If you must take a stand for God, you must expect persecution to come. You cannot stand on the truth of Godâ€™s Word and all around you accept it peacefully, unless you are doing so in a â€œChristian ghettoâ€ and even there pure aletheia truth is not always welcomed. And yet we do not have a choice of where we will stand for God; we can only choose to obey or disobey. David understood this calling very clearly.
â€œI have proclaimed the good news of righteousness in the great assembly; indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O Lord, You Yourself know. I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great assembly.â€ (Psalm 40:9-10)
An example of someone standing for Godâ€™s truth at all cost, even unto death, is found in the New Testament in the Acts of the Apostles. That great man of God Stephen was facing blasphemy charges before the Jewish High Council, and if you read Acts 7 you see this martyr not sugar-coating the gospel but spelling it out completely, ending with:
â€œYou stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.â€ (Acts 7:51-53)
Stephen was no naÃ¯ve man of the culture; he knew his sermon was his last. He knew that he was about to be stoned for such speech before the â€œparty establishment.â€ I mean how dare he talk to those political leaders in such a way! Who did he think he was? Who do we think we are, the lessers of society speaking out against those who lead? The ruling class never likes being taken to task. Why? Because as Acts 7:54 tells us, â€œWhen they heard these things they were cut to the heart…â€ Major W. Ian Thomas puts it this way:
â€œA bad conscience is always uneasy in the presence of truth. You may shoot truth between the eyes when it looks you quietly in the face, but it will not be truth which falls victim to your bullet. It was not truth that lay bleeding and dying on the day Stephen was stoned to death; nor was it truth that hung upon a cross to be buried in a tomb, where sin was condemned and Satan himself judged and defeated. That is why you can now be at peace with God, enjoying a peace that gives you a sense of quiet, unflinching confidence, a confidence that comes only from God, through your trust in Him.â€
It is that peace that I have sought and found. And the more I find this peace with God, the less I am at peace with our culture. Had Iâ€™d been told that would be the case I may not have signed up for such a mission. The more I get involved the more Iâ€™m warned to not stray into areas that might cause dissension. Iâ€™m told I must concentrate on our â€œenemiesâ€ even my only enemy is that which is opposed to truth. That can at times be hard to discern and that is why I do not rely on the council of men alone; I seek Godâ€™s Word for His Holy Truth. I only seek the council of a trusted few after seeking Godâ€™s Word to see if what Iâ€™ve discerned rings true to them. Why this pursuit of the truth?
Because saving America is not about Republican vs. Democrat; it is about Truth vs. Lie; it is about Righteousness vs. Sin. In other words, politics is merely a chess piece on the chess board; it is not the board. So many people are banking on Americaâ€™s salvation with Obamaâ€™s expectant unemployment but Mitt Romney is not going to save the nation.
Only one Man can save America and His name is Jesus.
It was Jesus who put it in the hearts of our Founding Fathers to seek liberty.
It was Jesus who put in it the hearts and minds of those brave men to write the Declaration of Independence and our US Constitution.
Should we worship such men? Of course not! Should we emulate them? Absolutely!
These men were successful because they recognized and relented to the sovereignty of God. That is what made the American Revolution successful. And before the Revolution there was revival and before that there was repentance.
Today, we want revolution at any cost, revival if it doesnâ€™t cost too much, and repentance at no cost.
It is past time to speak the truth to power. We can no longer embrace convenient truth and expect a different outcome. Weâ€™ve been doing that most of my adult life.
We must stand on righteousness and trust God with all the details. It all comes down to our faith. My pastor said something in his sermon yesterday that I jotted down and it seems so appropriate for what the American Church is facing today. He stated:
â€œThe faith in my prayer is only as good as the possibilities I see with my eyes.â€
Too many of us our praying with eyes of sight; what we believe might happen or not happen is the limit of our prayer life. I want to pray with faith my eyes.
I want to be the man of truth that pierces the heart of a bad conscience knowing all along Iâ€™ll be calling down Hell onto my position.
I want to be like Stephen…
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Copyright Â© 2012 David Jeffers
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