Wednesday, September 19, 2012

                          HISTORY REVEALS OUR ENEMY'S IDENTITY     
     Much has been said about history.  The more common sayings center on the repeating characteristic of history.  One of my favorites is, "If we have learned one thing from history, it's that we have learned nothing from history."  This seemingly contradictory statement has been credited to former President John F. Kennedy, though I don't know if it originated with him or if he borrowed it from another source. 
     Regardless, the words are true and they serve to show us again why history has a tendency to repeat itself.  We still haven't truly learned anything from past historical events, even when those events are taken from the annuls of inspired Scripture.  Recently, a major league baseball player was suspended because of a homophobic slur.  While I believe there are better ways to address such issues, what really stands out is the deteriorating right of free speech.
     Speak out today against Christianity or God and that's okay.  Speak out against sinful lifestyles and that's not okay, it is getting to be a crime.  But such is not new.  In Acts 4:18 we read where Peter and John were ordered not to speak any more in the name of Jesus, nor were they to teach about Jesus to others.  What was their response?  Instead of shrinking back in fear they simply said, "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.  For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard" (vs. 19,20).
     Efforts continued to silence these two men as well as others who would dare to speak in the name of Jesus.  After being arrested again (chapter 5) for preaching Jesus to the people, Peter and John were brought before the council and again ordered to keep silent concerning the name of Jesus.  This time the rest of the apostles were also there.  When the fact they were ordered not to teach in Jesus' name to the people was brought to their attention they responded, "We ought to obey God rather than men" (5:29).
     Throughout history those who desire to live godly lives have been persecuted by one common enemy, Satan.  It was ultimately Satan who was behind the attacks of the Jews upon the apostles.  It is Satan is at the heart of the attacks against godliness today.  The real issue is do we as God's children believe in His power as the apostles did, or are going to allow Satan, God's enemy as well as ours, to win battles upon this earth?
     Satan has already lost the war and he knows it.  So why should we allow him to win any battle?  Remember the battle still belongs to the Lord (! Sam. 17:47; 2 Chron. 20:15).  While there are many forces seeking to do harm to our children, the ultimate enemy is Satan.  It is fallen to this generation to take the stand necessary to defeat Satan and his evil schemes.  May we learn what history keeps telling us.  As we take up the banner of our Lord may we echo the words, "We must obey God rather than men."   And to God be the glory.  Rodger

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