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The Church’s Opportunity – A Preacher’s Position on the Election Results

I stayed up later with the presidential election results last night than I did with any of the games of the Chicago Cub’s amazing playoff run. I was flipping between the various news channels into the early hours of November 9th. I haven’t stayed up that late since I was cramming for Dr. Hill’s Greek final in Seminary 14 years ago. I watched each news channel stunned by Donald Trump’s upset victory over Hillary Clinton. Easily the most asked question was…how. How did President Elect Trump accomplish this? How was he the first candidate since the Reagan sweep to flip the Rust Belt to the Republican ticket? How, How, How. Upon reflecting on this question, I have learned one very important truth.

How did Donald Trump pull the political upset of our lifetime? I think the answer is rather simple. He promised change. He promised that he would change Washington to work for you. He promised that he would employ policies and trade agreements to change your life for the better. He promised that he would repeal specific legislation to change your life. He promise change, after change, after change.

If there is one clear fact about Trump, it is that he was not the establishment candidate. Whereas Clinton was running to continue President Barack Obama’s work and legacy. Trump was running to tear down the establishment and bring change.

The vote last night revealed that America is desperate for change.

Just think back 9 years ago to Obama’s campaign for the presidency. What was the foundation of his campaign? Yes we can! Yes we can what? Yes we can bring change to Washington, bring change to the lower and middle class, bring change to the climate, bring change to education, bring change to healthcare. Change was the fundamental principle of Obama’s campaign. Whereas John McClain was running to continue the work of the President George W. Bush’s administration. The backbone of Obama’s and Trump’s campaigns was change.

The vote 8 years ago, also, revealed that America is desperate for change.

8 years ago, America chose a Black South Side Chicagoan Liberal Activist trying to bring change into their lives. Now, America has chose a White Affluent Penthouse Dwelling Ultra Conservative again trying to bring change into their lives. If I gave you 9 years to find two more different people, you would be hard pressed to find two more different than Obama and Trump. How does a nation go from Obama to Trump…the single unifying feature of these two men is they both promised to bring change and in a big way.

The one truth I learned from last night is that America is desperate for change and will latch on to anyone or any philosophic platform to bring change into their lives. They will take hold of a black liberal if they think it will bring change. They will take hold of a white conservative if they think it will bring change.

There is just one problem. A president cannot bring personal change. A political party cannot bring personal change. An election cannot bring personal change. The only agent for true change and personal transformation is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Church, if there is one truth you need to take away from this election, it is how desperate American individuals are longing and hoping and seeking change. Church and Christian…you know how true personal change and personal transformation is found in Jesus Christ alone. Americans are awaiting for the President and/or a Political Party to change their life, and all the elected officials in the world cannot bring the transformation for which they long. Obama failed to bring the personal change people wanted, which is why America has now jumped aboard the Trump train. This is not condemnation of Obama. Only Jesus can bring this change, and unless, the church teaches America where transformation is found. We are headed once again to an angst ridden election where the change candidate will be chosen once again.

Bottom line, the fields of America are ripe and ready for harvest. The Obama and Trump elections clearly demonstrate and show the church how desperate American individuals are to find personal change. It is time for a call to go out to all Christian churches and to all Christians to go work the fields. People want change and personal transformation. That is found in Jesus Christ. We need to share the gospel with the passion and fire that we campaigned for our candidate, and then, surpass that passion for the gospel and for our neighbors.

America has sent the message to the church loud and clear. We want change. We want transformation. America, with its desire for change, is primed for the next Great Awakening to sweep our nation. If we do not see revival come in America soon, we will not have any politicians to blame or laws in which to point fingers. America wants change. The gospel is THE message of change, of forgiveness, of hope, of mercy, of belonging, of purpose, of love. The gospel is what our nation needs and more importantly what our nation wants, whether they know it or not.

If America does not see revival soon, the blame will lay squarely upon the church for not reaching out with the gospel’s transformative message to the tens of millions of Americans who are desperately longing for change.

The fields are so ripe and ready for the transformation and new life of the gospel. I call the church and myself to not keep the gospel to ourselves and our loved ones but to harvest the fields and show people where they can find the change they desire in the message and man of Jesus Christ.

The church possesses the change our nation longs for…it is time we share it. One day we will stand before God and give an account to how we responded to our nation’s longing for change. Let’s give our God a good account.

Jesse Colbert

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