Firm against what?
Yesterday we discussed how, like Emperor penguins, the believer must “stand firm.” Emperor penguins must stand firm against the frigid sub-zero temperatures of the Antarctic, the bitter cold winter winds, and the predators which seek to destroy them.
We too, as those whose hope in in the Lord Jesus Christ, must “stand firm.” We must stand firm in unity, in strength, in determination, and in Christ. But against what do we stand firm? This past Sunday brother Joseph Irwin outlined to us several things against which Christians must resolutely stand firm.
We must stand firm against deception.
“Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.” (Matt. 24:4).
We must stand firm against complacency.
“…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” (Phil. 2:12).
We must stand firm against impurity.
“let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” (2 Cor. 7:1).
We must stand firm against worldly standards, immorality.
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…” (2 Tim. 3:2-4).
We must stand firm against irresponsibility. (Ezek. chapters 3 & 33).
“…I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.” (Ezek. 33:7).
We must stand firm against scoffers and mockery.
“Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’” (2 Pet. 3:3-4).
We must stand firm against fearfulness.
“…the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Tim. 1:7).
We must stand firm against indifference.
“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.” (Ezek. 16:49-50).
Stand firm then, like an Emperor penguin. It’s every believer’s mandate — as clear as black and white!
“…the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matt. 24:13).