Sunday, 10 July 2022

Onward Christian Soldiers

 Scripture:  2 Timothy 2 v 1 - 4: "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2  And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. 

3  Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

4  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."

Because this Earth is a battleground between Jesus and Satan, all its inhabitants are caught up in a continual war zone.  It's a largely unseen war but as the time of the end is upon us it is becoming much more visible.

On full display these days is the war in Ukraine.  It's a very good example of the unseen becoming visible, a conflict between good and evil.  It is said that when the USSR began its complete collapse on 26th December 1991, Vladimir Putin, a colonel in the KGB was absolutely furious that there was not even a debate let alone a battle.  Just capitulation to the inevitable.

He then became the right hand man of Boris Yeltsin, all the while aiming for the top job, so that he could bring about his heart's desire, a re-united Soviet Union.  Ukraine was pivotal to his dream, and capturing Crimea in 2014 was the first step towards taking the whole country back under Russian control.

Because Ukraine chose to have other ideas, when the war resumed in February 2022, Putin's 3 day plan for complete victory fell apart.  Ukrainians are fighting for their homeland, Putin just wants his dream to not be a nightmare.

The people of Ukraine were once Russians so the soldiers were fighting against brothers.  The soldiers did not have a heart for this kind of war.  Putin had to bring in Chechens and Syrians which also failed, and body count was mounting.

This would be like the USA state of North Dakota going to war against South Dakota because they wanted Mount Rushmore with its presidential heads, as their tourist attraction.  Totally insane idea.

Let's look at the parallels.  Christians are like Ukrainians.  We have chosen Heaven as our eternal home and follow Jesus to get there.  Those who have a different place to go and follow other gods to achieve it are opposed to hearing about Jesus and His salvation.  Some would go to war over it.  

Jesus says we must go into all the world and tell them the truth about Him, the Saviour of the whole world.  In many countries this carries a death sentence.  Just owning a Bible is a death sentence or long imprisonment to be re-educated.

If the Ukrainians had let Putin win his 3 Day War, had not resisted, just run away or submitted, it would be like many churches today that have given in gracefully to the inevitable.  The churches do not adhere to Biblical doctrines, they have their own spin.

Matthew 7 v 17 - 23: "Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

Jesus is saying that a good church will bring forth good fruit, but a bad church will bring forth evil fruit, and that He judges the fruit of that ministry to determine its future.  They may do the works of prophecy, miracles and deliverance but Jesus will disown them when it really matters.

People are sitting in churches today that are not on fire for Jesus, blazing with righteousness and fulfilling the Great Commission.  The pastors, evangelists, prophets are seeking their own glory and filling their own coffers and those who slavishly follow them will have a negative response from Jesus.

Does your church line up with the Bible?  Salvation, water baptism, Baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire?  That's the very basic level of Christianity.  Anything less than that is a social reform that will never carry out the commands of God.  It cannot be a holy, righteous vessel filled with God's power to reflect His glory.

It can never display the pure, selfless love of Almighty God.  A social reform centre has its own unique agenda that the Lord describes as:

Matthew 15 v 4 - 9: "For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.

5  But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;

6  And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

7  Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

8  This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

9  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

How many churches have made the commands of God of none effect?  How many honour God with their mouths but their heart is far from Him?  In vain do they worship Him.  On the day of Judgment there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, Jesus said.

So these are the battle lines we need to take heed of.  Are we willing to fight for the truth, stand up for Jesus, proclaim His Word?  Or allow the enemy to confuse and destroy you?  Jesus is seeking those followers who mean business with God because they believe in Him with their whole hearts.  People who will obey Him even to their own hurt?  People who can be trusted!

I really wanted to do a gentle Sunday joyful blessing type of blog today but I am but a scribe and what is pouring out through me today is exactly what He wants said.  I saw a short video yesterday of a man on an upper road seeing the tsunami that hit Indonesia approaching.

On the road below him there were hundreds of people walking, or on bicycles or in cars, about to be drowned.  He screamed himself hoarse warning them.  Many heard him and climbed to safety, many ignored him and his heart broke weeping for them. He was also in danger but willing to die to save some.

That's what an Intercessor must be like.  Seeing the danger and giving warning of life threatening disaster.  If such a one turns a blind eye, says nothing, lets them die a horrible death, that one will be treated just like that by God on the Day of Judgment.

I would rather be despised by every person on Earth but loved by Jesus for doing what He wants done.  After nearly every blog posted I feel a backlash, and I am thankful for it.  Perhaps a seed is sown in an angry heart, that may over time bring forth the peaceable fruit of righteousness.  

You can choose whether to walk this path with Jesus and share these blogs with those who may not be grateful for it, but maybe there are some desperately seeking this kind of knowledge and you may be the only person who can give it to them.  Jesus says what we do for others will be done for us.

We are soldiers on duty to do the bidding of the Lord in His army.  Let us do it with joy, hope and love that the Lord may be glad He saved us.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, we rejoice in Your love and presence and take heed of Your warnings.  Reveal to us if we are in the right spiritual place, and if not, where You would have us be.  We must not be entangled with the world's things because that will compromise our obedience.  We are willing to be Christian Soldiers.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.