Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and God has instituted those that exist. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers is 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. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. 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. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, 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.
A very important conversation occurred between an earthly governor and the Governor of the Universe that saliently disclosed the main purpose for the coming of the Messiah. In John 18:37 we find:
Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are you a king then?”
Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
As someone who has been involved in teaching and implementing principles of the Kingdom of God since the mid-1990’s I have observed many ways Christian leaders do not expand the kingdom! The following are some of the most common ways we work without kingdom effectiveness.
There is a seismic shift-taking place today in the marketplace and the church. We need to understand how to respond if we are going to bring systemic transformation. This article deals with how the church should apply the gospel in response to cultural shifts.
First of all, it is a mistake to believe that the culture will shift because of a church revival or a societal awakening. Often, we as believers think the key to societal transformation is to convert masses of people, but the truth is that everyone is led by the decisions of the approximately 3-5% of people who make up the cultural elite in a society. Thus, the only way to affect cultural change is to convert the elite who formulate culture in every sphere of society.
One of the most important things leaders involved with societal transformation need to focus upon is their own personal transformation. Because of our fallen state, all leaders should be in an ongoing process of inner transformation that deals with the root issues of the heart, mind and emotions.
In my opinion, this is the reason why Jesus spoke about the proper attitudes of the heart in Matthew 5:1-12, before He called us to function as the salt of the earth and the light of the world in Matthew 5:13-16! Only changed leaders can truly change culture!
The word of God tells us that the nation of Israel was disinherited because they turned away from God. Various sins were manifest in Israel including idolatry, sexual immorality, false prophets who promised peace, and so on.
Regarding the USA, it happens to be the only other nation besides Israel (that we know of in modern times) to have its founding based on a covenant with the biblical God (the Mayflower Compact). Consequently, it is my opinion that the USA is held to a higher standard of accountability to God than the other nations of the world.
Through the years, I have been very interested in applying the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to culture. Hence, I have been involved closely and have studied many different models regarding this subject. The concepts regarding how the church should engage culture vary from merely affecting the quality of life of a community to full-blown revival that results in transformation. The following five models summarize my observations and opinions regarding these various approaches.
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