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Redeeming the Time

04 Nov

With the time change occurring tonight, I thought about the following passage:

Ephesians 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.   15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,  16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

I do believe as a preacher and student of prophecy, that we are indeed in the last days.  Not only are world events fulfilling prophecy but the attitude of the church in this day does as well.  The night before Jesus was crucified, He led His few friends to the garden of Gethsemane to pray.  He told Peter, James and John, “…tarry ye here, and watch with me.”  It wasn’t long before He found them asleep while He had been praying for them and for us.  And then when Judas shows up with soldiers ready to arrest our Lord, Peter draws his sword and cuts off the ear of Malchus, one of the high priest’s servants.  Jesus stops Peter and says, “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” (Matthew 26:52)  Like Peter, the church in America has fallen asleep in the last 30 years during a crucial time when she should have been watching and expending all efforts to get the gospel out.  Now, like Peter many in the church are waking up to find many of our values and morals are under attack and we draw our sword and begin to fight the wrong fight.

You wonder what I might mean by that.  Well, this coming week is our national election.  Many have been saying that we must elect the right people in order to turn this nation to God, that we must vote for Biblical principals.  I submit that Christians getting caught up in politics with the hope of it solving this nation’s ills are fighting the wrong fight.  I would like to point out some Biblical truths here, knowing that His sheep will hear His voice…  First, as Christians our citizenship is in heaven.  We are called first and foremost to fulfill the great commission in spreading the gospel.  I am conservative both morally and fiscally and while I see many good qualities in some of the candidates as far as economics and foreign policy, I don’t in any way place any hope in any politician turning this nation to God.  Consider that this country was founded on the basis of a representative Republic.  In God’s economy, His form of government is theocracy.  When we all get to Heaven, we won’t hold elections to see who is in charge.  True, born-again Christians are a minority in this great country and therefore as long as majority rules she will never turn to God because of political influence.  No, the only chance America has in turning to God is if His people start turning to Him first and begin once again to use all our efforts in things eternal (sharing the gospel) and not thing infernal (politics).  We have been placed in the awful position of having to choose the lesser of two evils for too long and in the end, in either case, you are still voting for evil however ‘lesser’ it might be.

Our current choices leave much to be desired.  One is a heathen calling himself a Christian, but awfully sympathetic to Islam.  The other is a member of a cult, yes Mormonism is a cult, calling himself a Christian.  How come so many men of God are now advertising that we need to vote for one over the other in order to turn this country back to God when neither are serving the true and living God?  Mormonism is founded by a treasure hunter named Joseph Smith who claimed that the angel Moroni let him temporarily borrow some golden tablets and golden spectacles in order to translate what he claimed was the Book of Mormon.  The apostle Paul dealt with this in the epistle to the church at Galatia.

Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:  7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.   8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.   9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

How do we vote for an accursed man with the hope he will bring us back to God?  “What are you saying?”, you might ask.  I’m saying that the church and those who truly belong to her must WAKE UP and stop playing games with the systems of this world as if our hope and expectation rest in them.  My hope, my salvation, the dreams and desires I have for my family and friends are in and from the LORD!!  I would ask, if Jeroboam, son of Nebat, were running for president, would you vote for him?  He was the man who led a rebellion against the heir of King Solomon and led the ten tribes into splitting from the southern tribes of Benjamin and Judah.  He then had two golden calves created and declared, “Israel this be thy gods who brought thee out of Egypt…”  He set up a rival religion, a perversion of the true religion of the one true God.  Can you imagine had they held elections back then, someone saying, “Vote for Jeroboam.  He will lead us back to God!”  I submit to you that that man with his rival religion stands about as much a shot of doing so compared to our current candidate with his perversion of the gospel.

So what do we do?  I am not telling people to vote or not to vote or who to vote for.  I just desire that God’s people stop pinning their hopes on politics and politicians and spend more effort (than just coming to church on Sunday morning) on witnessing to this lost and dead world full of sinners.  They need you to tell them about Jesus.  This country can’t be saved while a majority of its citizens remain lost.  We must get busy trying to point them to Christ, not to some career politician.  Consider that Paul stood before some of the greatest political leaders of his time such Nero and yet he didn’t use the opportunity to talk about the injustices against Christians being martyred for their beliefs or fight against the immorality of his day.  No.  He stood even taller by waving the blood-stained banner of Jesus Christ and telling those men what Jesus did for him.  Why should we do any different?

The passage at the beginning of this post was from Ephesians and I want to remind you of a key part.  Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.  Please don’t be fooled into thinking that any person running for office will turn us to God.  Instead, let us turn to God, repent of our wicked ways and seek His face.  In his commentary on Revelation, a good preacher, James Knox, said the following of these last days known as Laodicea…

“In the days of Laodicea Norman Peale, Robert Schuler, Jesse Jackson, Joel Osteen, Ruth Carter, Hillary Clinton, Amy Grant, Toby Keith, Dolly Parton and Rush Limbaugh are Christians cause they mention God in a song or a speech but clean-living fundamental pastors are hate-mongers equated with Islamic terrorists.  In the Laodicean church the Catholic priest, Episcopal rector, Methodist pastor and Baptist minister [I would add here Mormon elder] will link arms to picket the abortion clinic or protest the legislature over gay marriage and then all go out for a beer.  This is the church that makes God sick and He promised to spew them out of His mouth.” (James Knox, Revelation –  Christ Honoring Commentary Series, emphasis and bracketed phrase mine)

Let us redeem the time for the days are truly evil.  Tonight we gain an hour, but how many lost souls are losing eternity…

Think on these things …

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