This passage from the book of Jude verses 17 – 23 (there’s only one chapter) describes where I am at the moment regarding the state of the presidential election: I’m persevering.
Jude wrote: “But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.”
Our choice has come down to two candidates who, on their best day, seem to be “scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.”
Nonetheless, I will vote on November 8, because 1) I think that one choice has a slight chance of being less evil than the other, and 2) as a naturalized U.S. citizen, I think it is a great privilege to participate in the electoral process even in the most trying of times.
To say we live in trying times, with nary a true statesman or stateswoman to be found, is known to all. We’re in “it” up to our eyeballs. Yet, I remain hopeful that life will go on regardless of what happens on November 8, and God’s people will continue to live with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3).
Followers of Christ, are advised, however, not to close a blind eye to the depravity of their candidates of choice, simply to justify pulling a blue or red lever in the voting booth. We, of all people, can be starkly honest about our earthly leaders.
We can be honest, because we are also advised not to trust them with our lives. Their best ideas are corrupt and doomed: Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. (Psalm 146:3-4). Earthly rulers have a very short shelf-life.
Christians stand on a different foundation. Our hope is Christ alone! We put our trust in God alone! This is the bedrock of our faith and everyday life. And because we put our trust in Him, we do not live in terror of one candidate or another winning or losing. Our lives are held in a much deeper and eternal place.
This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? (Psalm 56:9-11)
So, we persevere. Jude tells us how: “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.”
We may hold our noses as we pull the lever. But we pray for our leaders that they will exercise God’s righteousness a la Romans 13. But we do not put our trust in them. We do not fear what a human can do to us, because we know the Great and Living God – are we know He is for us!
For now, we persevere Jude-style, building up our faith through prayer, loving God, loving people, waiting for that final day of mercy when earthly rulers will no longer scramble and claw for position and power, but instead, they will bow before the only true and eternal ruler: Jesus Christ our Lord!
And we preach and teach the Gospel of salvation through Christ alone!
It’s a fantastic life!
May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.