by Mike Ratliff
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, Ephesians 6:10-18 (NASB)
I have been in a state of mourning since the Democratic Primaries came down to only one candidate, Hillary Clinton while the Republican Primaries were taken over by Donald Trump. It soon became apparent that American voters were to have to choose between two very bad choices. The Democratic candidate was Hillary Clinton. She was a failed Secretary of State, a pathological liar, and corrupt in more ways than I can address here. The Republican candidate was Donald Trump, an egomaniac, very wealthy whose morals were very questionable. He also had no political experience whatsoever. The mourning was similar to that I experienced in 2008 when Barack Obama won the election. At that time I came to realize that his election coincided very dramatically with the drastic decline in the Christian worldview in our time and that God had taken His hand of protection away from this country. From that I deduced that judgment was coming.
However, this time, before the election, I could not grasp what was happening. If Hillary won I knew that she would be worse that Obama and would take this country even deeper into rebellion against God. I could not get a read on Trump. I knew that he was a playboy. I knew that he was immoral. I knew that he was a political outsider though and that intrigued me and I believe that caused many people fed up with Obama and the way things have gone that last several administrations to get behind him believing he would come to Washington and clean things up. I decided to go neutral. I would support neither one and pray for God’s will to be done and I would simply obey Him.
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 in 2008 we have seen what a Socialist leaning anti-American in the Oval Office can do if those in Congress won’t do anything to stand up to him. He did more harm in his 8 years than most of thought he would do. However, did God use this to get His people’s attention?
Well, Obama is almost gone. The Clintons are almost gone. The Bush family is almost gone. Those who thought they controlled the GOP have to change course and do business with Trump. We don’t know what is coming. 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 our leaders. We must pray that God will curb the evil that is planned by our enemies. 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 believe that God used Obama’s 8 years to cleanse the Church. I don’t think He is done. What should our role be in a time like this?
17 This I command you, that you love one another.
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. John 15:17-21 (NASB)
10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:10-16 (NASB)
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? 19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. 1 Peter 4:12-19 (NASB)
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. This could change at any time my brethren.
8 “And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God; 9 but he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him. 11 When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” Luke 12:8-12 (NASB)
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.
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. Let us pray that this new President will be used by God to stop this mass murder. 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 Donald Trump that you will bring him to repentance and salvation. I pray that that you will use Him to further your plan for this country 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!