What a day we are living in!
In these last days, people are coming out of the woodwork to stand up for things that the Bible clearly tells us are an abomination to God. And what is the most nauseating about all of this is that among those standing up for these things are people who claim to be Christians and are members of the churches we attend.
So where do you stand where God and the Bible are concerned? Are you on God’s side, or have you taken sides with the enemy? You can’t play on both teams at the same time; you have to make a choice.
I have personally been involved in the local church for more than fifty years, and I must say that I have never seen so many compromising Christians as I do today. I am now witnessing so called Christians who not only refuse to stand up for what God says, but instead openly rebel against it. And interestingly, they still want full privileges of being in the Kingdom of God, including receiving healing, favor, prosperity and more, all while they live in open defiance to the God of this Kingdom and His Word.
As I was thinking on these things, I remembered when Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, (which were their real names – they were given pagan names by Nebuchadnezzar)), were forced into a situation to either bow to the idol Nebuchadnezzar set up, or burn in a diabolical fiery furnace.
“16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” Daniel 3:16-18 KJV
Something that must not be forgotten here is that God brings great deliverance to those who do not retreat from the standards of God’s Word. These three men were thrown into the fiery furnace, but the Lord delivered them from all harm. And they were delivered so astoundingly, that they didn’t even have the smell of smoke on them (see Daniel 3:24-25, 27).
There are far too many in the Church today who would simply bow down as soon as the threat of the furnace was mentioned. Would you?
“12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them.” 2 Timothy 3:12-14 NASU
In our case in these last days, persecution is the most predominant fiery furnace that we face. Yet as the Bible reveals to us throughout the book of Acts, persecution does more to build the Church than it does to destroy it. Stupid devil!
Of course, you are going to be persecuted for your faith. You might as well settle that right now. And your family and friends, as well as some of your Twitter, Instagram and Facebook “friends and followers” are going to explode when you stand up for what Jesus says and what the Bible declares. Are your prepared for that? If not, why not?
Someday you are going to have to decide whether or not you are more interested in being popular with Jesus or the world. And like it or not, I am convinced that today is the day that you are going to have to make this decision.
Even though some people will give up and run away if someone makes fun of them for their biblical stance, doesn’t mean you should be a coward too. Instead, develop a godly backbone and stand up strong for what God says in His Word. It is time to take a firm stand and determine that retreating is no longer an option.
“17 All this has come upon us, but we have not forgotten You, And we have not dealt falsely with Your covenant. 18 Our heart has not turned back, And our steps have not deviated from Your way.” Psalm 44:17-18 NASU
Even though these people were under all sorts of pressure, they would not retreat and turn back from fully following the Lord. Instead, they remained faithful to God’s Word and would not take a single step outside of the Way of the Lord.
“2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:2-4 KJV
Every time you choose to surrender to the spirit of antichrist, you have chosen defeat in that area of your life. Instead, you must learn to yield and obey the Greater One inside you. Because the Greater One will lead you into victory even when persecution is all around you.
It is when you make God’s enemies your enemies, that He will make His victories your victories. Because the level of commitment you have to God’s holy standards, His Word, His Ways, and to the things of God, will determine the amount of victory you will experience.
Being totally committed to follow God and choosing never to retreat in the hard places of life are paramount characteristics of spiritual champions.