“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” Matthew 28:19
A lot of us long to see the day when our country returns to its moral foundations. Yet, as wonderful as it would be to see a nation reclaimed for God and the principles of His Word, if it were simply a political victory that reinstates rules of better behavior, the changes would only be external, and our hearts would not be changed. I am for being a good Christian citizen and seeking to preserve morality. Any country is better when the values of biblical morality reign. But if we hope only in political change to reinstate living by God’s laws, then we have lost sight of Christ’s primary mission for us.
As Ravi Zacharias has noted, “If we succeed in making America more moral, then what we will have is more lost moral Americans.” In The Pilgrim’s Progress, Pilgrim gets sidetracked into a layover in the village of Morality, where all is morally correct. He finds, however, that morality without the cross cannot alleviate his burden of sin.
Unfortunately, we have been led to believe that political triumph over the enemies of godliness is a priority goal. Yet, politics can be a seductive sidetrack. It tempts us to shift our eyes away from what must be the focus of true followers—concern for the lost and for the growth of believers in Jesus.
Maybe you can identify with the woman who approached me before a meeting. She told me that for two years she had been so deeply involved in political causes that she had neglected her growth in Jesus and her commitment to her local church in both time and giving. She had even come to see those on the other side of the political fence as enemies rather than ones for whom Jesus died. She admitted that during this time her intimacy with the Lord had dimmed. She was convicted about how quickly her political adrenaline had eclipsed her passion for the things of God and eternity.
While it may be energizing and exciting for us to believe that we are doing our Christian duty by marching, politicking, protesting, and supporting groups that do these things, it may well distract us from the most important task—glorifying God through Christlikeness and an unwavering commitment to the eternal destinies of friends and enemies alike.
When Jesus instructed His followers to “make disciples of all nations,” He didn’t mean that we should get caught up in political agendas that drive the nation’s government. He intended that we reach the people of our nation with the message of the gospel.
The best way to win any nation to God is to care about the eternal destinies of its citizens and to seek to lead them to the true King one at a time!
- What are some well-meaning political causes that tend to get Christians sidetracked today? How have those causes affected you personally? Have you been completely disinterested or distracted? Either end of the spectrum indicates an off-balance perspective.
- What is the balance between appropriate concern for a declining culture and concern for the people living in it?
- What have you done recently to advance the cause of Jesus?
- Think of someone you know who might be a victim of a “political” issue, such as abortion, homosexuality, or homelessness. What can you do to reach that person with the love of Jesus?