O Church Arise
One of the most pernicious faults of the Church in recent decades has been that of buying into the myth of neutrality. For far too long the visible church, in its compartmentalized form of Christianity, has operated under the assumption that much of the world and its institutions are neither good nor evil. Government, public schooling, news outlets, & the mainstream media have all been given a pass by the church by allowing such to educate our children and inundate us with its antichrist propaganda. The church should be at war with the world, for Christ was clear in stating that this world hates Him because He bears witness to its works as being evil (John 7:7). Furthermore, in Luke’s gospel Christ declares “He who is not with Me is against Me and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.” There are only two types of people in this world, children of God and children of the devil. Christ, who is the light, came into this dark world to rescue and redeem the lost sheep of His fold and He ultimately will restore paradise which has been lost. Prior to the coming of Christ, this world had been under the dominion of Satan, for he had received power and authority when Adam and Eve, God’s image-bearers and vice-regents, rebelled in the Garden (Genesis 3; Luke 4:6). It was in the Garden that Yahweh revealed the means through which His fallen creation would be restored unto Him, He declares to the devil in Genesis 3:15,
“…I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.”
This is what is often referred to as the protoevangelium—the first gospel. Here we see the mention of a raging battle that would ensue between the seed of the woman (Christ) and the seed of the serpent. This battle will ultimately be won by the seed of the woman, a victory which is initiated through His work of bruising the serpent’s head. The means by which the seed of the woman has bruised the serpent's head has already occurred--Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. Thus, the cross of Christ is how our Lord rescues and restores sinners. John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” This is a popular verse, not to mention a very important verse, however, one should not stop reading there. The next few verses go on to state,
“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light lest his deeds be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been done by God.”
All the world is at odds with God. Everyone, in their deadened state as children of Adam, has rebelled and remains under the dominion of darkness until Christ sets them free. Ephesians 2:1-10 states of Christians,
“And you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience, among whom we all also formerly conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
The Church is called to herald the gospel of Christ, and to be salt and light in the world. Just prior to Christ’s ascension back to heaven, He left His disciples with the Great Commission. Matthew 28:18-20 states,
“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to keep all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
While Satan once had authority over the fallen creation, Christ, having gone to the cross to atone for the sins of His people, has now received “all authority…in heaven and on earth.” Satan has been dethroned and Christ is now the rightful King over creation. As the conquering King, Christ is going to render judgment to those not loyal to the Kingdom. And while there has been a transfer of power, so to speak, Satan yet has his tantalizing and domineering grip upon the created world and the kingdoms of man, and he will maintain that grip until Christ returns to fully establish His Kingdom reign upon the earth (Daniel 2:34-35; Revelation 20:1-6).
In other words, while Christ the King has come to release His people from the bonds of sin and death, the fullness of the Kingdom has not yet arrived (Hebrews 2:8). In the present inter-advental period, known also as the church age, the church, under the guidance and authority of Christ Jesus, is to shine the light of the gospel and expose the darkness of this world. We are the ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven and we have been sent by the King of glory with the good news of deliverance for those who will repent and submit to the Lordship of Christ. This brings us back to the previously stated sin of the church—buying into the myth of neutrality. When the church loses sight of the mission and fails to perform her God-given tasks of being salt and light in favor of a more comfortable life, then she has, in a sense, made friends with the world. Thus, she is in desperate need of repentance and had ought to be reminded of the words found in James 4:4 which states,
“You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world sets himself as an enemy of God,”
It is easy for the church to slowly succumb to the ways of the world, to act and operate as they do. But we are new creations in Christ and are not to act as we once did. This is why the Apostle Paul states in Ephesians 5:1-21,
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk in love, just as Christ also loved us and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. But sexual immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; nor filthiness and foolish talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no one sexually immoral or impure or greedy, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them, for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of that light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. And do not participate in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead even expose them. For it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.” Therefore look carefully how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. On account of this, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and being subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”
It is time for the Church to arise, to wake up and stand up! It is time that the Church destroy all vestiges of secularism that exist within its ranks, and swear full allegiance to the King of kings! It is time that the Church not participate in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead…expose them!
Pastor Justin Myers is an avid student of God's Holy Word and received his M.Div. in biblical studies from Liberty University School of Divinity. Pastor Justin considers himself a family man who loves his wife and children dearly. He has been married for over nine years and has four children.