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Calling Rulers to Repentance

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
October 11, 2022 4:00 am

Calling Rulers to Repentance

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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October 11, 2022 4:00 am

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The Christian Car Guy
Robby Dilmore
Grace To You
John MacArthur

Hi friend I'm Phil Johnson and this is grace to you featuring the Bible teaching of John MacArthur. Today we are once again preempting our normal schedule. Taking a break from John's brand-new series on the world versus the kingdom of God to bring you a message that is even newer. John preached it just a week ago at the church he leads in Southern California that you probably know that the United States Supreme Court recently struck down Roe versus Wade. And by doing that, the court made abortion issue regulated by the individual states, rather than by the federal government, and since that ruling a number of American states have been letting the rest of the country know that nothing is changed with them there still making abortions available in California conspicuously took the lead in publicizing its abortion services in a series of billboards posted across the country and endorsed by California's governor and what's more, those billboards featured a biblical quote from Jesus in a blasphemous attempt to say that the Lord himself applauds abortion. John MacArthur was so burdened by the blatant mockery of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in fact burden for the spiritual condition of California's governor that he wrote an open letter to the governor which received a good deal of attention, and then a few days later John stepped into the pulpit to consider these issues through the crystal clear lens of the word of God. So today and tomorrow we are going to let you hear what the people at Grace Church heard. I trust you will be encouraged by the Bible's ability to speak powerfully to moral questions and to give the hope of forgiveness to anyone who would turn from his or her sin and run to the salvation purchased by the Lord Jesus Christ and him alone with that. Here's John MacArthur with a message titled calling rulers to repentance. Now you know last Sunday at the conclusion of the service.

I invited you to pray for the governor of California. Gavin Newsom and I did that purposely because obviously we we would love to see him come to Christ.

They probably all of you know that them. We wrote him a letter and open letter since he is very open about advocating the things that dishonor God. We are also open about calling him to faith and repentance and we have done that and there has obviously been an amazing response to that coming from a lot of angles about that for the most part very encouraging to us, but in the light of that, I want to give you a kind of a biblical framework for confronting rulers.

Some have questioned why would you do that and I want to show you how this is the calling of the church as it has been for God's people throughout redemptive history and we need to start at the beginning and for us the beginning would be. Then what is the mission of the church in the world. What are we supposed to be doing here you might think there were supposed to be providing entertainment for unbelievers. If you just look at the church superficially. You might think that we're supposed to have some kind of manipulative power on the levers of authority and influence in the world if you looked at the political preoccupations of Christians and churches, but you'd be wrong on both counts. The church exists in the world really with one mission and that is fine for us in the great commission. Listen to the words of our Lord himself.

He defines for us. Our responsibility values three passages that are familiar with you first.

Matthew 2819 and 20. The command to his followers as this. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to keep all that I commanded you. And behold I am with you always, even to the end of the age. That is the great commission to evangelize the nations, bringing them the gospel so that they believe trust Christ are baptized start on the path of discipleship which is defined as being obedient to all that the Lord has commanded. So we are in the business of reclaiming the gospel by which people are saved become disciples and live and serve in obedience to God. That's our mission. Our Lord's words in Luke 24 versus 46 and 47. Give us another angle on the same commission. He said to the disciples.

It is written that Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all nations. There is our commission to proclaim repentance for forgiveness of sins in his name. The name of Christ. And then there is another wording of the commission in acts 18 were we read you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth and all three commissions.

We have a global responsibility to the ends of the earth to the end of the age and to all nations, and summing it up it is to proclaim the gospel. The gospel of forgiveness of sins by repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that makes one a disciple who lives in the obedience to the commands of God. That is the gospel.

That's why the church is in the world. That's what we need to be doing that is our whole calling a couple of familiar passages are important for us to understand in the light of that one is in Romans chapter 10 and you're familiar with ability read a few verses from Romans 10 starting in verse 13. For whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved as we go preaching the gospel where encouraging people to call on the name of the Lord to be saved. The next verse says verse 14 of Romans 10 how then will they call on him in whom they have not believed how will they believe in him whom they have not heard how will they hear without a preacher.

How will they preach unless they are sent just as it is written, how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things. However, they did not all heed the good news.

For Isaiah said, Lord, who has believed our report so faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ fulfilling the great commission means we have to be sent. We have to preach we have to preach the gospel so that people can hear and in hearing believe and be saved. So primarily when we think about the great commission were talking about the preaching of the gospel that is the priority. Obviously, those text that I've just gone through, make that clear. But is another text that I want to add to those that is very important and belongs right alongside of them that is found in first Timothy chapter 2, so turn to first Timothy chapter 2, and at the beginning of that chapter, I want to read a number of verses that down through verse seven, first Timothy two verses one through seven because here is another responsibility to which the churches call first of all first Timothy 21. Here's the priority. I urge that entreaties and prayers petitions and Thanksgiving be made on behalf of all men, so we are going to be pleading with God for all men, in what exact sense is that prayer directed for what purpose. Keep reading for kings and all who are in authority and that's shocking now, and that in a moment where to be praying on behalf of all men. But the one sample group that he identifies his kings and all who are in authority so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. If you want to live a quiet life you want to live a peaceful life in human society in all godliness and dignity. Pray for the rulers because so much of what a society is as we know very well is a direct result of its rulers and leaders, and God wants us to pray for those who rule over us. Verse three he says this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior. Why, because he desires all men, all kinds of men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, for there is one God and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all the testimony given at the proper time for this, I was appointed a preacher and an apostle of the context here is salvation. Since God desires salvation if he desires salvation from all kinds of men. If he desires them to come to the knowledge of the truth. That is why he has provided salvation through the ransom of verse six for all provided by Christ Jesus. So the context is salvation, one God, and only one, therefore only one true religion. One mediator, and only one, the man Christ Jesus. Therefore only one Savior, one ransom for all, the only ransom and thus one gospel. One way of salvation because of God's salvation plan and because God desires all kinds of men in all strata is in nations and tribes and tongues and peoples as heaven will show in the book of Revelation we are to pray for the salvation of all men but especially for those who rule over us because that conversion at that level changes culture dramatically.

So when things aren't the way you would like them to be.

Yes, we recognize sin has consequences. Yes, we recognize divine judgment is operating but still the promise here is that we should pray for the conversion of rulers because it will change life as we know it. So we need to know that this is God's calling for us, though it may seem hard, though there are a lot of things we don't like about the people in power over us. We would do. We would do an act of disobedience against our calling.

If we did not pray for our rulers. Salvation.

And that goes not only for governors but all rulers all the way to the presidency and across the world. That's a challenging thing to confront them.

Let's go back to the preaching responsibility.

You remember the story of John the Baptist, of course, John the Baptist chapter 3 of Luke confronted Herod the tetrarch John was preaching the gospel. Luke chapter 3 verse 18 to the people. John the Baptist and when Herod the tetrarch was reprimanded by him because of Herodias's brother's wife and because of all the wicked things which Herod had done. Herod also added this to them all. He locked John up in prison. Herod was the king at the time he was a wretched man is connection to Herodias's brother's wife was incestuous.

He had stolen her way from another, and John confronts him for his wickedness which he had done and she hung was summarily locked up in prison.

If you go to Matthew 14 you read the rest of the story and over this. John lost his head. His head was served on a platter to Herod the cost John his life. To be honest with the ruler to present the truth to ruler because Jesus his life to present the truth to ruler. He spoke to pilot. He spoke to Caiaphas. Collectively they all came together had him executed.

And then there was Paul in the ninth chapter of the book of acts where we have the account of his conversion. There's a comment there that is tied into his calling. It's a very direct comment chapter 9 and verse 15 the Lord said to him to Ananias after the Damascus road conversion.

The Lord says about Paul. He is a chosen instrument of mine to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel, for I will show him how much he must suffer for my namesake. He was called to go in front of Kings is this new was a something new to the New Testament. No, because John the Baptist was the last of the Old Testament prophets and his confrontation Herod cost him his life. The Old Testament gives us many illustrations I could. I can give you 40 illustrations of Old Testament godly men confronting rulers.

We just remind you of a few in Exodus, Moses confronts Pharaoh to the face let my people go in first Samuel 13 Samuel confronts Saul the king over his sin and second Samuel 12 Nathan confronts David over the sin of having Uriah murdered so that David can have an adulterous relationship with his wife, Bathsheba, Nathan says to David you are the man. A hygiene of the prophet confronted Jeroboam in first Kingsford said you have done much evil much more evil than those before you in first Kings 18, Elijah confronts wretched wicked Ahab later first Kings 21. He confronts a have again for basically murdering Naboth so he could steal his vineyard. He said to him you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of Yahweh. Behold, I will bring evil on you.

This is a role that profits took throughout the Old Testament. Elijah denounces a desire for consulting Dale and second Kings one. He says you will surely die. Isaiah prophesied the Dumas inaccurate of the king of Assyria and sinkings 19 Isaiah taunted the king of Babylon in Isaiah 14 Jeremiah pronounce judgment to Zedekiah. Jeremiah 2134 Hosea declared judgment on Israel's evil rulers in chapter 4 and five. This is routine and I read earlier Psalm two, which is David's David contra Mundo David against the world of rulers, kings of the earth taking action against God. While God laughs at them.

So it's nothing new that John the Baptist and Jesus did Paul dinner the other apostles did.

They had forebears who showed them the pathway of the confrontation, and the faithful godly men of the Old Testament turn to Deuteronomy 17 which sets up the responsibility of the ruler to expect to be confronted. If he is unfaithful in Deuteronomy chapter 17 does go down to verse 18 as the Lord is describing. Now you're going to have a king here is the responsibility of a king. This is the duty of the king. Deuteronomy 1780 now chill come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom when he comes the rain. He shall write for himself. A copy of this law. The whole law of God is to write it out every letter, every word himself and is to do it on a scroll and is to do in the presence of the Levitical priest so everyone knows he's written every single letter and the reason for that is if he's going to rule as you heard in that beautiful anthem even rules over men must be just ruling in the fear of God. So, there can't be any ignorance he can't claim they didn't know something and to make sure that he has basically affirmed his responsibility has to write out every single letter in the law of God in front of all the priests, it shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life is going to continually be reading the law of God so that he stays on track that he may learn to fear the Lord his God. By carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right of the left so that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel want have a long rain they faithful to the Scriptures you have to write it all out after continually reading and you must obey its statutes will got in the promised land and it didn't go that way, did king after king after king in both kingdoms. The northern kingdom of Israel. The southern kingdom of Judah forsook the law of God, the first circle of God, and they led the people into idolatry and all manner of sin and evil which then set up an inevitable confrontation by those who are the stewards of the revelation of God to confront those disobedient kings had violated their their oath to the Kingsville was fifth. The faithful to the word of God. In fact, the word of God disappeared and wasn't discovered refined and second Kings chapter 22 until king Josiah many years later, found the law and restored the law to its place and Josiah brought righteousness back.

So this is always been God's plan. So in the Old Testament you had prophets confronting unfaithful kings over and over and over and over and over again.

And as we saw you had the New Testament model of John the Baptist, Jesus called the other apostles doing the same with authorities, but even in church history, here's a little from church history around the year 150. The Christian apologists. Justin Martyr wrote an open letter to the Roman Emperor to Antonius Pius in that letter, he defended the truthfulness of Christianity and argue that the Roman government should stop persecuting believers 150 just say 50 years after the death of the apostle John around the year 155 there was a renowned pastor in Smyrna who knew John by the name of Polycarp, who stood trial before a Roman governor. He was accused of being a Christian and he was urged to recant. Polycarp refused to do that reiterated his allegiance to Christ, and urged the governor to repent or face the eternal fire of God's judgment in a generation. After Polycarp and author name Tertullian wrote an apology of the Christian faith. Also, it's they call the Roman government and their unjust persecution of the church in the fourth century.

Another famous pastor from Alexandria named Athanasius boldly defended the doctrine of Christ's deity. He was banished by the Roman powers for the 17 years but he refused to be intimidated or to compromise because of governmental pressure in the fifth century, the golden mouth, John Chrysostom, the great preacher of Constantinople, confronted the empress for her worldly sinful lifestyle. He was banished and on his way to exile died.

If you come up to Reformation times you have people like Peter Waldo John Wycliffe. John Hus who all denounced corrupt authorities and were willing to pay with their lives.

In 1521 Martin Luther Turkestan telling Emperor Charles V, the most powerful man in Europe that he must repent, and that Luther would never recant. Because to do so would be to go against the word of God which Luther would never do. As a result, Luther was declared a notorious heretic and would have been executed if they could find him. 1529 of the died of Spira group of evangelical princes within the Holy Roman Empire, wrote a letter of protest station in response to the Emperor's attempts to outlaw the Reformation and because of that they became known as Protestants in the 1530s and 40s, the English preacher Hugh Latimer would preach before the king of England Henry VIII, no less. On one occasion he preached a sermon that enraged Henry with its boldness next week. Henry warned Latimer to be careful what he said since the power of the man's life was in the hands of the king.

Latimer's response was to preach with more boldness in 1550 Hoover Protestants and not Magdeburg wrote a confession in response to the efforts of Charles V to wipe out Protestantism everywhere and they acknowledge they would do what is right no matter what hostility the government brought against them famously in 1563, John Knox, the great Scottish reformer confronted the Catholic Queen of Scotland about her un-biblical marriage, and he was so powerful that you begin to cry. In 1603 a thousand Puritan leaders wrote a letter to King James I, calling him to reform the church of England. He ignored the petition and continued to appear to persecute the Puritans and then in 1638 Scottish believers signed a national covenant resisting the efforts of King Charles to interfere with the church and with true worship and so it's gone through history.

You can call her back and start with Moses Kearney Farrell come all the way through church history.

In fact, that some it's only in the modern era that the church has not done this a sad is that. How sad is that that's our calling. It doesn't go well. I understand that they killed the prophets. They kill John the Baptist. They killed the Lord Jesus. They killed the apostles. They killed the faithful preachers through church history, but doesn't change the mission or the responsibility you're listening to Grace to you with John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson. We preempted our regular schedule to bring you the message that John preached at his home church just a few days ago titled calling rulers to repentance now to help answer questions you may have about the issues John considered.

Today we want to give you a free copy of a booklet by John called chaos, corruption, and the Christian response.

It's a quick read but it takes a hard look at the issues of fear social unrest and the abandonment of truth that have dominated society. In recent years and and how believers should respond to all of this.

Ask for your booklet when you get in touch with us today.

You can reach us by phone at 855 Grace or go to our website Jide to request John's booklet called chaos, corruption, and the Christian response. You can also request a booklet by regular mail just right to assent Grace to you. Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 would also be happy to send you a copy of today's message on CD. Maybe there someone you know who would benefit from a CD just after the lesson titled calling rulers to repentance. Call us at 855 Grace or go to Jide

Of course you can also hear today's message right away at our website you'll find the message along with 3500 other again the title you want. Calling rulers to repentance downloaded now and if you know some people who should hear this brand-new message.

Be sure to point them to.

And speaking of that new message. Tune in tomorrow for the second half on behalf of John MacArthur and our entire staff. I'm Phil Johnson encouraging you to be here tomorrow for another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on racing

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