There’s no denying this fact: the world right now is a mess! It’s gotten to the point that you don’t even know who you can trust! The Apostle Paul called it in both 2 Timothy chapter 3 and in the Book of Ephesians chapter 6. In the latter epistle, he gives us very specific and important advice if we as Christians are to survive to be able to do God’s work in this world. Pay attention, my friend, for we are living in the end times…
Paul’s Warning to Timothy of the Last Days
You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!2 Timothy 3:1-5 NLT
Stay away from people like that, he says. What if those people are your family or coworkers? You, then, have to pray for them and keep sharing the Word of God with them. Don’t give up on them. Furthermore, make sure that you’re not committing any of those sins.
Put on the Whole Armor of God Everyday!
Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor (breastplate) of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Here’s a quote from a Bible Study from the free YouVersion Bible App by Vance K. Jackson…
“Put”. When you “put” on the entire armor of God, you’re intentionally dressing yourself with every part of His Word. Choose to put on the whole armor of God. Don’t cherry-pick His Word. Don’t self-select the parts of the Bible that you choose to obey. Digest His entire Word. God requires your participation. You have to make the choice to put on the armor of God.
You can’t defeat the enemy in your own armor — your flesh. You can’t defeat the enemy in your own strength. You can’t defeat the enemy with your carnal intellect. Only God’s armor can keep you and protect you from the snares and traps of the enemy. Only God’s Word can defeat and destroy the enemy’s tactics.Vance K. Jackson
Let’s Take Each Piece of Armor One by One
We start with the Belt of Truth. This wraps all around you. God is truth. How do you know if what you’re hearing and learning is the truth? By having the Holy Spirit in your heart to help you discern. I know when I’m hearing the truth preached, because I feel a joy in my heart.
Next is the Body Armor or the Breastplate of Righteousness. This means you live a godly life of integrity. You say what you mean and you mean what you say. People know you are a Christian by your actions. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind.
Then, you want the Shoes of Peace. On social media, I use the hashtag #FindPeace a lot when I share Bible verses. Where do you find peace in the world today? Only in the Word of God. You also find peace when you praise, worship and pray. Jesus is the source of peace. When you put your trust in Jesus, you find peace.
For protection, you need the Shield of Faith. If your faith is strong and solid, then you can stop the “fiery darts of the devil” that he is constantly throwing at you. These can be in the form of temptations: lust, pride, greed, vanity, gluttony, etc. You know, the 7 Deadly Sins. Your faith needs to be rooted in the Word of God to become strong.
Put on the Helmet of Salvation! Clearly, you can’t do that if you’re not saved! You can’t have the mind of Christ if you haven’t invited Him into your heart! With the helmet of salvation, you can resist the lies that Satan tries to hit you with. When you hear one of those lies, the Holy Spirit clearly tells you, “Nope! Don’t believe it!”
Finally, we have the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Remember in Luke chapter 4 when Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness? What did He use to combat Satan? He fought back with the Word of God. With the truth. The Word of God is sharper than a two-edged sword. To be able to use it effectively, you need to STUDY the Bible, don’t just read it. DIGEST HIS ENTIRE WORD!
12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.Hebrews 4:12 NLT
So, Are You Armed?
There is no way that you are going to survive in this world without God’s help, without putting ALL your trust in HIM. Here He is giving you what you need. He’s telling you what you need to do. He’s preparing you for the worst.
When you have on the Full Armor of God, you will not be afraid! There’s nothing to fear.
But, you must be saved!
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven and that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…
All pictures by David Padfield from FreeBibleImages.com Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)