Living The Sermon Before I Ever Preached It

I had the most interesting encounter after the 11:30 service this past Sunday.

The message dealt with the relationship between church & state and between Christian & government.

The bottom line came from Philippians 3:20 — But your citizenship is in heaven — and reminded people throughout the message that the government may have your cooperation but it can never have your citizenship.

Along the way, I warned of the dangers of trusting in political saviors — we already have One, thank you very much, and He can’t be added to or improved upon — as well as the need for Christians & churches always to keep political parties and candidates at arm’s length.  The state/government/party will take as much of you as you will allow, I said, and we who follow Jesus have a prior claim on our highest allegiances.

Anyway, after the third service, a man who is from Cuba came to speak to me.  In halting English, he told me of how he used to serve in the Cuban army.  Then one day a superior officer ordered him to join Fidel Castro’s Communist Party.  My friend refused, stating that he could not declare his allegiance to the Party — which holds to atheism as its official religion — because he had given his body and soul to Christ.

“What happened when you said ‘no’?” I asked.

By way of reply, my new friend pulled out the dental bridge from his upper lip and revealed a gaping hole.  “They knocked my teeth right out,” he said.


Then he finished:  “I GOT your sermon today.” 

Actually, he GOT my sermon a long time ago.