The news is filled with reports of problems with the Affordable Health Care Act. It is impossible to register. Its premiums are more expensive than anticipated. Its coverage is more limiting. The requirement to use it contains exemptions for some.
On some level, it seems that everyone in Washington is disappointed with the new law. The President is disappointed, his cabinet members are on the defensive, and both houses of Congress, as well as both major political parties, are upset about certain aspects of the law. Obviously they differ on what they disagree with, but it would certainly be fair to say that the bottom line is that we have a law on the books that is ineffective, limiting, unavailable, cost-prohibitive, and not applicable to all citizens.
Think of how weak and impotent the hope of a Christian would be if our citizenship in the kingdom of Christ offered nothing better! What if…
…the gospel is not for all. Then there would be no universal commission. No Mk. 16:15,16, no Mt. 28:19, no Lk. 24:47, no Acts 1:8. There would be no confidence that it has the power to save both the Jew and the Greek (Rm. 1:16). A different message with a different prescription would be needed for the Jews, the atheist, the agnostic, the feminist, the homosexual, the rich, the poor, Muslim, etc. And if a person’s circumstances were a combination of the above, it would be a nightmare to determine which gospel is for you.
…the requirements are not the same. Then there would be different standards for admission into the kingdom. Some could buy their way in (the rich young ruler – Mk. 10:17). Some could only gain entrance through circumcision and keeping the Law (Acts 15:1). Some would be in the kingdom without receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:2), even though the Holy Spirit was promised to every Christian (Acts 2:38). Some would be saved through hearing the gospel of the New Testament, but others would also be saved who heard a “different gospel” (Gal. 1:6). Some would have to be baptized for the remission of sins, but others could simply believe their way to salvation and at a later and more convenient date be baptized to wash away their sins.
…the coverage is not the same. Glory, honor, and peace would only be for a limited few, not to the Jew and the Greek (Rm. 2:10). This would be the case because the lawgiver would be partial rather than impartial (Rm. 2:11). Statements like “…He appeared in order to take away sins…” (1 Jn. 3:5) would have a list of codicils and exemptions in fine print that would require a dozen lawyers and 40 pages of text to interpret. And Paul’s statement, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3) would be laughable. Of first importance would be the question: Which sins?
…the prayers of the faithful are limited to certain situations. Then to pray without ceasing would be a futile requirement (1 Th. 5:17). The effective prayer of a righteous man (James 5:16) would be, well, ineffective! No citizen of the kingdom would ever be able to approach the throne of grace in the confidence of receiving grace and mercy in time of need (Heb. 4:16). Anxiety would be the predominant tone in every prayer and supplication (Philip. 4:6).
…the birth of hope would be stillborn. In fact, our hope would not be new. Nor would it be different in any way to the hope of those who pray to idols (1 Pt. 1:3). We would in fact be, of all people, those most to be pitied (1 Cor. 15:19).
The truth is that no piece of legislation will ever be truly fair and fully effective for every citizen under every circumstance. Praise be that our citizenship is in a kingdom “not of this world.”
Keep studying! DC Brown ©2013