Stand Firm in Christ!

Posted on October 16, 2021

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By David Ettinger

Christianity Under Attack
In the West, Christianity has never been under more attack than now. Of course throughout Europe hundreds of years ago Christians were burned at the stake – but this was from “within,” Catholics burning Protestant “heretics” and vice versa.

Regarding the present, I’m talking about the foundations of the faith. During the heretic-burning days, the reality of God, Jesus, the Bible, and Christianity in general were not challenged, it was the beliefs regarding them that were.

Now, however, all the above is being challenged. The notion of a God who created all things is the stuff of fairy tales. That one man could bare the sins of the world in His sinless flesh and then rise from the dead is lunacy. That one book alone claims to be the only source of truth is preposterous. And that only one religion possesses the key to eternal life is absurd.

Such summarizes the unsaved world’s view of Christianity, and this view is becoming ever more prevalent. Just look at the decaying culture. Just look at how governments revel in enacting laws which defy the Bible. Just look at how the education system promotes teachings which mock God. And just look at how society so voraciously devours depravity.

Feeling the Heat
More and more, Western Christians will feel the heat of such God-repudiation as life will get harder for us. Hardships could come in the form of Christians losing our jobs for our biblical worldview, being denied college admission, having homeowners refuse to sell or rent to us, and a number of other restrictions.

This heat will make Christians sweat. We will feel the pressure society puts on us, knowing that we either must conform to its mandates or suffer the consequences. It will challenge our faith and confidence in God. It will challenge the core beliefs upon which we stake our lives. Our faith will be tested.

But remember, every generation for the past 1,900 years has been challenged in similar – and worse – ways and have been scorched by the same heat. It began with the advent of Christianity and continues to this day.

The apostle Paul was well aware of this as he lived during the brutal persecution instituted by Roman emperor Nero. He both witnessed and experienced the very real pain of it (2 Corinthians 11:23-29). Paul was also aware of the sufferings endured by the early churches. One such church was that in Thessalonica. Paul wrote to them (emphasis added):

  • “You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:6).
  • “For you … became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people …” (1 Thessalonians 2:14).
  • “Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring” (2 Thessalonians 1:4).

As you see, we are not alone. In fact, we cannot even compare our current Western “persecution” to that of the 1st century Church. However, I believe over the next few decades we could well come close.

Stand Firm!
With this in mind, I offer you Paul’s words of encouragement and comfort. It was good enough for them, it is good enough for us. Paul wrote (emphasis added):

But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you … to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then … stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you … (2 Thessalonians 2:13-15).

I call your attention to the highlighted words. First, notice that you were called. This means you were “elected” by God to become a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Your faith in Him is by design, and was ordained before the world began (Ephesians 1:4-5)!

Second, because you were chosen to belong to Christ, you are to stand firm in Him. Never doubt Christ’s deity (Romans 10:9; Colossians 1:16), that He promised you eternal life (John 10:27-28), and that He will preserve you until your time in this life is over (Matthew 28:20).  

Therefore, stay grounded in the Lord Jesus and the “teachings … passed on to you,” that is, the Bible. No matter what this world does to you, stand firm in your faith. Cling to you faith. Never deny the deity of the Lord Jesus, and never question the Bible. Read it every day. Cherish it. Study it. Strive to know it.

As we draw nearer to the return of Christ, the heat will be turned up, but don’t lose heart – Christ is close by, closer than you know! Resolve now to stand firm for Christ so that when the flames intensify you will be able to declare from the deepest recesses of your soul: “Jesus Christ is Lord!”