09.24.20

Politics and the Christian Faith: Thoughts on John MacArthur’s Statement

A couple of weeks ago, Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church shared in an interview with the Falkirk Center at Liberty University, his conversation with President Donald Trump. In that conversation Pastor MacArthur gave reasons why a true believer could not vote Democrat, “Because there is no way that a Christian could affirm the slaughter of babies, homosexual activity, homosexual marriage or any kind of gross immorality. No way we could stand behind a candidate who is affirming transgender behavior which of course is really the reprobate mind of … Any real, true believer is going to be on your side [Trump] in this election”.

It is Pastor MacArthur’s last statement that has caused a bit of concern as we prepare for the coming election. Is the assurance of one’s salvation determined by how one votes? If you vote Democrat does this mean you are not a real true believer in Jesus Christ? If you vote for President Trump does this prove you are a true believer in Jesus Christ? How you answer these questions will not only define salvation, but if the church should be known more by its political affiliation than its gospel witness, since now the proof of Christian obedience is tied to one’s politics.

Now, just in case you think I’m taking Pastor MacArthur’s statement to an extreme, consider a recent account of a 21 year old minister from Arlington, Texas, who was denied the renewal of his license for gospel ministry because of his public endorsement of democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden. Is church membership or church discipline also determined by whether you vote Republican or Democrat?

If this is the way we are thinking we need to be more open and honest about it. It shouldn’t be during the election season we discover that the assurance of one’s salvation or qualification for ministry is measured by what political party you support. Let’s start inserting this into our doctrinal statements and New Members Class curriculum. And I say this perfectly understanding why Pastor MacArthur believes this is not an issue to agree to disagree upon. For in his statement he concludes that the Democratic Party affirms behaviors that reflect the reprobate mind of .

When you read , it does read like a biblical analysis of the modern day sins in our country. Paul begins by stating that the wrath of God is against “all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” [1:18]. From , he describes the ungodliness of men as being aware of God’s existence in creation and conscience, yet refusing to give Him glory or thanks. But instead exchanges the knowledge of the Creator for the worship of the creation. And then in , Paul describes how the unrighteousness of men is manifested in sexual immorality, lesbianism, homosexuality and a lack of natural affection in the family, which demonstrates that God in His wrath has given mankind over to a reprobate mind.

If there was one political party in America that fits the description of support for these behaviors we would have to say it is the Democratic Party. But does that automatically mean that the Republican Party is the party for the Christian?

Secular Liberalism and Conservatism Are Under the Wrath of God:

Any serious student of Scripture must always take into consideration the structural outline of a book in order to discern the transitions from one subject or scene to another. In the book of Romans the section beginning with the wrath of God being upon “all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” [], doesn’t end at of the same chapter, but continues through . In Paul writes, “Therefore you are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment, for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things” [].

Paul charges the secular conservative as being under the wrath of God for passing judgment upon the secular liberal because he practices the same sins the secular liberal promotes. When I read this I couldn’t help but to see the parallel between the secular conservative in Paul’s day and the present-day conservatives in our nation. Let me summarize some of the recent scandals of the Republican Party and you decide whether applies to what we are seeing today:

  • Former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley [Republican] adultery with former top aide. This Governor was a deacon and Sunday School teacher at a Baptist church. [2017]
  • Daily Mail: Oklahoma State Senator [Republican] Ralph Shortey, engaging in child prostitution, caught with a teenage boy in a motel room…According to the Associated Press report that as a state senator, Shortey “routinely voted with his Republican colleagues on bills targeting gay and transgender people,” including a measure passed in 2017 to allow business owners to discriminate against LGBT people.]
  • NBC News 10/21/2017 – Several consecutive groups knew Wes Goodman, a GOP lawmaker who supported “natural marriage, had been secretly engaging in sexual encounters with men… a self-proclaimed Christian conservative.

One of the most egregious acts of sin in recent times has been the murder of babies. And the party that has championed the cause for the unborn has been the Republican Party. This truth has caused many Christians to promote the philosophy of the single vote in support for the life of the unborn. But does the Republican Party really stand against abortion?

  • Elliot Broidy, former RNC deputy finance chairman paid $1.6 million to a Playboy Playmate he had an affair with, after she aborted his child. [The Guardian: A Republican theme on abortions: “It’s Ok for me, evil for thee” article by Arwa Mahdawi, August 25, 2018]
  • Scott DesJarlais a Republican congressman from Tennessee supported his ex-wife’s decision to get two abortions before their marriage… Even after all that information came out DesJarlais still had the gall to vote for anti-abortion bills and boast of having a “100% pro-life voting record”.
  • Kentucky Senator Rand Paul accused Republicans of being fake “pro-life” supporters [Newsweek.com; 7/3/19] – Quote: “Last year, I tried to attach to a spending bill a prohibition to have any money spent by Planned Parenthood. You know what happened? [GOP leadership] sat me down and one of the senior Republican Senators said, “We cannot have the vote today.” I said, ‘Why?’ He said ‘we might win.’” Last August, Paul’s Senate office issued a statement about Republicans blocking his amendment to “Defund Planned Parenthood.”
  • Chief Justice John Roberts [Republican] provided the decisive vote to preserve access to abortion in Louisiana [CNN.com 6/29/20]

According to LifeSite Catholic 9/4/20 – Trump promises to ‘fully defund’ Planned Parenthood if he wins election. Yet from 2017-18, the Republican Party had control in the White House, Senate and House. It was Dr. Russell Moore, from the ERLC who remarked when two pro-life bills failed before the Senate in February of this year, “It ought to be a national scandal that the US Senate failed to advance either of these basic and commonsense bills that would protect human life.” You tell me, which party do you vote for when it comes to the single issue of abortion? The party that supports abortion or the party that refuses to stop abortion?

If you support the secular conservative you need to think through Paul’s question to them, “And do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment upon those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? [] When a politician is committed to righteous policies but not righteous living, the Lord doesn’t endorse him, but condemns him. The wrath of God is against secular liberalism and secular conservatism.

Samuel Perry, “Dear Christian, If you recognize everything about a candidate is immoral other than their stance on abortion, then perhaps their stance on abortion doesn’t actually emerge from genuine morality at all. Maybe their position emerges from their immoral desire to dupe suckers.”

The Devil Is in the Politics:

The Bible describes the devil as “the god of this age” [], “the ruler of the world” [] and “the prince of the power of the air” []. This means that the devil has authority over sinners who occupy positions in government []. Yes, God created the institution of government to be a minister of good and an avenger of evil in society []. And on many occasions it fulfills this purpose and on many other occasions it has failed to fulfill its purpose. The reason for this is the devil, not Christ is ruling over every system of government in this world. If this were not true, why would Jesus command us to pray to God, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven?” []

The church’s struggle is not with politicians in Washington but with the devil himself. They are not the enemy but our mission field. Our enemy is one who hates God and those made in His image. He is not only God’s adversary but the believer’s as well []. Jesus even referred to him as “a murderer from the beginning” []. In other words, the devil murdered the human race when Adam fell in the Garden, “For as in Adam all die” [].

So we must understand that any political ideology that minimizes the importance of care for all image-bearer regardless of ethnicity, social class, age or gender is under the influence of the destroyer of man’s souls not the Savior of it. When Christians are tempted to choose between the lesser of two evils, or trifle with either/or ethics and yes/but deflections. The witness of the church suffers because its politics are being driven by situational ethics or relative views on morality, instead of a holistic view on matters of justice. In fact, the Lord often commanded Israel to care for the weak and afflicted in society because there was a tendency to overlook their needs. You never find a command to care for the rich and powerful, because it is a product of our sinfulness to always exploit weakness.

When the Lord called on apostate Judah to amend it ways in order to remain in the land He said, “if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin, then I will let you dwell in this place.” [b-7a] Justice between a man and his neighbor means to treat each neighbor right. If our theology leaves us to choose between the immigrant or the orphan, the poor or the unborn, the police officer or the unarmed African-American, we are not representing a biblical view on these issues but an irreligious one. For the book of James tells us that pure and undefiled religion entails showing compassion to the orphan and widow in their distress [1:27], abstaining from the sin of partiality [2:1-13] and demonstrating a righteous anger against injustice [5:1-6]. And he warns us that “whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” [Jas. 2:10]. We are guilty of all God’s commandments if we are selective in keeping only a few. We are in sin of the whole if we reduce and only keep a part.

There Is No Christian Vote Just a Christian who Votes:

My reasons for writing this article was not to provide a solution on how one should vote but to awaken us to a dilemma. When you place your vote for the support of a candidate, you may reason that you are not voting in support of the person’s behavior but his policies. But realize when you cast your vote it will only be interpreted one way, you support this candidate. Period.

Yes, no party is perfect, but also no party is Christian. When you vote you are essentially supporting which pagan you believe will bring some good to society. So voting is a common grace not a promotion of the Christian faith. There’s a difference. Therefore there is no such thing as a Christian vote; but a Christian who votes. In other words, you vote as one who professes Christ, but your vote itself doesn’t represent the kingdom of God, it doesn’t advance the gospel of Christ, it merely affirms your earthly citizenship. You are a Christian who votes just like you are Christian who plays a sport, or a Christian who watches a movie. Your involvement in these activities are not kingdom activities but Christian liberties we enjoy in this life. The only agenda of God’s kingdom that we are commanded to advance, is the gospel!

Therefore, if you chose not to vote, guess what, you would not be in sin and God’s kingdom will not be hindered from advancing. If you chose to vote, guess what? Your vote, regardless of who you vote for, doesn’t hinder God’s kingdom from advancing because His kingdom is not of this world []. Jesus is not building a political party; He is building His church. Jesus is not seeking to Make America Great, but making His kingdom great. And the last time I read my Bible, it revealed that God the Father does not give the title deed to the earth, to the donkey or the elephant, but to the Lamb []. So let’s be honest, when you vote, you are voting for the candidate that will further your cause, not Christ’s.

Your vote doesn’t cause God’s kingdom to come, or His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. So let’s stop trying to Christianize our vote; because our vote has nothing to do with determining our salvation. Our Christianity is based on faith alone, in Christ alone, and demonstrated by pursuing Christ-likeness. And to be Christ-like, is to promote the politics of Christ’s kingdom. For the apostle Paul wrote, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” []. The Greek word for “citizenship” (politeuma) is where we get the English word “politics,” which refers to a person’s behavior as a citizen of a nation. Our citizenship in heaven has nothing to do with what will take place in November. Our energies should be focused on promoting the interests of heaven on earth. Therefore as citizens of heaven:

We should be praying, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” instead of reciting , because the land is not groaning over the sins of America but longing for the revealing of the sons of God [].

We should be striving as a church of diverse opinions and ethnicities to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace []; instead of dividing over earthly political parties governed by the devil.

We should be more concerned about maintaining our Christian witness in a crooked and perverse generation [], than seeking to maintain our religious liberties.

We should seek to separate the Christian faith from politics and American patriotism; because America is not the bride of Christ, the church is.

We should put our hope in Christ, instead of putting our trust in politicians [].

1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I want you to know, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (ESV)

1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I want you to know, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (ESV)

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (ESV)

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2:1 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality.

12 For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God 18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; 19 and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. 24 For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

25 For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. 26 So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 27 Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. 28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God. (ESV)

2:1 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality.

12 For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God 18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; 19 and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. 24 For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

25 For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. 26 So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 27 Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. 28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God. (ESV)

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36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” (ESV)

5:1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.”

11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” 13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” 14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped. (ESV)

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eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (ESV)

ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key ’TEST’
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Victor Sholar
Victor Sholar serves as the pastor of Main Street Baptist Church in Lexington, KY. Holler at him on twitter: @victorsholar

C’mon Up!