Hold the fort ~ Pst. Adesoji Oni
Topic: Hold the fort
Text: Romans 8:35-39
Preacher: Pst. Adesoji Oni
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come.
Trials and challenges are inevitable in our walk with God; John 16:33 “John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”. Trials and temptation will definitely come; I know that most times when people come to Christ, we tell that that Jesus will take over your battle, everything will be fine and so on, this is because that is the first can be relate to the new believer in Christ, for him or her to easily understand. The word of God is classified into two categories: the milk and strong bone. Of course we don’t give strong bone to a tender child because the child will choke and die, nevertheless, the experiences of life are things we can’t run away from. Just like the gold making process, the impure gold must need go through fire to come up to the state of value, likewise God allows us to go through certain things so we can get through what will build us up, sometimes we call it baptism of fire.
No one is exempted from this experience of which I speak about in life. John the Baptist was the one who bore record of the Lord Jesus Christ, in Luke 7:19-23 when he was imprisoned and was about to be killed; the same person who got the revelation now sent people to go and ask Jesus if he is the messiah to come or another one is coming. Nobody is exempted, at some point in life, we will experience trials of our faith. 1 Peter 1:7 “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ”. The truth is, this time that we are faced with now may be trying times for some persons; some will starve, unfortunately some will even go down with it. Trials and temptations are no indication that God is absent in our lives, rather they are set to bring out the best in our lives. Nothing can stop God from loving us, it is only that we need to be careful so that we are not stopped from loving God.
There is danger in drawing back, an illustration was given years back, that when you want to build a house, you have different things you put to make up the house and after you have finished building the house, you need to do away with; such is like the scaffold. You don’t see a man who has completed his house and is still hanging the scaffold all around it. The scaffold is use and then dropped along the line. Luke 9:61-62 “And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God”. As you have come to Christ, if situations, trials and temptations will make you to look back, that means you are not fit for the kingdom of God. Rom. 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us”. There is a glory that is going to be revealed in your life and that glory is very soon and you cannot allow the devil rub you of that glory. If any man draws back, God does not have pleasure in him. Hebrews 10:38-39 “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul”. The dangers of drawing back and not abiding in Christ is revealed in John 15:5-6 “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned”. If anyone fails to abide in Christ now, the Bible says he is cast forth and withered. John 6:67-68 “Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life”.
It is worth knowing that separation does not happen all at once, it is a gradual process. Many people are getting separated from their love for Christ and they don’t know it. There are a lot of people that find it difficult now to go to church because of fear. The Lord has promised to be with us in all our battles, Isaiah 43:2 “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee”; Job 13:15 “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him”. Maintain your ways and trust him and you will see what God will do in your life. We had an issue, years back in the church where I was pastoring in Trans-Amadi, a brother whose wife gave birth to a child and the child came out still (that is, the child died). In the midst of that, someone had a revelation that the woman had her second baby and the baby also came out still. Then we prayed and had confidence in the promises of God. It came to pass that when the lady gave birth to her second child, the baby came out dead. When we heard about it, we reminded God of his promise in the place of prayer and to the glory of God, the baby sweated and came back to life. There is a time that your faith must be tried, you can’t run away from the trial of faith; there are many things that seems to reduce our love for God like faithlessness, fear of the unknown, fear of persecution, etc).
Faith is the only way you can walk with God Heb. 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” God needs people that will say if God will not save me, let nothing else save. If we can get to this state, we would see God work mightily in our lives. Our anchor text Romans 8 says “Who shall separate us from the love of God?” the word “who” represents a personality; trials, tribulations and the likes are personalities in the spirit, but I pray that regardless of your circumstance, the Lord God will keep you in his love in Jesus name.
- Father I thank you, I give all the praise; I ask that you glorify yourself in our lives.
- Father I pray that you will uphold us in your love in Jesus name.