Spiritual Assassins

No one who falls away from God does so on a moment’s impulse. The implications are far too severe and the hold of God is strong. There must be a plot, a plan, a conspiracy if you will, to subvert the rightful rulership of Christ in our hearts. This conspiracy unfolds over a duration of time that may even take years. But when one thinks he has gotten away with little, he will often take much. After a gradual erosion of our conscience’s influence, we become ultimately open for a more full-scale revolt.

Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil. —Ecclesiastes 8:11 (NASB)

This conspiracy unfolds in the human heart. No kingdom is a bona fide kingdom unless it has a king. For every man and woman, that king will either be King Jesus or King Self. Since we are now discussing a process occurring within the Christian life, we will place the rightful ruler, King Jesus, on the throne. The conspiracy to remove Him from the heart escalates through four distinct stages.

INITIAL SIN—Usually an underground army trying to overthrow a government is comparatively small in terms of men and weapons. A hit-and-run-type warfare is often employed as an alternative to brute force. Often in situations such as the ones we have viewed recently in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia and El Salvador, warfare unfolds with a sniper’s bullet downing a border guard at some remote station. Although it is highly probable that the majority of citizens in the capital city many miles away know nothing of the events, the security of the kingdom has suffered an undetected breakdown. If this situation is not immediately rectified by reinforcements, enemy troops will pour through the unguarded border point. It is just so in Christian life; unconfessed sin inevitably leads to the dangerous second stage of the campaign.

PERSISTENT SIN—Perhaps while still at the sniping stage, even the aggressors have no serious plans to actually assassinate the ruler. However, if the progress should continue relatively unchecked, the rebel activities will persist as intentional plotting begins. Killing is no longer indiscriminate as key members of the government are now targeted. Honesty is often one of the first things to go. In spite of success, we are still experiencing great pressure from our conscience, which is always pointing out our error and pleading with us to cease our activities. So we decide to move to stage three.

CONSCIENCE IS GAGGED—With the conscience bound and gagged, it makes it so much easier “to do what we have to do.” The amazing thing is that nobody yet suspects our intentions, well-almost. We’re still attending church and giving our ten percent. Everything has proceeded thus far with guarded caution. Yet because we are still feigning allegiance to Christ’s authority, we must of necessity occasionally pass through the throne room. Oh, how His stare burns! Although we have fooled everyone else, somehow we know that He knows. So, we attempt to avoid Him. We do so much in the same way a man contemplating adultery avoids his wife. Whenever one avoids prayer, avoids talking to God, he is in perilous danger! But gagging the conscience will be ‘our last, silent maneuver.

TOTAL DEFECT—Jesus Christ does not force His way into our lives. He is not glued to the throne of our hearts. He sits in authority only a as long as we desire to be subject to Him.

He hears us stealing up behind Him, and He understands the sound of a safety being clicked off, but He will not move. He will not summon the palace guard, nor will He struggle. He will only rule as long as you want Him. Finally, the loaded revolver is placed at the base of His skull and the trigger is pulled. You have become a spiritual assassin.

Do you think one can just walk away from God at the drop of a hat? Those who suddenly and brazenly begin to mock God’s people and leave the Church, belittling Christianity, have had no sudden change of heart. Their hostility had been silently brewing in their hearts for a long time. How many are there right now involved in one of the latter stages of this evil plot? Can we muster enough courage and spiritual sensitivity to minister to a brother whose heart is growing cold?

Karl Menninger quotes one pastor sick over the spiritual frigidity of his parishioners:

Here they come,
my nonchalants,
my lazy daisies,
their dainty perfume
disturbing the room
the succulent smell
seductive as hell.

 

Here they are
my pampered flamboyants,
status spoiled, who bring
with exquisite zing
their souls spick and span
protected by Ban,

 

their hearts young and gay
decked in handsome cliche,
exchanging at my call
with no effort at all
worship for whispering
God for gossiping,
theology for television.

 

Baptized in the smell
of classic Chanel
I promote their nod
to a jaunty God
Who, they are sure,
is a sparkling gem
superbly right for them.

 

There they go
my in-crowd
my soft-skinned crowd,
my suntanned, so-so
elegant, swellegant,
natty, delectable,
suave, cool, adorable
DAMNED! [1]Elmer F. Suderman.

The Church needs a baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire, because until then our generation will throng the gates of hell, because no man cried for their Souls. [2]Charles G. Finney, The Guilt of Sin (Kregel), p. 79.

What an epitaph!

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Elmer F. Suderman.
2. Charles G. Finney, The Guilt of Sin (Kregel), p. 79.

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