– Peter Marshall
There is a truth war out there today and so we must stand and fight for what is right or we shall fall or anything.
Contending for the Faith
I had a brother in Christ ask me about a debate going on between two Christians who were arguing over something that was a non-essential. He asked me what I thought. I said, “I’d stay out of it unless it’s an essential to the faith like Christ’s divinity, His sinless-ness, and His resurrection…but if it’s something silly like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin” I say “stay out of it.” Jude wrote that he “found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). The faith that was delivered by Christ and the apostles is worth contending for because there’s a war out there…a spiritual war and its being fought against the faith once delivered. That is worth fighting for.
Contending for the True Gospel
Even in Paul’s day there was another gospel already floating around out there that was deceiving some and compromising the one, true gospel. Satan and his minions have their own gospel and he takes a little bit of truth and mixes it with error but renders it as toxic as poison. Paul told the Galatian church “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ” (Gal 1:6-7) so Paul wrote that “even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed” (Gal 1:8). Satan has his own version of the gospel and it usually includes one of two things; either too many regulations and rules making it a form of legalism or it is lasciviousness meaning unbridled lust, excess and shamelessness, and since we are under grace, more grace abounds the more we sin. Paul answers that by writing “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means” (Rom 6:1-2a).
Contending for the Essentials
Paul warned Timothy in his last letter before being be-headed that there will come a time “when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (2 Tim 4:3-4) and already some “have departed from the truth” (2 Tim 2:18a). God had warned Paul that this “truth war” was coming when he warned Timothy that “the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons” (2 Tim 4:1). Those times have come my friends.
We must contend for the gospel of Jesus Christ that was once and for all delivered, we must watch out for this “other” gospel which is really no gospel at all, and we must know that this departure from the truth was something we were warned about in Scripture. It has come and it will get worse so remember that “Unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.”