No victory can be won without struggle and no struggle can be successfully waged unless victory is the goal. Struggle without a moral motivation or principle beyond worldly and mortal concerns is not worthy of disturbing our souls. Moral concerns and principles, which both informs and convicts our conscience, should drive our will and all our freewill choices. Thereby, being driven by convictions divinely inspired and revealed to us should give us great fortitude to stand against all odds. This is our preparation to show witness, suffer persecution even to the shedding of one’s blood and it should not dissuade us from the goal of gaining victory and to overcome great evil, even if we personally lose our own small participation in this struggle; for Christ has already won the victory . . . in eschatological terms . . . even though the battle is still raging on earth. It is therefore our duty to join Christ’s victory and risk all in His cause. For it is in the resurrection that we have our hope and our faith. Our love of Christ and our willingness to reject evil is a very small return for that unmerited gift which our Lord gave and His sacrifice which was nothing short of a giving of His all. We have His word and His promise that He will not fail us. And like our Lord, we must not fear the loss of reputation, derision, humiliation, persecution or even death; for death has no sting for us in our struggle for righteousness as it is motivated by a firm love of Christ and for the Souls for Whom He suffered and died.
To struggle needlessly without a vision of victory is a modern concept and is a new Christianity devoid of all manner of struggle; it is a false peace with the world, the flesh and the devil. Such an impotent concept of the battle between good and evil, right and wrong, is a joyless existential faith sustained by a rationalistic and relativistic tepidness but lacks that vibrant living faith that anticipates, expects and therefore prepares for these spiritual battles. For we are His and He has given us all we need to prepare and inform ourselves for the victory or for an heroic stand.
We need not be surprised or disheartened by the many types of cleverly designed obstacles that satan places in our way. Those that have lost all thought and understanding of the boundless joy of our Christian martyrs who died in the firmness of their faith are also those who have grown cold in faith and have lost their confidence in the powers of heaven. Such an attitude renders the Christian faith sterile and effete and have lost its virile sense of struggle against the world, the flesh and the devil. They have no sense of the gravity of this struggle or any motivation to join the struggle; victory is not defined in winning but in prolonging a false peace and finding a way to negotiate a truce; a way to live in a framework of spiritual detente with evil.
Christianity was never meant to be delivered from one generation to the next devoid of this living truth in regards to our struggle and our mission to participate with Christ in this our final victory; albeit ours is but an imperfect participation in His victory. You can be listed as a victor, a martyr, a wounded hero or a deserter, an indifferent intellectual who values a modicum of ease and comfort without entering the fray; an indifference that is sold to others as an expression of love for our enemies and of being more merciful and loving than Christ. Though we are never to lose our hope and our love for the souls of those who are enslaved by sin, neither are we charged to negotiate a false peace hoping to sleep through this battle to which each of us is called. For the principalities and powers with which we struggle are gathering many adherents who need be loosed from their mental and immoral chains and Christ is not content that we should leave them where they are.
2 Timothy 4
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. 5 As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
We are extolled to ‘convince’, ‘rebuke’, and ‘exhort’ such victims who unwittingly aid and abet the enemy. We must use patience and never stop teaching the truths of our faith. For is this not the time when people no longer ‘endure sound teaching’ and ‘accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings’? They ’turn away from listening to the truth’. But we are charged to be steady, endure, suffer and to do the work of the evangelist; being a warrior for Christ not a negotiator for false peace or one to accommodate their whims and wishes . . . looking for some type of half-truth that might satisfy both them and Christ. For Christ recognizes no half-truths and the enemy reacts to appeasement as a wolf reacts to wounded prey. They smell the blood and they sense your fear and are driven into a rage or a feeding frenzy.
Struggle against those who would sell the Truth for a compromised truce with the world are warriors and are always at odds with the cowards of the world. You may not win your battle but you will die a man and can expect to win a crown of victory from the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. The victory is His and yet He does not forget those who died in battle and gave their all for love of Him and for love of the souls that He suffered and died to save. We therefore should seek to share in this victory against all odds rather than submit to defeat and eternal shame.
Ask yourself if you find convincing, rebuking and exhorting the Truth no longer works. Then ask if it is far better to use a new nuanced approach of appeasement which forsakes convincing arguments, the rebuking of sin (a false adherence to the lies of satan) and a strong exhortation to free the captives and break the chains of the evil one. Is this the method which holds great promise in our modern age . . . or have we begun to soothe our itching ears due to our love of comfort and distaste for confrontation?