The Desire of All Nations
Every presidential season Americans are accustomed to healthy debates on the most important issues facing our nation. We peruse the political landscape of candidates, listen to their speeches, discuss their leadership potential, and ultimately choose the candidates that will represent our respective parties. For better or worse, we determine which individual will lead our nation. When the eventual winner emerges we collectively resign to our country’s choice…at least for the next four years.
Regardless of your political views, it is safe to say we are all in agreement that this presidential year has some truly unique candidates. Determining who to vote for can be especially vexing for a Christian. How exactly does one reconcile their faith at the ballot box?
Here are some things to consider before you cast your vote this November:
You can’t be a bystander.
You may find it difficult to support any candidate because the remaining contenders don’t wholeheartedly support your views. Sitting out the election season may be the easy thing to do, but it’s not the Christian thing to do. “I know your actions,” Jesus said in the book of Revelation, “you are neither cold nor hot, I wish you were either one or the other…because you are lukewarm and neither hot or cold, I will spew you out.”1
If our Christian beliefs are worth anything, then they are worth everything. Christ expects us to be earnest in our beliefs and not indifferent in our behavior. Determining a candidate can be difficult, but avoiding the difficult decision to vote is in itself a decision. To not choose is to choose, to not act is to action. It shows one to be a lukewarm Christian.
We have a unique opportunity to help determine the leadership for our blessed country. We cannot sit on the sidelines and not take part in the decision.
Remember to take on a Biblical perspective.
The best laid plans of men cannot hold a candle to the divine providence of God. Even if the candidates we’re against are elected, we don’t have to live in fear and worry of leaders whose policies oppose the law of God. God will ultimately prevail. As Christians, we have the assurance of our faith in remembering God is in control and that all things will come to pass according to His purpose.2 Scripture is filled with examples of this:
When the Egyptian Pharaoh attempted to destroy the chosen people God was in control and safeguarded them.3
When the Babylonian king attempted to throw God’s elect into a furnace of fire, God was in control and preserved them.4
When Herod slaughtered the innocents in an attempt to eliminate any rivals, God was in control and protected the Christ child.5
And when sinful man ruined his gift of eternity, God was in control and sent His only Son to save us.6
Even into our own day, no leader can resist the will of God. Whoever may come to power in our world, we can rest assure that:
There is not a king that has reigned,
there is not a society that has prospered,
there is not a person that has existed,
that has outlived the will and Word of God.
“Heaven and earth will pass away,” Christ proclaimed, “but my Words will not.”7
Our perfect leader is coming.
In spite of their guarantees, politicians cannot offer complete safety and security. Human leaders can only do so much. There is no possible way to have total control over our nation or world affairs. Global leaders speak of peace and cooperation among countries while in the same turn they are wary of other nations and continue to build up their militaries for safety and protection.
Throughout the history of mankind, no human effort has brought true lasting peace and unity to the earth. In some way, shape or form every political party, every political movement, every political candidate, and every human being yearns for it. Listen to all the protesters, arguments, debates, radio, and news programs. We are all looking for justice, peace, balance, equality, and fairness. We support candidates, parties, and movements that we feel bring us closer to that reality, yet it continues to elude us.
In many passages, Scripture reminds us that there can be no peace on the earth until the “Prince of Peace”8 returns. The Bible rightly calls Him the “Desire of all nations.”9 The Lord’s Prayer is in fact a prayer for the Lord’s kingship. Every time you pray it you are asking God to send his peace on the earth by establishing his Kingdom:
Thy Kingdom Come
Thy Will Be Done
As It Is Being Done in Heaven
Christians are not supposed to live idly until that day comes. Scripture encourages believers to be active examples of Christianity in their communities10, pray for their leaders11 (whether we like them or not), live at peace with others12, and spread the Gospel13. However, every Christian makes their efforts looking forward to the true peace offered in a different world.
The book of Hebrews lists the actions of many Biblical characters that continued to live out their faith at different times in history regardless of their circumstances. In spite of their earthly trials and suffering, Hebrews tells us: “They were motivated to live for God because, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”14
So…Who Should I Vote For?
Our standard for choosing any leader should come from Scripture and not from a writer’s opinion. Since there is no perfect human leader we want to choose the candidate whose beliefs are as close to agreeing to the Word of God as possible. For example, what are a candidate’s views on abortion and the life of the unborn when compared to Scriptures where God states: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you…”15 “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”16
By comparing Scripture with a politician’s positions we can determine which candidate will best support Biblical precepts. Again, any candidate we choose will have shortcomings, but we should continue to pray for our leadership and continue to actively live out the Gospel in our communities, so that others can come to saving faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”17
While there is no perfect candidate, there is a perfect God. Our active participation in the political process and our Christian example in our daily lives is not in vain. It is for the glory of our God and for His Kingdom to come. Recall the words of Benjamin Franklin when you feel your efforts will go unnoticed and will not change the direction of our country or the world: “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth-that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?”
Continue to contend for the faith18 and work as a faithful servant…looking forward to the Kingdom to come.
Revelation Chapter 3 Verses 14 - 16
2 Romans Chapter 8 Verses 28 - 39
3 Exodus Chapter 14 Verses 23 - 25
4 Daniel Chapter 3 Verses 13 - 30
5 The Gospel of Matthew Chapter 2 Verses 13 - 21
6 The Gospel of John Chapter 3 Verse 16
7 The Gospel of Matthew Chapter 24 Verse 35
8 The Book of Isaiah Chapter 9 Verse 6
9 Haggai Chapter 2 Verse 7
10 1st Thessalonians Chapter 4 Verses 9 - 12
11 The 1st Book of Timothy Chapter 2 Verses 1 - 3
12 Romans Chapter 12 Verse 18
13 The 2nd Book of Timothy Chapter 4 Verses 2
14The Book of Hebrews Chapter 11 Verse 16
15 Jeremiah Chapter 1 Verse 5
16 Psalm Chapter 139 Verse 16
17 The Gospel of Matthew Chapter 5 Verse 16
18 The Book of Jude Chapter 1 Verse 3