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"Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7
Girding up for War - Confronting the spirit of antichrist!
Eric Metaxas is the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Bonhoeffer, and many other books, including Is Atheism Dead?, Martin Luther, Amazing Grace, and Letter to the American Church. Mataxas, a graduate of Yale University, is an American author, speaker, and conservative radio host. He has written three biographies, Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery about William Wilberforce, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World, If You Can Keep it, Fish Out of Water: A Search for the Meaning of Life and Letter to the American Church.
In his most recent and provocative book, Letter to the American Church, Metaxas asks, "Can it really be God’s will that His children be silent at a time like this? Decrying the cowardice that masquerades as godly meekness, Eric Metaxas summons the Church to battle.
"The author of a bestselling biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Metaxas reveals the haunting similarities between today’s American Church and the German Church of the 1930s. Echoing the German martyr’s prophetic call, he exhorts his fellow Christians to repent of their silence in the face of evil.
"An attenuated and unbiblical “faith” based on what Bonhoeffer called “cheap grace” has sapped the spiritual vitality of millions of Americans. Paying lip service to an insipid “evangelism,” they shrink from combating the evils of our time. Metaxas refutes the pernicious lie that fighting evil politicizes Christianity. As Bonhoeffer and other heroes of the faith insisted, the Church has an irreplaceable role in the culture of a nation. It is our duty to fight the powers of darkness, especially on behalf of the weak and vulnerable.
"Silence is not an option. God calls us to defend the unborn, to confront the lies of cultural Marxism, and to battle the globalist tyranny that crushes human freedom. Confident that this is His fight, the Church must overcome fear and enter the fray, armed with the spiritual weapons of prayer, self-sacrifice, and love." (see Eric Metaxas.com - Letter to the American Church)
Here is a 'must watch' interview by pastor Gary Hamrick, Cornerstone Chapel, Leesburg, Virginia, as pastor Hamrick and Eric Metaxas discuss how the Church (Christians) must respond to the spreading evil of the spirit of the antichrist which is in the world now.
Jesus spoke on these matters more succinctly than anyone, past or present. Hear what Jesus tells us is the ways to confront evil in our day:
WHY DID JESUS COME INTO THE WORLD?
1. TO TESTIFY TO THE TRUTH
John 18:37 “Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this purpose I have been born, and for this I have come into the world: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.”
2. TO BRING A SWORD
Matthew 10:34, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Verse 35, For I came to TURN A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; verse 36, and A PERSON’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD."
3. TO FULFILL THE LAW
Matthew 5:17 “Do not presume that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill the Law and the Prophets."
4. TO CALL SINNERS
Mark 2:17 "And hearing this, Jesus *said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
5. TO SAVE THE WORLD
John 12:47 "If anyone hears My teachings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world."
6. TO CAST FIRE & BRING DIVISION UPON THE EARTH
Luke 12:49 “I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! Verse 50, But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Verse 51, Do you think that I came to provide peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather to create division; "
“WHAT HE REALLY MEANT?”
Jesus has told us, in John 14:12, “Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I am going to the Father. Verse 13. And whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. Verse 14. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”
I have heard so many preachers, bible teachers and detractors alike, try to justify or explain away these Words of Jesus because they just cannot fathom the gentle and sweet ‘dashboard Jesus’ saying such things as we find in the verses cited. These same confused preachers really get tied in a knot over John 14:12. They will begin their commentary of teaching it with, “what this really means is...”.
Jesus said what He meant and meant exactly what He said. He is our model for our counter cultural resistance to the growing global threat of Communist-Marxist-Globalism, And we need to get on with it.
Jesus’ time on earth was spent fulfilling the purpose, and will of His Father (Matthew 5:19, Matthew 5:39). Jesus was on a singular mission (John 6 :38) and nothing would stand in the way of accomplishing that mission: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Jesus had a divine appointment with a cruel Roman cross. Read what He said when Peter proposed to get in the way of His mission:
Matthew 16:21- 23, “From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.”But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”
We do not literally have an appointment with a crucifixion, but, the Bible is clear in Galatians 5:24, that "Those who belong to Christ Jesus crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." and again in Galatians 2:20, the Apostle Paul reminds us that, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." which must be true for all who follow Jesus because we are on mission with Jesus. Our 'old self' must die so our new selves can follow and serve Him.
Jesus always, taught the Will of His Father, then, demonstrated what He taught. He expects us to do the same. Ephesians, chapter six, gives us a clear teaching and picture of the type of preparation and the kind of resolve we are to assume.
Ephesians 6:10-17, tells us, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 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. 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. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; 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. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Stand, i. e. continue safe and sound, stand unharmed: Acts 26:22.
Stand ready or prepared: Ephesians 6:14. One who does not hesitate, does not waver, of one who vanquishes his adversaries and holds the ground, also of one who in the midst of the fight holds his position against the foe, to persist, continue, persevere: (so as not to fall from thy faith).
Jesus’ example of steadfast, unmovable courage; this is our example and our command to do the same:
CONFRONTING THE STORM
Mark 4:35-41, “On that day, when evening came, He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”
Luke 8:26-33 “Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. And when He came out onto the land, He was met by a man from the city who was possessed with demons; and who had not put on any clothing for a long time, and was not living in a house, but in the tombs. Seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me.” For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had seized him many times; and he was bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard, and yet he would break his bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert. And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him. They were imploring Him not to command them to go away into the abyss.
“Now there was a herd of many swine feeding there on the mountain; and the demons implored Him to permit them to enter the swine. And He gave them permission. And the demons came out of the man and entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.”
CONFRONTING GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
John 19:8-12 ”Therefore when Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid; and he entered into the Praetorium again and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar.”
BEFORE THE RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENT
Matthew 24:57-67, “Those who had seized Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together. But Peter was following Him at a distance as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and entered in, and sat down with the officers to see the outcome.
"Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death. They did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward, 61 and said, “This man stated, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days.’” The high priest stood up and said to Him, “Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?” But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus *said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy; what do you think?” They answered, “He deserves death!” Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him.”
Jesus did not draw back. (He proceeded boldly to the Cross and secured our salvation!) We must not draw back. Jesus has all authority in heaven and on the earth and is with us until the end!
Remember, Jesus came to earth for these stated reasons – and these same reasons are our method and our calling:
TO TESTIFY TO THE TRUTH. We are to testify to the truth!
TO BRING A SWORD. We are to bring the sword of the Word of God!
TO FULFILL THE LAW. We are to fulfill the same law!
TO CALL SINNERS. We are to call sinners!
TO SAVE THE WORLD through Jesus. In a very real sense, this, too, is our calling, by lifting the Name of Jesus, telling others and leading them to Him
TO CAST FIRE & BRING DIVISION UPON THE EARTH. This, too, is our calling! The Word of God is a stumbling block to those who do not believe, dividing A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; (Matthew 10:35-36)
Dear Brothers and Sisters, this is not hyperbole, a philosophy or metaphor. Now is the time to gird ourselves up with the full armor of God and follow our Lord, the King of Kings into battle.
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 and must be fought with Spiritual Armament!
Your Brother and Friend,