Who Do You Want to Lead This Nation? What Is the Gospel, Anyhow?

17 The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones; to the intent that the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the lowest of men.

~ Da 4:17 (ASV)

God is in control.  No matter who you wanted in the last election, we have to accept that God is the One Who sets up rulers of men.

An interesting thing happened the other day.  I put up a picture of a ballot with Mitt Romney, Barack Obama and Jesus Christ on it, with a checkmark in the latter.  Underneath, it says, “The REAL answer for America!”

Someone commented that he agreed but only at the “right time”.  I pushed back on that.  “Is there ever a wrong time to choose Jesus to be your leader?”  If the person is capable of choosing and knowing what they are choosing, then I’d suggest they make that choice then.

Ancient Israel tended to do well when it chose God.  When it did not, it tended to not do well.  Is there a lesson in that?

2 For God says,

“At just the right time, I heard you.
On the day of salvation, I helped you.”

Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.

~ 2Co 6:2 (NLT)

Now, I think we realize that today is not “the” only day of salvation (Isa 49:8) in spite of the insistence of most translations.  That’s not what I want to focus on.  I want to focus on “the ‘right time’ is now.”  That is not a mistranslation.

24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

~ Ac 17:24-27

The real question is not whether or not the vast majority of people will at this time turn to God (they will not), nor is it whether or not they are ready (they are not).  The real question is whether or not we understand the Gospel.  Occasionally, I come across COG people who really do not seem to understand what it is.

We are now, I hope, worshiping the King.  Our allegiance is to Him and His Kingdom.  The Gospel is the message of the King and His Kingdom, which will come to the earth and rule it.

A Kingdom is a government.  However, unlike Satan’s kingdoms, God does not force anyone into it.  God wants people who will voluntarily acknowledge Him as King.

What puzzles me is how much some COG people seem to get wrapped up into the politics of this world.  Yes, I understand we all love our homelands.  Jeremiah loved his homeland, too!  Yes, I understand that sometimes one or the other can really trample on your toes.  It certainly happened to me during the past year.  However, just how Christian is it to get wrapped up in the nasty business of politics overall?  Are we or are we not ambassadors of another land?

That too is part of voluntarily submitting to God.  Will God really turn someone away who is teachable and sincere and with His help overcome now?  Most likely, if they are doing so, it is because God Himself brought them to that point.

Some in the Church will say “Not everyone is called now.”  That is true, but it is also misleading.

14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

~ Mt 22:14

Most people are blind, but they are blinded by themselves a lot more than we tend to give it credit.  Certainly, Satan has his part in it all.  In the Parable of the Sower, one fourth of the seed was snatched away by Satan’s minions.  However, there was still another two fourths that were not fruitful.

Let me put it another way: If it is all Satan’s fault, then what will people have to repent of at the second resurrection?

No, the Gospel goes out because we do not know who God is trying to reach at this time.  We do not know who will be called and heed (the chosen).  That’s why we must accept the possibility that God is working with anyone right now, and we best not fail to do our duty and give them an answer for the hope that lies within in us.  That doesn’t mean shoving it down their throats, but since this way of life is so different, how can we avoid answering?

In any event, there never is a time that is bad to choose Jesus as “Lord”, which means “Master”.  There will eventually for everyone come a time when it is too late.  However, if by some small thing we do we are used to make it happen sooner rather than later, then who are we to say no?

7 thoughts on “Who Do You Want to Lead This Nation? What Is the Gospel, Anyhow?

  • Jim Butler

    Excellent post, John.

    Three points that most in the Church of God have probably never considered regarding the concept of “many are called.” God DOES consider each person very carefully before he calls someone. That is not to say he (God) knows that the people he calls will qualify (not earn-there is a big difference). If he knew, then all those he calls would be chosen. Only the few are chosen–to be first fruits.

    The second point is each person has a big part to play as to whether God calls them. God does not call anyone randomly, or again, carelessly. There are many characteristics God looks at in each person before he calls the person. If all people had the right characteristics to be called then God could conceivably call everyone the first 6000 years. God knew that would not be the case.

    The last point is, just because someone is called and does not qualify to be a first fruit does not mean that person has lost out on salvation. That person will not be a first fruit but will have another chance after he is resurrected. God is not into giving people just one chance. That is a silly assumption people have made, and has no scriptural support.

    God’s focus is on choosing first fruits at this time. He is choosing leaders for all eternity. He will focus on people being saved, salvation, later. Our paradigms can either help or hinder our understanding.

  • Big Red
    Big Red

    I like your post. And while I basically agree with Jim Butler’s comment, I have a minor sticking point with one of his comments. He said that called people will have a second chance.

    Well, no. You only get one chance, period. But that doesn’t apply to those who were called but not chosen. Why? Just because a person is called, it doesn’t mean that he received the Holy Spirit. Only the chosen ones received it.


  • John D

    Well, I don’t like to quibble between “first chance”, “second chance”, etc. To me, “another chance” can mean, depending upon context, another period of time in which an opportunity presents itself.

    Bottom line: I don’t believe anyone will miss out on salvation by accident. It will have to be a conscious determined decision to not follow God. Even “indecision” can really be a cloaked determined reluctance to do the right thing after a while, and in itself is a decision. I fear we sometimes harp so much on God’s justice and Law that we neglect the fact that He is also merciful.

    When it says He is unwilling that “any should perish”, we need to take heed of how many times in the Bible that He picked people up, dusted them off, gave them a swift kick and told them to get back out there and do the right thing (Jonah, anyone?). Hasn’t He done the same for you and I? Will He do anything less except for the very reprobate?

  • Big Red
    Big Red

    Agree absolutely, John. And the very reprobate would be those who deliberately repudiate the Holy Spirit once given to them. Backsliding isn’t the same thing, of course. It just means that we’re messing up, out of human weakness and so on. It’s the willful rejection of God that a person can’t come back from.

    In that context, I think Jim Butler is right. Maybe a lot people who joined the church were never truly converted. Does that mean they lost their only opportunity for salvation? No, I don’t think so.

  • Big Red
    Big Red

    I like to think of it in terms of jury duty. You get a summons for jury duty, so you show up and sit there in a big room full of people. Being called for jury duty doesn’t mean that you will actually be selected to sit on one, however. There’s a big difference between being called and being chosen.

    All analogies break down after awhile, but you get my drift.

    • John D

      Yeah, well, what about an airplane trip? Sometimes, people buy the tickets but are no-shows. Sometimes, the flight is overbooked, so people get bumped off. That doesn’t mean they cannot take a later flight.

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