Light for the Last Days

SHORT TALK

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2.1-4

You may have noticed that there’s an election happening this week. I’m told that I’m not allowed to tell you how to vote. Janie told me off about that the other week and, apparently, it’s illegal to tell a congregation who to vote for. I think it has something to do with the Muslims. They have sort of taken over, telling people how to vote and threatening them with ‘hellfire’ if they don’t vote the right way, but I won’t do that for you.

I’ve put that little quote on the board. Some time ago, I heard a preacher speaking, and he was asked which political party he supported. He said:

“I’m conservative in my theology, I’m labouring for the Lord, and I’m liberal in my giving”, which I thought was quite a good response. Perhaps today he could add “I’m in need of Reform”.

Let’s have a look at this subject and, obviously, it’s quite a serious one. We’re facing an election and we’re told in the scriptures that we should pray for those in authority.

A well-known scripture from 1 Timothy Chapter 2 says,

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

1 Timothy 2.1-7

So Paul gives you some reasons there why you should pray for those in authority, for kings and governments: those in authority. And he says, that we might live a quiet and Peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. In other words, that we may not be harassed, oppressed, dictated to, or persecuted by the government.

And he says this is good in the sight of God who wants all people to be saved to be saved through the Gospel through the preaching of the Gospel. So, you have got two ideas there: the government not interfering with us in our worship and our Christian lives, and the government not interfering with us as we preach the Gospel which is the good news.

Paul reminds us what the Good News is, that there’s one God, one mediator between God and Men, the Man Christ Jesus who gave Himself a ransom for all to be testified about in due time.

The freedom to preach the Gospel, that Jesus Christ is the One Way to God, that he paid the price for our sin at the cross, and that through Him we can come into a relationship with God. and I’m sure you agree that those are things which uh we should be free to do

I’m sure you realize there are many places in the world where you’re not free to do that, where governments interfere with the life of the church, interfere with the preaching of the Gospel, and even forbid the preaching of the Gospel. And we pray indeed for our brothers and sisters in situations where they’re persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ.

In some ways, you may find a bit selfish to ask God to give us the ‘right government’ so we are free from being hassled by the government. But if we’re free from being hassled by the government, then everyone else is going to be free as well. And it’s a sign that we support a government which will be allowing people to be free to follow their conscience, to do what they think is right, and do that without fear of persecution or discrimination.

In a society like ours, who do we support then? In Paul’s day, the common man had no choice really, about who the government was, but we do. And the question is who do we vote for? As I said:

I’m conservative in my theology, labouring for the Lord, and liberal in my giving.

Tony Pearce

2 comments

  • I believe 2 Tim 2:3-4 teaches we should not participate in the electoral process.
    All political parties are made up of sinful human beings who have good intentions but lack the ability to bring about a truly just societal system.(Either nationally or globally).
    Our calling as Christians is to advance Gods manifesto for himanity through the gospel of Jesus Christ (Matt 29:18-20).
    Only Jesus can (and will) bring about a truly just global society in His coming Milennial kingdom.(Dan 7:11-13;Rev 19:11-20:10).

    • Thanks Alec! I can see your point and it does make sense. In the end, it comes down to a choice and, as with Mammon (which may, in the end, be the main force behind ‘politics’ as we know it), the choice Jesus requires of His followers is clear: we can only serve one master.
      God bless!

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