Yesterday's landmark Supreme Court decision has far-reaching ramifications for American Christians. While the nation's pundits and "experts" argue about health care and taxes, the true impact of yesterday's ruling goes largely unnoticed.
Justice John Roberts, in the majority opinion, affirmed that Congress cannot mandate behavior. However, Congress can use its taxing power to regulate behavior in any way it chooses.
Whether you follow politics or not, this should alarm every Christian.
In a society that's growing more hostile to biblical Christianity every day, the Supreme Court has ruled that Congress has the power to force U.S. citizens to do (or not do) certain things.
Why does this matter?
Your Pastor has the right to speak out against abortion, right? We have freedom of speech, and no one can take that away from you. But they can say, "You want to speak out against abortion? Go ahead. But we're going to tax your church 100%." Now what, Christian?
You need to be prepared. Real persecution of Christians in America is right around the corner. We could experience the types of horror going on all over the globe - in your lifetime.
Perhaps even before your next birthday.
Are you ready for that kind of battle?
How We Must Respond
1. Look in the mirror.
Christians must realize that much of our nation's moral decline is our fault. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men."
Our Pastors give Sunday morning pep talks in front of thousands in a football stadium instead of discipling a flock with God's Word. Christians get "slain," bark like dogs, and seek after the next sign at a faith healer's conference instead of taking God at His Word. God wants us to seek Him, be continually filled by His Spirit and be satisfied in Him.
When we do, we'll preserve the morality of our nation like salt preserves meat. We'll make the world around us thirsty for Jesus like salt produces thirst. Why would anyone want what we have? Our divorce rate is higher than nonchristians. We bicker and fight worse than nonchristians. We act more prideful than nonchristians. We are bland in America. But at least we make a lot of noise.
It's time to look in the mirror, get into our bibles, and allow God's Spirit to reveal Jesus Christ to our hearts. Only God can restore the saltiness to America, and it's only going to happen when individuals truly lay their lives aside and decide Jesus is all they need.
A time is coming, very soon, where it's really going to cost something to be a Christian in America. Will the cares of this world choke you out, or will you stand?
2. Preach the Gospel.
When each one of us decides we're tired of playing church, and that Jesus is all we need, we'll want to share what we have. And only the Gospel holds the power to affect any change in America. So it's time to make our choice. How's the music at church? How's the fellowship? Getting goose bumps at the latest conference? Read any good books about how to have your best life now?
Is that what Christianity is about? Singing songs about how much we love Jesus while most of America perishes, forever? Having our best life now instead of being fully satisfied by the bread of life? If we care about the people around us, we'll seek to save them from the oncoming train that's racing toward them, before it's too late. The power of that life-giving message is America's only hope.
3. Pray for your leaders.
Most of all, pray for them to make wise decisions. That we'll live in peace to worship freely and freely tell others about Christ. Soon, you won't even recognize America. Make sure you have your faith in Jesus Christ when every institution America holds dear comes crashing down around us.
4. Respond like Jesus.
How would Jesus respond to an out of control government, seeking to limit liberty while levying unfair taxes?
Thankfully, we don't have to wonder. All we have to do is roll the tape.
"Then they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and the Herodians, to catch Him in His words. When they had come, they said to Him, 'Teacher, we know that You are true, and care about no one; for You do not regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?'But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, 'Why do you test Me? Bring Me a denarius that I may see it.' So they brought it.And He said to them, 'Whose image and inscription is this?' They said to Him, 'Caesar’s.'And Jesus answered and said to them, 'Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.'And they marveled at Him."(Mark 12:13-17)
Christian, Jesus lives in you. Right? The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead empowers you right now, in this moment. Right? Then why isn't this nation marveling at Him?
When the people of this nation see Jesus, they'll marvel. They'll thirst. And they'll drink from the living water that satisfies. They'll experience the forgiveness that cleanses their soul, and the new birth that replaces a wicked heart with one that reflects the love of Jesus.
They'll be like Him, and the moral character of this nation will be restored. Only then will this nation turn around.
And they'll only see Jesus through you and me.
Or will they?