Robert Jeffress - How Should Christians Respond To President Biden?
Hi, I'm Robert Jeffress, and welcome to this very special edition of, "Pathway to Victory". Just a few months ago, the citizens of our great nation cast their votes to elect the next president of the United States. The outcome of this highly charged political contest has split our country right down the middle. As Christians, how do we respond? And more importantly, how do we become bright lights during a season of cultural darkness? I'm going to answer the question, "How Should Christians Respond to President Biden"? On today's edition of, "Pathway to Victory".
Tuesday afternoon, I was driving down Harry Hines Boulevard and my telephone rang and the person on the other end said, "This is the White House operator. The president would like to talk to you from Air Force one. Can you take the call"? I veered into a convenience store parking lot and sat there and talked to President Trump. And we talked about the election and we talked about the last four years. And I said, "Mr. President, without doubt, you're going to go down as the most pro-life, pro-religious liberty in the history of our country, and I want to thank you for that".
And I believe that with all of my heart, and that's why I, along with millions of conservative Christians were disappointed in the results of the election. But the fact is we are going to have a new president this Wednesday. At 12:01 P.M. Joe Biden is going to be the new president of the United States. Nothing's going to change that. And the question is, how should we, who are Christians, perhaps Christians who didn't vote for him, what is our responsibility toward this new president? I want to assure you that I am not downtrodden. I'm not distraught. I'm not depressed over the election results. I am more hopeful than I've ever been about the future of our country and our world. And here's the one reason I have that hope. Although the occupant of the oval office is changing this Wednesday, the occupant of the throne of heaven is not changing. He is still in residence. He is still in control.
And that's what I want to talk about today, the hope that we have as Christians, specifically, I want to share with you four things about God that the election did not change and cannot change. First of all, this election does not change God's sovereignty. Gods sovereignty has not changed. In Ephesians 1:11, Paul said, "We have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to his purpose, the God who works all things after the counsel of his will". He is working all things to accomplish his will. And by the way, would you notice that word will is singular, not plural. God doesn't have multiple wills. He doesn't have plan A that he hopes will get done. But if plan A doesn't happen then he's got plan B, and plan C, and plan D, no! God has one plan. It's a sacred plan. It's a hidden plan. We don't know all the details of it, but he has one plan that governs everything, and everything that happens is working to achieve God's ultimate plan.
You know, when we say all things, think about this, God's will was wide enough to include the rebellion of Lucifer in heaven, the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden, the murder of thousands of Hebrew babies in Egypt, God's will even included the torture and execution of his own son. He causes all things to work together for his plan. And by the way, included in that phrase, "All things," is elections. Elections are under the control of God. The apostle Paul certainly believed that. In Romans chapter 13:1-2, listen to what Paul said. "Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities, for there is no authority," underline that, "No authority, except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves".
Now folks, that is an astounding claim by Paul. All authority, all governing authorities are established by God. All includes Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, all evil man who did evil things, they will spend all eternity paying for, and yet, they would not have been in power except by the will of God. God causes and can cause evil things to work for good. That was the apostle Paul. By the way, when he wrote these words, you know who was the emperor of Rome, the one who controlled the world? Nero, the most evil emperor in history. It was Nero who would take Christians have them dipped in wax and set them on fire alive to burn his candles, human candles in his gardens. It was Nero who a few years after Paul wrote these words would behead the apostle Paul himself. And yet Paul said, Nero wouldn't be in power had God not established him 30 years before Paul wrote those words.
Remember the apostle Peter standing on the Southern Steps in Jerusalem, addressing the crowd who seven weeks earlier had called for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in that great sermon at Pentecost? Peter said, "This man, Jesus, was delivered over by the predetermined plan And foreknowledge of God. You nailed him to a cross by the hands of Godless man, and put him to death". Jesus' death was no accident. It was all a part of God's plan. But God's plan Allowed using evil man to accomplish God's good and perfect purpose.
I mean, think about it. When Peter spoke those words, Tiberius was the governor of, or the emperor of Rome. But if Tiberius, as evil as he was, had not been emperor there would have been no Pontius Pilate, who was appointed as governor of Judea. Had there been no Pontius Pilate, there would have been no guilty verdict at the trial of Jesus, and Jesus may not have been crucified. God used evil rulers to accomplish his purpose. What does this mean for us? I'll tell you what it means. It means on Tuesday night, November 3rd, God wasn't up in heaven slapping his forehead, saying, oh, I can't believe this is happening! We're losing Pennsylvania. There was no panic in heaven over this election. God, has a perfect plan that he is working out.
Does that mean everything's going to be great, that Joe Biden is going to do everything right? No, but it means God can use rulers, whoever they are, to accomplish his purpose. So what is our responsibility to the governing authority, especially the governing authority we didn't support and vote for? It's right there in Romans 13. Romans 13 says, "We are to be in subjection to the governing authority". We are to obey the governing authority. There's only one situation in which we say no to government. And that's when they ask us to do something that violates the clear teaching of God's word. In that case acts 5:29 says, we ought to obey God rather than men. I'm going to talk about that a little later in the sermon. But the default position is we obey the governing authority.
Secondly, we're to pray for the governing authorities. We're to pray for our leaders. We're to pray for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and all who are in office. In 1 Timothy, 2, Paul said, "First of all then I urge that entreaties, and prayers, and petitions, and thanksgiving be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all those who are in authority". Paul that we're to pray for everyone who is in authority, not just the ones we voted for, not just the ones we like we're to pray for them. And specifically, what are we to pray for them? "Pray so that we might lead a tranquil and quiet life in all Godliness and dignity".
You know the best thing you can pray for governing authorities? Paul said, just pray that they will leave us alone to practice our faith. That's the best prayer for government, pray that they will just leave us alone. We're to pray for the governing authorities. What I'm saying to you, ladies and gentlemen, is we have hope, because in spite of the election, God's sovereignty hasn't changed. God is in control. If you are a child of God, you are being held by the Lord Jesus Christ and no one, and no circumstance, and no government official will snatch you out of the hands of Jesus. That is the promise that we have have. Doesn't mean terrible things may not happen. They may, they may not, but we have an advocate, a God who stands on our side.
Remember Paul's words. I love this, in Romans 8:31-32. "If God be for us, who can be against us"? "He who did not spare his own Son for us but gave him up for us all. Will he not also give us everything else freely"? Again, Paul's not promising bad things aren't going to happen to you, but he said, if they do, and when they do you have somebody behind you, on your side. And if God is for you, what difference does anything else make? This election did not change God's love for his children.
Here's a third thing. A great thing that this election has not changed. It has not changed God's promise of Christ return. God's promise of Christ return has not changed. That is the good news we have. Christ is coming back again and no election, no circumstance is going to accelerate or delay that moment that is written in indelible ink on God's calendar. Isn't that good news? This return of Christ has not changed. It's coming, that is the good news.
Now here's the not so good news. Although we look forward to that great day when Christ comes back, the Bible also predicts, immediately before that time, are going to be difficult days. In 2 Timothy 3:1, Paul said, "But mark this, there will be terrible times in the last days". Now that phrase, "terrible times," comes from a Greek word that is only used twice in the New Testament, here and in Matthew 8:28, in which it refers to some demon possessed man. He was demon possessed and he threw off all the restraints that the people put on him to try to control him. It's a word that can be translated, fierce, violent, dangerous, frightening. One person has translated the verse this way: "In the last days, savage times will come as people cast off all moral restraint and society begins to disintegrate". Casting off all moral restraint.
I would say we're there right now, wouldn't you? We're seeing a day when people cast off God's constraints, moral constraints on society. And what I'm saying to you today is when you have culture celebrating evil, but the church of Jesus Christ resisting evil, you're going to have a conflict. You're going to have friction. You're going to have problems. That's why Jesus said in John 16:33, "In this world you will have tribulation". That word, tribulation, means pressure, friction. And we're seeing that right now and it's going to get worse.
Now this is not a partisan sermon. I did not mean it to be a partisan sermon, but if we're going to prepare for what is about to happen we need to call things like they are. This administration that is incoming has already announced many of their policies. They're already working toward those policies. President elect Biden has announced that his secretary of the health and human services division is going to be Xavier Becerra, who is attorney general of California. Becerra, as attorney general in California, prosecuted people and groups that criticized planned parenthood, which is nothing more than a slaughterhouse for the unborn children. He championed the prosecution of people who oppose planned parenthood. He has championed the idea that pregnancy centers, like the one our church supports, that support life instead of death, that pregnancy centers oughta be forced to mention to pregnant mothers abortion as a viable option.
Now that is the position of this new administration. And that's why I'm just saying to you, we need to be ready for this. 1 Peter 4:12 says, "Don't be surprised, my brethren, at the fiery ordeal that has come to you for your testing, as though some strange things were going to happen to you". This is what we should expect. Whenever you have the church resisting what culture is celebrating you're going to have a problem. And when you have a church, like First Baptist Church Dallas, that has been known for 152 years for being built on the Bible and standing for the truth of God's word.
I'm telling you folks, we've got the crosshairs on our back right now. We've got a target on us. And I have no doubt that the time will come sooner than we can possibly imagine when we are going to be faced with the choice of either giving up our tax exempt status as a church, or continuing to propagate these errors that are coming out of our culture. We're going to make a choice. And to me, it's no choice whatsoever. We're going to be faithful to God's word regardless of what the culture says. We're going to preach the unchangeable truth of God's word.
Now you better be ready in your own life for this as well. It's not hard to see at all how government could say, you know, we have, in their mind had four years of poison in our country, and we need to cleanse our society, our country, of this poisonous speech. The only problem is, who's going to define what that is? One young representative this week proposed a ministry of proof. Can you imagine such a thing, government setting up a ministry of truth to determine what's good and acceptable speech, what's true, and what's not true?
It's not hard to see how you could go from that very quickly to say anybody like our church that says there is only one way to heaven, through faith in Jesus Christ, that's the only way to heaven, and anyone without that forgiveness faces an eternity in hell. That's hate speech! That's hate speech. That's riling people up. That's why I'm saying to you get ready. There is a time coming when the government is going to try to censor our ministry and our message, and we cannot allow it to happen. Don't be fearful, but be ready. Terrible times will come. But ladies and gentlemen those terrible times are only a prelude to a great future for us.
William Barclay says, "History is moving toward the inevitable triumph of God. And though evil may flourish, it cannot in the end be triumphant". You know why it can't be triumphant? Because Jesus Christ is going to have the final word in history. Jesus Christ is coming back again. These terrible times are a prelude to a glorious future for those who know Christ. Do you remember in Revelation, chapter 10? We have that scene of that announcement that is coming, that finally the long delay in Christ return is over. And when the seventh angel has blown that seventh trumpet, and the final judgment has come, that Christ will return.
I remember it so well, Dr. Chris Wall, what he said about that passage. He said, "Never forget that somewhere beyond that starry sky stands a herald angel with a trumpet in his hand. And at God's appropriate moment, that trumpet will sound, and the kingdom of this world will become the kingdom of our God". That's what we have to look forward to. No election is going to change God's appointed time for Christ return.
Now very quickly, there's one final thing. This election has not changed and that's God's purpose, God's mission for the church. It hasn't changed. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, remember he gave us our final Marching orders. He said in Matthew 28, "Therefore go into all the world and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the father, son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever, I've commanded you". Church family, God's given us one assignment until he comes, one thing to focus our time, our opportunities, our money on and that is winning as many people to faith in Jesus Christ as we can, and teaching them to follow him in every part of their lives. That's our mission. It hasn't changed.
Daniel Henderson is a gifted writer. I was reading his words this week. He said, "You know, unfortunately too many Christians view their Christian life as a luxury cruise". They're sailing on their way to heaven. Their ticket on the cruise is their faith in Jesus Christ. The church is the cruise ship. The pastor is the captain. He's there to ensure a pleasant journey for those on the ship. The church staffed is the ship's crew members, there to make sure that the spiritual food you get, the music, the things provided for your family, those activities, that they're all acceptable and pleasurable for you. That's how a lot of people see the church, it's a cruise ship.
But Henderson says, "That's not the right analogy. The church is not a cruise ship, it's a battleship". We are on a search and rescue mission. We're to search and save as many people as we possibly can. Over these last four years, the battleship, First Baptist Dallas, we have been sailing in some pretty calm seas these last four years, in a faith friendly administration that's getting ready to change. We're getting ready to enter into some choppy waters but we have absolutely nothing to fear. Our mission hasn't changed. And thank God our captain, Jesus Christ, hasn't changed. He's the one who promised, "Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". That's why every Christian can be hopeful.