By Dr. Mark Creech
Christian Action League
November 7, 2016
Like so many of you, I have been burdened and praying for the future of our state and nation. Yesterday, while giving my sermon as a guest minister at a church in Stokes County, I got a little emotional thinking about my grandchildren, and what kind of country we are passing down to them. This election is likely to set the course for good or evil for many years to come.
Something that has recently crossed my mind, several times, is the passage from Luke 13:6-9. In this Scripture, Jesus sets the scene of a fig tree in a vineyard. It’s obviously a well-established tree. Yet it hasn’t produced any fruit for its owner. So the owner gives the vinedresser the command to cut it down.
The vinedresser, however, presses the owner to be patient. Perhaps treatment of the soil and the application of some fertilizer could turn things around. “Just give the tree one more chance,” the vinedresser says to the owner. “And if it doesn’t produce, that will be the end of the matter.”
The point of the parable is that God is slow to wrath, but opportunity doesn’t last forever. God’s grace is only offered for a while.
I thought it was interesting that I was thinking about this parable often and the way it applied to America, when Kim, my wife, told me that she had been praying this way. She said that as we approached the election, she often prayed, “Lord, I know we deserve judgment, but please just give us one more chance.”
Last Sunday evening, I was a guest speaker at a church in Middlesex, North Carolina, when a stately gentleman of many years, led in prayer for our country. You can imagine how it caught my attention when I heard him pray, “Lord, please, just give us one more chance.”
I think this may be the way many of God’s people are thinking and praying about our wayward nation.
It seems we are at a critical point. This election may be our last chance to turn back. It may be our last chance to get on that trajectory that starts moving us closer to being a God-fearing and productive society again.
I’m not saying the people we elect can save us. Nonetheless, I am saying the candidates from the top of the ballot to the bottom, unquestionably, represent two starkly different paths for our country – one side seems to represent the hope of another chance, when the other clearly represents furthering our descent into the darkness.
This is a very serious time!
This is why Christians need to acknowledge their unconfessed sins and earnestly pray to God. The Bible says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Ps. 66:18). It’s when we are walking in a right relationship with God and his Son, Jesus Christ, that God will fill us with His Spirt. Plus, we’ll know then how to pray for those things that are pleasing to God.
Christians also need to pray in faith. It is faith that pleases God. “He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6), says the writer of Hebrews. The Lord says in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call unto me and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.”
Will you join me today and tomorrow in praying earnestly that God would show grace and mercy to our nation in this election? This may be America’s last chance to get on the right track.
Lastly, make sure your prayers are translated into action. If you haven’t already voted, you shouldn’t allow anything less than death or some unavoidable severe emergency prevent you from getting to the polls on Tuesday and casting your vote.
I can hardly bear the thought of the great tree, America, being cut down. Still, I know that God judges nations that ignore Him and His ways. Instead, I want my grandchildren to know the full blessings of the liberty tree. I want them to be able to enjoy its fruit, prosper, and rest beneath its shade.
So let us pray!
And no matter what the results of the election are on Tuesday, since we don’t know exactly in what way or when God’s final judgment might fall if America doesn’t repent, we will continue working around the roots of our Republic to get it to flourish once more.
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