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Sermons & Study Guides

National Church Establishments Pt. 2 - (Scriptural Relation Between Church and Nation)

James Dodson

National Church Establishments 

(Scriptural Relation Between Church and Nation)

 

And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. (Isa. 60:10-12) 


Question.—What relations exist between a church and a nation?

Answer.—There are two propositions necessary for the clearing of this:

First, There is nothing but a church which can be a nation, Mic. 4:5; and that in order to be nations, which shall be blessed and abiding nations, it is necessary for the nations to become churches, Gen. 12:3; Gal. 3:8.  The church alone is the heir of the world, Gal. 3:29; and no other party shall be permitted to occupy her territory, or exclude her from her inheritance, Matt. 5:5; Dan. 7:18.  So it is that whatever occupant of the earth cannot show the church’s title must be dispossessed, Ps. 147:6.  Therefore, once the people of Israel were constituted a church they came into the possession of Canaan, in which they prospered as they obeyed, Deut. 29:7-9; and, conversely, the nations of Canaan were dispossessed and exterminated, Num. 33:53.

Man’s church relations, his relation towards God and His Son, must first be constituted, Ps. 2:10-12; afterward, there is the blessed enjoyment of his reign upon and inheriting of the earth, Judg. 1:1, 2.  Thus, it is that churches are constituted to become nations, Ex. 19:6; 1 Pet. 2:9.  Failing to honor the constituting of the former, there can be no constituting of the other, Num. 33:55, 56.

No nation can be saved from these consequences though it has communities of Christians dwelling within its borders, Ezek. 14:14.  The prayers and services of these Christians may prolong a nation’s prosperity, Jer. 29:7; 1 Tim. 2:2; but as occupiers of the soil, these heathen nations are but tenants awaiting a time of dispossession, Ps. 43:1.  The righteousness of the believers will not deliver an ungodly nation in the day of judgment, Prov. 11:21.  It is the nation, constituted in a national capacity, which occupies, possesses and inherits the national territory, Deut. 32:8.  Therefore, God seeks the necessary service of the nation, Ps. 72:11; as well as tithes as a nation, Mal. 3:8-10; and consecration of the earth’s gain to Him from nations as such, Lev. 27:30-32.  Thus, nothing but a church can be a nation, Jer. 2:11; and to be blessed and abiding, the nations must become churches, Isa. 54:5.

Second, While nothing but a church can be a nation, it must be a church professing the true religion in order to be blessed and abide, 2 Chron. 20:20; Isa. 54:14.  The nations are not dispossessed by virtue of being nations, but because they are false churches conspiring as nations to commit idolatry, Deut. 7:1-6.  It is their rebellion against the true God that leads to their downfall, Ps. 9:17.  Israel, too, was warned that failure to obey the laws of God would result in an apostasy into false religion which would be rejected of the Lord, Hos. 4:1-6.  Thus, when he turned aside from worshipping the true God, according to the precepts of the true religion, Israel was dispossessed, Jer. 3:6-11.

Third, It is expressly prophesied, of the New Testament era, that the church would be established amongst the nations, i.e., the church would be settled in the chiefest position of the nations, Isa. 2:2.  Christ was given to enlighten the churches of the nations, Isa. 49:6.  Christians are set to be salt and light amongst the nations, Matt. 5:13-16.  The Gospel is leaven which is to transform the nations from the inside (i.e., all genuine reform is spiritual, cf. John 3:3) out, Luke 13:20, 21.  Christ, through His church, is set to rule in the midst of nations (i.e., Gentiles), which have hitherto been His enemies, Ps. 110:2, 6.  Paul, as the apostle to the Gentiles, declares that the purpose of the sending forth of the Gospel was to make them, the nations, fellow-heirs together with Israel by transforming the rulers of those nations so that they worship the true God, Eph. 3:6-11.  This is the dispossession, by the true church, of the false church in the midst of the nations, Ps. 96:5.  It is Zion that shall bring forth mystical Christ in the midst of nations which are born unto Himself, Isa. 66:7-12; Rev. 12:1, 2, 5.  This is the man that is born of the church, each nation in its abiding and blessed state in submission to Christ, Ps. 87.