Having arrived in life to that stage of existence whereby I can officially be classified as a senior citizen, I want to say that there are two very good reasons for going to bed early on New Year’s Eve instead of staying up to party. First, been there, done that. Second, the world seems to be going more insane with each passing year in the way it celebrates. What was once unheard of behavior, is now common place news. This is happening because evil is militant.
I define evil as injurious behavior to self, or to others. There are degrees of evil behavior, but evil is what it is. And evil is militant. It has an agenda, and that agenda is to enslave souls to the point that freedom to act in a rational and holy manner is destroyed so that the Evil One, Satan, can control the life. God is dismissed along with moral decency and honor.
The most rational of people can succumb to evil, and to the Evil One. Just ask Adam and Eve. It is because evil is so militant, and the Evil One is so persistent, that Jesus told His followers to pray for God to “deliver us from evil.” (Matt. 6:13), or as the NIV says, “deliver us from the Evil One.”
This prayer is needed more than ever reflected in the fact that America is a drug crazed nation. In 2017, story after story reported on the opioid epidemic in this country. Then it was revealed that former President Obama, and his Department of Justice, turned a blind eye to the Islamist terrorist organization, Hezbollah, as it smuggled tons of cocaine into the United States. Why would the former president do that? Because he too had an agenda, which was to come to a nuclear arms deal with Iran. Nothing would stand between him and that goal, not even the free distribution of cocaine drugs. The Obama administration sabotaged the Drug Enforcement Agency which was trying to stop Hezbollah (Arabic for “Part of God) from bringing cocaine into the United States. In the name of Allah, drugs are being brought into America to destroy it.
That Americans consume illicit and harmful drugs is to the countries eternal shame. The number of drug addicted babies born in the United States has quadrupled in just one decade because of the heroin epidemic.
More than thirteen thousand babies are born each year suffering from withdrawal symptoms due to their mother’s use of drugs. In 2004, seven babies in every 1,000 were born dependent on narcotics. By 2013, that figure leaped to 27 per 1,000.
One reason for America’s drug epidemic is the fact that mockery greets any attempt to criticize, condemn, or control even so called recreational drugs, such as marijuana. Just ask one contributor to Fox News, Laura Ingraham.
On Monday, January 1, 2018, Laura Ingraham criticized CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and Bravo host Andy Cohen who dispatched correspondent Randi Kaye to the “Canni-bus,” a marijuana bus part in Denver where recreational marijuana use is legal. Laura Ingraham tweeted about the potheads saying, “We’ll see how this all works out for our country. More potheads, an increase in cases of schizophrenia, psychosis, more impaired driving….as #BigWeed makes billions.”
Within minutes hundreds of replies poured forth on the internet making fun of the Fox News host. The message is clear. People do not want anyone to stop them from taking their narcotics, or criticize them in any way. Such is the militant nature of evil. What should Christians do?
First, Christians need to set a good example by not using drugs, such as marijuana. Among the more than 1 in 3 people in America who have tried recreational marijuana at one point in their lives, are many professing Christians. This is to their eternal shame. Pot can affect the body and mind any time it gets into the system. That is simply a medical fact. The hemp plant Cannabis sativa has an active ingredient called THC that makes a person feel high. The body absorbs the THC right away.
Smoking pot can increase the heart rate by as much as two times for up to three hours, which is why some people have a heart attack right after they use marijuana. The drug also irritates the lungs, which is why regular pot smokers are more likely to have a persistent cough, and have lung related health problems like chest colds, and lung infections. Other physical effects of marijuana include dizziness, shallow breathing, red eyes and dilated pupils, dry mouth, increased appetite leading to the “munchies”, and a slowed reaction time. The risk of being in a car accident more than doubles after marijuana use.
The Christian has an opportunity to be an example to others by exercising self-control, and not seeking an unnatural high. Just because something feels so good, does not make it right. Christian young person, listen to God’s Word and this gospel exhortation. “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Tim. 4:12)
Second, Christians need to love God more than the pleasures of the world. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)
Third, Christians need to be as militant for righteousness as other individuals are militant for unrighteousness. It is not easy to be mocked and ridiculed for doing what is right. It is difficult to resist the movement of society towards moral decadence. On January 1, 2018, California became the sixth state to legalize marijuana. How foolish. The alternative to a drug crazed nation is Jesus, and being committed to His teachings and way of life. “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2 Tim. 2:3)
There are five qualities of a good soldier.
First, a good soldier recognizes he is a follower. One day Jesus said to Peter and his brother Andrew, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Christ invites individuals to follow Him.
Second, a good soldier is faithful. He endures hardship, and does not quit. A good soldier will allow nothing to come between him and the mission he has undertaken. Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God.” (Matt. 6:33)
Third, a good soldier is a fighter. The good soldier does not retreat in the face of the enemy, nor run away from a fight. The Christian fighter will put on the whole armor of God in order to do his duty to God and country. “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Eph. 6:11-18)
Fourth, a good soldier is familiar with his enemy. The Christian is to be familiar with the tactics of the devil. The Church is “not ignorant of his devices.” (2 Cor. 2:11) One effective devise of the Evil One is drug influence, and drug addiction.
Fifth, a good soldier is a finisher. He endures to the end. The Bible says, “But he that endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matt. 24:13) Paul ran the Christian life like a race. He kept his eye on the prize. He wanted to finish the race, and he did. Paul said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim. 4:7)
Because evil is militant, let every Christian be just as militant for the Lord. For more than 60 years Billy Graham held massive crusades around the world. He knew that the Church is in a struggle with the world, the flesh, and the devil, for the souls of men, women, and young people. The battle is real, and persistent. Therefore, on, Christian soldiers!
“Onward Christian soldiers!
Marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus
Going on before.
Christ, the royal Master,
Leads against the foe;
Forward into battle,
See, His banners go!
Onward, Christian soldiers!
Marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus,
Going on before.
Sabine Baring-Gould, 1865