You selected Dallas as your home campus. UNDO
You selected Frisco as your home campus. UNDO
You selected Plano as your home campus. UNDO
This page is hosted by the campus.
Your home campus is .

Politically Correct: The Roles of Family, Government, and The Church

Blake HolmesOct 18, 2020

In This Series (4)
Politically Correct: Prayer, Fasting, and Communion
David LeventhalNov 1, 2020
Politically Correct: A Biblical Overview of Abortion, Healthcare, and Immigration
Jeff Ward, Bruce Kendrick, Christy Chermak, Jermaine HarrisonOct 25, 2020
Politically Correct: The Roles of Family, Government, and The Church
Blake HolmesOct 18, 2020
Politically Correct: Citizens of Heaven
David LeventhalOct 11, 2020

Discussing and Applying the Sermon

  • When you are anxious or overwhelmed, where do you go for help?
  • Married couples, how are you doing in providing a model for others to follow?
  • Parents, do your kids find it easier or harder to believe in God because of your example?
  • Students, how are you doing in honoring your parents?
  • How should a biblical worldview of family, government, and the Church affect the way you vote?

Summary

How should God’s Word impact how we vote? In our series, Politically Correct: A Biblical Perspective on God & Government, Blake Holmes provides a biblical worldview for the three institutions established by God: family, government, and the Church.

Key Takeaways

  • When the family fails, the government and church suffer. When the government fails, the family and church suffer. When the church fails, the government and family suffer.
  • The Bible should inform our everything.
  • Although this world is not our home, all Christians are called to seek the welfare of the city in which they live. Therefore, you should care about politics and exercise your right to vote.
  • God is sovereign over all, and every king, nation, and tribe will one day bend their knee before Him. Our hope is not in the winner of an election but in the saving grace and eternal reign of Jesus Christ.
  • A family on its most basic level is a man and a woman united in marriage for life (Genesis 2:24).
  • Marriage is to provide a model of God’s love for His people and His people’s love for Him (Ephesians 5:31-33).
  • The family is God’s first line of defense in making sure our basic needs are met (1 Timothy 5:8).
  • When the family fails to fulfill its God-given role in providing, then problems arise.
  • Your vote should support candidates who hold to and support the biblical understanding and values of family.
  • All people are created in the image of God (male & female) and have equal value, dignity, and worth despite skin color, gender, age, intellect, or socio-economic status.
  • The Bible has much to say about the role of government, but what must understand is the difference between what it prescribes and what it describes (Genesis 9:5-6).
  • People commonly confuse how the Bible describes God’s relationship with Israel and then mistakenly prescribe the same solutions for the USA.
  • The government is to protect its citizens from internal and external threats (Romans 13:1-5).
  • Your vote should support candidates who hold to and support the biblical understanding and values of government.
  • The Lord expects governments to protect the rights of its citizens while calling them to have compassion on the immigrant (Acts 22:17-19; Deut. 10:17-19).
  • When the government fails to fulfill its God-given role in protecting its citizens, then problems arise.
  • The gospel should mark our lives before any political affiliation. We do not support a donkey or an elephant, but the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
  • The church is to proclaim the way of salvation, the truth of God, and the love of God through action (Matthew 16:13-19; 1 Tim 3:14-15; 1 John 3:16-18).
  • When the church fails to fulfill its God-given responsibilities in proclaiming, then problems arise.
  • Your vote should support candidates who hold to and support the freedom of religion and the right to assemble.
  • The truth sounds like hate to those who hate the truth.
  • All truth is God’s truth (1 Timothy 3:14-15).
  • Vote for the protection of faith-based schools, charities, adoption agencies, and medical clinics working to serve the underprivileged without forcing them to compromise their religious convictions.
  • The three institutions of family, government, and church are given to us by God to provide, protect, and proclaim.
  • As long as we are on earth, there will never be a perfect family, government or church.
  • Yet, there is always hope, because the Lord has gone to provide a home for us, we will one day be citizens of heaven, and the church will be victorious because the gates of hell will not prevail against it (John 14:1-4; Eph 2:19; Matthew 16:18).

Mentioned or Recommended Resources

  • Suggested Scripture study: Genesis 2:24; Deuteronomy 6:4-7; Ephesians 5:31-33; 1 Timothy 5:3-4; 1 Timothy 5:8; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12; Genesis 9:5-6; Romans 13:1-5; 1 Peter 2:13-14; Romans 13:6-7; Mark 12:13-17; Acts 22:27-29; Deuteronomy 10:17-19; Acts 1:8; Matthew 16:13-19; 1 Timothy 3:14-15; 1 John 3:16-18; John 14:1-4; Ephesians 2:19; Matthew 16:18
  • 2020 Election and Voting Resources

All right. Well, good morning, Watermark! How are you doing this morning? I love it. I love it. Well, these are certainly interesting and challenges times, are they not? It's a crazy world in which we live. The coronavirus is spreading. The national debt? Well, that's rising. The economy is suffering. The definition of marriage is evolving. Classroom is transitioning. Everything is virtual. The election is looming. The country is divided. The church is asking questions.

How are we to respond? How are you doing in this crazy new world in which we find ourselves right now? How is your family doing? Where are you looking for help during these times? What expectations do you have of your family? What expectations do you have right now of the role of government? What do you think the church should be doing right now in response to all of these challenges?

This morning, we're continuing our series Politically Correct. We're going to see that God created the family, the government, and the church for a very specific purpose. All three have their origin in God's Word, and all three have very specific purposes, roles in which they're to play, but here's the deal. When one fails to do its role properly, the other two suffer.

So for example, when the family fails, the government and the church suffer. Why? Because when the family fails, the government and the church often step in and play a role they were never intended to play. When the government fails, the family and the church suffer. When the church fails, the government and the family suffer.

I think about a couple of weeks ago when I was sitting in my bedroom, and I was trying to get my TV to work. I, unfortunately, have five remotes for one TV. I don't understand. I have an Apple TV remote. I have a satellite TV remote. I have a remote that comes with the TV. I think I have an old, dusty remote that's leftover from whatever I had before that's been sitting around.

I had no idea how to get my TV to work. So what does any dad do? They call in their youngest kid. "Hey, can you come help me get the TV to work?" My 13-year-old daughter comes in, and I'm like, "Hey, can you turn the TV on?" I show her all 20 remotes, and she just takes my phone and turns the phone on. All of a sudden, the TV works and everything is working like a charm.

I tell you that because what often happens is that sometimes we take remotes and intend for them to control things they were never intended to control. So when you're looking for the government to play a role that it shouldn't play, or the family or the church, it leads to problems. Today, we're going to look at the origin of the family, the government, and the church.

We're going to look at what each one'srole or purpose is. We're going to look at the problems that arise when they fail to fulfill their God-given responsibilities. We're going to talk about how God's design should inform or impact your vote. Now let me say four things up front. Let me set the stage. We've been receiving so many great questions over the past couple of weeks that many of you have asked.

I'm going to try to answer so many of your questions throughout my message. Based on many of the questions you're asking, I wanted to say four things. First, my goal is to provide a biblical worldview of the three God-given institutions: family, government, and church. It is not to be exhaustive, but to provide a framework in which to think. I hope to change your paradigm this morning.

Secondly, some of you will think I am saying too much about the role of government, and others of you will think I'm not saying nearly enough. That is because some of you want the government to speak into everything. Others of you don't want the government to speak into anything. My goal and my hope are to show you that the Bible is to inform our everything.

I know that those who want me to speak too much about the government will probably walk away a little disappointed. Those who think, "Man, we should never discuss politics from the stage," I hope to change your mind and show you that God's Word has much to say about government and politics.

Thirdly, although this world is not our home, all Christians are called to seek the welfare of the city in which they live. Therefore, you should care about politics. You should care about the role of government. Because you are blessed to live in this country, you should exercise your right and your privilege to vote.

Fourthly, in setting the stage, I want to remind you that God is sovereign over all. God is the one in whom all authority resides. He is the one who is sovereign. Every king, every nation, every tribe, and every individual in this room will one day bow their knee before God. Our hope is not in the winner of an election. It is not in the winner of an election. It never has been. It never will be. Our hope is in the saving grace and the eternal reign of Jesus Christ. Amen? Amen. Hopefully of that, we can all agree.

Now let me jump in. Let's talk about the family first. Specifically, let's talk about the origin of the family. Where did the idea of family come from? Well, the idea of family came from God in the very first book of your Bible in the very beginning chapters of Genesis 1 and 2. In Genesis 1, we see that God created the heavens and the earth. He spoke both into existence.

He creates us in his image. We are unique from the rest of creation in that we can know God and we are intended to reflect his glory. He also created us male and female. Gender is not determined by man. Gender is determined by God, not our preference. In the creation mandate of chapter 1, verse 28, we see that God instructs us to multiply, and he tells us to take dominion of the earth.

This means we're to cultivate both the social world, we're to have a family, we're to create schools, we're to educate people, but we're also to cultivate the physical world. We should pursue technology and medical advancement. We are stewards of creation, and we have an opportunity to steward it reasonably and responsibly.

In Genesis 2:24 specifically, we see the institution of marriage and the beginning of family. Genesis 2:24 says, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." So a family, on its most basic level, is a man and a woman united in marriage for life. Family is God's idea. Marriage is God's idea.

He is the one who defines it. So what is the purpose of family? If I could simplify it to one word: provide. The purpose of family, according to God's Word, is to provide. Specifically, parents are to provide for their children: provide guidance, shepherd their hearts, and help them understand how God's Word applies to everything they do. Deuteronomy, chapter 6, verses 4-7, a passage that's probably familiar to many parents out there.

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."

In other words, God's Word is to inform everything you do at all times. The parent's job is to shepherd their kid's heart so they recognize how his truth relates to every aspect of their life. That's the role of a parent. The purpose of the family is to provide.

Marriage is to provide a model of God's love for his people and his people's love for him. Ephesians 5:31-33: "'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' This mystery is profound…" Paul says. "…and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband."

Ephesians 5:25 says it like this. "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church…" Which begs the question, "How did Christ love the church?" He loved the church by giving himself sacrificially to the church, sacrificing his needs, his desires, to ensure that the other's needs were met before his own. He gave sacrificially.

Husbands, you are to love and lead your wife in such a way that her needs are met before your own. That's God's intention. Peter even goes on to say that husbands, when you fail to lead and love your wife as God calls you to, that your prayers are hindered. That is an amazing responsibility and an incredible privilege.

Wives, your job is to respond to that love in such a way that you encourage, pray for, and follow that husband so that he can be all that God created him to be. That's your role. Together, what happens is that it reflects the model, the relationship of God's love to the church. So marriages are to serve as a model.

Families are also to provide basic necessities. The basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter. That is the role of a family. It's the family's job to make sure you have everything you need and most basic provisions and necessities in life. Notice what Paul says in 1 Timothy 5. He says, "Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God."

Who is to care for widows? Family, kids, grandkids. He goes on in verse 8 of chapter 5 to say this. "But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." It's family's job to provide the basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter for those in their home. That's your role as a family.

In 2 Thessalonians, chapter 3:10-12, Paul even goes on. He says, "For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat." Now clearly Paul is talking about those who are able-bodied and of right mind. What he is doing is he is addressing the laziness of those who are refusing to work.

So he says, "For we hear that some among you walk in idleness [laziness] , not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living." Passage after passage makes it clear. The family's role is to provide. The family is God's first line of defense in making sure our basic needs are met.

Now when the family fails to fulfill its God-given role in providing, all sorts of problems break out. There is an absence of what God intended: absent fathers, absent mothers. There's not enough of a provision to care for those in need. There's not a model for people to follow to better understand the love of God. We don't experience all that God intended for us.

Not only is there an absence, but oftentimes for many of us, we experience abuse: physical abuse, emotional abuse. All of that is contrary to the will of God and contrary to his original design in what the family is to provide. How are you doing, church? How are you doing families in being the model and the source of provision for those under your care right now?

Parents, how are you doing at living in such a way that your kids are growing up going, "Man, that is it the kind of marriage I want to have someday." Parents, how are you doing at leading in such a way that your kids want to know more of God because of your example? Students, how are you doing at honoring your mother and father?

The purpose and the role of family is to provide. When those in the family are not provided for, so many problems occur. Your vote, friends, should support candidates who hold to and support the biblical understanding and values of family. Why does all this matter in our political world? It is because your theology matters. How you view the family matters. How the government responds matters.

Vote for the definition of marriage. Vote for the definition of marriage. God created the family, as I said before; therefore, only he has the right to define it. As you know in this country, in 2015 the Supreme Court ruled same-sex couples nationwide have a constitutional right to marry. That's not the government's job. The government doesn't define family. God defines family. Nonetheless, the government played a role it was never intended to play.

We should vote for the dignity of work. People who are able-bodied, right-minded should be incentivized to work and not dependent upon the government. That's not the government's job. It's first and foremost the family's job. The family is the one who is to provide for those in need of help of basic necessities. When the family can't do that, it is the church's job. It's the church's job to come and to care for families who can't care for themselves. That's our responsibility as a faith community, which I'll unpack more in a little bit.

Vote for the equality of people. Vote for the equality of all people because all people are created in the image of God, male and female, and have equal dignity, value, and worth despite skin color, ethnicity, gender, age, intellect, or socioeconomic status. Every one of us is created in the image of God, every one of us, and has equal dignity, value, and worth.

We should vote also for the sanctity of life. Vote for the sanctity of life according to God's design. Children in and outside the womb are a gift from God. We should vote for the sanctity of life, not just for lives in the womb, but we should protect the rights of the elderly and the most vulnerable amongst us despite physical or mental or emotional challenges.

We should reject euthanasia. We should reject any idea that marginalizes those who are emotionally or mentally challenged. They are created in the image of God. We should also vote for parental rights because it's the parents who primarily responsible for guiding children, for educating them, for disciplining them, and caring for them.

Do you know that in 2019 the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada, ordered… By court order, the government ordered that a 14-year old girl receive testosterone injections without parental consent? The court also declared that if either of her parents refer to her using female pronouns or addressed her by her birth name, they would be considered guilty of family violence. I'm not making this up. That is a government that is not playing the role in which God designed.

In 2019, the National Assembly of France voted in favor of an amendment removing the terms mother and father from forms in the nation's schools, instead using the terms parent one and parent two. It's not the role of government, and it's coming here in so many ways in the United States. The role of the family is to provide. When the family fails to provide, there is an absence of all that God intends and, often on the other extreme, there is an abuse. God's design should inform the way we think about family and the way in which we vote.

Well, what about government? What does God's Word have to say about government? Before I jump into the origin of government, I want to address a couple of questions that we received. It's so important for me to set this aside and explain something to you real quickly.

When you read your Bible in the Old Testament, you have to recognize that God is speaking to the nation of Israel, and the United States is not Israel. The United States is not Israel. We, as a church, are not under Mosaic law. Now there are principles that we are to derive from God's relationship with Israel that we learn about in the Old Testament that help us and should inform our way of thinking and about the role of government. There are principles that we should derive, but we should not equate the Mosaic law with the way in which our government should enact legislation. That's a mistake.

Secondly, what I want to do is I want to tell you that it's often been asked, "Does the Bible endorse socialism?" People look at Acts, chapter 2, and the way in which the church cared for one another, and it was often asked, "Hey, does this mean we should support socialism?" The answer is no. No, we should not support socialism. Your Bible doesn't teach it.

Acts, chapter 2, is the church caring for the church. It is not an endorsement of a particular type of government. It's so important that we recognize and we learn how to read and interpret and apply God's Word so that we don't make those mistakes. Just like family was God's idea and he had a specific purpose for it, so is government.

Government is seen in the very beginning of your Bible. The origin of government is in Genesis chapter 9, verses 5-6. The context of this is just after Noah's flood. The Lord repeated the creation mandate to Noah, to fill and subdue the earth, like I explained before. He empowers government. He establishes government.

Why? To protect human life and to prosecute and punish those who take life. That was the role of government. Genesis 9:5-6 says, "And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. 'Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.'"

So the primary purpose of government is to protect. Family is to provide. Government is to protect. The government is to protect its citizens from internal and external threats, to provide a strong national defense, and to prosecute crime. Well, why do I say that? Because Romans 13 and 1 Peter say that. Romans 13:1-5:

"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. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good."

That's how Paul describes the government: as our servant for our good. "But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain." In other words, he is there to protect. "For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience."

Peter goes on in 1 Peter, chapter 2:13-14. Stick with me. "Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him…" To do what? "…to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good." Government is God's idea. Government is God's servant to protect us and to promote what is good.

The government is to protect the economy through fair taxation. It is the government's responsibility to tax, and it's our job to pay the taxes. In Romans 13:6-7, we're called to do just that. "For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God…" Again servants of God, ministers of God for our good. "…attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed."

So the government's job is to protect: protect us from internal and external threats, protect our economy through fair taxation for the common good of everyone. The government's job is also to protect religious liberty. I just want you to mark down Mark, chapter 12, verses 13-17. There's so much. If I could unpack one passage, it would probably be this one. It's Mark 12:13-17. This is where Jesus says, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

Clearly, what Jesus is establishing here is there is a lane in which the government is to operate, and there is a lane in which the church is to operate. When one tries to do the job of the other, it leads to problems. The government is to protect religious liberty. It is also to protect the common good of all people. That includes its own citizens and the immigrant.

You see this modeled, you see this exemplified, in Acts, chapter 22, when Paul, who is arrested, claims the right of a Roman citizen. He said, "Hey, I appeal to Caesar. I have rights as a citizen." That is the job and the responsibility of government: to protect the rights of every individual citizen.

It's also the role and the responsibility of government to care for the immigrant. This doesn't mean you can't have immigration laws. It doesn't mean you can't have borders. It does mean that our laws should reflect the compassion and the heart of God. Like I said, there are principles that we can draw from the Mosaic law. In Deuteronomy 10, we learn of God's love for the immigrant, for the sojourner. He says,

"For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt."

So the primary responsibility for government is to protect, but when it fails to do so, all sorts of problems arise. When you have a weak government, anarchy and chaos reign. When you have a consolidation of power in too few people, you have a dictatorship, which leads to disaster. An oversize government leads to a welfare state in which its people are overly dependent upon government for their basic needs. When you have a corrupt government, it leads to a class system where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and that's disastrous. The government's role is to protect all citizens so that doesn't happen.

First, you should vote and support candidates who hold to and support the biblical understanding and values of government. You should vote for a strong national defense. That's the role of the government. You should vote for equal justice for all people. The government has a right to defend itself from foreign threats. The government must enact laws that protect the rights of all people and execute justice without partiality.

I would encourage you to vote for a strong economy through fair taxation. The government has a right to tax people and corporations, but it must do so fairly and not be beholden to special interest groups, but consider every individual. Vote for religious liberty, which I'll talk about more in a second.

Vote for the common good of all people. The Lord expects government to protect the rights of individual citizens and calls us to have compassion on the immigrant. We live in a country where we are so blessed. I want to encourage you to give thanks to God that every one of us has an opportunity to vote. Every one of us has an opportunity to go to the polls and freely vote, which in so many nations, they never have that privilege, and we shouldn't take it for granted. Vote.

Secondly, you should voice your convictions. You have the opportunity to contact those who are in leadership and voice what it is you believe. You should not sit silently. You should speak up about the role of government, the role of family. You should speak up for religious liberty and the protection of the church. That's the privilege that we have living in this country.

I want to encourage you to volunteer. Volunteer to support candidates who hold to biblical principles and biblical convictions. Even more so, I would encourage you to volunteer to run for office. Someone in this room, run for your school board, run for your city election, run for office.

Don't just point at the government and go, "That's their problem. Look at all that's happening out there." You have the opportunity to run. We need more men and women to represent us in city government and in local elections. Run for office. So the family's primary job is to provide, and government's primary job is to protect us. Well, what's the role of the church?

First, it is to proclaim the way of salvation. Let me start with the origin of the church. There have always been the people of God. From the very beginning, you see people calling upon the name of the Lord. You see a godly line. You see God preserving the godly line. You see how God is calling all people into relationship with himself.

The church specifically begins in the book of Acts, in Acts, chapter 2. After Christ's death, burial, and resurrection in Acts 1:8, he promises that the Holy Spirit will come upon them, and they will be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and to the remotest parts of the earth. In chapter 2, you see the fulfillment of that where God's Spirit descends upon them and now lives in them in a unique way in which he had never lived before.

That is true today. For every one of us who trusts in Jesus Christ, you become the church. The church is not a building. It's not a time in which we meet. It's not a religious hour. The church is the people of God, you and me, empowered and indwelt by the Spirit of God to be ambassadors for Christ, his hands and his feet on this earth. That's what the church is.

In Acts, chapter 2, unlike any time before, the Spirit of God lives within the hearts of men and women who profess faith in Jesus Christ. You are the church, friends. Our job, the church's job, is to proclaim. It is to proclaim, first, the way of salvation. That is our job, first and foremost: to tell other people how they could be rightly related to God.

We help them see their need for a Savior, to understand they can't do or earn God's love, but it is a gift to be received because of his grace. We proclaim the way of salvation. That's not the government's job. That's our job, the church's job. In Matthew, chapter 16, verses 13 through 19, it says this. Jesus says,

"'Who do people say that the Son of Man is?' And they said, 'Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.' [Jesus] said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?' Simon Peter replied, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' And Jesus answered him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven…'"

What is Jesus saying? It's not that he is building the church on Peter. That's a wrong interpretation of the text. He is building the church on Peter's profession on the gospel. Those who proclaim the gospel, the church, have the keys of heaven so people can be rightly related to God.

Secondly, to proclaim the truth of God. Paul says in 1 Timothy 3, that the church is _ "…a pillar and buttress of the truth." _ Friends, all truth is God's truth. The Bible informs every area of our life, not just what we should believe about God, not just about how we should respond in church. It's to inform everything we do. Not only are we to proclaim the truth of God, but we are…

Thirdly, to proclaim the love of God through action. This couldn't be more important. First John 3 says this. "By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth."

As I said before, when someone's family cannot provide their most basic needs, it is the church's responsibility to care for them. That is why it has been said on this stage numerous times if you are a member of this church, you will never go without food, clothing, and shelter. If you're a member of this local body, we will provide your most basic needs, because that is our job in caring for you.

We're the hands and feet of Jesus, gang. When the church fails to fulfill its God-given responsibilities in proclaiming the truth and living out what God calls us to live out, it leads to all sorts of problems. It leads to licentiousness where we don't hold to the objective moral truth of God's Word. We give each other license and we live however we want, not anchored and rooted in God's truth.

Or the opposite extreme, we live by legalism and we paralyze people with a burden that they're never intended to carry. Love is to mark the church, not licentiousness, not legalism. It is the love of Christ that compels us, Paul writes. So your vote should support candidates who hold to and support God's design for the church.

Vote for the protection of religious liberty. This is so important. The Bill of Rights affords us that. The government must make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise of religion. This means two things. It prevents the national establishment of religion, and it prevents the government from interfering with the way in which we live out our faith. That's what that means.

Now based on questions many of you asked, I want to address something. I want to address the idea of the separation of church and state. It's a term, it's a phrase that is used often, but so often people don't realize that is not in the Constitution. Do you know that? Separation of church and state. You're not going to find that language in the Constitution.

Where did that come from? It was originally written by Thomas Jefferson to a Baptist congregation. His point was not to protect the government from the church. His point was to protect the church from the government. See the Bill of Rights. He had no intention of separating religion from public life or from politics. We have to understand what that means and what that doesn't mean. The Bible should absolutely inform our politics and everything we do.

Secondly, questions were asked about the idea of legislating morality. Have you ever heard, "You cannot legislate morality"? Have you ever heard that before? Let me tell you what the interpretation of that is. It just simply means we shouldn't make laws based on your morality but on mine instead. That's what that means. Because all laws reflect someone's morality. You have to see that.

The question is, whose morality are we legislating? Our responsibility, as Todd has said up here so many times before, and I want to commend you, listen to the Declaration series he gave years ago. Our responsibility is not to impose our religion on anyone but to propose a better way. We are to be the church and to live in such a way that we are the salt and the light that God intended, the ambassadors for Christ. So vote for the protection of religious liberty.

Vote for the protection of free speech. The government cannot and must not prevent God's people from declaring the truth. Sadly today, there is a movement to equate many biblical ideas related to sex, gender, marriage, the way of salvation, with hate speech. Nothing could be further from the truth. As Todd has said before, the truth sounds like hate to those who hate the truth, but love rejoices in the truth. Vote for the protection of faith-based schools, charities, adoption agencies, and medical clinics, which are literally being shut down right now. Why? Because of their religious convictions.

Friends, there are three institutions: family, government, and church that God has given to us. They are to provide for us, to protect us, and to proclaim the truth of God's Word. They're meant to be a blessing. Whenever one institution fails to do its job, it threatens the health of the other two.

Let me just state very clearly. So many people have asked, "Well, what do I do when I don't like either candidate? What do I do when I don't like any of my options?" Well, welcome to earth. Family is going to let you down. Government is going to let you down. Church, unfortunately, is going to let you down. This is not our home, but we have a perfect heavenly Father.

Let me help you see that your future… Despite the fallen world we live in, let me tell you what your future is. Let me remind you of what God's Word says. In John 14, Jesus promises he goes to make a home for us where we will experience the blessings of a perfect heavenly Father. We have a home that awaits for us.

There is no perfect government or form of government on this earth. As believers, we are citizens of heaven, first and foremost, as David talked about last week. One day, Jesus Christ will return and reign on this earth. One day in the eternal state we will be citizens with him in heaven. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. All authority resides in him. He is the only one who is sovereign. We have a future of a perfect government because we serve a perfect King. We will be citizens of heaven.

Finally, you have to recognize that regardless of any persecution we might experience in the future, any rights that might be taken away from us because of government laws or legislation, which are completely unbiblical and the government overextends its role wrongly, you must recognize the church will forever be victorious because the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Period.

All the challenges that I listed before when I started this message, nothing is preventing you or me from being the church, the hands and feet of Christ. Family, government, and church. They're all gifts from God. All, unfortunately in this broken world, are marred, but we have a hope and a future and an opportunity to be the church. Let's pray.

Father in heaven, there's so much to share about what your Word has to say. That message is just thick with content, but it's so important we understand what your intention is for the family, what your intention is for government and for the church. We, as members of a family, as citizens in this country, and as believers as a part of this church have a responsibility.

It is not simply to complain about what others are doing, but to fulfill our role. It is to be faithful in providing for those who are closest to us and caring for their every need as much as we are able. It is our job to speak prophetically to the government, which so often oversteps its bounds and fails to play the role that it's called to play.

It's our job to be citizens of heaven here on earth, as ambassadors for Christ, as Paul describes us, representing a perfect, righteous King. It's our job to be the church, to be your hands and feet to a dying world that so desperately needs to know the hope and love of Jesus Christ. Would you help us to do that? We pray in Christ' name, amen.