Who will stand?

But here’s where the problem comes. It’s one thing for a Christian to be a soldier in name. It’s something else entirely for him to stand and fight precisely where the battle rages. We could go on and on, talking about the nature of the Christian life as a battle, we could go on and on about the high cost of discipleship, the need to be strenuous and manly in our faith, and all of it could be nothing more than a show to ease our consciences.

The theme of the 2009 ClearNote Fellowship Conference was Stand in the Gap. Following is a transcript and a link to the audio of the opening sermon from that conference, preached by Pastor Stephen Baker and titled Who Will Stand?

O brothers, see how far from optional a life of battle is for the true Christian. See how far we are from being faithful soldiers. Let us repent and return–and get in the fight!

(This is sermon 1 in a series; see also sermon 2, sermon 3, and sermon 4.)


The nature of the Christian life
The life of the Christian is a life of warfare
The normal life of the true Christian
The nature of the fight
Stand in the gap
Gaps of past generations
We condemn those who fight today
What are today’s gaps?
“Their confidence in the sovereign power of God made them act”

The nature of the Christian life

Good evening. I want to begin by having you think about this question:

What is your fundamental understanding of the nature of the Christian life?

You boil it all down, what is your fundamental understanding, what’s the most basic thing that you would say about the nature of life as a Christian?

  • The health and wealth preacher would say that the Christian life is basically a life of victory: victory over suffering, victory over sickness, victory over poverty.
  • The mainline Christian would say that the Christian life is basically a life of enlightenment and freedom from outdated superstitions.
  • The reformed Christian would say that the Christian life is basically a life of the mind—about getting the doctrine correct.
  • The modern evangelical would say that the Christian life is basically a life of relationship—it’s all about your personal relationship with Jesus.
  • The emergent Christian would say that the Christian life is basically a journey.

(All of these are just slightly caricatures—just slightly.)

But what does the Bible actually say?

There’s some truth to most of those versions of the core of the Christian life, but all of them leave out a vitally important, essential truth that is more basic than them all. The Bible actually says that the Christian life is most like a battle. The Bible says that to be a Christian is to enlist for battle. Yes it’s to have victory. But victory after the battle. Yes, it’s to understand right doctrine, but so that you can fight. Yes it’s to have a relationship with Jesus. But He is your King and your Lord and your commanding officer, not your boyfriend.

The life of the Christian is a life of warfare

The Bible says over and over again that the life of the Christian is a life of warfare. For example, have you ever noticed as you read through the book of Psalms—which is the book of worship for God’s people—how over and over again the themes surround images of battle. Have you ever noticed how much of the psalms would make no sense if the Christian life were basically a life of peace?

For example, Psalm 3:

O LORD, how my adversaries have increased!
Many are rising up against me.
Many are saying of my soul,
“There is no deliverance for him in God.”
But You, O LORD, are a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.

Psalm 18:

I love You, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
And I am saved from my enemies.

Or Psalm 27:

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.
One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD
And to meditate in His temple.

Those words that are so often sung in worship are–are said in the context of battle.

Psalm 35:

Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me;
Fight against those who fight against me.
Take hold of buckler and shield
And rise up for my help.
Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me;
Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”

Psalm 55:

He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me,
For they are many who strive with me.

I could go on and on.

Have you ever noticed how often those themes of battle and warfare and fighting and enemies are in the book of worship for God’s people? It’s everywhere.

Psalm 144:

Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle

Psalm 149:

Let the godly ones exult in glory;
Let them sing for joy on their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth,
And a two-edged sword in their hand

Some of you might be thinking, “Yeah, but all that’s in the Old Testament. That’s the way it was back then. You had Philistines. You had bad guys, and they were against you, and we’re done with that kind of thing now.”

What about Romans 8:

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.

What about Ephesians 6–that passage of warfare where God commands us to fight:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

What about 1 Corinthians 16:13:

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, be men, be strong.

Or 2 Corinthians 7:5,

For even when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within.

Or what about 2 Corinthians 10:3-6,

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

Or what about 1 Peter 2:11,

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.

Is any of that the language of peace?
Is that the language of ease?
Is that the language of relaxation?

No, it is the language of war. It is a war that we are all part of, and it is certainly not a warfare that is limited to a bygone age. It’s a war that’s ours to fight. And all those passages I just read to you are addressed to normal Christians.

There are passages that speak directly to pastors in particular—like 2 Timothy 2:1-4, where Paul says to Timothy,

You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with me as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.

So yes, the basic job description of a pastor is, soldier. But the warfare of ministry for pastors is not something different than the warfare of ordinary Christians. Because being a combatant in this warfare is the normal life of the true Christian. And I use those words very carefully.

The normal life of the true Christian

Warfare is the normal life of a Christian. If you’re not experiencing anything of the inward and the outward warfare, then there is something wrong. Yes, we all go through times when we get lazy, when we let down our guard, where we try to go AWOL. But that’s not normal. And God will not continually let His soldiers go away without leave. Warfare is the normal state for the life of a Christian.

And I said that being a combatant in this warfare is the normal life of a true Christian.

J.C. Ryle was an English bishop in the Anglican church in the late 1800s, a godly and a good man, and this is what he says:

The first thing I have to say is this: True Christianity is a fight.

‘True Christianity’—mind that word ‘true.’ Let there be no mistake about my meaning. There is a vast quantity of religion current in the world which is not true, genuine Christianity. It passes muster; it satisfies sleepy consciences; but it is not good money. It is not the real thing which was called Christianity eighteen hundred years ago. There are thousands of men and women who go to churches and chapels every Sunday, and call themselves Christians. Their names are in the baptismal register. They are reckoned Christians while they live. They are married with a Christian marriage-service. They are buried as Christians when they die.

But you never see any ‘fight’ about their religion! Of spiritual strife, and exertion, and conflict, and self-denial, and watching, and warring they know literally nothing at all. Such Christianity may satisfy man, and those who say anything against it may be thought very hard and uncharitable; but it certainly is not the Christianity of the Bible. It is not the religion which the Lord Jesus founded, and His Apostles preached. True Christianity is ‘a fight.’

The true Christian is called to be a soldier, and must behave as such from the day of his conversion to the day of his death, he is not meant to live a life of religious ease, indolence, and security, He must never imagine for a moment that he can sleep and dose along the way to heaven, like one travelling in an easy carriage. If he takes his standard of Christianity from the children of this world he may be content with such notions, but he will find no countenance for them in the Word of God. If the Bible is the rule of his faith and practice, he will find his lines laid down very plainly in this matter. He must ‘fight.’

Being a combatant in this warfare is the normal life of a true Christian.

The nature of the fight

Now what kind of fight are we up against? What’s the nature of the fight? Three things.

There’s the fighting against our own sin and lusts and desires, it’s that internal fight. Galatians 5:17 talks about it:

For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

If you know nothing of that internal fight, of the Holy Spirit and your flesh fighting, then you’re not a Christian.

Secondly, there’s a fighting against the spiritual forces of wickedness: the devil and his demons. 1 Peter 5:8-9, Peter gives this very sober warning:

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

How many of us today even begin to take that passage seriously? Are you sober and alert, expecting the devil to come and try to eat you? We don’t believe in these kinds of things anymore, do we?

And third, there’s the fighting against the world—all the ungodliness that arrays itself in opposition to the rightful reign of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6. Hear it again:

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh…

We are waging war, but we are not waging war according to the flesh.

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

We destroy arguments. We destroy them. We don’t dialogue.

And that warfare is what we’re talking about this weekend. It’s the warfare of the Great Commission. It’s a warfare that does not use weapons of the flesh. It’s a warfare that does not use swords and bombs and guns. It’s a warfare that uses spiritual weapons—the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. The weapons of our warfare are words in the hands of godly men through the power of the Holy Spirit. Words of warning and judgment, words that discriminate between light and darkness and wickedness and righteousness, words of promise and hope and good news to everyone who will bow their knee to Jesus Christ, the King of Glory.

Stand in the gap

But here’s where the problem comes. It’s one thing for a Christian to be a soldier in name. It’s something else entirely for him to stand and fight precisely where the battle rages. We could go on and on, talking about the nature of the Christian life as a battle, we could go on and on about the high cost of discipleship, the need to be strenuous and manly in our faith, and all of it could be nothing more than a show to ease our consciences.

Martin Luther once said this:

If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition…

If I write all kinds of books that are published by Christian publishers and read by Christians all over the world, if I have radio programs that everyone listens to because of my skill at exegesis and precision with the text…

…every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved. And to be steady on all the battlefront besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.

What’s he talking about? What’s Luther talking about there?

He’s talking about the gaps. He’s talking about the breaches, the holes in the walls of a fortress. Picture an old castle where at a certain place the attack has been so intense that the wall has weakened, the wall has crumbled, there’s a gap that opens up—a breach in the wall. Think of the battle of Helm’s Deep. Remember that, from the Lord of the Rings book? (And movie?) You’re all picturing the scene of the movie, the Battle of Helm’s Deep, where the orcs take this bomb. Remember the bomb? And they carry it along and they put it in the little drainage culvert under the wall, and it blows a gap in the wall, and then all the enemy rushes through that gap and tries to get in. What do the good soldiers do? They run to the gap in the wall.

Luther is saying that you can talk about being a good soldier all you want, but the proof is in where you stand to fight. Do you run away from the sound of battle? Do you run away from the gap that has been blown in the wall and make a show of guarding all the parts of the wall that are perfectly fine? Or do you run to the sound of battle and throw yourself into the gap?

Luther says that a true soldier will always throw himself into the gap. He says that a true pastor will always run to the place where the world and the devil are most fiercely attacking the fortress of truth. He says you can be the most stalwart, the most dependable, the most orthodox defender of the faith, but if you act like there are no gaps in the wall, if you preach with precision every word of the Bible except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, then you are a disgrace.

Gaps of past generations

In every generation, God commands the Christian church to herald and to defend the gospel before an attacking army of enemies. Therefore, standing in the gap has always been the vital work of God’s people. It was the work that God gave to Noah, where he was a preacher of righteousness in an ungodly and wicked generation. It was the work of Elijah, where Elijah stood before King Ahab and his hordes of prophets of Baal. It was the work that God gave to Jeremiah the prophet.

Listen to these words that God gave to Jeremiah. The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying,

“Thus says the LORD, ‘Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak to all the cities of Judah who have come to worship in the LORD’S house all the words that I have commanded you to speak to them. Do not omit a word! Perhaps they will listen and everyone will turn from his evil way, that I may repent of the calamity which I am planning to do to them because of the evil of their deeds.'”

What did Jeremiah do? Exactly what God said. And they wanted to kill him for it.

It was the work that God gave to John the Baptist. When John saw, this is Matthew 3,

when [John] saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? “Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Think of what John the Baptist did with Herod the king. He stood before Herod, the king of the land, who had the power of the sword, and said to him, king, it is not lawful for you to have your sister-in-law, your brother’s wife. And of course he lost his head for it.

It was the work that God gave to the Apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost, when he stands before the whole nation that had just crucified Jesus Christ and he says to them,

…this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again…

What did Peter do when he was preaching to the multitudes? He ran to the one place that would be most obnoxious for them to hear.

It was the work that God gave to the Apostle Paul. Galatians 1:

I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

It’s what the Apostle Paul did when he stood up to Peter in public and confronted him to his face about his faithlessness in living out the gospel.

God has always done this. He has always raised up men who would stand in the gap against the heresies and the wickedness of their day. It is the way that God works. He uses men to stand against men—not ideas to stand against ideas, but men to stand against men, and to fight them with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.

Thank God that He has done this! If God had not preserved His truth from age to age against heresy after heresy and wickedness after wickedness, we would not be here, because we would not have the Scriptures in their purity, we would not have the purity of sound doctrine unless God raised up men who would fight. But year after year, century after century, God raises up men who will fight.

  • God caused Justin Martyr to fight against Marcion, the gnostic heretic who wanted to do away with the Old Testament.
  • God caused Athanasius to fight Arius for the deity of Christ.
  • God caused Augustine to fight Pelagius for the depravity of man and the freeness of God’s grace.
  • God caused Martin Luther and John Calvin and John Knox to fight against the pope and the heresies of Roman Catholicism.
  • God caused C.H. Spurgeon to fight against the encroachment of unbelief and liberalism among the English baptists in the late 1800s.
  • God caused J. Gresham Machen to fight against the unbelief and the liberalism that was creeping into American presbyterianism in the early 1900s.
  • God caused Martyn Lloyd-Jones to fight against the ecumenical movement in the 50s and 60s that wanted to erase all distinctions and to destroy the gospel.

Think about this: What do all of those men have in common, that I just mentioned to you?

Two things—three things.

Number one, they’re all dead!

Number two, they all fought. They all stood in the gaps of their day and they fought; and

Three, these men are our heroes. We claim all of those men. We claim as our fathers Athanasius and Augustine and Luther and Calvin—I mean, it’s Calvin’s birthday today, for Pete’s sake! Everyone’s all excited about this. And Amos Ewer shares Calvin’s birthday. We claim John Knox, we claim Spurgeon and Machen and Lloyd-Jones—oh yes, we love the men who fought yesterday’s battles, don’t we?

We condemn those who fight today

But do we love the men who fight today’s battles? No. We praise those who fought yesterday’s battles and we condemn those who fight today. We say,

“The tone of your sermon was unhelpful.”

“I don’t appreciate your posture.”

“If only you would soften your tone then people would listen to you.”

We claim those men from yesterday as our heroes. Why are they our heroes? Precisely because they are bloody men. Someone said to Athanasius, “Athanasius, the whole world is against you.” And he said, “Then Athanasius is against the world!” No one would appreciate Athanasius’ tone, today. No one would appreciate his posture. What an unreasonable man! Nasty Athanasius.

We hate bloody men today. We hate warriors. We don’t want men who will declare and announce and proclaim and defend and attack. We want men who will suggest. We want men who will share. We want men who are positive and encouraging. We want men who will welcome us along on their faith journey.

Think of the battles that those dead men fought. They fought for the Bible, they fought for the deity of Jesus Christ, they fought for the sovereignty of God’s grace, they fought for justification by faith alone, they fought for the centrality of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Why did those men fight those particular battles? It was simply because those were the main areas of attack in their day—those were the gaps in the wall. There was where the enemy was most fierce in his attack. And we are the beneficiaries of the bloodiness of those men. We are the beneficiaries of their willingness to fight.

But do we have any concern for the spiritual welfare of our children and our children’s children? Are we content to have peace for our time at the expense of the spiritual slaughter of those who will come after us?

The words of our Lord Jesus Christ are fitting for the church today:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?”

What are today’s gaps?

So what are today’s gaps?

It’s really not that difficult to find them, is it? All you have to do is pick up the paper—any newspaper will do. Or listen to the commentators on National Public Radio, or take a class at IU or any other public university. The things that you hear all the time, the things that we have been steeped in, that we can’t even hear anymore because we hear it so much—those are today’s gaps.

Or conversely, listen to today’s popular preachers, or go to a Christian bookstore, or take a class at Wheaton or Cedarville. The things that you will never hear in those settings are the gaps today.

Either way, it’s easy to catch where the gaps are, either because the world is always talking about them or because the church is never talking about them.

So what are they?

Today the enemy has focused his attack primarily on the doctrine of man, or anthropology. All the issues surrounding mankind, the issues surrounding life—abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research, in vitro fertilization—all of that kind of stuff is obviously where the attack is today.

All the issues surrounding sexuality—the fact that God assigned sexual identity at creation by making mankind male and female, that sexuality is not a social construct—that there is no such thing as a gender continuum with male and female on either side and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered somewhere in between.

Male headship in the home and the church and the culture. God’s good command to husbands to love their wives, God’s good command to wives to be submissive to their husbands. The fact that marriage is to be a permanent covenant between one man and one woman, that fornicators and adulterers God will judge. That God hates divorce.

And today the enemy is also attacking the truth of authority. The authority of God and His Word, the authority of civil government, the authority of a husband and a father in his home, the authority of the church and her officers.

There are other gaps in the wall. We could spend all night talking about what they are, but you know what they are. And many of them are very interrelated.

But the point is, there are gaps in the wall! And I tell, you brothers and sisters, the evangelical and reformed church in America has made it a principle to act as if there are no gaps. No battle, no attack, no danger—we’re exactly in the position that Soren Kirkegaard describes like this (now if Paul can quote pagan poets, I can quote Soren Kirkegaard). He says this:

We all know what it is to play warfare in mock battle. It means to mimic everything, just as it is in war. The troops are drawn up, they march into the field, seriousness is evident in every eye, but also courage and enthusiasm, the orderlies rush back and forth intrepidly, the commander’s voice is heard, the signals, the battle cry, the volley of shooting, the thunder of cannon—everything exactly as in war, lacking only one thing: the danger.

So it is with playing Christianity, that is, imitating by way of Christian preaching in such a way that everything, absolutely everything is included in as alluring a form as possible. Only one thing is lacking—the danger.

A few years ago, anyone in the conservative reformed world who didn’t drink scotch or smoke cigars was called a gnostic. Today, anyone in the conservative reformed world who has a conscience or who is engaged in the battle for the gaps is called a Pharisee. That is the negative label du jour in the conservative reformed world today: Pharisee. Or better yet, older brother. And if you’re really wacko, fundamentalist. If you’re really really really wacko, Baptist.

So we’ve claimed that anyone who wants to fight is a Pharisee. And we have abandoned the battle of the gaps by loving cordiality more than Christ. And again Kirkegaard shakes us awake. He says:

The greatest danger to Christianity is, I contend, not heresies, heterodoxies, not atheists, not profane secularism—no, but the kind of orthodoxy which is cordial drivel, mediocrity served up sweet.

“Their confidence in the sovereign power of God made them act”

And we in the reformed world have even used the sovereignty of God as an excuse for our passivity. I was talking to a man on July 4th at my brother’s picnic, a man who’s been a member of a reformed church for years, and this man has tried over and over again to get the people of that church concerned about issues where the world and the devil are attacking the truth today, and he said that the pastor preaches solid, doctrinally faithful sermons, but he never touches controversial issues—never. In all of his years there, never.

Why not? Because God is sovereign, He’ll take care of all of that.

What an amazing thing! Our King is the strongest, most powerful Lord in the entire universe, therefore we will stand back and refuse to fight! We’ll run from the gaps in the wall. How in the world did the sovereignty of God become an excuse for us to be passive in battle? It has always been the opposite for God’s faithful warriors.

Were Shadrach, Meschach, and Abed-Nego moved to passivity because of their confidence in the sovereignty of God? Of course not! Their confidence in the sovereign power of God made them act, even if it meant their death. And that Bible is filled with men and women just like that. Confidence in the sovereign power of God over all things will not make us passive. It will spur us on in the fight.

So what are we to do?

We must preach the Word. We must be ready in season and out of season; we must reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction; we must make distinctions clear between light and dark, false and true, unrighteous and righteous; we must use discrimination and strong rebuke; we must beware when all men speak well of us, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way. We must warn; we must have conviction; we must have faith; we must be servants of God—as the Apostle Paul says,

…in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left…

And we must use the weapons of our warfare, which are not of the flesh but are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

Do we have no faith in the power of the gospel anymore? Is that why we avoid the fight, because we don’t trust the Sword anymore?

We must destroy speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we must take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. We must not shrink from declaring anything that’s profitable; we must not shrink from declaring the whole purpose of God. Because the time has come when they do not endure sound doctrine, but wanting to have their ears tickled they accumulate for themselves teachers (books, radio programs, MP3 files)—they accumulate for themselves, they heap on themselves, teachers in accordance to their own desires and have turned away their ears from the truth and have turned aside to myths.

Will you stand? Or will you be carried away by the enemy? And will you allow your children and your children’s children to be carried away because you refused to stand?

May God help us. Let’s pray.

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