In November of 2008 I was a month old in the faith and participating in my first presidential election as a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. I was not overly enthusiastic about the prospects, and with each proceeding presidential election, I become less and less interested. After a considerable amount of scripture study, listening to sermons, prayer, and contemplation, by personal conviction and choice I will not be voting for a presidential candidate this election. I have precisely zero emotional investment in who other people, including fellow believers, chose to vote for, or whether or not they vote at all. What I do care about and am motivated to write about today, is to exhort fellow Christians to take a step back and assess their current perspective.
If you are on any sort of social media, read a newspaper, watch news programs on television, or even in conversations with people in your day to day life, I bet you have heard a good portion of professing Christians lamenting about the upcoming election. There are many voices calling out for our nation to repent, and a general clamor of angst about what will happen if so-and-so is elected. If I were guessing, and I am, I presume that for many of these believers there is a genuine motivation of wanting the country they live in to honor the Lord. They themselves want to honor the Lord, and they know that so much of what our society is promoting and celebrating is in direct opposition to God’s Word. They are grieved at their nation shaking the proverbial fist in God’s face. This is understandable. However, I am concerned that in some cases what begins as a genuine desire to point our nation to God morphs into misguided attempts to enforce on a large scale compliance to God’s moral standards. Is it good to stand for God’s truth, and proclaim it to a lost world? Yes. Is it a Christian’s job to change their culture for Christ through the voting process? No. The great commission of believers is to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20) And this is what I am afraid believers have lost sight of. We are to go and make disciples. Disciples are made one at a time. A nation is not changed through a Christian’s participation in the democratic process, but rather through the Sovereign regeneration of individual hearts.
The other issue I am concerned about is the fevered pitch of angst coming from professing Christians. I do not believe this is a good witness to unbelievers. Our hope should be set on the eternal, not the temporal. In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians he says this:
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
When a person comes to faith in Christ, they are born again into God’s Kingdom. “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body,by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21) When believers become consumed with dread and fear regarding our upcoming election, and continually voice those fears they are saying to a watching world that their hope lays in the outcome of that process. Our testimony should be that our hope is in Christ, in things eternal, and that we are citizens of heaven. And how do we ensure that we convey the correct message? By adopting the correct perspective, the eternal perspective. This brings us back to the exhortation that I began with: Believer, assess your perspective. Do you have a heavenly, eternal perspective? Is your hope in Christ and His glorious future? Or do you have your eyes down cast, and set on things of this world? If so, I encourage you with these words: “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:28)
Let’s keep our eyes on the King, and while we wait, go about the great work of proclaiming the Gospel to the lost. There is not a better way to spend our time! One day soon, we will hear those glorious words, “Come up here!” And what a day that will be!
Soli Deo Gloria!