Born in humble circumstances to an obscure Hebrew girl, at first glance there was nothing to recommend the thought that he was destined for greatness; that he would, indeed, become the Saviour and Ruler of the world.
Without the accoutrements of worldly power, how would this baby, born in a cave in Bethlehem, become the “King of kings and the Lord of lords”?
Here lies the genius of God’s Kingdom:
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:26–31
God’s means are not those of the world—privileged birth, intellectual sophistry, or political and military power.
Rather, he chooses those things that are foolish in the world’s estimation.
And so, our boast is in the Lord, not in worldly status, privilege, or power.
This is pertinent to the present situation.
As we consider just two recent phenomena – COVID-LOCKDOWN and SAME-SEX ACTIVISM – we have seen the sudden triggering of unprecedented suppression of religious freedom in the Western nations.
Through the prohibition of public worship, the redefinition of marriage, legislative mandating of homosexual marriage, antidiscrimination laws, and criminalisation of ministry to homosexuals the West’s historic freedoms of religion and expression are denied.
All of this is carried by the mindless chant of social and mainstream media—the mantra of “inclusivity”, “social justice” and “staying together by staying apart”. With the question never asked, “But by which standard? By whose moral and ethical canon?” Brainwashed, the masses are compliant to the new social “ethics” as they mindlessly believe the groupthink of the elites—the media, academics, politicians, and supranational experts and celebrities.
This conveniently segues into the “Great Reset” of 2021 and the “New Green Deal” of the World Economic Forum (Davos). With the loss of fundamental freedoms hand-in-glove with “green” constraints on productive output, the West is entering an era of economic decline and authoritarian statism.
As Christianity is banished to the periphery, its legacy of Western liberal virtues is severely, if not, completely, eroded. Its values of individual liberty and responsibility, of limited government, and free civil society, that have created the West’s prosperity, are daily white-anted by the long march of cultural-Marxism through its institutions.
By their acceptance of middleclass welfarism, our parliaments, schools and universities, media, and even churches, are complicit in the rise of the power-state. By looking to the government for economic salvation, for ceaseless handouts, reckless government spending – cheered on by the voters – is mortgaged against the future of our own children and grandchildren.
The fall of Rome was likewise accompanied by the moral implosion of rulers and ruled and by escalating state welfare and debt.
However, from the debris of the Roman empire, another emerged. None less than that of the Son of Man who had ascended to the right hand of the majesty (Acts. 2:33-34; Heb. 1:13; 8:1):
I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.
Having ascended to the throne of the universe, the son of Man, Mashiach, has received all authority and dominion. Having been anointed himself, he now pours forth the Holy Spirit upon the people of the Kingdom. And this is to empower them to prosecute his crown-rights in the earth.
It is why Paul could say,
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ
2 Corinthians 10:3–5
These weapons, despite the world’s estimation, are not insignificant. As a Kingdom of Priests our weapons are mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds.
Our appeal is thus to the Throne of God, where Christ sits not only as our Advocate before the Father but also as the Ruler of the Nations.
So, what are our weapons? Simply Prayer and the Word of God in the power of the Spirit.
So first, Paul instructs us to pray for all those in authority, so that we might have peace and freedom to preach the Gospel (1 Tim 2:1-7), and second, Christ instructs us to disciple and teach nations to obey all that Christ has commanded (Mt 28:18-20).
Therefore, we are not only to pray for those in authority but also to teach them. But what do we teach them? To obey what Christ commands. And what does he command? Nothing different to Moses. Christ reiterates the Law of God, categorically stating that he has not revoked it, but rather renewed it (Mt 5:17-19; 5–7; Is 2:2-4).
This demands the Church repent of her theological artifice and cowardice. That she ceases her denial of God’s Law as binding under the New Covenant. God’s law-word, empowered by the Spirit, is both a tool and a weapon for dominion; not only a weapon to bring down spiritual and intellectual strongholds but also a tool to build a new Christian civilisation.
Just as Christian Europe emerged from the ruins of Rome, so too a new Christian civilisation will emerge from the rubble of the West. God judges to bring one down and another up. Nevertheless, the law of the Kingdom of God is one of increase.
While there will be no doubt more turbulence and testing, God’s power will prevail. He will raise up his Church and advance his Kingdom in the face of severe trials.
Despite the raging of the nations, the Lord will have them in derision (Ps 2). Seemingly powerless in view of the world’s might, the people of God will be victorious and occupy every cultural domain until he comes (Lk 19:13). Although, that victory will not be according to worldly power but the power of God—the power of prayer and the word of God. God’s blueprints for all domains of life will teach the nations how to prosper and to live (Lev. 18:5).
And so, the coming of Christ as the babe of Bethlehem, as the God-man, declares the death-knell to all of man’s pretensions to deity and, hence, to all totalisms. Humanistic man and his corporate manifestation in the state must now serve Christ as Lord. God in Christ came to live truly as man, conquering sin and death through his righteous life and the power of his resurrection. But the end-game was always the throne—ascending, as the “Son of Man”, to the lordship of the universe.
In this Christmas season, as nations rage and seek to throw off the Lord’s constraints, let us declare, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”!