When is it Time to Fight?

November 17, 2014

Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.

For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 3-4)

If you were Satan, you would know that the church is the greatest threat to your kingdom. In fact, the only viable opposition to the extension of your reign. So, what would you do? Would you throw up your hands and just let it go or would you attack the church?

You would use every tool and every opportunity at your disposal.

THE MASTER DECEIVER

Since Satan is the ""father of lies"" one of his ploys is to seek to fill the church with false teaching and false living. He has ambassadors everywhere, i.e., those who do not belong to Christ but are ""dead in their trespasses and sin"" that ""walk according to the prince of the power of the air"" (Ephesians 2:1-2). So, finding suitable helpers is not a problem.

Satan's great scheme is to fill the church with subtle, but deadly lies and he uses false teachers to accomplish this end. He started this in the garden when he planted a damning deception in the mind of the unsuspecting Eve.

HIS GREAT ENEMY

...is Christ and all those who have come to know Christ and have the ability now to discern between truth and error. These are the only ones equipped to expose him with accuracy. Christ's children have been armed with the Word of God and the Spirit of God for this purpose. They can hold any teaching up against the standard of the faith that has been “once for all delivered to the saints.”

They also have been granted some measure of authority. God promised His children that if they ""resist the devil"" he must flee from them. This is a massive weapon against which the Enemy cannot stand.

The Father of Lights has also given them a complete suit of armor that can overcome all the counter-attacks and fiery darts of the wicked one. And he has placed in their hands the mighty weapon of prayer—the tool that always brings God front and center in the battle.

CONTEND EARNESTLY

Jude saw these men creeping into the church in his day and prepares us. All through his small, potent letter he describes them in bold relief so that they will be easy to spot. (See verses 8, 12-13, 15-16, and 19-20). 

We must be careful not to confuse our preferences with genuine error. But when we are sure that unbiblical teaching or character is attacking the church, remember that we are equipped to fight and commanded to fight against false teaching and lifestyles.

Usually the faithful teaching of the Bible and the modeling of spiritual leadership will drive such error out, but there are times when a direct confrontation may be needed. There are moments when a battle in a church is absolutely essential. We must do this with grace and truth…with obvious love but resolute conviction.

If we don't contend for the faith, by the way, who will? This is the reason why whole denominations, once vibrant and biblical, have now become mere shadows of their former effectiveness.

Don't settle for ""peace at any price"" when heresy comes into the fellowship. It will begin subtlety, but if left unchecked will destroy God's Bride over time. Satan knows what he's doing.

 




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