The moral decline in this country is falling at a breakneck speed, and the Church, for the most part, is silent. The United States is at a crossroads – and the Church is sleeping. What does this have to do with Jesus, the Cross and the Resurrection?
As Jesus agonized, sweated blood and prayed to His Father in heaven, just a stone’s throw away were His most trusted disciples – the inner circle of the Twelve. Were they huddled together, on their knees, lifting Christ up in prayer? No. They were sleeping.
Matthew 26:45-46 is incredibly applicable to today that it is uncanny. Preachers, God is handing you not just the sermon outline but the very words: “Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
We’re in an election cycle that is so unlike previous presidential elections because there really isn’t a choice. Some people vote for the “less of two evils,” but what do you do when the choices are equally disturbing? As a woman who remembers learning about socialism in school during the Cold War as something to fight against, we have an active, outspoken socialist in the running for the Democratic party nomination with his only competition Hillary Clinton – a former First Lady who is, in my opinion since this is my blog, power-hungry, corrupt and a successful liar. Since she’s a woman, she will sweep her dragon’s tail and gather progressive-minded women along with her for their vote simply because she is a woman.
To be so gender-conscious in the United States these days, it’s confusing and hypocritical to vote for someone just because they are a woman. Oh for the days when character counted! If we could take the social-consciousness of JFK and mix it with the economic and military might of Ronald Reagan with the statesman-like quality of FDR -- that would be a president to stand behind.
The Republicans are not any better: at the lead is Donald Trump, the self-appointed king of reality television, casinos, real estate and beauty pageant productions. He has a following not because of his credentials, experience in foreign or domestic affairs, but because he says the things Americans feel. His lead above more experienced and more intelligent candidates because of his mouth is so great that it’s terrifying to think either “The Donald,” Hillary or an outspoken socialist could very well be sitting in the Oval Office this time next year.
This post is being written in the week after the SC caucus. Being in the Bible Belt, and a more conservative state, each candidate had their fair share of speech writers who quoted a Bible verse in their speeches. Each presidential candidate must tailor the speeches to the location in which they’re speaking, yes, but have mercy. Do not come spouting Scripture in the Bible Belt if you don’t believe it yourself. It’s not a book of quotations but a Book you live by.
A PewForum.org article states that as of 2014, there are “122.7 million religiously affiliated adults for whom religion is ‘very important,’ which is a significant voting block. Every candidate to some degree courts this voting powerhouse: they quote Scripture, they declare they’re a Christian even though they haven’t set foot in a church in the last decade, and the people buy it.
Listen up, Christians who vote: just because candidates say they’re Christian does not mean they are: “by their fruits you will know them,” Matthew 7:20. Would a Christian candidate wooing the Bible Belt support partial-birth abortion? Would a Christian candidate call a woman “ugly” on national television and curse during speeches? Where are the manners and dignity of these so-called Christian candidates during debates and televised town halls?
So, you ask, what in the world does this have to do with Jesus, the cross and the Resurrection? As Jesus agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane, nearby were Peter, James and John. All asleep. Tired. Worn-out. Full of Passover lamb, they tucked their cloaks around them; while waiting for Jesus’ return, they just…fell…asleep.
Today, the Church is waiting for Jesus’ return too, so much so that we’re banking on the Rapture to relieve us of the presidential tyranny we’re about to experience, no matter who wins among the three that are really concerning: Trump, Hillary, or Sanders. The Church has tucked its cloak around itself, taken to two extremes: either doing things the same way or giving up on Scripture and the Truth and accepting society’s falsehood as their god. Churches have approved and mandated LGBT lifestyles, ministers, and given a righteous nod to sin everywhere. The Church has fallen asleep.
Let’s look at Matthew 26:45-46 again: “Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
Our country, once the bastion of religious freedom, has become a stronghold for sin, debauchery, political correctness, Sodom and Gomorrah-like activities that are not just accepted in our society but mandated that we, Christians, must not just accept them too but approve of them.
“Look, the hour has come!” Jesus said. Church, the hour has come – either we stand for Jesus and biblical teachings or we sit back in our recliners and comment that the country is going to hell in a handbasket and do nothing. Our vote counts, too.
If 122.7 million religiously-affiliated people who believe that faith is very important would vote for a candidate that actually follows Christ and biblical principles, this country would change. We would not have a small minority of people who are LGBT activists steering the ship. As it stands right now, folks, we’re sleeping in recliners on the top deck of the Titanic.
“Rise! Let us go!” said Jesus. “Here comes my betrayer!” Note here that Jesus was referring to Judas – one of His own that followed Him around but didn’t follow Him. Quoting Scripture but saying you don’t need forgiveness is like quoting a recipe but saying you don’t need to eat. Anyone can say they’re a Christian – it’s like checking a box on a religious survey. But until you repent and ask forgiveness of Christ, any other way is not a way at all.
Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders may all be neck-to-neck in the polls, but there are no polls in hell. You either accept Christ as Savior in expectation of heaven or you’re doomed to hell. There is no in-between. There is no quarter or mercy for political candidates. Peter said in Acts 10:34-35, “Now I really understand that God doesn’t show favoritism, but in every nation the person who fears Him and does righteousness is acceptable to Him,” (HCSB).
Paul wrote in Romans 14:11, “It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God,’” and again in Philippians 2:10, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”
Is the Church betraying Jesus by not standing up for Him and voting the way the Bible would lead? Is the Church forgetting that Jesus died on the Cross and rose again on the third day, not to have His Bride sleeping, apathetic and lazy in her witness and actions but to be out declaring that He alone is Lord, that He alone can save – not any political candidate, not Oprah, not prosperity gospel in the likes of Joel Osteen, but only in Jesus.
What if Jesus returned today? What if He appeared in the sky to rapture His Bride but He said, “Are you still sleeping and resting?” What would we say? You know, it’s not just about politics or political correctness – it’s about this: do our words of faith we utter from our mouths match our actions? Are we asleep to the issues and problems facing our nation, our churches, our young people?
If just three Christ-professing families in each church in America would be involved in foster care programs, there would not be a foster child problem in this country. Christianity Today reported that, according to Barna Group, while 11% of non-Christians have seriously considered foster parenting, 31% of Christians have seriously considered fostering – but, “strikingly, only 3% have actually become foster parents,” wrote Jamie Calloway-Hanauer.
We have work to do, Church. Christ calls us to be His hands and feet and has empowered us with the Holy Spirit to do His work – yet, we hit the snooze button.
Church, Christ loves us so much that He gave His life for us…and His Bride is made up of people who have accepted this truth. Isn’t it time we wake up, suit up in the armor of God and take a stand for our Groom? Do we cower under the covers and roll back over, ashamed at what living a Christ-centered life means?
Mark 8:38 states, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
Wake up, Church! Wake up! Rise! Let us not be ashamed of the Gospel but rather proclaim it in our lives, in our actions and words, and in the voting booths. Wake up, Church!
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