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A Falling Away

August 3, 2012

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition…” – II Thess. 2:3

I’m not here to hazard any guesses as to Armageddon, or to the Rapture, or to the Final Judgment. I’m here only to write of what I do know: and what I know is dire enough. I know that as I look at the world around me, I am shocked and appalled at the depths to which it has sunk; and quite frankly, I find myself disgusted with a society that I once beheld with pride. I see so many people – plain, everyday ordinary people – that we pass on the street, work with, are friends with, and assume to be decent, caring, compassionate people, who rabidly attack those brave few who dare to stand up for their faith; ironically screaming ‘intolerance’ while they demonstrate….well, a very great intolerance. No doubt everyone’s mind will go immediately to the recent Chick-fil-A® fiasco, where the owner of the franchise, when asked where he stood – Biblically – on the issue of gay marriage, answered simply and directly according to the dictates of his faith. But see, in today’s world, his faith – your faith and my faith – doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that we disapprove of homosexuality – not homosexuals themselves; a good Christian hates the sin but loves the sinner. Our Christian beliefs, grounded in scripture, have become the bane of ‘civilized’ society: they hold you accountable in a world where nobody wants accountability; because everything we stand for, they seem to stand against. And if you think about it, we were carefully warned to watch for this very thing. The day of a relentless persecution of Christians isn’t coming…it’s already here.

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matt. 7:13-14) You know, it really seems that the ‘broad way’ is becoming ever so much more crowded these days. Why? Because people are losing focus on what the ‘narrow way’ really is. The world today believes it’s enough to be ‘tolerant’ (though they make a mockery of the word), and that so long as you are ‘enlightened’ you can live a life of ‘truth’. But Christ said: “I am the way, the Truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) So that means those living without Christ are lost, living a lie, and in reality, not really ‘living’ at all.
You want to be angry at these people who attack us, who berate us, who treat us as if we are unfeeling monsters when all we want to do is save them; but the truth is that they don’t warrant our anger…but they deserve our pity. Hard to hold on to, I know, when you see them screaming abuse at an innocent Christian, but true all the same.

So, what do we do? If a falling away is certain, do we sit back and let it happen? Is it useless to fight against a prophesied and predetermined event? I, for one, refuse to believe that. What we need to do, I believe, is fight all the harder. We need to suit up in the ‘whole armour of God’ and get out there on the front lines, matching the devil toe-to-toe. We need to preach, push, plead, and pursue with tenacity and righteous zeal. Let it not be said that on our watch, the ‘falling away’ went down without a fight; let it not be said that we did not serve our God with all our hearts and souls and minds. Let it not be said that we lacked dedication, commitment, or faith.

So this day, I ask everyone to prayerfully consider what it is that we – both as a church and as individuals – can do to further spread God’s word, and to expand His kingdom. What can we do to make a bigger difference? And keep in mind that those who would stand against us, or resist us, are not the enemy: they are captives needing liberation, and it is our job to set them free. Remember where the real battle lies: “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”; and that to fight, we must “take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Eph. 6:12-13)

So, then church, let us stand.

Be blessed,

Joshua

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