Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | February 27, 2015

February 27, 2015 “Holy War”

“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.” (Romans 12:9)

Good Morning To You All! This is the Day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it!

I know of no one who is not troubled by the daily reporting of terrorist activities around the world. The most unspeakable acts of torture and terror are taking place…burnings and beheadings of men, women,. and children…entire communities under siege. In our own country there are conflicting reports regarding the level of concern with which we should regard these atrocities. Some voices proclaim we have never been safer as a world…that the intentions of these militants are being thwarted effectively. Other voices warn that we have never lived in a more dangerous time in all of human history. What I find to be particularly abhorrent is that these attacks are perpetrated by those who genuinely believe that they are honoring their “god” in the process. They envision themselves as being involved in a “jihad”, or a “Holy War”, the ultimate goal of which is to destroy the infidels that do not believe as they believe.

In Christianity’s earliest days, as the Word of the Cross was beginning to permeate the known world, striking at the very heart of the citizens of its greatest empire, Rome, there was also an undeclared war being waged by those in positions of power. Daily, the “People of the Way” (the name given to those early Christians), were being persecuted, tortured, and killed in an effort to obliterate them from the face of the earth. According to Hebrews 11: 36-38, they experienced mocking and scourging, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.” Twenty centuries later, we’re forced to confront evil of a similar nature, and confront it we must! The apostle Paul encouraged the beleaguered Christians living in “Sin Central”, A.K.A “Rome”, to “abhor evil”. Not only were they to hate it…they were to resist it and reject it completely. Though the battle took centuries, eventually even mighty Rome fell under the weight of it’s own moral decay.  The great Christian reformer John Knox, no stranger to religious persecution himself, once said,

“Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.”

As the battle for the hearts, minds, and souls of humanity rages, do not shirk from resisting that which is evil. Remember the words from the great Christian hymn, “Faith of Our Fathers”:

Faith of our fathers, living still,
In spite of dungeon, fire and sword;
O how our hearts beat high with joy
Whenever we hear that glorious Word!

 Faith lives on, in spite of dungeon, fire, and sword. How applicable for the age in which we live! Keep the faith. Resist evil…cling to what is good!  Let’s Pray!

God of the Angel-armies of heaven; You taught us to pray ‘Deliver us from evil”. Deliver us, Lord, not by us fleeing from the fray, but resisting it at every turn, trusting always in You, our Rock and our Salvation. You alone are Lord. There is no other, and we worship You and live to serve You alone. Hear our prayer made in Jesus’ Great Name. Amen!

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