Pastor's Note for February 2015

Dr Paul Sagan on February 25, 2015

I am so glad that Pastor Atkinson has decided to bring John Bunyan’s lesser-known work, the Holy War to our attention via the children’s sermons. It is a needed reminder that we must be constantly attentive to the fact that we as individual believers and the church are involved in a holy war that is spiritual. This is the great corruption of Islam, taking the principle of holy war as mandate to force people to submit to Allah at the point of a gun or sword. The horrors of Islam’s advance are seen in the Near East, the Middle East, Africa, and now all too often in the West with Muslims killing in the name of Allah to bring others into submission. Not only do we face a growing hostility from Islam, we see an increasingly hostile culture at war with those who believe that God’s creation of man and woman in his image is the very foundation of human existence. More and more we see a hostile secular culture in every arena seeking to impose its values upon individual believers and the visible church. God’s call to us is not to be passive in the midst of this onslaught of His enemies:

"For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,"     (2Co 10:4-5 ESV)

We must advocate for the truth of the gospel in every sphere of influence that God places us in regardless of the consequences. We need to not fear but to entrust ourselves to the Lord Jesus who suffered and endured the cross to gain victory. We need not fear if it seems that Satan and his minions win victories that seem monumental. We need to be confident that the King and Lord of the universe has already secured the victory and remind ourselves of his posture toward those who hate him,

"The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, "Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us. He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision."     (Psalm 2:2-4 ESV)

The weapons of our warfare are described in detail in Ephesians 6:12-18, they are in summary, truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, salvation, the word of God, prayer and perseverance. The world is ablaze with conflict in every arena that mirrors the spiritual conflict in the heavenly realm. At every residence we possess, at every calling, as citizens of our communities, as those called to make a living in the arena of the world, as members of the body of Christ, individually and collectively we must press the battle.