Idealists are rare these days. Everything is supposed to be relative and not absolute. The humanists are absolutely positive about their relativity! But the clarion call of truth still demands that we take a definite stand for truth. The only way we can be free is through the liberty that Christ provides in the standard of truth (John 8:32-36). The Word of God has always been precious (1 Sam. 3:1). No man can really be wise if he has a disdain for Scripture (Jer. 8:9). The words of eternal life flow from Jesus (John 6:68) and help to form conviction, as we read in 2 Cor. 4:13: “I have believed, therefore I have spoken.” This loyalty to divine mandates caused Paul to be set for the defense of the gospel and to publicly affirm and defend truth (Phil. 1:17; Acts 17:3). Amos plainly commands God’s servants to “hate the evil and love the good.” There is a clear line of demarcation between right and wrong (Matt. 6:24). Truth and error are not the same (Matt. 12:30). We must earnestly contend for the faith (Jude 1:3) and to plainly denounce evil (Eph. 5:11). Sadly, many of our day have forgotten the proper militant stand of the Lord’s army. We are in a fight (1 Tim. 6:12) and woe be to those who “keep back their sword from blood” (Jer. 48:10). We must speak boldly (Acts 14:3) and never turn away from the path of duty (Josh. 1:7). It is not proper or fair for so many Christians to refuse to enter the battle. In Num. 32:6 we read a haunting refrain: “Should your brothers go to war while you stay here!? No!” (International English Bible)
In a famous spiritual song we find words that powerfully express courageous soldiers:
Valiant endeavor and loving obedience,
Freely and joyously now would we bring,
Over our wills and affections victorious,
Freely surrendered and wholly Thine own.
With Joshua of old we take a stand for God regardless of what others may do (Josh. 24:15). In concern with apostolic example we speak the things we know to be true and never allow earthly pressure to dissuade us (Acts 4:20; Acts 5:29). With the burning flame of the precious Word of the Lord in our hearts (Jer. 20:9) we will not compromise the message of salvation. We will not be ashamed to tell the glad tidings even before kings (Ps. 119:46).
Consider this wonderful hymn:
There’s a royal banner given for display
To the soldiers of the King;
As an ensign fair we lift it up today,
While as ransomed ones we sing
Marching on, marching on . . .
For Christ count everything but loss
For the King of kings — toil and sing —
Beneath the banner of the cross.
Three centuries ago, in John Bunyan’s Shepherd Boy’s Song, grand words of challenge were given:
He who would valiant be
Against all disaster
Let him in constancy
Follow the Master.
That reminds us of another shepherd boy named David who boldly told Goliath that he came to the battle in the name of the Lord who would grant victory in spite of insuperable odds (1 Sam. 17:45-46). When we stand for truth today, we do not fight alone. Whether it be in the arena of doctrinal soundness, moral purity, scriptural worship or personal commitment, we can heartily say with Paul in Rom. 8:31 (IEB): “If God is for us, who can be against us!?”
Great servants like Nathan and Micaiah were not afraid to rebuke rulers in high places and we should be emboldened to do the same. John the Immerser and Stephen died because of the truth they proclaimed. Are we willing to stand up and be counted for the cause of our Lord? Byron spoke of “a banner torn but still flying — streaming like the thunder — storm against the wind” and faithful Christians will face formidable foes. However strong the conflict, let us keep the banner of the Son of God flying high. Stout hearts and unbending wills will cause us to sing the song of victory at the last! “Be faithful, even if you must die” (Rev. 2:10, IEB).