We are called upon to CONTEND for the faith - and that earnestly:
"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Jude 1:3.
We are called upon to FIGHT the good fight of faith:
"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou are also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses." 1 Timothy 6:12.
We are given armour for defence (Ephesians 6:11-17) - and the Word of God, sharper than any two-edged sword for an offensive weapon:
"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:" ~Ephesians 6:17
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of thoughts and intents of the heart." - Hebrews 4:12.
We are called to be salt (to prevent the decay which is now so evident in our society) ans light (to show the way):
"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to.be trodden under foot of men.
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
Neither do men light a candle, ans put it under a bushel, but put on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, ans glorify your Father in heaven." ~ Matthew 5:13-16
We are told that we are to Preach upon housetops that we which we learn from the Lord:
"What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops." Matthew 10:27
We are to cry aloud and tell the people of their sins:
"Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their trangression, and the.house of Jacob their sins." Isaiah 58:1
We are called upon to do this at the gate of the Lord's house - the churches:
"Stand in the gate of the LORD'S house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD." - Jeremiah 7:2
We are called upon to do this in the gate of the people where the rulers go in and out: 'Thus said the LORD unto me; Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, whereby the kings of Judah come in, and by the which they go out, and.in all the gates of Jerusalem;" Jeremiah 17:19
We are called upon to go to the house of the ruler and command him to execute judgement and righteousness and to do no wrong:
"Thus saith the LORD; Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thou servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates:
"Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgement and righteousness, ans deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no.wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place."
We are to speak to ALL the citie:
"Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD'S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD'S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word:
If si be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.
And thou shalt say unto them, Thus
saith the LORD; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set.before you, To hearken to the words of my servants
the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened; Then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth." - Jeremiah 26:2-6.
We are told that there is opportunity for repentance for evil.
But if there is no repentance, judgement will surely follow:
"If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I have thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do no evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them. Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now everyone from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good." - Jeremiah 18:8-11
We are told that if we do not obey this command to warn the nation, whether they hear or not, that there will be consequences for us: " Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; ans thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to.warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked , and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Ezekiel 3:17-19.
The apostle Peter followed this example of telling his hearers of their sin at Penecost:
"Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved if God among you by.miracles and signs, which God did by him in.the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by wicked hands have crucified and slain:" - Acts 2:22-23.
Only after they had asked him what they should do about it, did he give them the answer:
"Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and bethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." - Acts2:37-38.
The Lord Jesus Christ himself told us, that if we did not confess him before men, he would not confess us before the Father.
"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." - Matthew 10:32-33.
Permission from Raymond Stewart.
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