Christians’ beliefs understandably inform their views on politics. We passionately believe that if everyone were to be more Christ-like, our country would be a better place. We long for people to be treated equally, compassionately, and healed from their ailments. We long for peace, security, and freedom. We long for the end of injustice and abuse. We believe these are so good that they’re worth fighting for.
When we long for these things, we are longing for “Your [God’s] will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We are longing for God’s country.
I have great news! God has established his nation on earth! Unfortunately, it seems that much of Christendom has lost this understanding at some point in history. We’ve come to believe that God’s kingdom is far off in the future, or the place a Christian goes when they die. While these are true, they’re not the whole truth. Are you aware that Jesus came to proclaim good news?1 And are you aware that the good news Jesus preached wasn’t that he was going to die in order to forgive people’s sins? Do you realize that Jesus talks about the kingdom over a hundred times in the gospels?2 Listen to Jesus talk about the kingdom:
“The kingdom of God has come near.” Mark 1:15
“The kingdom of God has come upon you.” Matt. 12:28, Luke 11:20
“Some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.” Mark 9:1, Luke 9:27
“The kingdom of God is in your midst.” Luke 17:21
“My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
The good news is that Jesus has come and already founded the new nation of God, the Christian nation if you will. And Jesus invites us to join him now just as he invited people in the first century to follow him. We don’t have to fight to make our country a Christian nation—God’s nation has already been established. And Jesus understood that God’s nation could never be established through the tools of the world: power and force. Jesus invites us to fight to advance his nation, but in a radically new way. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.”3 “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”4
We don’t need to worry about politics bringing the nation to Christ. Jesus’ resurrection frees us to join him in manifesting his Christian nation right now, no matter what our earthly country may or may not be doing.
All quotes taken from NIV unless noted.
1 “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” Luke 4:43.
2 Link to BibleGateway search for “kingdom” in the gospels.
3 2 Corinthians 10:4.
4 Ephesians 6:12 NLT.