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April 2, 2015
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:10-13
The days have grown more perilous and hazardous for people of faith. Never since the origin of the church have Christian ideas and worldview been under such attack. The forces of Homosexual activism is driving Christians to acquiesce in the public square threatening Christian businesses and churches. The “rights” of homosexuals now are more important that the rights of Christians even though the right of free expression of faith in the foundation of our constitution. Unless Christians give up their right of free expression, the government will force believers to validate a lifestyle and behavior that is contrary to deeply held religious conviction.
But is that the only place Christians are being sought after for destruction? Not at all. ISIS, along with any and all adherents of Islam openly and forcefully seek the destruction of Christianity along with the any and all Jews. It seems a cruel irony that homosexuals and liberals seek the same goals of Islam since Islam would certainly turn on liberals and homosexuals and lesbians if they had opportunity.
We cannot confront them, these forces seem to have every advantage and Christians would seem to have only one choice before us…suffering for our faith.
But is that the case? The agenda of the left seeks to destroy all vestiges of Christian faith from society. They fear the restrictions that biblical faith would seek to bring. Babies cannot be killed before they are born, sexual activity is limited to the confines of marriage, and Christian marriage is defined as between a man and woman exclusively. These restrictions of insatiable and illegitimate desires make those on the left furious because they seek to control all facets of life for all Americans, even without their consent.
Christians are not to fear these overreaches or cower under the disapproval of political correctness. But how are we to combat these forces so determined to destroy people of faith? I cannot help but see the obvious similarity between what Israel faces as the United States tries to negotiate with the world’s leader of terrorism possibly giving them a Nuclear weapon after a short number of years even as they train in the Gulf sinking a mock US Aircraft Carrier and shouting “Death to America.” But what weapons do we use to fend for ourselves?
In our fight, we must realize that there is no place where we actually confront or attack the enemy. The old adage of charging Hell with a water pistol is not really applicable to our spiritual warfare. In the spiritual realm, where the battle is actually being fought, we have no strength or prowess. Where is our power vested? The only power we have at our disposal is the power we receive from the Lord Jesus.
In Revelation 3:8, Jesus tells the church at Philadelphia, “I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name.” Jesus was saying that their power, although limited in scope, was sufficient because of their faith in Him. In Philippians 4:13, Paul tells us that “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”
Ultimately the battle’s outcome has already been determined when Jesus Christ defeated death and hell by walking out of that tomb that first Easter Morning. When we trust in Jesus, and His power, we align ourselves with the ultimate victory that has been achieved. Being ‘strong in the Lord’ means that we have all the strength to face our enemy because we receive that strength from Jesus; we are at war and our power comes from Jesus.
How do we obtain this power? Through faith in Jesus, through the grace that the Lord allows us because we call on Jesus’ Name. We also obtain power through prayer and the knowledge of and obedience to the Word of God, The Bible.
What is our duty? We stand against the wiles of the devil. Nowhere does the Bible indicate that we are to take on the devil on his grounds. We are standing a watch, if the devil attacks, we are to go to Jesus and send Jesus to deal with Satan. Why do we send Jesus? Because we are ill-equipped to handle our opposition, only the Lord can defeat Satan.
The devil’s forces lead men to propagate ideologies that are directly defiant of God and the order He has established. These ideologies corrupt and destroy and lead men to further darkness. They influence national and international policies that trap people in poverty, disease, famine and civil unrest. They also crate doubt in believer’s minds to lead them away from trusting God and belief in His Holy Word. They lead men and women toward immorality, pride, self-reliance, self-satisfaction and self-righteousness. They lead men and women to lie, ridicule and persecute others.
What are we to do then? How can we survive where an enemy can attack us but we cannot attack them? The Bible mentions our struggle, our spiritual warfare against these principalities, powers, rulers and spiritual hosts. Exactly what is the method we need to use? We are to do what Paul tells us in Ephesians 5: 8-15, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “Awake you who sleep arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
Take the case where a Christian photographer or baker is asked to perform for a homosexual couple at a wedding or other event celebrating their homosexual union. The Christian merchant could refuse to perform such a service on the grounds that it violates his or her conviction as a believer in Christ. What we are doing is playing into their hands by drawing their ire and giving them opportunity to force you into compliance or face persecution from the government because you have “discriminated against them. By refusing you also are insuring that their event will have no Christian influence. But Paul tells us we must be “children of the light” and we must “walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
Instead the Christian vendor needs to offer distinctly Christian products or services. All of these are services that expressly Christian in nature from which you do not deviate. The homosexual will be forced to accept the product you already offer to everyone, or reject it since you do not deviate from offering this distinctly and expressly Christian product or service. You are not discriminating against them, they are rejecting what you have to offer. If they do want your product or service, you are not validating their homosexual marriage or event, but you are becoming a Christian witness at their request, and you are getting paid for doing it!
Perhaps there is a Christian minister who is asked to perform the wedding ceremony for homosexuals? Well there are already denominations that have taken that stance accepting that lifestyle, but suppose you are not one of them, but your belief in Christ creates a crisis, since you cannot validate such a holy sacrament to a homosexual couple? In the case of the Southern Baptist churches, there is the Baptist Faith and Message that expressly states that marriage is between a man and a woman. If your church would adopt into its bylaws that you adhere strictly to the BF&M and as a body the church does not allow the minister to perform anything but a Christian Marriage which is defined as such in the BF&M, the homosexual is forced to accept that “product” or go elsewhere as anyone who would come to your church. You are freed from the government forcing you to violate your constitutional freedom of religion under the guise of “discrimination” or you offer a Christian witness into their lives. It is the homosexual that rejects your input and influence, in a sense, they discriminate against you which strangely is allowed by law.
Walk circumspectly, my friends, for the days are evil.