by Mike Ratliff
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,(Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV)
I have been in a state of mourning since the Democratic Primaries came down to only two candidates, Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama. I had little confidence in any of the Republican contenders after Ron Paul dropped out. I was not sure for a while what really triggered this mourning. It was as I realized that this coincided very dramatically with the drastic decline in the Christian worldview in our time that God has taken His hand of protection away from this country. Judgment is coming.
A careful reading of the book of Judges in the Old Testament makes it clear that it is God who raises up and takes down leaders. God uses evil or unrighteous judges and leaders to bring His righteous judgment to bear on a people. With the victory of Barak Obama yesterday all of the dread about what would happen to this country if an ultra-liberal came to power seems about to become reality. Count on it that this man will appoint unrighteous Supreme Court justices. He will lubricate things so that liberal legislation will become law like the Freedom of Choice Act. Preaching or teaching God’s moral truth will be considered a hate crime.
What now? What are we to do who belong to the Lamb of God? We must remain in a state of mourning for this country. We must never stop praying for the repentance of those who are in darkness. We must pray for the salvation of Barak Obama. We must pray that God will curb the evil that is planned by him and his supporters. We must also pray for each other that we will be strong in the Lord, bold in Him, as we stand firm and trust that we are in God’s hands.
I am convinced that what is coming will cleanse the Church. What should our role be in a time like this?
These things I command you, so that you will love one another. “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. (John 15:17-21 ESV)
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:10-16 ESV)
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. (1 Peter 4:12-19 ESV)
What I read here tells me that we are to continue to do good. We are to stand firm against evil, preach the truth, and look at the resulting persecution as part of our partaking of Christ’s suffering. If we will do this then we will be persecuted. The Bible promises this. Back in the late 1980’s I was in a Bible study with some fellow Deacons. We were studying 1 Peter. When we came to 4:12-19 there was not one of us who could testify of ever being persecuted for our faith. The little bit of suffering for my faith that I have experienced has been exclusively verbal or written abuse. That is about to change my brethren.
“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” (Luke 12:8-12 ESV)
We are in God’s hands my brethren. It is vital that we remember this because we live in an anti-Christian culture. When I was a young man, there was a huge push to do away with all forms of religion as having any say in anything. However, what we have now is secular humanism blended with a counterfeit form of Christianity called the ‘emergent’ church. This pseudo-religion sees all other religions as equal except Biblical Christianity. Have you seen how the Islamic clerics are pushing the Roman Catholic Church to seek areas where both religions have common ground? This can only be for blending them into one.
If we obey our Lord and stand firm in the armor He provides then we will find ourselves in a very hot battle in this culture. It has been verbal and written so far, however, now things are going to get serious. Those who will look the other way as our rights are taken away and persecution comes will only be concerned about maintaining their financial stability and way of life. After all, wasn’t it the economy that was the tipping point that laid it all out there for Barak Obama?
Sources such as this blog and Christian Radio and the pulpits in our churches will come under the scrutiny of those in control who hate the light. I do not know how all of this is going to pan out. All I know is that we have clear instructions from God. We must immerse ourselves in the Word of God. We must apply Romans 12:1-2 to our lives daily. We must be ready to give an account. We must never stop mourning for the lost as we pray for our President and his people that God will break through and bring them to repentance and salvation. We must never stop praying to God that He will curb the evil that is going to come.
We cannot stand by and do nothing as the unborn are killed by the millions. I cannot think of these things without weeping my brethren. Do not be surprised when our numbers seem to shrink as those who love their lives here refuse to take a stand. God is cleansing and purifying the Church.
Oh, my Lord! We have sinned! We have taken You for granted. We have seen our easy life here in America as our due. We have not stood in the gap in mourning for the moral bankruptcy of our country and our fellow professing Christians. We have shrunk from offending others and so neglected Church discipline. Oh please forgive us Lord. I pray for Barak Obama that you will bring him to repentance and salvation. I pray that the evil that is planned for this country will be curbed by your grace by your great power. Fill us with your Spirit and give us the resolve and courage to stand firm and do good even to those who hate us. Thy will be done!
Soli Deo Gloria!