Surrender to Independence…
July 4th, 2019
Here in the United States of America, today we celebrate our nation’s independence from the rule of England.
We often have the impression the English were ‘bad people’. That isn’t necessarily accurate. Like any other human government there are good and bad aspects, but the reality is that God has placed those who govern in places of authority, as a function of his will.
They may not expressly execute the will of God, but God will isn’t frustrated by those in power either. God works His Will independent of any government or dictator.
Disciples of Jesus Christ have dual citizenship. Each of us were born, live and play out our lives at different locations across the globe. As our technological expertise grows undoubtedly that technology has the potential to establish colonies in space and on other planets. Those new establishments will fall under the governing body that established them. It is what we do as we spread out and take possession of unoccupied territory and even regions that have an indigenous population.
It was the case with the early colonies of Britain that were established on the shores of the ‘new world’; America.
Those colonies became self-determined and sought their independence from the government that established their colonies. They wished pursue a different set of standards. In the same way if we establish colonies in space, assuming Jesus doesn’t return first, inevitably they will come to a place where they will seek a set of standards, which better meet their intent, than do the countries from where they originated.
If Jesus doesn’t return first, this will happen. It is a pattern that has repeated itself consistently over time. It doesn’t mean the government was not well meaning in the establishment of the colony, but instead over time, the purpose and intent of the governed came to a point where they determine that they wish to go in a different way.
This was the case for the Americas. They wished to practice their faith in the manner that they felt God dictated to them. England had established a national church and a standard set of religious dictates. There was a level of what we would call persecution, which was nothing more than the governing authority, attempting to maintain order in accordance to their standard.
A struggle ensued and on July 4th, 1776 a group of rebellious colonies declared their independence from English rule.
All would have been fun and games if everyone was in agreement with this declaration. But England had invested time and treasure into the new land, and it was their intent that these colonies become a functional extension of their domain.
This resulted in a struggle, a battle of will. We all know the outcome of that struggle. One of the undisputable greatest nations ever on the planet was established, because those colonists had a marvelous intent, to become a free people who would be driven by their own pursuit of happiness. The core intent of this was so that the citizenry could worship in the manner they felt directed to serve their God. Principles based on law, representation, and agreed thought.
Here is what was so revolutionary about this idea. This new government was established with the principle that we have a necessary alliance to the government we are citizens of, but at the same time there is a higher power, who’s authority supersedes that of the government.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The authority that supersedes the government is the CREATOR. Above everything else God rules supreme. And we as Disciples of that creator are citizens of another nation. The Kingdom of God!
So then you are no longer foreigners and noncitizens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of Godʼs household, because you have been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.
Ephesians 2:19-20 (NET)
As Disciples of Jesus, our first allegiance is to God. For anyone who becomes a disciple of Jesus Christ, your first citizenship isn’t with your country of origin, it is to God! Here in the USA, our allegiance to our flag, and this nation for which that flag stands, is secondary to our allegiance to God’s Kingdom. We have pledged our allegiance and loyalty to the highest power there is. The very power that created the universe in which we have been sent to establish this colony.
The major difference in this allegiance is that we have no intent of taking up permanent residences here, nor to establish greater physical territory for our King. No, our king already owns everything which he created, we are here to seek that which our Lord directs us to, which is to grow his kingdom. A kingdom not of lands and territory, we can’t claim that which is already his. What we are called to is the task that precedes every other objective in all time and space. We are to make disciples of our king! Add to the citizenry of heaven as God himself directs us.
To that end we are to ‘Go’ Forth and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are to confront the world with the Word of God and the Good News that Jesus, God’s very Son, came and gave himself in our place, so that each man, woman, and child can have a lasting relationship with that creator that gave us those “certain unalienable Rights”.
God in his power and authority gave us the right to refuse him. But that right doesn’t come without consequences and the chief among them is an eternal existence outside the grace of his Son.
Jesus in his authority gave us the right to become the children of God and citizens of the Kingdom of God.
He came to what was his own, but his own people did not receive him. But to all who have received him – those who believe in his name – he has given the right to become Godʼs children
John 1:11-12 (NET)
The same Jesus that said these words before he ascended into heaven, left us with a dictate, His Disciples. He gave us this dictate based on his power and authority!
Then Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
Matthew 28:18 (NET)
In the very next two verses he transfers some of that authority to us his Disciples, to take the news of his gift of grace to the world and make disciples of them.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19-20 (NET)
We as citizens of the Kingdom of God, have our marching orders from our Lord and commander. Those orders are for us to ‘Go’ and make disciples of everyone, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Then to teach them everything that Jesus has taught us through His Word, and His Spirit.
Then he closes with “remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
That age that he’s speaking of is the end of this earth as we know it. Not to say that he is going to abandon us when the world comes to its ultimate end, no, instead we are destined to return home from this colony to reside with Jesus in eternity.
Then he will establish a new heaven and new earth in his perfection.
So today, I want to wish you all a happy “’Go’ Forth Day!” Carry the message of Good News to all lands and all peoples; starting with our homes and communities and going out wherever it is that He leads us. ‘Go’ Forth!
In the Grace of Jesus!