KING OF KINGS 1-22-17
KING OF KINGS
January 22, 2017
Two days ago President Donald Trump was inaugurated. And although he has the backing of one of the nation’s top Christian pastors, Franklin Graham, who gave a prayer at this event, there are many folks who are upset, some to an extreme measure, that Trump was elected president. Protests began back in June 2015 following the announcement of his candidacy, and reached epic proportions on Nov. 9, 2016. According to Wikipedia, on that date 29 major US cities, as well as 7 foreign countries, held large protests after the election results were in.
I won’t argue the fact that President Trump is not your run of the mill president. His character is brash and his manner not what one would normally expect in a US President. But then look as several of Jesus’ disciples... Peter was a fisherman, who cut off a soldier’s ear, and whose language would probably have fit in better in a bar than in a church. Matthew was a tax collector, who in those days would have been as welcome as one of today’s IRS reps, and likely even more crooked. Thomas was known for his lack of faith. And Mary Magdalene, the first to see Christ after His resurrection, and the first to be told by Him to tell others - well, you all know what her former profession was. So if Jesus specifically called these to be among His chosen disciples, He can certainly use someone like Donald Trump to lead a nation. Now before you throw any stones, what I am saying is that God can use anyone for any purpose. Because God is still on the throne, and God still is ultimately the one that raises up kings and deposes kings. So whether you voted for Trump or Hillary, or neither - and whether or not you like the electoral system - and whether or not you are happy with the end result of the 2016 presidential election, you, as a Christian, have a responsibility to support our current president. The Bible clearly states that unless your leaders order you to do something that is directly in violation of God’s law, you are to submit to them and show them honor and respect. I reiterate, as we heard in our Epistle reading (Romans 13:1-7), “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” Even Daniel, who continued to pray to the one true God even after King Darius passed an evil and egotistical law saying a citizen could only pray to him, or be thrown into a den of lions, answered the king respectfully when questioned about his beliefs and the reason for his non-compliance (see Daniel chapter 6). According to Biblical prophecy, such a day will come again at some point in the future, when the Antichrist makes his appearance; but until then we should be supportive and pray for our president. Pray that the Lord gives him the wisdom and the courage to make choices that will bring God’s favor upon our nation.
Now, lest you think that the title of my message, King of Kings, is referring to President Trump, let me continue by saying that while I wanted to stress that no authority on earth is put over us, except by the direct hand of God, for whatever reasons God has for doing so - those earthly authorities, as well as ourselves, are all subject to the highest authority, the King of Kings, who is Jesus Christ, and whose authority comes directly from God the Father. (read 1 Corinthians 15:20-24). In Ephesians 1:21 we read that He is “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.” And speaking of the age to come, if we remain true to the King of Kings, we too will rule with Him one day. While an earthly president might be able to give a temporary government position to a prominent supporter, only Christ can make a promise such as the one we read in 2 Timothy 2:11-12, “This is a trustworthy saying: If we died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him.” And while it may not always seem apparent at present that God is in control, as evil grows worse day by day just as prophesied in the Bible, the day IS coming when evil will no longer be tolerated. For now God patiently waits for the last person to come to repentance, for the last person that He knows will accept the gift of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. But as we read in Revelation 11, the day the seventh trumpet sounds, loud voices will call out in heaven, “’The kingdom of the world is now the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.’” And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: ‘We give thanks to You, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was; You have taken Your great power and begun to reign. The nations were enraged, and Your wrath has come. The time has come to judge the dead, and to reward Your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear Your name, both small and great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.’”
Yes, today the nation’s may be enraged, but if we remain faithful to the Lord, we can look forward with joy to the day when those who are deserving of God’s wrath will receive it, and we - both small and great who serve Christ - will be rewarded.
So let’s give honor and respect to our new president, and pray for him and for our country. But reserve worship for the only one who ever walked this earth that is deserving of our worship, the true King of Kings, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
I had the children guess what some of the names might be on FORBES list of the 10 most powerful people on earth (and the adults guessed, too). This is the list:
1. Vladimir Putin (leader of the Soviet Union)
2. Donald Trump (now the new president of the United States)
3. Angela Merkel (Chancellor of Germany and backbone of the European Union)
4. Xi Jinping (Leader of the Communist Party of China)
5. Pope Francis
6. Janet Yellen (Chair of the Federal Reserve)
7. Bill Gates (Founder of Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)
8. Larry Page (President of Alphabet - the parent company of Google)
9. Narendra Modi (Prime Minister of India)
10. Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook)
And Jesus Christ is more powerful than all 10 put together!