“Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above…”
About eight years ago I heard the following on the radio news, “State troopers arrested the two men on ‘suspicion of preaching to a captive audience.’” That is an exact quote. Professionally speaking, I am curious as to what qualifies someone to be guilty of such a “crime.” In the case of these men, they were reading the bible aloud outside of a state courthouse. Admittedly, I heard no other details, so they could have been misbehaving as well. Had that been the case, however, I presume the reader of the news would have mentioned it. The men were eventually acquitted, but it is disconcerting to consider the potential implications of this event.
I am prone from time to time to get really upset at what is going on in the world around me, specifically in our country. It is not unusual for me to lament—sometimes aloud—what seems to me to be the rapid moral decline of our nation. I am not alone in this, I know. Care needs to be taken, however, that I do not put my faith in the wrong places. Certainly I want my government to be honest, effective, and even Christian. Yet it is not in the government that I am to place my faith, and it is surely not the government that saves. I would do well—and maybe others would, too—to remember that God is sovereign, and that, ultimately, my citizenship is elsewhere. I am a child of the King, and therefore a resident of heavenly places.
It is our responsibility, of course, to be good citizens where we are now. As Christians, we have a moral responsibility to follow the law, and to encourage others to do the same. At the same time we must remain vigilant, standing watch over our own hearts to ensure that we maintain proper perspective on this life—especially as it leads to the next. It is God who saves. Our faith is to be in God and God alone. His “is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”