God’s will is not rule of law but rule of ChristPosted: Sat. Nov, 21 2020
Imagine Satan ruled the world as he does, but that he gave all power of governing the world to Christ, the greatest and most genuine of all leaders. I wonder if he had something like this in mind when he tempted Christ.
And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, "I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 "Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours." 8 And Jesus answered and said to him, "It is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.'"
I’ve always thought of Satan’s condition of bowing down as a one time thing, meaning, Jesus would bow then and there to Satan for a minute or two and then Satan hands over the keys to the kingdoms and then goes off somewhere. (Apparently my thinking didn’t go any farther than that) But when I read it this last time, I thought that perhaps he meant that Jesus would always worship him, and as such, giving Him “all this domain and its glory” would mean that Jesus would run everything as a #2 below Satan as #1. Stupid, yeah, and never an iota of a thought in the divine decree of all history, but the idea of it leads to an important truth, and especially important in 2020 America. Imagine our current world governed by Jesus. Forget Biden or Trump or electoral votes, Jesus is president, even with Satan somewhere in the background as the top guy. Perhaps Satan was actually willing to concede this way, irksome to him that Jesus would rule, but looking at an all-powerful God in human existence and thinking this compromise was the only way he might be able to stay on top.
Certainly, a world ruled by Jesus, even the unredeemed world in its current state, would be practically just. There would still be bad people doing bad things, but they would be caught, arrested and appropriately punished every time and in timely fashion, i.e. no long, drawn-out cases with appeal after appeal. Execution of fair laws swift and final. Fraud and violent crime sought out and arrested immediately. (This past Friday evening about 150 Antifa thugs damaged multiple small businesses and the Mexican consulate and zero arrests were made. “Party on Garth!”) It would be a world much better than it had ever been in its history. A golden age forever. Abundant wealth and resources. The greatest sources of energy, clean and renewable. The purest entertainment, art and literature and culture. The cleanest environment. No war. Abundant opportunity for upward movement. Excellent education. No poverty.
During the Millennial Reign of Christ there will be a similar situation to the one just described. However, Satan and his angels will be locked away in the Abyss and resurrected saints will be ruling with Jesus. The environment is also perfect, so much so that people will have life spans of several hundred years. It’s a utopia, but it ends with a massive rebellion.
And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city
The shocking thing about the Millennial Reign, though Jesus fulfills His covenant to Israel, it doesn’t completely work. At the end there is a rebellion against Jesus by an innumerable (as the sand of the seashore) horde of unbelievers, the progeny of the original saints who entered into the kingdom with Christ. These people are offered one thing in that world, Christ; and they don’t want Him. They want something else, but tough luck, Christ is the only choice on the menu.
If the Millennium doesn’t create a utopia, then neither would what Satan is promoting when tempting Jesus in the wilderness. Any man that you want to be president, even if Jesus was president, is not what God desires for us. Plainly, it’s not good enough.
This year, and I think in the years of the foreseeable future, conservatives, of which Christians mostly are, will find they want to scream from underneath the great pile of idiotic laws made by a swelling number of infantile brained leaders who toast each other with crystal flutes filled with expensive champagne in their placious mansions while you’re sipping your cold coffee, busy trying to figure out which crappy healthcare plan you might be able to afford.
Christ's response to Satan’s plan: You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only. God is not pursuing a society in which He uses His omniscience to enforce just laws to make mankind stay in-line. It is the willful, joyous, and spontaneous worship of Him by mankind that He is after. That means you have to give people choice, and when they have it, they have the right to choose against it, and they will, and they do.. “You shall worship the Lord,” Jesus says to Satan, who most among creatures, refuses to.
Still, God’s good pleasure will be accomplished. He will permanently justify those who have faith in the Gospel and judge those who don’t. Human history will come to an end when it is His will to stop it. And then, mortal will take on immortality; the earthly will take on the heavenly; the perishable, the imperishable; the natural, the spiritual (1CO 15:42ff) and that forever in a new heavens and earth that only contains holiness and holy people, all made so by Christ’s sacrifice.
God has to make people of a certain type for His kingdom to consist of men. Men who worship Him freely and willfully. That type is the life of Christ. Only those so born-again could be of this type. Only the blood of Christ could accomplish it.
God is always working. The outcome of all elections are His outcomes.God is the architect of all human history. Kingdoms rise and fall by His direction: there is no other ultimate agent.
"Who has aroused one from the east
Whom He calls in righteousness to His feet?
He delivers up nations before him,
And subdues kings.
He makes them like dust with his sword,
As the wind-driven chaff with his bow.
3 "He pursues them, passing on in safety,
By a way he had not been traversing with his feet.
4 "Who has performed and accomplished it,
Calling forth the generations from the beginning?
'I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He.'"
In every movement of world affairs the Lord is the initiator, purposing and achieving that which accords with His righteous nature and policies.
Perhaps more will come to Him in faith if things in the world get economically and socially worse. Perhaps when the silly, so-called progressive people of our current age finally get all that they want, and then see that it doesn’t remotely give what they were sure it would, many will be brought to Christ. I don’t know. I do know that the Lord is the Initiator of all world affairs. We believers are only sojourning here. Our real city is that bright one on the hill over there, perpetually shining down upon the country that just went through a crazy election. We have to remember who we are as those who don’t know who we are are busy destroying where they are and what they are. As members of the country that we are truly citizens of, we must rise above the fray and shine the light of Christ into the perpetual human skirmish.
In His love, praying for the church and America,
Pastor Joe Sugrue