I trust you are doing well and looking forward to our service this coming Lord's Day!
We are just one month out from what may very well be the most consequential election in our life time. We say that each election cycle but in this case it's not an exaggeration. There are a great many issues at stake! These are truly stressful times. So in advance of the election here are 5 truths what we must remember:
1. God ultimately appoints every member of government office and no purpose of his can be thwarted. "Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases" (Psalm 115:3). He alone is the one who "changes times and seasons" and "removes kings and sets up kings" (Daniel 2:21).We rest today knowing that "his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation" (Daniel 4:34).
2. God calls us to honor and subject ourselves to the human authorities when they do good. Paul is clear that, because "there is no authority except from God" (Romans 13:1), we must not resist what God has appointed (Romans 13:2), but must "pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed" (Romans 13:7).Peter stressed that we must "be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. . . . Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor" (1 Peter 2:13-14, 17; compare with Titus 3:1-2).
3. Remember that if any governing authority asks us to sin, we must resist, choosing instead to "obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). We do so in order that we may never "deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ" (Jude 4).
4. God calls us to thank God for our leaders and to pray for them, even when they abuse us. In Paul's words, "I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way" (1 Timothy 2:1-2).To this Jesus would add, "Love your enemies. . . . Pray for those who abuse you" (Luke 6:27-28). Because God holds every human heart and controls every outcome, we must pray for him to act, for him to grant wisdom, for him to overcome, for him to mercifully save.
5. Remember that our freedom is in Christ, our citizenship is in heaven, and our hope is in God, who reigns forever. In Christ, we are truly free, and no earthly state or government power can take this freedom away (Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 2:16). Similarly, "our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20; compare with Ephesians 2:19). May we help our children "set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments" (Psalm 78:7).
"Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. . . . Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God. . . . The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!" (Psalm 146:3, 5, 10).
As we move through the next few weeks I urge you to be intentional in remembering these truths and guiding others to see, think, and hear with a big God in view. He is ever on the throne, and He alone is our hope.