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Pastor Nigel Kelly - How Should Christians Respond To The Impeachment Inquiry Of President Trump?

How Should Christians Respond To The Impeachment Inquiry Of President Trump?

Posted by Nigel Kelly on

Yesterday at church I handed out a guide for being aware of 20 temptations that could possibly arise to assail us as Congress begins the impeachment inquiry of President Trump, and how Jesus informed us through the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 to resist these temptations, the contents of which are provided below. 

This piece is not meant to argue for one political side over another, but instead to remind us of what God commands of us no matter what side we are on in such a time as this .

May this reminder help Christians and the church stay focused on what is most important and remain committed to Christ first and foremost, even as we defend our views and fight for what we deem best for our country. 

God Bless,

Nigel Kelly

 

With the news surrounding President Trump and impeachment, it appears that we are headed towards a tumultuous political season, one in which both sides will be at each other’s throats. This debate is very important no matter which side you are on.

However, as important as this debate is, it is imperative for Christians to be on their guard because temptations are coming our way. Within this chaotic climate, where the future hangs in the balance, Satan would love to pull us off course. Temptation is coming. I want you to be ready.

We have been examining the Sermon on the Mount and I just studied the end of chapter 6 where Jesus commands us not to worry. I have felt worry knocking at my door this week as I have followed the developments. I had to realign myself from worry to faith.

Between my own assessment of how I was handling the news and preparing this week’s sermon, I looked through the Sermon on the Mount for ways to help us see the attacks coming and be equipped to resist these temptations. Originally, I was going to conclude the sermon with this, but as you will see, there was far too much material, so I have included it below.

Despite what detractors may say, the Bible is immensely relevant. For those who care about what happens with this impeachment, it is safe to say that you will be tempted in several ways over the next few weeks and months. As I assessed the forecast and looked back to Jesus’ sermon on the mount for wisdom, 20 possible temptations surfaced. Each temptation will likely be hurled at many people, but although we live two millennia apart from this sermon, each temptation is anticipated and given a response in the sermon. We are not unaware of Satan’s schemes, nor are we ill equipped to resist, so long as we use what Jesus has given us.

Beware! As important as the impeachment process will be, the spiritual battle is the most real battlefield. Please do not get sidetracked. As much as America needs justice and truth, it needs Christians to stand firm in the convictions laid down by Jesus and resist temptation far more.

Below I have laid out 20 likely temptations and Jesus’ teaching on how to respond to each one. As you will see, these temptations can just as easily come to you whether you are a Democrat, Republican, or Independent. Satan can tempt across party lines; no one is exempt. Jesus, being perfect, had perfect politics and was still tempted, so even though you think you see the political picture clearly, and you believe your perspective is right, you are not free from attack. My point here, as will be clear, is not to help you pick a side, but given whatever side you are on, I aim to highlight Jesus’ guidance on how to resist the temptation coming your way.

Each entry will start with the temptation, followed by a brief explanation and how to resist the temptation, and end with the statement from Jesus (some are paraphrases) and the verse from the Sermon on the Mount.

Not every temptation may come your way, but some likely will if you care at all about this situation. Even if you don’t care about this, you can still benefit from this because these temptations can arise in other scenarios as well. Be on your guard. The devil prowls like a roaring lion. He is a master of deception and misdirection. If you are not careful your attention and allegiance can shift from serving God’s will to Satan’s. Do not fall for the trap.

May God who reigns give wisdom, discernment, protection, zeal, and power to resist.

Temptation #1- Worry

Some Republicans will be tempted to worry that Trump will be expelled from office. Some Democrats will be tempted to worry that Trump won’t get expelled from the office. Some may be tempted to worry about what this will do to the country, the economy, the tension between right and left. Instead, Jesus calls us to faith. We can rest in God’s sovereign plan.

Do not be worried about anything

Matthew 6:25

Temptation #2- Hate your enemies

Some will be tempted to hate the other side. “They’re lying, they’re incredulous, they’re wicked and ruining the country!” It’s tempting to hate liars and the wicked. It’s tempting to hate your enemies. Instead, Jesus calls us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.

Love your enemies

Matthew 6:44

Temptation #3- Retaliation

The opposing side will antagonize you. They’ll poke you. They’ll get under your skin. They want you to react. You notice that backhanded comment online. Your family member gives you that smirk from across the table. They’re begging you to fight back. Will you retaliate or will you turn the other cheek? What if the outcome of the whole thing goes the other way? How will you respond? Will you clap back or will you walk the extra mile with an enemy?

Turn the other cheek, give up your cloak, walk the extra mile

Matthew 6:39-42

Temptation #4- Hide your light

“Who cares about what’s right, when they’re tearing our country apart!” In the name of truth, justice, and what you think ought to happen with the President, you might be tempted to let your flesh rule instead of the light of Christ. Don’t hide your light, especially in a time like this.

Let your light shine

Matthew 5:16

Temptation #5- Feel crushed under the loss

Things may get dark, depending on which side you’re on and what happens. If things do go badly, you might be tempted to feel like you, and even the country, have lost everything. You may also blister under the mocking, the insults, and the persecution from the victors. Jesus calls us to rejoice, not because of suffering, but because He reigns.

Rejoice and be glad, your reward in heaven is great

Matthew 5:12

Temptation #6- Feud with your brother or sister in Christ

You will likely run into other believers who disagree with you. Don’t lose sight of their identity and yours. You are family in Christ FIRST! Don’t lose the unity of the Spirit in the fight for America.

Leave your offering there at the altar, and be reconciled to your brother

Matthew 5:24

Temptation #7- Treasure an idol above God

God is our treasure, but sometimes we chase others. Don’t let a rival be your treasure. Your wealth and the country’s prosperity are not whom we serve. We cannot serve God and His rival. Remain faithful.

You cannot serve God and wealth

Matthew 6:24

Temptation #8- Elevating the wrong kingdom

America is a great and glorious country. God has blessed it mightily. But God’s kingdom is the highest kingdom. Our citizenship and devotion are there first. The temptation will be to equate America with God’s kingdom. Don’t conflate the two and certainly don’t serve America over the Kingdom of Heaven.

Seek first His kingdom

Matthew 6:33

Temptation #9- Defend your side to be noticed by men

You may be right. You may have the right perspective, predict the future, argue for justice, and so on. But if you do those righteous deeds to be noticed by men and to seek their approval you will have no reward from your Father in Heaven. Instead, fight for your cause in order to please God.

Your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you

Matthew 6:4, 6, 18

Temptation #10- Judge your opponents

It’s tempting to judge the motives, intentions, and actions of the other side. Be careful how you judge because the same degree will be laid right back upon you. Jesus commands us not to judge others.

Do not judge so that you will not be judged

Matthew 7:1

Temptation #11- Ignore your own faults and shortcomings

It is easy to see the faults, failures, sins, and oppressions of other people, but it is painful to look at our own problems. Don’t correct another if you have not dealt with your own issues first.

First take the log out of your own eye

Matthew 7:5

Temptation #12- Avoid necessary conflict

Plenty of conflict is dangerous and unproductive and should be avoided at all costs. But there are other times where conflict is righteous and necessary. Some may want to avoid conflict and sit this one out. Jesus however said that after you have taken the log out of your own eye “you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” There are times when your brother needs the speck removed and you are the one to do it. Speak up (of course after the log is out of your own eye) when necessary.

Take the speck out of your brother’s eye

Matthew 7:5

Temptation #13- Spend your time and energy on fools

There are some people who are simply fools and no amount of effort, rational explanation, or offering incentives will induce them to be otherwise. When it becomes evident they are someone like this it is time to move on. Caution: Don’t be too quick to label someone a fool (see temptations 10-11).

Don’t throw your pearls before swine

Matthew 7:6

Temptation #14- Doubt God’s goodness in the storm

Things may get rocky for you and your tribe. God feeds the birds, He clothes the grass with flowers, He knows how to grant good things to those who love Him. This world is filled with storms and tribulations that are not attributed to God. Therefore, don’t forget God’s goodness, His kindness, and His love towards you just because the torrent is upon you. Trust in His character and provision.

Your Father who is in Heaven [will] give good gifts to those who ask Him

Matthew 7:11

Temptation #15- Unforgiveness

You might become severely wounded during this ordeal. If that happens it will be tempting to hold a grudge and refuse to grant forgiveness to your offender. The Lord’s prayer reminds us that we have been forgiven much. We are in no place to receive such forgiveness from God yet not offer the same to others. Forgive.

Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors

Matthew 6:12

Temptation #16- Disregard the Golden Rule

You all know it. You’ve been taught it. Treat others the way that you would want to be treated. This holds true even on the internet folks. Wherever you are, whomever you disagree with, treat them the way that you would want to be treated.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Matthew 7:12

Temptation #17- Be distracted from the real conflict

Politics and its effects upon all corners of society, especially in a season such as this, can be all consuming. It will be tempting to grant so much focus to the issues that you become distracted from the more important conflict. Jesus said there is a narrow road that leads to life but few find it. Many of those who end up on the broad road that leads to destruction will have been too distracted by the things of this world to notice which path they were on. Stay focused. There is a higher showdown than Trump v. Democrats. Make sure you’re on the right path and that you are pointing others to it as well.

Enter through the narrow gate

Matthew 7:13

Temptation #18- Listen to the wolves

Many will come to you claiming to be on the side of truth, goodness, and well-being, but inwardly they seek destruction, intentionally or unintentionally. Keep your eyes open for the wolves and give them no shelter, even if they present themselves as righteous and just.

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves

Matthew 7:15

Temptation #19- Allow wicked influences

The eyes are the gateway to the soul. What they observe molds the person. If the sources you allow to influence you, whether the information you receive, the arguments you believe, the people you listen to, and so on are wicked, then the more wicked you will become. What you allow in will alter you. If you accept good influences, you will grow. If you accept bad influences, you will digress. Be careful what you allow in.

The eye is the lamp of the body… if your eye is clear your whole body will be full of light

Matthew 6:22-23

Temptation #20- Move on without applying this wisdom

You might be tempted to pat yourself on the back because you read all these wise warnings. But if you fail to act upon them, to do what Jesus encourages you to do, then you will not be protected from the coming trouble. You have not learned these things if you succumb to these temptations as soon as they approach. You must do what you have learned is wise for this information to benefit you.

Build your house upon the rock

Matthew 7:24-25

 

 

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