Recently, I have received questions from more than a few folks about faith and about standing for Christ in these last days. Considering this, it is apparent to me that there are some truths that we should know as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, which then become the basis for our ability to make a stand in faith.
If we grasp these truths, understand these truths (which are taught in the Word of God), they can help us increase our faith. All those who has ever trusted in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior have at some point in time in their spiritual life — experienced weakness in his faith. But, God has the power to strengthen our faith and has given us promises to cling to and instructions to follow to do so.
In Hebrews 11:1 we read: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
So faith is based on substance and evidence; these are tangible things. Faith is not based on emotion because it is intangible.
Romans 10:17 tells us: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
We have the tangible Word of God, which is truth, on which to base our faith.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we believe in the truth of His substitutionary death (wherein He paid our sin debt), His burial, and resurrection proving His victory over sin and death. This of course is the very foundation of our faith. Herein we find both substance and evidence. But there is more, much more which Christ has promised us, with which we may build upon our faith. Knowing this, let’s look at some more truths that we should know.
1. We have a God who cares.
• Hebrews 4:14-16 tells us that we have a High Priest in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who experienced everything that we experience in this life, and yet He did so without sin. It continues, saying that we can come boldly to His throne to obtain mercy and grace in our time of need.
• 1 Peter 5:6-7 tells us that if we will humble ourselves before God, in other words submit our will to His will, and give all of our worries, cares, fears, and concerns to Him; that He will exalt, preserve, and praise us at just the right time (in His time) because He cares for us.
2. Our God will supply all our needs.
• In Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus Christ Himself told His disciples that they didn’t need to worry about what they would eat, drink, or wear; or about their physical well-being, or their very lives, because His Father in heaven knew their every need. If they would seek first His kingdom (once again be concerned with and obedient to His will) everything they need would be provided. If obedient, they would not need to worry about tomorrow, tomorrow would take care of itself.
• After the church at Philippi had been so generous to the apostle Paul, he wrote to them; “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) Again, the promise of God’s provision.
3. We have a God who is always with us.
• The psalmist wrote: “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth” (Psalm 145:18).
• And in Solomon’s Proverbs we find: “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).
Of course the friend he is speaking of here is God, and more pointedly to you and me today, the Person of the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of God and Christ Jesus.
• The Holy Spirit was promised to us by Jesus Christ Himself as recorded in John 14:15-18. The Holy Spirit is the Helper or Comforter Jesus promised to the believer only, because the world cannot receive Him or know Him. Further, Jesus says that the Holy Spirit dwells in us and because of that He (Jesus) is in us.
• And in the book of Hebrews, we find this promise of Jesus: “I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU.” And the passage continues with us being able to boldly say; “THE LORD IS MY HELPER; I WILL NOT FEAR. WHAT CAN MAN DO TO ME?” (Hebrews 13:5-6).
Do you see that? Because we have the promise of Jesus, that He is our Helper, we have nothing to fear! Friends we may face persecution, and in fact as believers we have been promised that it has been granted to us to suffer for Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:29) but; no matter what Man does to us, he cannot take away from us the presence of Jesus Christ in our life, or the promise of eternal life!
This is not an all-inclusive list of truths which we should know as Christians, truths with which we may build our faith and be able to make a stand for Jesus Christ. These are just some more of the basics. There is one more that I’d like to share with you. To my mind it is the crescendo of the symphony of truths promised to the follower of Christ:
4. Jesus is coming again!
• In the Gospel of John, Jesus told His disciples: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).
• After His death, burial and resurrection; Jesus appeared to His disciples teaching and ministering to them for 40 days. In Acts 1:10-11, Luke describes Christ’s ascension into heaven from the Mount of Olives at the end of that 40 days, and the declaration of the angels to the disciples who had been assembled there to hear the teaching of the risen Christ. He wrote:
“And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.’”
• In his first letter to the church at Thessalonica, the apostle Paul shared the promise of Christ’s return for His church. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17:
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
This is the blessed hope of all believers, all followers of Jesus Christ, it is the promise of eternal life in the presence of God. But there is more to know about His return. In this passage we’re told that the church, the Body of Christ, the bride of Christ, will meet Him in the air. Yet, in Acts 1 the angels promised Jesus Christ would return just as He left.
• Zechariah 14:1-4 describes that day when Christ’s feet will once again touch down on the Mount of Olives on the “Day of the Lord”:
“Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
Then the Lord will go forth And fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south.”
• And Revelation 19:11-16 describes His return to the earth on that day in this way:
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, wherever you may be in the world today, these are the substance and evidence of truths that you can know. These truths will strengthen your faith and your ability to stand for Jesus Christ in the perilous days ahead. I encourage you to daily put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) so that you can withstand those who may attack and persecute you in these evil days, and having done all of this in faith, to stand. Therefore Stand!
Even So Come.
Dr. Tuck Whitaker
Preacher ~ Teacher