As summer begins, we’ve passed the halfway point in our Decision America Tour to each of our state capitals, and I continue to be amazed at the response of people from across the country.
Thus far—with 24 more states to come over the next four months—well over 100,000 people have joined together at lunchtime on Capitol steps and grounds in state after state to intercede for this nation and ask God to heal our troubled land.
They know America is at a crossroads. The descent into godless immorality and debauchery has accelerated so rapidly that unless God intervenes, our country simply will never be the same. Our culture is on the verge of a complete rejection of the moral restraining power of the church that has played such a prominent role in our nation’s incredible history.
Along the way, it has been my privilege to stand and pray with Christians and call on Almighty God, who hears the prayers of His repentant people. It has also been encouraging to meet with concerned leaders like Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi, Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas, Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky, and many others who believe in Biblical values and share the burden for restoring moral integrity, decency and uprightness to our nation.
Since we started the Decision America Tour in Des Moines, Iowa, in January, I have been saying that I have no hope in either the Democratic or Republican party. My only hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ and His power to transform hearts and bring revival and moral renewal.
At that time, there were as many as 17 candidates for the Republican nomination for president, and a number of contenders on the Democratic side as well. Round after round of often contentious debates ensued, and by the beginning of May, we had the presumptive nominees—Donald Trump on the Republican side and Hillary Clinton on the Democratic ticket.
As both sides posture, set agendas and adopt platforms in the months to come, I along with millions of God-fearing Americans will be watching closely to see if Biblical values and principles that affect public policy are endorsed and embraced in the general election this November.
However, as we witness the unbelievable rise and influence of the gay lobby across the social landscape, the vicious assault on the family, the continued disengagement of young people in the life of the church, and blatant hostility toward Christians, I am gravely concerned for the future of our children and grandchildren.
In my own home state of North Carolina, the state and federal government are involved in competing lawsuits over legislation the state passed to ensure that men and women use a bathroom according to their biological sex. Who would have ever thought that the time would come when the highest office in the land would endorse such sexual perversion?
The current state reminds me of the parable that Jesus told describing a nobleman who asked his servants to be industrious while he “went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return” (Luke 19:12, ESV). That’s an allusion to the second coming of Christ.
The nobleman distributed 10 minas to 10 servants but was quickly denounced by most of his servants. “But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us’” (Luke 19:14, ESV).
I hear that same defiant refrain sweeping across our nation today, exclaiming, “We do not want Jesus to rule over us. We do not want to have anything to do with Him or His Word. We hate the Name of Jesus. We hate His followers. We hate His truth.”
That’s why I believe the only answer is persistent, prevailing, pleading prayer, and that’s why at each stop on the Decision America Tour, we spend our time together calling on God to halt the rising tide and spread of evil. I ask Christians to go home and form prayer groups in their local towns and neighborhoods, and get more people involved in interceding for our land.
But I also encourage everyone at the event to do more than pray. I ask them to consider running for elected office in their own communities. Just imagine what change could take place in city after city if Christians were elected to their town councils, school boards and county commissions.
Despite the incessant media focus on the presidential election, let’s not forget there will be tens of thousands of local offices that will be up for election this fall. This is a tremendous opportunity for believers to have real influence for the sake of the Gospel.
That won’t happen, though, without a firm commitment to vote. As citizens of the kingdom of Heaven, we have responsibilities to our Savior and Redeemer to live holy and obedient lives, joyfully serving our Master who bought us with His blood shed on Calvary’s cross.
But we’re also citizens here, with responsibilities to the authorities God has ordained. Four years ago, tens of millions of evangelicals failed to cast their ballots on Election Day. That’s a shame. Christians should take whatever measures we need to find our way to a polling place to vote for men and women who best align with Biblical principles.
We should not be surprised at the growing hostility of the culture toward our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus told us that we should expect it. “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18-19, NKJV).
Regardless of who may triumph in the elections this fall, my hope will continue to be in Almighty God and His Word.