“Jesus is King.” So what? Now what?

king“No matter who is President, Jesus is King.”

This is a slogan I’ve seen and heard a lot recently. I have, myself, frequently spoken and posted of Christ’s sovereignty over all nations, powers, and authorities. It’s an important truth for Christians to remember. This truth is a great source of faith and hope.

But what does it really mean? Is it anything more than an inspirational slogan?

On the one hand, it is simply a reminder that no matter what we see in the earthly realm, God retains sovereign control. In the end, He will do what is right. Righteousness, justice, and love will win out. It doesn’t mean, though, that everything is OK right now. We live in a fallen and broken world marred by wickedness, injustice, and hate. That reality isn’t going to change until Christ returns and His reign is fully realized.

On the other hand, “Jesus is King”, is a call to action. More than being a truth that makes you feel good, it should be a truth that causes you to do good.

How is it a call to action?

First, it’s a call to submit to His authority in your life. This constitutes the hard and painful work of daily dying to self and to self-will, and to daily living under the rule of Christ. This won’t make you feel good – at least in the short term.

Second, it’s a call to join forces with others who live under His rule, the Church, and to work towards His mission, living out and proclaiming the gospel. The Church is not the “kingdom”, but it is the people of the King.

Third, it’s a call to live by and work towards the values of the kingdom. If God’s kingdom is characterized by righteousness, justice, and love, and we pray for God’s kingdom to come, we should also actively work towards those things in our own sphere of influence.

Fourth, with respect to the civil authorities, “Jesus is King” means that we should honor and pray for those whom God has put in authority. In doing so we are submissive to Christ. But it also means that, because Jesus is our highest authority, we must sometimes resist the civil authorities if failing to do so would mean failure to honor Christ. (Praise the Lord that our nation makes a lot of room for legal resistance!) In a fallen world, with fallen leaders and fallen laws, submission to the kingly reign of Christ will mean a combination of honor and resistance. We must be prepared for both, and do both out of service to Christ.