Encouraging the Troops

We all need encouragement – I know I certainly do. The truth is, at least once a month I am ready to give the whole thing up. I get overwhelmed not only with the magnitude of the task which lies before me, but the steady, constant, and at times ferocious criticism and hate I get for what I do.

And I am not just speaking about the usual suspects here – you know, the tolerance brigade in all its glory (the homosexual activists, militant misotheists, etc). But it is the constant carping and whinging from fellow Christians that can certainly get you down.

warfare 3You do your best to do what God has called you to do, but you get these other Christians who are sure you are wasting your time, out of God’s will, or just not “nice” enough like they are. The oddest bit is when they severely judge and criticise you because they think you are too judgmental and critical! Go figure!

So anyway, I find myself often encouraging the troops along the way. Sure, most of my talks are about warnings and alerts as to danger ahead, as in the watchman on the wall (see Ezekiel 3 and 33 for example). But more and more often when I speak I will spend time simply encouraging the folks to keep standing strong and to fight the good fight.

I did that just minutes ago at an amazing men’s brekkie. Unlike most others, it was out by a creek in what seemed like the middle of nowhere, but was actually in suburban Adelaide. With an open fire blazing, and a great breakfast just downed, I spent my time telling the men about some of the battles we must face.

But I also tried to encourage them to never give up. While we had perhaps only just over a dozen guys, I said, as the rain lightly sprinkled down, that Jesus too had a motley crew of twelve men. The world would not have thought much of them, yet they managed to turn the world upside down (Acts 17:6).

So I told them they too were a motley bunch whom the world could not care less about, but by God’s grace could be world changers just like the early disciples. I gave a similar message to some brave troopers in Oxford just days ago, and to Christian leaders in London a few weeks ago, and to a group of ex-homosexuals in Amsterdam just before that.

So we need to do both, if we are proper spokesmen of God: warn of dangers ahead, and also encourage one another. We need to give the hard word, but also the encouraging word. As it has been said, the true prophet of God (or pastor) must do two things: afflict the comfortable, and comfort the afflicted.

We must sound the alarm, rebuke, chastise and blow the trumpet when needed, but we must also offer the soothing word to the brother in need, the hurting sister, or the struggling Christian. Sometimes our fellow believers need a kick in the pants, and sometimes they need a helping hand to get up and walk again.

But we all must be steeled for the job which lies before us, and the heavy days which are coming upon us. The opposition continues its war of attrition on the Christian faith, and we need now more than ever brave men and women who will stand strong and man the front lines.

The battle fronts are many, and I have documented hundreds of them over the years. Every day a new alarming development takes place. Let me just briefly mention the latest outrage. In the US state of Colorado the powers that be have declared that Christians must violate their own consciences, and fully submit to the homosexual jackboot.

Just today this determination was made: “A department of the Colorado government today said that a Christian cake maker must use his creative expression to support same-sex ceremonies.” My forthcoming book will feature many more examples of this war against faith, family and freedom.

So, more than ever we need men and women who will courageously take a stand, and speak out about the evils of our day. This is indeed part of the Christian job description. It is part of what it means to be salt and light in a decaying and dark society.

As Suzanne Olden said in a new piece, we are under obligation to speak out, yes, to even judge, the sins we find all around us. She writes: “Don’t be cowed into believing the twisting of Scripture. Sin is real, judging it is our responsibility. Sex outside of marriage, traditional marriage, is sinful. Killing the unborn, for any reason, is wrong. If more people would stick to what they know is right, and not be bullied by the PC brigade, the next generation would be in a better place to know and make better judgments about what is right and wrong. Instead, we crumble like day-old cookies and abandon our children to the whims of an immoral society.”

Yes quite right. We have a job to do, and we can’t allow the world to set our agenda, or tell us what we can or cannot do. We must speak the truth in love of course, but we must speak the truth nonetheless. And part of that truth telling is warning about sin and judgment to come.

So let me encourage you to keep on keeping on. We need more believers who will wake up to the truth that we are in a war, and we are all called to play our role in the many massive battles we find ourselves in. To think that we can just sit all this out is to betray our Lord and our Christian calling.

As J C Ryle put it, “The saddest symptom about many so-called Christians is the utter absence of anything like conflict and fight in their Christianity. They eat, they drink, they dress, they work, they amuse themselves, they get money, they spend money, they go through a scanty round of formal religious services once every week. But of the great spiritual warfare—its watchings and strugglings, its agonies and anxieties, its battles and contests—of all this they appear to know nothing at all.”

Or as A W Tozer said, “The idea that all you have to do is to accept Christ and you are in is a great mistake. It leaves people with the impression that if they accept Christ they have no fight to fight, no warfare, no job to do and no temptations. They are just in. When you accept Christ rightly as your Lord and Savior you are in, but to be honest, you have just started to fight. People get converted and we do not tell them that they must fight all the way through to heaven because of the spirit of degeneration and the tendency to deteriorate. They must fight, pray through, suffer it out and live in praise and worship, because if they do not they will deteriorate. Read the history of the Christian church if you can keep your faith and keep from weeping.”

Finally, as John Piper rightly stated: “There is a war going on. All talk of a Christian’s right to live luxuriously ‘as a child of the King’ in this atmosphere sounds hollow – especially since the King himself is stripped for battle.”

www.citizenlink.com/2014/05/30/colorado-commission-christian-baker-must-make-cakes-for-same-sex-ceremonies/
clashdaily.com/2014/05/newsflash-judge-set-obligated-judge-sin/#bFiqvwJAGIKgQlBv.99

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11 Replies to “Encouraging the Troops”

  1. It is reported that during the war Winston Churchill was once asked to address an assembly of school boys. He stood up and all he said was, “Boys, never give up. Never give up. Never give up.”

  2. Great article Bill!

    Unfortunately and ashamedly I have felt like giving up on life altogether on many occasions, but I am of the conviction that what God has created, God can only take away. Also the words from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, where he told his disciples “Have ye no faith” whilst travelling on the boat over turbulent waters, is a resounding final word statement on the matter , that we MUST have faith because God’s will, will always prevail.

    Although you cop a barrage of rubbish daily, I can guarantee that people like you and Bernard Gaynor have an army of followers plus have a silent majority and minority of Australians who share your opinions.
    For example, if you did a survey regarding views on homosexuality from our minority but sizeable Vietnamese or Chinese population, you would find that their views would be overwhelmingly negative. So even though at the moment they might not be vociferous, they are still on your side.

    Another person who I admire that is copping it big time is Marine Le Pen. However look at what has happened to her, she has had an earth shattering victory winning the European parliament elections in France. She gets called everything under the sun, but she has held on steadfastly to her ideals and has reaped the rewards. The antichrist BBC recently interviewed Marine Le Pen, and was labelling her with all sorts of leftist attack slogans, but in diplomatic defiance she silenced her leftist interviewer. People like a STRONG leader.

    I have written comments on this blog before and I stated what I feel the purpose of our life is. I said it was to multiply, to serve God and to educate our children as well as our fellow brothers and sisters about the gospel of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ until His return, which should not be too long now because advanced communications technology has meant that nearly everyone on this Earth, has had a chance hear the Gospel, to repent and follow Christ. This earthly life (which does not last forever) is a testing ground to see if we are worthy to live in the Kingdom of God, which is the penultimate prize.

    Bill you may not be able to save all people’s souls (none of us can only God can), however those people who hear Christ’s message, are His people. You can rest assured you have facilitated peoples understanding of God’s views that people would not have known about, and therefore would have saved them from the ungodly path of destruction, and put them on a path of God’s righteousness. So thank you for being instrumental in doing so.

    On a funny note, I once visited a political dissident’s website where his motto went something like “If you are not on an NSA watchlist, then you are doing something wrong”. What a classic!
    Bill I think you are pushing the right buttons too.

    With your sword, shield and armour in Christ, keep on going forward.

    With utmost regards and encouragement
    Your Brother in Christ,

    Frank

  3. Encourage us, and we encourage others. Push people to read the Bible and you can`t go wrong, thanks Bill.

  4. I know most of that ‘motley’ bunch you met with for brekkie, Bill – my former local church. Unfortunately I live 5 hours away now and miss them greatly, along with their respective ‘other halves’. I heard via the faithful connections on the grapevine that you were visiting them.

    And by way of encouragement to you, Bill, I pray for you the prayer of Paul to the Philippians – that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, that you may be able to discern what is best, and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

    Keep up the good work, faithful servant.

  5. Last night I read this from 1 Sam 14:6 and was greatly encouraged. It is Jonathan speaking when he is about to take on the Philistines with only his armour-bearer at his side. At the time, a vast majority of the Israelite army were weaponless and hiding as cowards, waiting for the tide to turn and the victory to become apparent before they even entered the battle.

    “Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.”

    Many in the church are cowardly hiding, they are weaponless, without the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. But God… He needs only a few armed with weapons for a victory to be attained. 🙂

  6. TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS LYRICS
    “I Won’t Back Down”

    Well I won’t back down, no I won’t back down
    You could stand me up at the gates of hell
    But I won’t back down

    Gonna stand my ground, won’t be turned around
    And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
    Gonna stand my ground and I won’t back down

    [Chorus:]
    Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
    Hey I will stand my ground
    And I won’t back down

    Well I know what’s right, I got just one life
    In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
    But I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down

    Hey baby there ain’t no easy way out
    Hey I will stand my ground
    And I won’t back down
    No, I won’t back down

  7. Bill, I’m terrified of the homosexualists that you write about. They are tearing apart the fabric of our society. One day they want homosexual marriage, next day they will be running this country. You write about the jackboots. They scare me so badly. I can barely go into shops these days without seeing a homosexual behind every shop counter. What is this world coming to! Bless you my friend.

  8. God called and used both fiery, meteoric Elijah and the more gentle Elisha. Unseen to the world, behind them both was that invisible but very real army of horses and chariots of fire.

    And there’s another country, I’ve heard of long ago,
    Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
    We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
    Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
    And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
    And her ways are ways of gentleness and all her paths are peace.
    – Cecil Spring-Rice, 1918

  9. “Are they working harder at what we think is wrong
    Than we are at what we know is right?”
    “Sold out” by White Heart. Mick Koster

  10. I’m one who disagrees with you from time to time, Bill, but on the whole I really appreciate what you write, and I appreciate your steadfastness in fighting the good fight.

    Frank Smith, you are probably right about that silent majority, and it does us well to be reminded of it, but I worry that, with that silent majority being fed a constant stream of anti-Christian propaganda by the mainstream media, that silent majority will gradually become a silent minority. We dare not put too much weight in the existence of that silent majority, but must continue to find ways of getting the truth to them

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