I Fear for Our Future

Does America have a future? Of course it does. But I fear for it. The presidential debate on Tuesday evening reveals a nation sharply divided, each candidate championing the cause of his political supporters. Class division, racial division, economic division, philosophical or ideological division—while it can be argued that every election exposes the divide in our nation, the reality is that this one seems ratcheted up exponentially, no small thanks to the incendiary fueling injected into our national conversation by 24/7 "real time" internet commentary. Consider the potential fall-out from either election outcome. Were the President to be reelected, the hostility of the political right in this nation could threaten  governmental gridlock before which the past four years would pale in comparison. Were the President to be defeated, the bitter outcry of the political left could threaten vast swaths of national life through economic boycott and strikes. The truth is that either election outcome could potentially sound the death knell for an already moribund economy. Class and racial divisions? The fallout implications of such potential strife is beyond calculation (but not imagination). I fear for America's future. Does that mean Christian voters, Seventh-day Adventists included, should abdicate their citizenry right and responsibility to vote? Not at all. In the words of our Lord, we must "render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's" (see Matthew 22:21). But given what lies ahead for this nation, irrespective of our political persuasions or private votes, the second half to Jesus' admonition is even more binding, "and render to God the things that are God's." And what belongs to God in a season of such national divide, on the eve of such economic distress? Surely this hour demands our most fervent prayers for this land. "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all . . . for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence" (1 Timothy 2:1, 2). We must band together to pray for the leaders of this nation and every nation on earth. The unthinkable fallout inevitable with economic collapse portends a chapter neither the church nor the nation is prepared to face. May not God yet spare His people for the critical Three Angels mission that is our raison detre? That is, after all, Paul's compelling reason for intercessory prayer: "For this [praying] is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all . . . to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:3, 4). We must pray and labor for the salvation of Americans, for the salvation of the inhabitants of every nation on earth—for all earth children are to be the recipients of God's urgent Three Angel appeal and warning. In my short lifetime I have not witnessed a more consequential season than this one. And so I earnestly pray for the awakening of the church I love and for the salvation of the country I inhabit. And I urge you now to join me in these prayers.