Tell me, who is your lord! #electionday

“Jesus is Lord”

Do you realize that when you say Jesus is Lord that you are making a political statement?

If you are living in the Roman Empire in the first century, saying Jesus is Lord, that’s a capital crime. You die saying that. Because if Jesus is Lord then Caesar is not. And when you declare your allegiance to another king and not the king of the Roman Empire, that’s insurrection. It’s treason.

There were many brothers and sisters in those days who went to the lions and became human torches because they refused to throw a pinch of incense on the fire and confess that Caesar is Lord.

 
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If you are living in the United States in the twenty-first century, Jesus is still Lord. That has not changed. What has changed is the political allegiance of Christians who have lost sight of what it once meant and once cost to recognize Jesus as Lord.

Acknowledging that he is Lord no longer holds the same political meaning over the hearts of Jesus’ people that it once held because the Church has relegated Jesus to his role as a suffering savior who rescues his people from their sin. But let me remind you, when Jesus’ crimson blood ran down that old rugged cross, it was not SAVIOR that hung on that placard above his head, it was KING.

Jesus is King. Not just any king. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords who has come to save his people from their sin, to establish his Kingdom of Heaven on earth, and destroy the works of the enemy.

Understand what that means, Christian. If Jesus is Lord and King, then you are not just a saint with an inheritance kept for you in heaven, you are a subject of his Kingdom here on earth right now. It is not something that happens way out there in the future, someday after you die or when Jesus returns, it has happened already. The moment you proclaimed that Jesus is Lord you aligned yourself with him and your allegiance was pledged to his eternal Kingdom. He is your King of kings and you are his blood-bought servant today. You are no longer your own, you belong to him.

What does that mean for you on election day?

It means this. If Jesus is Lord and King then not a single person on your ballot today is. Your hope is not found in Beto O’Rourke or holding on to the House of Representatives. Your hope is found in the King who rules with a rod of iron, whose Father is right at this moment making his enemies a comfortable place for his royal nail-pierced feet to rest. Jesus is Lord, not Donald Trump.

Now you might be thinking “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know this, pastor. I know my hope isn’t ultimately found in any earthly political power. My hope is in Jesus, blah, blah, blah.”

Do you really know it, is Jesus really where your hope is placed?

If it is, wonderful!

Unfortunately, I think for some of you, it actually isn’t.

Again you might be thinking, “How can you say that? It’s not like I think that a senator or a county clerk is going to save my eternal soul from the fires of hell.”

Allow me to clarify, that’s not what I think you are hoping a politician will do for you today. I don’t think any of you are casting your ballots with the hope that a senator will be able to satisfy God’s wrath against your sin over the next 6 years of their term. The misplaced hope that I’m talking about is the foolish expectation that whoever it is that you are voting for will either reach up into heaven and pull it down to earth, or stand in the way of Satan himself and stop the advance of his demonic legions.

Some of you still don’t think you’re doing that, do you. Well, while I’m certain you would never explain what you’re hoping for in that way, your behavior is telling another story about what is really going on in your hearts.

In recent months, I have seen too many friends and family become enemies over politics. These are people who would not hesitate for a moment to give a full throated endorsement to the lordship of King Jesus in their lives. While I’m certainly grateful for their public professions of faith in Jesus, I am utterly dismayed at a kind of public behavior that betrays their confession and bespeaks a political alliance with far lesser lords.

In Matthew 10 Jesus told his disciples that he did not come to bring peace, but a sword; to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.

The sword that Jesus was speaking about was not an actual sword. It was a metaphor for what would happen within the families of his disciples when they proclaimed their allegiance to him. That’s exactly what happened.

Politics has become the new sword that is dividing families, friends, and communities. Christians have abandoned their allegiance to King Jesus and traded it in for an alliance with a gaggle of tin-pot politicians. And they are so committed to their political gods, that they are willing to sacrifice their families and friends on the altar of an election. And that is exactly the sort of thing that you do when you invest an inordinate amount of hope in politics.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Christian family and friends call one another idiots, xenophobes, hacks, and racists.

What’s worse than that, is seeing my Christian friends, family and fellow pastors directing these kinds of acrimonious comments toward people who don’t yet have the pleasure of knowing God as Father. Talk about trading your birthright in for a bowl of pottage! My Lord, help us. We have lost our ever-loving minds.

Put on your tunics and strap on your sandals, Christian, because we’ve taken the place of those Roman soldiers who used to travel around the Empire making people pledge their loyalty to Caesar. “Throw your ballot on the fire and tell me, who is your lord!”

“Donald Trump is Lord”

“Beto is Lord”

“Barak Obama is still Lord”

And when our political enemies don’t pay homage to our political gods, we run them through!

TREASON!

It would seem that we are far more willing to spill the blood of our family and friends, and sacrifice our Christian witness on a political altar than we are to tolerate someone thinking differently than us.

All for the renown of political idols and lesser lords.

If you are a person who acknowledges that Jesus is Lord, then you need to start living your life like you actually believe that it’s true. Because some of you are behaving like all your earthly hopes are pinned on the election of sinful men and women. You’ve built a tower to heaven in your heart, you’ve deposed Jesus off of his throne and installed a lesser king.

Maybe it’s time to power down your flat screens and silence the voices of the televangelists on Fox News and CNN who laud the trinket gods you’ve been worshiping and who tell you which of your neighbors you need to hate.

Jesus is Lord, my friends. He is King.

More than that, if you have turned from your rebellion against him and have pushed all of your chips in on him, believing him to be faithful to fulfill all of his promises toward you, then he isn’t just your King and your Lord, he is your closest friend; he is your elder brother; he is your faithful covenant partner who will never leave you nor abandon you.

Come back to him, won’t you? Quit destroying one another and your reputation as an ambassador of heaven over a congressional district. Admit it, you’re tired of it anyway. Rest.

Closing thoughts

It is our sacred honor and duty to preserve the great gift of our Republic. Never in the history of the world has any nation enjoyed such freedom and prosperity. Not only has it benefitted us personally as Americans, but the beacon of our freedom and prosperity has spread throughout the rest of the world. And that is something that we should both celebrate and steward well. So vote. It is your civil right and civic responsibility, paid for by the blood and tears of multitudes of men and women who believed in this great experiment. Don’t waste you chance to exercise that right. And vote, not for the sinner wearing your team jersey, but for the candidate who most closely represents the things that currently exist in heaven and are underrepresented here on earth.

But in doing so, remember who is Lord. For even if lesser despotic lords rule over us tomorrow, we have a King who is in heaven, whose forever Kingdom is here and is spreading its mustard tree branches out across the world.

Joshua Elsom