Often times we consider obedience as blatant morality. We have pep rallies in our churches and small groups, banding together under the motto: “We obey God and not man” and part of that obedience is submitting to the authorities that God has put in place over us (1 Peter 2.13). We imagine the day that speaking about Jesus will be against the Law, but all-in-all we live comfortably because the government does not ask us to do anything that goes against what God forbids, or forbid us from doing anything that God commands.
Or does it?
The separation of Church and state was instituted because of the power that the Roman Catholic Church held in the Roman Empire and throughout much of Europe. The United States was founded (in part) so that people could have freedom of religion and escape the dominion that was un-Biblical. This is a good thing. We, as Christians, understand that salvation comes by faith. We cannot force someone to have faith, and we know that it is God alone who gives faith. So, if we had a government that attempted to force faith on someone, it would go against the commands of Jesus. We preach the Gospel, and God causes the growth (1 Cor 3.6-7).
There are issues that are arising which are slowly infringing on Biblical commands, like abortion and birth control. The government does not force us to have abortions or to use birth control which might go against our conscience, however. It is attempting to make room for a variation of beliefs within our society and (I believe wrongly) assuming that the option is mankind’s right, and Christians must make provision for it.
But consider with me the primary command that Jesus has given us and the laxity with which Christians approach it.
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
– Matt 28.18-20
Jesus’ final words were, “Go and make disciples”. The disciples themselves prayed continually for boldness to preach the Gospel. Everywhere they went they were talking about Jesus and following Him. Everywhere they went people were coming to faith because they shared the Gospel and showed signs and wonders to back it up. The Holy Spirit even supernaturally moved Phillip to meet a man on the side of the road to share the Gospel, and after he baptized him, took Phillip back. Jesus said do it, and they did it.
We, however, by-and-large, are not doing it. We have been indoctrinated that religion is not appropriate for the workplace, so we hope that our outstanding morality and happy faces will be enough. We want people to think, “There is something different about him”, and leave it up to the observer to ask. We are not going and making disciples, we are staying and waiting for the lost to try to be found.
And we are completely comfortable doing so.
In fact, we think it is the right thing to do! We do not want to force our thoughts on someone else, we do not want to try to answer a question that someone is not asking, we just want to be a listening ear and only say something if someone asks. And when someone asks, we are afraid that we do not know the right answer, so we chicken out.
The disciples went out and preached Jesus. They were arrested and thrown in jail. Then the Holy Spirit took them out of jail, without the guards knowing, and the next morning they went to the temple and started preaching and teaching again! They did not go into hiding. Then they were arrested again, and beaten. They went back out preaching more, and even rejoiced that they got to suffer a portion of what Jesus had to endure.
But yet we go in to work and the moment Jesus crosses our minds, we squash the thought because we might get fired for talking about Jesus.
I challenge you today to consider Jesus’ final words. Go and make disciples. Everywhere, all the time. Not just at church, not just in your free time, all the time. And take the position:
“We must obey God rather than men.”
– Acts 5.29
Is your job, security, or position more important than obeying God? You must do your job and preform your duties as unto the Lord, but we have been commanded to preach the Gospel always. With our words. Actions are not the Gospel, the story of Jesus is the Gospel. God has promised to meet all of our needs and to take care of us, and if it so be that we lose our jobs because of Jesus, He will take care of us.