Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | January 23, 2015

January 23, 2015 “The Only Real Theocracy”

 

“You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.”         (John 15:16)

Good Morning My Friends!

Sometime in my educational journey, perhaps high school, but more likely in college, I learned a new term regarding governance…that term was “theocracy”. According to the dictionary, theocracy is defined as “a form of government in which God is recognized as the supreme civil ruler”. From time to time, earthly endeavors of such governance were embraced, but only met with limited success. Interestingly, our own nation does, to some degree, recognize itself as a theocracy in the Pledge of Allegiance, where we declare that we are “one nation Under God”. Certainly, though, our collective history and our decision making processes would suggest that this is not reflected in the way we are governed. We are a democracy, not a true theocracy.

The only truly enduring example of a theocracy of which I am familiar is the Church itself. Here, I am not speaking of denominations or individual congregations…many of which have come and gone…but the Church Universal…the Bride of Christ. It was established by Him. It is maintained and perfected by Him, and the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. In this true theocracy, God is the supreme civil ruler and the founder of the Church.

Occasionally, you may be asked the question, “To what church do you belong? Where do you choose to worship?” When asked such a question, most people would naturally identify a particular church or denomination. More broadly, and more accurately, however, the reality is that the Church to which believers “belong” is the one that the Lord Himself called into being…the Church Universal. It is He that made the choosing, not we. This is what he told his followers in John’s gospel. Christian author, lawyer and pastor E.M. Bounds stated this fact in a most cogent fashion when he wrote,

“The Church is not a democracy in which we have chosen God, but a theocracy in which He has chosen us. The Church is the only society in the world that never loses any of its members, even by death.”

In the denomination in which I serve, as well as the individual churches, an annual record is kept of changes in membership numbers. We use terms like “we lost so many members to death, or by transfer to another denomination.” While this may be true in a certain sense, the Church Universal never diminishes. It only increases. The sheep know the voice of their Master. His seal is upon their hearts, and he remains jealous for His bride. The next time someone asks you ““What is your church”, I suggest you smile and reply, “The Lord has chosen me to be a member of His theocracy…the Church Universal.”  Let’s pray!

Living Lord; You have called me as one of Your own. I want to bear much fruit for You in my life, and You have provided me with every good and perfect gift to do just that. Thank You for such unspeakable grace and mercy. I praise You this new day, and make my prayer in Jesus’ wonderful Name. Amen!

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