Faithlife Sermons

Sunday, February 18th, 2018 - AM - PrayUSA - Keep Faith in America

PrayUSA  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  50:48
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“Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”

Notes & Transcripts


Matthew 22:15–22 KJV 1900
Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
Get Attention:
If you haven't noticed, which I believe most here have, the agenda to silence Christians is very real! To hear talk about censoring, limiting, and removing Christian values from public expression is nothing new, however, the aggressive tactics being used to accomplish this have really begun to take many by surprise.
Raise Need:
Listen, when sexual identity activists are being placed left and right into positions of governmental authority, we really shouldn't be that surprised when they advance their personal agendas to the detriment of religious freedom. We vividly saw this occur in the case of our own Colorado Lakewood Baker who is now awaiting the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on whether or not it is discrimination to only participate in celebrating man-woman marriage ceremonies. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy expressed concern to whether the Colorado Civil Rights Commission's initial ruling demonstrated an anti-religious bias. He pointed to the Commissioner's statement that "...freedom of religion used to justify discrimination is a despicable piece of rhetoric" as evidence of such bias. Kennedy also said that the State's position is "neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips' religious beliefs." As our nation watches and waits for this decision...
Orient Theme:
"I want to speak to you about the rights and the responsibilities of the Christian concerning his government. And, where are we going to get the answer? Well, we’re certainly not going to get the answer from some politician who has an ax to grind. We’re certainly not going to get the answer from the ungodly and those who hate God, and Christ, and the Church, nor are we going to get the answer from the philosophies of some well-meaning but softheaded religionist. The answer must come from the Word of God. And indeed, it has. [Adrian Rogers, “Church and State,” in Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive (Signal Hill, CA: Rogers Family Trust, 2017), Mt 22:15–22.]
State Purpose:
I hope to motivate you to your knees once more, and then to put both feet and voice to your faith as a concerned American Christian.
"Jesus said we’re to 'render … unto Caesar the things [that] are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.' () When you want to understand the Bible, you ask yourself three questions. ...What did it mean then? How does it apply today? And, how does it apply to me personally?" [Rogers, Mt 22:15–22.]
Main Thought:
What are the rights and responsibilities of the Christian concerning his government, as answered from the Word of God?
"The Framers of the Constitution of the United States of America were soaked in the Word of God, and those who added the First Amendment added that First Amendment in the light of Holy Scripture. ...'Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof'—a marvelous amendment. This does not mean the separation of God from government. ...
[This nation] was founded upon godly principles. When the colonists came to these shores, they came because of their Christian faith. When the Pilgrims landed in 1620, they came to these shores seeking religious liberty. The Mayflower Compact begins with these words: 'In the name of God, amen.' In that Mayflower Compact, they wrote that the express purpose was—and I quote: 'for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.'
The American government is rooted in belief in God. ...It was engendered by a statement called 'The Declaration of Independence.' That Declaration of Independence has a Preamble; I trust that you’re familiar with it. In that Preamble, this glorious statement is given: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are … endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.' Now, notice what they said. They said, 'We’ll not quibble about this. We’ll not argue about this. We will not debate this. This is self-evident.' What? First of all, they had a message about God: 'There is a God. He is a Creator.' Secondly, they had a message about man: 'Man did not evolve. He did not come out of the ooze and the slime of some primordial soup, but man was created by a God.' And thirdly, they said, 'We’re not going to debate about this. There are certain rights that man has. The government does not give those rights. The government may only protect those rights. They are God-given rights of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' And, when they said, 'We hold this to be self-evident,' they meant this: that there was no sliding scale of morality, no relativism, no situational ethics. They said, 'There is a fixed morality. There are definite rights and definite wrongs.' They believed that. That is the warp, the woof, the matrix out of which our nation was born....
The Bill of Rights was never meant to forbid prayer in public schools; it only meant—and should mean—that there should be no state-mandated prayer and no one should be coerced to pray. And, we would fight for that with every ounce [of our strength]. But, ...the government is not to prohibit the free exercise of our faith.
The great leaders of our nation, for the most part, have been men of faith. General George Washington was a devout man who went aside at Valley Forge, and knelt in the snow, and prayed God’s blessing upon that little ragtag continental army, who was fighting for the freedoms that we enjoy. A visitor going to Washington at the Continental Congress asked, 'Which one is George Washington?' Someone said, 'You can recognize George Washington because General Washington will be the tall man that gets on his knees when Congress starts to pray.' President-elect Abraham Lincoln said this after his election: 'I leave now not knowing when or whether ever I shall return with a task before me greater than that which rested upon the shoulders of Washington. Without the assistance of the Divine Being who attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assurance, I cannot fail.' And, even Thomas Jefferson, whom we would not call a 'Bible-believing Christian'—even the great Thomas Jefferson said that 'the God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.'" [Rogers, Mt 22:15–22.]

I. Committed in Submission to Our Human Government ().

A. The Works We Must Do:

1. Parading Our Patriotism for Our Nation ().

Psalm 137:5 KJV 1900
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, Let my right hand forget her cunning.
America is still the greatest country on earth!
Illustration: NFL Fallout over rampant disrespect to our country's flag...
"I am a patriot. I love this nation. Patriotism is not wrong. Patriotism, the love of a country, just means, 'love of your fatherland.' I expect my children to love me in my family. I expect family loyalty. And, we can expect national loyalty. Patriotism is a virtue taught in the Bible. The psalmist said in : 'If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand lose her cunning' ()—'If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my hand be palsied.' Yes, the Bible teaches patriotism. Sir Walter Scott wrote a note of true Christian patriotism when he wrote this:
Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Sir Walter Scott
A good, red-blooded Christian American will stand up for Old Glory, and he will sing with all of his heart 'God Bless America.' If we don’t love America, who is going to love America? America is a God-blessed, God-founded nation. No nation ever had such a Christian beginning as America—none! And, God has blessed us these two hundred plus years. And, may God’s grace continue to shine upon America!" [Rogers, Mt 22:15–22.]

2. Participating in Our Civil Government

Participate locally, statewide, and nationally.
"...if you don’t participate in your government, may God have mercy upon you! You are disobeying the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said we’re to 'render … unto Caesar the things [that] are Caesar’s.' () What is our Caesar? Our Caesar is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. ...A wise man has said that 'the scandal of our time is the bad citizenship of good people....'
...if that is true, who does that leave to make the laws and to run the nation? [When we] participate, ...our focus is not going to be upon parties, ...persons, [or] politics, but principles. We... don’t choose between right or left; we choose between right or wrong. And, we just simply want to say what is right, and nothing is politically right that is morally wrong. And so, we do not separate ourselves from government any more than we separate God from government.
...the people of this church need to be registered to vote. ...if you’re not registered to vote, I’ll guarantee you one thing: you are not going to vote. You say, 'Well, my vote won’t make a difference.' In 1645, one vote gave Oliver Cromwell control of all of England. In 1649, one vote caused Charles I of England to be executed. In 1776—listen to this—one vote gave America the English language rather than German. ...In 1839, one vote elected Marcus Morton Governor of Massachusetts. In 1845, one vote saved President Andrew Jackson from impeachment. In 1876, one vote gave Rutherford B. Hayes the presidency of the United States. In 1923, one vote made Adolf Hitler the leader of the Nazi Party—one vote. I’m only one, but I am one. I can’t do everything, but I can do something. And, what I can do and ought to do, that, by the grace of God, I will do. Your one vote makes a difference." [Rogers, Mt 22:15–22.]

3. Paying for Our Civil Government ().

Romans 13:6–7 KJV 1900
For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
Taxes, taxes, taxes; a necessary evil.
"Did you know that it’s biblical to pay taxes? That’s what they asked Jesus about: 'Is it right to give taxes to Caesar or not?' Yes, we’re to pay taxes. and : 'For this cause pay ye tribute also'—the word tribute doesn’t mean you’re a nice fellow, but it means 'to pay taxes'—'for they are God’s ministers'—he’s talking about the governmental officials—'attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.' () Tribute would be like income tax. Custom would be like sales tax." [Rogers, Mt 22:15–22.]
Matthew 17:24–27 KJV 1900
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
"We all love to stand up against over-taxation. Somebody has said that 'a nation is on its last legs when half the people get the idea they don’t have to work and the other half to get the idea it does no good to work because people take everything that they work for.' A Frenchman said that 'France fell when the people began to think of the government as a cow to be milked rather than a watchdog to be fed.'
Our Founding Fathers were so wise. They said that government is to provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare. They did not say that the government is here to provide for the general welfare. The government is here to provide for the common defense. You and I can’t raise an army. We can’t go around as a bunch of vigilantes, taking vengeance on people. We need a common defense. That’s what government is for. We are to promote the general welfare. Give us a free country where people can earn a living but not put everybody on a welfare state, for the Bible says, 'If [a man will] not work, neither should he eat.' () We’re to pay taxes. And yes, we’ll grumble. Yes, we’ll gripe. Yes, we’ll try to keep taxes as low as we can. But, I’ll tell you, people are still standing in line trying to get into America, the greatest nation on the face of this earth." [Rogers, Mt 22:15–22.]

B. The Words We Must Speak:

1. Speaking to Our God About Our Government ():

James 5:16–17 KJV 1900
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
Live righteously; pray fervently!
1 Timothy 2:1–3 KJV 1900
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
"We’re to pray for our rulers even if they’re wicked. When this was written, Nero was the Emperor. A more wicked person would be hard to find. But, you still pray for them. If they’re wicked, pray all the more. : 'The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.' ()
We’ve often heard it said that wicked rulers are God’s reward for wicked people. And, I remember reading in the Bible about God’s ancient people who wanted something that was not best for them. The Bible said God gave them the desire of their heart and sent leanness into their souls. () I sometimes think that we as America are suffering greatly because of the desire of our heart for wicked rulers. The greatest responsibility for America is not in the White House nor in the State House but in the church house, and your house and my house while we pray. ...because the Bible says we’re to pray for these people. That doesn’t mean that we agree with their politics always.
• A man said to a politician, 'I’m praying for you,' and he said, 'Well, that’s right.' The politician said, 'You’re to pray for all who are in authority.' () He said, 'Well, that’s not why I’m praying. It’s the other command that I’m following: ‘Pray for them that persecute you.’  () But, we’re to pray.•" [Rogers, Mt 22:15–22.]

2. Speaking to Our Government On Behalf of Our God ():

Matthew 5:13–15 KJV 1900
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Matt. 5:13-15

There is a severe price we pay for our silence when the opposition is so loud.
"...We recently learned that you and two other courageous members of the Joint Budget Committee refused to vote to fund the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, at least until its recent derelictions can be addressed. We applaud you for your courage in directly applying the provisions of the Colorado State Constitution and Colorado statutes to the lawless recent behavior of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
Article II of the Colorado Constitution lists the Bill of Rights adopted by and for the citizens of Colorado. Section 3 states that “all persons have certain natural, essential and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; of acquiring, possessing and protecting property; and of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.” Senator, we respectfully submit that it is the unique duty of the legislators of Colorado to do the will of the people of Colorado as expressed in the Colorado Constitution. This will of the people is that all persons in Colorado have natural and alienable rights, including defending their liberties, acquiring and protecting property, and obtaining happiness. Is this not precisely what Jack Phillips sought to achieve in his chosen profession as a masterpiece baker? Was not Jack Phillips engaging in a peaceful and honorable profession, one he hoped would allow him to acquire and possess property and thereby obtain economic safety and happiness? Has not Mr. Phillips, directly as the result of the hostile action of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, been deprived of his natural, essential, and inalienable rights?
Section 4 of the Colorado Bill of Rights provides the first civil right specifically identified by the people of Colorado, and that is Religious Freedom. Section 4 states in pertinent part that “the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever hereafter be guaranteed, and no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege or capacity, on account of his opinions concerning religion . . . .” Again, Denver baker and businessman Jack Phillips sought, as a right of religious conscience and as protected by the Colorado Constitution, to honor the sacred bond of marriage, according to his religious beliefs, by using his skills as a baker to honor only the union of one man and one woman. This was his natural and inalienable civil right, one completely disregarded by the Civil Rights Commission, which fined him for exercising the freedom of religion guaranteed by the Colorado Constitution.
Another matter concerning the Colorado Civil Rights Commission goes directly to the integrity of the Commission. In the oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, Justice Kennedy cited to pages 293-94 of the Appendix, where Commissioner Hess said that “freedom of religion used to justify discrimination is a despicable piece of rhetoric.” Justice Kennedy asked whether the Commission had disavowed this statement by Commissioner Hess, and was told that the Commission had not disavowed or disapproved of this statement that showed Commissioner Hess’ obvious hostility of religion. Moreover, as was noted in the U.S. Supreme Court, the Commission has excused gay bakers when they have refused to make cakes with a message with which they disagreed.
An essential element of Due Process is an impartial tribunal. Commissioner Hess’s comment shows that he was not impartial, yet he did not recuse himself from deciding the fate of Mr. Phillips’ civil rights claim of religious conscience. This certainly casts a dark cloud on the entire proceeding of the Commission, and this may be only one example of where the Commission failed to grant to someone before it impartial justice. Certainly an investigation into the apparent bias of the Commission would make sense before funding is provided.
Finally, in the oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in Masterpiece Cakeshop, the Chief Justice noted that in many instances states provide a religious exemption to their public accommodation statutes. Given the contesting civil rights claims by both Mr. Phillips and his two potential customers who wanted him to sculpt a cake for their same-sex wedding, it certainly would be in the best interests of the people of Colorado to reconsider and amend the public accommodations statute to allow the protection of civil rights for all Colorado citizens. If you would like our help in this regard, please let us know. Again, thank you for your courageous stand."
"God has called us to be salt and light. Jesus said, 'You don’t light a candle and put it under a bushel.' (; ; ) We’re salt. () Salt penetrates, and salt irritates, and salt cleanses, and salt heals. And, God’s people dare not be silent. We need to know what the issues are, and we need to speak.
Study the Bible, and find out what the men of old did. Nathan was a prophet of God, and he spoke to King David and told him where he was wrong. Elijah was a prophet of God, and he spoke to King Ahab and told him where he was wrong. Eliezer was a prophet of God, and he spoke to King Jehoshaphat and told him where he was wrong. Daniel was a man of God, and he preached and spoke and prophesied to King Nebuchadnezzar. Moses was a man of God, and he spoke to Pharaoh and warned Pharaoh. And, we need to speak." [Rogers, Mt 22:15–22.]
Transition: We've spent the majority of our time thinking about being committed in submission to our God-ordained human government, now let's wrap things up by being:

II. Consecrated in Service to Our Holy God ().

Matthew 22:21 KJV 1900
They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

A. No Other gods Before Him ():

1 Timothy 1:17 KJV 1900
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Americans must throw down their idols, and contritely crawl back to the Most High God.
"...some people say America doesn’t have a king, but our Founding Fathers believed that we did: 'Protect us by thy might, great God our king.' We didn’t vote Him in, and we won’t vote Him out. He is the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, and therefore, there can be no rival. The early Christians, while they believed in rendering to Caesar the things that were Caesar’s and unto God the things that were God’s, they refused to render unto Caesar the things that are God’s. They refuse to say that Caesar is Lord: 'Kurios Caesar.' They would not say that. They could have saved their lives if they’d only offered a pinch of incense to Caesar, but they would not do that. They would not say, 'Caesar is Lord.'" [Rogers, Mt 22:15–22.]

B. No Other Guidance Before His Word ():

Isaiah 1:2 KJV 1900
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: For the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against me.
Americans must acknowledge the finality of God's Word for discerning right and wrong.
Paul reminded Timothy that God is the "only wise God." That means His Word is final when it comes to us fallen creatures figuring out what is right and wrong.
"The Bible is authoritative - If it is perfect and complete, then it is the last Word—the final authority. says, 'Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord hath spoken.' When God speaks everybody listens, because His is the final authority; the Bible demands obedience. We can discuss its implications, its applications, and its meanings, but we shouldn’t discuss whether or not it is true." [John MacArthur Jr., How to Study the Bible, John MacArthur’s Bible Studies (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985).]
That's why the words to "God Bless America" say, "Stand beside her and guide her, through the night with the light from above!"

C. No Other Governance But His Ordained ():

We must "obey God rather than men."
"...remember, we must 'obey God rather than men.' () There may come a time when you and I must be civilly disobedient. We cannot always obey the government. The midwives, when the little babies were being killed in the time of wicked Pharaoh and in the times of Herod, would hide the little babies, () and well they might. There may be a time when they will say to me, ' cannot preach the Word of God.' I’m going to preach it anyway." [Rogers, Mt 22:15–22.]


Will you join me in obeying the Lord Jesus Who taught us to render unto Caesar that which was Caesar's by being committed in submission to our God-given human government? Will you come and bow before the Most High and Holy God of Heaven and renew your dedication to be consecrated in humble service to our Holy God?
"I believe in good government, but government is not the answer. All government can do, apart from God, is to make the world a better place to go to hell from. What we need to do is to preach the glorious gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Now, some people say, 'Well, it’s worldly if you get involved.' No, a wise man once said, 'To try to improve society is not worldliness, but love; to wash your hands of society is not love, but worldliness.' Yes, we will try to improve society, but above all, we’re going to preach the Lord Jesus Christ. And, as long as there’s breath is these lungs, I’m going to say, 'May America ever be one nation under God!'” [Rogers, Mt 22:15–22.]
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