Tuesday, November 6, 2018

A.A. Hodge on the Universal Reign of Christ

Today is Election Day! Last week I wrote about four biblical priorities to consider when voting today, which you can find here. This past Sunday, I preached on the reign of Christ over the nations from Psalm 2, and you can find that sermon here. Today I want to add an appeal from A.A. Hodge, a leading Presbyterian theologian of the 19th century. It is taken from "The Kingly Office of Christ," which is an excellent lecture on the topic and can be found in his Popular Lectures on Theological Themes, which is available online here. In this concluding appeal, he points out the dangers of neglecting the lordship of Christ over culture and the civil sphere. May we take it to heart, not only today, but as we serve Christ in everything we do.
A.A. Hodge
“And if Christ is really King, exercising original and immediate jurisdiction over the State as really as he does over the Church, it follows necessarily that the general denial or neglect of his rightful lordship, any prevalent refusal to obey that Bible which is the open lawbook of his kingdom, must be followed by political and social as well as by moral and religious ruin… 
Who is responsible for the unholy laws and customs of divorce which have been in late years growing rapidly, like a constitutional cancer, through all our social fabric? Who is responsible for the rapidly-increasing, almost universal, desecration of our ancestral Sabbath? Who is responsible for the prevalent corruptions in trade which loosen the bands of faith and transform the halls of the honest trader into the gambler's den? Who is responsible for the new doctrines of secular education which hand over the very baptized children of the Church to a monstrous propagandism of Naturalism and Atheism? Who is responsible for the new doctrine that the State is not a creature of God and owes him no allegiance, thus making the mediatorial Headship of Christ an unsubstantial shadow and his kingdom an unreal dream? 
Whence come these portentous upheavals of the ancient primitive rock upon which society has always rested? Whence comes this socialistic earthquake, arraying capital and labor in irreconcilable conflict like oxygen and fire? Whence come these mad nihilistic, anarchical ravings, the wild presages of a universal deluge, which will blot out at once the family, the school, the church, the home, all civilization and religion, in one sea of ruin? 
In the name of your own interests I plead with you; in the name of your treasure-houses and barns, of your rich farms and cities, of your accumulations in the past and your hopes in the future,—I charge you, you never will be secure if you do not faithfully maintain all the crown-rights of Jesus the King of men. In the name of your children and their inheritance of the precious Christian civilization you in turn have received from your sires; in the name of the Christian Church,—I charge you that its sacred franchise, religious liberty, cannot be retained by men who in civil matters deny their allegiance to the King. In the name of your own soul and its salvation; in the name of the adorable Victim of that bloody and agonizing sacrifice whence you draw all your hopes of salvation; by Gethsemaue and Calvary,—I charge you, citizens of the United States, afloat on your wide wild sea of politics, there is another King, one Jesus: the safety of the State can be secured only in the way of humble and whole-souled loyalty to his Person and of obedience to his law.

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