|Martin Luther 1483-1546|
GALATIANS CHAPTER ONE VERSE FOUR reads, “Who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age.” About this verse Martin Luther comments, “Paul calls this present world evil because everything in it is subject to the malice of the devil, who reigns over the whole world as his domain and fills the air with ignorance, contempt, hatred, and disobedience of God.” Luther continues, “….The people of the world are the slaves of the devil. If we are not in the Kingdom of Christ, it is certain we belong to the kingdom of Satan and we are pressed into his service with every talent we possess.” (Commentary on Galatians).
What is Luther’s point? It is this: the realm of civil government is the realm of the Devil. Yes, the Devil is on God’s leash. God controls him, but that doesn’t change the fact that civil government is in the Devil’s realm. It is the realm where darkness manipulates and dominates. (Think Hillary and “The Donald”).
We are thankful for civil government. Without it life would be intolerable. However, the Bible teaches us to not expect too much from it. As Christians, our hope is in a different government, the Kingdom of God. In this fallen world civil government, at best, is a mixture of good and evil.
This is important because in America the presidential elections are fast approaching. We Christians need to do our duty. We need to vote. But as we do so we need to renounce a worldly idealism. Civil Government cannot save. It cannot give us what we really want.
I know that for many the options on the presidential ballot are not that appealing, but we must vote anyway. All men are affected by sin, so no matter who you vote for, it is a vote for the lessor of two evils. As Christians we can do this because our hope is not in this world. Out hope is in the world to come and the perfect government that awaits those who believe the gospel.
For materialists this world is all there is, and civil government is the only government they ever expect to know. That is why they are so strident. All their hopes for life and fulfillment rest upon temporal politics. We Christians betray our faith when we think the same way. Therefore, do your duty. Vote! But do so confessing that there is nothing ideal about politics. We live in a fallen world. Put your hopes and expectations in the perfect government that will be ours in the world to come.