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  • Writer's pictureCody Chesser

I Pledge Allegiance...

While the 4th of July brings celebration for many Americans, commemorating their national independence with fireworks and patriotic anthems, as Christians, we are called to acknowledge a more significant allegiance. This allegiance is not to a flag or a country but to the kingdom of God—a realm that transcends borders and offers a deeper, eternal freedom. This is a kingdom not built by human hands or achieved through historical battles but established by Jesus Christ and rooted in spiritual truths that govern our very existence. As we reflect on the festivities of the 4th of July, it's crucial to remember the greater kingdom we are part of, which offers not just temporary liberty but eternal salvation.


Jesus is King

In the kingdom of God, Jesus serves not just as a figurehead, but as the ultimate ruler, whose authority surpasses all earthly power. Scriptures like Ephesians 1:20-23 depict Jesus as resurrected by God and seated at the right hand of heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority. This sovereign rule over all things was affirmed by the early church and is vividly captured in Revelation 19:16, which refers to Jesus as the "King of Kings and Lord of Lords."


So what does this mean? It means Jesus is in control. It means we must submit to him. We need to be sure that in both our words and actions, we acknowledge him as king. 


The Nature of Jesus' Kingdom

Unlike earthly kingdoms built through political and military might, Jesus’ kingdom is fundamentally spiritual. While Jesus was here on earth teaching, this was a point of confusion even among His closest followers, who expected an earthly king. When tried by Pilate, Jesus was being questioned as to whether or not he truly was to be king of the Jews. Jesus, in response, told Pilate:

"My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” John 18:36

Oddly, one of the few people who did seem to understand what was happening was a thief. A thief who, like Jesus, was being killed on a cross. This man recognized His true kingship when he asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom (Luke 23:42-43). The theif knew that death was not preventing Jesus from ruling in his kingdom. This acknowledgment highlights a profound truth: Jesus' kingdom transcends earthly realms and continues to rule over the spiritual lives of believers.


The Laws of the Kingdom

Being under Jesus' kingship means adhering to the laws He has set. Matthew 7:21-23 stresses the importance of not just calling upon His name but actively doing the will of God. The kingdom of God requires true obedience to God's commandments, even those that go against current societal norms

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Clearly there are certain actions and lifestyles we can live that are incompatible with the laws required to be citizens in this nation. There are many things throughout the word of God that are provided as actions and lifestyles that will cause one to lose their opportunity to enter the kingdom of heaven. These laws must transcend above the laws of our earthly nation (USA). Here in our country there are many things that are legal by our governments standards. Yet, despite this fact, they will still cause us to lose our salvation if scripture defines them as contrary to God's law.


The Freedom Offered by the King

Despite its laws and rules that many call restrictive, the kingdom of God offers unparalleled freedom.

"Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness." Romans 6:16-18 (NIV)

If we going to reap the benefits of the one whom we dedicate ourselves to, why not pledge that allegiance to one who will give us life? Because until we pledge our allegiance to God and Christ Jesus we are slaves to sin which will only bring death. When we write off God as our ruler, then we are writing off the only ruler who can truly offer freedom and liberty.


We get to choose who we follow; Jesus or our own pleasures and unrighteousness. And as a result, we will reap the benefites of our choice; sin or eternal life.


The King's Invitation

The beauty of Jesus' kingdom is that it is open to everyone. Regardless of past actions or societal labels, Jesus extends an invitation to all. This inclusiveness is emphasized in 1 Timothy 2, which expresses God’s desire for all to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.


However, accepting this invitation requires a conscious decision to follow Jesus, to obey His teachings, and to be baptized into His death and resurrection, as outlined in Romans 6:3-11.


The kingdom of God is not just a theoretical concept but a practical reality that demands a response. It invites us to shift our allegiance from worldly institutions to a spiritual kingdom. Just as nations celebrate their independence and values, we, too, are called to celebrate and live out the values of the kingdom of God daily. The decision to accept this invitation is personal and transformative, offering not just freedom from sin but an eternal inheritance of joy and peace.

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