It's the Right To Life....Voter
What a dilemma for the pastor today. It is Reformation Day. The day that Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door at the Wittenberg church and set off the chain of events that led to the “reforming” of the church. Justification by faith alone once again became the central doctrine of the church.
I could spend today speaking on the impact of the reformation and why we need to celebrate it! Today is also Halloween. Hmmmmm, what should the Christian response be to this secular holiday that glorifies satanic themes? Maybe I should do a message on why we shouldn’t celebrate it.
But then, the election is coming up on Tuesday. Some people are calling this the most important election of our lifetime. This president will be appointing, and this Congress will be approving the Supreme Court justices that will (in spite of what the Constitution says) govern the course of our land for the next 30 years.
I could spend today giving you Christian voting principles, or I could continue going verse by verse through the Book of Romans. These are difficult choices! What to do? After much prayer I have decided to preach on the importance of setting our clocks back one hour. Another big issue of today.
One of the benefits of setting our clocks back one hour is that you all have had an extra hour of sleep. This should help keep you awake as I preach on this subject.
All right, yes, I’m kidding. I’m not preaching on Central Standard Time. The most important thing I could preach on today would be the matter of justification by faith, the theme of the Reformation. Because without justification, without salvation, what doe Halloween matter or the election?
However, we affirm that every Sunday in our worship and in the message, and indeed have already affirmed that in our worship today thAT we are saved by grace alone. So it would seem to be a good idea then to spend a little time today on Tuesday’s election and the importance of voting.
One of my professors at seminary told us that a good preacher will learn to preach with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. The election is front page news these days and so we will seek to address it today from a biblical perspective.
Obviously I can not stand behind this pulpit and tell you who to vote for. That would be very bush on my part, and in the spirit of equal time, we don’t want to get Kerried away with political endorsements. I have been very careful to not add “Michaels Rowed The Boat Ashore to our worship music this morning, and any references to “fine gold” in the order of worship have been avoided.
But seriously, do you believe the number of phone calls you have received this week touting one candidate or another? How many slick flyers have arrived in your mail? How many ads have you seen on TV and heard on the radio? Do you realize how much money is being spent on this election?
The Washington Times reports that the presidential candidates have spent 1.2 billion dollars alone! Add the other races and the total is at 4 billion dollars! According to opensecrets.org, the senatorial candidates in Wisconsin have already spent 10 million dollars and they still have another 2 million in the kitty! Friends something is wrong with the election process in our land!
Please, just stop a minute and think this money thing through. Why are people and special interest groups so willing to part with their money in order to see one candidate elected and the other defeated?
It doesn’t matter if you are the owner of a construction company and want a candidate who will bring government construction jobs to your state or if you are interested in the lives of unborn babies being spared, the money is spent in hopes that your candidate will win and get the government involved with your particular cause.
Now what does that tell you? It tells you that government has gotten too big for its britches. It tells you that everyone is looking to the government for their answers. The size of the campaign coffers is directly related to the size of our government. People are only going to give to the amount that they believe the government can help their cause.
In my mind, the sad thing is that many in the church have bought into this philosophy, many in the church feel that if only the government would step in, everything would be better. Friends that’s just plain misguided. The government should step in only for the cause of physically protecting its citizens. That is the biblical purpose of government.
Do you want things to get better? Then let Christ step in! Let Him step into your life and allow Him to work through you and the Body of Christ to make things better for you and your neighbor and stop relying on the government.
One of the first thing the communists did when they took power in Russia was to ban charity. They took the church out of the charity business because they wanted the people to be beholding to the government rather than the church.
We have done the same thing in America. The church has decided to let the government take care of the welfare of the people in addition to the physical protection of the people. We have handed over one of our God-given roles to the state and look what has happened.
The church now plays second fiddle to the state, we have lost our voice, and quite frankly we have helped create the monster called big government, because we stopped being concerned for the welfare of people. What causes ridiculous campaign spending? Big government.
One of the purposes of Government is to stay out of the church’s way and allow us to make a difference. Paul, writing to Timothy makes it clear:
1Ti 2:1-4 GW First of all, I encourage you to make petitions, prayers, intercessions, and prayers of thanks for all people, (2) for rulers, and for everyone who has authority over us. Pray for these people so that we can have a quiet and peaceful life always lived in a godly and reverent way. (3) This is good and pleases God our Savior. (4) He wants all people to be saved and to learn the truth.
We are to pray for our elected officials and it doesn’t matter whether they are democrats, republicans, or the “know nothings” ( a very real party that was active during the Millard Fillmore years!) Never heard of them? Does that surprise you?
What are we to pray for? According to this passage, we are to pray for leaders that will promote policies that allow us to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
This does not mean that we seek to “ban” all other religious competition. We aren’t looking for candidates to establish an official “Christian government.” Because, let me let you in on a little secret....God is not afraid of other religions. And we can hold His truth up confidently against anything or anyone.
He confronted and defeated the Baal worshipers through the prophet Isaiah:
1Ki 18:21 GW Elijah stood up in front of all the people and asked them, "How long will you try to have it both ways? If the LORD is God, follow him; if Baal is God, follow him." The people didn't say a word.
He confronted the Gentiles and their gods through the Apostle Paul and Barnabas: Paul speaking in
Act 14:15 GW "Men, what are you doing? We're human beings like you. We're spreading the Good News to you to turn you away from these worthless gods to the living God. The living God made the sky, the land, the sea, and everything in them.
To get a feel for the confrontational tactics of Paul and his co-workers, we can look at the riot in Ephesus as found in Acts 19. The townspeople had dragged two of Paul’s coworkers into an arena to do them harm because they were spreading the Good News. But the city clerk, a government official who was doing his God-ordained job correctly, stood up in front of the lynch mob and said,
Act 19:37-40 GW The men you brought here don't rob temples or insult our goddess. (38) If Demetrius and the men who work for him have a legal complaint against anyone, we have special days and officials to hold court. That's where they should bring charges against each other. (39) If you want anything else, you must settle the matter in a legal assembly. (40) At this moment we run the risk of being accused of rioting today for no reason. We won't be able to explain this mob."
Paul and the apostles never protested or made demands on the Roman government concerning their gods or the gods of others, they simply placed the one true God of the universe alongside their gods and preached the Good News, trusting in the Holy Spirit for the results.
The government stepped in and rightly protected Paul and his coworkers and that’s what good government is all about....protection of it’s citizens. Think about the Roman government and it’s leaders. Not exactly a model of moral decency, nonetheless Paul called for the people to pray for these leaders, as we are called to pray for our leaders today.
The Roman government, as immoral and corrupt as it was, served the early church well. Travel was relatively easy throughout the whole empire and the Gospel spread easily because the people were allowed to preach. Because the Roman government maintained order and protection in the land.
The real enemies of the early church were the other churches including the Jews. They were the ones stirring up all the commotion, but even then Paul, a Roman citizen sought and was granted protection from the government.
Godly government’s first and most important role is the protection of it’s citizens.
Of course that protection for Paul all changed when Nero came to power and sought to make the Christians a scapegoat, and terrible persecution took place. Peter was martyred, Paul was martyred and John was imprisoned on the island of Patmos.
This was not the biblical prototype of good government because it no longer provided for a quiet and peaceful life for it’s citizens, whereby they were able to preach the Good News.
We have an entirely different situation in America. We have the right to vote for our government officials and that in effect makes us “the government.” “We the people is more than just a slogan, it is a political reality!
So we are not only to pray for our leaders, but we, in a sense, are the leaders, we are the ones who should be working for a quiet and peaceful life for our citizens that produces an environment that is conducive to the spread of the Good News.
Number one issue therefore for Christians is: We should be looking for candidates who will seek to protect the physical lives of their law abiding citizens while maintaining their rights of free speech, and lawful assembly........ Protecting the physical lives of our law abiding citizens.........
The Declaration of Independence states that “we hold these truths to be self-evident. All men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It was not by mistake that our founding fathers listed the right to life as number one.”
Without life there can be no liberty, without liberty their can be no happiness. The right to life and protection of innocent life is paramount to good government. According to Romans 13, all government has been established by God, and one of the reasons government exists is to wield the sword against wrongdoers.
But what has happened with legalized abortion? The government has chosen to wield the sword against the innocent. The government of the United States of America right now is opposing the will of God, and over 3000 unborn children are being slaughtered every day and guess what?
We are part of that government and we need to confess this national sin! And we need to pray for our country, and we need to vote for candidates who will fight for the protection of all of it’s citizens.
Unless this spilling of innocent blood is turned around, God is going to tear this country down, He will destroy it, and never allow it to rise again! I want you to pay close attention to this next verse that I am going to share with you.
I want you to remember it, mark it in your Bible, put it on the walls of your house. Teach it to you children. Share it with those who you know, believers or not, who are voting against pro-life candidates.
You will likely be mocked, but don’t let that stop you. This verse must be shouted from the rooftops before and after every election. One of the responsibilities of the Christian is to be a watchman. This should be our cry at this critical hour.
Psa 28:5 GW The LORD will tear them down and never build them up again, because they never consider what he has done or what his hands have made.
The Lord will tear them down and never build them up again. Why? Because they never consider what He has done (sent Jesus to pay for our sins) OR WHAT HIS HANDS HAVE MADE!
The Bible tells us that we were all “fearfully and wonderfully made, knitted inside our mothers womb and the Lord’s eyes were upon us even while we were being formed in the womb. The Lord said to Jeremiah I knew you even before I formed you...even before conception!
Every one of us have been made by His hands and tell me, if we are legally eliminating over 3000 of these hand made items every single day...can we call that consideration? Is there any way we can stretch the slaughter of these innocent children and call it considering what God has made?
What does the Lord say He will do with such people? What will He do to a people who do not consider what He has made? He will tear them down and NEVER build them up again. Suddenly the candidates stand on the other issues doesn’t seem as important anymore does it?
This is the real issue facing our nation! Our very existence as a nation hinges on what we do to those people and those things that God has made. Now a lot has been made in this campaign about security for our nation.
This passage clearly states that any candidate that is not 100% pro-life poses the greatest security threat to this nation. This must be the starting point for any Bible believing Christian who loves America as they close the curtain behind them in the voting booth. Because if we don’t turn this around God will destroy us as a nation.
Having said that, let me also say that God is very patient.
2Pe 3:8-9 GW Dear friends, don't ignore this fact: One day with the Lord is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. (9) The Lord isn't slow to do what he promised, as some people think. Rather, he is patient for your sake. He doesn't want to destroy anyone but wants all people to have an opportunity to turn to him and change the way they think and act.
It is only by His grace and mercy that He has not already destroyed us as a nation. It is only by His grace and mercy that we still live in a country where we can publicly proclaim the Good News, but even now there are inklings that that day may soon pass. So we must work while it is still light.
We work to share the gospel and we work to “consider” those made in the image of God.
The stakes are high in this election and because of the high stakes, there is a great deal of fear on both sides of the fence. A recent Gallup poll finds that 54% of registered voters are afraid of what will happen if their candidate for president does not win on election day. Another 22% somewhat agree with that statement.
In reality the only fear some should have is if their pro-choice candidate is elected. Remember this about Ps. 28:5, it was not given to frighten those who are in Christ. It is given to frighten those who have not given consideration to God’s Gospel or what His hands have made.
It’s true that if God judges this nation, we will suffer along with those who have rejected the message of life, but God will give us the grace to endure. He never gives His children more than they can handle. So don’t be afraid if the pro-choice candidates are elected.
2Ti 1:7 GW God didn't give us a cowardly spirit but a spirit of power, love, and good judgment.
Should God bring judgement and trial and tribulation upon this land, He will give us the strength to endure knowing that we have the sure promise of a better life to come.
Christians do not need to fear the outcome of any election because I don’t care how much money a candidate spends or how he is doing in the polls, he will not take office without God’s permission.
Rom 13:1 GW Every person should obey the government in power. No government would exist if it hadn't been established by God. The governments which exist have been put in place by God.
Does that mean that we shouldn’t vote? Of course not, our God-ordained government has given us this privilege and we ought to use it, but win lose or draw, we need to remember who is in charge.
God will use the governments that He puts in place to suit His ultimate purposes. And remember what we said His ultimate purpose is? To bring souls to salvation......let Him decide how He is going to use government to that end and learn to work in the kingdom no matter what the political climate.
So on Wednesday morning or whenever the election is decided, get on your knees and thank the Lord for the people He has placed in office. Pray for them and obey them (as long as they don’t tell you to do something against God’s Word. )
And remember, the outcome of every election is simply this, God giving us what we need.....not what we deserve.