Yesterday, I went to Millstone Theatre in Hope Mills and viewed an excellent film entitled “The Darkest Hour.” This film is a biographical film detailing the early days of Sir Winston Churchill as Prime Minister of England as Great Britain was being led into World War II. As a fan and avid reader of everything about Winston Churchill, I found this film to be a very accurate portrayal of Sir Winston but also gave in great detail the battles he was facing as Prime Minister from within his own War Cabinet but also within his own personal life. As I watched this film, my mind kept going to how we as believers and also preachers and teachers of God’s word are facing battles. We are facing battles within our own nation of religious liberty and free speech, battles within our churches of how we should stand for righteousness and a biblical worldview and also spiritual warfare within our own selves. Allow me to use the title of this film and the lessons I have learned from watching the life of Sir Winston to encourage you.
First, we must stand firm in our battle for the Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (NASB) The Apostle Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, stated that all of Scripture is given to us by God. Sadly, there are many so-called preachers that deny that God’s word is fully inspired and attempt to tear down God’s word by saying that the Bible is allegorical in many places, it is out dated and not applicable for today. They state that Genesis chapters 1-3, the books of Exodus, Job and Jonah are not true and simply allegorical. The qualifications for pastors, and deacons as outlined in 1 Timothy 3:1-13 are outdated and not applicable to today’s society. They cast doubt on the Virgin Birth of Christ, the miracles of Christ and His bodily resurrection from the tomb. My question is, “At what point do you start taking God’s Word as the very Word of God? When you begin to doubt the Word of God, you are going down a dangerous path of destruction. Dr. John MacArthur stated this on the subject of the outworking of God’s authority in Scripture: “It is not derived authority bestowed by humans; rather, it is the original authority of God. It does not change with the times, the culture, the nation, or the ethnic background; rather, it is the unalterable authority of God. It is not one authority among many possible spiritual authorities; rather, it is the exclusive spiritual authority of God. It is not an authority that can be successfully challenged or rightfully overthrown; rather, it is the permanent authority of God. It is not a relativistic or subordinate authority; rather, it is the ultimate authority of God. It is not merely a suggestive authority; rather, it is the obligatory authority of God. It is not a benign authority in its outcome; rather, it is the consequential authority of God.”
Secondly, we must stand firm in sound doctrine. Beloved, if you attend a church that does not teach, preach and sing hymns of sound doctrine, leave that church and find one that does. Take a look at your church’s doctrinal statement. Pastor, if you do not teach and preach sound doctrine to your sheep, you are doing your flock a great disservice. We are commanded to teach and preach sound doctrine. Sadly, there are many so-called evangelicals that view doctrine as heady and theoretical, they dismiss it as unimportant, divisive, threatening, or simply impractical. The pastor who turns away from preaching sound doctrine is forsaking the primary responsibility of an elder: "holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict" Titus 1:9. We are to be teaching truth and error, or we teach nothing at all.
Thirdly, we must stand firm in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is simply found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-3 and can summed up in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is not found in works, communion, church membership or attendance. If it was found in works then the death of Christ would be useless. Ephesians 2:8-9 states, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Christian, stake your belief and faith in the word of God, a student of His word and sound doctrine and the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pastor, preach the whole council of God. Stand for His word! Sir Winston stood tall against the Nazi army and Great Britain and the Allies defeated Hitler. As believers and preachers of God’s word, we will reign with Him victoriously.
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