Alistair Begg – The Kingdom of God vs. the kingdoms of this world

After my wife and I accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior in 1983, we began attending at our first Gospel-preaching church and remained there for eight years. The church had a lot of good points, but also some regrettable ones. The church patterned itself after Jerry Falwell’s brand of fundamentalism and mimicked Falwell’s penchant for mixing Christianity with politics and nationalism from the pulpit. This and several other factors grated on us until we finally had to leave.

The universal church of all believers (and also faux institutional (c)hristianity) has been trying to define its proper relationship with the state for close to two millennia and has largely erred on the side of close collaboration. Roman Catholicism set the trend by adopting the Roman imperial model, the Reformers continued it to a degree, and the Puritans imported it to the New World with America being cast in the role of the New Israel.

In the 70s, 80s, and 90s, Falwell and friends enlisted evangelical churches in the culture battles against advancing secularism and the war continues. The fallout? The church put the Gospel on the back burner and forged coalitions with political conservatives of various non-Christian traditions. More fallout? Growing ecumenism at the expense of the Gospel.

I’ve heard and read many presentations on the proper relationship between the church and the state, but the 25-minute sermon below, from evangelical pastor, Alistair Begg, might be the finest I’ve ever heard on the topic.

The Kingdom of God
Broadcast 7/24/19

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-kingdom-of-god/id91473880?i=1000445195961

22 thoughts on “Alistair Begg – The Kingdom of God vs. the kingdoms of this world

  1. I am going to listen to that Wednesday night, Tom. I actually listen to him every day that I work. I follow him over at Oneplace.com, so always listen to the most recent thing he has there. He and several others are on my listen to list, since I can wear ear buds for a good chunk of my night if I want to..

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    1. Thanks, Wally! I used to listen to Begg quite a bit but then got out of the habit…only so much time. But I’m starting to listen again. This sermon was excellent. I think I listened to it four times while walking on different occasions.

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  2. Aw man, just got to the last part about John Lennon; Tom, that almost made me cry. We are SO missing the boat, and have gotten so far off message. Yet, we persist in persisting that the world change itself and become acceptable. Sigh, there is that pesky salvation by merit thing again, and this time it’s Evangelical(even Baptist) churches preaching it. Thanks so much for this link, Tom

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    1. Thanks, Wally! Yeah, that last part about Lennon and “Help” was an indictment of the wrong-headed sanctimonious mindset the church often slips into.

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  3. Thanks Tom! Your post and Alistair’s sermon are spot on. The Gospel is not “social justice,” a term originated by Jesuit Luigi Taparelli in the 19th century. As Alistair said, it’s a deception of the evil one to recast the gospel as something that its not, so as to eclipse the true Gospel of Jesus Christ which is the only one with power to save. While at its core this is spiritual warfare, we see Rome temporally working for the evil one’s agenda as the usual ring-leader of these religious/social causes to produce its hideous, counterfeit “unity. ” Your faithfulness in pointing this out and directing us to sound Biblical teaching on this issue is greatly appreciated.

    As an aside, I was privileged to attend Parkside Church for about seven years where I heard Alistair’s preaching in person. He wasn’t often as exercised as you hear him in the sermon linked in your post, but he certainly has been gifted by the Holy Spirit to preach God’s Word. He does very often quote song lyrics like he did in this sermon, mostly from Simon & Garfunkel. ☺️

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    1. Contendia, thanks for the kind and gracious comments!
      RE: Alistair Begg
      I used to listen to Begg quite often and was often blessed by his messages. One problem for me was his regular quotes of C. S. Lewis, although these days many evangelical pastors make it a point to quote Lewis, who was no friend of conservative evangelical theology. Quoting “saint” Augustine is also problematic for evangelical pastors as Begg does in this sermon, but now we’re getting into a completely different post.

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    1. RE: fundamentalists become pro-Rome

      Yeah, as I watched Falwell recruit all religious conservatives to Moral Majority back in the 1980s I was dumbfounded. My father, who was very loyal to the Catholic church also kept a couple of pro-Moral Majority publications in his den.

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      1. Wow crazy that you lived through this time and saw this firsthand. I suspect some Christians want to go back to the 80s days of Moral Majority, Jerry Falwell and Reagan.

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      2. I just saw a review of a new book from a Catholic author about how the cooperative “partnership” between Ronald Reagan (quasi-protestant) and Pope John Paul II in opposing Soviet Russia could/should serve as an example to today’s Protestants and Catholics in forging closer ecumenical ties in the face of encroaching secularization. That was Falwell’s mindset. So wrong.

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