Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Randy Alcorn: "It’s Over; But It’s Not Over (One Day It Will Be)"

A Guest Post by Randy Alcorn
Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM) and blogs at Randy is the best-selling author of over 30 books, including Heaven and The Treasure Principle, seven novels and three children’s books. The father of two married daughters, Karina and Angela, Randy lives in Gresham, Oregon, with his wife and best friend, Nanci. They are the proud grandparents of four grandsons.
The election is over. Followers of Christ, regardless of who they advocated and voted for, should pray wholeheartedly for our new president and his administration, as Scripture instructs us in First Timothy 2:1-4:
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
1. Thoughts about Voting

Voting isn’t something you do every year or two. We cast multiple votes each day. We cast votes for heaven or hell, for grace or truth. For self-control or self-indulgence. For the Spirit or the Flesh. For abiding in Christ, or independence from Christ. For wisdom or foolishness, and for blessing or curse.

Every decision we make, every action we take—and the heart attitude with which we conduct our lives—casts a vote for one kingdom or another. Every vote counts. God tallies them. Eternity will be affected by them.

You can still talk to parents and kids in your neighborhood about the value of unborn children, and offer support and help as needed. You can go to city streets and homeless shelters and offer your service. Your ballot may not have made a difference, but your vote to love your neighbor will. God won’t overlook it, as He won’t overlook a single cup of water given to little ones in His name.

Our next chance to vote is right here and right now, whether we spend time with God, pray for His help, read His Word, serve our family, help the poor, give to help the dying and needy in the Sudan, entertain this thought, speak these words, watch this television program, or click on this internet site.

The key to change and influence in this world is not, and never has been, politics. It is faithfulness to Jesus. In the end, which will never end, acts of faithfulness—many of them quiet, some seen only by God—are the votes that will count, bringing the eternal results that will matter. “For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

2. The Promises of God as We Look to the Future

Circumstances change: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1)
Our Savior does not change: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

Only by trusting in Christ and His promise of the world to come can we find peace:
Trust God; don't worry; be at peace. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. . . . Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:1-3, 27)
No matter what direction our earthly country may be going, it is our never-ending heavenly country that we should represent:
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:13-16)
America may or may not unravel in coming decades, but God’s kingdom certainly won’t. People of the world don't need America; they need Jesus. While living in the wreckage of this sin-stained earth, let’s realize the world's main problem is that it's inhabited by people like us, sinners in need of redemption. These thirsty people need us to reach out our hands and extend to them, as cold water, the love of Jesus.

As Romans 8 tells us, this world under the curse groans as in the pains of childbirth, awaiting our Redeemer and our resurrection, on the coattails of which it too will rise.

3. Final Thoughts about Abortion

This election, like all those before it, did not end the abortion discussion, any more than American elections in the nineteenth century ended the discussion of whether Africans were fully human and deserving of civil rights. The real issue was hidden under the words, and it was far bigger than those who supported and opposed it.

The election is over. But the righteous cause of the unborn is not over. The indictment against people who shed innocent blood is not over. The command of God is not over: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9).

You and I can each defend ourselves in this national debate. The children can’t. We are the only voice they have.

Who is more poor and needy, more incapable of speaking up for themselves than these unborn children, created in the image of God? Who in our country has been stripped of legal protection and is being killed at the rate of over one million per year? There are many other issues, of course, but what issue is more important and horrific than the killing of children? And who will speak up for them if not us?

Candidates and elections and presidents will come and go, but this issue will not leave us as long as we live. And we will surely face it, when all is said and done, at the judgment seat of Christ. May we not wait until then to discover how serious it really is.

What can we do about it? Be encouraged that the most direct and personal ways we can help unborn children and their mothers are still fully available to us. See Fifty Ways to Help Unborn Children and Their Mothers.

My entire small book Why Prolife? is online in PDF form. It’s downloadable at no charge, and we sell the physical book for $3.00 per copy (its retail price was 11.99 until we got the publishing rights ourselves), and offer even larger discounted price when you buy more than one copy. It’s endorsed by Democrats for Life, Feminists for Life, a rabbi, and a priest, and an actress, among others. Feel free to use it, or portions of it, however you wish.

All of us can speak up, in conversations, in online forums and elsewhere. I’ve responded recently online to Christians who have been defending the pro-legal-abortion position. (I’ve been struck with what a poor job we as Christian leaders have done instructing the body of Christ in the biblical worldview and the doctrine of human life, from its earliest stages, as created by God.) Here are some of the brief portions in Why Prolife? that I’ve shared with them when they raised each of these issues below, using the standard prochoice rhetoric (feel free to copy and paste and use them and other portions of the book wherever you wish):
I confess that for the last few weeks I could hardly wait for this election to be over. But I especially can’t wait for our Lord to bring to us a New Earth, without war, racism, and hatred, without lies, suffering, evil, holocausts, the exploitation of women, and the killing of children. Justice and love are surely coming. May we be already be on their side before they arrive:
Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" (Revelation 21:3-5).