Summary: How to live a consistent, victorious life in a world that runs counter to Christian values.
Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There!
WE LIVE IN A WISHY-WASHY WORLD, full of compromisers, fence-sitters, and indecisive folks who are afraid to take a stand. Now and then, however, someone dares to go against the flow—dares to be different for righteousness sake---for the kingdom of God. And when it happens, it is refreshing, so inspiring.
Before World War II, Nora Waln wrote a book exposing Hitler and his Nazi plotters. The book, Reaching for the Stars, was intercepted in the German mails on its way to an American publisher. She fled to London, rewrote the book from memory and sent copies to Heinrich Himmler, the Nazi hangman. He took vengeance by imprisoning severn of her anti-Nazi friends. Miss Waln went back to Germany in 1939 and offered her life for the freedom of these friends. Himmler offered to empty a whole prison if she would rewrite the book to make Hitler appear good. In refusing, she said, “I am willing to forfeit my life, but not my beliefs!”
She took a stand, even if it meant her death. By the way, did you notice how many times in our scripture passage the word, “stand” appears? Four times! Four times in just nine verses. Let’s take this word and build a sermon on it in the next few minutes.
1. STAND UP!
Some Christians are afraid to take a stand for their Lord. They may be shy, self-conscious, fearful, or suffer from a lack of confidence. They need to hear the apostle Paul saying to them as he wrote to Timothy: “Do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord…” (II Timothy 1:8). They need also to remember what Jesus said in Luke 9:26: “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed.”
George Duffield wrote the words to a hymn that we often sing: Stand Up for Jesus. When we stand up courageously for the Lord, He will be there to strengthen, steady, and sustain us.
Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.”
Billy Graham used to tell a story of a professing Christian who got a job in a lumber camp that had the reputation of being very ungodly. When a friend heard that he had been hired, he said to him, “If those lumberjacks ever find out you’re a Christian, your going to be in for a very hard time!” The man responded, “I know it, but I really need the job.” After he had been working at the camp for a year, he met the friend who had predicted the ridicule and persecution he would receive from the other lumberjacks. “Well, how did it go?” he asked the friend. “Did they give you a hard time?” “Oh no, not at all,” the man replied. “They didn’t give me a bit of trouble---they never found out that I was a Christian!” (Windows on the Word).
Can you imagine someone happily married who never let anyone know about his wife? When you stand for the Lord, you stand for the truth, for righteousness, for holiness. I saw a sign on a church marquee that read, WE PREVENT TRUTH DECAY! That church wanted the world to know that they stood for truth—God’s truth.
2. STAND AGAINST
Look at verse 11 of our scripture passage. We are called upon to stand against the devil’s schemes. We can’t do this until first we have the armor of God on. When we take a stand, we draw a line the sand---against all the isms of the world:
In a time of loose and sagging morals, Satan provides many rationalizations for improper behavior. Those who would be faithful in Christian living must not be ignorant of the devil’s schemes (II Cor.2:11). Wrong is always wrong despite efforts to excuse our actions!
Wrong is wrong even if we don’t get caught! Let’s remember what Proverbs 15:13 says: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place beholding the evil and the good.”
Bumper Sticker: IF YOU DIDN’T GET CAUGHT, DID YOU REALLY DO IT?
Wrong is wrong, even if we do it for a good cause. The honorable purpose does not justify a dishonorable deed or action. The end never justifies the means. All sin is transgression of the law (I John 3:4; 5:17).
Wrong is wrong, even if others are doing worse things. It will be little comfort to the lost on the day of judgment to know that others committed worse sins. According to Proverbs 24:9, even the “thought of foolishness is sin.”
Wrong is wrong, even if it doesn’t bother the conscience. The conscience can be “trained” or “educated” to accept wrong-doing; even evil done in sincerity is sinful in the sight of a holy God.