“CONTEND FOR THE FAITH”

“CONTEND FOR THE FAITH”

There is a “call to arms” in the little book of Jude on the far end of the New Testament.  “Contend for the faith!” says the sacred writer.  

There is no getting around it.  If you are a faithful Bible reader, then you know that many portions of God’s Book sound a militant tone.  The apostle Paul tells us to put on the full armor of God, to take up the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.  

This is neither popular nor politically correct in many sissified churches these days.  The fierce doctrinal battles of years gone by, the uncompromising zeal of a John the Baptist, of an Athanasius, or a Martin Luther are embarrassing to many.  

Old hymns such as “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” or “Stand Up, Stand Up, For Jesus!” – with their talk of duty, doctrine and danger seem strident, provocative, alienating.    

The Bible talks of waging war with spiritual weaponry, demolishing strongholds, taking thoughts captive and fighting the good fight.  In Revelation the smoke of battle rises from the sacred page.  Christ Himself is portrayed on a white horse, stained with the blood of His defeated foes, sounding forth the trumpet that never calls retreat.

There’s a lot of weird stuff going on in the name of Christ these days.  At New York’s far-left Union Theological Seminary, the seminary students are praying to plants.  No kidding! The post says: “Today in chapel, we confessed to plants. Together, we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too often fail to honor.  ‘What do you confess to the plants in your life?’ ”

Seriously?  Then there are the sulfurous fumes of Sodom slithering up pulpit steps in churches which proudly celebrate lifestyles that God’s own book condemns.  The effeminate priests of Baal would applaud!

Jude says, “They are ungodly people who turn the grace of our God into a license for sin and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”  

Perversity is now called diversity.  Much of this is sung to the tune of: “God wants me to be happy….Jesus will forgive me anyway…Times have changed.”    This is nothing less, says Jude, than a denial of Jesus Christ as our only Master and Lord. For we cannot claim Christ as our Savior while contradicting what Christ says.

God’s grace is undeserved and priceless to all those who see their sin as sin and confess it, who desire to be set free from it, and then to fall into the forgiving arms of the Savior.   Only if we contend for it do we get to keep it.