THE SOVEREIGN RULE OF GOD
A. We live in a time of great uncertainty
1. Turmoil in places abroad
2. Terrorism in places at home
B. It is easy to be filled with anxiety
1. What does the future hold?
2. Will things get better, or only worse?
C. What attitude should the Christian have in such times as these?
1. Should we fear the future?
2. Shall we worry for our well-being?
D. The answer can be found in remembering that God is in control.
1. But is He really?
2. Even in times of uncertainty and anxiety – is He really in control?
3. It may help our thinking to understand “The Sovereign Rule of God”
4. “Sovereign” means having supreme power and authority
A. THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
1. Declared by the prophets…
a. Isaiah prophesied God would have the Medes overthrow Babylon
b. Isaiah 13:17-20
2. The prophets depicted the nations as “tools” in the hand of God
a. Isaiah 10:5-15 … note Isaiah 10:5
b. Using wicked nations to punish other wicked nations
c. But leaving none unpunished
3. The prophets proclaimed God’s judgment upon such nations as…
a. Babylon – Isaiah 13-14
b. Assyria and Philistia – Isaiah 14
c. Moab – Isaiah 15-16
d. Damascus – Isaiah 17
e. Ethiopia and Cush – Isaiah 18
f. Egypt – Isaiah 19
g. Edom and Arabia – Isaiah 21
h. Jerusalem – Isaiah 22
i. Tyre – Isaiah 23
4. All these judgments came true as prophesied; verifying God’s existence and sovereignty
a. For example… Isaiah 46:8-11
b. God sovereignty was verified in the case of Daniel…
1) When God revealed Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and its interpretation, Daniel came to realize the sovereign rule of God – cf. Daniel 2:19-21
2) Daniel prophesied of the rise and fall of the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman empires – Daniel 2:36-40
3) Daniel explained that Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a great tree and its fulfillment was to impress him with God’s sovereignty
a) Daniel 4:19-26
b) Note Daniel 4:17, 25, 32, 34-37
B. THE BASIS UPON WHICH GOD GOVERNED SUCH NATIONS…
1. Implied in Proverbs 14:34
a. A righteous nation is exalted, but a sinful nation is disgraced
b. This distinction (being exalted) based upon righteousness… Jeremiah 18:7-10
2. Some illustrations of this principle
a. Babylon, to be punished for its evil treatment of its subjects – Isaiah 10:1-4
b. Other pagan nations, as listed by Amos – Amos 1:3-2:3
c. Likewise Judah and Israel – Amos 2:4-8
3. God’s sovereignty over the nations in Old Testament times was clearly manifested. But what about today?
C. THE SOVEREIGNTY OF CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
1. God’s sovereignty is proclaimed in Messianic prophecy…
a. Pertaining to the Messiah’s reign – Isaiah 9:6-7
1) The government will be on His shoulder
2) There will no end to increase of His government
b. Regarding God’s everlasting kingdom – Daniel 2:44
1) Established in the days of the fourth kingdom, the Roman Empire
2) A kingdom which will never be destroyed – Luke 1:31-33
3) A kingdom which will break in pieces and consume all kingdoms
c. Such prophecies indicate that the sovereignty of God would continue in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ!
2. God’s sovereignty is professed by Jesus and His apostles…
a. After His resurrection, Jesus claimed all authority – Matthew 28:18
b. His apostles taught that Jesus had all authority
1) He is head over all things – Ephesians 1:20-22
2) All have been made subject to Him – 1 Peter 3:22
3) He is the ruler of the kings of the kings of the earth – Revelation 1:5
4) He will reign until He comes again – 1 Corinthians 15:24-26
a) A reign “in the midst of His enemies” – Psalm 110:1-2
b) Destroying with His coming the last enemy, death! – 1 Corinthians 15:26
c. The sovereignty once exercised by the Father is now being exercised by the Son!
D. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE CHRISTIAN…
1. Jesus is truly Lord of lords and King of kings!
a. 1 Timothy 6:15
b. Revelation 17:14; 19:16
2. No government exists without His approval – Romans 13:1-2
3. What happens in governmental affairs is a matter of His concern
a. He rules the nations with a rod of iron – Revelation 2:26-27
b. He brings nations into judgment, especially those that oppose Him (the theme of Revelation, cf. Revelation 17:14)
c. As did His Father, the Son has various means at His disposal to judge the nations (war, famine, and pestilence) – cf. Revelation 6:1-8
d. Don’t forget, such judgment may involve using one wicked nation against another!
4. The best thing a Christian can do for the welfare of his country:
a. Spread the gospel
1) It has the power to save men – Romans 1:16
2) And to make them righteous – Romans 1:17; cf. Proverbs 14:34
b. Pray fervently – Timothy 2:1-3; cf. Luke 18:7-8
1) Every time you pray, you are given a private audience with the King!
2) Sincere prayer to the King will have more influence than a trip to the ballot box!
c. Remember that our true strength is in the Lord
1) Not in weapons (such as horses)
a) Isaiah 30:15-16
b) Isaiah 31:1-3
2) But in righteousness, wisdom, and knowledge – cf. Isaiah 33:5-6
A. We need not look to the future with anxiety
1. For the one in control is our Lord and Savior, Jesus
2. If we seek His kingdom and righteousness first, our needs will be provided – Matthew 6:33
B. Even if persecuted, we can still rejoice
1. For the kingdom of heaven is ours! – Matthew 5:10-12
2. Jesus can help us to “weather the storms” – Matthew 7:24-27
C. Speaking of the sovereignty of Christ
1. His sovereignty over the nations began when He was raised from the dead
2. When we are united with Him in His resurrection, we can enjoy His sovereign rule
D. How can one be united with Christ in His resurrection?
1. By being baptized into His death and then raised with Him to walk in newness of life
2. Romans 6:3-11
Park Heights church of Christ
P. O. Box 107
1300 East Boynton Street
Hamilton, Texas 76531
“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”