The apostle Paul declared, “Fight the good fight of the faith, lay hold on the life eternal, whereunto thou wast called, and didst confess the good confession in the sight of many witnesses” (1 Tim. 6:12).
Those who wish to “lay hold on eternal life” must “fight the good fight of faith.” There is no path to heaven that does not lead through territory occupied by the devil. If we are to reach our desired destination, we must fight. Indeed, it sometimes seems that we have to fight every step of the way.
We should be careful in our conclusions, though. Just because we are experiencing conflict that does not by itself guarantee that we are on the right path. There is such a thing as carnal combat, and those who engage in it often do not have the honesty to see that their agenda is their own rather than God’s. But even so, there is no denying that warfare is inevitable if we are serious about seeking God. To reach forward, we have to struggle with sin.
Are we cowardly? If we are too timid to fight for what is right, we will not make it to heaven. In Revelation 21:8, the list of those who will be lost eternally is headed by the “fearful” [cowardly – ESV, NKJ]. If we take the course of least resistance, we will end up somewhere other than the realm where God is. It takes courage to seek Him truthfully.
Are we careless? Considering the intensity and intelligence of our adversary, we ought not to be naive. We are being nothing more than foolish if we think we can serve God faithfully and never experience any difficulty. Peter said, “Wherefore girding up the loins of your mind, be sober and set your hope perfectly on the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pt. 1:13).
The good fight of faith is a personal struggle against what the devil is trying to do to us and the Lord’s church. We need, then, to “withstand” him [resist him – ESV, NKJ] (1 Pt. 5:9). We need to fight for our lives with commitment and courage. We need, with real indignation, to draw the line and refuse to yield a single inch to our adversary.
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Park Heights church of Christ
P. O. Box 107
1300 East Boynton Street
Hamilton, Texas 76531
“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”