I have been watching “Surviving the Cut”, a documentary series on Military Special Forces training. As a Marine, I learned first hand the type of motivation, perseverance, knowledge, courage, and loyalty that this type of training requires from each student.
The documentary brings back many memories of sleepless nights, lack of food, endless hiking, seemingly impossible obstacles, and brutal physical training designed to break the mind, body, and spirit. Only the ones who can function on the verge of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion will make it to graduation day.
This often makes me wonder about why some Christians are “soft” when it comes to dealing with conflict. They are quick to complain when things get tough. Often times spiritual warfare is more brutal than military training: Where are those who are willing to sacrifice for the cause of Christ? Where are those who are willing to die for the mission to preach the gospel?
Christians are defenders of the truth! We should know our Bibles as well as a Navy Seal knows the weapons manuals or an Army Ranger knows the maps of the terrain. The world is headed to disaster, and many casual Christians will be taken by surprise by the enemy.
The church needs to develop a sense of urgency. This should be part of our motto: “I am a Christian! What I do NOW counts for ETERNITY.”
For a long time the church has been preaching the gospel in reverse. This has led to the same results as attempting to carry a horse on our backs for hundreds of miles over rough terrain. It simply doesn’t work.
The false gospel is that God loves the righteous and hates the wicked. The truth is that God loves the wicked, and He declares us righteous through faith in the atoning blood of Jesus. This is the good news.
Our human natures understand the law that declares, “The wages of sin is death.” What we don’t understand is “the gift of God” that freely gives us what we don’t deserve (Romans 6:23, NIV):
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
It is time for the church to wake up and stop preaching “If you are good then God will save you!” Instead, it is time to listen to the Holy Spirit proclaim “God has saved you! Now, go and be good!”
“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24, KJV
There are many churches that focus on truth and yet their spirit is cold. Not only are there many cold churches, but there are also those whose spirit is on fire but water down doctrinal truth for popularity:
“For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” Romans 10:2
The message is that God’s people must focus on the truth of God’s word and allow the truth to purify their hearts through faith. The truth may not always be popular by the standards of this world, but God’s people will hear the voice of Jesus and follow his commands:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” John 10:27