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Sermons & Study Guides

National Church Establishments Pt. 1 - (Of Nation and Church)

James Dodson

National Church Establishments

(Of Nation and Church) 

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matt. 28:18-20)

Question.—What is the Scriptural view of the nation? Answer.—There are two contending views of the nature of the nationhood: First,  That  of  the  Voluntaries,  who  believe  that  nations  are voluntary associations, humanly contrived associations, composed of men united together for mutual help, or defence.  According to their principles, nations are called into existence for purely secular purposes; and their rulers, having nothing to do with religion,  are  to  direct  all  a  nation’s  energies  to  questions  which  pertain  to  the lower animals, with eyes ever pointed downward toward the earth, Rev. 13:8. Second, There is the view of Scripture, that states that nations are not merely human  in  origin  but,  being  the  natural  and  necessary  outgrowth  of  the  human family, Gen. 12:2; it is a divine creation of God when a family is engrossed and enlarged so as to include multitudes of people, Ezek. 21:30; 28:13, 15.  Thus, we are  informed  that  all  nations  are  the  very  creation  of  the  Lord,  Ps.  86:9.    They exist as the creatures of God, each having a territory allotted, which it is given to subdue  and  inherit,  Acts  17:26,  27.    Each  nation  is  the  realization  of  intelligent, moral and responsible man in his condition of fullest development, Gen. 10:1-5. Therefore,  it  is  in  a  national  capacity  that  each  man  is most  responsible  to exercise  himself  in  such  a  way  as  to  demonstrate  his  responsibility  to  God,  his maker,  Ps.  67:4;  2:10,  12;  Jer.  18:7,  10.    It  is  the  duty  of all  nations  to  serve  the Creator, Ps. 97:1; in submission to His Anointed, or Christ, Ps. 72:1, 11. Scripture  also  plainly  teaches  their  rebellion  to  God in  Christ,  Ps.  2:2,  3.  Hereby,  they  corrupt  the  earth  by  their  perversion  of  its  resources  to  maintain themselves in their alienation and pride, in their mutual malice and envy, and in their pursuit of all worldly lusts and pleasures, Tit. 3:3.  It was no vain boast of Satan when he tempted the Lord Jesus, Luke 4:6.  The governments of the nations have   become   citadels   of   the   power   of   Satan,   which   the   Apostles   clearly recognized in their view to their conquest and subjection to Christ, Matt. 28:18-20; Eph. 6:12. Thus  it  is,  that  Satan,  knowing  his  time  is  short,  Rev.  12:12;  goes  about deceiving and confusing those who profess to be Christians, 2 Cor. 4:4; in order to maintain all in chaos and secure the thrones of power, 2 Thess. 2:7.  However, he knows the truth, that the saints shall possess the kingdoms of this world, Dan. 7:27.    In  due  time,  the  kingdoms  of  this  world  shall  be  turned  to  the  Lord,  to whom all kingdoms belong, Rev. 11:15. 
Question.—What ought we to think of the church? Answer.—First,   the   church   is   the   spouse   of   the   Son   of   God,   a   partyconstituting a spiritual bride for Him, called to enter into fellowship with Him in His fullness, Rev. 21:2.  Herein, we find a promise of salvation for herself and her literal children, to build up a spiritual house, Isa. 8:18. Second, as a result of this relationship, she is received into filial relationship with the Father, who now recognizes them as sons and daughters, John 1:12; Gal. 4:4-7. Here, we begin to observe the dynamic of the fifth commandment, Ex. 20:12; for, as men yield themselves to the Gospel, their hearts are turned toward their fathers, ultimately, to the right establishing of nations, Mal. 4:4-6; Luke 1:17.  This effect is observed in the New Testament command and promise, Acts 16:31.  The appointing of the preaching of the Gospel is to reverse the rebellion of men, not simply  as  individuals,  but  as  nations,  Luke  24:47.    Under the  Old  Testament dispensation, we see that Israel’s relation to the nations of Canaan anticipated the church’s  relations  to  the  nations  of  the  world  under the  New,  complete  with Christ going before in conquest, Jos. 5:13-15.  It is the honor of the saints to wage war with the unbelieving world, until the nations are subdued to the Gospel, Ps. 149:5-9. It  was  the  heart  desire  of  the  Apostles  to  see  the  church,  not  as  the Voluntaries  desire,  but  as  all  true  establishmentarians  desire,  reigning  as  that established  religion  wherein  they  strove  even  unto  the  shedding  of  their  own blood, 1 Cor. 4:8, 9; Rev. 12:11.