Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Christian Life is WAR

 When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day,
then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin;
you must, at the price of dearest peace,
lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy,
with all the fire of your faith.

~ Abraham Kuiper

The true Christian is called to be a soldier,
and must behave as such from the day of his conversion
to the day of his death.
He is not meant to live a life of religious ease, [laziness], and security.
He must never imagine for a moment that he can sleep and doze along the way to heaven,
like on traveling in an easy carriage…
If the Bible is the rule of his faith and practice,
he will find his course laid down very plainly in this matter.
He must “fight.
~ J.C. Ryle

Christ’s gospel has not come into the world to be co-equal with other faiths
and share a divided kingdom with differing creeds.
False gods may stand face to face to each other in one Pantheon, and be at peace,
for they are all false together,
but when Christ comes, Dagon must go down, not even the stump of him must stand.
Truth is of necessity intolerant of falsehood,
love wars with hate, and justice battles with wrong.

- Charles Spurgeon

The Christian soldier must avoid two evils –
he must not faint or yield in the time of fight,
and after a victory he must not wax insolent and secure.
When he has overcome,
he is so to behave himself
as though he were presently again to be assaulted.
For Satan’s temptations, like the waves of the sea,
do follow one in the neck of the other.

~ George Downame

The Christian life is a battleground not a playground.
It is first and foremost a spiritual battle that is being waged in the invisible spiritual realm
that is being manifest in the visible, physical realm.
Ephesians 6:12, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

We did not start it, the devil did (the dragon, the accuser, the devil)

One of the things Satan wants to be is incognito. He doesn't want people to think that he is real, or be anywhere around, or has any kind of power, and belittles anyone who would advocate the fact that he is powerful and is a ruler. But God's Word plainly says he is.

John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. "
1 Peter 5:8, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
2 Corinthians. 2:11, "... in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. (I find it to be the opposite in the church. Most people are utterly clueless)
Ephesians. 6:11, "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."

 ... Satan desires to ruin your relationship with Jesus Christ; to make you utterly ineffective in ministry;
to keep you focused upon you and your needs, problems, desires, and goals; to ruin your marriage and family; to destroy the church; to keep people blind in their sin and lost. We have a vicious and cunning spiritual enemy. The Bible says Satan is actively opposing us. He is real. He wants us to sin...
Paul warns us in Ephesians. 4:27 to "...not give the devil a foothold".
Satan’s number one aim is the destruction of your faith.
Faith is the root of living the life of God, our love for God, and our hope in God and His promises.
Therefore, Satan’s whole war efforts are aimed at the prevention or destruction of faith.

1 Thessalonians 3:5, " For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless."

 Luke 22:31-32 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
2 Corinthians. 11:3, "But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ."

John 8:44, "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

2 Corinthians 4:4, " The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

The war is against God and His church

"And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus" (Revelation 12:13-17)

There is everything at stake here. God’s purpose is to make His Name known throughout the whole earth (Matthew 5:16-18; 1 Peter. 2:12; John 17:20-25). Satan is trying to stop that. If he can stop the church, he will be able to thwart God’s plans and purposes. That is why Paul so strongly exhorts us in Ephesians 6:13, "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

The devil wants to you a high-maintenance/low impact kind of Christian. He wants to keep you in the hospital your whole Christian life. He wants us to think that we’re on R+R focused on planning our vacations, retirements, leisure, pleasure, sipping Mai tai’s while people are getting their heads blown off in the front lines! He wants us to think we are a peace time army focusing on parades, making beds, reading manuals, having studies on warfare, focusing on each other, doing KP instead of living on the front line of battle. Thousands of Christians do not hear the diabolic bombs dropping and the bullets zinging overhead. They don't smell the hellish Agent Orange in the whitened harvest of the world. They don't cringe or weep at the thousands who perish every week. They don't reckon with spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places and the world rulers of this present darkness. In fact, it is not dark, they say. Why are you being so negative. Don’t worry, be happy. It is bright and comfortable and cheery just look at my home and car and office and cabin and boat. And listen to my surround sound home theater. In short, saved, satisfied, and stuck; living in a virtual reality type existence in which my comfort, security, survival, and happiness become the driving forces of my life. War changes priorities, perspectives, and focus. The great general George Patton once said, “War makes all other human endeavor shrink to nothing.”


 God isn’t an antiwar pacifist! Moses writes in Exodus 15:3, "The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is His name."

 Anything that is a lie, evil, sin, destructive GOD IS TOTALLY AGAINST! You are His foot soldiers! The need of the hour is a global wartime mentality. I say "wartime" because life is war. I say "global" because "the field is the world" (Matthew 13: 38). And because thousands of unreached peoples are scattered around the globe. "Peoples," not just people. The command to the church is not to win every person before the Lord comes, but to win some from every people. This is the great unfinished task!

"To Him shall be the obedience of the peoples" (Genesis 49:10).
"Let the peoples praise you, 0 God, let all the peoples praise You" (Psalm 67:3).
"Behold, I made Him (the Messiah, Jesus Christ) a witness to the peoples, a leader and Commander for the peoples" (Isaiah 55:4).

Now you may not believe in war but you will get bombed just the same. Most of the church is AWOL running over to spiritual Canada or neutral thinking they live in spiritual Switzerland. When we made a commitment to Jesus Christ, we enlisted in God's army. Some may have thought they were only making their eternal destiny secure. Others may have thought that they were simply dealing with their sins. Still others may have thought that they were just subscribing to a higher moral code. Sill others thought they were entering a club-med vacation of peace, happiness, and bliss. We have joined forces with God and with one another in a spiritual conflict. The cause to which we have committed ourselves is a cause that is being attacked at every front. We have sworn our allegiance to a New Kingdom. And that kingdom is a threat to the kingdoms of the god of this world. As citizens of that New Kingdom the enemy is attacking us. By virtue of the fierceness of this attack, all citizens must become citizens/soldiers. We can do without no one. We must all combine our efforts if we are to win the battle. The crying need of the hour-every hour-is for Christians to be put on a wartime footing. To be a mighty army willing to suffer, moving ahead with exultant determination to take the world by storm.

How will we come to feel the extraordinary satanic devastation being wreaked among the remaining unreached peoples of the world? How can our people come to see the irrationality of a persistently bouncy, peacetime, Disneyland mentality when the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16), and the god of this world is blinding billions (2 Corinthians 4:4), and Satan is filled with rage because his time is short (Revelation 12:12), and the stakes are infinitely higher than any conceivable nuclear World War III or any environmental disaster (Luke 12:4-5).

What's the main reason sergeants are in the trenches? To settle soldiers' disputes? Do chaplains come along just to bury the dead?
Or is there a war to be won? There is. And the victory is near. But it will not be easy or cheap. The awesome mission is clear:

"This gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come"
~ Matthew 24:14

Christ has His elect from every people, tribe, tongue and nation (Revelation 5:9).
They are held captive by the Enemy (2 Timothy 2:26).
And so the minefields must be crossed, the barbed wire cut, the snipers evaded, and gospel antidotes for Satan's mind-altering drugs administered against immense opposition (Luke 21:12-19)

 So we know we are at war, we know we are soldiers, we know we have an enemy to fight and are aware of his strategy. What are we to do?
~ William Robison

Soon the battle will be over.
It will not be long now before the day will come when Satan will no longer trouble us.
There will be no more domination, temptation, accusation, or confrontation.
Our warfare will be over and our commander, Jesus Christ,
will call us away from the battlefield to receive the victor’s crown.

~ Thomas Watson

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”
And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who is seated on the throne,
who lives forever and ever,
the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who is seated on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever.
They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

“Worthy are You, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for You created all things,
and by Your will they existed and were created.” Revelation 4:8-11 

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