One of the important ways that U.S. Christians keep the commandments of God is by voting for people who will keep the commandments of God.
- Justice, mercy, walk humbly with God – Micah 6:8
- Widows, orphans, unspotted by the world – James 1:27
Notice that both of these examples have two emphases: people and God.
The hyper grace perspective dominant in many churches today teaches, in effect, that keeping Jesus’ commandments has no impact upon one’s standing with God. “If you don’t keep the commandments of Jesus, you simply lose your inheritance or reward.”
- Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees you will never enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20
- Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9
The debate then is how to understand Jesus’ words, “will never enter the kingdom of heaven” and Paul’s words, “will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
If righteousness impacts one’s entry into the kingdom of heaven and inheriting the kingdom of God, it MUST shape my voting selections.
If I keep the two major emphases of the Bible, I will vote for what pleases God and for what God has defined as best for people.
- The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, withevery secret thing, whether good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
Since every careless word (Matthew 12:36, 37) will be at the Day of Judgment, could it be that God will judge our voting record by the codes he has written in the Bible?
Build your life according to code! 1 Corinthians 3:10
Cast your vote according to code! John 14:15
LIFE Group Home Work
Looking back on your notes from Pastor Kent’s teaching, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged, or confused you?
Listen – My Story
- Do you recall the first election in which you voted? When? Where?
- As Veteran’s Day approaches, do you connect your right to vote with the heroic and sacrificial service of our veterans? What price has been paid for you to mark your ballot?
Learn – Dig Deeper
- Read Micah 6:8. When one talks about the requirements of God people often respond with accusations of legalism. What is the difference between keeping God’s commandments and legalism?
- Read Matthew 25:31-46. Is it life-taking legalism to declare that God will separate the sheep from the goats with some to eternal life and some to eternal death or is it life giving obedience to proclaim this message?
- Read Ezekiel 3:16-21. Does this passage relate to our responsibility today to declare the word of God to our generation?
- If yes, is it possible that a vote can become blood on the voter’s hand? Vs. 18
- If yes, how can we better warn our generation?
Live – Taking It Home
- Are you doing any of the things 1 Corinthians 6:9 says will not inherit the kingdom of God? Would you like to stop doing those things, receive forgiveness from God, and continue forward in purity?
- How is your ministry to the widows, orphans, and keeping yourself unpolluted by the world?
Lift – Prayer
- Please pray for the election and the election results of November 4, 2014.
- Please pray for God to continue the Book of Acts at MCA Church as we make Acts the Sunday Nite Live study.