"And what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthah; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens." - Hebrews 11:32-34
Solomon twice said: "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man." (Proverbs 6:10/Proverbs 24:33) Has this unfortunate verse been fulfilled in our day? I believe what can best sum up the Church of North America is his words "a little folding of the hands to rest". Harmless it seems, yet with deadly consequences. Solomon was speaking of farmers... could we, Christians of all people, afford to ignore this spiritual warning? Shall we again read the Bible and then roll like a hinge on our beds of comfort and ease? How much longer can we safely ignore the warning signs? With much grief I say, poverty has already struck us like a robber. We are laid low in the dust!
Woe and behold! Strength has left us wretched, poor, blind and naked! Does no one see the city is in ruins? An army has already invaded us, dashed our babies on the ground, broken our teeth, scattered our loved ones... and we are so deluded we don't even know we are defeated!? How can we go to church Sunday upon Sunday and pretend all is well? There are more lost people today in the world than ever before in the history of mankind... and at the same time there is less love for God in the Church, less thought for holiness amongst men, less truth being taught to children than ever before, and more people embracing the most ungodly behavior to ever chance this side of eternity.
Christian, do you entertain yourself with violence and sex? Think about that which you are doing! Do you conform to the pattern of this world? Christian, do you die to self or 'self' yourself to death? Conformity, compromise... what about courage and character?
Dear friends, the men of old, Gideon, David, Samuel..., did not receive the promise of God, but in fact, what has been given to us (the new covenant promise) greatly exceeds anything those men ever dreamed of! "And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us..." (Hebrews 11:38-39) So what excuse to we have? We have been entrusted far more than Romans 1:20, and that is a frightful thought. I ask again, what excuse do we have?
We MUST have an attitude change. There is no other option. The time has come for Christians at ease in Zion to acknowledge their folly and sin, and repent, turning to God for chastising and restoring. We must repent, there is no other way. We must humble ourselves and admit that we know practically nothing of being filled with the Holy Spirit, because we know nothing at all of dying to ourselves. Death to self = being filled with the Spirit of God. It is by the Spirit of the living God that we can overcome the power of sin and the corruption of darkness in this world. The ultimate question is not whether it is possible, but whether we are willing for it to happen, which is where the difficulty lies. I fear we are no longer a willing people (Psalm 110:3).
John Wesley said: "Give me men who love nothing but God and hate nothing but sin." Rise up, men of God! Be done with lesser things. There is a battle to be won, there is a Kingdom to advance, there is a darkness to destroy...