As we proceed further into the end times, itís becoming even more important that we heed the Scriptures that have been set forth for us, to stand on the promises of God, to stand fast in our righteousness at all costs, and to stand against the attacks and schemes of the enemy. The Apostle Paul, in writing to the Christians in Thessalonica, cautioned them in II Thessalonians, 2nd Chapter, 15th verse:
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. NKJV
Christians here are being cautioned to stand fast, as there will be forces brought against them to attempt to separate them from the truth of Godís Word. These forces have persisted throughout history to diminish, or even eliminate, the work of Christians to further the spread and the application of the Gospel.
The Scriptures are filled with those who have stood firm on the promises of God. Although some wavered in their faith regarding Godís promises, God was faithful in delivering on His promises, including His covenant with Noah, His covenant with Abraham and Sarah, and His promise to bring Israel out of Egypt.
Itís important to remember that although God does not promise that we wonít suffer hardships along the way, He does promise to give us strength to endure and to overcome whatever obstacles the enemy places in our way. He reassures us in the 40th Chapter of Isaiah, verses 29Ė31:
29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. NKJV
We must remain confident and continue to stand on these promises regardless of how many obstructions are placed in our way by the enemy.
Many of the Scriptural warnings have been for Christians to stand in. In I Corinthians, 16th Chapter, 13th and 14th verses, Paul encourages:
13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.
14 Let all that you do be done with love. NKJV
And to the Philippians, Paul wrote in the 4th Chapter, 1st verse:
1 Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved. NKJV
In these verses Paul is encouraging the Christians to stand strong and not be discouraged by whatever hardships they encounter.
Those who are paying attention to the declining world conditions might be tempted to become discouraged, as though conditions are hopeless and beyond the ability of God to turn things around. But God not only knows the condition of mankind, but He also has a plan that must be fulfilled on His terms. He is still in control and His Will shall ultimately prevail. Our role is to remain firm in our efforts to have an impact by being the salt of the earth.
Paul gives this admonition in Ephesians, 6th Chapter, verses 10-18:
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints-- NKJV
But many of the Scriptural warnings have been for Christians to stand against. In I Corinthians, 10th Chapter, 12th verse, Paul cautions:
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. NKJV
And continuing along the same lines, in Galatians, 5th Chapter, 1st verse, he writes:
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. NKJV
Paul is cautioning us to be careful in our standing that there are temptations and attacks from the enemy that could threaten our steadfastness. We must be aware that even when we think we are strongly committed to God, this might present the occasion for the enemy to step in and cause us to fall.
He then gives us an example of those who were deceived in this manner in Galatians, 1st Chapter, verses 6-8:
6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed NKJV
While we must stand against the attacks of the enemy in our own lives, we must also take a firm stand against the erosion of our Christian culture and the movement to take away our freedom to worship according to Scripture. We must remember that one of the highest items on Satanís agenda is to eliminate the accurate use of Godís Word as a standard or reference point in our culture.
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