In the early spring of 1953, I struggled down the gangplank of a huge military sea transport ship, and loaded into a Navy landing craft which would take me and hundreds of other soldiers to the mainland of South Korea. I’ll never forget the uncertainty and the empty feeling that overwhelmed me, as I stood huddled against others just like me on that gray, dismal morning. During the trip from the ship to the shoreline, a cadre man used a bullhorn to inform us that the rumblings which we were hearing in the distance were the sounds of our artillery. “Those,” he said, “are the rumblings of war!”
Through the years I have come to recognize the fact that all too often, the unusual and disruptive rumblings which arise in our society, and in the Lord’s church, are actually the early signs of battles which are looming on the horizon. On the day I cited above, the cadre man instructed each of us to “stay low, and be prepared for any emergency which might arise.” Today, I would urge my brethren to keep their eyes wide open for the onslaught of false teaching, loose thinking, and new innovations which will destroy the unity of the Church and mangle that precious Body for which Christ died. These are ever present dangers, and deserve our very best efforts to refute them.
The dangerous rumblings in the Lord’s Body today are legion, in my assessment. Liberalism is at the forefront, and is most dangerous. Congregations which invite and pay false teachers to come in and spew their dangerous ideas upon unsuspecting brethren are “building the tiger which will eat them.” The apostle Paul gave sage advice relative to such activities, when addressing Titus. Look at his inspired instructions: “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: whose mouths must be stopped” (Titus 1:10-11). It was dangerous in that day, and it’s dangerous now! Paul told the Corinthians, “Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play” (1 Corinthians 10:7).
Luke spoke strongly against a man who had labored to lay up treasures for himself, but was not rich toward God. How did God look upon the man? He called him a “fool”! (Luke 12:20). Our land is filled with those who will compromise God’s Holy Word to gain worldly applause. A few decades ago, the church had to struggle against such things as long hair on its men, and short skirts on its women. That phenomenon is now raising its ugly head again! Add illicit drugs and cohabitation to the growing list of sins, and, you’ll have to admit, the “rumblings” of spiritual war are everywhere!
Some of today’s rumblings emanate from “supposed” leaders who espouse the idea that “times have changed, so the church ought to change with them”! Those so minded are oblivious to the fact that the prophet Malachi stated, “For I am the Lord, I change not” (Malachi 3:6). One will get peeved, and his rumblings will disturb the sanctity and peace of the church. The rumblings of rebellion, failing to study the Word of God, remaining ignorant that “God is angry with the wicked every day” (Psalm 7:11), and other such things, fill many a pew with the indolent, unconcerned, and apathetic of the earth. These are not trained to fight the good fight of faith, nor are they concerned that someone may have to take the stand which they rightfully should take. Let faithful soldiers arise, and put to death every false way, and stand ready, because the “rumblings” of sin’s war are ever present!
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