I don't even know who he is but today I am grateful to Eric Nelson. As I drove to an appointment this morning I saw two of Mr. Nelson's large campaign signs along the road. Plastered across his name was a large Thank You! His gracious gesture made me smile. It also made me reflect on the fact that we live in a free country, flawed but free. We can't know what is in store for us when our next president takes office. Regardless of your political leanings, Jesus has instructed us on what to expect as His followers.
While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, “All that you see here-- the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”
Then they asked him, “Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?” He answered, “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.” Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.
“Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” Luke 21:5-19
This is part of Luke's passage on the end times. Each of the Gospel writers talk of it. Jesus' prophetic words surely must have unsettled His audience. One minute they are talking about the temple and the next minute Jesus is dropping some pretty heavy apocalyptic news on them. Their first reaction is to want to know when these things will happen and how they will know. Jesus then moves from general destruction to personal persecution. He warns that death is even a possibility for some.
We as Jesus' followers must live with the expectation that persecution is a very real possibility. That is even true in our "free" country. We must trust in Jesus and His Spirit in all circumstances. Our hope must be in Him. I found this article to be helpful in light of the election. It is entitled, What Do the Politics of Jesus Look Like? You might want to read it for some perspective. In the section below I found peace. I pray you will also.
Remaining calm, loving, and non-defensive, no matter what the political outcomes, is the way of Jesus—and of His followers who have their kingdoms rightly ordered. "Do not fear, little flock, for I am with you," says the King. Do not rejoice when you find yourselves in temporary positions of power and influence, Jesus says, "but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." (Luke 12:32, 10:20).