Citizens of Two Kingdoms under One God

The Feast of All Saints and the final Sundays of the Church Year remind us and teach us that our true citizenship, our eternal Home, our City and our Country are with the Lord in Paradise (Hebrews 11:8-16). So, too, our highest priority in life, our Touchstone in every circumstance, and our guiding Light day after day throughout the year is the Lord our God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and His Word of Truth. We do not fix our hope on politics or princes, but on the crucified and risen Lord Jesus, living under the Cross in this body and life on earth, in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection and the Life everlasting.

Our identity coincides with and is determined by our first and foremost vocation, which is to be and to live as the baptized children of God, members of the Body of Christ, citizens of His Kingdom, anointed by His Holy Spirit in body and soul. For that reason, “we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Yet, the Lord our God commands us to honor the governing authorities, which He has established and placed over us, and it is our Christian duty and responsibility to pray, intercede, and give thanks “for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

The Lord has all authority in heaven and on earth, first of all as the Creator of all things, because He is the Author and Giver of Life, and again as the One who has redeemed us, purchased and won us by His atoning Sacrifice. And as we live under Him, He has also entrusted us with authority and responsibilities within our own callings and stations on earth. Along with honor and obedience, prayer and intercession, we are obliged to oppose and resist injustice and ungodliness, to defend and protect our neighbors, to provide for widows and orphans in distress, and to carry out the various duties of our respective offices.

For those of us who are citizens of the United States, we have the privilege and responsibility of taking part in the political process, whether by serving in public office or by voting in elections for those who are willing, able, and qualified to serve in such offices. In the midst of a partisan and increasingly divided nation, I urge you to be involved to the extent that you are able, to let your voice be heard in confessing the Word of the Lord, especially in conversations and discussions with your families, friends, colleagues, and peers, and to vote with wisdom according to your Christian conscience in the presence of God.

It bears mention that human governments are established by God for the defense and protection of human life, even to the extent that, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in His own Image” (Genesis 9:6). The governing authorities are servants of God, for the praise of those who do well, and for the punishment of those who do wrong (Romans 13:3-4). Let us vote and pray for godly leaders who will carry out their duties and serve their respective offices in godly fear, with honest integrity, and for the benefit of holy marriage, home and family, and all our neighbors.