It’s no secret that many politians utilize the TelePrompter when speaking to the public.What’s helpful in using these devices is their ability to be discrete and project the speech for the speaker to follow; assisting them to stay on message and look professional while doing it. That message then is sent out and repeated by most news networks and political parties and so on and so on.
Living in this present world, even Christians can get wrapped up in the political firestorm and find themselves repeating the same argumentation. I myself follow politics pretty close and at times find my blood pressure rising as I see leaders of the world and our own country acting irresponsibly and at times “evil.”
What should be the Christian attitude and focus while living in this world and in these heated political seasons? I find in Paul’s 1st letter to the Thessalonian church a finger on my pulse and helpful to recalibrate my priorities. Here we can see three Christian Kingdom Priorities:
1: Christian Kingdom Priority: Paul rejoices in their loving endurance “while” living in this world.
Those living in Thessolinica lived in a pagan environment much worse than ours! The official religion of that time was the worship of the state and the head of that state, Caezear! Paul commends that they are living in this present world and focused upon not changing their present form of government but patiently serving each other so as to serve Christ. Paul writes:
We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:2, 3 ESV)
They are being obedient and through the indwelling Holy Spirit, controlled by a future hope that is yet to come. They are repeating and living other than worldly message from God’s pulpit, the scriptures.
2: Christian Kingdom Prioroity: See the Apostle Paul, not Rand Paul.
Now in full disclosure here, I like some of Rand Paul’s ideas and find that those positions would be a healthy direction for our country. My focus and time spent though will not be in being known as an Ambassador for the Libertarian cause, rather I want to be known as an Ambassador for Christ. That’s exactly what the Thessalonian church did. Read the Apostle Paul’s excitement in their missional attitude:
“You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became
imitators of us and of The Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything.” (1 Thessalonians 1:5b-8 ESV)
They saw Paul, they heard Paul, they imitated Paul (ie Christ). We likewise should see and be on board with Christ’s priorities; making disciples of His, not better American citizens or converts to a more Conservative party.
3: Christian Kingdom Priority: Jesus is returning. Wait for and on Him not in the next President.
It was said that Martin Luther would walk over to His window in the morning, draw back the shades and state “Perhaps The Lord will return today.” The Thessalonian church had the veil pulled back in conversion and now where awaiting the King of Heaven. The cadence of their steps could be heard marching to verse four of “How Great Thou Art.” Jesus is coming and it won’t matter who is in the White House. We should be almost uncomfortable in our idleness as we come to understand that Christ is now peering through the keyhole; gazing at our world. See the spiritual résumé of the converted souls of Christ in Thessolinica:
“For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” (1 Thessalonians 1:9, 10 ESV)
Because God doesn’t change, this is still His agenda for the church corporately and each member individually. We can spend many waking hours with our perverberal whiteboards, drawing out our perfect scenarios for the next leader of this great country, hoping that we might bring back our version of a better Amercia. But should that be our primary focus? Should that be what we are known for? Sould we read off the TelePrompTer of this world? I would dare to say no. Let us be Chrisitans whose priorities are lined up with their King, Jesus.
“The sovereignty of God is often questioned because man does not understand what God is doing. Because He does not act as we think He should, we conclude He cannot act as we think He would.” Jerry Bridges