JESUS and the
Most Important Election
of Your Lifetime
How Does It Fit into God’s Master Plan
and Your Place in It?
Editor’s Note: From every corner—Republican, Democrat, Independent—we’ve been told that the midterm elections on November 6, 2018, could be the most consequential elections any of us have ever shared in. For lots of reasons.
So where do Jesus and his current redemptive reign fit into all this political ferment? What difference should the existence of his “forcefully advancing kingdom” among us (Matthew 11) make when we reach historic crossroads like this one?
Furthermore, how should your personal relationship with Jesus as Lord of all impinge on the way you approach the voting booth next week—or the way you view final outcomes when all the votes are counted?
In this blog post, David Bryant looks at the topic of elections through the lens of Christ’s supremacy, offering an intriguing, much more dynamic perspective on November 6 and its aftermath than many Christians have considered.
Here, at last, might be the “common ground” we’re searching for, where American believers of all political stripes can truly come together!
Not Since Before the Civil War
What a moment for nationwide elections to be held! Political observers are unanimous that the increasing polarization of our culture echoes back to the level of rancor that enveloped our country and ignited America’s great Civil War.
In late October 2018, seasoned columnist Thomas Friedman grieved over “the growing tribalism of our politics, the notion that members of the other party are not just opponents but ‘enemies’ who must be crushed,” concluding that this toxic behavior and tone of incivility “has overtaken U.S. politics.” Unfortunately, this unhealthy climate will follow many of us straight into our voting booths.
That is why from coast to coast most experts agree—political pundits, historians, psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, cultural commentators, print and digital news editors—we are about to experience the most important election of our lifetimes.
Its results could create a tipping point in the tearing apart of America’s social fabric—possibly irreparably—undermining the American ideal of “out of many, one.”
So Where Is Jesus in All of This?
Can Jesus remain effectively supreme over this caustic environment and in the face of it continue to fulfill his saving work among our people?
Thankfully, Scripture is clear concerning eight truths that should impact how we think about all of this.
(1) As our victorious Redeemer, Jesus ascended to the throne of the universe so that at every moment since then he continues ruling—even in the midst of his enemies to ultimately transform them into his footstool (Psalm 110).
(2) This means that all nations (including ours) are destined to become his inheritance, even as their leaders are destined to own his kingship and fall at his feet to worship him (Psalm 2). And that includes all political parties as well!
(3) In fact, he went up on high precisely to take up the strategic work of filling the universe with his reign—with his saving power and with his royal activity—not at some future point but each day since his coronation, including at this critical hour across America (even though he is not yet acknowledged or embraced by all its citizens). Compare Ephesians 1:19-23 with 4:7-14—and rejoice!
(4) No wonder the Bible concludes that right now, today, Jesus stands as “ruler of the kings [leaders at all levels] of the earth” (Revelation 1).
(5) At the same time, he oversees the workings of his “forcefully advancing” kingdom among us (Matthew 11).
(6) After all, at his resurrection and enthronement the Father bestowed on him “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28).
(7) The Father’s bestowal of all authority on Jesus was so “in everything Christ might have the supremacy” (Colossians 1). Even in the thick of our current, unpredictable midterm elections, Jesus retains total, unwavering preeminence and dominance as far as the overriding purposes of God are concerned.
(8) Therefore, if any kind of new “civil war” is impending in our homeland—depending on the outcome of this coming Tuesday and how Americans respond—for sure King Jesus holds the largest stake in all of it. Even more, he has the final say about where next week’s results lead us as a nation.
This is why I’m writing this blog before the midterms take place.
I want to reassure you about our future by showing you that, as historically decisive as next Tuesday’s democratic pronouncements will be concerning who should govern us the next little while—in city councils, state legislatures, governorships, and houses of Congress—actually, that election is NOT the MOST important, the most impactful, the most consequential election of your life after all. And this fact should give you every reason to have hope.
There are two other elections—which are actually two-in-0ne because they are inseparable—that are far more momentous. This two-fold election brings much longer-lasting repercussions guaranteed to prevail not only in the life of our nation but also related to your personal, eternal destiny long after next Tuesday has passed.
The Most Consequential
Election of All
First, let’s define our terms.
To “elect” someone simply means to “choose” or to “call out” from the group.
The history of political elections is checkered, to say the least. In ancient times, when selecting Roman emperors and early popes, the “vote” was often exercised by an elite (wealthy) group casting “lots.” Our modern democratic approach emerged gradually in Europe and North America beginning in the 17th century. Universal suffrage—one person, one vote—is only a century old.
Elections enable voters to select—to choose, to call forth—those they desire to lead them, who in turn become accountable to the electors. The process confirms the worth and dignity of both the voters who hold the final say (the electing ones) as well as the winners (the elected ones). Put together, the approach is what gives shape, direction, and stability to government and society.
Without a doubt, ALL elections have consequences! All elections, large and small—including next week’s nationwide contests—are transformative. This is why many observers conclude that the potential repercussions of the 2018 midterms make it the most important election of our lifetime.
But according to Scripture, there is another election, with cosmic and eternal consequences, that precedes and supersedes every other kind of election in America. Actually, this election is two-fold.
This two-fold election gives Christians every reason to rejoice in the face of every other election, whether or not your particular candidate prevails on the first Tuesday in November—even if the candidate that does win makes you fearful of negative repercussions for your town or state or country.
If you keep this greater election in mind as you go to the polls, it will fortify your soul with peace about any current turn of events in our nation, leaving you with eager anticipation about what’s coming, no matter how the votes shake out when you wake up Wednesday morning.
The Supreme Two-fold Election:
Jesus and Then You
First, Jesus already has won Heaven’s grand, universal election that now prevails over every other election on planet earth!
Using the word “elect” or “chosen” (depending on the translation), Scripture declares that Jesus has received the Father’s highest confirmation, and endorsement, and approbation. Ascended on high, his person and work as Redeemer Lord have been irreversibly ratified before God’s throne. It involved just one vote—his Father’s vote. The final tally was and remains unanimous!
When we say Jesus is “the Christ”—the “Anointed One”—it means he has been exalted by God to the highest office and given the title that is above every authority and ruler in this world and the next (Ephesians 1). “Christ” means Jesus wins the ultimate election!
Actually, Jesus has been the “Elect One” from all eternity.
In the NIV translation, 1 Peter 1 (emphasis added) tells us “he was chosen before the creation of the world but was revealed in these last times for your sake” to become the Savior of the world. 1 Peter 2 continues: Even though he was “rejected by humans” (he lost the “vote” of his very own people who lobbied for his death), yet he was “chosen by God and precious to him”; he was always God’s “chosen and precious cornerstone” for the work of our salvation. Therefore, all “who trust in him will never be put to shame.”
God offers us no other “candidate” for our reclamation: “There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4). The Father declares to us: “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight. I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice [salvation] to the nations” (Matthew 12, emphasis added).
The ramifications of this divine “vote” for those who belong to Jesus are equally decisive. His election has become our election.
Ephesians 1 puts it like this: “In him we were also chosen [other translations use “elected”], having been predestined according the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.”
Note: Christians have been chosen (elected), but it is only IN JESUS, only by our union with the one already confirmed as “winner” of the right to be Supreme Commander of heaven’s armies and earth’s redeemed. Only as we come to him and give our hearts to him and enter into his saving, ascended life do we end up also “winning”—winning what he wins because the Father sees us and chooses us as those who are IN HIM.
We get “elected” by our inseparable identify with the “elected” Son.
Results of the Final Election
as Reported in Scripture!
Here are some other views of this two-fold election, in which sinners are selected in Christ—or “chosen” in him, or “called” in him—by one, final, loving “vote” from the Father. Thus every Jesus follower ends up winning this election. (Emphasis is added to some verses.)
- “For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction” (1 Thessalonians 1).
- “Therefore, I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2).
- “The promise [in Christ] is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2).
- “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose…those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified…He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all…Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?” (Romans 8).
- “Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest” (Hebrews 3).
- “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3).
- “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you” (John 15).
- “The gifts and call of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11).
- “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election . . . and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1).
This two-fold election IS the most important election of your lifetime. In fact, it constitutes what your everlasting existence is about!
Your Election in Christ
IS the Hope of America
There’s coming a day when every believer who has been “elected in Christ Jesus” will rally together, reunited for the greatest post-campaign celebration ever—when the Gospel of the Kingdom will have been proclaimed among all earth’s peoples; when Jesus has as his redeemed a multitude from every segment of the human race; when every knee will bow to confess the lordship that has been his from the beginning—by the election/the choice/the calling of the Father.
Jesus described it this way in Matthew 24 (emphasis added): “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven . . . He will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from one end of the heavens to the other.”
If you belong to the Savior, YOU will be there too!
But until then, the gospel’s outward “campaign” among the nations continues toward the “ends of the earth.” You are part of that as well, every day, as you give your “vote” to our “elected” Leader.
Ultimately, what matters is not Tuesday’s midterm elections or the Presidential elections in 2020. Rather, what matters is the ongoing triumphs of God’s Elect One shared with those who are elected in him. By virtue of our full participation in the ascended, reigning purposes of the Messiah, every breath Christians breathe comprises the single greatest hope for the future of America. Ours is the most important election of our lifetimes.
Whatever our temporal political persuasions, if together the “elect” in Jesus determine to unite in Jesus and for the cause of Jesus—campaigning for the One of whom the Father decrees “the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our Christ” (Revelation 11)—then no matter who wins next week, we will remain the deciding force for the restoration of fellow Americans.
This will come about as a host of believers, “God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout” all fifty states (1 Peter 1), spreads God’s redemptive grace to fellow Americans; ministers heart healing in Jesus to them; reestablishes reconciliation and unity in Jesus among them; fosters the spiritual, social, emotional and even political revitalization we desperately need, all made possible in Jesus, King of the Universe.
Millions of us have been “elected” by the living God for no less of an impact than that!
What if we “elected” to band together around this higher purpose as citizens of heaven who now temporarily dwell below in this great country? Surely, that would turn “the most important election of your lifetime” (ours in Jesus) into the most promising future of our lifetimes—for us, for our neighbors, for our communities, and for our nation.
So, Where Do We Begin?
We must begin with prayer. We must begin by calling God’s people to come together in visible unity within every community to “cast our votes” before heaven—in other words, to plead our cause together before God’s throne through prayer.
Prayer is sort of like a vote. By our requests, we are casting our ballots before the Father on behalf of the Son, choosing that by the Spirit we will see redemption, healing, reconciliation, and revitalization come to our churches, our towns, our country.
For decades, I (and many others) have been laboring for nothing less than this across America. We’ve been mobilizing concerted, united prayer movements in thousands of communities, workplaces, and campuses from coast to coast, urging believers to “cast your votes” in heaven for nothing less than a nationwide Christ Awakening movement (as we call it).
As you vote on Tuesday, reflect on these words that Dr. Paul Metzger, a professor at Multnomah University, wrote last week in a blog post titled “Would You Cast Your Vote for Jesus as President?”:
Jesus is not content with being some democratic Savior or even demigod.
As King of kings and Lord of lords, he demands our all-in-all . . .
Jesus is not content with merely casting our vote in his honor,
but casting everything at his feet.
For nothing less than this you have been elected by God in Jesus!
And praying for nothing less than this for our fellow Americans is the way forward for the work of Christ in America in this defining hour.
See more about the greatness of Jesus at www.ChristNow.com.
About the Author
Over the past 40 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI), and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and to Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ-awakening movements. Order his widely read books at DavidBryantBooks.com.