The year was 1985. A TWA 727 had been hijacked in the Middle East. The Islamist hijackers had forced the flight crew, over a three-day period, to fly between Beirut and Algiers. Passengers were held hostage for two weeks. A US Navy diver passenger aboard the plane was shot and his body dumped on the tarmac in Beirut. The hijackers had a list of demands that included the releasing of 700 Shia militants held as prisoners in an Israeli security compound. The situation was at a stalemate for almost half a month.
The Pentagon, early on in the ordeal, issued a directive to send in the Delta Force to the region to, if need be, storm the aircraft, free the hostages and crew, and “dispatch” the hijackers. I was part of a USAF C-141 transport crew that was tasked with flying from Charleston AFB SC, to pick up that elite commando unit from Fort Bragg NC, and under cover of darkness, in the dead of night, secret them away across the Atlantic, down through the Mediterranean and into a staging point at Sigonella Air Base in Sicily. There, our crew stayed for two weeks with those guys in case they had to be transported to another locale in that region of the world. Fortunately for all involved, their services for that incident were not employed, and the situation was eventually resolved somewhat peacefully.
The Delta Force is a highly trained, very skilled group of service members, who at any time, can be covertly moved throughout the globe and put in harm’s way to try to quell a sudden uprising or hotspot, usually in an effort to secure the freedom of individuals held captive in a dire situation. Their lives are constantly on the line when the orders come from on high, putting them in a very compromising position to reach an almost “no other option” choice and to hopefully effect a positive outcome.
Those men on our flight were very tough-looking hombres, physically fit individuals, and had a determined, purposeful look about them. They were not open to small talk and probably sensed, as in most of their operations, that not all may make it back on the return trip to the US. Can you imagine living a life where yours is constantly on the line, never knowing what a day may bring, in the hopes of saving other lives?
A force can be a positive thing. We have police forces to protect citizens from harm, although recently, some on the left have ridiculously called for defunding some police units throughout the USA. The US Air Force is a military service branch that protects our country against threats from enemy aircraft invading our airspace and our bases overseas. A show of force is usually a military tool implemented to try to make an evildoer think twice before acting irrationally. There are forces for good, but conversely, there are forces of evil in this world.
You and I, as believers in Jesus, are members of the Body of Christ. His Holy Spirit indwells each true believer. We can be a force for good in this world with Christ abiding in us. Military groups like the Delta Force operate in a purely physical sense to hopefully ensure a positive outcome in their theater of operations. We, with Christ acting through us, make up His Alpha/Omega force, if you will, to make a difference in this world as we conduct our operations, both in the physical realm of life as well as in spiritual campaigns throughout the globe.
The Delta Force squads are comprised of both commissioned officers and enlisted men who have made themselves available to the country’s call of duty. As part of Christ’s body, we have been commissioned to carry His gospel throughout the world in hopes of saving the lost from a disastrous eternity. We are trained through the Word of God to be aware of the enemy’s tactics and are strategically maneuvered to be at the right place at the right time, as we are positioned by the Holy Spirit to attempt to rescue a lost soul from the enemy’s grasp.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 28:18-20: “All power is given unto me in Heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
This is what we have been commissioned to do. These are our orders from on high. And the last part of that commissioning is where we find ourselves today: “even unto the end of the world.” We are at the precise moment and time when things on this side of His soon 1,000-year Millennial reign are wrapping up. The world will soon be in the dark days of the Tribulation hour. We have been tasked with getting out the gospel just before the end of the Church Age.
Have you ever considered why we are here on this planet at this precise time, instead of maybe living during some other period over the past 2,000 years of the Church Age? We are here to see the finish and hopefully make a huge difference in the lives of those around us. It is exciting to think that we have been planned to have our existence take place in this world at this present time, but also, it is a huge responsibility on our shoulders to fulfill our role now in His ranks. We must be a force for good, especially now, as we see end-time events starting to jump from off the pages of scripture and land squarely on the globe around us in these exact days and times that we are living in.
But the enemy, Satan, and his contingent of fallen angels comprise the forces of evil and are hell-bent to see that we are not successful in our attempts to save people for Christ. He has most of the people of this world right where he wants them: blinded from the truth of the Gospel and firmly on their way to an eternity without Christ. His forces will throw up a gauntlet in every direction we turn to try to witness to others the love of God and how Jesus went to the cross for their sins. He is not very appreciative of our efforts to try to win the lost. In these end times, he is pulling out his complete arsenal of spiritual weapons to impede our mission.
But Jesus again confirms to us in His Great Commission that He is with us unto the end of the world. In 1 John 4:4, we also read that the One who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. His force for good triumphs over the enemy’s forces of evil. As we see the world around us getting darker with each passing day, it appears that not only are we drawing ever closer to the start of that dreadful last seven years of end-time events, but that Satan and his forces seem to be running completely roughshod across the planet. But ultimately, it is Christ and His forces that will triumph, and we will be co-heirs with Him and His creation.
So, will we go out in a blaze of glory – “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14) – or just sit on the sidelines and watch it all transpire without reaching out to a lost soul?
I remember a sermon I heard years ago from the late Adrian Rogers. He tells of a father and his little girl looking at a painting in a museum depicting a rescue boat getting ready to help people out of the tempestuous waves of a roaring ocean after their vessel had capsized. The little girl, seeing one of the men in the boat extending his hand to a person in the water, asks her father if the man is trying to save them or to just shake their hand.
We have been put here in this world, at this particular time, to be a force for good. Christ wants us to reach out to a lost and dying world with the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We know and sense that the time is at hand for when Christ will call his Body of Believers out of this world and for prophesied end-times events to unfold. Many souls are lost, and only a few, relatively speaking, will make it into Heaven.
While these are exciting times to be alive – because we know what is coming – it is also a bit disconcerting to know that not all our friends or loved ones are going to make it. They will be here enduring suffering after the Church is removed, and some will wind up in a Christ-less eternity.
We can each make a difference. Praying for our lost family members or unsaved friends; reaching out to them in an email, a phone call, a text or even a letter to inform them what lies ahead and how to avoid it; writing an article like this or on other topics in the hopes that people will see it and heed its warning; leaving Bible tracts where people can find them; or even inviting them to your local church worship service and praying the Holy Spirit will inspire them to take the free gift of salvation that only Christ has to offer.
Let us be a force for good. Let us make an impact for the Kingdom of God. Let us bring souls with us. Reach out and grab onto someone’s hand and rescue them from the fate that they would otherwise have to endure. Time is short. We are here for a reason. We must do what we are called to do. We have to live out the Great Commission. Christ could have called us home immediately after our conversion, but we were left here to further His Kingdom. He left His Body of Believers here to thwart the enemy’s desire to ruin as many lives as he could.
When we flew the Delta Force guys into Sigonella, our crew was ushered into a room, and we were forced to sign a non-disclosure form. We were ordered by a Major at the base not to discuss who we had just flown in. We could not tell loved ones or friends about the group of guys that were now in striking distance of the enemy.
The Lord’s Great Commission is somewhat opposite of that. We are to go out into the world with the news of the gospel. We are not to hide our light under a basket. The Lord is with us; He is watching us. Conversely, the enemy is also watching. He is not unaware of our attempts to get people saved. The more of an impact that you are making, the more that he will attempt to trip you up. IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) of doubt and discouragement will be laid before you. Grenade launchers of ridicule and scorn will be fired your way by family members and friends who will be whispered to by the enemy to stop you in your tracks. Timed explosives will be set off at just the right time to try to derail any good intentions that you are attempting to carry out.
These types of things do upset us and totally blindside us at times. They can render us immobile and not effective at all in witnessing to people. But we our told not to be ignorant of his devices. We are on a mission, and the enemy’s goal is to subvert that. Let us not faint from what we are to carry out. The end is near, and glory awaits. That does not mean that it will not get painful during the time left. But any suffering endured now cannot compare to the glory that awaits us.
You might be the only person that can present the gospel to a particular individual. Maybe they have never been exposed to it before by anyone else, and maybe no one else after you will come their way. You could be the difference-maker.
Let us be about the Lord’s business. Join forces with your brothers and sisters in Christ to offer a lifeline to those who are perishing. Steal away from the enemy what he thinks is now his. Storm his strongholds with prayer. Secure the freedoms of those around you. And when Christ ultimately returns to this planet, you will be included in His host and forces and will witness Jesus dispatching the enemy with the “spirit of His mouth and the brightness of His coming” (2 Thessalonians 2:8).
“And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the World” (Matthew 28:20).