The following blog post was originally posted here: How We Often Win By Losing …war on the saints pt 16
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. (Daniel 10:26)
And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed. (Daniel 11:32-35)
Why does God put his people in a situation where Satan makes war on the Saints, and overcomes them? How does martyrdom and persecution serve God’s holy purposes?
Perhaps it is a case , like the cross of Jesus, where we win by losing.
Had the Princes of this age, known, they would not have crucified the LORD of Glory.
Time and again, the people of the present age, languish under the damning lie of Satan.
In our own age unbelief and cynicism rage, mocking everything holy, desecrating the sacred, ridiculing that remnant which does believe. Even the practitioners of the true faith are tempted to falter and fail, as their “leaders” in the churches, christian publishing houses and so called Christian education accommodate the lie on varying levels.
How can the thick veil of unbelief and sin jaded hardness of heart ever going to be penetrated?
When truth and faith is nearly dead and the sacred is mocked, ridiculed and twisted, and when the remnant itself is nearly as jaded as the people they claim to want to reach, God uses extreme measures.
What would cause people to see that the Christian gospel has gravitas and is true?
Causing people to be put in a situation where to identify with it, cost them something, and letting the whole world see it.
Remember John Lennon’s anthem to atheism, the hideous song, “Imagine” which intones,
Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace
We now live in such a sad, pathetic world, crafted by the left wing, progressive movement, and inspired by Satan himself. What a sick, nihilistic world, of people living for the present day and only to fulfill their own pleasures!
I can’t think of a more depressing, and empty world. No wonder so many are living for entertainment, or on various legal and illegal drugs, or seeking to sate themselves in sex, or novel foods.
We live in the day Paul warned about, where people have become lovers of themselves and lovers of pleasure, with no God. They don’t believe in anything but the self, and the now. They have scoffed at and dismissed the old religion, but tried to fill the emptiness with other “values”.
Suddenly they hear about two bakers who lose their business and are subject to great ridicule and loss, because they wouldn’t cater a gay wedding. Or they see th plight of a clerk in Kentucky who endures ridicule and abuse because she wouldn’t distribute marriage licences to Sodomites.
People are forced to ask themselves, “Why would they go through that abuse when they could just let it go?”, Why suffer such loss and abuse?
Stories filter out to the wider world about Muslims killing Christians, after giving them a chance t pray the Muslim prayer and save their lives.
Persecution and martyrdom is a vivid testimony to those of a jaded and self seeking generation, that there is something worth suffering loss and even dying for. In some circumstances, it is the only way that jaded people would ever believe in the gospel of God and Christ.
I was forcefully struck by this two years ago while walking through the historic university part of the town of Oxford, in the United Kingdom.
As I passed through the ancient, cobblestoned streets I thought of the contrast of what was once being taught in this University, compared to what is currently being taught in it’s famed halls.
The University is a Christian innovation, and the central and chief subject was theology. Every other subject revolved around the “queen of sciences”, an the entire curriculum reflected a distinctly Christian worldview.
But now that same University is a virtual citadel of vain philosophies such as relativism, existentialism, the Humanities, and is primarily coming from an atheistic and humanistic outlook. To the same extent in which Universities once offered to enrich and build up the world, they now tear down and destroy through these toxic and empty philosophies.
But standing in the Campus plaza is a massive monument to three Christians, who rather than acknowledge the Pope as the head of the church, and the mass as an offering of Christ, allowed themselves to be arrested and burnt at the stake! What a slap in the face of relativism and all of the other modern denials that Truth exists!
When Ridley was asked if he believed the pope was heir to the authority of Peter as the foundation of the Church, he replied that the church was not built on any man but on the truth Peter confessed — that Christ was the Son of God. Ridley said he could not honor the pope in Rome since the papacy was seeking its own glory, not the glory of God. Neither Ridley nor Latimer could accept the Roman Catholic mass as a sacrifice of Christ. Latimer told the commissioners, “Christ made one oblation and sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, and that a perfect sacrifice; neither needeth there to be, nor can there be, any other propitiatory sacrifice.” These opinions were deeply offensive to Roman Catholic theologians.
Both Ridley and Latimer were burned at the stake in Oxford on this day, October 16, 1555. As he was being tied to the stake, Ridley prayed, “Oh, heavenly Father, I give unto thee most hearty thanks that thou hast called me to be a professor of thee, even unto death. I beseech thee, Lord God, have mercy on this realm of England, and deliver it from all her enemies.”
The monument at Oxford reads,
“To the Glory of God, and in grateful commemoration of His servants, Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley, Hugh Latimer, Prelates of the Church of England, who near this spot yielded their bodies to be burned, bearing witness to the sacred truths which they had affirmed and maintained against the errors of the Church of Rome, and rejoicing that to them it was given not only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for His sake; this monument was erected by public subscription in the year of our Lord God, MDCCCXLI.”
Through this kind of testimony, godless people are forced to see that there is Truth, and it is worth dying for, rather than denying, and this often compels people to believe, in the cynical age of unbelief. This is how often we are called to “Win” the spiritual war, by losing.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.(Revelation 12:11)
To purchase Pastor Bill Randle’s book, “A Sword on the Land: The Muslim World in Bible Prophecy”, please visit: http://www.aswordontheland.com/buy/