arrested under the reign of Herod, his plan was to kill Peter. He had already killed James and found that the ungodly Jews approved of that wicked move. The saints gathered in a house and had a prayer meeting late into the night. God released Peter from prison and he went to that house to let them know he was a free man. The people were praying, but they did not understand the power of God to answer prayer.
The Christians in the first century did not depend on the governments to preach the Gospel. They understood God’s authority over the local churches and they served God faithfully. I realize that we are living in the last days, and we know that in the last days there will be a falling away. We are certainly seeing that happening now. It is important that those who are saved get back to the Word of God and follow His way.
We have given the government far too much assumed power over true churches. We have given ownership of true churches to the government through registering with the government. We have also submitted to the government in asking them to license the pastors of the local church. These are things that we have accepted without stopping to realize what we have done. There was a time that I too was guilty of this attitude. I just followed the traditions. However, through studying the Bible, I have come to see that I was wrong in agreeing to registration of the local church and also in seeking a license from the government to preach.
It would be good if more churches would see the importance of getting back to what the Word of God teaches regarding the local church. We cannot expect our governments to all of a sudden be converted to Christianity. If they made such a declaration, it would be similar to what Constantine did in the fourth century. It would be good to see governments saved, but God saves people, not institutions. We need to pray for our Prime Minister and our Premier and our Reeve and others in government. We, those who are saved, need to understand that we do not need to ask the government for permission to do the Lord’s work. It is the false churches that try to snuggle up to the government and gain favour with them. True churches draw nigh to God and seek to glorify Him in their daily lives.
It is true that if we take the Biblical position, we can expect to face persecution. The world will see us as a problem. The devil will do all he can to try to stop the proclamation of God’s Word. We know that God told Peter to write of the need for judgment to begin at the house of God. Lost people need to be reminded of the truth. Saved people are told to be a light in a dark and dying world. We cannot be a light when we hide under a bushel. We need to cast off the bushel and stand true upon God’s Word and follow Him.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Christians do not walk around with a chip on their shoulders. However, Christians need to understand we are children of the true God. We have an inheritance that is much greater than any earthly gain. We need to present ourselves as children of God. We are the Light of the World.
Those who are saved need to spend time in prayer and ask God for boldness to take our stand clearly on His side and under His authority. We need to pray for our governments and we need to live in the light of God’s Word so that we can show the governments and others that the true God is still in charge, not mother nature.