Today is the day that Americans go to the polls and vote. In the run-up to this election, there has been considerable discussion about how a Christian should vote, with strongly held opinions to be found in both of the major parties on the ballot. Thankfully, there is no election to determine who the Messiah will be, as Jesus claimed that title long ago and it is an eternal appointment (no Senate hearings necessary!). However, Christians are trying to decide which candidates more closely reflect their ideals, as determined by their knowledge of Scriptures. Fortunately, the salvation of a Christian does not depend on how they vote today.
I don’t mean to say that how a Christian votes today is not important to God. However, what is far more important to God is how a Christian reacts after all the votes are counted and the winners are revealed. Since there will be Christians who vote for both parties, how will those Christians who voted for losing candidates respond? Will they be able to praise God for the outcome and trust that His sovereign will has indeed been done? Will they be able to recognize that the outcome has been ordained by God? Will they be able to give honor and respect to the winning candidates, even though they opposed them? Loving God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength means accepting His will, even when it is exactly opposite what you want, and even when you can’t understand the wisdom of that outcome.
Of equal importance is how will a Christian whose candidate loses decide to treat those whose candidate won, as well as how those on the winning side treat those whose candidate lost. This election has revealed deep divisions in our communities, yet the love of our neighbor is not a suggestion to Christians – it is a command. Our ability to follow this command reveals whether we are actually members of the body of Christ, or merely pretenders hoping to sneak into the heavenly kingdom.
Matthew 7:21-23 reveals that there are many in our nation who consider themselves to be Christians, yet will ultimately be rejected by Christ on Judgement Day. The point of division seems to be those who do the will of God versus those who don’t. If we call Jesus our Lord, then we must strive to keep the commandments that He called the greatest. This election, no matter the outcome, decide to love the Lord with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength and also love your neighbor as yourself.
Peace and blessings – Pastor Aaron