Having Done All
Past generations have witnessed those who love Christ and His Gospel standing against many and varied obstacles to them and their Lord. Church history provides a litany of courageous and faithful believers in the faith “once for all delivered to the saints” similar to that provided by the author of Hebrews in that books eleventh chapter. They were imprisoned, beheaded, hanged, and burned for the sake of Christ and the Gospel.
Recent Western Christianity knows relatively little of such things. The church of Jesus Christ has existed in an environment of safety and acceptance. Even those who disagree have accepted the church’s existence as necessary, although up until now they have had little choice.
That has all changed, and the harsh reality of resistance and persecution in the United States is upon us. While all the forms it will take are yet to come to light, it seems certain that following Christ will have troublesome and even dangerous consequences. And we know that if we are to be true to our Lord and His Word, we must prepare ourselves to stand. The question is, “Are you prepared to stand? Have you thought much about what it means to stand? Have you; are you making preparation?”
We must first stand in the love of Christ. Their is no place in the Kingdom for hateful, vindictive Christianity. “The love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit Who has been given unto us. The love of Christ constrains us…” We must love our enemies bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who despitefully use us and persecute us. This is how we show that we are children of the living God. As our brother John MacArthur has said; “If God had not loved His enemies, we would not be saved.”
In the second place, we must stand on the truth of Christ. Our love for Christ, His church, and our enemies flows out of our knowledge of God in His Word. Those who resist us and our testimony for Christ must see the love of Christ in us and here the Word of Christ from us. We can never deny Christ no matter what the cost. And what hope is there that our enemies will bow the knee to our Lord if we do not faithfully make Him known in every situation? We live our lives in the Word and fill our lives with the Word now so that when the time comes to stand, the Word flows from us like a spring.
In the third place, we must stand for the glory of Christ. Our purpose as the people of God is that in everything Christ will have the preeminence. And if this is to be so, we must realize that He will be glorified in the midst of seemingly contradictory circumstances. The wicked may seem to triumph, but their purposes cannot stand. We stand not on things as they seem but on the purposes of God, and our God has ordained that His purposes will be accomplished. As we stand in the love of Christ and on the Truth of Christ, our Lord will be glorified in us. We lay our comfort, our convenience, and our ambition at the feet of Jesus and live, stand, and die for His glory: and not with our own meager resources. “Therefore, take up all of God’s armor in order that you may be empowered to withstand in the day of evil, and having done all (having made all preparation) stand.” [Ephesians 6:13]
This is our calling. This is our joy. This is our hope.
In the love of Christ,