When some outlaw or menacing villain remains un-apprehended for any great length of time, it is not long before the whole community becomes greatly concerned. The citizens begin to itemize their losses, they fear future loss, they take steps to secure their homes and businesses, they organize themselves for group action, they willingly make the additional sacrifice of contributing to the high cost of obtaining the villain’s arrest and removal from society, and they develop a plan for action and then aggressively work the plan. When villains declare war on society, society has an obligation to declare war on the enemy, or be destroyed or enslaved by outlaws.
There are spiritual enemies that seek to destroy the society of the redeemed. These villains are the world, the flesh, and the Devil. They have already enslaved the whole of unbelieving society. The unbelievers “walk according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air…fulfilling the desires of the flesh and the mind” (Eph. 2:2-3). The leader of this outlaw band is driven by an insatiable appetite for more. For this reason, we are cautioned, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking [premeditatedly and methodically] whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). These outlaws seek to spoil the believer!
The Apostle Paul warns that we are at war and that we ought to be prepared to take a victorious stand against these spiritual thugs (Eph. 6:10-18). I fear that there is evidence to show that the army of God has not stood; we have been wounded by the “fiery darts of the wicked” in our retreat. We are bleeding profusely from our wounds. We are hemorrhaging and growing weaker because:
(1) Like the people in the days of Hosea, many believers are being “destroyed for lack of knowledge” of Bible doctrine (Hos. 4:6).
(2) Like the carnal Corinthians, many believers continue to walk as natural men (1 Cor. 3:1-3). They resist making the necessary sacrifice and transformation of Romans 12:1-2.
(3) Like the cannibal Galatians, many believers “bite and devour one another.” More than one battle has been lost, more than one church has been “consumed” because these wild animals have fed themselves on one another (Gal. 5:15).
(4) Like the Legalist of old, many believers reject God’s grace provision for the battle of the Christian life.
(5) Like the rich of this world, so many Christians are so consumed by their pursuit of materialistic things, that they have “erred from the truth” having neither the time nor the interest to follow after godliness (1 Tim. 6:9-17).
(6) Like Hymenaeus and Alexander, many have defected from the faith, rather than maintain the unity of the faith (1 Tim. 1:19-20).
(7) Like Achan of old, many have harbored secret sins in the tent of their heart (Josh. 7).
(8) And because, unlike the Apostle Paul, many refuse to be “constrained” to exercise their duties of ambassadorship (2 Cor. 5:14-21). Unlike the Lord Jesus, many never lament that though “the harvest is plenteous…the laborers are few” (Mt. 9:38). Most of the unsaved around us still have no one to earnestly tell them about the Savior.
Enough bloodshed! Enough retreat! I want REVIVAL, don’t you? It is desperately needed! But are we willing to stand against these enemies of our soul? Are we willing to pay whatever price is demanded for victory over these spiritual villains who have plundered us? If we were fighting the criminals that would threaten our health, home, and community; we would insist on defeating them. We must! We must have revival! We must face our spiritual condition honestly! We must earnestly desire a change!