Four12 article image for 'Contend For The Faith' about being faithful in telling others the truth

Contend for the Faith

‘They have committed the supreme suicide who have yielded to the spirit of the times.’ – G K Chesterton

Coming into relationship with Jesus is the greatest thing you will ever experience. To know that Jesus died for you and that your sins are forgiven, to know the thrill of God speaking to you and the Holy Spirit using you, and to have the hope of eternal life is, as Peter says, joy inexpressible and filled with glory! (1 Peter 1:8)

Faithful, For Better Or Worse

But, while Jesus will never disappoint us, life with Jesus continues to have its share of ups and downs. Just as in marriage, we agree to stay together for better or worse, so with Jesus, if we only stick with Him when the going is easy, we don’t really understand what it means to follow Him. Jesus said, ‘Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33 NLT). He said, ‘What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man’ (Luke 6:22 NLT). Jesus also said, ‘If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first’ (John 15:18 NLT).

But to those who stay, and overcome, God has given precious promises.

None of these verses make good fridge magnets! But this is what we can expect if we truly follow Jesus. When faced with this truth, some might decide to give up. But to those who stay, and overcome, God has given precious promises. ‘To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life’ (Revelation 2:7). ‘To the one who is victorious and continues in My work until the end, I will give authority over the nations’ (Revelation 2:26). ‘The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne’ (Revelation 3:21). ‘The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life’ (Revelation 3:5).

What Trials?

Like Jesus, we can consider the joy ahead of us while going through what’s in front of us. But perhaps you say, ‘Trials? What trials?’. What are these trials that we, as followers of Jesus, need to conquer?

Silencing the Gospel

While Christians in the West may not endure violence against them as we see in some countries, society today is increasingly trying to muzzle the truth of the gospel. Today in the UK, a Christian doctor risks losing his medical license after creating an opportunity for prayer during a consultation. A teacher lost her job for doing the same. In the US, we have seen bakers repeatedly taken to court for not decorating cakes with slogans that go against their Christian conscience. Another UK doctor lost his job last year. He was deemed ‘unfit to work’ after he said he believed that gender is defined by biology and genetics, and that, ‘as a Christian, the Bible teaches us that God made humans male or female.’

Society has no stomach for any opinion but its own.

Pressure to Conform

Society has no stomach for any opinion but its own. Social and political pressure are being placed on Christians, to make us conform to the ever-evolving standards held by the world. However, a Christian is called to believe what the Bible teaches. God is the Creator and Law-Giver. Moral law and natural order come from Him alone. ‘For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him’. (Colossians 1:16)

The truth is that God is the centre, but society has placed man in the middle

The truth is that God is the centre, but society has placed man in the middle and no longer acknowledges the natural laws laid down by the divine Law-Giver. Jude, the brother of Jesus, wrote to the church, ‘I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints’ (Jude 1:14). The faith we have been given was given once, for all. The Gospel does not change, just as God does not change. What God hates He has always hated. What God loves He has always loved. His acceptance of us is not an indication of a change in Him, but a change in us, wrought by His Son, Jesus. Only by His blood, can we or anyone we know be accepted by God.

Our Response

So, when society pushes us to change what we believe, we push back. Contend for the faith. Speak aloud the things you believe. Speak about the grace of God, but also speak about His wrath. Speak about the love of God, but also speak about what He hates. If God was as chilled as some people paint Him, Jesus would not have needed to die. It is only because sin is real and the wages of sin are death that Christ was crucified. We should never set out to offend our colleagues, classmates or family members, and don’t add to their offence by using disrespectful language or presenting the gospel with your finger wagging. But we must remember, ‘..the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing’ (1 Corinthians 1:18). As Paul said, ‘I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant’. (Galatians 1:10 NLT)

‘They are going to make fun of you for being a Christian, so at least deserve it!’

Attending school in the UK during the 90s, I remember our youth pastor telling us, ‘They are going to make fun of you for being a Christian, so at least deserve it!’ That was good advice then and it is good advice now. The early church prayed that God would enable them to speak His Word with boldness, and so should we. ‘Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching’ (2 Timothy 4:2). ‘Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person’ (Colossians 4:6). And, ‘..if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name’ (1 Peter 4:16 NIV).

Adam serves as an elder in Joshua Generation Church, South Africa. He is married to Vanessa, and they have two sons. Adam’s particular passions are worship and apologetics. Follow him on Facebook or Instagram for more.

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Repent
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Perseverance
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Lee Strobel
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Refining Fire
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Love
Discernment
Gospel
Mercy
Shepherding
Work
Caring
Suicide
Desires
Lies
Fathering
Vulnerability
Pride
Evangelising
Obedient
Christian Leadership
Singles
Healing
Direction
Revelation
Conviction
Complacency
Recalibration
Guidance
Transformation
Volunteering
Taiwan Churches
Providence
New Testament Church
Pastor
Church Structure
Feminism
Apostolic Partnership
Vocations
Distractions
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Covenantal Love
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steadfastness
uncompromising
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Christian Leaders
Debt
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Complacent
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The Gospel
Purgatory
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The Word of God
Modesty
Judgement
Bearing Fruit
Comfort
Divorce
Teaching Children
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The Poor
Letting Go
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Justice
Church Partnership
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Reading
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Stewardship
Caring for People
Doubt
Church Involvement
Wife
Reconciliation
Overseers
Lying
Greed
Immaturity
Raising Kids
Parenting
Poor
Bible
Ordinance
Unforgiveness
Refreshing
Defending The Gospel
Matrimony
Teenage Years
Four12 Church
Youth Leaders
Ireland
Redemption
Godly Leadership
Disciple
Church Discipline
Church Health
False Teachers
Fatherly Love
Tongues
Goats
Fear God
Godly Love
Body of Christ
God's Presence
Apostolic
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Holy Spirit
Pastoring
Suffering
Brotherly Love
Eternity
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Bishops
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Authority
Faithfulness
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Patience
Teaching
Character of a Deacon
Grief
Compromise
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Character
Addiction
Pornography
Signs and Wonders
Baptise
Infant Baptism
Power
Possessions
Study the Bible
Steward
Hatred
Hospitable
Spreading The Gospel
Relationships
Training Children
Health
Youth Training
Counting the Cost
Healing Equip
books
Raising Leaders
Shepherds
Contentment
God's Character
Affirmation
Judaism
Enlightenment
Building Deep
Prostitution
Godly Team
Footholds
Baptism
Fear of God
Hospitality
Peace
The Bible
Church Leaders
Hardship
Fellowship
Holy Living
Character of an Elder
Adultery
Rebelling
Witchcraft
Baby Christian
Kassie du Plessis
Protector
Tithing
Envy
Quiet Times
Retaliation
Lessons
Spreading The Word
Cheating
Training Teenagers
Cancer
Youth Ministry
Following the Call
Four12 Equip
Eldership Training
Community Leading
Pastors
Rest
Sacrificial Serving
Sonship
Jewish
Reason
Selling Out
Prostitutes
honour
favour
Devil's Schemes
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Watering Down
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Apostolic Leaders
Authentic
Religions
Intellectual Pride
Ambition
Fruitfulness
God's Favour
The Church
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Generosity
Jesus
Purity
Trust
Helps
Mortality
Christian Family Values
Lukewarm
Home Group Leaders
Exhort
Self-Righteousness
Kingdom of God
Commands
Provision
Sex Before Marriage
Mothering
Women in Leadership
Halloween
Honesty
Testing
Crucifixion
Conversion
Guilt
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Equipping
Saints
Leadership Team
Priesthood
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Women In Ministry
Fruit of the Spirit
Womens Ministry
Messiah
Mind Idolatry
Megachurch
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Honouring God
God's Manifold Wisdom
Christian Living
Gentleness
Joy
Repentance
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Loving People
Infirmity
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Leading
Exhortation
Sexual Sin
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Customs
Provider
Living for God
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Calling
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Easter
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Living the Gospel
Paradoxes in the Bible
Honouring People
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Church Life
Giving
Kindness
Revival
Water Baptism
Servant Heart
Living for Jesus
Covenantal Relationships
Division
Accusation
Flesh
Shame
Truth
Traditions
Works
Morality
Wisdom
Women Leaders
Ordaining Elders
Christian Community
Backslidden
Resurrection
Testimony
Masturbation
Communal Culture
Partnering Churches
Prophesy
New Churches
Five Fold Gift
Trinity
Tithe
Relationship
Employment
Thanksgiving
Atheists
Old Testament Prophet
Ambassadors
Truth in Tension
contradictions
Treasure Hunting
treasure
Church Planting
Community Leaders
God the Father
Leaders
Salvation
Women
Afterlife
Protection
Dating
Decisions
Eldership
Fleshly Desires
Submission
Gifts of the Spirit
Get Baptised
Works and Faith
Morals
Gift of Wisdom
Females in Leadership
Ordaining
Defence
Commitment
Hearing God
Consequences
Receive Forgiveness
Leadership Training
Living Hope
Zimbabwe
Start a Church
Prophet
New Believers
Being Generous
Study Scripture
Jobs
Entitlement
Misotheists
New Testament Prophet
Work Values
Deacons
Culture
Good News
Maturity
Self-Control
Word of Knowledge
Bitterness
Self-Pity
Courting
Forgiving
Anger
Freedom
Trusting
Gifts
Baptized
Fasting
Overcomer
Words of Wisdom
Leadership
Encounter
Repenting
Challenges
Listening
Caring for Children
Four12 Partners
Training Leaders
St Johns
Relief Fund
Building Church
Evangelist
Dreams
Communion
Being Accountable
Occupation
Rejection
Misotheism
The Case for Christ
Kingdom Priorities
Biblical Contradictions
Movement
Family
Devotion
Goodness
Men
Serving
Word of Wisdom
Brokenness
Sickness
Courtship
Friendship
Church Plant
Hope
Accountable
The Apostolic
Kids
Intercession
Singleness
Fear
lead
Life
Repent
Anxiety
Obey
Child Care
Four12 Partner
Volunteer
Taiwan Church
Israel
Healthy Church
Teacher
Multi-site Church
Perseverance
Loving Others
Profession
Social Media
Hopelessness
Lee Strobel
Kingdom Living
Refining Fire
God's Glory
Love
Discernment
Gospel
Mercy
Shepherding
Work
Caring
Suicide
Desires
Lies
Fathering
Vulnerability
Pride
Evangelising
Obedient
Christian Leadership
Singles
Healing
Direction
Revelation
Conviction
Complacency
Recalibration
Guidance
Transformation
Volunteering
Taiwan Churches
Providence
New Testament Church
Pastor
Church Structure
Feminism
Apostolic Partnership
Vocations
Distractions
Christian Books
Christian Movies
Covenantal Love
Storms of Life
resilience
steadfastness
uncompromising
Four12 Conference
Marriage
Discipleship
Grace
Ministry
Sin
Worship
Confusion
Trials
Husbands
Offence
Humility
Idols
Prophets
Fornication
Planting A Church
Christian Leaders
Debt
The Word
Discipline
Condemnation
Bear Fruit
Complacent
Recalibrating
Teaching Kids
Partners Relief Fund
Apostolic Partnering
Netherlands
Marriage Training
Church
Apostolic Field
Administration
Racism
Church Partnering
Christian Values
Cosmological Argument
Christian Authors
Review
Husband
Isle of Man Conference
Accountability
Doctrine
Healing and Miracles
Money
Social Justice
Youth
Death
Tribulations
Partner
Overcoming
Humbleness
Immorality
Prophecy
The Gospel
Purgatory
Control
Finances
The Word of God
Modesty
Judgement
Bearing Fruit
Comfort
Divorce
Teaching Children
Four12 Partners Relief Fund
Pastors Training
The Poor
Letting Go
Values
Partnering
Heart of God
Justice
Church Partnership
Great Commission
Existence of God
Christian Literature
Old Testament
Romance
Apostles Teaching
Apologetics
Elders
Heaven and Hell
Obedience
Spiritual Gifts
Caring for Others
Depression
Online Church
Spouse
Conflict
Meekness
Lust
Deception
Hell
Raising Children
Godliness
Miracles
Word of God
Ordained
Equality
Breakthrough
Defending My Faith
Covenant
Teenagers
Four12 Churches
Training Pastors
Needy
Rastafarian
Translations of the Bible
Preaching
Authentic Community
Relationship with God
Faith and Works
New Christian
Creation
Reading
Worldviews
God's Love
Presence of God
Apostles
Evangelism
Holiness
Partnership
Stewardship
Caring for People
Doubt
Church Involvement
Wife
Reconciliation
Overseers
Lying
Greed
Immaturity
Raising Kids
Parenting
Poor
Bible
Ordinance
Unforgiveness
Refreshing
Defending The Gospel
Matrimony
Teenage Years
Four12 Church
Youth Leaders
Ireland
Redemption
Godly Leadership
Disciple
Church Discipline
Church Health
False Teachers
Fatherly Love
Tongues
Goats
Fear God
Godly Love
Body of Christ
God's Presence
Apostolic
Faith
Holy Spirit
Pastoring
Suffering
Brotherly Love
Eternity
Community
Wives
Bishops
Shepherd
New Believer
Signs
Christening
Starting A Church
Parents
Poverty
Study the Word
Stewarding
Punishment
Being Hospitable
Sharing The Gospel
Restoration
Training Kids
Malawi
Leading Youth
Surrender
Testimonies
Christ
Delegating
Servant
Social Gospel
Character of God
Worth
Gift of Tongues
Godly Elders
Big Churches
Salvations
Sacrificial Love
Potential Leaders
Authority
Faithfulness
Holy Spirit Baptism
Patience
Teaching
Character of a Deacon
Grief
Compromise
Blueprint
Character
Addiction
Pornography
Signs and Wonders
Baptise
Infant Baptism
Power
Possessions
Study the Bible
Steward
Hatred
Hospitable
Spreading The Gospel
Relationships
Training Children
Health
Youth Training
Counting the Cost
Healing Equip
books
Raising Leaders
Shepherds
Contentment
God's Character
Affirmation
Judaism
Enlightenment
Building Deep
Prostitution
Godly Team
Footholds
Baptism
Fear of God
Hospitality
Peace
The Bible
Church Leaders
Hardship
Fellowship
Holy Living
Character of an Elder
Adultery
Rebelling
Witchcraft
Baby Christian
Kassie du Plessis
Protector
Tithing
Envy
Quiet Times
Retaliation
Lessons
Spreading The Word
Cheating
Training Teenagers
Cancer
Youth Ministry
Following the Call
Four12 Equip
Eldership Training
Community Leading
Pastors
Rest
Sacrificial Serving
Sonship
Jewish
Reason
Selling Out
Prostitutes
honour
favour
Devil's Schemes
Breaking Bread
Festivals
Idolatry
Prayer and Fasting
Theology
Foundations
Heaven
Fellowship of Believers
Leading Church
Diversity
Church Accountability
Rebellion

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