Photo by Fried Dough

Photo by Fried Dough

I can’t count the times I’ve been asked over the years about certain stories in the Old Testament. They are good questions and I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have all of the answers. Many of the questions relate to God’s dealings with those whom the Israelites had to conquer, via war, when they entered into the promised land.

I’ve answered these questions in different ways. Lately, I feel that the enemies of Israel knew the power of God and, if they had repented, God would have spared them. Rahab is an excellent example. She helped God’s people, her family was saved, and she wound up in the genealogy of Jesus. The wicked who were destroyed not only knew the power of God, many of them had seen it.

The reason this topic has come to mind is a quote I stumbled upon by perhaps the greatest leader our country has ever known. He had little schooling. His church attendance was meager.

Responding to accusations that he was an “infidel”, Abraham Lincoln defended himself, without denying that specific charge, by publishing a hand-bill in which he stated:

“That I am not a member of any Christian church is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular…. I do not think I could myself be brought to support a man for office whom I knew to be an open enemy of, or scoffer at, religion.”

Peter Cartwright  Photo by Wikipedia

Peter Cartwright
Photo by Wikipedia

Lincoln attended one of Peter Cartwright’s (an opponent for Congress) revival meetings. At the conclusion of the service, the fiery pulpiteer called for all who intended to go to heaven to rise. Naturally, the response was heartening. Then he called for all those who wished to go to hell to stand, unsurprisingly there were not many takers. Lincoln had responded to neither option. Cartwright closed in. “Mr. Lincoln, you have not expressed an interest in going to either heaven or hell. May I enquire as to where you do plan to go?” Lincoln replied: “I did not come here with the idea of being singled out, but since you ask, I will reply with equal candor. I intend to go to Congress.”

Mr. Lincoln grew up in a very religious family and he knew his Bible very well.

Having shared these few quotes, I come to the one that I think captures Mr. Lincoln’s thoughts on war and God:

“Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet if God wills that it continues…until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword…so still it must be said that THE JUDGMENTS OF THE LORD ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS ALTOGETHER (my emphasis). With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us finish the work we are in, to bind up the nations’ wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and for his orphans, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

-Abraham Lincoln -Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865

Photo by Believe Creative

Photo by Believe Creative





  1. NIce write up, Chris. Do you think Mr Lincoln was saved? You prob know much more about him as you are in teaching. Have you seen evidence in his life that he was a true believer?… because not attending church certainly is a red flag.

    • Chris says:

      Thanks, Delight. The answer to your question is: “I don’t know.” He attended Protestant church services with his wife and children. But it wasn’t a lifelong habit. I’ve read that Mr. Lincoln was raised by Calvinists and that the idea of predestination was something that helped him during the very difficult days of the Civil War. I do know this; after he died even his friends argued over whether he was a true Christian. If his friends couldn’t agree, I don’t know how we are ever going to know until we are in glory ourselves.

      It’s always great to hear from you my friend…

    • A bigger question to tackle here, Delight…was Abe Lincoln even real?

      Chris R, just ask Delight to explain… 😉

  2. Mannyr says:

    A good read very interesting. i found apiece by Dr.Kennedy.
    Abraham Lincoln and His Faith in Jesus Christ
    The late D. James Kennedy once preached a message that gripped me emotionally. Dr. Kennedy demonstrated how Abraham Lincoln entered the Presidency as a man intellectually acquainted with the Christian faith, but void of a personal relationship with Christ. In 1863 President Lincoln endured the pain of losing his own young son to death and felt the pressure of catostophic casualties among Union soldiers. While walking the killing fields of Gettysburg, the President himself was born from above. To begin this week of Christmas, I offer the excellent message of Dr. Kennedy regarding Abraham Lincoln and the President’s transforming faith in Jesus Christ. Notice the little known but prescient words of the President to his wife at the moment of his assassination. Merry Christmas to all my friends who love the name of Jesus Christ.

    i also found some quotes on Lincoln:

    • Chris says:

      Thanks for sharing, Manny. I had heard how the tragic deaths in Mr. Lincoln’s family made him more serious about the things of God. But, I hadn’t heard this story. Thanks for the quotes, too. I’ll definitely check those out.

      God’s blessings my friend…

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