CHRISTIAN OBLIGATIONS – TO ENGAGE IN THE BATTLE
By Ian Henderson (C.W. Vice-Chairman)
Edited from an address given at the High Leigh Bible Conference, 2016
The Word of God states – in Jude v 3 – to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” or – in other words – “to engage in the battle.”
It is a plain fact that the Protestant Reformed faith is under threat today as never before – it is under threat from various sources – including atheism, Islam, Ecumenism and Romanism.
Sadly, many Ministers today choose to take a neutral stance on virtually every issue – presumably so that they don’t offend others or jeopardise their own positions. But the Word of God is very clear – and the Lord Jesus Christ did not preach to please all His hearers – the disciples did not preach to please all their hearers. They preached so that men and women could hear the good news of the Gospel and seek the Lord in repentance – and if people were offended (and many of the religious leaders were) – so be it.
Why is the Church not active today? Is it because God’s people are not engaged in the battle?
How many times have you heard prayers offered, prayers that bemoan the state of our nation? And yet we must ask ourselves some pertinent questions:
- Why is the Church not taking the Gospel message to the people – the people in the streets who do not come into the Churches? Is it because God’s people are not engaged in the battle? Let me ask you – when did you last give out a Gospel tract – organise/support an open-air meeting – do some door- knocking?
- Why is the Church not opposing the evil in their communities? Why is it silent? Is it because God’s people close their eyes to the sin all around them and are not engaged in the battle?
- Why is the Church not providing more practical support for the brethren across the world who ARE doing the Lord’s work and are being imprisoned because of it? Is it because God’s people are not engaged in the battle?
- Does your heart burn to do something in the Lord’s service – or are you simply not engaged in the battle? You leave it to others.
- Do you desire to stand unashamedly for the Lord’s cause and for the cause of the Gospel, but no leadership is given – or are you simply not engaged in the battle? Maybe your role is that of leadership!
I want to suggest to you that you and I have to take responsibility for the state in which we find the Church today – as we are not engaged in the battle as we ought to be.
We are not engaged in the battle as were our forefathers.
The Church has gone quiet – most people find it to be irrelevant in today’s society – it allows sin all around us to abound without being challenged.
In fact, in some instances, the Church actually promotes sin. Men in high office in the Church no longer believe that the Bible is the Word of God and they challenge its authority.
Next year – 2017 – we celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation – OR – do we celebrate?
What does the Protestant Reformation mean to you?
What does the Protestant Reformation mean to me?
Do you look at Rome through the eyes – as it were – of the Protestant Reformers – through the eyes of Martin Luther who came out from Popery and nailed his 95 theses to the Church door at Wittenburg – or do you feel today that Rome is no longer the threat that it once was?
Today, we are in a battle
- a battle against atheism
- a battle against Ecumenism
- a battle against Romanism
- a battle against Islam – and many other isms – but are we?
Are we really engaged in the battle – or do we just drift along to Church Sunday by Sunday (maybe even being SMOs – Sunday Mornings only) and simply expect the Church doors to be open for us, the central heating to be turned on and the comfortable cushions laid out on the pews?
But – if we – as the Lord’s people – do not engage in the battle – who will?
Let me briefly summarise some of the battle-lines in which we, as Protestants, ought to be engaged: