2020 Post-Election Encouragement(By Christopher Long, BodEquip Ministries)
[Note: The below was purposely written before the election results were known because the message is applicable regardless of result.]
On this election day in America, before the results are known, I would like to offer this encouragement:
Regardless of what happens with the election, our hope as believers is not dependent upon American political figures or upon governmental systems. I understand that to many believers, particularly in America, it is very easy to get caught up in all the political back-and-forth. And I understand, per my last writing, that this election is important and that there are two very different views of how this country should be governed.
But as believers in Jesus Christ, our hope and our calling is never centered around a political figure or the people we believe are "right" to be in office or on what laws are passed. We are citizens of the eternal Kingdom before we are a citizen of an earthly one. Ultimately, regardless of who wins or what happens, my calling as a believer in Jesus doesn't really change and neither does yours. We are to represent Jesus.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21:
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (ESV)
We are not called by God to be ambassadors for Donald Trump or for Joe Biden. We are called to be ambassadors for Jesus. And our message is one of reconciliation - that God has made the way for all of humanity to be reconciled to Himself.
The only way we all as humans actually can be truly reconciled one to another and walk in the fullness of love and unity with one another is through the reconciliation found in Jesus. If we right the vertical relationship of humanity to God, we also right the horizontal relationship of humanity to humanity.
Our calling as believers is to represent Jesus to others in all we say and do. Would Jesus angrily shout at someone who disagreed with him politically? Would Jesus spend lots of time posting back and forth on social media trying to win merely political arguments with people?
Political views, like most other things, are merely symptoms of deeper issues. Solve the root issues, you solve the political ones. As followers of Christ, our call is to represent the eternal Kingdom.
I know it's easy, particularly in an election that DOES have serious implications for how we live life here as humanity, and particularly for those of us that have seen our country get more and more lost, to get sucked into focusing so intensely on the political issues. I'm not saying these things aren't important. I'm just saying that as believers we have a call and a message that transcends all of that and that is where we need to have our focus.
All through the time when Jesus was here and in the life of the early church, there were INTENSE political problems and issues. For the early church there was significant persecution. Yet there's a funny thing in the Bible - you never really see that ranted against. Jesus certainly talked about the religious leaders, but he never really railed against Rome. Paul and the early church, even as they were persecuted like crazy, for the most part never really wrote to air all their grievances on the political front. They realized those were not actually the real issues that needed to be addressed.
Paul, in Ephesians 6:20 declared himself to be an "ambassador in chains" and asking prayers of fellow believers that even as he is in chains that he would proclaim the message of Jesus boldly. This is a man that understood that regardless of what culture around him does or even does to him, he needs to stay single-minded on Jesus.
Regardless of who wins, I do believe hard times may be ahead. In fact if you know your Bible, you know definitively that REAL HARD times are ahead (it's just a matter of timing).
Our hope does not rest on political candidates. Our hope rests in Jesus. If we don't keep our focus on Him, it can be easy to get discouraged and lose heart (and even get really angry) with what culture around us is doing.
But the truth is this world is a very broken world and that ultimately isn't going to change until Jesus comes back. In the meantime, we are here to be a light shining in the darkness pointing people to Jesus, the only source of true hope and joy, and where all truly find all they were looking for.
There is a lot of division out there culturally - We ARE a divided world. But true unity is found in Jesus where the ground is level at the foot of the cross.
I urge all of us as followers of Jesus to make sure we have not and are not burning bridges with people that need to know Jesus for the sake of merely spouting some political opinions...
The Church of Jesus Christ is who God left on this earth to showcase and declare the true message of reconciliation. That is our ultimate call and we want to make sure we aren't clouding that up.
I wrote recently about my concerns for how the Church, particularly in America, has been a pretty powerless and faithless force that our culture has little to no respect for. I also wrote that I believe there is a great shaking going on within the Church where believers (including pastors/leaders) that have been operating in a very superficial (and fear-based) mode are being exposed as such in these times.
While I do believe there IS real cause for concern with the state of the Church today, I do have hope that through this process that what will remain when all is said and done will be a much more effective and much more unified Body operating in power and faith the way we are supposed to.
While dark days may be ahead, truthfully all through history there have been dark days. But our call as the Church is the same as it has always been - to be a beacon of light regardless. And I actually truly believe right now we as the Church have a GREAT opportunity and that God is moving powerfully - there IS major revival stirring. But it first is stirring with the Church.
These are times where regardless of election outcomes we want to jump wholeheartedly into following Jesus and taking our walk with Jesus really seriously. This is time to be in the Word like never before - and I mean REALLY studying the Word. To pray like never before. To bask in the love and joy of Your Father like never before. This is time to make sure we are anchored deep in Jesus and representing Him to a very confused and divided world, and that we are following what HE says over other voices.
I close with this: There's a little-known (can't even find on YouTube) 1970's Christian kids song that I love called "Jesus Is The Only One". In it some of the lyrics are: "Jesus is the only One that you can depend upon, trust Him and you'll be smiling." We aren't depending on earthly governments, even one we have loved and enjoyed in a certain way. We are depending on Jesus. Earthly kingdoms do come and go. The Kingdom of God is forever. You and I are in that Kingdom and it is unshakeable and unchangeable. Our hope is secure no matter what.
Keep smiling. Keep singing. Keep looking up. Keep praying. Keep showcasing Jesus to all you know. You are an ambassador of Jesus Christ and the eternal Kingdom of God! :)
This article is Copyright by Christopher Long 2020. All rights reserved. You may quote/reprint this article for any non-commercial purpose without obtaining permission as long as you use the entire text and that all text, including this and all following notices, is not modified or removed in any fashion. For any other usage, you must obtain written permission from the author.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
This is version 1.0 of this document (November 3, 2020).
Previous versions: N/A
This document is provided as a ministry outreach of BodEquip Ministries. http://www.bodequip.org