God Reigns: Thoughts on the Election Season
For those I have not had the pleasure of meeting, my name is Jonathan Suggs, and I am the newest Generation LINK resident here at Citadel Square. You might remember me from the sermon a few weeks ago - I’m the young guy who Pastor Steve Heron asked what year I was born. In case you missed it, the answer is 1997 (although my beard and my male pattern baldness may portray something different). So, yes, I’m not that old, which means, politically, I’m not very experienced either.
Now, if you want to write a post about politics, this isn’t exactly the best way to start. I mean, what could someone who has only participated in two presidential elections know? Well, politically speaking, not much. However, I do know one thing: I know what Scripture says about the One whose term never ends, who never runs for re-election, and whose authority never lies in the hands of man. The only politics I’m going to delve into in this post is the kingship of our God and Savior and what that means for His people.
As the results of the election were slowly revealed this past week, I was very encouraged by many Christians who posted on social media, “No matter what happens in the election, Jesus is King.” Yet, whether these elections are over or not, this statement always rings true: The Lord reigns. Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, no matter who is sitting in the Oval Office, remember this profound truth.
As we move on and go about our everyday lives, regardless of whether you’re happy or fearful about the election results, I encourage all of you to fight against the temptation to forget this. For when we do, we make politicians seem big and God look small.
To those who are fearful about the results of the election, remember God reigns. This King holds all authority and the only way any governing official obtains one ounce of authority is by His sovereign decree and will (Daniel 2:20-21; John 19:11). God can use anyone to accomplish His purposes. Do not forget, this is the same God who called King Nebuchadnezzar His “servant” (Jeremiah 27:6). We must remember that He loves acting in ways that often appear strange to us, but in the end, they will leave us marveling at His infinite wisdom (Romans 11:33-36).
For those who are pleased with the results of the election, also remember God reigns. If elections tell us anything about our spiritual lives, they show us at least that we place far too much hope and trust in politics. This temptation frequently quietly sneaks in through the back door while we’re busy watching the news and buying into our politicians’ promises to give us a hopeful future. But do not be deceived, for God is truly the only One who can fulfill His promise “to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). Your trust, allegiance, and worship still belong solely to the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Paul's Command to the Colossians
Since Pastor Steve Heron has been preaching through Jesus’ letters to the seven churches in Revelation, I have wondered what Jesus would tell Citadel Square Church to do in this current political context. This morning as I was reading in Colossians, I came across Colossians 3:12-17. This passage stands on the bedrock that Paul gave in Colossians 1:15-18. In this first chapter, he writes one of the most worshipful texts in Scripture about the sovereignty and preeminence of Jesus. And on top of this rock-solid foundation, in chapter 3, Paul tells the church how they should live accordingly. I think if Paul were here today to tell our church how we should act during this season, he might just say these very words. Even better, because these are the very “living and active” words of God (Hebrews 4:12), they are exactly what God is telling us to do. Read it for yourself:
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:12-14)
What should characterize Citadel Square Church in these times? Nothing less than compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, patience (v. 12), forgiveness (v. 13), love (v. 14), peace (v. 15), and thankfulness (v. 15, 16, 17). At all times, we are called to be the church, so let us continue to worship together through the preaching of the word (v. 16) and the singing of psalms and hymns and spiritual songs (v. 16).
This can only happen on top of the firm foundational belief that Jesus is king. And when we have peculiar faith in our all-powerful, all-wise, and all-loving King, during these politically dicey times, we make Him look big and politicians look small.
“There is one political maxim which comforts me: ‘The Lord reigns.’” - John Newton