Church of God, New World Ministries

Mankind’s Greatest Battle

Mankind is now engaged in a momentous struggle, the results of which may well prove to be the total destruction of human life from this planet! But these are not my words. In one form or another, this startling fact has been proclaimed by the leading military and political analysts of the past and today.

This colossal struggle is widely recognized, but it is not understood. Almost no one understands the real cause of this chaotic international situation and of the individual wretchedness of so many millions of human beings. Why don’t our political, religious and military leaders have a definite answer to the basic cause of this world’s problems?

The basic answer to this question, in principle, is apparently understood by a few of our greatest statesmen. But they do not possess the knowledge of how to apply that basic clue to obtain the solution of this world’s problems.

Let us carefully examine the words of two of the greatest soldier-statesmen of our time.

In his inaugural address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower states: “Science seems ready to confer upon us, as its final gift, the power to erase human life from this planet.” Yes, the late President Eisenhower realizes that man may soon destroy himself. He then set forth the nine principles which were to govern our international relationships; he stated a truth which, if properly applied, would be a big step toward the solution, not only of our own problems, but those of the entire world.

He said, “For this truth must be clear before us: Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America.”

In an even more effective manner, Jesus Christ proclaimed this same truth: “Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, let me pull out the mote from thine eye; and behold a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye” (Matt. 7:4-5). America needs to repent and clean up here at home!

All available statistics show that this “Christian” land of ours is literally infested with graft, greed, crime and corruption of every description. All is not well!

Could it be that God is purposely letting us learn by experience that our individual and national ways are wrong? What is the “fruit,” the product, the result, if you will, of our national way of life? Better than any other group, the youth of the nation reflects the results of our society.

Notice the following statistics in the year 2008, from two cities in Kentucky -- Lexington and Louisville -- And remember, this is only two cities in one state: Violent Crime 6,086, Murders-83, Rape- 357 Robbery- 2,291, Assaults- 3,355, Property Crime- 39, Burglary- 144, 9,537 Larceny, theft- 26,401, automobile theft- 856, Arson- 266.

Let’s face it! The results of our society are evil. As a nation we are not getting better we are getting worse! Who is to blame for this national decadence and the growing criminality of our youth?

God Almighty lays the principle blame for our national sins squarely on one certain class of people. But before we examine the true Bible revelation on this subject, let us refer to a unique and striking statement made by General Douglas MacArthur in regard to the chaotic international situation.

When he was relieved of his command and ordered to return to this country by then President Truman, General MacArthur made a historic address before the assembled Congress of the United States. In that dramatic speech, he made some pointed statements which revealed the depth of his understanding. He said, “I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. Men since the beginning of time have sought peace. Military alliances, balances of power, League of Nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. The utter destructiveness of war now blocks this alternative. We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, our Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spirit of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all the material and cultural developments of the past 2000 years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.”

Let us scrutinize two of these remarkable statements. Although he is one of the greatest and most successful generals of our time, MacArthur believes that in war we have had our last chance! This agrees exactly with the sure word of prophecy contained in your Bible! In these last days God is going to punish His people Israel (America and Britain) by allowing us to be conquered and taken into slavery.

Next, MacArthur states that the solution of this global problem of war, strife, and human misery is basically a theological one! And once again, this agrees exactly with your Bible! In the first and second chapters of Micah, the prophet speaks of the soon-coming destruction and captivity of our people the descendents of Israel. In chapter 2, verses 12-13, Micah shows that God will then gather all those who survive this captivity and will go before them and lead them as a shepherd does his sheep. So the captivity spoken of is yet to come, and will not end until the second coming of Jesus Christ.

In chapter three, Micah lays the blame for our sins squarely on the shoulders of the preachers or prophets “who lead my folk astray, who cry all’s well if they get food to eat, and open war on any who deny them, it shall be night for you, devoid of vision, till seers are shamed, and the diviners blush, in mourning, all of them, because no answer comes from God” (Micah 3:5-7).

Micah proceeds to show that our national calamity will come because today preachers “teach for hire” and mislead the people? This same theme is repeated in Jeremiah 23, Ezekiel 34, and many other places in your Bible. God lays the blame for national tragedy and individual misery squarely on the shoulders of those ministers who have failed to show the people their sin, and to teach them God’s law.

MacArthur was right. The solution to this world’s ills is basically a theological one. Religion is infinitely more important than you have realized. We have already seen that even our national leaders realize that this is the most important question affecting our lives, our very existence!

And what have we found to be the “fruit,” the results of our present day religious institutions? Need we rehearse the tragedy of broken homes and lives, of increasing crime among youth, of mounting corruption in high places, of international strife and impending global destruction? When will America wake up?

If we will only acknowledge it, the solution to all our problems, national and individual lies in a change in our personal relationship to God and our fellow men. But most people don’t want to change; people want to conform to the ideals of those about them. They want to be “popular.” That’s why there is nothing that our leaders can do. They can’t change the people’s heart. Only God can do that. But God won’t do it until the people want to be changed, until they cry out to Him to deliver them from their own ways.

May God grant you the courage to put truth before error, to esteem your Creator, His law and His way more than you esteem the love and admiration of this world? Then and only then will you achieve the real happiness and inner peace and joy that God intended.

Only when all peoples have been compelled by divine intervention to seek repentance of their own ways and customs and have begun to live by God’s law and His way, will universal peace and happiness be brought to this earth. You need to begin to study your Bible as you never have studied it before! “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (I Thess. 5:21).

If, by chance, you are uncertain as to the actual existence of a creative God, study all sides of the question. You can prove that God exists. There are articles and sermons on this website that will be of great help in the study of the Bible. Pray as you never prayed before. Ask God to show you His way. You can find God’s truth if you really want to!

When you have repented of your sins, accepted Christ as your Saviour, and are doing your best to live by every word of God, then you will be under God’s own divine protection during the perilous times ahead.

But what about all the people who take this warning lightly? Who refuse to repent of following the popular traditions of men? Who refuse to obey their God and Creator and His laws? Therein lies the cause of the greatest battle in the history of all mankind. It is the battle of truth against error, of light against darkness, of the forces of good against the forces of evil. This battle is raging at this very moment. You should learn to recognize the enemy. (Send for our FREE CD, “This Present Evil World”).

When Jesus Christ trod this earth in the human flesh, He lived a life of perfect obedience to God’s law, setting us an example (John 15:10, I Peter 2:21). He taught that we should all keep God’s law (Matt. 5:17-19). Christ taught that it was wrong to reject God’s law in order to hold to the traditions of men (Mark 7:6-8). He said that we should strive to become perfect become like God in every way (Matt. 5:48).

But He showed that very few would enter in at the “strait gate, for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction and many there be which go in thereat” (Matt. 7:13). Yes, Jesus Christ taught that very few will be saved in this dispensation.

He went on to warn, “beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matt. 5:15-16). This western world in which you live is a product of the “fruits” of modern day “Christianity.” Look at the kind of society it has produced!

Jesus Christ, although liked by the common people, was never popular with the religious or political leaders. He was considered a radical and was finally condemned and put to death like a common criminal. He told his followers, “woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26).

So God’s true prophets and ministers today will not be esteemed by this world, but the false prophets will be. Let’s remember that God’s true servants suffered persecution and opposition wherever they went. At one time, Paul and Silas were accused of “turning the world upside down” (Acts 17:6).

Why? Because they were preaching the good news (gospel) of the kingdom or government of God. This involved repentance of sin, which is the transgression of God’s law (I john 3:4). It involved accepting Christ as the Son of God, the King of kings and Lord of lords who will soon return to rule this world with a rod iron (Rev. 19:14-15).

As Christ prophesied of false prophets, Paul warned the Ephesian elders, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts. 20:29-30).

Here we find that false teaching was going to arise, even from within the visible congregation of God’s own true church.

Several years later we find Jude writing to the saints that they should “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Already, men had perverted God’s truth! Saints were instructed to “contend” or fight for the truth which was “once delivered” but had already suffered at the hands of false prophets (Jude 4).

This, then, is the Christian Battle. It is to contend for God’s truth which was “once delivered unto the saints.” Only when this truth dominates the entire world can we have real peace and security among all peoples. We who know God’s truth have the most important job on earth to perform!

We have to fight against and subvert our own human nature which inclines us to disobey God. Then we must go out to help others, must expose, battle, and overcome the false teachings which cause all of this world’s misery. Last of all, we must challenge and conquer the very power of Satan himself, for he will turn his full fury on God’s true servants.

In all of this, we will require power and strength from God, or we would utterly fail in our own efforts. We should look upon this job of ours as a battle.

In Ephesians 6:10-20, the apostle Paul uses this symbolism in describing our struggle, “against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” He tells us that our only offensive weapon is “the Word of God.” We must understand and be able to use this word effectively.

Paul told his young helper, Timothy, that he should, “endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (II Tim. 2:3). We, too, must be willing to endure hardship and to sacrifice for the work of God. We need to have more zeal for the struggle in which we are engaged!

How many of you have really sacrificed that this gospel might go out to the entire world? How many of you are contributing financially to help support this work? How much time do you spend in earnest prayer asking God to open doors that this gospel can go out to the entire world?

Men in this world will train long, hard, grueling hours, will often have to sacrifice many of their ordinary comforts, and will sometimes even give up their jobs, just to compete in the Olympic Games for what Paul calls a “corruptible crown” (I Cor. 9:25). Are you willing to go beyond just “doing your part? Let’s show God that we really mean it!

Remember that actions speak louder than words, and that “FAITH “without works is dead.” How about your prayers? Your Bible study? Have you brought others to the truth by the example of your life?

God uses your monetary support as a test of your Christian loyalty. These are Jesus’ words: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:21). You may not be called to give all your time, and talents, and energy, your very life, to God’s work, but what you can do, God holds you accountable for. Are you doing your part?

Truly, we “have a fight on our hands.” But the stakes are high. They are eternal life in the soon-coming Kingdom of God.

Let us fight with all our strength in this Christian battle that we may say with the apostle Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness” (II Tim. 4:7-8).

 
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