Can You Stand Alone

Dear Brethren,

The Bible is filled with examples of those who had to courageously stand alone for God's Truth in the onslaught of the enemy.  We have been called to be kings and priests in the Kingdom of God.  We need to believe God's way of life in order to be able to stand for it.  Are we mature enough Christians to be able to live and stand for our faith?  As kings and priests to our God we will serve with Jesus Christ in standing for God's Way.  "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth."   (Revelation 5:10)

We are given this lifetime to firmly establish our character in God.  Through trials, experiences, and the help of God's Holy Spirit, we are able to come to the point of believing that God's way is the only way.  We will no longer be swayed by every wind of doctrine.  We will not succumb to spurious reasonings that divide men and brethren.  The Church of God was able to be scattered, and will yet be shattered, because we have not yet reached the state of maturity that we must.  We are divided as a people because we have not learned to rightly divide the word of Truth.  "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness."   (2Timothy 2:15-16)

It is critical for us to learn to sift through the philosophies and actions of those who do not understand the simplicity of Christ, so that we can become more spiritually grounded.  God wants us to stand for His priorities even if we have to stand alone.  We are not to stumble at every wind of "new" doctrine that makes the rounds.  We know that the place to learn about true Christianity is in God's Word.  Individually, we have been given the example of those in Berea.  "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so."   (Acts 17:11)

Every proven doctrine of Christ is coming under attack.  Many of our friends have left our fellowship over one point of doctrine or another.  Some became quite adamant and separated themselves from other brethren, believing that they had special knowledge imparted by God.  The apostle, John, concluded that those who left the fellowship of the saints, in that way, had not really been a part of the Body of Christ.  "They went out from us, but they were not of us: for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."   (1John 2:19)

Jesus Christ set us an example of being willing to go-it-alone. "This was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled."  (Matthew  26:56)  The simplicity and humility of Jesus is not attractive to this world.  Mankind, without the Spirit of God, cannot recognize a humble teacher - as Jesus was.  Our human nature suggests that bigger and bolder are best.  We naturally, but wrongly, seek to associate with the powerful and influential.  "Our faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."  (1Corinthians 2:5)  It requires Godly faith on our part to believe that God is actually directing our steps when we earnestly seek His way.  From his throne, God truly blesses us when our ways please Him.  "Promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south."   (Psalms 75:6)

Do we have the maturity to step out in faith and stand alone when necessary?  Are we able to stand alone when attacks come against the Truth?  Christ wants to know if we will always represent His truth in the face of adversity.  There is no safety in numbers - our only security is in Christ.  Many people are still laboring under the notion that there will always be someone available to make the important spiritual decisions for them. 

Spiritual maturity is standing on our own two feet before God - and giving an answer for ourselves.  If we are unable to take a stand for God at this present time - we will not stand accepted before Him at that day.  "Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."  (Luke 21:36)  In any case, we will stand alone before God to answer for our present actions.  "We shall all stand [alone] before the judgment seat of Christ.  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God."   (Romans 14:10,12)

God has called each one of us individually to be a part of His Church.  We are not able to relinquish our free moral agency to another person.  Too many people accept an outside dominion over their lives without hesitation and without question, and so are not able to make wise decisions on their own when heresy enters the Church.  We have been warned about putting our trust in men.  "Blessed is that man that makes the Lord his trust, and respects not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies."  (Psalms 40:4)

Christian maturity demands that we must develop the character to stand for God's priorities and not yield to anything else.  Each Christian must have dominion over his or her own faith.  With a well informed conscience, we are responsible to God directly.  "Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand."  (2Corinthians 1:24)  "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."   (Philippians 2:12-13)

The mature Christian will also be able to identify lions and wolves.  We should not be surprised when Satan or his demons take a swipe at us.  The mature Christian will also recognize God's true elect wherever they are.  As mature Christians, we will understand the impact and the implications of statements such as "to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word," and "you know you have passed from death unto life if you love the brethren."  (Isaiah 66:2, 1John 3:14)

When all is said and done, God is with us - so, we are not standing alone.  Jesus said, "Behold, the hour comes, yes, is now come, that you shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me."  (John 16:32)  Jesus has assured us, "I will never leave you or forsake you."  (Hebrews 13:5)  "Watch you, stand firm in the faith, live like men, be strong!  Let everything you do be done in Godly love."   (1Corinthians 16:13-14)


Sermon:  "Can You Stand Alone"