We knew this day would arrive. The 'slippery slope' of morality has now become a proverbial landslide of moral morass. What seemed to be a slow decline has now exponentially accelerated. The parading and applauding of all things unbiblical and immoral has reached its zenith on the shoulders of the autonomous self, where me, myself, and I are the arbiters of all things truthful and spiritual. Gone is any reference to transcendent authority.
But fear not, dear Christian. Like an athlete out of shape in the off-season layoff, it may take awhile for American Christians to awaken from our 'most-favored-religion-status' we have come to assume in this great country of ours, but I believe we're up to the task. We're not the first Christians to live 'behind enemy lines' nor will we be the last.
How does one live as a Christian in an era where same-sex marriage is now the norm, where homosexuality is openly celebrated, where hypocrisy in the church is consistently exposed, where atheism is not just an alternative intellectual option, but a hostile enemy, where Christianity is viewed as the enemy and not the founder and friend of America, and where the "spiritual shallowness" of many Christians, especially evangelical Christians, is being exposed for what it is - an Americanized version of cultural Christianity that is not authentic, genuine, or biblically orthodox?
The answer is that we learn from our brothers and sisters in other nations who have lived "behind enemy lines" – quite successfully, but sacrificially, I might add – for many years. What do they know that we must know in order to bear witness for the gospel of Jesus Christ? Here's my list of things we must know and live.
1. How sovereign God is. God is aware of our situation, always directing, even designing, and continually undergirding His children through difficult times.
2. How precious and powerful the Word of God is - inspired, sufficient, inerrant, infallible, efficient, and indispensable.
3. How dangerous the gospel is. Our great power is not in politics, but in preaching and living out with joy the gospel of Jesus Christ.
4. How important fellowship is. We need each other for prayer, support, and encouragement.
5. How necessary suffering is. We will demonstrate our faith through our suffering, not absent of it.
6. How miraculous and meaningful the person of the Holy Spirit is – comforter, truth-teller, guide.
7. How important stewardship is – resources "behind enemy lines" will be needed, generosity required, sacrifice demanded.
8. How sweet communion with Jesus is. We will learn that He is not just our Savior, but a friend to the oppressed and suffering.
9. How indispensable prayer is. War-time prayer is like a General communicating with his troops in the midst of the battle - it's essential.
10. How sustaining faith in God is . We will need to choose to believe all over again.
11. How effective and essential preaching and teaching is. Believers will need to rediscover the truth of God's Word through the constant reading of, study of, meditation on, and application of Scripture.
12. How much joy is called for. The joy of knowing that God is with us and that, in the end, this world is not our home ; we have a home in another place.
13. How God-glorifying and powerful persecution is. Persecution will move from being an anomaly to normality.
14. How indestructible the church is. She will stand triumphant in the end.
15. How God will be glorified in all things.