You know the phrase, “What’s the worse that could happen?” Well, what if it actually did?
My wife and I were talking last night about the election and that led to a discussion on abortion and right-to-life stuff, interesting conversation huh? So, that got me to thinking. What if the person elected president did what some people are scared of: He made abortions even more common, decided that if a pregnant woman was killed it wasn’t a double murder, made it illegal to preach against homosexuality, totally removed even the name of God from every pledge and song America has and started negotiating with Islamic terrorists to wipe Israel off the map.
Isn’t that, as a Christian, what we are scared of? That this country will become a liberal, free-for-all, tolerance of everyone except Christians, nation? That there won’t be any semblance between modern America and what the found fathers had in mind: An America founded on Christian principles.
O.K. Lets say that happens, then what? What are you going to do, give up? Stop being a Christian? Hide in your prayer closet until your nightmare is over?
I remember talking to a pastor in Israel who said that it was rough at times, because of the anti-proselytizing laws. They obviously had to be careful what was said and how. But what he said next is what moved me. He said that if the church in Israel ever had to go underground, it would take-off. Houses and churches would not be able to hold all of the people. He had already thought about it and was willing to do what ever it took to make sure people heard the good news.
In Acts 8 we read about the original “church” and how it was persecuted. Lets look at it carefully and you’ll see where I’m going with it:
…a great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria. 2 (Some devout men came and buried Stephen with great mourning.) 3 But Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison. 4 But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went. 5 Philip, for example, went to the city of Samaria and told the people there about the Messiah. 6 Crowds listened intently to Philip because they were eager to hear his message and see the miraculous signs he did. 7 Many evil[a] spirits were cast out, screaming as they left their victims. And many who had been paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city. (Acts 8:1-8 NLT)
Until this point everything was confined to Jerusalem and those people who took the message back to their synagogues. It took this persecution to spread the gospel through the region and ultimately, the world. Notice, in verse 1, that the apostles stayed put. It was the believers –us common, everyday, believers—that went throughout the area preaching and doing miracles. It references Philip as an example. Do you understand what that is saying: Philip was just a normal guy who was living his life and then all of a sudden he was thrust into ministry because of persecution. As he was fleeing death, he became a powerful mouth-piece for the Lord and a wonderful example to all of us.
Back to my original point: What if the worse actually did happen? So what. Let it. If the church was forced to go underground, I have faith that it would explode. Stadiums wouldn’t be big enough to hold all of the people who were coming. Why? Because by and large, in America, the “church” is a “church” of convenience. It is really easy to “do church” here. We drive ten miles, worship for an hour and a half, eat lunch with a group of people then go home. If we were forced to go underground, or at least watch what was done, it would weed out all of the so-called believers and the “cream would rise to the top”.
I have prayed hard the last few days for this election; that this persecution would not happen now or at any time. But, don’t ever be afraid if it does, because I think we would see believers from all corners of America –Lutheran, Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic and any I missed— rise to the occasion, step out in faith and flex their spiritual muscles. I think the Body of Christ in America would be a force to be reckoned with.
Having said all that: I’ll pray throughout the day that what God’s will will be done and not ours.
But don’t think for a second that it will hurt my resolve if this country takes a nose dive morally or spiritually, because I have faith in a God who knows how to handle people when they are on the move.