The Kingdom and the Vote

It seems that the 2016 election is trumping (pun totally intended) most other topics in the United States as we approach November 8. We didn’t want to be left out of the conversation, so we are sharing these thoughts on how this election, or any one for that matter, relates to kingdom growth.

Thought #1: God’s kingdom inhabits and supersedes all other kingdoms or governments. We recently talked about the picture of the kingdom of God recorded in the book of Daniel. The stone carved out of the mountain the Nebuchadnezzar’s dream crushed all other kingdoms and filled the whole earth. Daniel interpreted that stone as the kingdom of God. Not even the gates of hell can withstand the advance of God’s kingdom, and certainly no election results will either.

Thought #2:  The apostle Paul instructs the church of his time to pray for their governmental leaders (2 Timothy 2:2). If you do any research on Rome you will realize that Roman emperors considered themselves to be gods, or at the very least empowered by the gods. At the time Paul wrote this, many Christians were being martyred by Roman leaders, which also happened to Paul shortly after he wrote that letter to Timothy. If you are not already doing so, you should be spending time praying for the leadership of your country, whether you agree with them or not. Join us in praying for our future leaders and that the kingdom would advance under them.

Thought #3: God places rulers in authority as we see in Daniel 2:21 and Romans 13:1. Though we may not understand why certain leaders are elected, we must trust that God’s got this. An election in Guatemala in the mid-1990s illustrates this point. One of the major candidates was “Evangelical” and the other was “Catholic.” The negative rhetoric was flying back and forth with each camp claiming that their brand of Christianity would advance if their candidate was elected. In the end, the Catholic won. The Evangelical camp prepared for the worst, which may have included the expulsion of all protestant missionaries. The opposite happened. Unknown to the public prior to the election, both the new president and his wife were Christ-followers. In the following years the civil war within the country ended, Bible-based education was added school curriculum, and more missionaries were asked to come to Guatemala to help train teachers in presenting the new curriculum. God’s kingdom moved forward.

Thought #4: There is no perfect candidate. Our king, Jesus, the head of our “body” and the ruler of our kingdom, is the only perfect leader. We would recommend that you shut out the noise of the opposing campaigns and the recommendations of your friends on one side or the other and humbly seek God in this decision. You are not responsible for the outcome of this election. You are responsible to be obedient. If God gives you a clear leading, obey. If God does not give you a clear leading, then be as informed as you can be and vote your conscience, trusting that the final result is safely in God’s hands.

Final thought: The kingdom of God has advanced over the last 2000+ year within God-honoring governments and within Godless governments. In fact, sometimes (most of the time?) the kingdom grows more effectively under difficulty and persecution. Remember that our eternal citizenship is in heaven as a member of, and ambassador for, God’s kingdom. Though we have an earthly citizenship, and the rights and responsibilities related to that, temporal governments are just that… temporary.

First and foremost pursue the kingdom of God and his righteousness, for by doing that all other things will fall into their proper place (Matt 6:23 – our paraphrase).

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