Gulf Ridge Park Baptist Church 
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A man was hiking the mountain trails when he decided to leave the trail and take a scenic route to see the water falls. Along the way he startled a bear who immediately gave chase. The man ran fast as he could but soon found himself standing on the edge of a cliff with a forty foot drop into rushing water. He knew jumping into the water would be dangerous because he could barely swim. The bear was only twenty yards away and closing, with just seconds to make a decision the man took that leap of faith.

America is like that man. Our country is literally positioned on a precipice of decision. The choices we make in the upcoming election for our country could truly decide the future moral, economic, and political fate of our country. I feel like I am standing on the edge of decision. I look at the two leading candidates running for the highest office in our land and wonder, "Is this the best our country has to offer?" I don’t believe these candidates are the best, but they are a true picture of what our country has produced by its sinking into a quagmire of morally poor choices and silent acceptance by the churches’ of the ungodly lifestyles where we find ourselves today.

Look around and see what God calls evil, our land has accepted as good. Even those in God’s family wonder if abortion of the innocent is an acceptable practice. The Gay and Lesbian lifestyle has become acceptable by silence and fear in our country. Several leading church denominations in our nation have chosen to ignore clear biblical theology concerning the definition of the family and marriage practice between one man and one woman. Preachers nowadays are becoming timid about preaching against these evils in our country, not just out of fear from government persecution and sanctions, but from their own parishioners.

In the church as well as our communities, couples live together outside of the bonds of marriage because it is an acceptable practice. The enormous weight of debt in our country and families can have only one eventual outcome, the total collapse of the country’s economic system. Lifestyles will change overnight, businesses will shut down, the government may bankrupt. Those dependent on subsidies like social security, food stamps and government retirement checks may find there’s no money coming at the end of the month. It is likely that either anarchy or marshal law will rise across the land because of rioting due to the poverty and hardships that could come.

Sorry if this isn’t a ‘rosy’ picture for the Encourager, but as the people of God, we can’t continue to sit in a cozy room with the windows and doors shut to the things happening outside like we’ll never be touched. The Lord says in Proverbs 14:34, "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." Also in Proverbs 15:9 "The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but He loves him who follows righteousness."

I believe our hope, my hope is in Jesus Christ. He is still on the throne and it is obvious to me that His grace is still on our beloved country but for how long, only He knows. Psalms 9:17 says: "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." We must be diligent to pray and seek our God who is gracious and merciful. Who knows if He will turn and give a blessing.

Now, back to the man who jumped off the cliff. Remember he was on the path leading to safety, he did not get into trouble until he wandered off on his own. Our country began on a great path where we acknowledged God as the source of our fortune and blessings, but unfortunately we have left that path and gone astray.

This coming election it is imperative that we as individuals and as a church pray and seek God. Pray He will lead us back to His ‘right’eous ways. Let us examine our hearts and lifestyle to ensure we are not living in an ungodly manner.

NOT VOTING is not an option. You may say, I don’t like either candidate. Well do some research, choose one and ensure you have prayed and weighed them in the light of God’s holy Word. Unfortunately, the two main candidates we seem to have at the moment remind me of the old adage, "it’s a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea." Yet the Lord has given us a grand privilege in this country, we can elect our leaders. Sadly, I know of many believers who haven’t either voted at all in their life or have stopped. I say this gently, but when you don’t vote, you have voted for the other candidate, and you will reap what they bring to office.

Be faithful, stay encouraged because God has it all under control. Be diligent in your duties to the church and your country. This is our home and where we worship. It is possible that one day we could awaken to find the precious freedoms we enjoy today gone. Let us do all we can to ensure it doesn’t happen in our lifetime.

Pastor Michael