Jesus, America, and God's Kingdom - Part 2

America is not God’s Kingdom and God’s Kingdom is not America. It’s time to stop conflating the two. Jesus never promised to build America. America is not the light of the world. Jesus Christ and His church are. He promised to build His church. Certainly, God loves the nations and Jesus died for them. Certainly, God is calling all kinds of people to Himself from among America and other nations to form a new and distinct people. However, the nations are not His means for redeeming the world. Jesus is. He will build His church, the new covenant people of God. Our allegiance is not to America first, but to Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. Our loyalty to America should not come close to our loyalty to Jesus. We are kingdom citizens who happen to live in America according to God's providential plans for our lives. While we can desire and seek the well-being of America, while we can be truly grateful to live here, while we can deeply appreciate the sacrifices of so many men and women, our allegiance is not ultimately to America. It is to Jesus and His Kingdom. We are not half in and half out. We don’t switch back and forth between some kind of earthly and heavenly allegiance. God's kingdom laws and politics always supersede and overrule American laws and American politics. We always obey God rather than men. Always.
 
The Bible paints a clear picture of our place here: we live in America as foreigners, strangers and aliens. First Peter 2:9-11 speaks of the church this way, “9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.” As kingdom citizens, we are exiles in America, waiting for the Kingdom of God to come and fill the earth at the return of Jesus. In a real sense, we are not “of” America because Jesus' Kingdom is not “of” this world. Jesus said it best in John 18:36, ““My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
 
We bear witness in America to the Lordship of Jesus Christ over all nations. We are a distinct people that has a different and greater Sovereign. The church is not ruled “of the people, by the people, and for the people" like America is. The church is ruled by Jesus Christ and for Jesus Christ. We are not our own masters. We don’t live for ourselves. We have no control. Jesus has all authority. The Kingdom is not a democracy. It is a monarchy ruled by the greatest King you could ever imagine. We preach the gospel and exhort everyone to swear allegiance to Jesus Christ so they can be part of His Kingdom. We proclaim that there is repentance and forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ alone and that He is Lord of all. There is salvation in no one else. The church’s marching orders are not to Make America Great Again or Build Back Better. They are to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of Jesus’ name among all nations.

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