The Weapons of our Warfare 4 Preparation
Preparing – for what?
Believing the Gospel prepares us for life after death, but what about life before death?
Is Christianity only about getting to Heaven and avoiding Hell?
Or does it speak to our life here and now being lived with a heavenly perspective, i.e. living with heaven in view?
And if so, what does that mean for our daily lives? How do we then live? (As Francis Schaeffer used to say)
People say ‘you can be so heavenly minded that you are of no earthly use’. C. S. Lewis has observed that:
“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next… It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither.” (Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis p. 134)
Death? A little boy was asked in Sunday School after a pserentation of the Gospel, “How you get to heaven?” to which he replied – “By dying”. Old believer
Life? John 10:10 – look at Paul’s abundant life!
1Co 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Rom_15:19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
Col 1:5-6 The word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world
Act 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
2Co 11:23-28 (Speaking of those who were trying to lead the Corinthians away from Paul) Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
What is the goal of our Christian life? To be like Jesus Rom. 8:29. (Heb. 2:10). In a word, Discipleship. Community – takes a village to raise a child; takes a church to disciple a Christian
To meet our Bridegroom! Loving His Appearing 2 Tim 4; Looking for Him Heb. 9, The Blessed Hope Titus 2 purifying hope I John 3:3
This is getting better and better! Things can only get better? Deceptions abound. Is the church sleepwalking into what’s coming? Boiling a frog
You have been warned! 2 Tim. 3:1 Perilous times will come – are they here now?
- Mockery of beliefs
- Then ridicule of those holding them
- Then attacks on those beliefs
- Then segregation of ideas and pushing the ‘non standard’ beliefs to the margins
- Then exclusion of those holding those beliefs from places of influence, e.g. teachers, government
- Then segregation of all those holding those beliefs
- Then banning of those beliefs
- Finally, persecution
They that will live godly 2 Tim. 3:12
In this world, you will have tribulation but … John 16:33
They are not of this world John 17:14-18 – sent forth as sheep amongst wolves – for the sake of the wolves?!
A discussion of 2 Tim. 3 followed which can be seen at 44 minutes into the YouTube recording of the session found here
We summarised the discussion with the following points:
- God is in the preparation business – preparing the whole Creation from the Fall to the New Heavens and New Earth
- We are already being persecuted – they that desire to live godly will suffer persecution – it may be just through distractions as the enemy wants to divert us from our Lord, Jesus Christ
- How do we live under persecution? Be pre-occupied with Jesus!
- Take the Sword of the Spirit out of the scabbard and use it – it’s not an ornament
- Study the Scriptures, continue in the things you have learned
- Set an example for others
- Focus on God’s faithfulness
- Hold fast and rely on the Lord’s protection
- Discern that flesh and blood are not the enemy – it’s the Mission Field!