The Bible teaches that believers are to impact the world around them with God’s precepts and for His glory. The ways in which this Christian influence happens vary, respective to the call God has placed on each believer. We are called to have an impact for God in our chosen field.
While some churches teach that believers should be involved only in evangelism and abstain from a career in politics, that’s not what the Bible teaches. “You are the salt of the earth…” and “You are the light of the world…” (Matthew 5:13, 14) indicate that all believers are to have a here-and-now influence in addition to evangelism and discipleship.
Think about the implications of this stance. If every believer adhered to this somewhat popular “evangelism only” Evangelical teaching, there would be no believers in office! There would be no biblically based preservation or illumination influences whatsoever in a representative form of government.
I believe Scripture supports believers’ being involved in the political arena (just like they are in most every other vocation) versus being against it or isolated from it. The way to change the direction of a nation is for believers to be involved. Someone’s morality will be the basis of law and culture; why not God’s?
What follows are the biblical arguments for participation in the State in ways beyond evangelism.
Read on, my friend.
The fact that believers should affect the world in which they live (versus isolate themselves from it) is evident from the Sermon on the Mount. Note Matthew 5:13–16:
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
When Jesus lights a lamp—when He brings an individual to true saving faith in Himself (cf. Ephesians 2:8–9)— what results is a person who “gives1 light to all who are in the house.” It is not difficult to decipher what this passage means. The word house (v. 15) is another way of expressing two previously used words in the passage. House simply means a believer will affect people on the earth (v. 13) and people in the world (v. 14a). This passage teaches that it is normative for believers to affect the physical earth/world or “land” in the here and now.
But notice the progression of the whole chapter. Verses 13–16, as already quoted, come after verses 1–12, which are commonly known as Jesus’ Beatitudes. The Beatitudes teach concise virtues (listed in the opening portion of His Sermon on the Mount) that are emblematic of His mature followers, i.e., displaying character qualities such as gentleness (Matthew 5:5), righteousness (5:6, 10), mercifulness (5:7), purity (5:8), etc. Per the progressive nature of them, our manifestations of salt and light (similitudes expressing the idea that believers are to be preservers and illuminators in the earth/world) will be in direct proportion to the degree these previously listed characteristics inhabit the believer. Over the long run, a believer cannot affect his surroundings in a godly way unless he first possesses godly character.
Who a person is and how he affects his world are intrinsically intertwined.
Such an interpretation of the meaning of this passage is supported by the following key grammatical understandings. First, the twice-used verbs at the beginning of verses 13 and 14 are You are (in Greek: humeis este). These verbs are present active indicatives in the Greek language. That is in contrast to their being imperative verbs, i.e., as commands from Jesus. This subtle distinction is important. It means a person is Christlike in culture (agents of the preservation and illumination of truth) to the degree “you are” beatitudinal, i.e., your maturity in the Savior. Jesus is not saying, “Be salt and light!” Rather, He is teaching that to the degree a person internally manifests Christlikeness is the degree to which he will externally affect his world, or in the case of the Capitol community, its people and its laws, and in the case of this study, the economic well-being of the nation! William Wilberforce changed the slavery laws of England because he was beatitudinal, i.e., Christlike, to a high degree over many years in office!
Why is this understanding so important? Again, allow me to repeat the profundity of this exegetical insight. Jesus is not saying “You must be salt and light!” Jesus is not speaking in the imperative; rather, the use of you are means you are preserving and illuminating in society to the degree you are beatitudinal! You are is based on what Jesus has already said in the Sermon on the Mount!
Beatitudinal character connected to Christlike maturity is always indicated by preservation and illumination being manifested in the world today!
There is no way around this plain meaning and connection in this passage. Such is the cadence of this passage.
Secondly, notice in the original language the beginning of verse 16. The adverb at the start of the passage further evidences Jesus’ sequential thinking relative to what He has previously delineated. In the passage, “Let your light shine before men in such a way,” the phrase in such a way (houtos) means “in this way” or “thus.” The verb shine (lampo) is an imperative, meaning God is commanding you. In other words, our light must shine in this way. And what is that way? That others see your godly character and your resulting cultural preservation and illumination. What follows is that others glorify your Father who is in heaven. Following this biblical sequencing, you become a powerful witness in a fallen world through your cultural participation—not your absence from it! The following is a graphic summation:
Personal spiritual maturation will be indicated by an individual’s cultural participation, which then testifies of God in an onlooking world. This progression reveals the biblical formula for having an effective testimony—glorifying God— in a fallen world.
Summarily of the introduction, to those who say, “The believer should only be about evangelism in the political arena,” this passage evidences their omission of a vital and necessary step. Cultural participation in the world is a necessary ingredient to becoming an effective witness (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:21–23). You can’t be an “evangelism-only” advocate in the political arena without cultural participation! It is a complete misnomer.
Can any evangelist be effective who shuns connecting to another’s world?2
Matthew 5 does not support that idea. Jesus Himself does not support that idea. This passage lends to correcting such thinking. The believer must be a preserver and illuminator on the earth and in the world if he desires to be a good evangelist. As if this introductory argument were insufficient, what follows are eight additional biblically supported reasons as to why believers should be involved in politics.3
II. “EVANGELISM ONLY” IS TOO NARROW AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE MISSION OF JESUS
In the Great Commission passage of Matthew 28:19–20, Jesus commands His followers to teach others more than just the truths of the gospel (as primary and important as that is to the mission of Jesus). He teaches believers to go way beyond evangelism and make disciples. How is the believer to do that? By “teaching them [others] to observe all that I commanded you.” Paul echoes the necessary breadth of instruction above and beyond the truths of the gospel when he said to the Ephesian elders, For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God (Acts 20:27). Furthermore, the great apostle said regarding all of his biblical writings, The things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment (1 Corinthians 14:37b). Peter said regarding his “more than salvation teachings” that you should remember … the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles (2 Peter 3:2). Accordingly, Jesus wants others to know all of His instruction. That means He wants His followers to learn about marriage, family, the Church, commerce, and government. Such is required to make disciples (which is the primary command of the Great Commission). Conclusively, while the primacy of Jesus’ mission is to convert the lost, the entirety of His message encompasses making disciples.
That the believer should only evangelize political leaders (and not get involved in politics) represents ultra-myopic, unbiblical thinking. It follows that the evangelist in the Capitol would need to counsel his convert to immediately leave office! If an evangelist won every elected leader to Christ, the government would have to turn off the lights (assuming the janitor didn’t get saved!).
So what does Jesus teach? What is the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27 NKJV) regarding civil government? Among other things, it includes the following: He Himself created it (Genesis 1:26; Colossians 1:16). He ordained it (Romans 13:1). He sustains it (Colossians 1:17). And it is intended to moralize a fallen world (Romans 13:4) and provide justice (1 Peter 2:13–14). In addition to His saving grace, Jesus purposes, compelled by a heart of compassion for the lost (Matthew 9:36), to manifest common grace and restraining grace to all through this ordained institution (cf. Matthew 5:45). How great is His love!
The aforementioned descriptors and supporting passages clearly reveal that Jesus has a purpose for believers within the institution of government that is in addition to evangelism. Accordingly, when one of the leading advocates for the “all-evangelism, no-politics” viewpoint states the following:
[ Jesus] did not come to earth to make the old creation moral through social and governmental reform but to make new creatures (His people) holy through the saving power of the gospel and the transforming work of the Holy Spirit.4
He is propagating too narrow of an understanding of the mission of Jesus! What this author says does not represent the whole counsel of God relative to His purposes for His institution of civil government as previously listed above. As the primary role of evangelism is by the believer to government, there must always be the aforementioned broader understanding of all Jesus taught regarding His larger purposes for this institution. The believer must be about teaching all that Scripture says about civil government and, even more specifically, teaching these truths to civil government leaders themselves!
In an expansive and parallel sense, to say that Jesus’ overall purpose and mission was solely about salvation is to imply that Jesus possesses no instruction about marriage, family, Church, or commerce either; the believer as well should only be about evangelism to those ordained-by-God institutions. Should believers engage in marriage counseling or only evangelize those who desire to get married? Should believers seek to grow godly businessmen in Christ or just evangelize them? You get the point. Why is the institution of government, or government leaders, deemed evil and others not, in light of the biblical objective to make disciples in the whole world?
Another error of this same influential Christian author is his tendency to spiritualize away the importance of good civil government relative to the propagation of the gospel. He states the following:
The ideal human government can ultimately do nothing to advance God’s kingdom, and the worst, most despotic worldly government in the end cannot halt the power of the Holy Spirit or the spread of God’s Word.5
In an ultimate sense and in view of the grandeur and sovereignty of God, what is expressed here is true, but is this a tenable argument for noninvolvement in civil government by believers? One does not have to be much of a student of current geopolitics, history, or historic missions to know that Middle Eastern countries, as well as North Korea, Cuba, and Russia among others, have suppressed the growth of the body of Christ to a much greater degree than non-suppressive countries. How many missionaries have come forth relative to the cause of Christ from the aforementioned lands? Practically speaking, why have 90 percent of missions in the past century been funded by America? Believers should be involved in politics to preserve missionary-sending countries for the purposes of spreading God’s Word. The ideal country can advance God’s kingdom more so than a nonideal country.
Good government is therefore important to achieve and maintain if for no other reason than the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
The present and historic impetus for much of the fulfillment of the Great Commission stems from countries that honor freedom. That means the believer’s role in sustaining a country’s health and well-being, which includes its economic viability, is a noble and important task and is certainly in keeping with all that Jesus commanded us.
To illustrate one of many possible results from living by too narrow an understanding of the mission of Jesus, radio preachers must now edit their radio broadcasts in Canada so as not to include any mention of Romans 1.6 This life-changing book addresses the severity of sin, the principle of justification, the importance of faith, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, and many other major issues of faith. This forced omission is due to Canadian laws that were not influenced by Christians. What will become of the great radio ministries in America that have so affected our culture for good and evangelized the lost if the laws, unaffected by Christian influence, also begin to prohibit the Church from evangelizing here? How will the church of this pastor who advocates this limited understanding of governmental involvement pay his salary if they lose their tax-deductible status?
Governments indeed either facilitate or hinder the advancement of God’s kingdom.
Again, and worth repeating, believers should be involved in civil government if only for the sake of the Great Commission! Church leaders should applaud, respect, support, sustain, prepare, and elect more Christian political leaders in order to create and/or preserve the preachers’ freedoms to propagate the gospel.
Christian public servants I know view themselves in a partnership with pastors. Should not pastors view themselves in partnership with Christian public servants?
Should the Church raise up young men and women—disciple them—to run for office with the same passion and enthusiasm that it places on raising up godly pastors, wives, husbands, children, and businessmen? Absolutely yes! Evangelism only is too narrow an understanding of the mission of Jesus.
III. THE MISSION OF JESUS INCLUDES A TRANSFORMATION OF NATIONS
Note the Great Commission passage in Matthew 28:18–20 below and the use of the word nations:
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
The word nations, as included by Jesus here in His Great Commission passage, cannot and should not be overlooked. The mission of Jesus has a sum total intent on transforming societies or, as they are called in the Great Commission passage, nations (ethnos). The Great Commission passage is clear: believers are to affect nations! Those who advocate too narrow of a view of Jesus’ mission are forced to interpret ethnos to mean only “people groups” so the passage will comport to their viewpoint of non-civil government involvement. But for those who hold a bigger view of Jesus’ mission, individual evangelism and disciple-making are inescapable— as is the objective of affecting geopolitical nations for good. If “teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” is the overall purpose for Christ’s coming to earth, as previously seen (the gospel ministry being a vital part of that [cf. 1 Corinthians 15:3–6] and the starting point for making disciples), then, just as important, the mission of Jesus has an eye toward and includes the transformation not only of individuals but, as a result of that, nations as well.
IV. WHICH PARTS OF THE BIBLE SHOULD THE CHURCH NOT PREACH ABOUT?
It follows from the previous points that the pastor or believer who holds to a “do-evangelism, not-politics” limited understanding of Jesus’ mission must decide what portions of the Bible he or she should teach. Should teaching from Genesis 9:5–6, John 19:11, Acts 25:11, Romans 13:1–7, or 1 Peter 2:13–14 be omitted since they have to do with believers impacting government? More specifically, does one avoid teaching about Joseph’s influence on Pharaoh’s government or Daniel’s impact on Nebuchadnezzar’s government? What parts of the whole purpose of God (Acts 20:27) should the Bible teacher omit? Foisting too narrow of an understanding of the mission of Jesus inevitably leads to editing what portions of Scripture you will either teach or omit—and creates a huge ensuing incongruity in light of 2 Timothy 3:16, which says, All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching… and Acts 20:27b, declaring to you the whole purpose of God.
V. GOD LEAVES CHRISTIANS HERE ON EARTH TO DO BOTH EVANGELISM AND GOOD FOR OTHERS
Akin to the first point regarding the believer’s being an illuminator and preserver in the world to the degree he is spiritually mature, God tends to leave His saints on earth after He saves them for this purpose. So after being saved, what is the believer to do? Should he or she only evangelize others the remainder of their earthly lives?
What about Matthew 22:39b, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”? This command is listed six other times in the New Testament. Like the Great Commission command, this is also a command from Jesus! The spirit of what Jesus is teaching believers to do demands that the believer consider the following kinds of issues (as they relate to tangential ways of loving your neighbor): for example, 1) make sure the law punishes thieves who could otherwise rob my neighbor, 2) work to create and enforce laws pertaining to Internet protection of my neighbors from hackers who would otherwise steal their credit card information, and 3) create policies that ensure that those who educate my neighbor’s child cannot teach them subjects that are evil.
You get the idea. How could these policies that are so compatible with the mandates of Scripture to love thy neighbor be accomplished if believers who believe in the moral truths of Scripture are not involved in policy making? Galatians 6:10 reinforces this same, important idea of loving thy neighbor in the here and now: So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially those who are of the household of faith. Ephesians 2:10 further underscores the believers’ societal responsibility when it says, For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Good works has a present and broader meaning and application than evangelism only.
“Why should churches teach their people how to do good works in hospitals, and in schools, in businesses, and in neighborhoods but not in government?”7
The biblical connection between loving our neighbor and the necessity of being involved in civil government is strong and unavoidable.
VI. GOD ESTABLISHED BOTH THE CHURCH AND THE STATE TO RESTRAIN EVIL
When a believer, through the power of the Holy Spirit, wins someone to Christ, such internal regeneration should quell evil in the heart of the convert (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17). However, history and present observation indicate that not everyone comes to Christ, nor are those who do completely and immediately sanctified in their manifest actions. Accordingly, God has instituted, in addition to the Church, civil government to restrain evil by the use of force and punishment in a fallen world. Romans 13:4b is clear about this wherein Paul states (speaking of government):
But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.
First Peter 2:13–14 states similarly,
Submit yourselves…to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers.…8
These passages serve to illuminate the fact that God mediates His reign by vesting His authority in and through civil government (Romans 13:1) in order to restrain evil in a fallen world. Whereas the Church is God’s conduit of saving grace, the State is God’s conduit of restraining grace. It is important to review the aforementioned in light of this point. Such a realization necessitates the believer’s involvement in civil government since it is part of Jesus’ overall mission and institutional invention. It would seem to follow too that some are called by God to serve Him in His institution of government, just as, and to the same degree that, some individuals are called to serve Him in His institution of the Church, albeit their institutional objectives differ as to how they achieve restraining evil.
One other point here is worth mention. Christian isolationists (those who believe in the institutional superiority, exclusivity, and preeminence of the institution of the Church) too often harbor a sense of self-righteousness: as if the authority of the Church is over the authority of the State. The Church is not preeminent to the State; and in many instances, the Church must submit to the State. The glaring historical and embarrassing American illustration of this is the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. The abolition of slavery did not come from the institution of the Church via evangelism. Rather, the State birthed a human being’s freedom from another person’s ownership. Sometimes the State restrains evil more effectively than does the Church!
A more pointed illustration of this failure today occurs when the Church does not report sexual abuse on its campus to governmental authorities, believing they, the Church, should be the exclusive and final adjudicator in such matters.
Yet another example of a failed Church- State theology was the total lack of punctuality of church leaders relative to the canonization of the New Testament. The State motivated NT canonization! Not until Constantine in the early fourth century demanded it from Eusebius did the Church get around to sewing the twenty-seven books together (so to speak)! These are but a few illustrations of God’s using His institution of the State in ways that indicate its meaningfulness and importance to Him.
It stands to reason therefore that believers should respect the unique role of the State (and not harbor condescending superiority attitudes toward it) and thusly be involved in civil government, versus isolating themselves from it, lest they end up inheriting a lawless, bankrupt country, wherein they most likely lose their religious freedoms to perform “evangelism only.”
VII. CHRISTIANS HAVE INFLUENCED THE STATE POSITIVELY THROUGHOUT HISTORY
Standing in sharp contrast to the idea of noninvolvement in the State by believers other than evangelism are the following examples: There are at least three categories of historical influence of believers on the State. These accounts are numerous and are well documented by authors Schmidt9 and Colson10 in their wonderful works. The following is a summary:
A. THE DIGNITY OF MANKIND
The historic spread and impact of Christian influence on the State by Christians being involved in the State has been responsible for many victories: Christian involvement in the State influenced the outlawing of infanticide, child abandonment, and abortion in the Roman Empire (374); Christian involvement in the State prohibited the burning alive of widows in India (1829); Christian involvement in the State ended slavery in the British Empire (1840); Christian involvement in the State stopped the binding of women’s feet in China (1912); and Christian involvement in the State outlawed racial discrimination in America. These examples are but a few of the historic political contributions of beatitudinal, mature-in-Christ believers, God’s called-out agents of preservation and illumination!
B. THE CONSTITUTIONS OF MANKIND
Christians involved in politics were influential in the writing of the Magna Carta in England in 1215, the Declaration of Independence in America in 1776, and the Constitution of the United States in 1787. These are the most important documents in the history of governments known to mankind! All were significantly influenced by believers and are the basis not only of prosperous countries, but also of the ensuing Christian missions movement worldwide. These advanced views of government have birthed individual freedoms, justice, freedom of religion, and the institutional (but not influential) separation of Church and State.
C. THE EDUCATION OF MANKIND
Believers involved in the State have greatly influenced the development of higher education in America.
Ninety-two percent of the 182 colleges and universities in America in 1932 had been founded by Christian denominations.
Such influence has led to the advancement of a society theretofore unknown in history, a society that has accelerated the Great Commission to levels of accomplishment equal to that of the first century Church.
These serve as but a few illustrations of Christian influence on the State above and beyond evangelism only. Therefore, when a prominent Christian author reasons in 2000, “God does not call the Church to influence the culture by promoting legislation and court rulings that advance a scriptural point of view” and “Using temporal methods to promote legislative and judicial change…is not our calling—and has no eternal value,”11 one wonders how he can arrive at such a narrow (and aberrant) understanding of the mission of Jesus.
In his much earlier commentary on Matthew 5:13–16 (1985), this same author said, “Christians can have a powerful influence on the welfare of the world.”12 And therein he quotes Martyn Lloyd- Jones, who said, “[What saved England was that]…the political situation was affected, and the great Acts of Parliament which were passed in the last century were mostly due to the fact that there were such large numbers of individual Christians found in the land.”13
Unfortunately, in the year 2000, this same writer wrote a book to attempt to influence pastors to avoid governmental involvement (ref. end note 3). Christian influence on the State throughout history, as well as the contextual argument of Matthew 5:1–16 (presented in the introductory section), favors this author’s previous, biblical, 1985 position.
VIII. DOESN’T THE BIBLE SAY THAT PERSECUTION IS COMING?
When studying eschatology, the doctrine of future biblical events, a person could reason, “Since things are going to get worse in the end times (cf. Matthew 24:9–12, 21-22; 2 Timothy 3:1–5), why should anyone attempt to improve government today?” The answer is simple: in the meantime, the believer is to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13–15), to love your neighbor (Matthew 22:39), to do good works (Ephesians 2:10), and to evangelize the lost (Matthew 5:16). We cannot disobey the clear commands of God in the here and now in lieu of end-time passages—a “prophetic determinism” that overshadows and expunges any sense of a present-day biblical obedience.
The fatalistic future of the world tomorrow is no excuse for societal disenfranchisement today.
Scripture explicitly mentions that no one knows the exact time of His Second Coming anyway (Matthew 24:36; 25:13); therefore, the believer should influence civil government for good as long as he or she is able.
IX. WILL POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT DISTRACT BELIEVERS FROM THE MAIN TASK OF PREACHING THE GOSPEL?
Evangelism-only advocates frequently argue that political involvement by the Church today serves to distract believers from the main task of preaching the gospel to the world. Such could occur, and I have witnessed that to be the case in the political arena by religious-right advocates. But the question isn’t whether political involvement by the Church will divert energy away from preaching the gospel, if indeed God has called the believer to be salt and light as a predicate for the most effective form of evangelism, which He has. It is genuine involvement in people’s lives over time that leads to soul winning.
For these reasons, the “do-evangelism, not-politics” understanding of the Christian is a false dichotomy and an incorrect understanding of Church and State. Believers should be involved in politics in ways similar to the way they would think about making their marriage better, their family better, their business better, or their church better. Running for office and serving in civil government is no less spiritual than going into full-time ministry, getting married, raising a family, or building a business.
1. This is also a present active indicative verb.
2. In 1 Corinthians 9:22b the Apostle Paul states, I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. This is an appropriate supporting passage relative to the scriptural understanding of cultural involvement. Paul was willing to get involved in the lives, professions (including the political arena, e.g., Philippians 1:13, cf. 4:22), and cultures of others without compromising biblical truth in order to evangelize the lost. How can today’s church evangelize politicians if it is unwilling to connect with politicians?
3. This outline is used by permission from Dr. Wayne Grudem, who has addressed these same issues in his excellent book, Politics According to The Bible. With his permission, relative to the brevity that he had (in terms of overall book page count in the above book), he gave me permission herein to develop each point more fully, which I have done.
4. John MacArthur, Why Government Can’t Save You: An Alternative to Political Activism (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000), 11–12. It is worth noting MacArthur’s exposition of Romans 13:1–7 in 1994 wherein he states respective of ordination and moralization: “Human government is ordained by God for the benefit of society… In order to promote and protect the good in society human government must punish the evil” (John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Romans 9–16 [Chicago: Moody, 1994], 218, 225). Implicit in his comments is his seeming admission to a broader role of the mission of Jesus (cf. Colossians 1:16). Unfortunately, his later incongruous thinking (“do evangelism, not politics”) has influenced many.
5. Ibid., 7.
6. Many leading Christian thinkers believe one of the major reasons America has not gone the way of Europe is due to the presence and power of Christian radio.
7. Wayne Grudem, Politics According to the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010), 48. Note: I am utilizing Dr. Grudem’s respective chapter outline (with its much-appreciated comprehensiveness) in this study with his permission.
8. The one exception to obedience to the authority of the State is when civil authority would necessitate disobedience to God’s Word (cf. Exodus 1:17; Daniel 3:16–18; 6:7, 10; Acts 4:19).
9. Alvin Schmidt, How Christianity Changed the World (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004).
10. Charles Colson, God and Government: An Insider’s View on the Boundaries between Faith and Politics (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007). (Previously published as Kingdoms in Conflict.)
11. Ibid., 130; 15.
12. John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 1–7 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985), 243.
13. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971), 1:157, quoted in John MacArthur, Why Government Can’t Save You: An Alternative to Political Activism (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000).