Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Challenges of This Hour

(Here is an article from the editor's notes in the February 8, 2008 issue of The Sword of the Lord newspaper written by Dr. Shelton Smith.)

Christians in the 21st century live in a battle zone. We're saved and we're Heaven-bound, but our days on this earth are fraught with many challenges.
  1. Evil Men! - 2 Tim. 3:2-5 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
  2. False Teachers! - 2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
  3. Satanic Ministers! - 2 Cor. 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
  4. Disorderly Brothers! - 2 Thess. 3:14-15 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
  5. Satan Himself! - 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
  6. The World System! - 1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
  7. Our Human Flesh! - Matt. 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

These are very real adversaries and enemies. They are formidable, and sometimes very forceful as well.

The question all of us must face and hopefully answer rightly is: Will we take the enemy to task, or are we going to go along with whatever the enemy wants???

Tragically, a lot of today's Christians are trying to be "cool" or "find relevance" instead of standing up to be counted.

Instead of having conviction and courage, they want to be contemporary.

They've replaced what the Bible says with "What do the people want?"

Wearing their feelings on their sleeve, and determined to have their own way, so many bounce from one church to another.

Bible doctrine and Christian deportment are cast aside for personal preference and carnal ambitions.

In these times, these days, this hour, the challenges are constant, and they are compelling. I pray that you will keep yourself viligant so that your witness and testimony do not erode into oblivion.

Who will face the challenges? Who will go down into the valley to meet Goliath? Who will refuse to eat the diet required by the wicked king? Who will stand up to the wicked ruler and the conniving woman in this life? Who will cry aloud when the people set up their golden calf? Who will stand to confront the prophets of Baal?

Hopefully, those of us who know the Lord and know our Bible will do what we know we should do. Let's go ahead and start on it today. AMEN!!!

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