Situation is not normal. What’s going on here?
For sure, it seems we are living in the “times of the signs.” One only needs to look around and see a world descending into complete utter chaos. A world where facts do not matter, truth doesn’t matter, life doesn’t matter, and even the rule of law doesn’t matter. It is as if the world is being given over to a delusional spirit. Not unlike what Paul wrote:
“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).
Granted, we are not at that point yet. However, it is as if the world is being prepared and conditioned for antichrist. The adversary appears to be churning non-stop. His favorite targets, the Jews and the Christians, are dead set in the crosshairs. We believers are bombarded hourly with the unrelenting assault against our common senses, what is holy, and what God loves. The 24-hour news cycle is enough to poison our very souls to the core. There is a very real war being waged against YOU. An adversary of extraordinary power that was cunning enough to convince a multitude of an “innumerable company of angels” to rebel against Almighty God. What chance does this house of clay have against such a devil and his demons?
First let us understand who our enemy is. It is not the George Soros’s or [insert villain of the month here] of the world that are our enemies. To be sure, people can be scoundrels and influenced by demons, as well as acting accordingly as such. Paul tells us just who our foes are:
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
There is something vile and wicked numbered as a “Host” with the explicit goal to KILL and DESTROY you. We must be ever alert to this fact, brethren:
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Last I looked, being devoured by a lion sounds immensely unpleasurable. Peter wrote those words inspired by the Holy Spirit. Those words were not written to be a wordplay of poetics. He wrote them to be a CLEAR warning of a real threat. A threat that does not tire, does not sleep, and attacks us – mind, body, and soul – even when we are asleep.
Praise be to our Lord that He gave us His word. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
It is this WORD that sustains us “that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 8:3b).
When Jesus was tempted in the Judean wilderness, his weapon was the Word of God. “But He answered and said, ‘It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD'” (Matthew 4:4).
“Jesus said to him, ‘On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST'” (Matthew 4:7).
“Then Jesus *said to him, ‘Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY'” (Matthew 4:10).
On all three occasions, Jesus said, “It is written.” You see, Jesus who is fully God and fully human, in His humanity used the written Word of God to rebuke the devil. [Hint Hint] Do you think God is giving us a lesson here?
Are you being fed? Do you read God’s Word often enough?
By reading scripture, we have established that knowing God’s word is essential food as well as a two-edged sword. We all ought to be Bible students and in His word daily. It is there that we are preparing our spiritual muscles to be of useful service to the Kingdom. If we train hard to achieve success at work, or strive to advance in our career, why is it we do not train hard or strive to be better ambassadors of Christ? Brethren, I am not writing this to shame or guilt any of you. In fact, I am just as guilty myself, if not more. Paul tells us this about all scripture:
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
So, men and women of God. Are you equipped for every good work? Can you defend your faith to others? “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). Most importantly, to know the word of God is to truly know God Himself. Every word in the Bible points to one name and one person. The Lord Jesus Christ: “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Please turn off the 24-hour news cycle and crack those Bibles open! Get into HIS word! It will indeed prepare us all for what is coming.
Are you being fed? Are you in fellowship with other Bible-believing Christians?
As I started off with the chaos and woes of this fallen world, it is at a time like this that we need to rally to the challenge, and stake our lives on the Gospel message that we are commanded to share. You see, I might be some guy behind a keyboard, but more so, I am part of the same body as you (The body of Christ— the Church). If I fail my part and stumble, the entire body suffers:
“so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).
Of course, the head of the body is Christ. Paul here also displays the dependence we have on each other as well. One fact that is rather disconcerting is the fact that many of the body refuse to attend a church. I get it; I understand that many “so-called churches” are totally apostate, teach heresies, practice doctrines of demons, and bend to the will of man and not God. However, there are still a good amount of Bible-believing, God-fearing congregations out there. God commands us through scripture not to forsake the assembly. The author of Hebrews wrote:
“not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25).
Did you get that? “all the more as you see the day drawing near” Dear ones, current events might suggest that “the day is near.” As one myself, I forsook the assembly for nearly a decade. I can vehemently tell you that it wreaked havoc upon my life. As a sheep, I was isolated and easy prey for the wolves. And the wolves did indeed come. I slipped away into the life of a carnal Christian. Praise be to Our Lord the Good Shepherd for HIS faithfulness in that He left the 99 for the one.
Others might have left a solid fellowship because of offense. I am quite sure you all can attest to that. Other believers at times can treat you worse than unbelievers. Always strive to reconcile and sweep up your side of the street: “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering” (Matthew 5:23-24).
Dear ones, if you are not in a Bible-believing fellowship, I exhort you to endeavor to be. We all need fellowship and accountability. It also helps to sharpen our swords. “Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).
“An army marches on its stomach. To be effective, an army relies on good and plentiful food.”
Brethren, it is time we feast upon God’s word. Look at the news of the day. We are needed to serve this chaotic world. To be effective ambassadors of Christ, we MUST be well fed. Just as a soldier trains with a rifle, we must sharpen our sword (the Word of God). Paul (a REAL Apostle) left us a standing order to be prepared always to preach the word:
“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:1-5).
Sharpen those swords and gain discernment to know truth from myth. Question ALL teachings of men through the filter of scripture. Even Paul and Silas had to stand the test of the written word: “The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:10-11).
What did the Bereans do? Yes, they searched the scriptures daily. Shouldn’t we also do this? Especially in this present time of false teachers who are propagating destructive heresies. They mock God by fattening themselves off the sheep instead of feeding them.
Brethren, we are all one instant from either death or rapture. Are you ready? Are your lanterns filled with oil? The Bridegroom is coming soon. Do not let Him see His love letters to you (the Bible) sitting on the coffee table unopened…
And yet, the question remains. Are you being fed?