Michael D. Dean
We are a day away from one of the most hotly contested presidential elections in recent history. The stakes are high in just about every way imaginable. Rarely has our nation been more polarized over moral, social and economic issues as we have been during this campaign.
Because of the tightness of the race, as Americans we may not know on Wednesday morning who has been elected on November 6. But at the point where the results of the election are known, no matter what the outcome, for the church certain things will remain unchanged.
First, God remains sovereign over the affairs of our nation. “There is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Romans 13:1). God either blesses a nation by giving it good leaders, or judges a nation by giving it poor leaders. He is still sovereign over all.
Second, Jesus Christ still occupies the place of supremacy. At the resurrection Christ was raised from the dead and seated at God’s right hand “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:21).
Third, our nation is still desperately in need of spiritual awakening. Laws and lawmakers can never change the heart of our nation. The spiritual awakening that is long overdue in the U.S. will come only as God’s people humble themselves, pray, seek God’s face and turn from their sinful ways (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Fourth, all civic leaders still must be prayed for. “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
Fifth, the Gospel remains the most important information to be proclaimed. As Christ-followers enter the fray of a political contest it is easy for us to forget what is most important. “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Sixth, our personal witness is still our greatest campaign. As much as we may have advocated for or against a candidate or a cause, we must continue to be vigilant in “gossiping the gospel” of Jesus Christ in the circles where God has placed us. Jesus said that Spirit-filled believers “will be My witnesses” (Acts 1:8).
Seventh, the object of our worship is unchanged. As the people of God we bow the knee only to the Lord Jesus Christ. No matter what party controls the various branches of nation’s government our citizenship is in heaven and we worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Eighth, our cultural mandate is still binding. Jesus said to His disciples, “You are the salt of the earth … You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13-14). Our confidence is not ultimately in the difference that elected officials can make in changing society. Christ-followers are the true agents of change in any community in which they are located.
Ninth, the church remains committed to greatness through service, not through power. Even if our preferred candidates are elected to public office, that does not afford us greatness due to access to power. Our greatness is gauged by the measure of our Lord who came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28).
Tenth, no matter who is elected our world will not ultimately change until Christ returns. While we await the election returns, we must never stop anticipating the return of our Savior who alone will make all things new (Revelation 21:5). As citizens we have rightly been concerned about electing a president. As Christ-followers may we be ever more diligent about enthroning our great King Jesus in our lives and in our churches.