“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
In the 1994 movie, “The Road To Freedom: The Vernon Johns Story starring the great actor James Earl Jones who portrayed the late Baptist preacher, civil rights leader, and predecessor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. Vernon Johns, there is a quote spoken by Dr. Johns which says, “If you see a good fight…get in it” when the new pastor Dr. King asked Dr. Johns for some fatherly advice on how to handle those deacons known for fighting authority at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. Dr. Johns said, "Purchase a sledge hammer."
Now of course Dr. Johns was not advocating violence because there is no virtue in just fighting for the sake of fighting because one who fights for the sake of fighting wastes his life. If we are to fight it must have a cause that is worthwhile and Dr. Johns along with Dr. King fought vigorously for racial equality and social justice under the law, which was indeed a cause worthy of fighting for.
The Christian faith does not offer an illusory hope of life on earth without evil. Instead, Christian faith calls us to fight evil with good in the world as it is. Therefore, fighting is necessary for the Christian because of the entrance and reign of sin in our world. When I speak of fighting most assuredly I am speaking of the Christian way of fighting. The Christian way of fighting is known as the “good fight of faith,” did you know that true Christianity is a fight? There is a reason we are called “Christian soldiers” because in actuality we are meant to fight and in America today there are good reasons we need to fight. One in particular is the fight for the traditional family unit as established by God which consist of a man and a woman with children or a home led by a single parent due to death or divorce, there is a powerful group of people who have emerged in America today, namely the LGBT ((Lesbian, Gay, bi-sexual, and transgender) and they are hell bent on changing what God says in His Word to fit their purpose—and I really don’t see the Christian community doing anything about it. And as far as I am concerned, it is a ‘good fight’ for us to get in because our fight is mostly in the spirit, and is fought with weapons found in the Word of God.
1. The Preparation To Fight
Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:12 that "we wrestle" against the powers of darkness.” The Kingdom of Light is in conflict with the kingdom of darkness, if you were to examine the lives of the saints of God in the past you will discover that each and every one of them had a conflict. In fact, Hebrews 11 gives us a list of these saints: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Esau, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, and Samuel. None of these men and women was exempt from conflict and sufferings, and conflict occurred because of the presence of sin in the world.
Here is a news flash, our world has not changed since the time these saints walked the earth. There are a few of us who may believe that the world has gotten worse. Nonetheless, these same circumstances surround us in spite of the fact that Jesus is coming back. There will be conflicts as long as we live and as result we are in a fight and if you see a good fight get in it.
Through the years I have watched great boxers like Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Mike Tyson, George Foreman, etc., I watched them when they all were at the peak of their career and it was obvious that they prepared long and hard before they entered the ring. Training to become a great boxer, takes a lot of effort, discipline, and confidence. It takes much concentration in order to stand toe to toe with an opponent. An athlete must train regularly to complete for their gold medal, we, too, must train regularly to compete for our gold medal, which is Heaven.
You see we have to be prepared to fight but our weapons are not of this world. A wrestling match is only 6 minutes long. A wrestler will train for hours every day to prepare for those few minutes. He does it for one reason; to go the distance. It does no good to be ahead, only to stop short of the finish line.
A boxer needs boxing gloves and shoes to fight his opponent, and a soldier needs hand grenades and M-16’s to go up against his opponent in a physical conflict. But the Christian soldier has to deal with a totally different kind of conflict; a spiritual warfare and he or she needs a spiritual weapon to do so. Our weapons are much different than the weapons that the world uses in trying to solve the problems of society. You see the world uses: coercion, manipulation, pressure groups, compromises, myths, falsehood, or demonstrations that ultimately result in raised voices, clenched fists, and outbreaks of conflict which seldom accomplishes anything.
However, we have other weapons. They are mighty, they are powerful, and they accomplish something. They will demolish strongholds of evil. What weapons do we use when we fight? Well, one weapon we use is ‘truth’ we have truth on our side; God has given us an insight into life and reality that others do not have. We know what is behind the forces at work in our society today, and we ought to know how to go about overcoming them.
That is what truth is all about. Another powerful weapon we have is ‘love’ when you begin to treat people with courtesy instead of anger, when you accept them as people with feelings like yours and understand that they too are struggling with difficulties and see things out of focus as you often do, when you begin to treat them as people in trouble who need help—that is what love is—then you change the whole picture.
Faith is yet another powerful weapon to our availability. Faith believes that and expects Him to do something. Again, in Hebrews 11 we have the great record of the plain, ordinary men and women like you and me who found, by faith, that they could stop the mouths of lions, open the doors of prisons, and change the course of history.
This is what we call, “the good fight of faith” and let’s not leave out an extremely powerful weapon of ours and that is ‘prayer’ the power of prayer is mentioned all throughout the Bible. When we are faced with a conflict the Christians primary weapon as a matter of fact is prayer. If you see a good fight get in it.
2. How A Christian Should Fight
Like it or not we are in the fight of our lives. However, most of us do not even realize that we are in a war, and consequently are not fighting very hard. This is exactly why several ungodly issues and topics are being considered by the Supreme Court and all the other lower courts across the land. It is because the Christian community is not fighting as hard as it used to. Why is it we after all these years we are trying to define and/or redefine marriage?
Why do we even allow the Supreme Court to overrule God Himself? It is because the Christian community is not fighting as hard as it used to. The LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, bi-sexual, and transgender) has their gloves on, and anything that remotely sounds like an attack on the gay lifestyle is being addressed vigorously by these people. They even have the support of the President of the United States.
They have the support of a few so-called Christian leaders in their fight against God. That’s right, they are actually fighting against God! And where are the true Christians in this fight? Look at what the LGBT has accomplished already: Extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. Ending gender identity in the federal government, declaring that DOMA unconstitutional, ect.
There are now several so-called “Freedom to marry” states in the U. S. today, 13 at last count. And the LGBT’s expressed goal is for the entire United States to see their way and allow men to lay with men; women to lay with women as if it were something beautiful, natural, and accepted by God when it is an abomination to Him instead.
This effort by LGBT is a lie straight from the bowels of hell and Christians must fight against it! But how? We fight against it through prayer and through the Word of God. There is the temptation that if we just remain silent and give up the marriage fight maybe things will change. In fact, Satan would love for us to come to the conclusion that it’s no use fighting this battle—we should just sit idly by and allow it to happen. He doesn’t mind us getting all worked up and speaking out against it in the confines of our churches, but he wants us to conclude that getting worked up over gay marriage in the public square is counter productive and is simply a waste of time.
The devil whispers that you don’t have to change your personal opinion, and besides if you speak out publicly against it—it will make you look bad. It will make you look like a bigot in these days and time no one wants to be called a bigot, and so you might as well throw in the towel and let it happen. However, the very reason we were born was and still is to glorify God. And when it comes to praising, worshipping, and glorifying God I am not afraid to fight!! Let the LGBT threaten me with court action, I will still fight for the honor of God. The devil wants to distort and pervert what God has established between a man and a woman when it comes to traditional marriage, and so I am not afraid to fight.
3. Don’t Be Afraid To Fight?
A person who does not fight for or against anything is a person who stands for nothing. In the world today there are those who have no principles and those of us who have principles must stand up to them. Our world is divided into those who insist on being an enemy of God and those of us who have made peace with God. It is divided into those who have rejected Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and those of us who have surrendered our lives to Him. Because there is both evil and good in the world, fighting is inevitable; this is one kind or form of fighting.
Another kind is what Paul refers to as “the race that is set before us” the hopeless sinner’s race is to accomplish more evil, but our race is to please Christ during this walk of life despite the distractions. Paul said, “let us run…the race.” The word ‘race’ translated in New Testament Greek means to agonize—to agonize as we render in English means to fight. Fighting evil for the glory of God is a good thing. And this is what Dr. Johns meant when he said “If you see a good fight get in it.”
Every time the issue of gay marriage has been put to a vote by the people, the people have voted to uphold traditional marriage. We are naive if we think a laissez faire compromise would be enjoyed by all if only Christians would stop being so dogmatic. We have to keep holding up the bloodstained banner and not be afraid to fight. Even Russia, an ungodly and communistic country knows that the gay lifestyle is contrary to life itself and has shown the world that there is something deftly wrong about it.
Yes, there are pastors being sued for preaching against homosexuality, there are pastors being sued for refusing to marry two men or two women together as one, there was a preacher arrested for calling homosexuality a sin, here in my hometown of Houston, Texas two street preachers were arrested for holding posters which denounced homosexuality, I remind you that mayor of Houston is a out in the open Lesbian herself who lives with her partner in the mayor’s estate, and all this is meant to scare other preachers and Christians from speaking out against it. It seems that there is no room these days for anyone, including independent business owners, to believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. Businesses are being targeted for destruction for refusing to serve gay weddings.
However, the Bible tells us that the weapons of our warfare are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds. We are told not to tolerate the devil’s work in our life. We are also told not to tolerate doubt, unbelief, and fear. Rather, we are to rise up in faith and kick him out of our lives, and “Possess the Land” that God has given us. We can do this because we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
When you see a good fight such as this get in it, yes, people will accuse us of being unloving or even simple-minded. But what these people aren’t getting is that God is absolutely holy. Man on the other hand has been sinful ever since Adam and Eve, and so, no one is able to lift himself up to God’s standards. As a result everyone deserves hell. Still, how do we convince others of that? A good place to start is to believe it ourselves!
When we fight against this current issue, we are not judging, we are not some sort of bigot; we are Christians who love the Lord with all our heart and all our soul. We are Christians who simply love the Word of God—and are willing and able to defend His Word against the powers of darkness in the world today, fight the good fight of faith to which you were called. The Rev. Vernon Johns was exactly right when he said, “If you see a good fight get in it.” Amen.