By Kevin Rutherford
The true church of Christ will never call for a physical war. We understand our war is a spiritual one, and so we put on the armor of God to go and fight (Ephesians 6:12-17).
We war against an ancient adversary who seeks to destroy us (1Peter 5:8). He will do all that he can to pull us away from the truth, and to destroy our souls. He is the arch-enemy of all that is good, righteous, pure, and holy.
We go and fight so that we might save our own souls and win others to Christ (Mark 16:15, 16). We wield the sword of the Spirit mightily in battle while pressing on toward our ultimate and final victory (Ephesians 6:17; Philippians 3:12-14).
In order to win the war, we must win the battles. When Satan tempts us we are in battle. When we talk to others about Christ we are in battle. When we face painful and discouraging moments in life we are I battle. Who can lead us to victory in this battle? None other than our glorious King and Leader, Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18). It is He who can give us the strength to endure the battles so that we might win the war (Phil. 4:13).
As we age we gain strength from victories won in numerous battles. Sometimes we bear battle scars from painful lessons learned, but we get up and fight on (Acts 8:22). We will never let Satan keep us down for long. We will rise from defeat, and we will push on in victory. We will never give up, we will not lose.
The fight is on! Satan is corrupting culture. The fight is on! Satan is persecuting Christians. The fight is on! Satan is turning the minds of men to perversion. We must run to the battle! Satan is deceiving the hearts and minds of men and women. Let’s go fight! Let us “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13).
I read recently about the death of Alexander the Great. While we do not hold him up as a spiritual hero, we do believe his life makes a good illustration. At age 33 he had conquered all the major military forces of the Mediterranean region, but he died. One author suggests he died of a combination of causes. He was battle weary, scarred, wounded, and a drunkard. The combination led to a fever which ended his life. As a drunkard he is certainly no example, but let us consider a spiritual application. We fight to conquer Satan and his forces in our lives and in the lives of others. As we fight we may at times become battle weary, scarred, and wounded. But, if we press on we shall succeed. If we push forward we shall grow stronger.
Paul told Timothy to be watchful in all things and to endure afflictions (2 Timothy 4:5). Certainly Paul had done the same. As a mighty spiritual warrior for Christ he dealt some definitive blows against evil, but soon he would die. Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). In death Paul would soon receive victory. In life Paul had fought valiantly for the cause of Christ.
While we have life, let us go to the fight. As long as there is breath in our bodies let us conquer the enemies of truth. Until we no longer walk on this earth let us push, press, struggle, reach, strain, and endure. It is not always easy, but it is always worthwhile. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
- Kevin Rutherford preaches for the Warners Chapel church of Christ in Clemmons, NC. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://warnerschapelchurchofchrist.org/