Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day thoughts

"If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV) I have heard this passage used in the days leading up to this election. The idea is that at this moment, if people will band together, admit their guilt and pray to the Lord, He will have the right candidate elected as president, vice president and a while host of other elected positions.

But which candidate is the right candidate? Which is the one that the Lord would have elected? The Christian on one side will say, "This one," while the Christian on the other will say, "that one." Who is right? My friends, that is the wrong question. We misuse this passage in order to get God on our side and have our candidate elected. And it truly is a misuse of this passage.

Instead of throwing around Scripture in order to get someone elected, why not actually listen to what this passage is saying? Solomon had finished building the temple, the house of the Lord and the Lord came to him with these words of hope and promise. It had nothing to do with an election. It had everything to do with a way of life.

Herein lies the real problem. The way of life in our country is far from the way that the Lord would have us live. We accept sin as an acceptable way of life. We embrace sinful actions while we despise the way of the Lord. We call good evil and evil good. We have turned things upside down in our country. And it isn't just the unbeliever that acts this way. Many Christians have embraced the way of sin - living together outside of marriage, the killing of the unborn, racial injustice (and not just against blacks but against every race, even the whites), homosexuality, abuse of power, hatred, anger, bitterness. It isn't just those who don't know any better but it is the Christian who has turned his/her back upon the Lord and embraced the way of sin with no contrition or repentance. Church bodies have turned from the Word of God, even so far as claiming that it is no longer the Word of God but merely the word of man. Churches and church leaders have begun to practise empty actions, much like the pharisees in our Lord's day, claiming that they are the holy ones because they offer the right sacrifices, do the right actions, have the right way of doing worship.

Then when the election comes around, we say, "For the moment, turn to the Lord, humble yourselves, and He will do what is right." Really? This isn't about an election. It is about a way of life. Turn from sin. Turn from the lies of the sinful world. Turn from sinful actions. As you turn from those things, confess your sins to God, repent! With repentance comes a way of life. The one who is sinning sexually should cease doing the sinful action. The one who is sinning by hating another because of his/her skin color should cease doing this sinful action. The one who is sinning by loving the things of this life more than the Triune God should cease doing this sinful action. Not just today but every day in the future.

This passage is talking about a complete way of life, a life that is lived according to the will of the Lord and not the will of man. It is much to late to begin to pray today for the outcome of the election. The reality is we are receiving the fruits of our sinful lives. Don't like the candidates? Think of this, we are receiving what our lives deserve. I do not believe either presidential candidate is the best candidate for the office. I do believe that they are what we as a nation deserve. We have turned form the Lord in our daily lives. This is receiving from the hand of the Lord what we deserve. When you turn from Him each day, over and over again, how can you expect Him to bless you? So it is with our nation. Long ago we turned from following the Lord. Today, we have the unfortunate outcome of our sinful way of life.

It is time we all wake up, from the least to the greatest. We humble ourselves. We confess our sin (not the sin of others but your personal guilt and sin). Receive forgiveness from the Lord. Then change, yes change, our way of life, the way our hearts guide us. We can't go on sinning boldly and then expect blessings from the Lord. It don't happen that way.

God be merciful to us. We are receiving what we deserve. Please, save us from ourselves.

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