By Pastor Lee Hemen
August 19, 2007
I believe that anyone who calls themselves “Christian,” and believes that the only means of salvation is through Jesus Christ, yet votes for someone or something that is completely contrary to their faith is selling out! Here’s why:
Christians are called to follow Christ.
Following Christ mean in every area of a Christian’s life. It is not something you can put aside for the convenience of the voting booth. Faith in Jesus is lived out day by day. So life-changing is this fact that Paul would declare: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20, NIV) In fact, Jesus would teach his disciples, “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:37-39, NIV) This was no fair weather faith Jesus was describing.
Following Christ can be hard.
It is not always easy to set aside your own personal wants, desires, and needs. Yet, this is exactly what Jesus asks us to do. We saw this in the passage from Matthew’s gospel above. In Mark’s gospel we read about a young man who runs up to Jesus and asks him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus chides him but then gets to the heart of the issue for the man’s life. We discover that the man’s life was wrapped up in how he could appear honoring to God without making a life-changing commitment: “You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother,’” Jesus tells him.
“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. (Mark 10:17-22, NIV)
Far too often we want the feeling of faith, without the commitment of faith. We find this in many churches scattered across our nation whereby we want faith on our own terms. Emergent faith can be a deadly faith because it focuses on what and how you feel instead of the reality of Scriptural truth that following Christ can be hard.
There is only one means for salvation.
If you declare you are “Christian,” then you have openly declared that there is only one means for salvation. Being a “Christian” is more than a feeling or a way of life. It is trust Jesus with your life by faith in his death, burial, and resurrection. Paul would write “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, ‘Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.’ For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” (Romans 10:9-13, NIV) Jesus taught about himself: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, NIV) and Peter would declare, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12, NIV)
This is pretty exclusive stuff. Not Mohammad, not Joseph Smith, not Catholic tradition, or humanistic teachings on self or new age rendering of spirituality will save a person. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is the fulcrum of history and faith. If this is true, and I believe it is, and you declare yourself to be “Christian,” then voting for or endorsing someone who openly believes and professes faith in something other than what Scripture describes should be completely abhorrent to one’s faith practice.
This is why the words of Jude, Jesus’ own brother, becomes so important for us in our day and age:
“But, dear friends,” he would write, “remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, ‘In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.’ These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.”
And James would finish his letter with these words: “To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” (James 17-25, NIV)
Christians are to “hate” even the clothing that is stained by corrupting sin: By theology or politicians wanting your vote by declaring themselves just like you when in fact they are not. They are spiritually “corrupted” and believing Christians are to have nothing to do with them.
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