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Summary: A message to challenge Christians on Australia Day: Australia’s day of remembrance and celebration of their nation’s foundation and history.

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God Bless Australia

Psalm 33:10-12 "The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Blessed [is] the nation whose God [is] the LORD; [and] the people [whom] he hath chosen for his own inheritance."

Psalm 11:2-3 "For, lo, the wicked bend [their] bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11:2-3)

Psalm 7:9 "Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins."

Prov. 14:34 "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people."

Job 34:30 "Godless men should not rule, nor be snares of the people."

Prov. 29:2 "When the righteous become great, the people rejoice, when wicked men rule , people groan."

On this Australia Day weekend we are called to stop for a moment and take stock of the blessings of freedom and to remember the sacrifices of those who purchased such freedoms. It is a time we should look around us at the great blessings God has poured out upon us and pause and praise Him for all that is good and great in our land. ask ourselves,

As we once again count the blessings of living in a land in which we are free to worship Him according to the dictates of the Word of God and to go about our daily lives without fear of persecution or even the loss of our lives for expressing our faith, we should surely say and pray today, "God Bless Australia." But in order to sincerely do so, we must first ask ourselves if we are willing to do our part to build or rebuild a nation that God would view as a fit recipient of His continuing blessings? I believe principles enunciated in God’s statement to Israel on the matter still hold true today, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (II Chronicles 7:14)

In order to determine our responsibilities as Christian citizens in a free land, we must first determine what is right to do and what are the scriptural parameters of Christian action. What did Jesus really mean when He said that we should render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar? What did Paul and Peter mean when they asserted we should recognize the role of government and be submissive to the laws of the land? (Ro. 13:1-7, I Peter 2:11-16) It would be difficult to read such verses in their context and cultural setting without conceding that Christians do have responsibilities relative to supporting and praying for good government.

But what about Christians and contemporary politics as practiced in the real democratic nations of our world today? Do we have a responsibility to work within the framework of democratic processes to achieve and support good government?

This question raises an additional interesting and vital question, "Should Christians be involved in politics?" This is an often asked and emotive question. It is often designed to illicit a strong response. Do we as Christians have the right and even the duty to be involved in such mundane and worldly matters? The world and many sincere Christians seem to feel we do not.

But this is the wrong question. The real question should be phrased something like this, "Can a Christian refuse to become involved in the battle for good government and the establishment of righteousness in the land?" Has God called us to merely gather in holy huddles and sit around introspectively, as “navel inspectors”, venturing forth only to occasionally proclaim the gospel? Surely Christ had more than this in mind when He said we are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We only need to make a cursory survey of the Bible to discover those such as Daniel, Joseph and Esther. They served God with their whole hearts and beings, never compromising their faith or changing their convictions. But where did they serve Him? In the corridors of power and the cabinet rooms of the most powerful pagan governments of their day. Through them God blessed His people and the nations in which they dwelt.

If we as Christian citizens would honour our calling to be activists for righteousness in the world in which we live, we must first ask ourselves, "What is the greatest need of our world today? What can we do to have the greatest impact for the gospel and good in our great nation of Australia on this Australia Day weekend?" The greatest need for our nation is for people in the world to personally come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Only as people are truly converted and accept the challenge of true discipleship and the calling to commit their life and living to Christ, will the tides of evil that threaten to inundate and overwhelm our world be effectively countered.

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