Love Beyond

Love Beyond Your Politics Sermon Only Cal Jernigan August 30, 2020

Love Beyond Your Politics Sermon Only
Cal Jernigan August 30, 2020

Love Beyond Your Politics Full Service Cal Jernigan August 30, 2020

Love Beyond Your Politics Full Service
Cal Jernigan August 30, 2020

[00:00:00] Well, hi everybody. Hey as I often do, I want to do right now, and that is welcome you. Whether you are experiencing this online, or whether you are on one of our campuses, Hey, it's so good to have you. Thanks for being a part of this. We are together experiencing the year 2020 and the year 2020 is unlike any other year we've experienced. [00:00:17] I have a friend, Gene Apple. He made a statement. I heard of say this this past week. I thought it was so insightful. He said, when we look back on 2020, all of our lives are going to be defined by the year 2020. In other words, we're going to have our life before 2020, 2020, and then our life after 2020. That 2020 will be this great divide. [00:00:34] And we we know it's changing the life that we live. We know it's changing, you know, the way we're doing life. And we don't know necessarily where that's going to go, but 2020, uh, seemed to come out of nowhere. And the thing that makes 2020 so tough is it seems like it just never ends. Like, there's always another thing. [00:00:51] And so this week, there's a couple of things I want to talk about. Let's talk about a hurricane is bearing down on the, uh, the coast of Louisiana, this [00:01:00] hurricane that they're describing it as it's unsurvivable and that's such strong language. Isn't it for tense to, you know, such ominous floods, unsurvivable. [00:01:09] Now I would say that people would go, you know, that's exactly what the year 2020, it's unsurvivable, and yet folks were going survive. We're going to get to the other side of this. And when you just feel like you can't take anymore, another national tragedy happens with a, this week, the shooting of Jacob Blake, and I don't have all the facts and I don't know all the details and neither do you, but here's what I do [00:01:31] know, all right. This is a tragedy. This is, do we need, do we need this? This is so incredibly sad what happened. Now listen, I need you to understand something. This is somebody's son. This is somebody's father. This is somebody's friend. And, uh, I need you to understand when things like this happen there needs to be a response from us and it's not condemnation. [00:01:56] It has to be some sense of, uh, not apathy, but empathy, [00:02:00] where we care, where we just go we have to, folks, we have to mourn this. Listen, whenever anything like this happens, we have to understand our country is broken and this affects all of us. And this is a very, very tragic thing. Now, listen, all the people of color are our brothers and sisters. [00:02:19] They are all of us. We are all, they, we are all, made an image of God. We're all children of God. And we've got to understand something. We share the human race, we share humanity and folks, we got to care. And so we're going to pray about those two things, uh, at the conclusion of this time, when I get done. But I want you to understand we got to care, but this is what it feels like. [00:02:46] It just feels like more and more just keeps coming at us and coming at us and we're not thriving, but we said I'm barely even surviving and I can't take any anymore. Well, I think a lot of us would go, can I just it's have like a do over for this [00:03:00] year? Can I just like reboot the entire, can I just start over and give it another shot? [00:03:05] Of course, that can't happen. We go, can I get a timeout just so I can catch my breath? And again, I want to say, there's no way we, we just take what comes and we keep going and we keep going and keep going. Now, listen, I want to say something, um, the though we're not thriving and maybe this is not the best of our life. [00:03:23] I want to suggest that God is doing stuff in our lives right now that He would never be able to do otherwise. I believe that there's no other time in my life that I've seen more people come to faith in Jesus. I don't think I've ever seen a time when more people are open to the possibility that God is and that He's alive and that He's doing something. Now, why He's doing this and how this is, [00:03:42] I don't understand all that, but I know that more Bibles are being sold and had been sold in years. I know something's going on. And I think God is redeeming the day. And, and I, I think if you just keep your eyes open, we're going to see that God was up to something that in the midst of the storm, we couldn't see [00:04:00] but we're being changed and transformed. [00:04:02] And my prayer of course, is that it's more, and more into the image that He wanted us to be. So to that end, we'll just take what comes. So we're in a series right now, we're calling it Love Beyond. And we're, we're talking about things that tend to stop us when it really comes to loving. Limits that we hit, that we go, I'm not going to go any farther. [00:04:19] And so in the series, as we've been working our way through it, we, we base it on a simple statement that Jesus made. A simple statement, a command, but a very difficult truth to absorb. And every week of the series, I've been taken us back to this verses John 13:34-35, Jesus said a new command I give you. Love one another as I have loved you, [00:04:40] so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. And, and, and you go, you keep using that verse, and I talked in the first week about, uh, a pastor down in Argentina who preached the same sermon on that verse over and over and over. And he said, I'll stop preaching it [00:04:57] when my church starts living it. [00:05:00] And folks, this is something we need to understand. This is foundational to the Christian life. Jesus said, there's going to be a way to prove that you're one of mine. Now, He did not say you're going to be, you're going to prove you're one of mine if you have the correct theology. He did not say you're going to, but if you have the right tattoos, they're going to know you by your tattoos or your t-shirts or your Facebook posts.He didn't say, they're going to know you by your, you know, WWJD bracelets or your bumper stickers or your Christian jargon. He didn't say any of that. He said, they're going to know you by the distinction of your love. And they will then know who I am. Which means something important. They will know us by our love, or Jesus will go unknown. [00:05:41] They're going to know us by our love or Jesus is going to go unknown.And church we got a decision to make. So it seems like this is an incredibly timely service. So in this series so far, there's a number of things that we've covered. We've talked about loving beyond number one, we talked about our fears. [00:05:55] We talked about the fact that so many of us will go to a certain point, go, we won't go beyond because we're [00:06:00] afraid. And we use that to justify disobedience. God goes no. Uh, then the next week we talked about living beyond our differences. The idea that as long as you're like me and I like you and, [00:06:08] and everything's alike we're good. But don't ask me to cross that line that won't get you very far. Last week Caleb talks about loving beyond your comfort and the idea that you just got to get out and do some stuff that makes you uneasy, but, but God's got ya. But you gotta be willing to take the steps. [00:06:24] So, so far so good. This is awesome. I don't think we've gotten a lot of pushback. People go, okay, I'm getting this, but today what we're going to do is, um, I gotta be honest with you. This message is going to be, be really candid with you, man, it's going to get a little, it's going to get a little more dangerous. [00:06:41] So what I have here, I have a couple of things, symbols of what we're going to talk about. So I have a hard hat, protect my head. We've got a Bulletproof vest and I got a stick of dynamite. These, these represent the subject that we're going to talk about because folks that's, it's explosive. [00:07:00] It really is. [00:07:01] And I, if there's ever a week, I'm okay that there's not a whole lot of people in the building with me. It would be this week, uh, because, uh, I would probably need one of these, if it was, it's a, it's a topic that makes us really, really kind of uneasy and, uh, brings out maybe some of the worst of us. [00:07:21] And what we're going to do today is we're going to talk about, are you ready? Here? It comes here, comes loving beyond our politics. And all of a sudden you start going wait, what do you mean loving beyond our politics? Yeah. We're going to talk about loving, beyond our politics. It's one of these things where I could say the number of ways we could talk about that line. [00:07:41] We could say like, um, you know, some people would say this, okay, faith in God belongs over here. And you know, politics belongs over there and there's a line that separates and marks the two. And we can talk about that. We can also say no, somebody says, no, I should take all of my faith and just go run over here. [00:08:00] [00:07:59] And you, cross whatever lines politically and become vocal as I can possibly be. And folks that this is not what I'm talking about in this message. What I'm talking about is loving beyond your politics, which is that line, that when somebody sees politics, different than you do, differently than you do, where you don't shut them down and you don't shut yourself down where you continue in a relationship and you continue in conversation, you continue to learn. [00:08:26] And so many of us go, you know, that aisle thing, not on the other side. And I want to talk about that because I think it's really not doing us any favors in our lives. And I think we want to get beyond now. Mixing, uh, faith in, uh, you know, uh, the whole idea of faith and politics, you know, it's kind of like mixing nitroglycerin, you know, you gotta be a little bit careful. [00:08:48] And so I will try to be a little bit careful. But I want to do this because I really do want to have more or less a family talk. And that's the nature of this measure a little bit different. And I just want to talk to ya church. I want to talk to you [00:09:00] about the things that I really think we need to think about. [00:09:02] And what I want to do, this is my prayer for this message is that we pull ourselves up a little higher. Okay? That, that we literally, we lift our view and we see something maybe we don't tend to see .Now why in the world would we want to talk about politics in church? So let's just go there. Why talk about politics in church? [00:09:20] And first reason would be, because everything is now politicized. And if you're prone to take notes, write, I've got about five or six them I want to suggest. Why are we talking? Because everything now is politicized. Everything. It seems like a good place to begin. Tell you to acknowledge that everything is politicized. [00:09:37] It means one of two things you're either unaware or you're in denial. Everything around us is now politicized. It's just the world we're living in. I talked a couple of weeks back about the fact that the news is politicized. And folks the the pandemic is politicized. Not that it exists, but how, you know, how big of a deal is it? It all depends on who you're listening [00:10:00] to. [00:10:00] Even the Centers for Disease control, the CDC it's been politicized. You might know that it originally started off it was like, it was kind of a Republican thing. It was like, yay they're in our court and then it kind of became a child of the Democratic Party and just kind of go, wait a minute. [00:10:13] What's going on here? We can talk about the issues of racism and law forcement, highly politicized. And we just talked about the tragedy of Jacob Blake. We could talk about the economy and the discussions of the economy. Where's the economy going? What does it mean? Highly politicized. We honestly can't even talk about face masks without being political. [00:10:36] If you wear one, if you don't wear one, what are you saying? Do you mean social distancing? The same sort of thing. Even whether or not a church should be open or it should be closed as politicized. Everything around us these days is politicized. We ignore this at our own peril. Here's the second reason why I think we should talk about politics in church because of the very nature and relevance of politics requires that we engage in the subject. [00:11:00] [00:11:00] Now, let, let me explain what I'm talking about. The English word politics derives from a Greek word and the Greek word is politika. Politika, it's literally in Greek it means the affairs of the city. The affairs of the city, the word police, P O L I S like Minneapolis, Minneapolis, Minneapolis. [00:11:24] That is the word for city. That's a Greek word for city. So politika is the affairs of the city. So the question is who should be concerned about the affairs of the city? Well, I would think maybe we should be as well as others that the church and people who attend church should be. In fact, I want to show you something. [00:11:43] If you go, in the Old Testament, when the Israelites were taken captive in Babylon and they were held there, they were held there much longer, you know, years than they wanted to be. And God spoke through the prophet, Jeremiah to the people in exile. And he said this [00:12:00] seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. [00:12:05] Now, I want you to stare at that for just a moment, seek the of peace and prosperity of the city. In other words, invest yourself in the city, invest yourself in the affairs of the city. See some people say Christians in politics shouldn't have, okay but hang on a second. If we're citizens of the city, we ought to have something to do with the involvement of what goes on in that city. [00:12:25] And while we don't think of ourselves as exiles, I'm going to end this message by trying to explain to us that yes, we are. We're more in exile than we know, but we ought to invest ourselves while we're here, because that's what God called us to do. Now folks, we are not above involvement. We are not beyond involvement. [00:12:45] We're called to be involved in the culture in which we live. Peter said it this way in 1 Peter 2. Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human authority: whether the emperor, whether to the emperor, as a supreme authority, or to [00:13:00] governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. What? [00:13:08] Submit ourselves to human authorities. Yeah, that's what the Bible teaches. That's what scripture teaches. Now how does this all work? It's a mystery folks. I don't understand, but I do know that God uses governments to accomplish His will. He's not limited by, He's not confined by He's not defined by, but He uses governments and it's in His mystical way that He does that. [00:13:32] I think so often what's going on in the, in the government and the world and politics around us is so much more than meets the eye, but it does not mean that God is not there. A third reason why I think we ought to talk about politics in church is because in politics, contempt has become both justified and normalized. [00:13:50] We acknowledge most of us acknowledge that we are about to enter into the most contentious election cycle we've ever been in, of course we're already in it, but that the Presidential [00:14:00] Election in the United States is going to be the most divisive, ugly thing that most of us have ever seen in our lifetime. [00:14:05] We are bracing ourselves, just like we did for the hurricane, for the effect of the election and what it's going to do. Now, earlier in the summer, I interviewed Arthur Brooks, a professor from Harvard who wrote the book, Love Your Enemies. And he talked about the issue of contempt and we, and he, and I talked about that to some length. [00:14:23] I want to remind you about what contempt is. Contempt is utter disgust for somebody else and somebody else's point of view. It seems these days, it takes so little for us to hit that point of utter disgust. When, when somebody just it's it's somebody of the other party says something. It is so distasteful to us. [00:14:44] And, and we, and we show it all over our face and it comes out in our words and in our actions. Well, one recent study found that 15 to 20%, 15 to 20% of both Republicans and Democrats, ready for this? Thought, the country would be better [00:15:00] off if large numbers of the opposing party just died. 15 to 20% of both parties at the other large percentages would just die. [00:15:14] And folks were trying to shove everybody out now. It's holding others in contempt. We treat those who disagree with us on political issues with contempt as though they were idiots, instead of holding others with respect, who people who see a view of an issue have a different point of view. See a different solution to a problem [00:15:36] then you see, or see the problem differently than you might see it. And, uh, they have a solution they think is preferable or it's better. We've even gone so far that I've literally run into people who say that if you walk with God and you hold that point of view, whatever that is, um, they'll say this to people, then you cannot possibly [00:16:00] actually be sincere in walking with God. [00:16:04] Wow, C. S. Lewis, he said that, you know, something, all of us need, are what he called second friends. He said, second friends are, you know, your first friends or all those people that you hang out and you get, and they get you and all that. And we have first friends, but he says, second friends are a very special group of people. [00:16:22] And, uh, he says, second friends are those who you respect but they disagree with you. They have a different point of view. They don't, they don't align. In fact, let me read you what he said about second friends. He said he, a second friend has read all the right books, but it's got all the wrong things out of every one. It's as if he spoke your language, but he mispronounced it. He just doesn't quite get it, but here's what C S Lewis said. [00:16:47] Get a second friend and listen to them and learn from them because they can see what you can't see and they can say what you're not about to say. I want to [00:17:00] take this a little bit further. It's gotten so bad that politicians are now afraid to be seen with each other if there across the aisle. [00:17:10] They don't want pictures taken because what will happen is it is if they're seen having lunch with a person of the opposite party or having a conversation or with a smile on their face, then all of a sudden what will happen is that the picture will get manipulated and will be used against the base, the financial base and the support base of that politician. [00:17:28] So now they can't even hang out with one another for fear of what will be manipulated because of it. It reminds me of what happened to George Bush and Ellen DeGeneres. I don't know if you saw this. They, they, uh, they ended up next to each other at a, at a, a football game. And, uh, they were having a good time. [00:17:48] They were talking, people had taken pictures and all this, and this thing went viral and it blew up. And what blew up about it is, uh, is that, can you believe they're talking to each other? [00:18:00] And folks, they enjoyed the time together. Both of them stated that, but both of them paid dearly in their political base for the fact that they were talking to somebody who doesn't agree with them on everything. [00:18:12] And, and, you know, what's really sad is when two people are enjoying a football game together and, uh, they're in harmony with each other and it bothers us, that's politics. That's what politics is. I'll tell you what really bothers me about this picture is that if you look at the caption that it was, that's what was taken at a Cowboys game that should bother you. [00:18:37] They were at a Cowboys game, but it's redeemed because the Packers were beating the Cowboys when the picture was there. So we're all good. All right. We're all good. [00:18:49] You know what the Word of God tells us if you're a believer? In fact, let me just show you. All right. We're going to go through the book of Colossians here. Let your conversation be [00:19:00] always full of grace, seasoned with salt so that you may know how to answer everyone. Be very, very careful to not show contempt. [00:19:11] Be very careful to not treat people with disrespect. Be very aware. Let me tell you another reason why I think we ought to talk about this in church. Uh, maybe because of fear is now overwhelming us. W we are just being inundated with all these reasons we ought to be afraid. It's being weaponized now, fear is being weaponized against us. [00:19:31] And I want to say three things that fear does. I want to talk about this for just a moment, three things fear does, number one, fears, fear, motives, man. You get somebody riled up. It'll get somebody to do what they wouldn't do otherwise. It'll yeah, man. It'll motivate. Here's the second thing fear will do is it'll manipulate. [00:19:48] People can figure out I can get you motivated. If I manipulate your emotions about something you ought to be afraid of. And they'll use fear as the means to get you moving the direction they want you to go feeling [00:20:00] and saying the things they want you to say. And you know, the most sinister of all those, the third one fear monetizes. [00:20:07] There's an industry folks that is literally geared to keep us divided. Division sells. Uh, these, these, uh, rifts and arguments and ugliness, all of this is marketable. It monetized alot of people, are making a lot of money over this. Folks when our fears get the best of us, our wisdom gets the worst of us. [00:20:28] We should talk about that. And then the one that honestly, uh, why talk about it, this, this one right here, because few issues threatened to divide or destroy the church more than politics. I want to ask you a question. Don't answer this. All right. There's certainly don't answer this out loud. Was Jesus a Republican or was he a Democrat? [00:20:52] No, don't, don't answer that. More than ever before in my lifetime, I'm watching something happen. Both the [00:21:00] Republican Party and the Democratic Party are courting the church. Like I I've never seen this before. Which in one sense is a, it's a compliment. Finally, you know, they're like realizing there's a lot of people who were involved and, and yet what we're doing is we're taking Jesus and we're trying to divide Jesus between two political parties. [00:21:18] Cause both parties are claiming Jesus's for their agenda and folks, this is, this is a problem. Since having Jesus on your site can sway the outcome of an election we've got to get Jesus over there. And, um, Let me ask you a simple question. Don't don't answer it out loud. Which, which political party would Jesus join or some people call, well, that's, Pastor that's easy. [00:21:43] Okay that's easy because Jesus was always right. Right? Jesus always right. And God was always right. Right? Right. So, right, right, right, right, right. Republican. Right, right, right. Because that's ridiculous. Hey, no. When Jesus [00:22:00] rode into Jerusalem and he was really ready to pay the ultimate price, what did he ride? [00:22:06] He rode a donkey and since a donkey is the sign line of the Democratic Party symbol is obviously he'd be a Democrat. And other people go wait a minute what do, when you're talking about Jesus hung out with publicans and sinners. Publicans and sinners. That's really close to Republicans and sinner. And people, [00:22:24] what are you talking about? Jesus was a health dispensing medical miracle man, who healed people and didn't charge them anything. He'd be a Democrat. And folks we can go back and forth over this thing and it gets absolutely stupid and ridiculous. Here's what I know is that many people, uh, who love Jesus disagree politically. [00:22:49] And that you can have a very sincere person who aligns himself with this party and another very sincere Christian who aligns himself with that party. And it's not the [00:23:00] dividing line. It just simply isn't. But I do want to point out, um, and let me just point out a simple concept just as the shortest distance between two points is a straight line division is always the surest path [00:23:17] to destruction. We talk about how nations rise and they fall from within. They begin to divide. Jesus astute as always picked that up. And in Matthew, he said this, Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. Is it possible folks that what's happening here [00:23:43] is that Satan is having a heyday with us? And he's using hatred that somehow has now become acceptable and justified, to divide us so that he can conquer this incredible thing that we have and that we share. I could ask ya, well, how [00:24:00] much do you love the nation? And you might say, well, I love the nation alot. [00:24:03] In fact, I ever since I was a little kid, can I remind you about something ever since you were a little kid. I want to put something up to see if you recognize this. Well, of course, of course, you, you recognize this from the time we were a little, I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. [00:24:28] Do we still believe that? Are we still about that? We're creating now the Divided States of America. We color code them. We talked about what happened in a civil war. We talk about the coast against the center. Hmm. If I were Satan and I wanted to destroy a nation, how would I do it? Divide them from within. If I were Satan, and I wanted to divide a church, how would I do it? Divide it from within. Listen, I only have a few moments left to finish this, [00:25:00] [00:24:59] so I want to just talk about, I want to take this somewhere. I want to, I want to propose something, if so again, it's family talk church. Let me suggest. That we do. We do it differently. What if, instead of just going along with the status quo, what if, what if, what if we took a higher road? What if we took a higher road? [00:25:21] And what if we took this verse right here? What if we took this and took it to heart? In Colossians 3, it says, since you, since then you have been raised with Christ set your hearts on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. [00:25:39] What if we literally determined that I'm going to think higher, that I'm going to understand something is beyond what I can just see and experience here that there's a greater, more important thing to pay attention to. What if we took a higher road? There's a second one what if we celebrated the fact that our greatest [00:26:00] citizenship was in heaven? [00:26:02] You know, it is, I mean, it's very clear in Philippians. Our citizenship is in heaven. What does this mean? It means we have dual citizenship. You see, I I'm a, I'm a citizen of a country as you are, but I'm also a citizen of a kingdom. I, I belong to heaven. When I gave my life to Jesus, he invited me into his kingdom and his kingdom is not like the world. [00:26:28] It has different values and, but He invites us in andHe invites every one of us in. And you're not limited. You, you, you don't get excluded. It's, it's all it you can get in. But you have to understand that the kingdom of heaven has different values that He expects us to live by. But what if instead of living by the earthly values that we're [00:26:49] surrounded and inundated with what if we turn that? And cause we, we do that and then we try to squeeze our way into heaven with all that junk. What if we turned that around? What if we said, you know what, I'm going to be [00:27:00] here and I'm going to live here, but I'm going to take all the values that I learned about the kingdom of heaven [00:27:05] and I'm going to let them, let them dictate how I treat people here. Do you understand how much you would stand out? How different you would actually be? Which takes us to athird one. What if we took our role as an ambassador for Christ as our most noble assignment, while here on earth? You see I'm here. [00:27:26] I'm only here temporarily. I believe that with all my heart, but, but, but I'm here because, because Jesus has literally commissioned me to do something and that is to represent Him the sovereign one. In a land that I don't belong, I live in, but I don't belong to, but literally what I'm to do is I'm to invite people, uh, to His kingdom and, and I represent Him and His values and I show people what He's all about and that's what He wants for you and me to do. [00:27:56] So the question is, would I be willing to trade [00:28:00] influence in His kingdom to have some earthly influence? So, so in other words, if I felt the need to get so amped up politically, that I was literally shutting doors in people's faces and literally shutting down relationships because I had to be right, because this is what my party says. [00:28:18] And, and then lost all the ability to influence them for that kingdom. Would I have ever made a good exchange? Think about the fact that there are people around you who respect you until you go off on that. And then you lose your chance to influence them for a greater good, more important than the kingdom of God. [00:28:39] What if, what if we took preserving the unity of the church as seriously as God does? You know, He does, He does. Let me show you. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace, see all this infighting and all this arguing and all this stuff, you know, it's like kind of the way it's become. [00:28:59] God never [00:29:00] blesses that He never says, that's what I wanted. That's what I want to, you're doing it great. What if we cared as much about keeping that, you know, how would we do that? Oh, I got it. I got it. What if we made our church a politically neutral zone? What, what does that mean? Well, what that means is what if, when we came to church, we just took our voter ID cards and we checked them at the door and we said, not in here. [00:29:28] Not here. That in here, we understand something far more significance, something far higher is taking place than anything represented on a voter ID card. So, so what if we came in here and we just said, I'm going to get my word. I'm not going to get into this. You know, we do that. We do that on other things. [00:29:50] Can I just point out, I don't mean to trivialize this, but you know, we do that with our football teams. Hey, Hey, I'm a Cardinals fan. Hey, I'm [00:30:00] not, I'm a Cowboys fan. We don't get into a fight in church over that. We save that for the lobby. No, no, no. We don't get in a fight over that. We understand that's not as important as what we're in here dealing with. [00:30:13] What if we took that same frame of mind? Instead of thinking that's the most important thing, folks, we all have these kinds of loyalties. What if we changed it? So here's what I want you to understand now. What I'm not saying is I'm never going to speak out on an issue that I think is a moral issue that I think God's calling me to address. [00:30:32] I'm not saying I'll never speak about that, but here's what I am saying. Folks, I'll never endorse a candidate. I'll never tell you who to vote for, nor will this church. We're not here representing one party. We're here creating a bond between people who literally are learning how to love one another. And we're not here to divide. [00:30:55] We're here to unite and bring people. I want people from every party [00:31:00] to come in here and go, it's safe here. It's safe. And my promise to you, church is we'll do everything to maintain that. And again, you can check us on that. So what about this upcoming election? Pastor what do you advise we do? This really not hard. [00:31:16] I'd advise you to do just the handful of things. Number one, I would encourage you to do your, your homework. Investigate the different parties and the platforms, investigate the candidates, investigate the past and investigate their stance on things and do, do your homework and understand what each of these stands for and what they represent. [00:31:35] And then when you're getting all that, you're going to have a better understanding of what wisdom would dictate you do. And then as you go through all that work, I would encourage you with all of my heart. Pray. God, what do you want me to do? What is the smart thing? What is the thing that you would have me? [00:31:49] How should I go about this? Then I'd encourage you to vote. I'd encourage you to vote, get out there and vote, vote for the candidate that best [00:32:00] represents the solution to the problem of our city. As you think, you know, it's the best way to out of it,.Support that candidate. And then after you vote, respect the process. [00:32:15] And there's a lot of talk about this respect process, but through it all respect the person, respect the candidate, respect the people who are different than you, who agree with you, who don't, uh, who, all who agree with you, respect the people who don't agree with you. Okay. Now here's what happens. Here's how fear gets used. [00:32:36] And I'll close with this. Do you know what will happen? Do you know what will happen to the church of so and so gets voted in? This is how you hear it. Do you know what happened if and so and so gets reelected? You know, and all of a sudden a scenario gets put before you. And the implication is as well. If you're a part of this kingdom over here, the implication is, is that that kingdom is going to suffer because so and so, [00:33:00] and I want to suggest something to you. [00:33:02] It's not going to happen that way, that regardless of who becomes the President of the United States, regardless of who gets voted in, you know, whatever, regardless. That King still sits on His throne and nothing that can happen on this terrestrial ball. Is terrestrial ball is going to change the celestial reality of who He is and what His reign is all about. [00:33:28] Which means if you understand it, it means He does not need any politician or any political system to accomplish His will or, or, or to see His way come to pass. He doesn't need it. He, He, it's not hoping so, and so gets voted in. He's not working the election. He doesn't need it folks. And I close with just the simple, I'm going to ask you a question. [00:33:53] Simple question, for all the places on this planet right now, where [00:34:00] on this planet is the church growing the fastest? Give you a second to think about that. Where is God doing more in a society than He's doing anywhere else right now? You're ready for the answer. Fastest growing church in the world, Iran. It's in Iran. You go Iran? Iran's primarily a Muslim country. [00:34:24] Sure it is. Yeah it is. The Church is growing faster there than anywhere else on the planet. God doesn't need political systems to do His will. He's not subject to the, He's above them. He calls us be above this, be a part of a greater kingdom. So here's what we're going to do. I want us to pray and I want us to do this. [00:34:46] I want you to do this in your home if you're there. And I want us to do this on all of our campuses. So I'm going to stop talking right now. I'm going to hand this off to our Campus Pastor on the campus you're on. I'm going to plead with you, don't go. The most important thing, folks, the most [00:35:00] important thing that we can do is we can lift up our prayers to God. [00:35:04] And we're going to do that as a community, and we're going to do that before we leave. So let me just stop talking, hand it off to them and they'll take it from here. [00:45:00]

Love Beyond Your Politics

by Cal Jernigan • August 30, 2020

Politics have become a leading source of division in our country. Many families have been torn apart from differing political perspectives. Christians are called to unity and love, yet many of us struggle loving across political lines. How do we take Jesus’ command to love God and love our neighbors seriously even when we strongly disagree with someone else? Pastor Cal Jernigan gives a powerful message on how to Love Beyond politics.