Posted by: Terry | June 30, 2011

The true declaration of independence

The people of Israel longed for a Declaration of Independence, freedom from the powerful government of Rome. Most followers of Jesus while he was on earth hoped that he would overturn the Roman dominance which they believed would lead them to peace and prosperity.

Here in the United States we celebrate the 4th of July, the day we declared that we would no longer be dominated by England, that we would fight for freedom, and become an independent nation. We who claim citizenship are proud of our country and much of what we have accomplished.

Yet the Jews misunderstood why Jesus came, their national longing for self-preservation and prosperity blinded them to the real message that he proclaimed, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Christ came to call an eternal heavenly kingdom, they wanted a nation on earth.

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, (Colossians 1:13 NIV)

Christ is still in the business of rescuing people and bringing them to his kingdom. As believers, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God. “(2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV)

The nation of Israel was not the kingdom that Christ came to establish, nor is America the kingdom of heaven. We were founded on Godly principles which have brought blessings, many of which we have neglected or even turned away from and as such we reap the penalty. Many today quote, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV) They apply it to America yet this verse is not a promise for America, it was a promise made to Israel when Solomon’s temple was dedicated that if Israel turned and called to God he would restore them.

The “my people” was Israel, now they are those who by faith are citizens of “the kingdom of the son.” This is a heavenly nation not an earthly country.

The principle that we should humble ourselves and pray applies to all people, and would benefit America if it were to happen, as ambassadors of the heavenly kingdom that is the message we proclaim. Our charge is to build the kingdom of heaven while being responsible godly citizens of whatever country we live in while on earth.

The declaration of independence that we proclaim is freedom from sin, guilt and judgment. Freedom from the domination of the prince of this world, Satan. That is true freedom exceeding anything we can create on earth:

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36 NIV)

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Responses

  1. Those who believe in Christ are God’s “people” today – joining with the Jews, and if His Church would awaken and break it’s silence, becoming humble before God in admitting the “sin of silence,” and ask for His mercy to heal our land, I believe He would.

    • Usually when I hear someone talk about “sin of silence” they are refereing to the church speaking out against the wrongs, and evils of society. Yet most who use that term today limit it to two things, abortion and gay issues, while neglecting the poor or other injustices that are equally wrong.

      But the real issue is that there is nothing is scripture that tells us that we are to spend our time changing society. The prophets of old were speaking to the nation of Israel, not the nations around them. The New Testament has nothing to say about it. We have one message for the world and that is the gospel. Sadly too many Christians are giving effort to trying to change the world, and there is just no scriptural basis for that. That effort would be better spent spreading the gospel. We certainly must live and vote in accordance with scripture, but to think that it is our job to change the world is unfounded in Scripture.

      God has only promised to ever heal one nation, Israel. The idea that he will “heal our land” is founded on the idea that somehow America is some special nation, shades of manifest destiny, which is a concept that is founded on good wishes not on the Bible.

  2. We cannot change the world. Only God will do that when He returns. Our mission is to preach the gospel and to help individuals understand that Jesus is the only way to be saved.


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