The president is not your savior, the vote is not your salvation (sermon conclusion)
The truth has been revealed from God’s Word regarding this election and how we should look at the political process. Some may not get to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of the sermon between now and Election Day and want to get to the meat of the sermon.
I really believe Part 4 ended the sermon, but I also believe it useful to encapsulate the entire sermon into one post. If I had to give a meat-and-potatoes summation of the political sermon, this would be it.
What can we learn from Acts 1:4-8 and the Jews? A few things.
don’t worry about the political situation
Don’t worry about the political situation. The Jews in Acts 1 demonstrate their concern over their political state. They were under Roman oppression and rule and longed for their freedom, which explains why they ask Jesus, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6) They were focused on their political situation and they believed that Jesus had come for that purpose. They didn’t focus on all He said and did to conclude He didn’t; rather, they just assumed, put two and two together, and concluded that whatever Jesus came to do, it “must” involve freeing them from Roman rule. But that’s not what Jesus came to do.
The problem with Republican Christians is that, they too, believe that Jesus is so evident in the political process that, whatever happens, the vote is their means of political salvation. Jesus is in the vote, and their faith is designed to serve their political ends. If their faith is alive and working, then it must free them from an intolerant world where Christians are despised, persecuted, and hated simply for following Jesus. They see Christian persecution and long for a world where Christians are embraced, not shunned, for preaching the Gospel. And so, they erroneously begin to look to the President and Vice President (and Senators and House Representatives, and Governors) as a means of political salvation: “I can vote in Christians who will enact Christian policies that will benefit me and my faith.”
Republican congressmen see it as their salvific duty to serve the people and fight for the rights of Christians, and to protect their freedom to disagree with secular thinking. It is a noble cause, and for many, it is a higher cause than witnessing to the lost. Why witness to the lost when you can just enact secular laws that benefit Christians? There are a number of Christians who don’t like the things President Trump says, but they like his work in protecting Christian missionaries abroad, in opposing same-sex marriage, and in his opposition to transgenders serving in the military and armed forces. They agree with his stance on abortion, but have failed to hold him accountable for his pro-life conviction. Trump has done very little on abortion in his time as president, but that’s okay because, “he holds our views, and thus, is God’s man.”
But their efforts to vote in Christians to make life better for Christians demonstrates their fear over the political situation. Sure, it’s good to vote for leaders that deliver on their promises, but if we truly believe God is God, we don’t have to vote in leaders that are Christian and “think like us.” Republican Christians need only look back over the past 40-50 years to see how God has taken care of Christians despite the individual(s) in political office. A number of Christians who voted Democrat didn’t like seeing Republican Presidents, Vice Presidents, and congressmen, but even in Republican terms, God has still kept these same Democratic Christians and protected them from hurt, harm, and danger. They were responsible with their vote, and voted their conscience. But they didn’t vote out of fear, and they didn’t live their lives in fear. They voted, but they never expected the vote to solve all their problems. The vote was not a panacea for their life situations.
To Christians I say, don’t worry about the political situation. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be concerned. COVID-19 is on the loose, we’re on the verge of perhaps new national leadership, protests are everywhere, jobs have been lost, the country is in a national recession. When we look around, there’s a lot to trouble us. We should vote for better in our country. We all want to see a better day, but God is still God, and He’s still on the throne. And if Christians believe that, we don’t have to stack the political deck to be pro-Christian. God is bigger, stronger, greater, and higher than any politician. No politician, no matter how powerful, is as powerful as God.
The president is not your savior, the vote is not your salvation
I keep saying this, and I will repeat it until I’m blue or red (or both) in the face: the President is not your Savior and the vote is not your salvation. Voting in a President, Vice President, and congressmen is not the answer to all of life’s ills and misfortunes. Voting in a President isn’t going to prevent the loss of life due to COVID-19. Even with the best President, there will still be deaths as long as COVID rages on. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t vote in qualified people, but even the most qualified doctors have lost patients in their care. Man is no match for disease or death, and man cannot avoid death.
The vote is not the panacea for all of life’s ills. There are many things that only God can fix. We should do all we can to vote and correct the things we can fix, but we have to learn how to accept the things we cannot change — and pray for wisdom to know the difference. Faith in God will take you further than any vote ever could.
focus on the gospel agenda
In the midst of all the political chaos, and this voting time, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the vote, to live or die by the vote. Come Election Day, I will watch the news to see how the votes are cast and who’s ahead and who’s winning. I’m interested in the vote count because I voted. But at the same time, regardless of who wins or doesn’t, Jesus is still King! The Presidency and Vice Presidency may be up in the air, but Jesus is King — and His title and reign are undisputed!
And because our God reigns, He is King, we have a mission that endures despite presidents, vice presidents, and elections. What is that mission? To preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15), to go be His witnesses to all nations (Acts 1:8).
More Republican Christians emphasize showing up to the polls to vote, but imagine how much more saved the world would be if Republican Christians would show up to knock on doors, make phone calls, and talk to the lost about Jesus. In this social distancing era, Christians can still witness over-the-phone and on social media. We’re not devoid of platforms by which to spread the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Telegram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest, and others are examples of platforms we can use to spread the Gospel. If you know how to type a message and click post,” you have no excuse for not speaking a word for the Jesus you believe in. Republican Christians post about their favorite politicians during this time, but they should spend more time posting about their Savior, the One who loved them, gave His life for them, rose again for them, and is preparing a place for them.
We shouldn’t mourn as those who have no hope, Scripture says, but we shouldn’t vote as those who have no hope, either. We’re not voting as though our faith is in a human being. We’re not voting as though a President is our Savior. We’re voting because our faith in Jesus tells us to be salt and light in this world. We believe in a Savior who made this world (including America) and called it good, a world where the Lord allows the sun to rise on the just as well as the unjust.
There is confidence in the vote, and a hope it brings, but Jesus is, above the vote, Our Blessed Hope! As the beloved hymn begins, “My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness! I dare not trust, the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.” Let us remember to vote because we have faith in God, not because voting is our ticket to Heaven and we can achieve Heaven on earth. There’s a difference.
And finally, I leave you with these words that I pray comfort us all in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead, until our Lord and Savior returns for His Bride, The Church:
“Be not dismayed, what’er betide, God will take care of you.”