Larry Deeds

In December 1944, things were bleak for the U.S. 101st Airborne in Bastogne, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. The 101st was surrounded by German troops, outnumbered, outgunned and running out of supplies. On Dec. 22, the German commander sent a terse directive to the Americans that demanded an “honorable surrender.” General Anthony McAuliffe made a memorable reply: “To the German Commander: Nuts! The American Commander.” The soldiers fought and were victorious.

Since Christ established His church, a similar battle has been going on. While knowing he is an already defeated foe, Satan continues to battle against the army of God using any weapons and tactics he can think of. He is relentless, but he will not win. His victories come in seeing local churches weaken, Christians’ surrender and the message of the gospel cease to be spread.

Across the world, governments and ideologies have suppressed the freedoms of the church to openly share the good news, the only good news that has hope, peace and a future. The church is persecuted and has often gone underground, but it perseveres.

And today in America, the church is facing unprecedented warfare as Satan pushes his attack stronger and more openly. We see more and more that the church has rights only inside the church walls and not in the public arena. Politicians want to pass laws limiting the church’s ability to carry out our great commission. Judges ignore and rewrite the Constitution’s First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of religion and freedom to practice our faith.

And during the recent pandemic, authorities have been quick to usurp the rights of churches. And while none of us want to do things to endanger our congregations or to rebel against governmental powers, we have, at times, been too quick to capitulate.

The satanic attacks are not new. They will not cease until the Lord returns. But they are new and stronger against the church in America today. So, what do we do? We can hide our heads in the sand and pretend nothing is going on. Or we can surrender to the culture. Many local churches have been doing that for a while now, watering down the gospel, ignoring Scripture that makes some people uncomfortable, becoming more of a social club than a church.

Or we can say to Satan and the culture the same that General McAuliffe did: “Nuts!” We will be the very best patriots in our nation; we will obey the laws of the land; but we will always obey God’s word, His precepts and commands, first and foremost. We will not back down on proclaiming the entire Bible, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 as God said it.

We will call sin sin and love sinners…because we all are. We will love and take care of the poor and needy. And we will pray for revival in our land, a deep spiritual awakening without which America will not long endure.

America is a miracle nation, one nation under God. He ordained and has kept her, and He’s given us the command to care for her and share with her the gospel. If we fail, America will fall from the foundation-shaking apathy, materialism and amorality within. And the worst is that if we, God’s church in America, does not do our work, people will die and go to hell. That should strengthen our resolve not to give up but to get on our knees, to spend time in the word, to get our local churches mobilized to do His will. Remember who our commander is. He won the final victory on Calvary and with the empty tomb. And we fight from victory, not for it.

There is no time to waste, but we will not surrender.

I’ll close with the lyrics of “Army of the Lord” written by Lamb Russell Brent:

“All around us a war’s going on between the wrong and the right. We’ve gotta choose which side we’re on — the darkness or the light. Some o the soldiers of the Lord just don’t realize that the captain of the army of darkness has come to blind their eyes.

“Can’t you see that we’re in a battle and there’s no place to hide? The shields of faith are full of darts and they’re shooting from every side. Just shake out the darts and run right at ‘em and remember who you’re fighting for. Don’t fall asleep because if they catch you, they’ll take you prisoner of war.

“Are we walking into the enemy’s camp, laying our weapons down; shedding our armor as we go, leaving it on the ground? We’ve gotta be strong in the power of His might and prove to the enemy, we are the army of the Lord and we’ve won the victory.”

What’s going on?

As we continue in our new normal, more churches are opening, often with different schedules and other modifications. And as summer progresses, we’re thinking about vacation Bible school and other activities.

Let your congregation and the community know what’s going on in your church, temple, house of worship or other faith-based organization by letting Church Talk help.

You can send your announcements to us by email at bethanyb@sccoast.net.

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