The Promise, Today and Forever
“…till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…” Ephesians 4:13
Jesus has come to save us. We are His people and the Sheep of His pasture. He is our Lord and Savior. We are citizens of Heaven, our eternal home. Here on earth we are aliens and foreigners in this world. We are in the world but not of it. This country, the United States of America, is our earthly home and while we are here we have the opportunity to reflect the life of Jesus and further His Kingdom’s cause on the earth. We are His ambassadors to a world that does not know Him.
When we see the world manifesting behavior that offends our faith or challenges our sense of moral and ethical rightness before God we should not be surprised, discouraged nor intimidated by the fervor of their opposition to us and our Lord, Jesus Christ. They are only acting according to the dictates of their unregenerate hearts, just as we did before we made a choice to be saved by believing Jesus, His Words, His Sacrifice, His Death and His Resurrection.
Now our work of ministry is to bring the message of His grace, mercy and love to those who oppose Him and doing so oppose themselves because they cannot believe unless they hear the message of life and that more abundantly, that is only found in Jesus Christ. There is no other way.
Sadly, far too many who say they are Christians in the United States today do not share a common set of values, morals or ethics. The principles that guide our lives as believers ought to be universally accepted, but they are not because many hold widely divergent opinions about the Scriptures based on little or no knowledge of them or/and they view them through the skewed perspective of their ethnic/racial/cultural identities rather than a submission to the Holy Spirit that takes no account of race gender, nation of origin, economic or political status.
If every believer identified themselves exclusively, first and foremost with Jesus there would be virtually no divisions among us. Now, it is true that coming into a unity of faith with no divisions or factionalism among us is no small matter. And Jesus knew it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk. That is why He gave gifts to the body of Christ in the person of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the believers. That is, for the instruction, edification and exhortation of the believers to the end that we will become unified in our faith in Him and with one unified voice declare Him to the World.
“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:11-16
But, now because of our religious divisions, sectarianisms, divergent doctrines and traditions, the Word of God is limited in its influence on the culture and thus, also the nation. There are issues in this national political election year that should, and I believe do, concern every true believer because they are matters of fundamental truths that our Lord Jesus taught about and clearly commanded us to follow Him in the way we respond to them. Here are a few: abortion, ministry to the poor, the Supreme Court, honesty, integrity, truth, obeying the laws of the land and the free proclamation of the Gospel.
Most of what we hear about in the news media are personal attacks, salacious exposés, innuendos, rumors, invective, base and vile rhetoric none of which addresses the important issues that directly affect the lives of the people who do not conduct their lives in such humanly demeaning ways.
While there have been some marginal conversations about Terrorism, Immigration, the Economy, Appointments to the Supreme Court, the National Debt, Excessive Taxations, International Relationships, the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and military actions throughout the globe, most of it has been eclipsed by the tabloid-like sensationalism of one off-color verbal attack after another, one candidate vilifying the other.
Despite all this, we have the true source of news about what is really going on in our world and it is the Word of God revealed by the Holy Spirit in us. We do not have to be anxious or fearful for what is happening or what may happen in the election. When we go to bed Tuesday night and wake up Wednesday morning the earth will still be “…the Lord’s and the fullness thereof and they that dwell therein;” greater will He in us still be than he that is in the world; Jesus will still be Lord and we will still be His people and citizens of Heaven.
We have great and precious promises from God for us and for all who will call on Him out of a pure heart. Whatever we do by faith in Him will be rewarded by Him. Our hope is in the Lord and that hope will not be disappointed. While we cannot bring all who claim to be Christians to embrace the same set of values, morals or ethics, we can pray for unity of the faith throughout the body Christ and we can help that process by engaging with our brothers and sisters in Christ across racial, ethnic, cultural, political, social and national dividing lines to worship together, pray together, weep and rejoice together until we are in love with one another in the true fellowship of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In that fellowship our call to be the true Church will be realized at a dimension of faith, healing, prosperity and proclamation of the Gospel greater than at anytime in the history of the Church. The Lord has placed a profound opportunity before us to freely declare to our generation the love of God to the saving of the nations, starting with our own.
“He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God…” Romans 4:20
Abraham did not waiver at the promise of God, and neither will we.
“…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
This was a promise made before the fact with a condition and a reward. God told Solomon at the dedication of the Temple he built to the Lord that He would dwell there and in the day when the people would turn their hearts away from Him and bring judgment on themselves because of their unrighteousness, if they would humble themselves and pray, seek His face and turn from their wicked ways then, He would hear their prayers, forgive them and heal their land.
The same is true for us. Our land needs healing. Our world needs healing. Our country needs healing. But that healing begins with us. We have humbled ourselves before God with the admission that we cannot change the course of our nation nor its social/political climate, we cannot restore its spiritual life and we cannot save anyone including ourselves.
We need Heavenly intervention. We need God to put things right. And we’ve prayed and we are continuing to pray that God will be Lord over the United States of America and Lord over the nations of the world. We have repented of our sins and we have turned our hearts away from sin to seek righteousness. Now the promise is sure for us. Are we perfect? No. But we have place
d our lives through Jesus Christ into the hands of the Perfect One by grace through faith in Him.
God will heal our land. We can count on it. All the rhetoric to the contrary will mean nothing when He comes to fulfill His purpose and plan for us. His promises are unfailing as He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
So when you vote, and by all means please do vote, do it prayerfully, by faith that God will sort out the details and work all things toward the fulfillment of His plan. He did it in Jesus and He is advancing it in His Church, you and me. We are citizens of eternity and therefore participants in God’s eternal plan.
In Him we have the victory!