True Children of God

Only those who are believers and are living by God’s spirit are children of God and are joint heirs of the kingdom along with Jesus. It is they who will inherit the blessings that God promises and they who will share in Jesus’ glory, but they will also share in his persecution and suffering (John 1:10-13, 1 John 3:9-10, Rom 8:7-17).

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Traditions Of Men vs God’s Word

Jesus’s main critique of the Pharisees was that they were substituting God’s law with man-made traditions. The Pharisees were scapegoating laws in the old testament by reinterpreting certain verses. These reinterpretations would later end up in the Talmud. For example, they interpreted Deut 24:1 to allow for “any cause” divorce or adding “hate you enemies” to love your neighbor in Lev 19:18. Jesus of course corrected them in Matt chapter 5:31-32 & 5:43-48, as well as Matt 19 & Luke 10:25-37.

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Christians and Foreigners

Jesus says in Matthew 22:34-40 that the 2nd greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself (Lev 19:18). The first is to love God with your heart soul and strength (Deut 6:4-5). 1 John 4:7-8 says that love comes from God and anyone that doesn’t love is not of God, for God is love. This means it is impossible to love God and hate your neighbor. The Great commission according to Matthew 28:18-20 is to teach all nations. The word nation in the new testament is translated from the Greek word ethnos (ἔθνος) which is where we get the English word ethnicity. This means that biblical nations aren’t specifically referring to nation-states but rather people groups (ethnicities). This goes back to the ethnic separation by language at the Tower of Babel in Genesis 10 and 11.

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Persecution vs Punishment

Peter makes a very clear distinction between persecution and punishment. When bad things happen and people mistreat Christians, they must ask themselves, “do I deserve this”? If we did something to another we must apologize, but if they are just haters then we rejoice as James 1:2-4 says so that our faith can grow, and we are to love on and pray for our enemies as Jesus says in Matt 5:43-48, Paul echoes this in Romans 12:9-21. We must always remember that God is our avenger and we must not retaliate against people who harm us (Deut 32:35). Let’s look at some of Peter’s writing on the subject.

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Marital Submission

The Bible says that spouses are to submit to one another and that wives are to submit to their husbands as unto the Lord and husbands should love their wives like how Christ loves his church (Ephesians 5:21-24, Colossians 3:18-19). Submission isn’t subservience. Submission means to completely trust the other with your well-being. This means trusting God to lead the husband, and the wife follows.

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Christian Nationalism

People forget that nations like the USA, China, Russia, and Iran are just Gentile nations, some of which are blessed because of their favor towards the gospel. However, the only nation with a specific national covenant is Israel. We can’t apply scriptures that are specific to Israel or the Kingdom of God (which are monarchies) to a democratic republic nation like the USA. Unfortunately, people love cherry-picking bible verses out of context to make human agenda-based arguments. From a biblical perspective, American nationalism is no different from Chinese, Russian, or Iranian nationalism. There are Hindu Nationalists in India, and Buddhist nationalists in places like Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar that persecute people of Abrahamic faiths.

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Ambassadors for Christ

Believers in Christ are ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor 5:20), which means we represent Christ’s kingdom on earth. An ambassador is someone that lives in one country but represents another. When we were born again we were made citizens of the new kingdom, we are only here on earth as ambassadors for that kingdom. This means nationalism, has no place in Christianity because the USA, China, and Russia will be destroyed on Judgment Day, and only God’s people will be saved because they are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, and as for now they simply are foreigners on earth that work for the heavenly embassy.

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