Many members of the Lord’s church (including not a few elders and preachers) refuse to understand that the Lord’s church is the Lord’s army. We exist to fight for the right as the Bible defines the right in everything. In order to remain faithful, beginning with ourselves, we are to engage in spiritual warfare all day long, 365 days out of the year, as long as we are able, and until the Lord returns.
But the previously mentioned brethren hold the false view that if they can just get over the present problem/problems, whatever it/they may be, they will be forever out of the problem business. This false mind-set is one of the devil’s greatest ploys to lull the church into a false sense of security. Once he accomplishes selling the church the error that holiness is harmlessness and whispering sweet platitudes to one another in order to make each other happy in our own conceits is the way to go, the father of lies has a much easier job getting us to digress from the Truth more and more.
In living the Christian life, we are in the process of getting over problems, or we are in the middle of them, or we are about to get into them. This is true of congregations as well as individuals and their families. Of course, this is not to say all problems are of the same magnitude. But, when we once realize that life is one problem after another, the better off we will be. And, when “... we know that ... the whole world lieth in wickedness [in the evil one, ASV–1901]” (I John 5:19), should we not expect problems to abound?
The Lord never promised us a life without problems (Luke 9:23; II Timothy 3:12). To the contrary, Christians are promised many problems because of their faithfulness to Him. However, Jesus said He would give us the solution to those problems (I Corinthians 10:13; II Timothy 3:16–17). Thus, “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (James 1:25).
A successful life is one lived on the Lord’s terms. Although the world never will recognize it, when Stephen was stoned to death for his uncompromising stand for the Truth, he died a complete success (Acts 7:54–60). He lived and died governed by God’s will. Stephen thereby continues to be an example to Christians in living and dying (Ecclesiastes 12:13–14; I Corinthians 15:58; Revelation 2:10).
David P. Brown