Home > Uncategorized > The Election, at long last, is over

The Election, at long last, is over

As fellow believers, we offer to our new leaders the pledge of our prayers and our commitment to be good citizens in this wonderful land that the Lord has privileged us to live in. By the time you read these thoughts, the election will have taken place. The people have spoken. We have chosen a new President. Some of you are jubilant, some are outraged. Without knowing who won, I want us to consider first the Kingdom of God and understand that our responsibilities as Christians transcend politics – and we must be who we are regardless of who won.

Early Christians lived in a time far different than ours. Life was cheap. Government was a repressive dictatorship. Slavery was practiced. Christians then, unlike us, did not have the right to vote. In fact, throughout the first 200 plus years of the Church, Christians were a persecuted minority. Yet, those early Christians turned the world upside down and right side up. Through the ballot box? No. Through electing leaders that were preferential to their point of view? No. They changed the world by being what Jesus called them to be – salt and light. Governments and political leaders come and go – but the kingdom of God lasts forever. The apostles told the first century Christians five things.

  1. God is the sovereign Lord over human history and government. In Romans 13, Paul wrote: Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. The results of this election did not catch God by surprise. Although we voted, nothing happens without God’s permissive will. Sometimes our vote results in leaders who fail us and they become a means of God’s judgment; other times leaders follow God’s heart and they become a means of God’s blessing.
  2. Government is designed to restrain and punish those who do evil. Paul calls human government God’s servant to do good by bringing punishment on the wrongdoer. They are to approve what is right, and disapprove what is wrong; and thereby serve the cause of justice. Paul’s view was that the Roman dictatorship, as bad as it was, was preferable to anarchy. When there is no government, everyone does what is right in his or her own eyes.
  3. Pay what you owe. None of us necessarily like the third counsel given to early Christians – but, in Romans 13:6-7 you’ll find it: if you owe taxes, pay taxes! Need I say more? Without taxes, the government cannot provide the duty it owes citizens to keep them safe from harm.
  4. Living under any desirable or undesirable government – PRAY! Paul writes to Timothy: I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – the kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness (1 Timothy 2:1-5) Let’s offer to God both intercession and thanksgiving for those elected to office. Paul asked the church to pray that the oppressive and persecuting hand of the government would be stayed. And, early Christians kept praying even amidst fierce opposition and martyrdoms.
  5. We are to show respect for those who hold office – whether executive, judicial, or legislative; whether national, state, or local; whether Republican, Democrat, Independent, or other parties. The NT explicitly tells us to do that. Paul said, “Give everyone what you owe him . . . if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor (Romans 13:7). Peter said the same thing, “Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king (1 Peter 2:17). As believers, we can help set a better tone for the national discussion. We can hold to our views without being unkind, without rancorous voices, without becoming filled with anger or hatred toward those with opposing views. Our goal, as Christians, is not to win an election, but to win people to Jesus. Now that the campaigns are over, let the real campaign begin. Let’s pray that the Lord will send to America a Great Spiritual Awakening – that the glory of the Lord will break forth in the lives of our fellow citizens.

May God bless America as America blesses God!

Pastor Rich

 

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