So many people have great affection—even pride—for the place they live. Often, all other peoples and places are found lacking in comparison.
Others love their country but have anxiety and fear about the direction they see their governments heading.
Also, some have never had a sense of belonging, a sense of home. They feel disconnected from the people and places around them.
What does Scripture say about how we should feel and react to the land where God has put us? I would like to share with you six (6) separate areas I found in our Bible speaking about nations.
- All Nations are Set Up by God
for the Purposes of God
Job (prophet of the Gentiles) tells us quite clearly…
Job 12:23 – “He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and disperses them.”
While it can be a source of pride to live in a nation “by the people, for the people,” we must always remember that every country, nation, or government on earth is first and foremost by God and for God. He brings them into being, uses them for his divine plan, and then replaces them.
There are many examples of this in the Old Testament:
- Assyria to punish Israel for its disobedience.
- Babylon to destroy Assyria for its sin.
- Babylon invade Judah as a punishment for Judah’s sin.
- He raised up Persia to punish Babylon.
It is God who orders these things. Nations only exist and act to further the ruling will of God. Look at what our country has done throughout the ages… do you think God had a purpose for this country?!
- All Nations will Bow Before Christ
The Apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Philippians tells us, as he was speaking about Christ…
Philippians 2:9-11 – “Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Regardless of the level of power or influence of any nation or people, everyone will bow before Jesus Christ. All will be humbled and, as stated by the Prophet Isaiah speaking about the coming of the Messiah…
Isaiah 34:23(b) – “Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.”
And our tongues will swear, “Jesus is the King of all the earth!” Our first allegiance should be to him.
- All Nations will be Ended by God
Just as God created this great country for His purpose, the Apostle John tells us in Revelation what he has seen for the future. End of Days?
Revelation 21:1 – “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.”
At the end of days, everything we know today will die, and God will make a new heaven and a new earth. When this happens. Again, from Isaiah in the Old Testament…
Isaiah 65:17 – “The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.”
We won’t give a thought to where we were born in this life, as the new earth will easily eclipse it in glory.
We won’t even remember the past but, because of our beliefs. We will revel in God’s new creation!
- As Followers of Christ
Our First Loyalty is Always to God
Who can tell me the story of when the Pharisees wanted to test Jesus? They asked him, “Tell us, is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
At that point, Jesus (clearly onto their tricks) asks them to give him a denarius and, noting the face on the coin, he asked them “Who’s image is this?” They replied, “Caesar’s!”
Matthew 22:21(b) – “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s”
Wherever God has placed us (such as here), our first love should be for Jesus. We are to give him our entire lives—mind, body and soul!
I am not saying to ignore the government, It is also important to understand what Paul told us, God has put us under our nation’s authority…
Romans 13:1 – “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
It is true that Christ has freed us, but our freedom is for living as servants of God. Honoring everyone…
1 Peter 2:15-17 – “Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers (the Brotherhood), fear God, honor the emperor.”
We are created by God, so we give ourselves to him before and above anything else. This does not mean that we sit idly by without any interaction with our government.
It means that we work for God in our nation, with his will and law being our ultimate goal.
When you know that all is God’s, then anything else…
- You render to “Caesar,” you will render for God’s sake.
- Any authority you credit to “Caesar” you will credit to him for the sake of God’s greater authority.
- Any obedience you render to “Caesar” you will render for the sake of the obedience you owe first to God.
- Any claim “Caesar” makes on you, you test by the infinitely higher claim God has on you.
Rendering to “Caesar” is limited and defined by rendering to God.
- As Followers of Christ
We are Not of This World
Do you remember this in Matthew? …a scribe came up and said to Jesus, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him (after sighing) …
Matthew 8:20 – “Jesus replied, ‘foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
As followers of Christ, it is sometimes normal to feel disconnected from where we live. Look at the troubles we face! Jesus had no true home here on earth, and we should understand the same.
We may have a desire, as I do, to claim kinship with the place we were born, but in truth, because of who we are, we are merely “foreigners and exiles” (1 Peter 2:11), living in a land no longer ours. How many can attest to that?
Our responsibility now…
1 Peter 2:12 – “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”
- As Followers of Christ
Our Home is With God
As we just spoke about, our home isn’t here as we are not of this world. We all know that but, do we remember where our home really is? Where our citizenship really is? Again, from Paul…
Philippians 3:20-21 – “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”
When Christ became our Savior, we basically renounced our citizenship in any nation. All the world is now a foreign land; we can take pride in its triumphs, but more importantly, we can take hope when it falters.
God works in the world for his purposes, and he has made us his own. As Peter tells us…
1 Peter 2:9(a) – “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
We are ambassadors for Christ here but a short time, and then we will be in heaven with Jesus, our true and eternal home.
Watch this Lesson
I, for one, feel great pride for my country! I also fought for this country and, if called to do so, I would do it again.
As a child of God and Brother to Christ, one of the biggest reasons I feel so much pride is based on the fact that this country was built on the very foundation that God laid out for all nations.
Our founding fathers wrote the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence based on the principles taught to us in the Bible. When I stand up and fight for this nation, I fight for my God who put me here FOR A PURPOSE!
Let’s summarize this morning…
- All Nations are Setup for God’s Purpose
Remember the examples I gave you. Remember what our country has done… do you think that was God’s purpose?
- All Nations will Bow Down to Christ
No matter what battles are won; no matter what victories are claimed; no matter what successes are archived… we will ALL bow down to Jesus!
- All Nations will be Ended by God (End Days)
We all know it’s coming… the signs have been written and we can find examples in every day!
- Our First Loyalty should be to God
Yes, I love my country. I don’t know about you but, as for me, I want my loyalties to lie with such an Almighty God as our God.
- We are Not of this World
We need to remember this! We’re different; our beliefs have nothing to do with political goals or great wealth; we need to remember where we’re all going!
- Our Home is with God.
One day, we will be called home!
Love your country; love your nation and, if (like ours) it’s goals were Godly… stand up for it and do the right thing!
Go with God; be good to one another; always stay humbler; always be kind… God Bless (Amen)