A Divided Kingdom

“For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.” (Isaiah 53:2)

Many personalities attract large crowds and followings in the world today. This is not something new to us as there have been many dynamic figures throughout history that have has large followings. Politicians, Hollywood personalities, and Rock Stars all gather larged crowds wherever they go. People will start a stampede just to get their autograph. But they all rise and fall and their memories live only in history and fade with each passing age. Some become full of themselves and then fall to their own destruction. “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.” (Proverbs 16:18)

I remember John Lennon, a hero of mine, who proudly stated the following quote in an interview with Journalist Maureen Cleave. “Christianity will go,” Lennon said. “It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that. I’m right and I’ll be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now. I don’t know which will go first, rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.” (March 4, 1966) Should the Lord tarry in a hundred years from now the Beatles will be found only in places like Wikipedia as well as the Rock Stars of today. All in this world is vanity and will pass away, the wise are preparing for the eternal Kingdom of God.

When we look at Jesus, whom John Lennon was to surpass in popularity, He has more followers in His name than any in the history of the world. Many more join the ranks of believers each day and will continue till the day He calls them from the heavens. Jesus always drew a crowd. “Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.” (Matthew 4:25) Many followed Him for not the right reasons but yet they followed. Some followed to be healed of their physical infirmities, some to be fed, and others to witness the great signs and wonders that He performed. Then there were the ones who followed Him to seek their salvation. The wise men sought Him at His birth and they still seek Him today.

Jesus was not a political leader, a performer on the sage for mankind’s entertainment, and He certainly was not a Rock Star but He was the Rock. What is the attraction that has continued through the ages to attract people to follow Jesus? There are many reasons but I have thought of two that must be near the top of the reasons. One as the God man He is the personification of love. Two that Jesus spoke from a perspective never before or since and that being of one who has full knowledge of the Kingdom of Heaven. Two distinct things that all want to receive, love and a home in the Kingdom of Heaven.

When the hearts of men are opened to the truth of their fallen state they realize there is nowhere to go but to the Lord. If man seeks to know God his Creator and have a personal relationship with God then there is no other way than through His Son Jesus the Christ for mankind. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) Jesus unifies us with God the Father and He unifies us with our fellow men. The all-encompassing commandment of Jesus is this, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39) Because of the disobedience to this commandment the world and our nation has become a divided kingdom.

“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” (Mark 3:24-25)

Our nation has divided itself by ethnic agencies, political alliances, men and women, and those who have not decided which they are. The haves and the have nots, those who believe that the government should not usurp their personal responsibilities, and those who feel that their lives should be managed from cradle to grave. Perhaps this is inherent to an immigrant society that will not assimilate into a united culture. The kingdom of the United States is divided along these lines and will fall as many have in the past. As Jesus said to the Pharisees, “How can Satan cast out Satan?” (Mark 3:23)

I have watched the Republican candidate disqualify the Democrat Candidate and visa versa to the point that I think neither is worthy of the Presidency. Surely God will raise up the leader in the end that fulfills His plan and purpose. “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” (Romans 13:1)

The problem for our nation is not political or the politics we have been bantering around these past few months. The problem is that we have no common moral ethic that binds us together and therefore we have no unity of cause. Considering the principles that our nation was founded upon, the departures from those principles, and the lack of education to those principles, our nation is adrift. The bond that will unite our families, our communities, and our nation is the love of God and our neighbor. Our diversity is a positive only when we have a common perspective in the eternal Kingdom with a like mindedness of Christ.

The problem in my mind is that we have enshrined the idea that government should be progressive and grow with the popular opinions of the nation. That idea sounds good and many have bought into that lie. Perhaps the amendment process to the Constitution was the bad seed planted and abused in our thinking. Or maybe we have allowed the walls to be breached between the branches of our government to where the judicial and the executive are making the laws based on their own opinion. Perhaps that would work if our nation had remained on the foundation of Christian principle from which it was birthed. As I weigh John Lennon, a childhood hero, to Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior, I will put my faith in His Word. “Thus says the LORD, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.” (Jeremiah 6:16) Will we answer, “We will not walk in it?” If this nation wants change then put God back into our society and we will see positive change. If we truly want to “Make America Great Again” put God back on the throne of our hearts. Seek the ancient paths, where the good way is.

King Solomon wrote these words that the Lord had given him that the people could again receive the blessing of His protection. “And My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Cornicles 7:14) If we want to see our nation revive then we must seek the Lord while He can be found.

Let us look to the eternal perspective as where we are is but a whisper in time. So the divisions that we have and the worldly solutions we seek will not endure with us long. The world is passing and nothing we do here will save us except faith in the almighty one, our God and Creator. When we face Him on that Day of Judgment we will not be measured by any Constitution that man has written for it will not endure. We will be measured by the Word of God which is everlasting. “But the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word which was preached to you.” (1 Peter 1:25)

Therefore let us not labor ourselves with meaningless critique of those who disagree on pointless worldly matters but bond ourselves together in the love that God has given us to love our neighbors and strive to share the good news of His Kingdom to come and the One who can lead us there. This is the fruit of our labor that will last through all the ages that it will be glory for our Father in Heaven. “Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.” (2 Peter 1:10-11)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, September 30, 2016

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