Jonathan Edwards on the 2012 Presidential Election

Christians disconcerted by the 2012 election results have invincible comfort and hope.  From his History of the Work of Redemption, here’s what Jonathan Edwards had to say about our ultimate hope, which triumphs over every obstacle, every Caesar, every hindrance of the preaching of the gospel:

Thus God is called in the beginning of this book of Revelation, before the course of the prophecy begins, and so again he is called at the end of it, after the course of events is gone through and the final issue of things is seen, as Revelation 21:6, “And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.” And so Revelation 22:12–13, “And behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” 

And especially this:

We have seen how other things came to an end, one after another; how states and kingdoms and empires, one after another, fall and come to nothing, even the greatest and strongest of them. We have seen how the world has been often overturned, and will be more remarkably overturned than ever it has been yet. We have seen how the world comes to an end, how it was first destroyed by water, and how at last it shall be utterly and eternally destroyed with fire. But yet God remains the same through all ages. He was before the beginning of this course of things, and he will be after the end of them, agreeable to Psalms 102:25–27, “Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the works of thy hands. [They shall perish, but thou shalt endure.… Thy years shall have no end].” Thus God is he that is, and that was, and is and was and is to come. (Works 9, 516-17) 

If you see America sliding, and I think we do, remember biblically driven material like this.  It is going to grow increasingly more difficult for Christians to be pristinely disentangled from politics in coming days.  The very foundations of western civilization are under serious assault.

In times like this, we are not being “pie in the sky” by going back to God’s absolute sovereignty and eschatological purpose.  We are being wise, and allowing truth to lead and norm us.

  • Philip

    Just curious, where is America sliding from? That is, if, as you suggest, America is in decline, when in your view was the pinnacle of American life?

  • Richard Dahlstrom

    yes… I’ll ask as well, in a bit more pointed fashion?
    1. sliding from racism to integration?
    2. sliding from homophobia to inclusion?
    3. sliding from hyper-individualism to a recovery of the common good?
    please help me see the sliding….

    • Judy Sconce

      1. We slid from a belief in the One true God to pantheism.
      2. We slid from morality to immorality.
      3. We slid from traditional marriage defined by the Creator in Genesis to gay unions being legal in some States.
      4. We slid from the sanctity of life to abortion and mercy killing.

      Just to name a few things in the Bible we slid from.

    • Bryant Vaughn

      Is America sliding or has the love of many gotten so cold that sin abounds and society no longer has a moral compass in the institutional church? We, as a society but not all, accept abortion on demand as form of birth control; our churches regularly council people to get divorced; adultery is common place; fornication is just what “everyone else is doing”. Not a few years ago, we were “entertained” by a President who questioned the definition of the word “is” in an attempt to deflect attention from the real issue. Last I checked, in most of these areas there was little difference between evangelicals and those who don’t know Jesus.
      “America” is not the church, but I do see a direct correlation to what many see as a “decline” and the influence of the church on America.
      Maybe in some places you’ve eradicated racists and racism, but

  • Rick Middleton

    “Christians disconcerted by the 2012 election results” — which is true in white suburban churches, not true in black congregations at all. There are some believers, like me, who think the better guy won. I think white evangelicals need to get out more, because they seem stunned when over half of America has a completely different perspective.

  • rvs

    Edwards, we must remember, was voted out of his own conservative-Puritan church pulpit by a 200 to 20 count. While Edwards is an important thinker, he is also–to be sure–a deeply befuddled thinker on many issues.

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