Will you stand and contend with me?
Being contentious may seem un-Christian and contrary to Jesus’ command to love and forgive not only one another but also our enemies, to turn the other cheek when wrongly accused, as well as to avoid judging and condemning others.
However, the opening lines of the letter penned by Jesus’ brother Jude is foundational to Nathan Morris’ message wherein the Lord had told him, “Contend, don’t pretend!”. If any of this is stirring within your spirit then you may like encouragement from watching his fiery message in full on this archive (from 98 mins, starts 107 mins).
Apostle Paul’s letters to his young associate Timothy included instructions for tackling false teaching and he gives the basis for this at 2 Tim 3:16-17. That is, that:
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Therefore, what Jude also wrote under inspiration is prophetic in ‘telling forth’ that the Lord is exhorting His people,
…to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. [See full NKJV text at Biblegateway.com]
We note from these words how applicable they are today too. What the Lord is saying through Nathan shows the situation is no different to 2,000 years ago. What he teaches is indeed prophetic, as were the instructive warnings for 2012. This time he outlined the lessons to be gained from the example of the Shunammite lady’s assistance to prophet Elisha (2 Kings 4).
[Note: I added a little about that to my extracts transcript. Also, apologies to anyone who found the links in previous post failed. Sometimes my ISP filtering may drop connection when editing - HA!HA! Now in checking those links whilst drafting this I see the latest on Nathan's Facebook is an open Bible quoting 2 Timothy3:16 ! So it would appear that THE LORD IS CONFIRMING this issue! Drafting was done last week.]
A few Biblical examples
Being contentious comes with the territory for Old Covenant prophets in calling God’s people to repentance; that is, it’s a life-style. I need only to cite the lives of the major prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah, plus John the Baptist’s denunciation of Pharisees as a “brood of vipers”. And Jesus was definitely contentious, especially when dealing with Satan; whose minions recognise Jesus’ identity as ‘the Holy One of God’ (Mark 1:24).
Also, this One of ultimate authority said the Jews of His day had failed to change after being warned by Isaiah, whom JHe quoted when explaining why the mysteries of the Kingdom were being given to His disciples only – no-one else was worthy! As Matthew 13:10 goes on to note Isaiah 6 verses 9-10:
“And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”.
“He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.’
“But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. “
SO it is with atheists, whose hearts and minds are firmly encased in concrete and spirits not allowed to function. As demonstrated only today in ‘dialogue’, they have absolutely no grasp of spiritual matters and demonstrate intense bigotry in deriding our knowledge. As ‘walking dead’ they’re most pitiable in refusing the freedom Jesus bought for them! Although denying you Lord, bless them with personal revelatory encounters so they may understand Your kindness, mercy and grace and sincerely repent. You did that for me Lord, so may they be similarly blessed.
A Call to ‘Stand’!
In a shocking open-vision of Britain being ripped apart, because the fabric of society is so rotten, I understood Christians are to stand upon the emerging Rock - for details see remarks accompanying Dr Stone’s Comments upon the collapse of Society.
Hence my appreciation of Gillan Scott’s outstanding work on his leading blog, God and Politics in the UK, as well as that of at least a couple of my readers. I started blogging about the same time as Gillan and have contributed my tu’pence worth many times in comments threads, as has one of your fellow UK subscribers. Another out in the States, has bravely withstood attacks against her own blog by worshippers of atheism. Bravo, my friends!
In online discussions I’ve often stated unbelievers should find out for themselves by seeking an encounter with Jesus. Thus it was good to learn about Justin Welby’s own encounter on Gillan’s blog and, as in mine, that Nathan Morris had also stressed from his experience as an evangelist, “…You can’t persuade people into the Kingdom. They must have an encounter with Jesus!”
Therefore, those who share my concern over the deep religious illiteracy and hostility to Christianity, may like to consider contending actively in online discussions whenever the Lord so leads. If you’re so disposed, and time permitting, you may care to get a feel for this by dipping into some of Gillan’s recent posts and signing up to receive new posts upon his return from Summer break.
As well as loving patience and ‘thick skin’, a good grasp of scripture is required because some brethren write with a distorted doctrine and, although knowledgeable, others can be judgemental of adherents of ‘Sola Scripture’ – scripture alone. As this is in the public domain it is essential to correct with kindness thus avoiding confrontation.
In closing, only this morning I have an email about Franklin Graham’s call to Christians to battle culture; to stand for God and Biblical values despite social opposition.
Time to don our spiritual armour, as instructed by Paul (Ephesians 6:10-17 NIV):
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Footnote: The above images were found on the internet and I like to ascribe credit to and thank copyright holders. Please kindly inform me if you know the owners.