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Lord Christ or Lord Satan?

Jesus Is Lord
He is Lord indeed! But just what does it mean to be a lord? Here in America, we don’t recognize titles of nobility and tend to apply different meanings to such titles than they held originally. Historically, there has always been a strong connection between the lord and the lawgiver. In fact, they were often considered to be one and the same. A lord without a law is no lord at all. He may be a wealthy and powerful individual but he’s not “lord” if his word isn’t law.
Most Christians that see Jesus as their Lord seem to see it in religious terms. Jesus is, for them, more the Lord of the spiritual realm and not the physical here and now. But what did Jesus say about His Lordship? Just before His ascension while speaking to His disciples, He said “all power is given unto me.” Immediately after, He gave them an assignment: He said: “teach the nations to obey all my commandments” (Matt. 18:18-20). He asserted His authority over all the nations of the world and directed His servants, the disciples, to teach them obedience. Now clearly more than just some nebulous spiritual power is involved here.
Psalm 2 and many other Scriptures tell us that Jesus is today Lord over all nations in the old sense of total property owner and lawgiver. He is the rightful regent over all the nations of the earth. All the nations of the earth should be obeying Jesus’ laws today.
Many Christians in the early church died to uphold the Lordship of Christ over that of Caesar. It would have been much easier for them to just say the words “Caesar is lord” and go through a simple ritual. But they knew that to do so was to deny Jesus the authority that was His and His alone.
The God of this World
Is Satan the god of this world? This expression “the god of this world” appears just once in Scripture and is applied to Satan in 2 Cor. 4:4 but in an entirely different sense than that which we hear today. He is not god in the sense that he has authority and is in control of world events, rather he is god in that the world makes him their god. At least at that time in history, he had “blinded the minds” of many people in the world. Actually, he is in chains and totally under God’s control (2 Pet. 2:4).
Many church theologians today teach a doctrine that says God’s kingdom (or Christ’s rule) is restricted to the church or the circle of influence of the church. This is the equivalent of saying that Satan is the god of this world. It limits Christ’s authority and gives over most of the world to Satan. This is implicit polytheism at best and outright Manicheanism (a two god’s theology) at worst. But there is only one God and it is He that is in absolute control of all things; His law is in force throughout the universe.
This doctrine that makes Satan a god, is of long standing and has resulted in a narrowing of the Great Commission of Christ. Christian activity shifted from the conversion and discipling of the nations to simply the preaching of the Gospel message. The clear intent of Christ’s words was distorted in what appears very much like a cover up for failure. It was in effect a redefinition of goals so as to bring them into conformance with the results.
Responsibility and Authority
Christ’s Great Commission (Matt. 28: 18-20) is not a task limited to pastors and missionaries. True, these persons bear most of the responsibility for preaching the Gospel and baptizing but all Christians are responsible for bringing the nations to the point of full obedience. It is all Christians, ordinary believers, to whom Jesus gave these directions. They are responsible to shape the cultures and the laws of their nations to bring them into conformance with God’s Law (Christ’s commandments).
Christians must break out of the godless servile attitude that pervades the churches today. We need to see that we are the chosen emissaries of the King of kings. We Christians should recognize that we are what Scripture calls nursing fathers (Isa. 49:23). We are prophets, priests and kings (Rev. 1:5,6) and as such are responsible to God for those He has placed in our charge. We have great authority, not of ourselves but of the Lord that chose us and gave us this assignment.
We must not use this authority in a self-serving way; we are to see ourselves as servants of God, here to help, not to lord it over others. But this does not mean that we should act as if we were the servants of unbelievers; we are God’s servants, not their servants. We need to be kind and considerate; our words and actions should be directed to their well being, but their eternal well being and not just those things that would please them. They may be quite mature and knowledgeable in most things but we need to recognize that they are merely children, and often very rebellious children, with respect to what is true and right and real.
America Today
Here in America today, almost all Christians give the authority that rightfully belongs to Jesus to the federal government. They see the government, not Jesus, as the source of law. Jesus is emphatically not Lord in America today. He was Lord in early America where God’s law was recognized as the law above the law. From colonial times until well into the 19th century, judges in courtrooms would read a passage of Scripture, one related to the case, before sentencing convicted criminals. This underscored the fact that God’s word was the foundation of civil law and the fact of Jesus’ Lordship, that He is Lord of all and the only legitimate lawgiver.
The expression “higher law” was quite common through the mid-20th century. It was used to identify God’s law as being the law above man’s laws and as the true standard of right and wrong. Sadly, it is not heard much today, another measure of the extent to which Christians have failed to fulfill their God-given responsibilities.
America’s Christians need to repent and ask God’s forgiveness for our disobedience and lack of respect for our Lord. We need to emulate those early Christians that held to the slogan, “Jesus is Lord.” We would not be put to death, as so many of them were, for doing so. We might be belittled and ridiculed for it but those that do the ridiculing are the fools. It is they that have denied the only true God and Creator, not us. We need to abide the attempt at ridicule and persevere in declaring God’s truth to a wicked and perverse generation. It doesn’t take an advanced degree in theology to know that this is what God expects and requires of all His chosen ones.
To witness for Jesus is more than just telling people about personal salvation. Our concern for the unregenerate cannot be limited to personal matters but must include the larger society as well. It is utterly foolish to focus on the personal and neglect the effect that the external culture has on individuals and families. To save our families, we must vocalize and demonstrate our faith to the world at large by declaring Christ’s lordship over all things and all nations. God’s law is directed to the civil authorities as well as individuals and families. It is the nations, their laws, morays and entire cultures that need to be taught to obey all Christ’s commandments.
We must exert all the effort we legally can to make God’s Law the basis of our civil laws. We should call the world to recognize God’s Law as the law above all laws, a law that should govern all people in all they do. This expression “Jesus is Lord” should be heard from every true believer’s lips; it should be ringing from the rafters of every town hall in America. Until we begin to hear that sound, Christianity will continue to lose ground to atheistic humanism.