I TIMOTHY 2:1-4: “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
OBSERVATION: Should the Church be involved in politics? This is a different question than – Should Christians be involved in politics? The answer to the second is obvious. As a Christian I should carry my faith into every arena of life, especially politics. Yet, for the Church the answer is not as certain. There is great debate among the Church today regarding this question. There are camps that have formed over this issue. Congregations have been divided. All in all, the ministry of the Gospel has suffered.
I think it is interesting to note what Paul instructed Timothy to do. He called Timothy and the church he was leading to pray. Prayer was the abiding call to the church. It is the universal call to the Church at large. The Church is called to pray and intercede for kings and all who are in authority. The focus of this prayer was for moral leadership that would allow the Church to lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. Was this just a prayer for the Church’s personal comfort? NO! This was a prayer directed toward a purpose. This purpose was the freedom to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that God’s purposes could be established – “…who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Paul saw the Church’s call as singular – to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ! It was not to hold political rallies or conventions. It was not to form policy or legislate morality. It was to PRAY and to PROCLAIM! Paul knew, and we need to understand – it is only a changed heart and life that can bring change to our world!
We do not change the world simply by moving Christians into places of authority. We change the world by proclaiming the Gospel to the lost. When they are “born again” through faith in Christ, when they become a part of the Body of Christ (Church), when they begin to grow in the Word of God, they take their new found faith into every arena where they live and serve. Paul knew that changed hearts produced changed societies. While Christian political activism seems noble – it misses the goal. When the Church is giving all of its’ time and energy trying to change the world through political influence, it is forgetting to do the very thing that will affect the change it is seeking. That thing is the “Main Thing”! It is Praying and Proclaiming the Gospel.
What would happen if we turned our hearts toward heaven and our efforts toward the Gospel? What if we thought each and every day of winning a soul to Christ? What if we prayed and interceded for our rulers and those in authority over us and tried to win them for Christ? What if we made the “main thing” the “Main Thing” once again. What would happen?
“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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14 NKJV)
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17 NKJV)
In Jesus Name!