It is not easy living as a Christian in the world on a normal day. It is much harder doing so in days that have quickly become anything but normal! We Christians face all of the same heightened challenges, adversities and hardships as our unsaved neighbors here in America and abroad during the current global Coronavirus pandemic. In a biblical worldview, our understanding of how and why such things are happening and intimate relationship with the Almighty God ultimately behind them are supposed to help us cope better than most.1 However, as hoarding toilet paper says much about the nation’s character, so the constant exhortation not to fear from preachers about that of Christians.
This is especially amazing to me since so many Christians profess to fearlessly believe in a sudden “rapture” that if it were to happen as imagined, would be an event so jarring to their families and others left behind in the world there would be no repentance or recovery in this Protestant version of purgatory, only fatal despair. As bad as it is at this point, we Christians are still here en masse and will be until death by whatever means or Christ’s unexpected sensory overloading appearance to deliver His persecuted remnant yet alive in a calloused, wonder weary world fully given over to evil. This is as the Bible objectively read and applied foretells (2 Thessalonians 1:3-12)!
As authentic faith in God has always been required of His righteous ones on any day to successfully resist the devil’s “fiery darts” that include fear, strength will be equally required to stand fast through all of what is coming upon the world going forward (1 Corinthians 16:13; Ephesians 6:16, NKJV).2 Human beings do not naturally possess the spiritual strength necessary to long endure and persevere through prolonged hardships, adversities, troubles and tribulations that are common to our life experience on earth much less the cataclysmic events foretold in His Word that God in His timing is bringing upon the world as the birth pains of His Kingdom.
Praise be to God He has built the availability of His strength into the human experience expressly for those in relationship with Him as redeemed sons, disciples and servants by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:14-16)! Drawing upon and living moment by moment out of the superior strength God by the Holy Spirit supplies to our spirit is our normative experience by design. We were made to be indwelt by God forever, but sin caused separation from Him (that is, spiritual death) to be mankind’s shared reality (Ephesians 2:1). Taking the initiative, God in Christ has restored His life and strength to us who believe in Him (John 10:10; Colossians 1:9-14).
The strength of God is without contest supernatural as is all of biblical Christianity and unique to Him. Out of His inexhaustible omnipotence God through Christ created and sustains the heavens and the earth for us, His eternal sons, assembled to Him and Christ as Lord--every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in His image (Isaiah 45:11-13; Colossians 1:15-23)!3 This same power as His strength is constantly renewed in us as we by faith purposely wait on the Lord for and actively seek it in times of need (Isaiah 40:27-31; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10). We are to even gain a bold faith in Christ from being repeatedly strengthened by Him (Philippians 4:13; 2 Timothy 4:16-18).
Through the supernatural strength our God supplies us then, we are more than amply equipped to please Him and do His will; to cope with the everyday trials of life and those more severe that come suddenly which at first glance seem to be overwhelming. Nevertheless, through His strength we are enabled to stand if we keep our heads and call on Him in faith; not giving into unbelief and the fear that somehow what we face is bigger than God. As it is written, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” And again, “For with God nothing will be impossible,” (Genesis 18:14a; Luke 1:37, NKJV). And since by the Word of prophecy we have known and know what God is up to and what is coming upon the world, we are all the more ready for extraordinary events that occur (Mark 13:23).
Indeed, as our Lord warned, far worse events to include the global persecution of Christians on the earth and in the heavens that have never taken place before are coming (Luke 21:7-12, 25-28). Are we already fainting in fear with this Coronavirus? As He taught in the Gospels and shows in His Revelation He recently led me to write about,4 Christ expects us to proclaim the Gospel and witness Him until He returns; persevering to the end in strength, obedience to His Word and loyalty to Him (Luke 21:13-19; Revelation 3:8, 11). Therefore, in faith and with “this treasure” of the Spirit of life and strength in us, let us like the faithful apostles and saints before and around us overcome this world and its ruler as well as ace the tests to doubt God through fear (2 Corinthians 4:6-11; 1 John 4:4).5
1 Taking Bible prophecy seriously as we ought, no Christian should be shocked at the increasingly severe events in our world. See my September 29, 2019 post, God
Almighty In A 21st Century World, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
2 For more on standing fast in the times, read my November 25, 2018 post, Standing In The Evil Day, under the category, Encouragement.
3 I write about the aspiring strong man and great woman of God in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. Get a print copy or digital download of the book
at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital only). You can also get a print copy in the Strong Man Store.
4 See the two-part post beginning February 16, 2020, Christ’s Message To His Faithful, under the categories, Bible Prophecy and Encouragement.
5 The Lord led me to proclaim a timely six message series, The Hour Of Testing, now available in the Strong Man Store that instructs Christians on God’s biblically taught
purposes behind why He tests His people and fully explores the prophetic implications tied to the coming hour of trial our Lord speaks of in Revelation 3:10.
The righteous are only ever trouble to religionists when they refuse to indulge selfish motives with them in sin, go along to get along tolerating or covering up evil or corrupting and compromising the clear teaching and truth of God’s Word applied to every situation! In consequence, as I have experienced, religionists will even lie on God’s faithful stewards and misconstrue their words (Amos 7:10-11).3 Already an outsider “for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:8, NKJV),4 because of such treachery I am an exiled Pastor too! Historically, religionists have also physically assaulted and murdered faithful stewards while deceitfully claiming to serve the same Master (John 16:1-4; Revelation 17:1-6).
Nevertheless, in accord with my calling, gifts and ministry I am not silent; proclaiming God’s will, way and Word as it is written because this is the example of every faithful Old Testament prophet, the Lord Jesus Christ, His apostles and prophets in the New! They did not shrink back from speaking truth to their religious antagonists because it was their stewardship responsibility from God (Luke 11:37-54). Opposition from religionists is not the fault of the righteous that stand up to and cry out against their wickedness. Religionists are at fault since they willfully choose to oppose God who knows their hearts and His plainly written eternally standing Word as the Lord taught (Luke 16:15-18).
Contrary to the convenient misapplication of Scripture actually intended for corrupt religionists concerning what to do with “those who cause divisions,” (Romans 16:17-18, NKJV), God expects His faithful stewards to speak up and out about sin. Paul did so with Peter who did not resist him (Galatians 2:11-21). Yet, loud and prolonged quarreling is not the Lord’s will. If submission to the Word is not forthcoming as is typical with proud religionists (Luke 16:19-31), then, the righteous without giving ground and continuing to faithfully teach gives them over to God if He might bring them to repentance, knowledge of the truth and deliverance from Satan’s control (2 Timothy 2:24-26).
During my Christian journey to date, I have painfully been aware of many men in the churches that with proud religious leaders have not chosen to make the Lord Jesus their Master to serve Him alone. If it is not the love of money that prevents this, it is wife, children, parents, siblings, friends and self invested in personal vanity, job, recreation, hobbies, cars, yards and social clubs to include the local church which is seen and treated as such; differing from those secular only in that it gives a man the outward appearance of being religious and dispatching some duty to God in his attendance, practice of traditions and involvement. To be sure, many of these men are deceived and not saved!
In defiance of Scripture, such men are impossibly attempting to be saved by keeping religious traditions and doing church works (Romans 3:9-31; Ephesians 2:8-9). Religious leadership--many not saved themselves, wickedly insist the men obey them as wise masters in their deadly deceit as they exploit them for their money and labor (Mark 7:1-23).5 A smaller number of other men are saved, but make very little progress in spiritual maturity for lack of instruction in sound doctrine and biblical manhood. They never sell out completely to the Lord as Master of their lives because they do not know it is required of them as religious leadership demands to be served as master instead.
A still smaller number of men in local churches ruled by religionists are more serious about the Lord, but for lack of a made up mind wholly given over to serve Him are torn between two masters. While the other master can be anyone or thing of those already stated, it is typically the local church and the religious requirement of leadership to be more faithful to them in service and doctrine than to the Lord--His will, way and Word as it is written! My heart has gone out to these men over the years many of whom have been dear brothers and personal friends because as others of old, their torn state is filled with fear of their religious leaders and secrecy (John 7:13, 9:13-22, 12:42-43, 19:38-39). They need repentance and courage to serve Him alone from the Lord if they are willing!6
While I too, have had a few moments over the years when fear of religious consequences have caused me to be careful of what I said and to whom I said it, I have sought the Lord for the courage needed to follow His example and that of His apostles as faithful stewards of God. Absent the Holy Spirit leading, controlling and empowering them, the disciples all ran away in fear at first in the face religious men (Mark 14:43-50). After their new birth, however, they became courageous, sold out to and stood firm as apostles and faithful stewards of Jesus Christ, their Master (Acts 4:1-22, 5:17-42). If a man has been truly born again and loves the Lord, he is never to be torn between two masters. He is loyal to Christ as his Master alone and true to His Word (Acts 4:19-20, 5:27-29)!7
3 And no wonder since they lie on God too saying, ‘“The Lord says,’” but He had not spoken (Ezekiel 13:6-7, NKJV)!
4 Truly, how can one that is a faithful born again believer in Jesus Christ and member of His Church universal ever be an “outsider” to any professed Christian local
church where He is really honored as Lord? Sin in all of its forms, unbiblical, cliquish membership requirements and nepotism through Christianity as manmade reli-
gion forces Christ and His faithful stewards to be outsiders (Colossians 2:16-23; 1 Timothy 4:1-5; Hebrews 13:9-13; Revelation 3:20)!
5 How wise really are these men since they reject and refuse to obey God’s Word as it is written? Consequently, His judgment of them is just (Jeremiah 8:8-12)!
6 The Lord calls you to repent from fear of sinful men, unwillingness to stand on the truth of His Word as it is written not as it is corrupted to accommodate religious a-
gendas or suffer as He and all of the saints before and around us! Too, He would have you repent from divided loyalties and double mindedness (James 1:5-8, 4:
7-10). If the Lord is Lord, then serve Him as Master remembering religious leaders did not die for nor do they have a Heaven or Hell to put you in. If to you Jesus is
not Lord, why torment yourself trying futilely as He taught to serve two masters? Understand though, that rejection of Jesus as Master leads to no good end now or
in the day of accountability (Matthew 7:21-23, 10:16-39, 12:30).
7 This is the heart of every aspiring strong man and great woman of God I write about in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. Get a print copy or digi-
tal download of the book at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital only). You can also get a print copy
in the Strong Man Store.
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