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Keep Fighting Or Be Vanquished
by Dr. Henderson Ward
12/21/2013 / Christian Living
Modern humanity is obsessed with fighting. We seem to see and filter virtually everything through the military paradigm one way or another. There is scarcely a film coming out of the studios, whether from Hollywood or elsewhere, that does not have a lot of fighting or else runs the risk of being called dull, boring or not very exciting. Across the world there is so much fighting going on that the Mass Media ignores most of them and follows only those that they can sensationalise or gloat over or dragoon to their hidden agendas.
In most towns and cities fighting is so normal that most of it goes unreported except in cases where multiple deaths are involved. Sporting events like football and ice hockey are so riddled with fighting that even the players themselves get carried away and resort to fisticuffs and head butts and kicking. We even have a sport where participants are paid huge sums of money to bash each other to insensitivity and this sport, boxing, is recognised as a laudable profession.
It's a real pity how something so loathsome, so contemptible and utterly devoid of merit, and created by the overambitious Satan, could so consume humanity that even innocent children, long before they reach adulthood, can become killers.
However there is an entirely different kind of fight, not one with fists and sword, not one red in tooth and claw, not one with guns and knives and bombs and bazookas, not one to cause pain and suffering and death, not one to bring humanity great distress and debilitation. No, this fight is entirely different, and engagement in it is urged by the highest, most noble, honourable authority.
The Bible encourages believers everywhere to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in for a battle like this:
"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life..." (1 Timothy 6:12)
Everything good and pleasant thing in the world is challenged, assaulted, ambushed with a wrecking-ball insensitivity with every intention to destroy or degrade it. It is as if the world is brimming full of lethal bulls where decency, wholesomeness and virtue appear as irresistible red flags to their marauding instincts.
There is a brutish passion pervading humanity that seeks to wipe out all that decent people hold dear, and treasure as valuable, and all it needs for success is for good people to stand by and do nothing.
You just have to open your eyes and observe the inroads this ungodly passion is making to see how quickly it is taking root across humanity.
The evidence available suggests that the powers that be, driven by a Satanic agenda, actually wants the world to enter a state similar to that of Sodom and Gomorrah. And when that wretched state of Sodomy is reached then their intention is to force on the world an even deadlier scenario. They want the world to descend into an abyss of depravity, more akin to their liberal ideology of godlessness and perversion where it would be accurate to describe them in antediluvian terms like this:
"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Genesis 6:5)
The ideology of godlessness and perversion that is sweeping the world has brought no benefits to any country and all those civilizations and communities that have adopted that ideology have been diminished or disappeared. Who today remembers the Sumerians, or the Amalekites or the Philistines or The Nabateans or the Mycenaeans. Just look back in history to see the steady disintegration or abrupt decline of mighty empires like Babylon, Greece, Persia and Rome.
This dictum holds true for all time:
"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." (Proverbs 14:34)
And another dictum is most compelling:
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD." (Psalm 33:12)
So, the Apostle Paul was well aware of the future afflictions facing believers and he stoutly declared the right approach to be taken by Timothy and believers everywhere, "Fight the good fight of faith" (1 Timothy 6:12)
Many Bible Commentaries give different expositions for 1 Timothy 6:12 but the one given by John Gill in his commentary is clear and cogent:
"The apostle suggests to Timothy, that he had other business to do than to mind the things of this world; his life was a state of warfare; he was a soldier, and was not to entangle himself with the things of this life; he had many enemies to engage with, as Satan, and his principalities and powers; sin, and the lusts of the flesh; the world, and the men of it, and a great fight of afflictions to endure with them; as also false teachers, with, whom particularly he was to fight the good fight of faith, that so the truth of the Gospel, which they resisted, might continue with the saints."
Fighting the good fight of faith is the life-long, joyous pursuit of every believer, not because we love to be embroiled in conflict and the trust and parry of battle but because we have a right to choose for ourselves the way we will conduct our life; and we choose to do so in the marvellous light of God's Word.
WE FIGHT AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO WITH ALL OUR RESOURCES AND MIGHT BECAUSE:
The light must not go out
Each succeeding generation is born in a world of darkness and needs to emerge from the debilitating miasma into something entirely different and that something is divine light. We are not talking about the light that comes from self-improvement, education, science and philosophy but the light that comes from God and is capable of lighting every person born into this world.
Jesus Christ is light and all his teaching is light, and it's his teaching known as the Gospel of Jesus Christ that he has left with us that we are upholding, and communicating and living and holding aloft that the world may see.
Jesus said, "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12) And Jesus followed this up with a mighty statement of truth showing how the light is communicated when he said, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid." (Matthew 5:14)
It is incumbent therefore that those who are the light, have this light, take their responsibility seriously and keep that light burning. Like the Negro Spiritual in This Little Light of Mine says, "Don't let Satan blow it out, I'm gonna let it shine, ...Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine." And Jude expressing this same sentiment urged persistence when he wrote, "...and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."
We are fighting for eternal values
People fight for material things with such passion, tenacity and devotion that you would think they have nothing better to live for; and in truth they do not. It is so pitiful that you fight all your life for something and then when you die you leave it all behind for others to despoil. Surely something is amiss here.
On the other hand believers fight for eternal values, the things that equip us for eternity and the things that are themselves eternally ours. The Apostle Paul reminded the church at Corinth of this essential truth, "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:18)
When people think about it seriously they must be deeply troubled that all they work for and is worth becomes useless to them at their death. A lifetime of toil and labour and struggle, of pain and hassle and heartache all comes to naught and has no further meaning for them. Well said the Bible, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36) Some things are worth fighting and dying for and believers who are spiritual have it exactly right.
God is on our side
It matters enormously in life whose side you are on and who are on your side. Some battles you will never win because you are on the wrong side, fighting for the wrong things and providence itself will ensure your defeat. No one can fight against God and win.
This is not because God is almighty, and he undoubtedly is, but because God is the final arbiter in all matters of right and wrong; and unlike the wishy-washy courts of humanity that can be persuaded by bias opinion and extraneous matters, God by his very nature cannot do wrong.
Believers must keep fighting the good fight, keep contending for the faith once delivered to the saints, keep the light burning and held aloft for all to see, keep sanity in an insane topsy-turvy world and keep hope alive for future generations; and here is the most encouraging aspect of it all, "The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge." (Psalm 46:11)
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Dr. Henderson Ward received his Doctor of Divinity in theology, with distinction, from Masters International School of Divinity, USA, where he is currently a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Ward's career involved pastoring, evangelism, and teaching. Copyright 2017
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