In the wake of recent cultural chaos, I have been teaching on common myths believed by followers of Christ, and what scripture actually teaches. The first myth is this:
Myth #1 – What we see in government, culture, the economy, and the media is all part of God’s sovereign will. The Bible said it would be like this in the last days, so Christians should accept what they see around them as part of God’s plan and simply wait for Christ’s return. They shouldn’t get too upset about or react to what’s happening around them.
Fact: God’s will is not automatic. If it were, Jesus would not have taught His disciples to pray “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven” (Matt. 6:10). He would not have bothered to instruct us to “Ask, seek, and knock” (Matt. 7:7), nor would it make any sense that He should tell us, “Whatever you ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13). These are just a handful of scriptures that indicate prayer establishes God’s will on earth.
When God put Adam in the garden, he appointed him as a kind of viceroy over the earth (a viceroy is a ruler who governs or acts in a designated territory on behalf of a sovereign). It was Adam’s job to cultivate and subdue the earth (Genesis 2:15, 19). When sin entered the world there came not only separation from God as well as death for mankind, but also a curse on the earth. That is why there are natural disasters, disease, droughts, poison, and every other kind of enmity between nature and man, as well as among mankind.
When Jesus came, his death on the cross was not only to buy back the death sentence faced by Adam’s race (thereby granting us eternal life in Heaven), but to pay for all the consequences of sin on earth. Everywhere that the curse abounds, God’s grace abounds more (Romans 5:20), to redeem – or buy back – what has been lost, damaged, and destroyed (John 10:10).
Jesus demonstrated this in what we did while on earth: besides preaching and teaching, He redeemed what was lost through healing, casting out demons, and even raising the dead. His followers are to do the same. Clearly the early church understood and practiced this. But somewhere along the way, the church lost this vision and understanding.
If your background is anything like mine, I was raised in a church that taught and preached the gospel of salvation, rather than the gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus taught and preached (I refer you to Pastor Jake Kail’s excellent and succinct teaching on this difference). Basically, I grew up professing Jesus as my Savior and really wanting to know Him, but never fully entering into real fellowship. I figured living holy was as much as one could hope for, and you endeavored with your best efforts to make others see this and want this and thereby want Christ/Christianity. Heaven was for the next life, and wouldn’t it be great? But for now, we suffer and toil till He calls us home.
This is not the essence of what Jesus taught; rather, it is a mindset and teaching that operates out of a deferred hope (Proverbs 13:12). It is not a gospel equipped for the challenges and vicious realities of now. It is not a gospel that comes with any power.
The gospel of the kingdom which Jesus taught about, however, was the radical, liberating, mind-bending excitement that Heaven has come to earth in the person of Jesus Christ, and because of His death, it now comes through His followers. We don’t simply wait to get to Heaven – the church’s job, it’s entire raison d’être, is to bring Heaven’s riches here to earth!
Again, quoting Pastor Kail, “You are the gate of Heaven.” God has demonstrated throughout scripture that He acts and moves almost exclusively in cooperation with those on earth who fear His name.
Our response therefore to the myth that what we see in government, culture and the media is all God’s sovereign will is that God’s will is not being done right now in most places. Most of what we’re seeing actually is the workings of our ruthless enemy who seeks to steal, kill and destroy through these outlets. It is our job to pray and proclaim “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth just like it is in Heaven, where there is no abortion, where there is no sexual perversion, where there is no child abuse, where there is no cancer, etc. etc.”
Will you pray, fast, and seek His face to confound the powers of darkness that have seized the most influential factions of society? Will you dare to believe God desires godly people in positions of influence? And will you dare to believe He’ll hear from on high and answer the prayer He told His followers to pray?
Glad you are teaching on this subject Emily! It is a subject that is widely misunderstood. Thanks for linking my articles as well!
[…] Myth #1 – What we see in government, culture, economy, and the media is all God’s sovereign will… Scripture said it would happen in the last days, so why do anything about it? Christians should accept what they see around them as part of God’s plan and simply wait for Christ’s return. They shouldn’t get too upset about or react to what’s happening around them. […]
[…] in glory.” There are flaws with this way of thinking: though God is sovereign in His power, much of what happens on earth is not His will. While persecution is part of every godly Christian’s experience (2 Timothy 3:12), most […]