In about a year, the United States will vote to elect a new president. At the moment, the top contenders are Joe Biden and Donald Trump. But I wouldn’t be surprised if something changes before next year. With all that is happening in the justice system, we may have new contenders to vote for before that time. But the truth is that even if we could bring back the best president from the past or put a great Christian leader into office, there is no guarantee that this would solve our country’s problems. Why is that? The current problems in our country are not problems that can ultimately be addressed by the government.
- The problem of sinful people
When people become wicked, their thoughts control their actions (Gen. 6:5). During Noah’s lifetime, the people became so wicked that they couldn’t think good thoughts. Everything they thought about was evil and those thought led to actions. It became so bad that God was sorry He had created them. We live in a nation where there is still some morality left over from previous generations. But the vast majority of people are becoming less interested in doing right. They have learned to justify their sins and others are learning to think this way, too.
When people persistently reject God, things will get worse (Rom. 1:18-32). During Paul’s lifetime, He saw God’s judgment on sinful humanity. When the people rejected what they knew about God, He gave them over to their lust and they began to practice terrible things. The people became increasingly sinful as God gave them over to the results of their sin. Has much changed today? Despite our history of being a so-called “Christian nation,” our country has increasingly okay with abortion, adultery, sexual perversion, and dishonesty. Things are not getting better. They are getting worse.
When things get worse, it could be a sign of the end (2 Tim. 3:1-7). Paul told us that the last days will include a wide range of sins. His list was written by the inspiration of God almost two thousand years ago but it seems like it was written to describe our current culture. Our culture glorifies revenge, covetousness, pleasure seeking, and other lusts. While these things have existed in many cultures, it does make you wonder how long our civilization can last. What can be done?
We need to preach repentance from sin (Mark 1:4, 15). It is instructive that God sent John the Baptist to preach repentance before Jesus began His earthly ministry. Before people would be ready to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they would need to acknowledge and turn from their own sin. His message reached tax collectors, soldiers, and kings. Should we do any less? If we shy away from speaking the truth about sin, how will people know about their sin against God?
We need to preach the gospel (Mark 16:15). What Jesus told His disciples to do would change the world. But note what He told them to do. His command was not to infiltrate government with Christian principles or to organize a new political party. His main command was to preach the gospel. The gospel is the good news that should follow the preaching of repentance. Once someone has acknowledged his sin against God, he needs to know that Jesus paid the price for his sins. Jesus, the Son of God, took the punishment for all the sins of the world on Himself when He died on the cross. Now all those who repent of their sin and put their faith in Him will be forgiven by God and changed.
We need to believe that God can change people (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 1:23-24). The Bible tells us that the person who has been saved by God will be changed. God makes them a new person on the inside and this change will eventually be seen on the outside. As the Spirit conforms each believer to Jesus’ character, people will see a different attitude, actions, and purposes. This was seen in Paul when God saved him. He had been known for his violent persecution of Christians. But after his conversion, he was known for preaching the faith that “he once tried to destroy.”
We have heard many political speeches from potential candidates for president. Some of them sound pretty good. While we hope to have good people in government, this should not be what we hang our confidence on. Instead, we should follow God’s plan to change the world through the preaching of the gospel. Good government can hold back sinful man for a while. But only God can make a lasting change in their hearts that will eventually be seen in their actions.
While we have considered the problem of sinful people, this is not the only problem we currently face.
- The problem of inactive Christians.
When Christians are spiritually immature, problems increase (1 Cor. 3:1-3). If the problems of sinful people can be addressed by preaching the gospel, why aren’t we doing it? One answer is the spiritual immaturity of some Christians. Paul saw this in the early Corinthian church. Instead of progressing in their spiritual growth, they had remained spiritually immature because of sin in their own lives. Oftentimes the reason that the gospel is not being preached is the fact that unconfessed sin is holding Christians back from doing anything.
When Christians don’t act on what they hear, they become useless (Jam. 1:22). Another thing that holds back the church from reaching the world with the gospel is the unwillingness of Christians to act on what they have learned from the Bible. They sit in church and hear the preacher preach. They read their Bibles at home. They learn and answer questions in Sunday School. But if they never act on what they hear, very little will be accomplished.
When Christians are worldly, they won’t love God or His purposes (1 John 2:15-17). From the beginning, Satan has been effective at distracting people from God’s purposes. He uses the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life to deceive us into becoming complacent about God. When we should be loving and obeying God, we end up loving the world instead. It is hard to get a worldly Christian to reach the world.
We need to put God’s purposes first in our lives (Matt. 6:33). When Jesus originally spoke these words, He was talking about trusting God to meet our needs. Our first desire should not be worrying about our daily needs; it should be doing God’s will. When we put God’s kingdom first, we will make His priorities our own. When we put His righteousness first, we will live in a way that is godly and appropriate for someone proclaiming the gospel to a sinful world.
We need to be a shining light to the world (Matt. 5:14-16). Jesus made it clear that His followers would be a light to the world. Jesus was the original light of the world, but they would reflect His light to all who would see and hear them. This is still true today. By living a godly life, we can show the world the change that God has made in us. As we do this, we will be evidence that God can change a sinner into a new creation. But if we hide our light, how will they know?
We need to renew our minds daily (Rom. 12:1-2). As we go through each day, it is important to give ourselves daily to God’s service. We need to be willing to do His will every moment of our lives. But there is a continuing problem. After attending church services, you may turn on the radio and hear competing ideas. You may read a book or watch a newscast that contradicts what you heard. And if you are not careful, your mind can be turned away from what God has taught you. When this happens, the best antidote is to read your Bible and renew your mind. As you meditate on God’s truths and ask God for wisdom, He will conform your thinking to what He has revealed in the Bible.
As we see the culture around us become more degraded, it would be easy for us to think that a new voice in government will make the difference. While we should pray for our government officials and use our vote to hold back evil, the ultimate solution to our problems is the gospel. Without it, sinful people will continue to get worse and government will have to invest in more laws and police. But if the hearts of people are changed by God, this will make a drastic difference.
What you should consider now is how you will be a part of God’s plan. Will you repent of your sinful complacency and start preaching the gospel to sinful humanity? It may not be easy, but as you seek God’s help, meditate on the Bible, and actively seek to proclaim God’s message, people will have the opportunity to hear and believe and be changed. Will you do your part in God’s solution for man’s problems?
“Why Government is Not the Answer” as viewed at https://www.gotquestions.blog/government-is-not-the-answer.html on 9/17/2023.