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Seek God, For What Reason?

volume 20, number 3, January 21, 2021

“. . . humble themselves and pray and seek My face. . .” -2 Chronicles 7:14

For the last several weeks I have been expounding briefly on the wonderful promises in 2 Chronicles 7:14. We are in the process of addressing the four things necessary to see revival in the church and in our nation—humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face, and turn from our evil ways. We have looked at the first two, humiliation and prayer. Now, for at least three weeks, I want to address our need to seek God’s face. Today, I hope to explain the reason for seeking God’s face, then next week what it does not mean to seek God’s face, and then what it does mean to seek God’s face. Obviously these are vital issues in our nation at this present time. 

No one I know, especially Christians, supports or tries to defend what happened on January 6 at our nation’s Capitol. We now know that not all who entered the House chambers and offices were Trump supporters. Some were Antifa people in Trump garb. Some were professing Christians. Whatever their identity or whatever their motives, it was wrong and rightly condemned by just about everyone.

In response to Christians being rabid pro Trump supporters, some like Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission ERLC have castigated Christians for supporting Trump, basically saying that such support is indefensible.[1] Now Christianity Today CT magazine, which by the way was started in the 1950’s by Billy Graham, Harold J. Ockenga, and Carl F.H. Henry as an effort to combine evangelical theology in reaching the world with the gospel with left leaning politics,[2] has published a piece on “Christian Nationalism.”[3] Tish Harrison Warren of CT wrote, “The responsibility of yesterday’s violence must be in part laid at the feet of those evangelical leaders who ushered in and applauded Trump’s presidency. It can also sadly be laid at the feet of the white American church more broadly.” So in the article Paul D. Miller, a professor at Georgetown University, is asked to define Christian nationalism to which he replies, “Christian nationalism is a political ideology about American identity. It is a set of policy prescriptions for what the nationalists believe the American government shouldn’t do. It’s not drawn from the Bible. . . It idealizes and advocates a fusion of Christianity with American civic life.”

Five questions are then offered to help define one’s commitment to Christian nationalism. From this they say that if anyone believes the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution are divinely inspired then they are Christian nationalists. Surely that is a “straw man” argument. Do you know any Christian who believes the Constitution was inspired by God? Then Morgan Lee, who wrote the article, asks Miller, “What is the draw of Christian nationalism to the ‘poor, uneducated, and easy to command?’” What? Excuse me. So Morgan and Warren in this article are saying that if any Christian voted for Donald Trump then he or she is a Christian nationalist who possibly believes the Constitution is divinely inspired and is poor, white, uneducated, and easy to command.

Here’s what I know. I have many friends from across the United States, from the Northeast, from So Cal, from middle America, urban, suburban, and rural, black, white, and Hispanic, well educated and less educated, wealthy and “poor”, professionals and blue collar workers, fervent followers of Jesus Christ, men and women who are deeply concerned about racial injustice and are doing something about it, not merely pontificating, who voted proudly for Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020. 

Why? Why did they vote for a man who clearly is flawed in his character? Victor Davis Hanson calls Trump the “tragic hero,”[4] a Dirty Harry type character who is a bad actor, but people love the fact that he cleans up the mess and then afterward they discard him. Christians I know who voted for Donald Trump[5] did so because he advocated for so many things we believe are true and Biblical—abortion is murder and must be abolished, support for Israel, lawful immigration, freedom of religion, justice and prison reform, deep concern for the jettisoning of our Christian values, and peace through strength and aversion to unnecessary wars.

I remember reading several times in the sermons of the great Welsh preacher Martyn Lloyd-Jones where he stated that nationalism is not necessarily a sinful thing. He said that loving one’s country and being thankful for one’s heritage is not a bad thing. He went on to say, however, that our first allegiance must always be to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and to His church. Of course that is true which begs the question—what is the end game here? Why is the church, in any culture, including America, present? Why are we meeting? Why are we giving our money, our time, and our gifts to a local church? We want to see people saved, to be born again. And we should know that if this occurs then they are new creations in Christ. They now have the mind of Christ. They are able to read, understand, apply, and obey the Bible. They will desire to see the commands of the Bible followed in their families, in their communities, and in their nations. So, what’s wrong with that? We should unashamedly be about transforming our nation to become a Christian nation. Isn’t that what we are really wanting to see happen? I realize that some are saying that because the Christian consensus is a thing of the past that we must now retreat, as Israel in the Babylonian captivity, and make the best of a bad situation. I don’t see that in Scripture. “The kingdom of God is in your midst,” (Luke 17:21). “The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ and He shall reign forever and ever,” (Rev.11:15). “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea,” (Habakkuk 2:14). 

That is what I am after. That is my prayer. That is why we must seek the face of God. My friends, this will not come through the legislative process on either the right or the left. This will only come through the preaching of the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit where people are deeply and profoundly convicted of their sin and cry out to God, “What must we do?”

As my friend Henry Krabbendam has said many times, “There is only one overarching purpose for this world. The world is a spawning ground and we are to be fishers of men.” Your purpose, regardless of your line of work, is not to redeem the culture, it is not to bring shalom to your community, but it is to engage in making disciples. Yes, of course you must work. You have your families and responsibilities there, you have your hobbies, but when all is said and done, we are to make disciples, calling people everywhere to repent and believe the gospel and then to multiply believers in our own communities and then around the world. This will not happen in our present worldly, materialistic, Laodicean church. This kind will only come out through prayer and fasting. We must seek the face of God.

1  “The Roman Road from Insurrection,” <> January 11, 2021
2  Reforming Fundamentalism: Fuller Seminary and the New Evangelicalism, George Marsden, page 158.
3  “Christian Nationalism Is Worse Than You Think,” <> January 13, 2021
4  Here’s a short explanation of Trump as a tragic hero “Victor Davis Hanson on Donald Trump Being a Tragic Hero,” <>
5  My friend Terry Johnson wrote an excellent article on this topic, “Evangelical Voters,” December 29, 2020 <>

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