I am hoping that the elections this week will be the final stroke that causes the Christians in America to turn and place their hope on the Lord, and stop placing their hope on politicians and elections to stem the tide of immorality and depravity that has been sweeping through our nation like a giant tsunami over the last few decades. The people of this country have elected someone with the same morality as theirs, and have kept a party in power that has as its professed agenda, the murder of the innocent and defenseless unborn and the legitimizing of depraved sexual behavior. As I said in a previous post, who we elect is a clear barometer of where this country is morally; and the moral wreckage of our country is a greater calamity and more disastrous than the wreckage from Hurricane Sandy. Even if the other candidate had won, he would have no power to combat the rampant evil and its carnage in our land, he would not be the deliverer or the healer...even if he was an evangelical Christian instead of a Mormon.
Politicians cannot deliver, only the Lord can. Politicians cannot heal, only the Lord can. A good case study is reading through the books of Kings and Chronicles; for even when a good, God-fearing and righteous king was reigning in Israel, the people were not changed. So when an evil king took over the throne, the people were back to being worse than ever. Why? As Peter tells us, "The dog returns to its vomit, and the pig to its mud." When the demon is swept out of the house, and then returns, he brings seven times as many demons back with him. So let's don't be naive and think, that if someone else would have gotten elected things would get any better spiritually.
So how do we respond, as Christians? By turning to the Lord, and if this election doesn't highlight the necessity of the people of God turning to God for deliverance, I don't know what would. How then do we turn to the Lord?
1. Pray and confess, or should I say confess and pray. First for our own sins, then for the sins of the Church in America, and then for the sins of our country. Follow the model of Daniel as he prayed and confessed his and his countrymen's sins to the Lord, and asked for deliverance from the God-imposed captivity for their decades of sinfulness (which is nothing more than rebellion against God). Next, pray for gospel opportunities and gospel receptiveness. It is the gospel that will change this country...one person at a time, as the gospel is the only known antidote for sin; and the sin of a country is the total of the sin of its people.
2. Act...act godly. Be godly everyday as you follow the instructions of Paul in Titus 2:12 by renouncing and rejecting ungodliness and worldly desires, and at the same time living wisely, righteously, and godly in this present time. This is how you go about being salt (a preservative that stops corruption when it encounters it) and light (that exposes sin and does not let it hide, while at the same time showing what godliness looks like). This draws the line, a distinct line, between what is godly and what is not, and who is godly and who is not; so that the unbeliever can see his sin clearly, and clearly know which side of the line he is on. As Paul quotes the OT in I Corinthians, "Come out from their midst and be separate." It is not being relevant to the culture that attracts, but being distinct from the culture.
3. Speak...the truth; but don't speak it in a condemning manner, but speak it in love. Speak so that others will be reconciled to Christ and always be ready to share your confident expectation of heaven. Point out their sin, and then point them to the Savior. Again, not in a condemning way, but as someone who is genuinely concerned for their soul and its eternal state.
4. Seek...the Lord and His righteousness. Seek to please Him above pleasing men. In the final analysis, He is the only One whose approval is necessary. We can be God-seekers or pleasure-seekers, God-seekers or self-seeking. Seeking the Lord above all else guarantees that our treasures are being laid up in heaven.
5. Understand...that if the world hated the Lord it will hate you. Expect...persecution and ridicule, censure and ostracization, slander and malice. If they persecuted the Lord they will persecute you. Being distinct from the culture means you stand out as being different, and therefore you will be readily targeted. But remember when you are being reviled and mistreated for His sake, His glory rests upon you and you are storing up for yourself an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.
Friends and fellow Christians, now is the time for Christ to shine more brightly in us than ever before. Now is the time for us to seek Him more than ever before. Now is the time for us to take our faith and its accompanying commitment more seriously than ever before. Now is the time for us to be a better witness, and to witness more than ever before. Yes, it is only the Lord who can turn this country around, but He has always used means to accomplish His purpose; and we as His body are His chief means. So let us follow the admonition of Paul in II Timothy 2:21 and cleanse ourselves from all the stains of this world so that we can be holy, useful to the Master, and fit for every good work.