Two kingdoms
October 31, 2016
Pastor Orval Wirkkala, Apostolic Lutheran Church, Kingston

John 18:36-37 “Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world. . . . For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.’”

Romans 13:1 “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”

Since all of us have a basis of why we think what we think, it is needful to present the basis for the convictions on which we as Christians stand: The Bible is the Word of God and it is reality, or Truth. It is the revelation or self-disclosing of God, the Maker of heaven and earth, who revealed Himself through both the Old and New Testaments through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Through the two biblical references given above, it is seen that there are two kingdoms that have been established by God, a spiritual kingdom and an earthly kingdom. God knew that governments were not going to be without fault, for we are sinful human beings. He established the institution of government, the main functions of which are to promote justice and to punish evil.

But God never gives the state the right to do wrong according to its own definition of good and evil. The state is held accountable to serve as God’s minister of justice.

Jesus Christ rules His spiritual kingdom and He does this through love, which He displayed through His life and death and which He today teaches through His Word, the Holy Bible. This love for God and neighbor motivates Christians to be thankful for their leaders, to pray for their leaders, and to be honest, obedient, and caring citizens in this world, so that, as much as possible, we may live peaceful and quiet lives in a godly and dignified manner. (1 Timothy 1:1-4)

Throughout the ages, when natural law and the voice of conscience have become darkened in the leaders and in the peoples of nations; the revelation of God has been left aside. And as a result, human beings have not been viewed and treated as those bearing the image of their Maker. Therefore, God in His wisdom has ordained governments for the purpose that they would bear rule as his representatives in order to promote justice and punish the law breakers, and it is His desire/will that leadership is to be founded, promoted, and protected through the teachings of His Word.

The church of Jesus Christ is the light of the world and the salt of the earth, which, when lived in its biblical reality brings glory to its Creator, to the end that souls would yield their allegiance to Jesus Christ in salvation and in mission. When freedom of conscience of the church as enlightened by the Holy Spirit in accordance with the Bible is threatened by the state, the church has the privilege and the duty to express the will of its living Authority, Jesus Christ, which can be done through witnessing of the Truth.

May we be faithful to our callings as witnesses and testifiers of Jesus Christ, Our Saviour and Lord.

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