Oct 27, 2008

End-Time Pilgrims

By Todd Strandberg

There has been a cascade of negative news events during the past few weeks. The global economy is in a historic tailspin and the Democrats are poised to take full control of the government.

Since little can be done about the economy, most of my email traffic is focused on the November 4th election. The polls point to a strong likelihood that Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States. He has a commanding lead in many key states. Speculators on Wall Street only give McCain a 16 percent chance of victory. The Obama campaign has already spent $2 million on a lavish victory celebration in Chicago.

There is a huge amount of denial or exasperation on the part of Christians. I’ve received dozens of messages from people who think the liberal media is concocting the poll numbers, and they doubt Obama is going to win. Some woman even sent me a vision from the Lord that points to a surprise McCain victory:

I keep hearing God say – regarding the elections "I will move them in the right way when it comes Election Day. The polls and the trends may look one way, But when it comes to election day, I'll move them the right way. I'll move them the right way.”

I hear God saying: “McCain, McCain, McCain,McCain and Palin, McCain and Palin, McCain...”

An equal number of people can’t believe that Obama is being taken seriously as a candidate. Here is an email that offers an example of the frustration I see every day: “HAVE WE LEARNED ANYTHING SINCE 9/11? We either turn this country over to a man who patriotically and proudly has served his country in war and in peace ~or~ do we face the consequences of electing a man with a checkered past, a man who has counted domestic terrorists among his friends, and a man who spent 15 years in a church where his pastor regularly damned and condemned the United States. We need to investigate [who] BARAK HUSSEIN OBAMA's friends and mentors have been over his lifetime and this is not negative campaigning when he is wanting to be elected commander and chief of this country!!"

I don’t think alarm or even anger is called for here. If we are in the last of the last days, we should expect the world to begin to reflect the dark picture painted by Bible prophecy. The Word of God says the end times will be marked by moral decline, apostasy, and global economic peril.

We should not withdraw from the world just because things don’t go our way. If we fail to engage the enemy, we will end up with a nation that is all the more repulsive to us. At some point, our right to freedom of religion will come into question.

I’ve noticed that Christians are mostly absent from the political process. Nearly all the Christian conservative political organizations from previous election years seem to be sitting this one out. Since believers are said to be the salt of the earth, their absence is going to be quickly reflected in the types of new laws that will come out of Washington D.C.

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Matt. 5:3).

God never said that our main goal should be centered on achieving victory in the political process. We have been charged with the task of saving a remnant of the general population. One good thing about the pace of recent events is that it gets believers out of their comfort-zone mentality. The fact that we find ourselves living in a nation we no longer recognize should indicate it’s time to turn our hearts to the place of our true residence.

We rarely hear the term "pilgrim" applied to believers these days. "Pilgrim - One who stays in a place as a stranger or visitor; to describe Christians whose final citizenship is in heaven and who are regarded as temporary dwellers on earth" (Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia Of The Bible). As America gets further from core biblical values, my hope is that more Christians realize that we are ultimately just visitors here.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2 (NIV).