If you stand on the Word of God, you will, as in for sure, be persecuted. The hard part is many times it comes from other Christians and those close to you. You see, standing on the Word of God is almost always inconvenient and definitely culturally insensitive. Too many Christians would rather rationalize compromising Godâ€™s Word then be counterculture. The problem with that is Christians are supposed to be counterculture; thatâ€™s why Jesus called us salt and light.
It is important to remember though that we are to be peaceable in all we say and do. This is where it gets real tough for me as a Christian. I am by nature a warrior; that is why the Army was such a good fit for me. However, even in the midst of battle we are to conduct ourselves in a manner that brings glory to God.
How do we know how to stand for righteousness as we stand against a culture rotting before our eyes? We do so on the authority of Godâ€™s Word:
â€œFor the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.â€ (Titus 2:11-15)
It is the Gospel that we must stand with; if we speak the Word then we do so on the authority of God. Dr. Adrian Rogers recounted the story of an interview he once gave. Knowing the background of the interviewer, Dr. Rogers was on the lookout for the inevitable â€œgotchaâ€ question and it came in the old familiar form of seeming intolerance: â€œDr. Rogers, do you believe that Jews will go to Hell without faith in Jesus Christ?â€
Now many a pastor has fumbled and punted on this question because they know they are being drawn into the intolerance corner. Dr. Rogers never blinked and calmly said, â€œI believe that about my own children.â€ Interview done, intolerance gone. That is speaking the Word of God with all authority so as to command respect.
Our society is in the spot it is in because the pulpits have gone silent. When did homosexuality become socially acceptable? When churches began accepting it. When did calling Mormonism a cult become socially unacceptable? When churches began accepting Mormons as Christians. This is not to pick on the so many wonderful Mormon men and women, but shouldnâ€™t we be trying to show our Mormon friends the true gospel? How you ask? By standing on the Word of God. It is the Gospel that brings the moral clarity that we seek. It is the Gospel that brings the revival we all know our nation so desperately needs.
I would recommend that each of you, consider this your homework assignment, read â€œThe Decay of Conscienceâ€ by Charles G. Finney. Finney was the great 19th Century Revivalist who in his latter years wrote articles for the The Independent of New York newspaper. As you read this, it will no doubt astound you that it was written in 1873. It could have been written last week.
Our menâ€™s ministryâ€™s slogan is â€œBuilt Faith Strongâ€ and our verse is:
â€œWatch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.â€ (1 Corinthians 16:13)
Those ten words are the remedy for America. If men of God would stand courageously in the gap for God with our â€œsword[s] of the Spirit, which is the word of God,â€ then we would see America begin transforming before our very eyes. The problem is that too many men of Christ are looking toward November instead of Heaven. If we do all in our own strength and with our own understanding, then we do not need Godâ€™s blessing upon it. However, if we stand on Godâ€™s Word and do the seemingly impossible, then we can expect Godâ€™s blessing because it will bring Him glory.
I do not want to be among the men God describes through His prophet Ezekiel:
- â€œâ€˜So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads,â€™ says the Lord God.â€ (Ezekiel 22:30-31)
I believe with all my heart that is the true state of our nation. We must have men speaking so as to command respect, based on Biblical authority, and not men speaking so as to avoid confrontation, based on fear and trembling.
We must remember that we are not responsible for the rebellious responses of those that hear our words. We are merely responsible to speak those words.
More on that tomorrow…
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Copyright Â© 2012 David Jeffers