The Sky is Not Falling — After the 2012 Elections

Title: The Sky Is Not Falling – After the 2012 Elections

Text: Isaiah 40:15, Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 25:8-11

Time: November 9th, 2012

 

Well, we’re past the presidential elections of 2012, and unfortunately the result was not as good as historic, biblical Christians had hoped. America re-elected a president who favors the killing of unborn children with abortion and promotes homosexuality including legalizing gay marriage. The president has another four more years to advance his secular agenda for America, and we should continue to see an assault on historic, traditional Christian values. But all is not lost, and, as they say, the sky is not falling. There’s a Christian book that was published a year or two after the president’s first term election in 2008 written by Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship by the same title, The Sky is not Falling. I haven’t had a chance to read it, but as I understand, its message is simple – don’t be down and discouraged by the negative turn of events in politics; there’s hope because God is still in control. I think that’s the theme we need to revisit now, after the presidential elections of 2012. Sure, the candidate that best matched Christian spiritual beliefs and values lost, but that doesn’t mean all is lost. God is still in control, working things out behind the scenes. We don’t know all the twists and turns of God’s sovereign plan for our own lives, let alone for the life of our nation. But we have God’s promises in the Bible that he will work out “all things together for the good for those who love him and are called according to his purposes,” Romans 8:28. Along with a lot of other Christians here in the United States, I was hoping that we could see a new president elected with a new and fresh vision for the future, a vision that included basic morality and respect for America’s Christian spiritual heritage. I’ve been praying daily for years and years for a great spiritual and moral revival to sweep through our nation and return our people once again to a basic Judeo-Christian faith. I was hoping that perhaps we could get some moral authority and leadership coming from the White House to nudge our country in the direction of revival, but I guess that isn’t God’s plan for the present time. Yes it’s disappointing that things didn’t turn out different, that we didn’t get a more principled president with a more spiritual and moral world view, but it must not have meant to be in the divine plan of God. So how should we find encouragement after suffering another disappointment at the polls in 2012? We need to remember a few things to keep a right perspective. First, we need to remember, like I said before, the sky is not falling. Second, we need to remember that God is still in control of things, of everything. Third, we need to remember to get our own house in order and do our best to live our own Christian lives to the glory of God. We may not be able to control the direction the nation goes, but we can sure determine how our lives will go by following God’s will to the best of our ability. Let’s look at these three things further.

 

First, we need to remember that the sky is not falling. Isaiah 40:15, “Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as through they were fine dust.” I remember this quote in the Old Testament prophet Isaiah from a scene from the Academy Award winning movie, Chariots of Fire. The main character of the film, Eric Liddell, was scheduled to run in the Olympic games on Sunday. But after considering his commitment and promise to God not to let his running interfere with his Christian faith and church attendance, he decided to drop out of the Olympic run. The movie scene showed him in church on Sunday while other athletes were competing in the Olympic activities as scheduled. It shows Liddell reading from the Bible, from the prophet Isaiah, saying that the nations are like a drop in a bucket, and so forth. It puts everything in perspective and gives us the divine view of things. Many of the things here on earth that we put so much importance in are really not so important in the grand scheme of things. From God’s perspective, for example, there are a lot more important things going on in the world than Americans choosing their next president. Not that it’s not important in many ways, it’s just not as important, perhaps, as we make it out to be. So “our guy” lost, and the “other guy” won? It doesn’t mean all is bad, just as if “our guy” had won and the “other guy” had lost wouldn’t mean all is good. I’ve talked about the tendency of Americans to turn politics into an idol, or even idolize candidates. We’ve been getting worse and worse about doing this, and this year has been about as bad as I’ve seen it. We get all emotionally invested in the election and in our candidate, so much so that if he loses or our side loses we go into deep discouragement and depression. Not that it’s not natural to feel bad over losing and disappointed for having not won, but we need to keep a perspective on things – the sky is not falling. We need to remember that Christians have had to live and work under many different forms of governments over the last two thousands years since Jesus. We’re waiting the day when the Lord Jesus returns and sets up his sovereign kingly rule, a godly monarchy where Christ reigns supreme for one thousand years. But until that day, we may have to live under any number of different kinds of governments and leaders. We’ve survived them in the past, we’ll survive them in the future. The Christian faith is a lot bigger than any government or ruler – we have to remember that. So the candidate we think would do better was defeated at the polls. Remember, the sky is not falling. We can get through any challenges or struggles we’re called to go through. But there’s more.

 

Second, we need to remember that God is still in control. Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” This is another way of saying that God is in control, still. I think of this great promise of God found in the New Testament whenever I hear the contemporary Christian praise song by Twila Paris called, God is in Control:

This is no time for fear.  This is the time for faith and determination. Don’t lose the vision here carried, away by the emotion. Hold on to all that you hide in your heart. There is one thing that has always been true. It holds the world together.
God is in control. We believe that His children will not be forsaken. God is in control. We will choose to remember and never be shaken. There is no power above or beside Him, we know. Oh, God is in control. Oh God is in control.
History marches on. There is a bottom line drawn across the ages. Culture can make its plan. Oh, but the line never changes. No matter how the deception may fly. There is one thing that has always been true. It will be true forever.
God is in control. We believe that His children will not be forsaken. God is in control. We will choose to remember and never be shaken. There is no power above or beside Him, we know. Oh, God is in control. Oh God is in control.
He has never let you down. Why start to worry now? Why start to worry now? He is still the Lord of all we see. And He is still the loving Father Watching over you and me.
Watching over you, watching over me. Watching over every thing. Watching over you, watching over me. Every little sparrow, every little thing. Oh, every little thing. Oh.
God is in control. We believe that His children will not be forsaken. God is in control. We will choose to remember and never be shaken. There is no power above or beside Him, we know. Oh, God is in control. Oh God is in control.
Oh God is in control. Oh, God is in control.

We need to remember that nothing takes God by surprise, nothing tricks or fools God. Everything that happens, God already knows about ahead of time – and for whatever reason permits, allows or ordains it to happen. So we don’t ever have to think for a moment that things are out of control, or that God has let things get out of control, or He’s unable to bring things back into order. Yes, from our limited human perspective some things may appear out of control, but we must realize that in reality God is still in control, and that nothing has, is or ever will happen without God’s divine knowledge and God’s divine consent. But why wouldn’t God put a national leader in office that would lead America away from abortion or gay marriage? Why would he permit the election of someone who would lead us further into these two sins? We don’t know the answers, but we must continue to trust that God has a good overall plan, like the above verse says.

 

Third, we should also consider the possibility that God is bringing judgment on America for her sins by placing a bad leader in office. Jeremiah 25:8-11, “Therefore the Lord Almighty says this: ‘Because you have not listened to my words, I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin. I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of brides and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp. This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.’” Here is a prophecy of God bringing judgment against the Jews and exiling them into the foreign nation of Babylon. Now notice God describes the heathen king of Babylon as “my servant Nebuchadnezzar.” Very strange that God would label the agent of Judah’s destruction as his servant – strange, that is, unless God were using Babylon as his instrument for judgment. God had determined to bring judgment upon the Jews for their sins and disobedience, so he used the pagan king of Babylon as his instrument of destruction. Now the scary question is – “Would God do something like that again, only in modern days, say, in order to bring judgment against the United States, for its sins?” God is the same yesterday, today, and forever according to the Bible. It’s still possible that God would use a bad king to bring judgment upon his people for their sins, just like he did in the days of old. Now, if he’s willing to use a foreign, pagan king to bring judgment – as we’ve seen he is according to the Bible – then what would stop God from using a bad national leader or president to bring about judgment upon the United States today? There’s no reason in the world that God wouldn’t. It’s only a question of, is he? America has been gradually sliding into a cesspool of immorality over the last few decades, and the blame cannot be put upon any one individual because it’s been a corporate decline among our general population. Strong commitment to God has been slipping, along with a loosened morality and the spread of sinful rebellion by nearly every segment of society. Judgment has been ready to fall from heaven for a number of years now, and who’s to say that it hasn’t even begun already in subtle ways? According to Romans 1:18, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness.” Who’s to say the many social and moral ills our nation is presently facing aren’t different forms of judgment from heaven for our sins?

 

It could be that God is deliberately permitting the placement of bad leaders in positions of power within our government for the purpose of bringing about judgment upon our land. Further on in Romans 1, the phrase, “God gave them over” is repeated. “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurities,” v. 24. “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts,” v. 26. “He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done,” v. 28. This is a more subtle form of God’s judgment whereby he simply lets the natural consequences of sinful attitudes and actions play out their own destructive courses. Is that what God could be doing in permitting ungodly leaders to be placed in office and lead our people further and further away from God and into disobedience and sin? Now this is not the typical way Americans think about God or even about their own country. Most Americans can’t imagine God for any reason bringing about judgment to this nation. Most Americans think our country is basically good but in need of a little help. But this overly simplistic and inaccurate evaluation of the state of our nation is naïve. The fact is, with our abortions and gay marriages, we’re pretty much doing everything we can to get God’s attention and also his wrath. We already know from the Bible that God’s patience over sin can run out – we’ve seen that time and time again in his dealings with the ancient Jews of the Old Testament. We also know that it isn’t outside of the realm of possibility for God to use instruments of destruction or wrath in order to bring judgment upon his people. He’ll even use pagan foreign leaders to destroy and ruin on his behalf. Now if he’ll use outsiders to judge, he might also use insiders to destroy as well. And it doesn’t have to be a conscious decision to destroy. A national leader or leaders could bring about America’s destruction and wrath without even knowing it. Through bad decisions and bad policies and bad leadership America could face judgment and destruction. Maybe this is what is happening today. We don’t know for sure one way or the other, but it’s certainly a possibility. It would explain why God hasn’t answered the prayers of Christians to send godly and moral leaders to lead our country – it just might be because God is using bad leaders to bring about judgment for our national sins. If this is the case, perhaps we might hope that judgment might come swiftly, and go, so that we might be done with it, and on the road to revival and recovery again. Maybe it’s better to let the bad leaders lead us into judgment quickly, and be done with it! Good leaders might fight against it and only prolong the agony of delayed judgment! Again, we just don’t know. What these possibilities show is that there are reasons why things turn out as they do in the rising and falling of nations and leaders. Let us trust in God no matter what is happening. No matter what happens in to our country in general, we can and should draw close to God personally during these times with a greater faith and trust in his divine providence.

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