Adrian Rogers - Christian Warfare
Would you take God's Word and find Ephesians chapter 6? We're going to talk about a warfare today because there is a dark, diabolical, deadly, dirty war that is being fought in America. It is a form of guerilla warfare: sabotage, subversion, innuendo, sniping. It is a deadly war. It is a war between light and darkness, good and evil, Heaven and Hell, Christ and Satan. And whether you realize it or not, you are a part of that war. You cannot afford to be ignorant and you cannot possibly be neutral. If you try to be neutral you're going to find yourself in the crossfire and in the most dangerous place of all. You dare not, I say, be ignorant. You must not endeavor to be neutral. I want us to read about that warfare.
Ephesians chapter 6 and verse 10 through 20, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day. And having done all, to stand. Stand, therefore, having your loins gird about with truth and having on the breastplate of righteousness and your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints and for me, that utterance may be given to me that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the Gospel for which I am an ambassador in bonds that therein I may speak boldly as I ought to speak".
Now the church is not a showboat; it is a battleship. We are at war. This message is a warning, a call to arms, but a declaration of victory. I want to say again, when you were born again, you were born from above. And you, being Heaven-born are Heaven-bound, but you were also born for a battle. You were born for the battle. But again, when you were born again, you were born to win. That is what you must understand. And this is a wonderful passage of Scripture that talks about the Christian warrior. Now it's not merely talking about the pastor or the evangelist or the missionary. It is talking about Mr. and Mrs. Man, Woman in the pew. It is talking about you, sir, it is talking about you, lady, so let's learn what God's Word is saying, not just in general or not long ago, but what God is saying with specificity. Are you with me? I want you to listen now. There's several things I want you to notice. First of all, the Christian warrior and his adversary; we must know our enemy. Look if you will again in Ephesians 6 verse 11. He says, "Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil". That's your adversary. You must know your enemy. He is called "the devil".
Now, the devil today is sort of a laughable character. We think of the devil as some medieval superstition. And today we make light of the devil. We call football teams devils and demons, and we talk about deviled ham and devil's food cake and it's sort of a joke. We think of the devil as some sort of a guy in long red underwear with a pitchfork trying to catch somebody bending over. I mean that's the idea; that is the caricature that we have of the devil. Our sophisticated age today makes the idea of a real and a personal devil more or less laughable. But you have an enemy, he is very real. The Bible does not speak of him as some figment of the imagination, but it has always been his purpose to pull the veil of darkness over his kingdom and either have his very existence denied for a while, but he really doesn't want that, he wants worship, and he will only use this disguise so long before he removes the veil himself and says, "Bow down and worship me".
Now it's important that we understand who the devil is in our warfare, because if there is no enemy, there's going to be no preparation for war. We used to sing a song about the Lord Jesus. We sing it sometimes in church, "He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today; He walks with me and He talks with me along life's narrow way". You could sing about Satan, "He lives, he lives, Satan lives today; he wars on me and works on me along life's narrow way". You have an enemy, and you must understand this. Now how is this enemy described? Well I want you to see first of all he is a decided fact, F-A-C-T, verse 11, "The devil". I hope you believe in the devil. If you don't believe that the devil exists, you are in very precarious a very precarious situation. Not only is he a decided fact, he is a destructive foe. Notice how he is described.
Look in Ephesians 6 verse 11, "That you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil". Look at that word wiles. Do you know what the Greek word for wiles is: methodia. It's the word we get methodical from. It's the word we get methods from. Satan is very methodical. In Satan's warfare he is very strategic. He may even step back two steps in order to go forward three steps. He may let you think that you're getting away with your sin. He may even seem to be blessing you and helping you along your way. He is very strategic. He has made a plan to sabotage your life and your home; the dynamite is in place, the fuse is laid, the match is struck and Satan is working on you. He is wily, he is subtle. Apart from the leadership of the Holy Spirit of God, he would deceive the very elect. He is, first of all, strategic, verse 11. Also, he is spiritual.
Look in Ephesians 6 verse 12, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of this, of the darkness of this world," now watch this, "against spiritual wickedness". Boy, there's a lot of that going on today, spiritual wickedness. You see, sometimes people think because something is spiritual, it is good. No, there's spiritual goodness and there's spiritual wickedness. The Bible says in First John 4 verse 1, "Believe not every spirit. Test the spirits, whether they are of God". Sometimes people get into séances, necromancy, Ouija boards, horoscopes, clairvoyancy, visions, Hindu mysticism. And they say, "Oh, but Pastor, there's really something to it". Yes, there is something to it! That's what I'm trying to get you to understand. There is something to it. There is spiritual wickedness.
Now, your enemy, he is strategic, he is spiritual, and Martin Luther said, "His power and craft are great, and armed with cruel hate, on Earth is not his equal". Because not only is he strategic and spiritual, he is strong. Look again if you will in verse 12. There he talks about, "Principalities and powers". In your flesh, you are no match for your adversary. You are puny and weak if you come against Satan in your own strength. You might as well be throwing snowballs at the Rock of Gibraltar than to come against Satan in your own strength. He is powerful. "We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, authorities". And then again he's also sinister. Look if you will in verse 12. There the Bible talks of darkness and there the Bible talks of wickedness. Satan has dark, devilish, tyrannical power, and he is in a fight to the finish, and there's nothing that that dirty devil will not do, to wreck, to ruin, to destroy your life. And I believe that he knows he has but a little while, and he is like a cornered animal. He is fighting with no holds barred.
Now he is a decided fact, he is a destructive force, but he is, listen to me, a defeated foe. He is a defeated foe. Look if you will again in Ephesians 6 verse 10. Here's what the apostle Paul says, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might," because our God has already defeated Satan. It's not that Satan shall be defeated; he is already defeated. He is a defeated foe. Jesus said in John 12 verse 31, facing the cross, "Now is the prince of this world cast out". Put in your margin First John chapter 4 and verse 4, "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because greater is He that is in you," who is that? The Holy Spirit, "than he that's in the world," who is that? The devil. You see, Satan is strong, Satan is sinister, Satan is strategic, Satan is spiritual, but God is almighty and, "Greater is He that's in you than he that is in the world".
And so, if you don't ever learn these truths, you're not going to understand victory. "Now, Pastor, if Satan is a defeated foe, then why do I have to be warned"? Because, while Satan's back was broken at Calvary, God still allows Satan to have power on this Earth. It is limited power and it is power that we as Christians can and shall overcome in the Lord Jesus Christ, but it is a part of God's plan to make overcomers of us and to give greater glory to Himself. I was reading in the newspaper about rattlesnakes; and I clipped the article, and here's what it said, "Doctors in Arizona have a warning for the public. A rattlesnake can bite, even if his head has been cut off".
That's an interesting article. A rattlesnake can bite you, even if his head has been cut off. And I copied out a part of that article. "Five of thirty-four rattlesnake bites that Jeffrey Suchard and Frank LoVecchio of the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Phoenix treated involved snakes that the victims thought were dead". The rattlesnake had been killed. In some instances his head had been cut off, but even that severed head had bitten the individual. So here's a snake who's dead, who's still biting. That's a good description of Satan. He has been defeated. His head was severed at Calvary, and yet he still has dark, diabolical power.
Now, that's the very first thing you need to understand. That is, the Christian warrior and his adversary the devil. Now here's the second thing, how important it is that you understand this, and that is the Christian warrior and his armor. We need not only to recognize our enemy; we need to prepare for the battle. Now if you don't prepare for the battle, you're going to lose it. You're to put on the whole armor of God, and it is to be holy armor. Notice in Ephesians 6 verse 13, "Wherefore, take unto you the whole armor of God". That is so very important, that you take the whole armor; that you don't leave off a piece.
I can remember the game well. I was feeling good. My ankles were taped. I was ready. It was the kickoff; we were kicking to the opposing team. I was on the team that would go down to try to make the tackle. I found myself, after the whistle, out ahead of the pack. I saw the man who was trying to pick up the ball; he was fumbling the ball. It was down there, and there he was almost on his own goal line. I thought, "If I can just hit him while he's trying to pick up that ball, there'll be a fumble, we'll score," and I was going full speed. And then I saw one other individual; I can remember it like yesterday. He lined up with that ball carrier behind him, and he was between myself and the ball carrier. I said, "Well, if I go to the right, I'll miss the ball carrier. If I go to the left, I miss the ball carrier. There's only one thing to do, and that is to go through this man to that man".
So I'm going full speed. This man is coming at me full speed. The man is back there, still trying to pick up the ball. I'm trying to look over this man who's down to block me at the ball carrier, to keep my eye on the ball carrier. Never slowing down a bit. We collided like two locomotives. Next scene, I'm on the bench opening my eyes, trying to figure out what on earth happened! I'll tell you what happened. I thought I could go a little faster if I left off one part of the protective armor that a football player's supposed to wear, just one piece. I said, "If I leave that off, if I leave that one piece off, I will be faster". Friend, I was O-U-T, out. Put on the whole armor of God. Don't leave off one piece.
Now let's look at that armor, and God describes that armor. First of all, look at it. He says here in Ephesians 6:14, "Stand, therefore, having your loins gird about with truth". First of all, you put on the girdle of truth, which is the believer's integrity. Truth stands for integrity. You see, a soldier in that day wore a tunic; and he had a leather belt. Sometimes you see motorcycle riders with a leather belt around. Sometimes you see weight lifters with a big, strong, leather belt around them because that is to hold their loins together. It is to hold the center of strength together. And a warrior in that day had a leather belt, a girdle that was cinched up tight to prepare him for the battle, to protect his loins. And on that belt he would hang his weapons of warfare. His dagger would be there, his sword might be there. This belt was very important, and it held his tunic together because he didn't want his long-flowing tunic to be out in the wind or to be snagged or to be caught. And so, he is to wear a girdle, a belt of truth!
Now that belt, my friend, is integrity. It is integrity that holds everything else together. Truth and integrity are synonymous. You are to believe the truth, you're to know the truth, you're to love the truth, you're to tell the truth, you are to live the truth, you are to preach the truth; and if you don't, your life is going to come apart. You cannot! I say you cannot get into this battle unless you have the belt of truth. Satan is a liar, and Satan will come against you with lies. Jesus is the truth. Satan's attack is untruth. His attack is lying. His attack on you is to bring a lack of integrity into your life. Are you wearing at this moment the girdle of truth? Or are you living a lie? If you are not wearing truth, if you do not have the girdle of truth, if you do not have integrity in your life, in the big things and in the small things, you are going to lose the battle. It is truth that holds everything together, and without truth everything falls apart. Here's the second piece of armor; that is the breastplate of righteousness.
Now righteousness is the believer's purity. Not only do you need integrity, truth, but you need purity. That is, there is to be no unconfessed, unrepented of sin in your life. A warrior at this time had a breastplate. It would be made of woven chain, sometimes. It would cover his heart, it would cover his lungs, it would cover his intestines, his vital organs. And it would be there, and without that breastplate, of course, he was very vulnerable to any sword thrust, to any arrow. And so he has to have a breastplate and that breastplate is righteousness. And what is righteousness? It is purity. In Matthew 5:8, Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God".
Now what the enemy wants to do is to attack you not only with lies, but he wants to attack you with impurity. He wants you, to get you to read some filthy men's magazine. He wants you to stay up late on a Saturday night and watch some filthy movie and then come to church on Sunday morning. He wants to get that into your heart, into your mind. He wants to get you doing some little, dirty crooked business deal. "Oh," you say, "it's no big sin". That's right, but it's a crack in the armor. It is a crack in the armor, and Satan knows where that crack in the armor is. Who is it knocked so loud? Hmm, a lonely little sin. "Come in", I answered, And soon all Hell was in. Now have not only integrity, but have purity! Proverbs 4:23, "Keep your heart with all diligence". "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8.
Now I'm asking you a question. Don't answer it out loud, but answer it; is your heart pure? I mean, is your heart pure before God? If not, you cannot win in the warfare. There's a piece of your armor that is missing. Now, Satan fears a holy Christian. Thirdly, you put on the shoes of peace. Look if you will also in Ephesians 6 verse 15, "And your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace". The believer's integrity, the believer's purity, and the believer's tranquility. Put on the shoes of peace. "Your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace". A Roman soldier needed good shoes to fight with. A Roman soldier would have hobnails on the bottom of his shoes, very much like football cleats, because when you're fighting you need a place to stand. And you need to have good footing.
In this passage Paul is going to tell us to stand, to stand, to stand, and therefore your feet need to be, "Shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace". That is tranquility. He's talking about peace now. He's talking about peace with God and he's talking about peace with one another and he's talking about the peace of God in our hearts. You see, Jesus gives peace, and unless you have peace, you can never make war. Sounds like a contradiction, doesn't it? But you've got to have that peace of God in your heart. You see, how does Satan attack? Well he comes against your integrity with lies. He comes against your purity with lust. But how does he come against your tranquility? Well, he puts stones and briars and doubts and discouragement, whatever he can do to destroy your peace. Do you have peace right now? Or are you just churning on the inside?
Well if you don't have peace right now, I'll tell you why you don't have peace right now. It's not because of circumstances. Peace in the Bible is not the subtraction of problems from life. Peace is the addition of power to meet those problems. The Bible says in Psalm 119 verse 165, "Great peace have they that love Thy law and nothing shall offend them". Now the only way you can live that way is to put on these shoes of peace. That is the preparation of the good news of peace. Jesus made peace with the blood of His cross, and if you don't have this, you're going to slip and fall in the battle. So many people, I've seen them fall, not because of a lack of integrity, and not because of a lack of purity, but because of a lack of tranquility. Something will happen, some sickness, some disappointment, some financial reverse, some wayward child, and they lose their peace. You put on those shoes of peace so you can have a firm place to stand. Because if you don't, you may slip and you may fall. Then the next piece of armor here is the shield of faith.
By the way, when Paul wrote this, he was chained to a Roman soldier. Paul's just looking that guy up and down, saying, "You know, I can get a spiritual lesson out of that". And so, the Roman soldier also had a shield. It was about two by four feet; it's made of wood covered with leather. Because in that day they would take flaming arrows, dip them in burning oil and shoot them. Perhaps to inflict a horrible pain when a flaming arrow would hit or perhaps to set somebody's house or whatever on fire, and these flaming arrows were flying back and forth. And so Paul says in Ephesians 6:16, "Take the shield of faith so you can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked". Well, why do I need the shield of faith? What's Satan's attack? Satan's attack is going to be doubt.
Now against the Christian he uses lies, so I put on integrity. Against the Christian he uses lust, so I put on purity. Against the Christian he uses discouragement, so I put on tranquility. And now I take the shield of faith and what is the shield of faith? It is certainty. It is certainty. I need integrity, I need purity, I need tranquility, and friend, I need certainty. I take the shield of faith because Satan is always shooting at me and shooting at you those fiery arrows of doubt. Trying to place in your heart and in your mind those subtle doubts. Darts of doubt. But you know that a small fire can start a big fire.
James 3:5, "Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindles". And so Satan wants to get into your heart, into your mind, with some doubt. And if you're a college student, get ready. You're going to find out that Satan, sometimes in the form of a professor, is going to be sitting up there, and he's just going to be shooting at you those fiery darts, just shooting at you those fiery darts, just shooting at you. Put on the shield of faith. Take that shield of faith and quench every fiery dart of the devil. Feed your faith! Starve your doubts! And when you get off to college, wherever you go, don't forget what you've learned, and don't forget those who taught you, and remember the Word of God. And carry your doubts to Jesus and say, "Dear Lord Jesus, give me the shield of faith," and He'll do it, I promise you that He will. And that's the believer's certainty. And then next of all, he says, "Put on the helmet of salvation".
Do you see that here? Look at it. He says here in Ephesians 6 verse 17, "And take the helmet of salvation". A warrior would use a helmet to protect his head. Why would he do that? Obviously, if the head is wounded, nothing else works. And what is this helmet of salvation? It literally means a helmet of deliverance. It's talking about salvation, going to Heaven, but more than that. It is talking about a mind under the control of Almighty God. So where you have the mind of Christ, because a believer needs to keep his head so he can fight, and this speaks of the believer's sanity, the believer's sanity. When a person gets saved, for the first time he has his right mind.
I remember reading there in Mark 5 about that demoniac who had been filled with the devil and Jesus saved him. And the people came back and found him seated and clothed and in his right mind! A person without the Lord Jesus Christ has a form of insanity. They are not with the mind that God made them to have. So, you put on the helmet of salvation. That is your sanity. That is the covering for your mind. Now see how you're to be dressed up for the battle. We've talked about your adversary. We said that he is strategic; we said that he's strong; we said that he's sinister. He's all of these things. "Wherefore," he says, "take the whole armor of God". Put on the belt of truth. What is that? Integrity.
Put on the breastplate of righteousness! What is that? Friend, that is purity. Put on the shoes of peace! What is that? That is tranquility. Take the shield of faith! What is that? That is certainty. Put on the helmet of salvation! What is that? That is sanity! Thinking with the mind of Christ. Now you're ready for the battle. Now let me tell you something. If you'll look at each one of these pieces of armor and think about it, they really represent Jesus. You just put on Jesus. Sometimes when I go out for a walk or whatever, just by myself, and I want a good thing to meditate on, I just keep dressing myself up in this armor. I just check myself out. Adrian, do you have integrity? Adrian, do you have purity? Adrian, do you have tranquility? Adrian, do you have certainty? Adrian, do you have sanity? Each piece put on with prayer, because what you're really doing is simply putting on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now here's the third thing I want you to notice. We have talked about the warrior and his adversary the devil. We've talked about the warrior and his armor. Now let's talk about the Christian warrior and his attack. We must join the battle. It's not enough simply to put on the armor; we've got to get into the fight. And so many of us want to dress up in the armor and sit at home. Some little boys were sitting around just talking and laughing and the mother came and said, "What are you doing"? And they said, "Well, we're playing war". And she said, "Well, you don't look like you're at war". And they said, "Well, we're all generals". I think a lot of us want to be generals rather than foot soldiers and we want to play war.
Now, what will guarantee our victory? What is it that will guarantee our victory in the battle? Three things. Number one is the place of our stance. Now look if you will in Ephesians 6 verse 13 and 14, "Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand," underscore that, "and having done all, to stand". And notice in verse 14, "Stand therefore". Withstand, stand, stand! Now what does this mean? Friend, we have a place to fight from. We stand in the victory that Jesus has won. Notice what he said in Ephesians 6 verse 10, "Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might". When you get into this battle, you stand at the victory that Jesus has already won. This is the reason that I say to people, "We do not fight for victory, we fight from victory". This is the place of our stance. Do you understand that? If you don't understand that, you're not going to stand. You have to stand in the victory that has been won at Calvary. "They overcame him," the Bible says in Revelation 12:11, "by the blood of the Lamb". They overcame Satan that way.
Second thing, not only the place of our stance, but the power of our sword, the power of our sword. Look again, if you will, in Ephesians 6 verse 17, "And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God". Now we've talked to you about all of the protective armor. Fine. It's good to have on a helmet, it's good to have on a breastplate, it's good to have a shield. But folks, you need a sword. You need to get into the battle. And God has given you a place to stand, and then He's given you a sword to fight with. Take the sword of the Spirit. Now I'm talking about the power of our sword, because ours is a very powerful sword. It's not like any other sword. It's not the sword of Adrian; it is the sword of the Spirit. I love it, I love it.
You see, the Bible says in Hebrews 4 verse 12, "For the Word of God," that's the Bible, "the Word of God is quick and powerful". Quick means it's alive. Powerful means it's full of energy. "And is sharper than a two-edged sword". So, I love the Bible because I know there's incredible power in the Bible. Jesus had been fasting for forty days and forty nights; and the devil came to Him, and the devil said, "Well, if You're the Son of God, why don't You turn these stones into bread"? And Jesus pulled out His sword. He said in Matthew 4:4, "It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God". Again Satan comes to Him to tempt Him. Again Jesus said, "It is written, it is written". Three times Jesus ran Satan through with that blessed blade.
Now, there's the place of your stance and there is the power of your sword. And then there is the provision of the Spirit. Now once you take your place to stand, you're dressed up in the armor, you're standing in the finished work of Calvary, you take the Word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit, and then you look to Heaven for your supply. So he says, "Praying," now, look at it. He says here In Ephesians 6 verse 18, "Praying with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints". Now, the prayer in the Spirit is where your supply comes from. Every warrior needs a supply. And every warrior needs a commander-in-chief to guide him and direct him. And when you go to the battlefield, you stand in the finished work of Calvary, you take the Word of God which is the sword of the Spirit, and you offer your prayer to your Heavenly Commander, "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit"!
Not just mumbling some mumbo jumbo. It is the Spirit that directs your prayer; it is the Spirit that understands what Satan is up to. You don't understand what Satan is up to, but He does. I was out in Colorado. I have a general friend out there who helps lead America in the Strategic Space Command. They keep those satellites up there high above the Earth in synchronous orbit: spy satellites, military satellites; the space command. I went into a very small room there for a briefing. It was an amazing thing. They said, "What part of the world do you want to see"? "Well, show us Libya". Because Muammar Gaddafi was making some noises about that time. "Show us Libya".
On a big screen, Libya comes up, and we can see the streets and the houses in Libya. You could see the lights that were twinkling at that very moment in all of Libya. They said if a missile is fired from here we'll know it the minute it's fired. Sitting in Colorado, they're watching Libya. It's an amazing thing. I said, "How can you tell whether it's a missile or something else"? He said, "You don't want to know". I said, "Why not"? He said, "If I told you, I'd have to kill you". So I said, "I don't want to know". And I thought, "Here, from outer space, they're watching"! I want to tell you for, something, friend, we have a Commander who lives up yonder. And He knows what is going on; He knows what the enemy is doing. Therefore, we stay in contact with our Space Command, "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit".
Now, it's so important we understand this, and I wish I had more time on this point, but the three things that assure your victory, number one, is the place of your stance, the power of your sword, and the provision of the Spirit. We're, "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit". The sword is the sword of the Spirit. He's the one who knows how to wield that sword and to use that sword. Now here's the final thing I want you to see and that's the Christian warrior and his allies. We must unite forces. So Paul says, "Pray". And then what, notice what he says in Ephesians 6 verses 18 and 19, "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly". Paul was a warrior, but he knew that he did not fight alone. He knew that we need to pray for one another because we fight with one another. We are not a one-man army; you're not a one-man army. Oh, if you're by yourself then you've got to fight by yourself, but you know what the Bible says?
The Bible says In Deuteronomy 32 verse 30, "One should chase a thousand, two will chase ten thousand". There's a synergy that brings a divine energy when we fight together. We are in this battle together. I need you and you need me, and therefore we must lock arms, join forces, and fight together. And do you know what this church is? Do you know what this church is? This church is just a big battle station, that's all it is. It's just a place where we come to reinforce ourselves. It's a place where we come to get spiritual intuition and spiritual power and spiritual encouragement to go out into the fight because we fight, not against one another, but with one another against a common enemy. And I'm going to tell you, I'm heartbroken that many of our soldiers are AWOL; they're just AWOL. There're people who think that sometimes when they come on Sunday they've done God a wild favor. I mean really. They just come, sit, soak, and sour. They never fight; they think that somehow they can be neutral.
Folks, this is a battle. And I want to say several things to you. Number one, you choose sides carefully, because if you don't follow Jesus, you're on the losing side. I can tell you that much. You choose sides carefully. Number two, you examine your heart and make sure that you've got all the armor of God on. Number three, don't try to be neutral. You can't do it. This is a fight to the finish, and Matthew 12:30 Jesus said, "He that is not with Me is against Me". Number four, rejoice in the victory and live victoriously every day. Day after day, after day, after day. Thank God, you're to be walking in victory.
I want heads bowed and eyes closed. How many today would say, "Pastor Rogers, I have received Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord? God has forgiven me of my sin, God has saved me, the Holy Spirit bears witness with my spirit that I'm a child of God. I have made an open and public confession of my faith in Christ. I have followed Jesus in believer's baptism. And I am now living for Jesus victoriously in the fellowship of a local, New Testament, Bible-believing church". If you could give me that testimony, thank God for that.
Now if you couldn't, let me speak lovingly to you. Some people may never have received Christ. They've never been saved. Others, perhaps you have received Christ, but you have doubts, you don't have that full assurance. Others, perhaps you've been saved, but for some reason you've not been obedient about baptism. Now baptism doesn't save you, but if you're saved, you ought to be obedient. If you're not obedient you'll never have the victory that you need. And some have been baptized, but you're not now serving Jesus in a local, New Testament church; somehow your heart's gotten cold. And somehow you've just kind of been misplaced, and you haven't found your niche of service. Well, if any of these things are true about you, I want to pray for you right now.
Father God, I pray for those who today need to make decisions, some perhaps who need to be saved, some who need the assurance of their salvation, some who need to present themselves for believer's baptism, some who need to present themselves for church membership. Whatever, dear Lord, I lift these and I pray, dear Holy Spirit, that You will open those hearts, and, Lord, that people might come to say, "Yes" to You.
And friend, if you're not saved right now would you pray this prayer? Just close everything else out, and just turn your heart to God and pray this prayer:
Dear God, I know that You love me and I know that You want to save me. Jesus, You promised to save me if I would trust You. I do trust You. I believe You paid for my sin with Your precious blood on the cross. Thank You for doing that. I believe that God raised You from the dead. I truly believe it. And I now receive You by faith into my heart as my Lord and my Savior. Take control of my life. Begin now to make me the person You want me to be. And Jesus, because You died for me, I will live for You, not in order to be saved, but because You have saved me. And Lord, give me the courage now to make this public, not to be ashamed of You, in Your name I pray, Amen.