We have often heard it being said: ‘Be in the world but be not of the world.’ That is being in two different realms at the same time – the spiritual and the physical ! The Apostle Paul wrote : ‘Our citizenship is in heaven’ (Philippians 3:20) yet he could unashamedly say, “I am a Jew from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city ( Acts 21:39) … the commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” “Yes, I am,” he answered. Then the commander said, “I had to pay a big price for my citizenship.” “But I am a born citizen,” Paul replied. ( Acts 22:27- 28) Paul was being pragmatic about his dual citizenship and was not hypocritical as some believers are, who think being spiritual means to be unpatriotic. That is fanaticism!
We have learnt about sets and subsets in Mathematics and to say the Church is a subset within the world means one is within the other and therefore cannot be disenfranchised ( denied citizenship rights ) but still the other has no rights within the subset. The Church was meant to influence the world and not the world influencing the Church. Therefore Jesus said,“You are the SALT OF THE EARTH … the LIGHT OF THE WORLD… let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13,14,16) Paul further adds to these virtues by calling us, ‘the AROMA OF CHRIST among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.’ ( 2 Corinthians 2:15)
The Church will not be overpowered as long as the Holy Spirit stands in the way but once He leaves with the raptured saints, the ‘man of Lawlessness’ will be revealed who will overpower the tribulation saints (those who refuse to worship the beast or his image and would not receive his mark on their foreheads or their hands). ‘The beast was given power to make war against the saints and conquer them … All the inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast – all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb … this calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.’ (Revelation 13:7-10) ‘He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.’ ( Daniel 7:25) ‘When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.’ ( Daniel 12:7)
But now that the Church is still here on the earth, with the Holy Spirit standing in between the Church and the World, just as the pillar of cloud stood between the armies of Israel and Egypt (Exodus 14:19-20), the Church will not be overcome. “I will build my Church and the gates of Hades will not overcome (or prove to be stronger than) it.” (Matthew 16:18) History bears testimony to this fact that every effort to destroy the church has only caused it to grow in number as someone rightly said,“The blood of the saint is the seed of the Church.”
However ‘the secret power of lawlessness is already at work ( scheming to set up the kingdom of the beast ) but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.’ ( 2 Thessalonians 2:7 ) A ‘battle for the soul of the nation’ is being fought in the heavenlies and it has broken out into the earthly realm and if ‘WE THE CHURCH; WE THE PEOPLE’, as patriotic citizens, do not rise to defend our God given freedoms and liberties, as upheld by the Constitution, then our children will have to contend for their freedoms in a tyrannical State. The founding fathers defended it with their lives but a new generation ( whether be Millennials or post Millennials) has grown up, many who have being indoctrinated by the academia and the media, to hate nationalism, patriotism and religion. They wouldn’t mind trampling on the sacred values that their forefathers upheld and wouldn’t hesitate to commit acts of violence and arson, even to burn down the nation, all in the name Socialism. In my previous articles titled ‘Endtime lawlessness’ and ‘From Theocracy to tyranny’, I had mentioned that this slide to tyranny seems unstoppable but at least we can slow down its pace and keep Democracy alive until Christ returns or else we will find ourselves in a tyranny because we took our freedoms and liberties foregranted. The least we can do is to pray and educate ourselves and others and stand for the truth and ‘be the resistance’. Amen.