Summary: Keep the "who" in mind as we look at the "why" and the "how" and the "when" to do what's right.
It’s Always Right to Do What’s Right
Rev. Brian Bill
I’ve had the privilege of teaching three of our daughters how to drive, starting each one out in the parking lot right here at PBC when they were ten…JK (just kidding). Over the years I’ve seen other aspiring drivers doing the same thing. How many of you have used the parking lot like I have? That explains the damage to the light poles in the middle of the lot.
Beth would rather that I handle the driving detail and I’m happy to do so. But I do tell our daughters to do what I say not what I did when I was their age. They’ve all heard the story about when I lost my license in high school for getting caught speeding twice…in the same week. No matter how much I pleaded for mercy, the policeman said that he had to write me a ticket because I was going 55 in a 25-mile-an-hour zone. Can you believe that? I made my next mistake when I decided to not tell my parents, only to find out that they read all about it in the newspaper the next day.
A couple weeks ago I took Becca out so she could get some driving hours in. We worked on signal lights, looking in the mirrors, speed, placement on the road, and the importance of always paying attention. I found myself pushing on the floor of the car a couple times when I wanted her to brake. While we were driving north on Route 66, Becca turned to me and asked, “Daddy, when will you teach me to drive with my knees like you do?” I acted like I didn’t hear her and when she repeated the question; I told her that that lesson would come much later. I was busted because there have been many times that I have had my PDA in one hand and my phone in the other while my knees handled the steering (demonstrate with chair).
Have you ever slowed down when you’ve seen a police car following you? I had that experience just this week when I noticed I was being followed. I wondered if the Pontiac police had been corresponding with that unmerciful officer from Wisconsin. I made sure to stay under the speed limit, and not steer with me knees. When I thought I was in the clear after making several turns, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw that I was still being followed. My heart started racing a bit but I knew that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I breathed a sigh of relief when Officer Friendly turned and went in a different direction.
Imagine what would happen if we lived in a society with no local police, no state troopers, no Sheriff’s Department, or without any law enforcement at all. When you call 911 there would be no response. Imagine life without the National Guard or our military protecting our country. What if there were no speed limits (that was actually the case when we lived in Mexico) and no traffic lights. What if it didn’t matter what side of the street you drove on? Imagine no fire department, no sidewalks, no street signs, no public schools, no snow plows, no public housing, no parks and no library. Or what would we do without interstates or any roads for that matter? Imagine no courthouse in the center of our town and no judges or juries to exact justice. What would happen if there was no Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid?
It’s All About ‘Who’
In the message last week called, “God, Government and You,” we learned that it’s not about what, it’s all about who. While many say that God and government don’t mix very well, we saw from Romans 13:1 that government can only be understood to the degree to which we understand God. We looked at two primary principles from this verse:
* Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities.
* All authority is established by God.
Romans 13:2 helps us see who is behind the authorities: “Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” The word “rebel” means “to take one’s stand against.” It’s actually a military term to describe “getting in line, to arrange yourself to take action against.” Paul is addressing people who have a tendency to get carried away with their opinions and demonstrations.
We see this in 2 Peter 2:10 when referring to the unrighteous who “despise authority” and in Jude 8 when describing false teachers: “…these dreamers…reject authority…” These are sobering words for us because not only is rebellion against authority really rebellion against the Almighty Himself; it will also bring judgment or punishment on those who do so. An evangelist from a previous century had this to say: “The people of God then ought to consider resistance to the government under which they live as a very awful crime, even as resistance to God himself.”