God's wrath and God's remnant

Faith & Inspiration

A dear friend responded to my column last week, "To vote or not?":

"I agree with everything you said about getting out and voting. … I have heard people say they were sitting this one out. … I often think that God may have turned His back on us since we are pursuing evil instead of Him. … I pray for His forgiveness every day. If you've some encouraging words to share on this subject. I for one would really appreciate it!"

This friend is no political novice. She works in government at a level that keeps her immersed in daily D.C. happenings. As for encouraging words, about her being wrong about God's "turning His back," I could only respond:

"I am afraid God has already taken His hand off the tiller of our country and said, 'If you want to go your own way, I will not stop you. But you will have to live with the consequences of your own depravity, and your depravity is enough to do yourselves in. As for my own people, I will always have a remnant, and I will always be faithful to them.'"

I am sure there are those who might reply, "How can you justify such a statement?"

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I might suggest that we turn together to a letter written to another dominant nation-the letter to the Romans. In the first chapter the writer outlines a steady progressive national deterioration: suppression of the truth, loss of respect for God, waning of thankfulness, futile thinking, and finally complete abandonment of God. Rome fit the bill, a nation in cultural decline adopting mores of sensuality, godlessness, mindless distraction, and pleasure.

The letter writer then reveals a wrath of God that is seldom spoken of and may be a godless culture's worst nightmare. God turns them over to themselves. He simply takes His hand off the tiller and says that you are on your own. The text says, "God gave them over." What happens then? In short they become preoccupied with sensuality, their mind transforms from futile to debased, good becomes evil and vice versa, and finally they praise each other for their depravity. This pattern fits eerily to America, and flies in the face of our current belief that we are intellectually sophisticated enough to figure out all things on our own.

However daunting and discouraging this description may be, genuine encouragement can be found in the concept of a "remnant." God has said consistently throughout the Bible that His purposes in salvation cannot be thwarted. He has always had a remnant of genuine believers who have been challenged by their circumstances: the Tribes in Egypt, the nation of Israel, the captives taken to Babylon, the retuning Jews dominated by Rome, and the believers scattered in Acts 8. So it is with genuine believers in the United States in 2012. We can rest assured on faith, backed up by 6,000 years of proven history that God will not abandon His people, even though He may abandon nations.

God's wrath and God's remnant, two concepts: The first we should properly be wary of, and the other should be a source of great comfort and peace-no matter how the vote turns out.

Bill Newton
Bill Newton

Bill is a pastor based in Asheville, N.C. He also serves as a member of God's World Publications' board of directors.


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