Summary: Division has been Satan’s primary means to obtain his loyal followers. It is a time-honored emblem of his control over mankind in the place of God or his Son.
Our culture is very confused, very distracted and very divided in determining what is right and what is wrong. Satan is dividing our nation and deceiving the population making it very hard to speak out and teach our neighbor what is truth. The words of Abraham Lincoln, in his House Divided speech given at the June 16, 1858 while accepting the Republican Party nomination for the US Senate from Illinois, begin to ring true again. He said, “A nation divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, …” where he completed the sentence speaking of the division over the issue of slavery in our nation. Today, the issue of patriotism and loyalty to our nation’s symbols of the flag, the National Anthem, all our fallen soldiers who gave their lives for the ideology of freedom, the rulers of the nation, etc., are dividing even the people who call themselves Christians. This should not be.
Division has been Satan’s primary means to obtain his loyal followers. It is a time-honored emblem of his control over mankind in the place of God or his son. Satan has caused division for centuries. Pharisees accused Jesus of being a devil. Jesus, also, spoke and said a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. (Mark 3:24) In Matthew 12:25 and Luke 11:17, Jesus states ‘the kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation.’ The earthly rendition of the ‘Church’ has suffered division multiple times and is still divided. We call it ‘denominationalism’. If we are to be in the true ‘Kingdom of God’, we need to know whether we are to take a stand or take a knee.
Growing up, I was taught I needed to stand for something or I would fall for anything. When Aaron Tippin recorded a song titled just that, I remembered what my ancestors taught me, never compromise what is right. God does not want us to compromise, either. A kingdom (i.e. church, nation, house) divided against itself is brought to desolation. So….
What does the Bible say about taking a stand or taking a knee? Does the Bible say anything about us being involved in our nation’s issues? Let us see.
I. Submit to:
A. Ordinances—rules for mankind.
1. Laws of our nation.
2. 1 Peter 2:13-14. 13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
3. We are to abide by the laws of our county, state and nation.
a) We are to give unto Caesar, what is Caesar’s.
(1) Luke 20:25. 25 And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's.
b) Caesar is symbolic of the ruling body over where we reside.
c) If we render, we are to abide by the ruling of our nation and give unto it what belongs to it.
B. Those put in position to rule over us by God.
1. Our rulers—Governors and President.
a) Acts 23:1-5. 23 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day. 2 And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. 3 Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? 4 And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest? 5 Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
b) This rule was remembered by Apostle Paul from the prophet’s teachings in Exodos 22:28.
(1) 28 Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.
(2) God told Moses to proclaim this rule before the Children of Israel.
c) Solomon also spoke these words,
(1) Ecc. 10:20. 20 Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.
1. We are to submit to God in all things where He defines a rule over the rules of man.
2. Notice the teachings of the Apostles in the early church.
a) Acts 5:25-29. 25 Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people. 26 Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned. 27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, 28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us. 29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.