What is a glorious victory over sin? We know that in many cases sin has corrupted cities, institutions and peoples. In that case a victory over sin involves moving forward and ‘taking strongholds’. There is a time to be offensive in the war against sin, but sometimes this is not the case. Sin does try to take our own strongholds and amajor defensive victory is just to make a stand. I am defensively minded as a tactician and so I resonate with good defenses. In military strategy there is strength in planning good positions for redoubts, towers and gates. In this way the enemy loses so much in trying to take their objective that they give up the fight. However, in this world of pluralistic and postmodern thought we seldom make a stand. We too soon sacrifice the eternal truth of God for transient lies that make us popular with the masses but lose us the essentials of our faith. As a game I have played says, “An open mind is like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded.” Another quote I have heard is, “He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” The reality of the Christian faith is in many ways unchanging. In the Last Days it will be assaulted covertly and overtly. Those who win the victory in those days are those who do not bend. Those who rejoice at the end of the tumult are those who made no concessions to keep the peace with The Beast, The False Prophet, or Satan himself. To win is to endure.
1 I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed. 2 And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name. They held harps given them by God 3and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb:
“Great and marvelous are your deeds,
Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
King of the nations.[a]
4 Who will not fear you, Lord,
and bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”[b]
5 After this I looked, and I saw in heaven the temple—that is, the tabernacle of the covenant law—and it was opened. 6 Out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues. They were dressed in clean, shining linen and wore golden sashes around their chests. 7 Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever. 8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.
- Why are the plagues the ‘last’ plagues?
- According to the victorious few what will all nations do?
- In your opinion did the victorious harpests win by allowing themselves to be killed rather than recant?
- What assaults are made on Christians today where to give ground is to betray God?
- Are there areas where we must compromise the literal requirements of our faith in order to live in today’s world?