Turn on any news channel today and you will see scenes from battlefields. You will see innocent people caught in the sway of an evil influence that is bringing war and destruction to their homes and their land.
War has been a part of the human condition for centuries because there will always be those who hunger for the power to rule over others.
In the 21st century we have watched the rise of religious zealots willing, not only to take the lives of others for their “cause,” but to give up their own lives. These enemies of Christianity and Israel are the most dangerous of all because they feel justified to massacre innocents in the name of their god. They feel justified in their cause to bring about the rule of the Mahdi or 12 th Iman. Which would put all the world under Muslim control.
I was listening to Shawn Hannity the other day and he was speaking to a woman from the Middle East who understood the language of the terrorists. He played a clip of a song, that terrorist were singing, and then of the words they said after for her to interpret. Because I was driving in my car I didn’t get everything she said but this phrase stuck out in my mind. She repeated the words the terrorists were shouting translated into English and in it they referred, probably to the American military, as “Armies of the Cross.” They went on to say that they were in a battle with the “Armies of the Cross” and intended to win.
The phrase “Armies of the Cross” really resonated with me.
When you look at the map of the Middle East today with ISIS on the march one can’t help but think of the tail of that old serpent Satan slashing across the land bringing death and destruction. Many of those affected by this brutal enemy are Christians.
We see this in the conflict between Hamas and Israel. Hamas has little regard for the lives of their own people and are willing to sacrifice women and children upon the altar of their hatred for Israel.
In America we are not experiencing this horror yet but that is not to say that that old serpent Satan doesn’t have his claws into us.
With America, so far, his tactics are much more subtle. America’s wealth and decadence are doing a good job without his help. Our nation slips further and further into moral decay. Our Christians institutions are maligned by the rising Pop Culture in our country that are echoing the 60’s phrase–“Anything goes.”
Believers are lulled to sleep by a spiritual complacency. Busy on the “playground” of this world they have no time to be “serious” about their faith. We are not under an immediate attack so it is easy to go through our days busy with our occupations and problems hoping that things will magically get better. Or that we’ll be raptured out before the “really bad stuff” happens.
Here are a few statements I read in the Baptist Bread. “Lost humanity is blind to the truth that—if they give the devil a ride he will soon be driving.” And in our country-“Sin has become a “culture” while “human rights'” strangle the process of justice and punishment for America’s heinous crimes.” Randy Pike
Our nation is on a downward spiral into moral insanity. The next generation arriving into adulthood have no moral compass to guide them. As they flounder around trying to live their lives with out any Christian influence the mistakes they make only cause them pain. What they think will bring them pleasure only brings them despair.
Lest I get any further off topic here I want to include a hymn today that has challenged my heart and I hope will challenge yours. The battle is not lost yet. We can still be “soldiers of the Cross” by daily dying to self and seeking to serve Him. Because we know the only thing that can turn our nation is personal salvation.
In the 1700’s anyone who became a follower of John or Charles Wesley and became a Methodist was taunted and persecuted. Methodists were stoned, mauled, set upon by bulldogs, homes looted, business ruined. In 1749 Charles Wesley wrote this song to encouraged these embattled believers.
Soldiers of Christ, arise,
And put your armor on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies
Through His eternal Son;
Strong in the Lord of Hosts,
And in His mighty power,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts
Is more than conqueror.
Stand, then, in His great might,
With all His strength endued;
But take to arm you for the flight,
The panoply (tools and weapons,suit of armor) of God:
That, having all things done,
Till Christ the Lord descends from high,
And takes the conquerors home.
Charles Wesley 1707-1788