A Golden Era That Never Was

A Golden Era

Many New Testament Christians are incorrectly caught up in the pipe dream of a golden era of the church when there were neither problems nor divisions. But when was that? Churches of Christ have always been plagued by strife (Philippians 1:15-16), false teachers (2 Peter 2:1-3), perverse and destructive leaders (Acts 20:29f, Jude 4), the preaching of a false gospel (Galatians 1:6-9), servants of Satan (2 Corinthians 11:13-15), and divisiveness (3 John 9-10). This is why Jude exhorted Christians “to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3b). This is why Paul admonished Christians to: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13, NIV).

Therefore, what the kingdom of God needs today are more soldiers of the cross and fewer spiritual pacifists who simply stand around bemoaning what they see as a lack of love among brethren. These frequently point accusatory fingers at those whom they consider much too strident. Brethren, there’s a war going on and what is needed are men who are willing to stand and fight for what some seem to think isn’t worth a “hill of beans” (cf. 2 Samuel 23:11). But remember this: God will bring about “a great victory,” and He will do so with or without us (v. 12).

In the final judgment, all things will be set right. In the meantime, the tares and the wheat grow together in the same field (Matthew 13:24-30). Let us determine to spend our time here in this world proving ourselves to be the “good seed” sown by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Remember, the churches at Pergamum and Thyatira which basked in the twilight of the 1st-century were condemned by our Lord for tolerating false teaching. Basking, as we are, in the dawn of the 21st-century, let us make sure we are not guilty of the same sin.

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