Compiled by Paul A. Hughes, M.Div
Note: This collection of scriptures was first published during the 1992 presidential election. A few additions have been made. If only these warnings from Scripture had been more heeded back then, and since, by Christians of all types who decided to vote their own preference instead of God’s! Think, in particular, what better appointments would have been made to the Supreme Court, had truly Christian presidents and other leaders been elected.
As another crucial election approaches, it is important to emphasize the need for Christians to vote according to their Christian convictions.
Some Christians think it is somehow “unspiritual” to participate in molding and influencing our nation through politics. Others have bought the secular line that Christians should keep their religion separate from their politics.
However, it is not only the right but the solemn responsibility of all Christians to exploit every means to influence the world, including electing men of truth, justice, and character to their government, calling all their leaders to accountability, and punishing those who violate the public trust.
Now I cannot tell anyone else for whom to vote [though perhaps I ought to have done so, in retrospect], but I would like to offer a selection of scriptures we should all ponder before we vote. These scriptures speak for themselves [or so I had hoped].
Seek the Nation’s Welfare
“Seek the peace of the city to which I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it; for in its peace shall ye have peace” (Jeremiah 29:7).
“Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way” (1 Samuel 12:23).
“I exhort, therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
Seek Freedom of Worship
“Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will entreat the LORD. . . but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD” (Exodus 8:29).
“For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem” (Ezra 9:9).
“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you; and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith” (2 Thessalonians 3:1).
“Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds” (Colossians 4:3).
The World is Ignorant of God’s Truth
“The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them who believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
“Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).
Choose God, Not Self-Interest
“No man can serve two masters . . . . Ye cannot serve God and mammon (i.e., money)” (Matthew 6:24).
“If it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served . . . or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
“See I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil. . . . I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore, choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:15, 19).
“Seek not what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Luke 12:29-31).
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Revelation 12:11).
Declare a Public Testimony
“Ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles” (Matthew 10:18).
“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14).
“For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ” (Acts 18:28).
“For a long time, then, they abode there, speaking boldly in the Lord, who gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands” (Acts 14:3).
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2).
“And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word . . . And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:29, 31).
“And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region” (Acts 13:49).
Do Not Aid Sinners in Their Cause
“Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them who hate the Lord? Therefore, there is wrath upon thee from before the Lord” (2 Chronicles 19:2).
“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 1:10-11).
“Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).
“He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth” (Luke 11:23).
Stand Against Evil
“Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him” (Luke 17:3).
“Them that sin, rebuke before all, that others also may fear” (1 Timothy 5:20).
“This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith” (Titus 1:13).
“These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee” (Titus 2:15).
Beware of Deceivers
“Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:6, see also 4:14).
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15).
“For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect” (Mark 13:22).
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
Distrust Human Counsel
“For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly toward you” (2 Corinthians 1:12).
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness” (1 Corinthians 3:19).
“My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13).
“Woe to the rebellious children, saith the lord, who take counsel, but not of me; and who cover with a covering, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin” (Isaiah 30:1).
“We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold, trouble!” (Jeremiah 8:15).
“They say still unto those who despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you” (Jeremiah 23:17, see also Ezekiel 13:10, 16).
Seek God for Guidance
“Thus saith the Lord, Stand in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk in it, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk in it” (Jeremiah 6:16).
“Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
“If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
©2015 Paul A. Hughes
‘Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed,
Though to walk near its crest was so pleasant;
But over its terrible edge there had slipped
A duke and full many a peasant.
So the people said something would have to be done,
But their projects did not at all tally;
Some said, “Put a fence ’round the edge of the cliff,”
Some, “An ambulance down in the valley.”
But the cry for the ambulance carried the day,
For it spread through the neighboring city;
A fence may be useful or not, it is true,
But each heart became full of pity
For those who slipped over the dangerous cliff;
And the dwellers in highway and alley
Gave pounds and gave pence, not to put up a fence,
But an ambulance down in the valley.
“For the cliff is all right, if you’re careful,” they said,
“And, if folks even slip and are dropping,
It isn’t the slipping that hurts them so much
As the shock down below when they’re stopping.”
So day after day, as these mishaps occurred,
Quick forth would those rescuers sally
To pick up the victims who fell off the cliff,
With their ambulance down in the valley.
Then an old sage remarked: “It’s a marvel to me
That people give far more attention
To repairing results than to stopping the cause,
When they’d much better aim at prevention.
Let us stop at its source all this mischief,” cried he,
“Come, neighbors and friends, let us rally;
If the cliff we will fence, we might almost dispense
With the ambulance down in the valley.”
“Oh he’s a fanatic,” the others rejoined,
“Dispense with the ambulance? Never!
He’d dispense with all charities, too, if he could;
No! No! We’ll support them forever.
Aren’t we picking up folks just as fast as they fall?
And shall this man dictate to us? Shall he?
Why should people of sense stop to put up a fence,
While the ambulance works in the valley?”
But the sensible few, who are practical too,
Will not bear with such nonsense much longer;
They believe that prevention is better than cure,
And their party will soon be the stronger.
Encourage them then, with your purse, voice, and pen,
And while other philanthropists dally,
They will scorn all pretense, and put up a stout fence
On the cliff that hangs over the valley.
Better guide well the young than reclaim them when old,
For the voice of true wisdom is calling.
“To rescue the fallen is good, but ’tis best
To prevent other people from falling.”
Better close up the source of temptation and crime
Than deliver from dungeon or galley;
Better put a strong fence ’round the top of the cliff
Than an ambulance down in the valley.
— Joseph Malins (1895)