Monday October 20, 2008

Worship Runs the World — an exhortation by Pastor Sumpter

In a matter of weeks we will have a new president and vice-president elect. As we live during these days, we must (as always) live and think and act like followers of Christ. And this means several principles must not be neglected. First of all, because we are Christians, we confess that Jesus is Lord. Jesus is the lord of presidents and vice-presidents. Jesus is Lord of the media, the Lord of opinion polls, the Lord of politics, the Lord of elections, the Lord of ballots, and the Lord of ballot boxes. And this means that all these things must submit to Jesus. They must all bow the knee to him as their rightful Lord. Christ is the King of this world. When he ascended into heaven, he was given all authority in heaven and on earth, and this kingdom is not a pretend kingdom. It is not something that is only true on Sunday mornings. Second, we are called to love our neighbors and honor our rulers. This means that it is most certainly a Christian virtue to be patriotic. At the same time, this must be done with our eyes open, recognizing the great failures of our nation. We have economic sins, we have military sins, we have sexual sins, we have medical sins, and we have not been faithful to defend the helpless, to enact justice and mercy. Godly patriotism isn’t blind to real problems but is able to thank God vigorously while still praying that God would deliver us from evil. Lastly, we need to remember the book of Revelation. Throughout Revelation John is given a vision of heaven where he watches how heaven and earth are connected, how events on earth are related to what is taking place in heaven. The lesson we are invited to learn is that worship runs the world. When the four living creatures cry ‘holy, holy, holy!’ and the 24 elders fall down and worship the lamb on the throne the scroll with the seven seals appears in heaven. When they sing a new song and proclaim the blessing and honor and glory of Him who sits on the throne, the seals are opened by the Lamb on the throne, and wars erupt, peace is shattered, disease and famine are poured out on the earth, the martyrs cry out, and the solar system reverberates with the judgments of God. When the saints worship in the heavenly places, the judgments of the Lamb fall on the earth. When the saints worship, the temple of God is opened and plagues descend on the people of the world. When the saints worship, the kingdoms of this world are brought low, and they become more and more the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ. As we approach the election and the future of our nation, we must do so fully convinced that what we do here far out ways the significance of a few minutes in a ballot box. And we will not be moved by the shrill cries of some insisting that what does or does not happen on November 6th determines the ultimate future of our nation. God is King of all the earth; let the nations tremble.

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