Thomas Paine, at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, wrote, ‘these are the times that try men’s souls.” The deluge of pressures converging during these tenuous times raises questions within the heart and soul. Here the bravery of men is addressed, especially for those who fought in the war even at the expense of possibly losing their lives. Yet, he contrasted their bravery with the summertime soldiers who would only engage in the battle if conditions were convenient. Like in the time of Paine, we are currently at war. The battle is for the souls of individuals and the soul of this generation. The crisis today is the unbelief in Christ and those who are misguided by and through the philosophies of men. Unfortunately, the tragedy of our day is that many do not realize it.
As it was in the days of Noah before the Flood, business goes on as usual. Nothing about their routine is changed. Spiritual apathy has defined this generation. As we engage in a global crisis, the simpleminded are only capable of seeing the effect of it from day to day and contributing factors are not given any consideration. As ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, our primary assignment is the preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Only through preaching God’s Truth, which transcends human wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, will people be prepared to take the right stand and defend the right causes. The minister must first be called or recruited by God, and then must answer the call by abandoning self and permitting his life to be hidden in Christ. Only then can he meet the criteria to speak as the oracle of God. His message is the message of God’s Kingdom, which is God’s rule and reign over all His creation.
The battle is the cataclysmic collision between two opposing kingdoms—the kingdom of darkness and the Kingdom of Light. The deceptive strategy of the devil camouflages his agenda, which causes individuals to interpret all things as the kingdom of self. Many choose to focus on self-image, self-gratification, and self-awareness while he comes to steal, kill, and destroy their souls. The disruptive nature of spiritual light exposes the character of those that would otherwise operate with their motives undetected. The closer we come to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, the more turbulence will be experienced within the culture. As it was when Simeon prophesied about Christ when he came to earth, he remarked, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” Luke 2:34-35.
The closer we come to the return of the Lord, a higher the price that must be paid by the faithful as evidence of their loyalty to the His standard of righteousness. The devil knows that his time is short, therefore he is using every piece of his arsenal at his exposal. Yet there will be faithful servants standing who have set their sights on things above, and who daily choose not to grow weary even if the whole world stands against them.