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Fighting for Good King Jesus

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Sermon for the Feast of Christ the King

“In sixteen hundred and forty-two,
I knew what I had to do:
Leave my home and my family too,
And fight for good old Charlie!”
As we approach the centenary of the end of the First World War, first and foremost in our minds is the idea of people being sent to fight for King and Country. Of course, since 1952, people have been fighting for Queen and Country. Is that you? Have you been fighting for Queen and Country? In the Civil War would you be a cavalier or a roundhead?
Given hindsight, you may well say that you would be neither a cavalier nor a roundhead. Many people today would not leave their homes and family too to fight for good old Charlie. Why not?
We have the impression these days that war is very politically incorrect. Having seen the atrocities of the Somme, Auschwitz, Coventry, Dresden and Hiroshima, any vision of the glorious battle that would rejoice the heart of a Viking has been forever tarnished. We have seen the reality of war and it has appalled us. Has it appalled us to the extent that we will no longer fight for queen and country?
Given that the last Iraq war was fought on false premises, many of us would think that any call to arms by the government on the Queen’s behalf is not sufficiently warranted. Given that the Reigning Monarch is little more than a figurehead for a nation that no longer holds dear the values that the Monarch used to embody, it’s no surprise to see the support for the Monarchy as being rather cool with pointed comments about the Civil List and the privilege that the Royal Family possess. If we are now apart from the Church of England, then the Queen’s position of Supreme Governor is irrelevant and perhaps, one might argue, that this renders the need for the Monarch as passé.
If that’s how we think, then can we ever really accept a Monarch?
A Christian really does have to be a monarchist.
No, not necessarily in the sense of Earthly Rulers, but we have to believe in Christ the King of Heaven. If we can’t then, just how can we believe that Jesus is God and thus no ruler? It doesn’t make sense.
If we believe that Christ is King, then this belief has far reaching consequences that we have to accept. We have to accept that we are under a command. While Jesus does call His disciples friends, He also says that they can only be friends if they obey His commandments. To be a disciple of Christ means to do His will, because Love is obedient to the Ruler of the Heart. It is our love for Christ that compels us to obey Him, not some oppressive force sent down by some jealous pagan deity. If we love Christ, then we must recognise him as King.
If the cavaliers were fired up to leave homes and family for good old Charlie, then how much more must we be prepared to fight for Good King Jesus? Of course, we know that our war is not with human beings but with the principalities, powers and rulers of the age. However, we have to accept that there is a battle that must be waged. The battlefield is not Marston Moor, but our very hearts and minds; the cause is the Sovereignty of Christ; the foes are complacency, apathy and apostasy sent by the Devil to cool the heart of the Christian or keep it snug in blissful ignorance of the works of Evil in our lives.
We shy away from physical warfare for good reason given the loss of life on such a terrible scale. Yet we must rise to the challenge of spiritual warfare in fighting for our own souls and for the souls of others at the command of King Jesus.
We are not fighting to defend Him: He has already won the victory by Himself.
We are not fighting to save ourselves: we cannot save ourselves or anyone else.
We are not fighting to destroy: God has created for His good pleasure.
We fight that the Good News of Christ’s victory may be heard in all lands and by all people. We fight, using the weapons that God gives us, for the riddance of evil within us. We fight that God’s love for humanity may be made visible in a dark, cynical and apathetic world.
“In twenty hundred and one-ty-eight,
The Devil is knocking upon our gate
But Christ is there, so Nick’s come too late
And we’ll give our crowns to Jesus.”

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