The last Republican vote count from South Carolina was published at 9:00 PM last night.
It has been called "The Great Contest" by the pundits because everything they knew about the election process in America isn't so anymore. And everything is on the line in this election.
Most Americans do not need a political pundit to tell them this election is very, very different and its importance can not be overstated.
It's different because it's about more than politics. In an emotionally charged electorate, there is anger, fear and, among Republicans, a sense of betrayal by their political party.
There is in our nation an awakening to a profound sense of hopelessness---and a growing sense among biblical Christians that "we better get this election right."
Trump won South Carolina with a sweeping victory, receiving more votes from evangelicals than either Cruz or Rubio.
Rubio's response yesterday on NBC's "Meet The Press" was, "70% of voters don't want Trump"---"I am the only conservative who can beat Hillary."
Cruz is promising to make up the loss going forward, standing strong as the only consistent conservative candidate.
Both Cruz and Rubio claim to be deeply committed Christians.
Glenn Beck is calling on America to join him and his wife in fasting and praying for a Cruz victory.
Beck said this weekend he believes that God allowed Supreme Court Scalia to die in order to "wake America up to how close we are to the loss of our freedom" and to the necessity of electing Cruz to name Scalia's replacement.
He said, "If this country is lost, it will be because of the Christians" who did not support Cruz.
Other Christian leaders such as Tony Perkins, Mike Huckabee and others are also calling on America to elect Ted Cruz, while still other Christian leaders are calling on Christians to support Marco Rubio.
However, Jerry Falwell, Jr., head of Liberty University, Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas, TX. and other Christian leaders are calling on Christians to vote for Trump.
Both Falwell and Dr. Jeffress say they believe he is best suited to turn America around at this time. Falwell quotes his father when his dad supported Ronald Reagan, many Republicans, fellow Christians and pastors were angry at him---"dad's response," Jr. says was "we are not electing a Sunday school teacher or pastor"---we need a CEO to right the ship.
Pastor Jeffress says, "Christians do not have to betray their values to vote for Trump" because he is best qualified to globally stand up for America at this time, assuring Christians that Trump, regardless of his own personal failures, will protect our religious freedom.
After spending about $150 million, Jeb Bush has dropped out, accusing Fox News of showing preferential treatment to Rubio. Bush's large donors are now migrating to Rubio, while many are asking if "money" will ultimately decide this election, as it has in preceding elections---speculating that it probably won't.
Dr. Ben Carson and Governor John Kasich say they are staying in the race---not going anywhere.
On the other side of the political aisle Hillary, who was the "inevitable" candidate of the Democratic Party, is struggling against Bernie Sanders, America's first openly socialist presidential candidate.
After pulling from 25 points behind Hillary to losing by only 4 points in Nevada Saturday, Bernie Sanders said there is no question "the wind is at our back."
It is indeed, a great contest.
This election is about more than politics. It involves spiritual warfare.
Paul wrote about these "great contests" in his letter to the Ephesians (6:12), "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places."
This is an election we cannot afford to lose. Every Christian has a responsibility to vote.
But how should we vote?
I would like to share an excerpt from Billy Graham's book "The Journey."
Forks in the Road
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” –Psalm 32:8
We can’t change the past, but we can change the future.
Tragically, many people spend their lives trapped in an endless cycle of bad choices – and bad choices always have bad results. The Bible is right: “A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7). It also warns, “He who sows wickedness reaps trouble” (Proverbs 22:8). Even Christians aren’t immune from making wrong choices.
The journey God has set before us isn’t a freeway; we are constantly encountering forks and junctions and crossroads. Which way will we go when we meet them? Life is filled with decisions, and we can’t avoid them. But others are major (even if we don’t realize it at the time) and can literally change our lives.
How can we discover God’s will when we face a major decision? Let me give you six guidelines I have found helpful.
First, commit your decision to God. Make it a matter of regular prayer, asking God to guide you and make His will known to you.
Second, read the Scriptures. Does the Bible give any direct guidance about the decision you are facing? Does any principle in the Bible apply to your situation? Did anyone in the Bible ever face a similar decision, and, if so, how did they deal with it? (We can even learn from the wrong decisions some of them made.)
Third, understand your circumstances. God isn’t only working in us; He also is working around us. Often God guides us through our circumstances.
Fourth, seek godly advice. God has given some people a special gift of wisdom, and when we face a decision, it’s often helpful to seek their counsel.
Fifth, trust the Holy Spirit’s guidance. When we honestly seek His will, God often gives us an inner conviction or prompting to confirm which way He wants us to go. The Bible says, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear the voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21).
Finally, trust God for the outcome. Once God leads you to make a decision, don’t draw back. Instead, trust His leading, and believe He goes before you – for He does. The Bible says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Remember: God loves you, and He wants you to know His will. Seek it . . . discover it . . . and then do it. His way is always best.
Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Faithful.