What happened on Wednesday, May 23, 2019, will leave an indelible mark in the history of India. The colossal victory of a major sectarian right-wing political party in the general elections has, no doubt, prompted deep concerns in the hearts of most — if not all — of us who are Christians. And the reasons are varied: starting from a possible increase of persecution of the church in India to the dissolution of constitutional values on which our nation was founded. As political doyens on various news channels discussed what the future could hold for our nation, the picture they painted was very grim. But it’s amidst voices like these that we need to have perspective — one that is cogent and unashamedly Biblical. This will help us navigate through with fortitude and hope, should the grim times predicted by the political pundits dawn on us. Here are a few truths to remember in times like these.
1. The Lord sets over the nations anyone He wishes.
It may seem natural to have elections every five years, but the Lord uses this means (among others) to bring to power whom He wishes, and He sets him over the nation for a season to accomplish His eternal purposes. We may or may not like the person in power, but we must submit to his authority, “for there is no authority except that which God has established. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted” (Romans 13:1-2). Moreover, we must pray for our honourable Prime Minister, his cabinet, and the other Members of Parliament “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:2). May our PM recognise the source of his authority and acknowledge that “the Most High God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and sets over them anyone He wishes” (Daniel 5:21).
We may or may not like the person in power, but we must submit to his authority, “for there is no authority except that which God has established”
2. The Lord’s kingdom will continue to grow in our nation.
There may be increased persecution and a whole host of obstructions to the gospel, but the Lord will continue to build His church in India, and His promise still stands true that “the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18). That means, your efforts and my efforts matter even in the most difficult of times. There’s no need to panic or be discouraged, for Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33). “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
3. The gospel still remains the only antidote to our problems.
Politics matters and, as citizens, we should participate in the electoral process. This too is a gift from God that not many in history have enjoyed, and it should be celebrated and stewarded. At the same time, let’s not be deceived into thinking that a political party or policy can effect a change that in the end only God, through the gospel, can bring about. As citizens of a heavenly kingdom, we must remember that the gospel will often be at odds with the wisdom of this world. Still, let’s be confident that the gospel is the only solution to the human predicament “because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).
4. Let’s pray every day with conviction, “Maranatha.”
It’s an Aramaic expression which means, “Come, Lord Jesus” (1 Corinthians 16:22). It was used by the early church as a prayer that the Lord’s second coming may take place soon. When that day arrives, He will give us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Until then, “let’s put on the full armour of God… for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:11-12).
A weekly brief of new resources and Scripture-based insights from our editorial team.