Summary: As followers of Jesus and members of the Kingdom of God, we must keep our focus on our heavenly citizenship and seek to obey our commanding officer (Jesus) and not get entangled in civilian life.
A. One day, two men, who didn’t know each other, were sitting on a park bench and neither one said anything for quite some time.
1. Then one of the men let out a BIG SIGH.
2. The other man immediately got up and said, “Well, if you’re going to talk politics, I’m out’a here!” and off he went.
B. That’s about the way it is these days with our political climate of divisiveness and hostility.
1. People are on edge and everyone seems ready for a fight the second someone says something pro or con about a political candidate or party.
2. That’s not the way it should be among healthy mature, and well-informed people.
3. And that’s certainly not the way it should be for Christians who are walking in the footsteps of our Lord who taught us to love one another and to treat others the way we want to be treated.
C. With our national election only two days away, I feel called to bring a message from Scripture that I hope and pray will give us the kind of spiritual perspective that God wants us to have.
1. As I look back on my 36 years of preaching, I see that I have only brought a special message near election day on a few other occasions – 1988, 2008, and 2016.
2. All the messages I have shared on those occasions have the same focus, because the truths of God never change.
D. And one of the other things that doesn’t change is the challenges we face in life.
1. The first point that I want to make this morning to help us have the right perspective is: There is nothing new under the sun!
2. We want to think that no one has ever gone through what we are going through, or no one has ever had it as hard as we are having it, but that’s not true.
3. King Solomon, the wise man of the Old Testament, wrote: What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun (Eccl. 1:9).
4. The apostle Paul wrote: No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity (1 Corinthians 10:13)
E. So as we go to the polls to vote on Tuesday, we might be tempted to think that the United States has never had an election during such challenging times as a pandemic, but that’s not true.
1. The 1918 pandemic, sometimes called the Spanish Flu, occurred during the mid-term elections.
Jason Marisam, who studied the effect of influenza on the 1918 election, said: “The San Francisco Chronicle ran photos of Election Day, people lining up to vote all wearing these masks. They called it the first masked ballot in U.S. history. You have to think that that kind of mentality had an impact on turnout.”
2. During the national, presidential elections of 1916 and 1952, there were polio outbreaks.
3. Many of our national, presidential elections have occurred during times of war: including, the 1812 election during the War of 1812; the 1864 election, during the Civil War; the 1916 election during WWI; the 1940 and 1944 elections during WWII; the 1952 election during the Korean war, and many elections during the Vietnam War and the War in Afghanistan.
F. Another thing we might be tempted to think is that we are living during the most tumultuous times in history with all the civil unrest our nation is experiencing, but again, that’s not true.
1. We don’t have to look very far back in our nation’s history to remember another equally tumultuous time.
2. In 1963, the President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated.
3. Two years later, human rights activist and Muslim leader, Malcolm X was assassinated.
4. Three years later, civil rights activist and Christian minister, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.
5. Two months later, presidential candidate, Robert Kennedy was assassinated.
6. In the midst of these tragedies, there were war protests, race riots, college campus riots.
7. In 1970 only 11 days apart, campus protests and riots ended with injuries and death.
a. The National Guard opened fire on student protesters at Kent State University and in 13 seconds, 4 students were dead and 8 others were injured.
b. The local and state police opened fire on student protesters at Jackson State College resulting in 2 deaths and 12 others injured.
8. Those were tumultuous times indeed.
G. Going way back in history to the early decades of the church, consider the tumultuous times our early brothers and sisters experienced.
1. Paul’s two letters to Timothy were written during stressful and challenging times.
2. Paul was in jail in Rome and Timothy, the young preacher, was serving in Ephesus.