On March 22, 1857, the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, climbed into his pulpit in London to deliver a message on 2 Peter1:10-11. The theological issue he was dealing with was election, as in a Sovereign God choosing for Himself a people to serve Him and glorifying His name.
However, in considering Divine Election, Pastor Spurgeon was moved to make a few comments about the man made election of government officials. As we think of going the polls, I pray his words would speak to us.
I would not, however, say to any persons here present, despise the privilege which you have as citizens. Far be it from me to do it. When we become Christians we do not leave off being Englishmen; when we become professors of religion we do not cease to have the rights and privileges which citizenship has bestowed on us. Let us whenever we shall have the opportunity of using the right of voting, use it as in the sight of Almighty God, knowing that for everything we shall be brought into account, and for that amongst the rest, seeing that we are entrusted with it.
And let us remember that we are our own governors, to a great degree, and that if at the next election we should choose wrong governors we shall have nobody to blame but ourselves, however wrongly they may afterwards act, unless we exercise all prudence and prayer to Almighty God to direct our hearts to a right choice in this matter. May God so help us, and may the result be for his glory, however unexpected that result may be to any of us!
Two issues confront us:
1. It is our responsibility to vote. Just because we are Christians, citizens of the Kingdom of God, does not negate our citizenship in this nation. And we are called to be good citizens. So get involved and vote.
2. We are responsible for our vote. Vote “as in the sight of Almighty God, knowing that for everything we shall be brought into account.” I think it’s interesting that Pastor Spurgeon extends that accountability to the actions of the one we vote for. If he messes up, we’re responsible. If he allows innocent children to be murdered, we are responsible. If he profanes God’s name by changing the definition of marriage, we are responsible. You get the idea.
That being said, I hope you vote. And I hope you vote as in the sight of God, not just voting against one person, but truly voting for someone you can stand before God and be confident about in your vote.
Indeed, as Spurgeon prays, may God so help us to direct our hearts to a right choice in this matter, and may the result be for his glory, however unexpected that result may be to any of us!