Being “biblically watchful” for our Lord’s return, is about becoming knowledgeable of the prophetic scriptures. That is, studying them to a practical level of understanding. It is to take that knowledge and wisely apply it as we observe and do business in the world around us; comprehending our observations of the world through the lens of the divinely inspired Word of God, watching for the scriptural signs that will signal the end of the age, striking down false signs, and guarding against deception. Finally, being biblically watchful is to live as a faithful servant of Jesus as we await His return to this earth with certainty and expectancy.
Having Biblical knowledge of prophetic scriptures is the only way for us to recognize if events in our time are significant to the end of the age. Let’s assume that together we have an adequate level of such knowledge while we begin moving forward deciphering what is going on in the world around us. As we do so, it is important to follow two important rules: no filling in blanks where the Bible did not give us details and no synthesizing possible scenarios that may take place based on our finite and limited human perspective. To do either of these things is to come dangerously close to prophesying without a license.
Have we seen any specific biblical signs fulfilled in relation to the presidential election process?
· Has Bernie ran on a platform of implanting national identity chips in everyone’s foreheads and confirming a covenant with Israel and others? No, at least not that the media has reported.
· Has Hilary suggested that reinstituting the Jewish ritual of animal sacrifice on the temple mount in Jerusalem may hold the answer to peace in the middle east? Hmmm. No, I haven’t heard it mentioned.
· As the result of the “smack down” World Wrestling Federation-like debates, has there been a massive falling away from the Christian faith? Well, no human can judge hearts, but the answer must be “no” based on Pew Research Center data.
· Did anyone personally see “the Donald” rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns? Nope, although his hair does get mistaken for a lot of things, I am sure that such an event would have been a world-wide trending topic.
For the most part, what my Bible filter is telling me, is it is just another day living in a fallen world full of sinners. A fallen world, which is “groaning and travailing” (Romans 8:22).
How then should “faithful servants of Jesus” be navigating through this perilous, but non-end of the age time of elections as we continue to wait on the Lord’s return? What should our reaction be? How should we make our opinions known? Who should we vote for when the choice seems unclear?
As every servant knows, everywhere they go, and in everything they do, they represent their master first. Whatever is done as a servant of Jesus, should be done with that in mind; “…whatever you do, do all for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).
Jesus always acted in love. He would have His servants do the same. He never had “off duty” time, nor do His servants. To act in love, is to fulfill the law (Rom 13:8). However, how to best show love is sometimes a complicated issue requiring a great deal of wisdom. We most often think of acts of love taking the form of patiently and kindly fulfilling the physical and emotional needs of others, even when it is not easy or convenient for us to do. However, I retired from a profession where it is sometimes necessary to show love by Tazing someone with 50,000 volts for 5 seconds, in order to keep them from harming themselves or others. For Jesus, although showing love included feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and casting out demons, sometimes love meant throwing over the tables of the money changers and calling those in positions of authority “blind guides” and “serpents.”
Whether it is in the role of being a servant of Jesus, a Priest of God, or citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, I relate well to a little story found in the book of Joshua. Joshua, and the “Children of Israel,” had just wandered around the wilderness for 40 years and were now outside of the City of Jericho when Joshua ran into a man who was standing before him with a drawn sword. Having the task at hand, to overtake the City of Jericho, Joshua asked the “man” if he was on Israel’s side, or their enemies’. The “man” answered, “Neither; I am the commander of the army of the Lord.” Recognizing this was not just a man, Joshua fell down to worship what he finally recognized as an angel.
This story reminds me that sometimes rather than choosing a “side” on some temporal earthbound issue, I am to keep my attention on my Master’s business. My world is to center around my Master and my thoughts on “things above,” which have eternal and lasting value. Again, love can be our guide in decision making: For example, is it loving to let the weak and helpless be harmed or oppressed, go hungry or unclothed, or should you take action when you have the ability to do so? At the same time, is it loving to enable people in their slothfulness and sin?
Those of us who God has blessed to live in the 21st century in the United States and are over the age of 18, have the right to vote. We need to cast that servant sized vote with our Master’s interests in mind, realizing “there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1). In other words, according to His divine purposes, no one is going to get elected, if God does not want them elected. So, if you are His servant, whether you understand what He is accomplishing or not, trust God, everything is going exactly according to His plans. If you are on His side, then your “side” always wins!
Many believe it is acceptable to synthesize conspiracy theories that superimpose today’s headlines and high profile people, such as political candidates, over the top of Bible prophecy. Someday every prophecy contained in the Bible will be fulfilled perfectly and at the appointed time. Those that are watchful will recognize the signs when they occur and take appropriate action.
As we look back at the fulfilled prophecies from that future vantage point in time, will those who have engaged in wild speculation feel foolish having falsely accused people of being the “Antichrist,” or the “great whore of Babylon?” Equally as tragic, how many will have been distracted and deceived and join in the hatred generated by these products of human imagination? Such unloving activity hardly seems like the type of thing a faithful servant of Jesus would want to associate with the good name of her or his Master.