If you come to my office today you will find an entire shelf of books that are all written by on man – C.H. Spurgeon. I love the preaching and ministry of Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Some of my favorite books to peruse through when I have the time is a 10-volume set consisting entirely of Spurgeon’s sermons. Spurgeon was a great writer of sermons and was masterful in his prose and insights. He possessed tremendous imaginational capacities and could craft a sermon that would hold an audience’s attention even to this day.
Much of what I do as I prepare to preach I borrow from Spurgeon’s book entitled Lectures to My Students where he instructs young ministers. But there is one thing that Spurgeon did that I will never be able to do. You see Spurgeon was not a pure expositor, he frequently chose to preach topically. I follow Spurgeon’s example in many ways but I don’t tend to preach topically. Instead, I choose to preach verse by verse.
If I were to ask you to think of “the” environment, what comes to your mind? Flowers and trees? Fish and animals? Watersheds and seas? Mountains and plains? …Nature, right? When we talk about man’s environment in society, it can become easy to view it as a far-fetched, distant reality that we are only able to observe or experience when we “get away.” Still, its far-reaching fingers touch us all right where we live, prompting a myriad of theories and ideas as to how we relate with the world around us. Some view the earth as a vast animal playground. Others, as something to be exploited. There are even those who view man’s environment as something to worship, perhaps even as a maternal deity. You hear it all the time, people referring to “the” environment as “Mother Nature.” Amid all the hubbub of this “green-friendly” mentality, the question must be asked: is it appropriate for a Christian to think of their environment in such terms? While trying to answer that question certainly tends to open a can of worms in society, I think that focusing in on three biblical aspects of man’s connection to his environment provides the believer with stability when dealing with green issues. Relationship. Responsibility. Resourcefulness.
We find ourselves embroiled in that time of year where everyone is talking about politics and America. And that brings up the question that is being asked more and more frequently: “Does God care about America?” And perhaps more to the point: “Should we as Christians?” Now, if you are over 35 years old, perhaps that question strikes you as odd if not downright bizarre. Chances are if you are a millennial, it’s a question you’ve heard your peers discuss and perhaps have even wondered yourself. I know I have. Let me explain.
In recent years, there has been a healthy emphasis on the supremacy of God’s kingdom over all others, even America. Theologians and Christian leaders have made the needed distinction that God’s plan doesn’t rise or fall on America. As we see in the book of Daniel, God’s purposes march on through time, unabated and undeterred by the rising and toppling of the kingdoms of the earth. The answer for America, we are rightly reminded, is Jesus. Our hope is in our Creator and His coming kingdom, not anything on earth. We are citizens of heaven and are strangers and pilgrims on this earth. But while all of this is true, and while some of it may have been forgotten with certain well-meaning, mistaken Christians in a tidal wave of overzealous patriotism, we are still left with our opening questions, “Does God care about America?” “Should we as Christians?”
As always, we must ask the question “What does God’s Word say?” Does God share either a lack of concern for America, or are there hints that our nation might matter to Him? While the word “America” does not show up in Scripture, we do find God’s attitudes for the “nations.” What does the Bible teach us about God’s view of nations? Not just Israel, but the nations surrounding her?
November 8th is right around the corner. Won’t it be nice when the election is over, and we won’t have to worry about having our Facebook news feeds cluttered with posts about the election? Think of it! No more passionate pleas to vote for a third-party candidate. No more “lesser of two evils” debates. No more angry tirades about Clinton and/or Trump. Yes, once again our social media will be a world of personality quizzes, thug-life memes, and Plexus testimonials like it’s supposed to be.
But who are we kidding? I don’t know about you, but I have a feeling that the angry political debates will rage on for weeks to come. This election is like no other, so it won’t be surprising if the repercussions are like no other.
I’m not writing this article is to influence your vote on Election Day, but to influence your mindset for post-Election Day. No matter who wins the election, there will be hundreds of thousands of depressed, discouraged people come November 9th. It’s OK to feel strongly about this election--it’s tough not to; However, despite the uncertainty of our government’s future, there are certain biblical realities that provide peace for the Christian. These realities should rule our lives no matter what the circumstance, but they will be all the more important in the days following November 8th, after you vote, get your sticker, drive home, and watch all the hand-wringing on TV.
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