Summary: What are the responsibilities of believers in this critical election cycle?
Have you noticed it’s an election year yet?
• Endless TV ads, surveys, mailings, and phone calls.
We’re getting down to the wire now. In just over three weeks we’ll head to the polls and America will make it choices.
Someone said to me this week: “I’ll be glad when this is all over.”
It’s a true statement for many of us, yet it’s a shame at the same time. A process that is peaceful and the envy of the world becomes so laborious and tiresome all too quickly.
I don’t intend to add to that weight today, but I do want to talk to you about this election. What I will not do is talk to you about any particular candidate or party … those choices are yours to make. What I will do, however, is talk about our position as believers and the election.
It’s obvious that this is important to a lot of people. What we spend our money and time on tells us what matters, and it is clear that this matters to a lot of folks.
I’m afraid, though, that there are many who take the “so what” approach to these important elections.
• There’s an election, so what (school’s out)?
• There’s an election, so what (plenty of other people will participate)?
• There’s an election, so what (really doesn’t matter who’s in or who’s out … my situation remains the same)?
• Could go on …
My real fear is that too many Christians will say, “I’m a Christian and it’s an election year … so what?”
Let’s read our text today: Matthew 10:16
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”
Jesus had just finished commissioning His disciples for ministry. He gave them very specific instructions about what they were to do and say. But then He turns their minds to a reality: it’s going to be difficult. You will be opposed. You will not always be welcome.
When this happens, you must take the wisest course and remain peaceful.
I admit, this is an odd text to work into this type of message, but I believe it is relevant to our times and our positions as believers.
We’re living in some difficult times. Never has it been more difficult in America to be a believer. It’s not popular, it’s not supported, it’s not the cool thing to do or be. It’s much like believers are put to the wolves, so to speak.
So how do we respond, especially when there’s something as critical as an election going on?
First of all, I believe we must be willing to honestly admit …
# 1: Our Nation is at Risk …
• A day like never before in our history.
• Massive national debt and economic problems.
• Political gridlock and hopelessness.
• Threats of terror attacks.
• International dangers … Syria and Iran.
• It would seem that these are our greatest threats and problems, and they ARE serious, but I believe they are only indicators of greater foundational problems.
Proverbs 14: 34 …
“Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people.”
Could it be that some of what we face in America today is the reproach of sin? We are a nation at risk because we have abandoned God and the principles of His Word.
• Erosion of morality.
• Consumer mindset, even in the church.
• God has been removed from the public discourse.
• Devalue of human life/abortion.
• Dwindling support for the nation of Israel.
Our nation is at risk on many fronts, but the greatest risk our nation faces is that we stand to lose the blessings and protection of God by our own doing. We are at great risk …
# 2: But our nation is also great …
• In spite of our problems and difficulties, people still risk their lives and fortunes to get here.
• In spite of our problems, the freedom of our nation is still the envy of the world.
• Founded on ideas and principles, rather than the ego of some dictator.
• Founded in prayer and fueled in the pulpits of pioneer churches.
• Countless thousands have bled and died for this nation and the freedoms that we enjoy.
• Indeed, freedom has been put in the heart of every person. We yearn to be free and live without encumbrances. That’s why the devil fights so hard against us – he desires to keep us enslaved to sin because he knows that freedom is in our hearts. God created us in His image and likeness with the ability to have knowledge, think rationally, and reason. He has given us the gift of freedom.