Apr
14
2009
0

It’s Your Privilege and Duty as a Christian

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Historian David Barton reminds us that voting is a vital means to upholding Biblical principles in our nation.

          

Should Christians be active in civil government? The Word of God speaks very clearly on this issue. First Timothy 2:1–2 amp says, First of all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiv­ings be offered on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility.

          

Nowhere else in the Bible are we told to pray “first of all” for anyone. That tells us that God must think highly of government—so highly, in fact, that twice in Romans 13:4 rulers are referred to as ministers of God.

          

One of the most frequently quoted Bible verses dur­ing the era in which the United States was founded was Proverbs 29:2 kjv: When the righteous are in author­ity, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

          

In many nations, this verse is simply a statement of fact—a country has righteous rulers or it has wicked rulers. But in the United States, this verse is a state­ment of responsibility. The only way the righteous can rule in America is for us—“we the people”—to elect them.

          

Both a privilege and a responsibility

For Americans, voting is a privilege because it gives us a voice that many people in other nations simply do not have. But voting is also a duty. It’s part of good citizenship. And for Christians in particular, it’s an important way of being the “salt and light” in our cul­ture that Matthew 5:13–14 speaks of.

          

The well-known 19th century preacher Rev. Charles Finney talked about the Christian’s responsibility to participate in the political process. He said, “The time has come that Christians must vote for honest men and take consistent ground in politics…Chris­tians have been exceedingly guilty in this matter. But the time has come when they must act different­ly…God cannot sustain this free and blessed country which we love and pray for unless the Church will take right ground.” We as Christians can and should take every opportu­nity to help place and keep righteous rulers in author­ity in our country.

          

Your vote matters— spiritually as well as politically

Our political and religious forefathers clearly believed that Christians had a spiritual and civic duty to vote. Consider, for example, the words of Rev. Matthias Burnet, pastor of the First Church in Norwalk, Connecticut, in 1803:

          

“Finally, ye…whose high prerogative it is, to raise up, or pull down, to invest with office and authority, or to with­hold them, and in whose power it is to save or destroy your country, consider well the important trust and distinguishing privileges which God and nature have put into your hands. To God and posterity you are accountable for them.” The right to vote has been placed in our hands, and we are accountable for what we do with it.

          

The future is in your hands

James A. Garfield, a minister of the Gospel and the twenti­eth President of the United States, once wrote, “Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, reckless­ness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature…If the next centennial does not find us a great nation…it will be because those who rep­resent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the na­tion do not aid in controlling the political forces.”

          

There is a direct correlation between Christian voter turnout and the percentage of elected leaders who embrace and reflect basic Biblical values. In other words, if we want our govern­ment to be godly, we must play a role in making it godly.

          

The future of the United States is in our hands. As Christians, it is both our privilege and our duty to go to the polls on Election Day and vote on biblical principles. If we do that, I believe we can turn this nation around.

Written by admin in: Richard Roberts |
Apr
05
2009
0

Roses Will Bloom Again

saving-souls_richard-roberts_Oral Roberts

When you feel like you’re walking through a dry desert with no end in sight, just remember, with God, there’s always hope for a new beginning.

          

Many years ago, Evelyn and I were driving across the deserts of the southwestern United States. We stopped our car and walked out into that barren waste. And for the first time, I saw the desert rose. I wondered then how it could grow out of that hard-packed earth. Isaiah 35:1 KJV came to me where God said the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. And then I remem­bered that it takes God to put the bloom in the rose. But more than that, it takes God to change the desert of our lives.

          

One day, a pastor was visiting a man named Richard Smith. Richard’s joints were swollen and he was in terrible pain. A tremendous doctor who was skilled in the condition he suffered from came and worked with him week after week. But there came a day when it appeared he wouldn’t get well. A terrible bitterness had risen up in the man’s heart. He had become so pain-wracked and so miserable, that not only was he sick in his body but he had become sick in his spirit too.The pastor said, “I came in to see him and he didn’t look at me…he didn’t speak…he didn’t smile. I walked over to the bed, and there he was, drawn up in a knot.”

          

About that time the doctor came in and gave him a shot. He examined the swollen elbows and knees. He said, “Richard, you’re a sick man. But I’ve been thinking about you and all the good things you’ve done with your life. I’ve got some good news. I have a new prescription that I believe can turn your life around. You’re going to be amazed by its results.”

          

He said, “Do you have it?”

          

“Yes.”

          

“Please, give it to me.”

          

The doctor said, “Well, this is it, Richard:

          

“Cheer up, roses will bloom again.” Smiling, he closed his bag and left the room.

          

About that time, the man’s nurse came in. Wiping tears from her eyes, she’d been just about to give up on the sick man when she took another look at him lying on the bed. Suddenly something began to happen. He be­gan to open his hands…to move his swollen joints. He began to inch his way over to the side of the bed. After a while, he was able to put his feet on the floor. He be­gan to push himself up, all the way up, until he stood haltingly on his feet. Soon he got his balance and he looked around and saw the nurse. He smiled and said, “Nurse, cheer up, roses are going to bloom again!”

          

As the pastor drove away, he was exhilarated. On his way home, he decided to visit a young couple whose child had been buried a few days before. When he arrived, the wife sat staring vacantly into space. As the pastor came in, she said, without lifting her head, “Pastor, do you believe in personal immortality?”

          

He said, “Yes, I believe in the resurrection of the dead to the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that someday God will raise the dead.”

          

She said, “Will you please explain that a little more?”

          

“Well,” he said, “in terms of the passing of your little child—yes, your child will live again. But more than that, the resurrection means there are a series of resur­rections in the here and now. Many resurrections are going to happen to you and your husband from time to time.”

          

And then he said to me, “Oral, when I said that, the wife still had her head down. As I sat there looking at her, I just smiled. I felt the joy of what I was saying and I smiled. I smiled until she looked up as if to say, ‘Well, what is there to smile about?’ And I said, ‘My dear, roses will bloom again.’ And I left.”

          

Several days later, the pastor was retracing his rounds and he came back to Richard Smith’s house. Rich­ard was no longer in bed, and he no longer needed a nurse. In fact, he was out in the yard doing some light work. Roses were blooming again.

          

Then the pastor decided that he would stop by the couple’s house and see how they were. When he came in, they were there to meet him. They said, “Pastor, how do you think the people will feel at church Sun­day when we come back to the services?” He said, “They’ll feel great because they’ve been very concerned about you.” And the young mother said, “Look for us, because roses are blooming again.”

          

What this can mean for you

What is God trying to say to you and me through this story? I think He’s saying that He’s not through with our lives. You may have lost a loved one. You may have something terribly wrong in your body. You may need something you feel is beyond your power to grasp. But I say to you…

          

Cheer up! Because of Jesus, roses will bloom again!

          

God is alive. He’s closer to you than your breath, and He can make the roses bloom again in the desert of your life. Believe it, my friend, and reach out for the miracle you need, in Jesus’ mighty name.

Written by admin in: Richard Roberts |

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