by Joel Richardson
In light of President Obama’s re-election, it is essential to briefly detail some of the reasons why Christians should rise above the depression and hopelessness that has gripped so many American conservatives.
In the afterglow of Obama’s victory, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Ayatollah Khamenei, Vladimir Putin and Chris Matthews, as well as millions of pot-heads, sodomites, pro-aborts and all common moochers, are sharing a collective thrill. The American people by a clear majority have rejected fiscal responsibility, energy independence, national security, border security, traditional family values, and worst of all, standing with the most defenseless and innocent among us. Barack Obama’s re-election is a complete political, economic, moral, social and spiritual catastrophe.
But despite the very real implications of America’s downfall, Christians have far more substantial hope and reason to remain joyful.
In pondering which portions of Scripture might be encouraging for American Christians at this moment, I was immediately reminded of Hebrews 11, where believers today are encouraged to consider the lives of several faithful saints of old. Some of these men and woman lived very blessed lives and experienced great prosperity. Others suffered terrible hardships. What they all shared, however, was a vision, a hope of “a better country,” a heavenly “city.” Consider what the Bible has to say concerning Abraham:
“By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” [Hebrews 11:9-10]
As sad as it is to watch this great country take such a harsh turn into irresponsibility and outright godlessness, we are reminded that our ultimate and even eternal citizenship is not here. Christians are to live within this corrupt and perverse age as mere aliens, foreigners, whose eyes are ever fixed on our true and eternal home, as we imitate these saints of old:
“They admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country – a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” [Hebrews 11:13-16]
Before the election, I sometimes wondered if it might be good for American Christian to get just a slight taste of what it is like for so many of their brothers and sisters who live in nations where they are a minority, where persecution and overt hatred of Christians is common. This is after all, how life was for the early Church. Perhaps our hope has been too focused on this life, on our stuff, on our comforts. Perhaps if we are made a bit more uncomfortable, we might shift our eyes to the heavenly city, to the country that God is preparing for us. Who knows? Perhaps there is a providential and redemptive purpose behind this catastrophe.
What else will the coming of this new messianic kingdom entail?
In one of the most well-known prophetic messianic psalms, we read the following description of what Jesus will accomplish when he returns:
“The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies. … The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. The Lord is at your right hand; he will crush kings on the day of his wrath. He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.’” [Psalm 110:2, 4-6]
That’s right, one of the primary events that will accompany the return of Jesus as he establishes his messianic kingdom over the earth from Jerusalem is the judgment of the many unrighteous, self-serving and corrupt politicians throughout the whole earth. As the psalm states, when Jesus returns, before he establishes his kingdom, he will “crush kings on the day of his wrath.” While some may understandably feel uneasy with this point, personally, I take great comfort in this. Who among us doesn’t truly grieve at the degree of corruption, character assassination, slander, lies and deceit that so many politicians use to acquire and maintain power? The Lord will not allow this to remain unpunished. There is a day of justice.
For now, my country is governed by a man many of us feel is a truly unrighteous individual, a race-baiter, a divider, a liar, a destroyer. And while I would not suppose to truly know anyone’s heart, I do take great comfort in the fact that there is one who knows the hearts of all people and who has promised a day of justice for all of the earth. So while I will continue to stand and fight for this great nation, even believing that there is yet hope for repentance, revival and restoration, as I watch this beautiful country slip away and devolve into something almost unrecognizable, I take great comfort in knowing that a heavenly country lies ahead. I have been promised a kingdom, and it is on this kingdom the eyes of my heart are fixed. And even more than the coming kingdom, my eyes of hope are fixed entirely on the coming King. And for this reason, the present man in office will never have control over my emotions and will do nothing to steal my joy.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” [Romans 15:13]