Our Scripture lesson for this three part article is found in Esther 4:10:
Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”
When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
May God speak loudly to our hearts through this passage in such a time as today, 2016!
And now part three!
"And who knoweth that thou art come to the Kingdom for such a time as this!?" Why were you born? Why were you born again? For what reason?
For Esther it was to help rescue herself and her family and her nation from a great crisis! We live in the time of greatest crisis in our nation and our world’s history! We are seeing the forces of spiritual darkness and wickedness in high places threatening to destroy the freedom of religion, speech, worship. To overwhelm the forces of Gospel light and Bible-based virtue. “And whomever is most active and vigilant” as Patrick Henry said, “will be the victor in that battle!”
How about you? Are you serving as a faithful soldier of Truth in these dark times?
I’m still optimistic that God can do something absolutely Latter-Rain wonderful yet with this Country! Why? Because according to Revelation 13, we continue to yet live in the original “Lamb-like / Christ-like” founded and chartered as one nation under God with liberty and justice for all. We know how the Revelation 13 Scripture tragically ends, but we are not to be looking to accelerate the transition to demonic control, rather to help and pray with the angels who are holding back the winds of strife in order to not hurt -- UNTIL GOD HAS SEALED all possible servants of God in their foreheads! (Rev 7)
The 3 Angels in charge of Rev 14’s message are working 24/7/365! What are we doing? Is it possible that if American Christians (particularly SDA Christians) WAKE UP … get out of the bleachers and down on the playing field in the game, that God can yet turn this Country around for a while to remain Lamb-Christ-like? Like He did with Ninevah in Jonah’s day? Destruction was imminent! Mere days away! BUT…the folks responded to a reluctant runaway prophet who timidly hesitantly sounded the final warning call, and a reprieve of more grace extended that resulted in the salvation of an entire city!
Isn’t that the FIRST & FOREMOST result that God is looking for? God is not delaying His return as we humans think of delay – it’s just that He is not willing that any should perish, but that all possible come to repentance!
Make no mistake - Satan’s “angel of light” deception is coming. He will do incredible displays to deceive if possible the elect. But now we can AND ARE EXPECTED to make a difference to delay this horrible period a bit longer. And lest we forget, Jesus Himself has chosen delay in His Second Coming based on……patience…longsuffering…mercy, “not slack concerning His promise, just not willing that ANY should perish, but all should come to repentance” (see 2 Peter 3:1-9). In my way of thinking, we may have gotten it twisted 180 degrees…many of us sit back and say, oh don’t try to push back political and societal-cultural evil in this world…it just means Jesus will come that much sooner, and that’s what we want anyway.
When in reality we should be joining HIS LEAD in working to delay it as long as HE KNOWS BEST by pushing back against the tide of evil and corruption and moral decline! Give Him every opportunity to win as many as He can via the Spirit. Aren’t we sternly cautioned to NOT invite the time of trouble upon us before it’s time?
Didn’t God also come to His man Abraham and negotiate for Sodom & Gomorrah with an eye on trying to save even that most wicked place? Didn’t God send his 2 Angels Message unto Sodom with a final opportunity of salvation and repentance? Can’t we see what God is really like in this story? Our merciful and long-suffering Heavenly Father is trying to figure out any and all possible ways to save every single human being He can! It’s not how many can we keep out of Heaven – but rather how many can we get IN!?
Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 1 Cor 10:11
But I’m also reminded of what Mrs. Billy Graham said some time ago about the American condition of gross darkness and widespread and increasing unbelief and wickedness and immorality that includes now same-sex marriage, infanticide, immoral debt, welfare slavery, pornography, moral filth from our mouths, our TVs, constant lies from our media and too many leaders: Mrs. Graham said, “Unless America repents, If God doesn’t chasten this Country severely, He will have to apologize to Sodom & Gomorrah!”
What have you done? In the midst of such a time as this? Are you taking a stand against the immoral gross darkness that is gripping our nation, our families, our children, our schools, our libraries, our universities? “Behold darkness shall cover the Earth, and GROSS darkness the peoples” Isa 60:2
Have you done anything at all? Are you adding your vote to the side of Bible virtue and morality according to God’s Commandments?
The sin of doing nothing at all. That is the great sin of the Christian Church!
We do nothing, sit by quietly and apathetically while we have our Bibles chock FULL of religious and political events, positions taken, leadership given by God’s own chosen people! These are examples for us!
- So Noah goes up against the entire political “establishment” of his day with a 120-year ark build to survive what was coming + an evangelism campaign.
- So Abram intercedes for the prototypical cities that are end-time symbols of our day!
- So Abraham interacts with kings and leaders from all over his geography, spreading Truth.
- So Joseph becomes second only to Pharaoh in Egypt and brings Truth and salvation and stability to entire region.
- Moses is taken immediately into the courts of the Pharaoh to be in line to become the supreme leader…chooses leadership of Israel vs Egypt when Egypt turns on God’s chosen people…BUT think of the different direction that could’ve been taken if Egypt had honored Joseph…vs knew not Joseph…had not hardened heart against God in the plagues!? Moses was set to lead EITHER Egypt OR Israel on God’s path of prosperity and greatness. We forget this.
- So God sets up Providentially a chosen people – Israel – to live out the Judeo-Christian heritage as a Great Controversy answer to Lucifer’s charges and counter claims.
- After Israel blows it, God intervenes and elevates Daniel & his 3 friends to the highest political positions of the Super Power Babylon…then Medo-Persia to intervene, teach Truth, create a path forward for God’s people / plan – still answering Lucifer’s lies!
- Almost contemporary, Esther moves into key political position along with her uncle Mordechai to deliver God’s people from evil.
- Isaiah preaches to Babylon’s kings and leaders without fear, even exposing Satanic politics at their core! (Isa 14)
- Ezekiel does the same as Isaiah! (Ezek 28) Even stepping up and supporting Daniel by name!
- Jeremiah is known and respected by Darius, King of Media Persia, and is commissioned to go rebuild Jerusalem (what a merciful gift from a loving, long-suffering God!)
- We have Nicodemus, the Apostle Paul himself appearing before kings and leaders everywhere on behalf of Truth. Martin Luther, the Wesley brothers, Columbus, the Pilgrims who founded America and threw off the yoke of religious oppression from the Old World…human history is FULL of God’s chosen people making a profound impact on the affairs of state and governments everywhere.
Many SDAs have a distorted understanding of Ellen White and politics. Here’s added insight.
- In Education, she wrote: “Many a lad of today, growing up as did Daniel in his Judean home, studying God’s word and His works, and learning the lessons of faithful service, will yet stand in legislative assemblies, in halls of justice, or in royal courts, as a witness for the King of kings” (Ed p. 262).
- Speaking to faculty and students of Battle Creek College in 1883, she said: “Are you ambitious for education that you may have a name and position in the world? Have you thoughts that you dare not express, that you may one day . . . sit in deliberative and legislative councils, and help to enact laws for the nation? There is nothing wrong in these aspirations” (Fund of Christ Ed p. 82).
- “Every individual exerts an influence in society. In our favored land, every voter has some voice in determining what laws shall control the nation. Should not that influence and that vote be cast on the side of temperance and virtue?” (GW 387).
What are SDA Christian guidelines for our activity for God in the public square?
1. We as SDA Christians DO have a responsibility and duty to vote for morality, for good vs evil, irrespective of party. Indeed we should not be beholden to one political party or another. We are required by God to educate ourselves to the issues, and make a difference with voice, pen and vote. Summarized: do not vote party; vote principles, morality, Constitutional values. Just this past year in my area, we here had an opportunity to vote against alcohol, liquor by the drink etc. It won on the County but lost in the City by very narrow margins. Where were the SDA Christians? If all SDAs living in this area (we have a Conference office, a hospital, a major high school, a huge elementary school, and multiple SDA churches) would have voted our health message principles, alcohol by the drink along with Sunday sales would not be coming to the City of Calhoun, GA! Alas! Sleepy SDA’s failed God’s work again! The measure passed and folks will die from drunk driving and alcohol related crime as a result of our apathy, once again!
2. We as SDA Christians should seek to involve ourselves as ambassadors for God in the public square, trying to help enact just laws for the nation as witnesses for the King of kings, like Daniel.
3. We as SDA Christians should, while being involved in the leadership of our world, NOT seek to stir up & instigate political strife or discord among ourselves or others (the tough balance-keeping act we as Christians have in almost every aspect of our lives, not just politics. Living in the world, but not being “of the world”). Daniel did it! We are to “dare to be a Daniel” correct? Dare to be an Esther agreed?
Who knows but that thou art come to the Kingdom for such a time as this?! Think about it… and DO SOMETHING! Here’s my prayer for God’s chosen remnant people:
"Father, I thank thee, that when Esther was confronted with this challenge, this beautiful and dear young lady said, fast and pray for me and if I perish, I perish! God give us that commitment for such a time as this! For the sake of Him who died for America and this entire world. Help us so live as to be an answer to the prayer our Dear Savior prayed in John 17 when He said to you:"
Father, I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. (John 17: 15-18).