I don’t have an illustration, some cool story, or some poetic way to put what is on my heart this week. I can only give it to you straight. However, let me preface it by saying this: I have always thought it better for someone to tell me the truth and hurt my feelings so that I may amend my ways rather than for someone to sugar coat it and let me go on in hurtful ignorance.
In the last few weeks, I have been disgusted and outright embarrassed by certain people who claim to be a part of the body of Christ. Professing believers across the nation have fallen into the trap of a political gospel and propagated it. I dare say this infiltration of politics into the church is idolatrous! Verily, verily, I say unto you that politics and the affairs of this world have overgrown the Biblical Gospel in the hearts of many. I have personally seen it in these ways: Politics are talked about more than Jesus, it has caused many to forget that our mission is not voting but spreading the gospel and finally it has created such a divisiveness that has hindered our witness.
As I have watched this election play out, I have been utterly heartbroken at a people who have lost their way. I have even seen some folks equating their candidate of choice on the same level as Christ!
I’ve seen things that people have said and expressed, like “God will judge you for your vote” and going so far as to equate Trump and Biden with Saul and David.
I’ve seen churches, use their road signs to say, “Vote Trump!”
I’ve seen actual pastors stand out on the street and yell at cars about Donald Trump and this election when they should have been standing there preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ! Let me be clear, I do not belong to the cult of the elephant or the cult of the donkey. I’m not a Trumpian, I’m not a Bidenian – I am a CHRISTian. I’m not for or against Trump/Biden, but I am sure of this one thing, I’m for Christ, and refuse to lose focus of that.
Now, we think we do God’s work because we vote, but do not be deceived!
The Bible says that “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27 KJV), to love God, to love one another, and to believe on Jesus Christ.
These are the works of God! We ought to follow Jesus and we all ought to work in the great commission with complete trust in Him. However, we’re so busy fighting for this cause and that cause and this politician, all while people are going to hell! We’ve traded the Gospel of Christ for the Gospel of Trump/Biden.
Church, let me tell you plainly, God is the one who decides who’s in the White House, not us. And these Holy Scriptures prove it. The southern Kingdom of Judah had forgotten God and had fallen into idolatry, therefore, God brought the evil king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon upon Judah and allowed them to conquer it. And Nebuchadnezzar led Judah and all the Jews out of the land to Babylon, captive. Who decided this? Judah? Babylon? Nebuchadnezzar? Nay, but it was God who raised up Nebuchadnezzar, calling him His servant. God would later raise up Cyrus of Persia to overthrow Babylon and allow the Jews to return to their land, calling him His “anointed.”
Now, lest anyone think that Nebuchadnezzar had any power in himself, let it be known that even he personally found out that the Most High God is the one who reigns over the affairs of men. We can read in Daniel 4:29-37 that as Nebuchadnezzar was looking over the kingdom of Babylon, he began to wax boastful of his own power and majesty. But verily, he that exalts himself shall be humbled. God spoke to the king from the heavens and decreed that the kingdom was departed from him. Then, Nebuchadnezzar became like a beast of the field.
Verse 32 reads, “And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.”
I find the section in bold extremely intriguing. God decides who rules where and when, and this includes the U.S. presidency. However, it doesn’t matter who’s in the White House because God continually remains on the throne!
Christians have become too preoccupied preaching the policies of this world, worried about socialism and communism and so on more than they are about preaching the Gospel of Christ! Jesus did not commission his disciples to go out and promote some Roman politician to bring about the Gospel. He told them to go into all the world and preach!
“Preach the gospel to every creature, he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned!” (Mark 16).
But how can we preach Christ when we’re too busy preaching for or against some man running for President? We’re supposed to be representatives of Christ and ambassadors for the kingdom of God, but the church has traded the man from heaven, the lord of glory, for the earthy man! God help us! I tell you the truth, you cannot spread the kingdom of God while you’re campaigning for Donald and Joe!
All these politics are good for is three things:
#1 — To make you worry. People are scared to death because everything is so uncertain. Well church, whatever comes, we know that God is in control! Whether it seem good or bad! Going down to Egypt was good for Israel in the time of Joseph and the famine, but it turned bad when they were enslaved. Later, God brought them out. Of which of these times was God not in control? Yea loved ones, the whole time He was in control, for He is the sovereign Lord and rules over all the affairs of Men!
#2 — Politics are good for dividing. It divides the nation, but greater than that, when the church is wrongfully entangled with it, it divides the church! It’s the working of Satan and further it hurts our witness! How can anybody want to become a Christian when they see us tied up in the same ole mess as the rest of the world. To whom or to where can they go to find rest and peace from this weary world, if not the Church of God?
And finally, #3 — It distracts. It distracts the church from her purpose, from her identity, and from her citizenship. Our purpose is spread the Gospel and kingship of Jesus Christ, for He is King of kings and Lord of lords! Our identity is in Christ, not in political parties. Even before we are Americans, we ought to be Christians! Christ said He was not of this world, and neither should we be! Don’t love the world or the things in the world!
For “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” (2 Timothy 2:4-6)
On the subject of our citizenship: Let me tell you plainly, this world is not my home … I’m only passing through. America is temporary, but the Kingdom of God abides forever! The Apostle Paul said to the Philippians and to us that our citizenship is in Heaven! We are already citizens of that place now. Therefore, we ought to live like it! When Jesus came, He said the kingdom was at hand, and that it was in their midst and even though we await the fullness of it at Jesus’ second coming, the kingdom is here now and it is within you if you you’ve been born again. So, we ought to act like it, we ought to live like it, and we ought to be holy and distinct from this world. We ought to put sin away from us and be serious about living for God! Because one day He will come and judge the wicked and slothful servant with hell fire!
During the time of Samuel, the prophet, God wanted to be Israel’s king, but nothing would do the people that they be like the other nations around them with an earthly king.
God told Samuel, who was also a judge among them, “They’ve not rejected thee, but they’ve rejected me.”
So, God let them have Saul as King and Saul turned out to be rotten. Out of the 184 kings that would follow, only a handful were righteous. The rest led the people into idolatry and great evils and thus destruction. That’s what happens when you let a man lead you and you put your trust in him.
Church, we need to return to God in prayer, weeping and fasting! For judgment must first begin at the house of God and if the righteous scarcely be saved then where shall be ungodly and sinner appear? We must watch and pray for the second coming of Christ, because when He comes to judge, I believe He’s going to ask us about our Gospel work for him. Woe …woe … woe to them who have nothing to show but the unprofitable political work of this world! If our gospel be hid it is hid to those who are lost!
I’ll leave you with the words of the Lord Jesus: “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” (Matthew 24:44-46 KJV)
What are you going to be doing when the Lord comes?
Steven Croft is the senior pastor of Boyd Memorial First Church of God in Athens.