Responding to the EU referendum result
Created by Pastor Tim Gamston - Monday 27 Jun 2016
Pastor Tim Gamston
On Thursday 23rd June 2016, the UK voted, with a narrow majority, to leave the EU. A lot has been written and spoken on social media, in news reports and among friends. The following is an attempt to help us think in a Biblical way so that we can pray into the result. It is written primarily for those who are believers in Christ. It is written as a matter of urgency. It is written as a primer, to get us thinking about the issues. It’s not an exhaustive list and I’m sure that there is more that Christians need to hear and will be said in the coming months.
If we are going to respond properly to the result we need to …
Remember that what unites us in not politics but Jesus.

There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28, NLT)
For [Christ] himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility … that he … might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross. (Ephesians 2:14–16, ESV)

As believers we don’t look to find unity in politics. Instead we ARE united together as one body in Christ. We are united with all our political differences and all other differences.
This unity needs to be worked out in the way we relate to one another over the EU referendum. It needs to be worked out by us bearing with one another in love and seeking to maintain the unity we have in the bond of peace.
(Ephesians 4:2-3)
Remember that believers differ over non-Gospel issues and are free to express their differences.

Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. (Romans 14:13, ESV)
Although this text is referring to secondary issues relating to religious observances it still applies to all secondary issues. Those things that are non-Gospel.
We live in a democracy and other believers are free to vote according their own conscience and needs. Our responsibility is to not quarrel with them nor act in a way that will cause weaker believers to walk away from the faith.
Remember that God is still on the throne.

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. (Isaiah 6:1, ESV)
Israel’s king had died and there was uncertainty about the future for the nation.
As a nation we are now in a very similar situation. With leaving the EU, the Prime Minister stepping down in October, fear in the financial markets and a nation deeply divided, there is great uncertainty.
Where are we to look? We need to look up and see that God is still on the throne ruling the nations to accomplish all his purposes. He hasn’t been taken by surprise. Indeed, through the choice we made, God will still accomplish His own purposes for us. In the coming months he will continue to sovereignly rule over the changes that are coming.
Can I suggest that as we read newspapers and blogs, and as we watch news reports and documentaries, that we also read our Bibles to ensure that our world view has God at the centre.
Remember to pray for our leaders.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (1 Timothy 2:1–2, ESV)
In the coming months and years as Britain extracts itself from the EU our leaders will need great wisdom, strength and integrity if they are to do what is best for us. We need to pray for them. We need to pray that they will have all that is needed to enable them to deal with the changes ahead.
Remember that God’s Kingdom has higher priority than the United Kingdom.
Jesus said;

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33, ESV)
Jesus spoke this in the context of worry. Rather than worrying about money, he said seek God’s kingdom as a priority.
Although God is obviously concerned for the nations, ultimately the only kingdom that shall outlast every other kingdom is God’s kingdom.
To make his kingdom a priority is to pray for Gospel growth and Gospel opportunities. In other words, rather than only being concerned about Britain's financial future we ought to be more concerned about her spiritual future.
Remember that this gives us great Gospel opportunities.

In your hearts honour Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15, ESV)
Because so many people in our nation will be concerned about the future we have an opportunity to point them to Christ. We have an opportunity to show that we are trusting our futures, both personal and national, to him.
Remember the eternal future we have.
The Bible ends with a united nations. It’s not a united nations brought about through political agreements or referendums. It’s not a united nations based on trade agreements. It’s a united nations accomplished through the life, death, resurrection and exaltation of Jesus Christ.

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9–10, ESV)
Monday 27 Jun 2016