Only two U.S. presidents have been formally impeached by Congress—they were Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. No United States president has ever been removed from office, through the process of impeachment.
The word “impeachment” isn’t confined to the realm of politics. It’s also a term used in civil and criminal law. “Witness impeachment” is the process of calling into question the credibility of an individual testifying in a trial.
Impeachment is just a legal statement of charges, parallel to an indictment in criminal law. When someone is indicted they are formally accused of or charged with a serious crime. And that’s the basis of the impeachment of a president. His accusers believe that they have caught him acting without integrity. The etymology of the word expresses the idea of catching or ensnaring by the foot.
Nowadays, politics is a volatile issue. Both sides of the aisle are passionate about their convictions.
But if we are able to put aside our own opinions, the impeachment of President Trump is something that you and I can use to reach out to the lost.
We can simply ask the unsaved what they think about the impeachment of President Trump. What side they fall on isn’t the issue. This is because there is something at stake that is far more important than the impeachment of a president—it is this person’s eternal salvation.
To do this effectively we should do what Jesus did in Mark 10:17 (and what Paul did in Romans 2:21-22) and use the Ten Commandments to bring an indictment for the sinner’s crimes against God. That will show him that he needs the mercy of the cross.
It is possible that impeachment could led to a removal from the office of the presidency. It is also possible that an indictment could mean that a witness is removed from a criminal trial. But the indictment of a sinner could mean that a precious human being will be removed from life itself. He will be given over the death and Hell, and justly damned by Almighty God.
Think of the shame that Richard Nixon brought upon himself when he acted without integrity in the presidential office. He resigned rather than face the humiliation of standing trial publicly, and almost certainly being removed from office. Think of the shame that President Clinton brought upon himself when he, like King David, was openly exposed in his sexual sin.
But think of the absolute shame and humiliation of Judgment Day, when God exposes the evil in every unregenerate human heart. Solomon warned, “For God will bring every work into judgment, including very secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
Jesus reiterated these words with:
For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. (Luke 8:17)
“There is nothing secret” are arguably the most frightening words in scripture. Contrary to human belief, nothing is secret. Everything is seen by God:
And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13)
Every unsolved murder, every secret rape, every secret adultery, every sexual imagination, every thought of hatred, all hidden envy, jealousy, and pride will be exposed. All humanity has been caught by the foot. But we have a message of mercy. The gospel comes with a subpoena in one hand, and a pardon in the other.
“The gospel comes with a subpoena in one hand, and a pardon in the other.”
Judas Iscariot was impeached, and then he was posthumously removed: “Let another take his office” (Acts 1:20). His indictment is laid out for us in scripture like a tabloid headline—beginning with his covetous heart, his hypocrisy, his theft, his heinous betrayal, leading to his humiliating shame, and then to his tragic suicide.
May we continue to pray for our leaders, always walk in the fear of God, and never be lukewarm about the fate of the lost. This is because most of this sinful world walk in the footsteps of Judas. They have no fear of God before their eyes, and unless they taste of the grace of God in Christ, they will follow him “who by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.”