Speaking where the bible speaks, and silent where the bible is silent.

Archive for Nov. 17, 2012

The Heroes of God

When I consider all the soldiers of the world who have fought in battles, and the many who have died for their country, I am amazed. Amazed how one can sacrifice their life so that others might live. Those who have fought valiantly and return are given medals and honor, and those who die valiantly are regarded as fallen heroes.

Yet I am more amazed at the servants of God who lay down their life for God’s Word. These are the silent heroes who preach and teach God’s Word. These are the ones who speak in the name of the Lord for no other reason, but to seek and save the lost.

The bible describes some of these kind of heroes in great detail, who are our example of greatness today. Let us look at a few of God’s Soldiers.

The Patriarchs & Matriarchs

Men like Abraham, who was called a friend of God, was a great soldier of the Lord. His faith is enough to inspire nations. Men like Moses who lead the children of Israel out of Egypt who put his life in harms way to save his countrymen. Women like Sarah who gave birth when she was 90 years old, giving birth to a nation. Women like Esther who saved her people by marrying the King in a day when Israel was in captivity.

The Prophets

Prophets like Elijah who stood alone against Jezebel, and her 450 false prophets exemplify what heroism is all about. Daniel, who withstood the face of lions, and the Hebrew children who withstood a fiery furnace instead of bowing down to the King’s image. To Prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah who foretold of the coming of the Lord, yet never got to see that day, and to all the prophets who have spoken in the name of the Lord, and laid down their their life for God, this world was truly not worthy of their presence.

The Apostles & Early Day Christians

Men like Stephen who was stoned to death for preaching God’s Word, and James who was cut asunder for the name of Christ, honor is due. Apostles like John who was cast on the Isle of Patmos, to Peter and Andrew who were made into fishers of men, Christ’s apostles gave all to serve the Lord. The apostle Paul was second to none in suffering for Christ. His heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel was that they might be saved, who when they rejected turned his heart to the Gentiles. Rom 10:1f; Acts 28:28 He fought the good fight of faith, and he won beyond measure. 2 Tim 4:8 To Aquila and Priscilla who worshiped the Lord at home, and to women like Phoebe, Euodias, and Syntyche who were fellow labors of the gospel, their name are in the Book of Life. Philip 4:2,3

Jesus Christ

To the Son of God who was sent to earth to bear the sins of the world, all glory, honor, and power to the lamb that was slain. Jn 3:16ff; 1 Tim 1:17; Rev 4:11 He was born of the virgin Mary, began his ministry at the age of 30, and preached for the space of 3 years. Yet, for all the miracles he performed, and the bread of life he offered, his own countrymen rejected him and delivered him into evil hands to be crucified. Acts 2:23 Jesus was in the tomb for the space of 3 days, and nights before God raised him up from the dead. 1 Cor 15:3,4

Here is the creator of all mankind who came to earth, and paid the ultimate price for his bride, the church of Christ. Rev 4:11f; Rev 21:9; Rom 7:4 Until the Messiah came, no one had forgiveness of sins. Acts 13:38 Jesus came that we might have eternal life if we believe in him enough to obey him. Jn 8:24f; Rom 10:16 He stated that he laid down his life for the ones who obey his gospel. Jn 15:13,14  All those who believe, and are buried with Christ by baptism, and raised to walk in the newness of life shall be saved. Mk 16:16f; Rom 3:3,4

There is not a man before him or after him who has had the impact of this one man. This my brethren was the King of saints, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Some gave much, Jesus gave all.

Conclusion: Christians are the soldiers of Jesus Christ. 2 Tim 2:3,4 Just like the fathers, and the prophets,and the apostles before them, Christians suffer for the cause of Christ. 1 Pet 4:16 These heroes preach and teach the Word of God in and out of season. 2 Tim 4:2-5 They put on the whole armor of God in order to defend and contend for the faith. Eph 6:11-18ff; Philip 1:15-18; Jude 3 They risk becoming your enemy in order to preach to you the truth of God. Gal 4:16 These heroes of the gospel will come and go unheralded, and rarely remembered by mankind. Yet, their death is precious and blessed in the eyes of the Lord, and a crown of life await each of them. Ps 116:15f; Rev 14:13 If your eternal life is in danger, these are the ones who are prepared to save you. Jam 5:19,20 As with those who have preceded them, the world is not worthy of God’s chosen vessels. These are the called, the chosen, and the faithful.

God’s Uncompromising Word

We hear a lot of the word compromise in Washington D.C. these days, and truly in a two party society that is divided by opposing ideology, it’s imperative to have cooperative minds who are willing to give and take on their political convictions. Compromise works in a free society, but what about in the church? What does the bible teach Christians about the word compromise?

Preaching The Word

Paul commanded Timothy, and all future preachers to preach the Word when it’s popular, and when it’s unpopular. Use God’s Word to correct, rebuke and encourage. Why? Because there will come a day when the churches will reject sound doctrine (the doctrine of Christ), and will turn to story telling preachers. 2 Tim 4:2-5 These kind of preachers use their smooth words and flattering sermons to get gain from trusting brethren. Rom 16:17,18 Paul made it abundantly clear that the Word of God is to never be compromised with error for any reason whatsoever, no matter the condition.

God’s Word is Impartial

The apostle Peter learned that the gospel of Christ was not only for the Jews, but for all nations. Thus was the conversion of Cornelius, the first Gentile convert to Christianity, who was chosen by God to receive the gospel.

Peter, upon receiving a vision of four footed beast was told to kill and eat, but Peter said, “Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.” But Jesus said, “What God has cleansed, that call not common.” Jews up to that time were not allowed to associate with the Gentiles for they were unclean, even considered as vile as swine. Thus, Peter was to discover God had sent him to the house of Cornelius to preach unto his entire household the gospel of Christ. Upon being baptized and receiving the Holy Spirit Peter said, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:” Acts 10:34 Similar words were reiterated by the apostle Paul concerning evil doers, “But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.” Col 3:25

Therefore, no one can say that one gospel is for one group, and another gospel is for another. The same gospel saves Jews, saves Gentiles, yes and every nation under the sun that obeys it. Thereby was the uncompromised gospel preached in every nation, and to every creature. Mt 28:19-20

Defend and Contend the Faith

No only was the gospel to be preached, and this to every nation, but it was to be defended. No truce could be made to make it softer for one, and harder for another. Paul said he was set for the defense of the gospel. Philip 1:15-18 Jude wrote that we should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints. Jude 3 Christians are commanded to defend and contend for the faith, and not compromise it with the doctrines of men. Mt 15:7-9

God’s Unaltered Word

Christians are commanded not to add to or take from God’s Word. Rev 22:18,19 The prophets spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. 2 Pet 1:21 The apostles spoke only what they saw and heard via the Holy Spirit. Acts 4:19,20 Jesus Christ, the Son of God only spoke and did what God commanded him to say and do. Jn 12:49,50 Paul said we are to follow and learn of the apostles to not go beyond that which was written in the scriptures. 1 Cor 4:6f; 1 Cor 11:1 God’s Word can’t be altered or compromised by the wisdom of men. 2 Cor 2:13

All Judged By The Same Word

When our lives are over, we all shall be judged by the same Word, the same gospel, and the same doctrine. 2 Jn 9 Jesus said, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” John 12:48 Paul said, “In the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.” Rom 2:16 And again he said, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” 2 Cor 5:10

This is the same uncompromised gospel which stated we all must believe and confess Jesus is the Christ. Rom 10:10 The same gospel which says we all must repent and be baptized for the remission of our sins. Acts 2:38 The same gospel which says we must remain faithful unto death. Rev 2:10 All new testament Christians were added to the same church which Christ built, paid for, and is the head of, the churches of Christ. Mt 16:18ff; Acts 20:28; Col 1:18; Rom 16:16

Conclusion: When we stand for everything, we stand for nothing. God demands that we either be hot or cold, and all who are lukewarm (compromisers) will be spewed out of his mouth. Rev 3:15,16 To please everyone, is to please no one. Christians should seek to please only God. Acts 5:29 When we preach a secular gospel, we are adhering to the will of man, and not to the will of God. Rom 12:2 Any attempt to change the Word is to charge God with lying, and expect Him to repent or admit error. 1 Sam 15:29 God is immutable, infallible, and unchangeable. Jam 1:17f; Heb 6:18  His Word is perfect, tried, and true. Ps 12:5 To compromise the truth of God in the hope of saving a sinner, loses both the sinner, and ourselves. Gal 1:8,9 Compromised truth is nothing but lies that are disguised as truth. Rom 1:25 Seek it, obey it, and never compromise the perfect will of God.

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