I'm back in Nash just in time to vote, and to preach my '08 election sermon at Bethel. Let's pray I don't blow the whole church up.
I've been preaching a long time, and I've never received so much advice about a sermon. Emails arrive daily encouraging and warning me to say this and not say that. Some have even suggested that if one candidate wins, then "life as we know it will end." And i have the power and responsibility to stop or allow this American Armageddon with a single sermon. Wow!
Here are some thoughts about my '08 Election Sermon...
- First of all i have no intention of insulting the intelligence and spirituality of anyone in the congregation by telling them who to vote for. That is their responsibility before God, not mine.
- Next week we will elect a new Pres & VP - either Obama/Biden or McCain/Palin. I think it might be prudent for the Church to embrace the words of Abe Lincoln in his 2nd inaugural address: "The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time..."
- Whether your candidate wins or loses, it is important that we have a
biblical view of the political process and the role of the Church in
the culture. No matter who ends up in the White House, I believe the
church is the most important institution in the nation, and the
condition of the church determines whether or not God bless the nation.
Therefore we must do all in our power to preserve the unity of the
Spirit in the bond of peace.
- When I arrived in the Philippines in 1984, Marcos was in power and the Church was small, weak and had little influence. And in the USA, Ronald Reagan was beginning his second term. Now, 24 years later, Marcos & Reagan are both dead and the Church continues to grow larger, stronger and more influential.
- I have heard some say that if Obama wins or if McCain wins, they will move to the Philippines or Canada, because if God's man (the one they support) does not win, then God will certainly judge our nation. But what does the BIble say causes God's blessing or cursing on a nation? Will God curse America b/c of the condition of the White House, or b/c of the condition of His House?
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 i will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
"IF MY PEOPLE" - it is not the unrighteous, but the righteous who determine if God blesses or judges a nation. It is not who sits in the Oval Office, but who sits on the pew.
More tomorrow about how God used a young female from an ethnic minority to transform ancient Iran, even thought it had a wicked ruler... because His people prayed! The ruler did not suddenly disappear, die or get impeached, but God's will prevailed... because His people prayed!